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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:30 pm 
 

I was scanning ebay tonight and looked at some AD&D auctions and saw a bunch with no pictures of any of his stuff. I think that affects his sales. Do you think thats the case as well?

I only ask because I would never dream of putting something up without a picture and I certainly wouldnt buy without one for AD&D or anything off a computer.
:D

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:56 pm 
 

I get a kick out of the people who do not put up a picture and then say good shape.  What exactly is good shape.  Put up a picture for god's sake. 8O


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:44 am 
 

maxwell wrote:I was scanning ebay tonight and looked at some AD&D auctions and saw a bunch with no pictures of any of his stuff. I think that affects his sales. Do you think thats the case as well?

I only ask because I would never dream of putting something up without a picture and I certainly wouldnt buy without one for AD&D or anything off a computer.
:D


Hey guys;

I have over 750+ items listed and no pictures on anything.  I even make a living doing this, and believe it or not occasionally my stuff sells for quite a bit more than someone who has taken the time to photograph an item.  I took pictures several years ago and after a few months of noticing I was not selling one item more nor making any more money, I quit doing it and have never looked back. While I believe pictures are necessary in SOME cases and I would advise anyone selling a collector's type item to take multiple pictures (A really rare book or gaming item, a bicycle, a car, an antique vase, etc), through my experience of many years on Ebay I've found in my case it has little affect on my sales.  I would never say "Don't take digital pictures" of an item to sell on Ebay, but just for the curious I'll list several examples of why I think it hasn't affected my sales.

1.  I've found that reputation is more important than almost anything else when choosing a seller on ebay, except perhaps for the fact someone just HAS to have that certain something and takes a chance on a seller with less than stellar feedback (witness a moron like Eastern Game Chest or Games Emporium staying in business).  I have a feedback of 99.9 and I would advise anyone buying on EBay not to do business with anyone under 97% feedback UNLESS you feel there are special circumstances leading to such a low feedback total.  I myself will not do business with sellers under 98% feedback.  I have found there are many like souls on Ebay...if you list pictures but have a 90% feedback (along with the attendent negative comments in your feedback section), well I'd rather buy from someone without pictures with a 99% feedback.  Just because someone can work a digital camera and upload pictures to a PC does not a reliable seller make....

2.  I try to accurately describe the item and have always intentionally "downgraded" items condition rather than try and foist one over on a buyer by "upgrading" something and risking a disappointed buyer.  I never list Mint items and very, very rarely list something as "Near Mint" unless it's brand new with no flaws...I feel my grading system is much stricter than others, I feel it HAS to be if I don't post pictures. My feedback is filled with many comments like "Much better condition than I expected" posts, and I have tons of repeat buyers.  By contrast, even if you list a picture but fail to describe the item accurately what good is the picture? What if there is writing INSIDE, a torn off back cover, interior stains, etc.  I'm always surprised when a see virtually NO description on an item with a picture, as if "Hey, a picture is worth a thousand words".  NO, not really, when you leave out obvious flaws.  Which brings me to my next point...

3.  What does a picture really prove anyway?  Seriously?  Does it prove the item looks like the picture?  Nope, because last year I bought a load of Dragon magazines that looked great in the picture off ebay and were described as "Near Mint, barely used", yet when they arrived were some of the worst pieces of trash I'd ever purchased, with torn covers, edges, stains on the inside, bent pages, etc.  Yet when I studied the picture again and again, even after I knew the flaws I still couldn't see anythihg wrong from the picture.  
Does it prove the item is the picture is the item you receive?  Of course not, anyone can post a picture of a past item, and several sellers have admitted this when I emailed them and specifically asked if the item photographed was the one being sold (My favorite reply was that no, the item in the picture was the item from his personal collection, but EXCEPT FOR THE COFFEE STAINS ON THE COVER of the one he was selling, it was the exact same item as the one he took the picture of...sheesh).
Does it prove the seller even HAS the item?  Nope.  Anyone can post a picture...I can post a jpeg of Alyssa Milano tomorrow but sorry guys, I can't really sell her because I DON'T OWN HER (don't I wish).  
So, if you can't tell the true condition of an item from a picture, you can't tell if that is the exact item the seller says is for sale, and you can't even rely on the fact the seller even has the item he's pictured, what can you go by? Well, on the sellers REPUTATION, which should be more important than a picture anyway.  

