eBay Buying and Selling Tips (for the real world)
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Post Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 2:08 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:Sunday nights can go both ways. . . as a bidder, I have often found the best deals on Sunday nights as there is so much to chose from - sometimes too much and there are not enough bidders to drive the price up on everything. . . .

As a seller . . . I work crazy hours and list things whenever I get a chance. My considered opinion is that it doesn't matter much whether I start my 7 day auctions at 5:30 AM on a Wednesday or 8:00 PM on a Sunday - it all works out in the end.

Of course, over half my stuff sells with BIN and THAT is my best advice to sellers: Once you know your product and market, set an achievable BIN (not a ridiculous one!!!). Buyers can get many items at once and not have to sweat it out for combined shipping. Turnover is quick and helps spread the work out over the course of the week so you aren't slammed with shipping on Sunday night.  :P


BIN is an underused feature for the Seller on Ebay, IMO.  I BIN all of my auctions.  I'd say 90 percent or more of my sales are BIN, and most are for MORE than I consider the item worth.  As an example, I've sold a ton this week, yet at the moment only have four items out of 800+ with bids on them.  The other 40 items have all been BIN and I got exactly the price I wanted while the buyer didn't have to drag it out a week hoping to get the item without a last minute snipe.  When I buy music CDs, I always use BIN, I don't see any need to waste my time bidding on a CD I want if five guys are all offering it for about the same price and one guy has a BIN, why wait a week to see if I even WON the item?  I can have the CD in my hands by then.

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Post Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 6:31 am 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:[quote/]Of course, over half my stuff sells with BIN and THAT is my best advice to sellers: Once you know your product and market, set an achievable BIN (not a ridiculous one!!!). Buyers can get many items at once and not have to sweat it out for combined shipping. Turnover is quick and helps spread the work out over the course of the week so you aren't slammed with shipping on Sunday night. :P


Exactly. That's the best advice :wink:
And think about foreigners : sunday evening means at middle of the night or at the break of dawn.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:03 am 
 

Here's some selling tips to help maximize your profit by minimizing your ebay fees. I see these mistakes all the time (and sometimes by powersellers and those with enough feedback to know better. . .)

KNOW YOUR FEES!!!

(these amounts are for U.S. auctions only).

Insertion Fees for each starting price are:

0.25 (under 0.99 start)
0.35 (1.00 to 9.99)
0.60 (10.00 - 24.99)
1.20 (25.00-49.99)
2.40 (50.00-99.99)
3.60 (100.00 - 499.99)
4.80 (500.00 and up)

There is no excuse for starting an auction at $10, $25, $50, etc. Ebay banks on the fact the most people will assume these "common" amounts will be selected quite a bit (and they are!). It will cost you $1.20 more to list something at $50 (rather than at $49.99).

Okay, BIN fees are similar cut-offs and max out at 0.25 for $50.00 and up.

Do not forget to RELIST every single unsold auction. And make sure you RELIST it with something guaranteed to sell. If the item sells at relisting, then the fees are refunded - if not, you pay a second time. . .

So . . . you can relist ANY item as ANY OTHER item. Categories don't matter, descriptions, etc. If you think your UNSOLD item might not sell again, then list something that will definitely get bids in its place and "sell similar" for the item on "shaky" selling ground.

Keep in mind - fees are ONLY refundable if the item is relisted for the same or lower starting bid. I am always searching through my UNSOLDS, finding an appropriate "match" of price. (Okay, my $9.99 Battletech book didn't sell, I'll sell similar on it and then list the UNSOLD as a DA3 City of the Gods which I am positive will get a $9.99 bid (at least).

I almost never pay a "double fee" to ebay. Remember to list items in the same insert fee class if possible. Try not to downgrade an opening bid $20.00 item too much. Save it for an item that would list over $10.00 so you get the max value.

Don't fall for any of the eBay extras - especially for RPG items.  

I also recently closed my eBay store. I was sad to see it go, but it was just taking my money and giving it to eBay. Unless you have hundreds of items that you hope to get a very high price for, it just isn't worth it.  The selling fees have gone up for stores and it now costs a tiny bit more to sell an item than it would to just list it. Plus, you have to pay the monthly fee. I did the math over and over - the only way to justify the cost is a huge inventory and high end prices. Otherwise, the method of selling and relisting will get you the price you want and cost you less.

Happy Selling!

:D


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:20 am 
 

Has anyone tried selling RPG's on half.com or amazon.com?  
I've had good fortune selling non-RPG books (computer and academic) and DVDs on half.com, and it's quick and easy.  
Any luck with RPG selling there?  eBay stores seem to have become too pricey to make sense for small and, perhaps, even some medium-size sellers.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:09 pm 
 

Well, it looks like I've had my first-ever package lost in the mail as an eBay seller. I shipped it two weeks ago via Media Mail (to a destination only 100 miles away from me), and it hasn't shown up. (I mailed a dozen packages the same day to further destinations and they all arrived days ago).

I used Delivery Confirmation, but it shows no tracking information beyond the fact that my local PO accepted it (not even a destination zip code is shown). So I can't even prove that I mailed an item specifically to him. Only that I tried to mail something someplace, and it seems to have vanished into thin air.

The Buyer says he's giving me until Monday, and after that we have to "work something out".

I offered optional Insurance in this auction, which the Buyer declined.

It's a relatively cheap item, only around $12, which is why I didn't make insurance mandatory.

So... should I just offer the guy a 100% refund and be done with it? Offer to split the loss 50/50 since he didn't purchase insurance and I can't prove I mailed something specifically to him?

Like I said, this is my first-ever lost package so I haven't had to deal with this before. Any advice would be appreciated. How do the more experienced sellers handle this sort of thing? Thanks!

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:35 pm 
 

shadowfax17 wrote:Well, it looks like I've had my first-ever package lost in the mail as an eBay seller. I shipped it two weeks ago via Media Mail (to a destination only 100 miles away from me), and it hasn't shown up. (I mailed a dozen packages the same day to further destinations and they all arrived days ago).

I used Delivery Confirmation, but it shows no tracking information beyond the fact that my local PO accepted it (not even a destination zip code is shown). So I can't even prove that I mailed an item specifically to him. Only that I tried to mail something someplace, and it seems to have vanished into thin air.

The Buyer says he's giving me until Monday, and after that we have to "work something out".

I offered optional Insurance in this auction, which the Buyer declined.

It's a relatively cheap item, only around $12, which is why I didn't make insurance mandatory.

So... should I just offer the guy a 100% refund and be done with it? Offer to split the loss 50/50 since he didn't purchase insurance and I can't prove I mailed something specifically to him?

Like I said, this is my first-ever lost package so I haven't had to deal with this before. Any advice would be appreciated. How do the more experienced sellers handle this sort of thing? Thanks!


I hope he is at least giving you until Tuesday (Monday is a holiday  :wink: ), but realistically you have proof that you delived the item to the PO with the tracking number.  You may want to check back with them to see if for some reason that they still have it, which would be why the tracking info has never updated, but assuming the buyer has paid you by paypal tere is really nothing through them that he can do.  With that being said, it depends