4. I will say this based on personal experience:  Practically the only thing I buy off ebay are magazine lots, and to resell them or put them in my personal collection they must be EXCELLENT or better, which to me means way above average (no water damage, excessive spine wear, not missing inserts, no tears, writing, lightly read if at all, you get the picture).  Many of the nicest lots I have ever purchased did not have photos accompanying the auctions.  Conversely, the two absolute worst lots I ever bought not only had photos (of which nothing out of the ordinary was visibly wrong), but when I asked for verification I was told the mags were "Near Mint, barely used" both times and both times was basically lied to.  In both cases I returned the items and got my money back, but I've learned that while photos are nice they basically prove nothing.

5.  Now, having said that, I do believe that in general photographs help sales.  Personally, I've never noticed a difference, but for someone with low feedback or someone selling a unique item or an item that is not easily described in words (a car, an antique, a comic book, etc) I think it's a "must".  Also, when it comes to wanting a certain edition or cover of an item, or you want to know if that is the magazine you wanted but don't remember the number only that it had a unicorn riding down an orc on the cover, or it is a Jade Hare, I can see the necessity of digital photos.  I occasionally get asked by a potential buyer "Will you post a photo", or "will you send me a scan of the item".  If I have the time I will send a scan, but most of the time I just tell them that I rely on my reputation as an honest seller and that they can return the item for a full refund if my description is inaccurate or they are dis-satisfied for any reason.   I have yet to have a returned item, most of the time the buyers are deliriously happy with the condition and add things like "Your Excellent is most people's Near Mint" or "You note that Very Good and Good are above average and average, yet your items are in much better condition than average."  

And hey, those of you who absolutely would NOT purchase an item without seeing a picture of it, let me add a few things:  Over the years, I've gotten GREAT deals on items because the seller did not list a picture and I was able to determine by emailing the seller the items were in nice condition and I got a great steal on my bid because guys like you stayed away from it; in general my stuff is in WAY better condition than many other sellers on EBay that post pictures, I know because I've bought hundreds of items on ebay the past few years and rarely do they measure up to my preferences of condition, pictures or no; think about how the old-timers used to do it back in the days pre-ebay....yep, it was all based on trust and sight unseen, and very rarely did I purchase something off game.markeplace.frp and was disappointed when the item arrived; think about those times the seller listed a picture that looked ok and yet the item looked like crap when you got it, vs the times you might have bought an item sans picture that looked like crap when you got it, and at least in my case the ratio is 50-50, YMMV.  

Maybe I shouldn't add this, but what the hell: When I'm searching on ebay I go STRAIGHT to the items w/o pictures because of guys who won't buy anything without a picture often leave a really nice deal to fall right in my lap...I don't need the extra competition. I just last year bought a load of Dungeon mags (#2-#80 with a few numbers missing) from a guy in PERFECT condition that I got for around $1.75 each after shipping and such, and since he posted NO pictures I  got the items far below market value.  
 BTW, this is by no means a shot at resellers on these pages that post pictures. Offhand, I've bought from both Burntwire and Dark Seraphim that I know of (probably others I don't remember), and I can't remember if either posts photos but the items were in perfect shape and described very accurately.  Then again, I find Aceaum members actually know what they are doing when describing RPG items for sale.  
   And not to say I won't post photos in the future....as soon as I buy my new digital camera (the other is a POS 3 years old) I'll probably start snapping pictures of everything in sight.

Mike B.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:26 pm 
 

That may work good for you, if you are buying something you want to keep and treasure, I will always pay more if I can see the item.


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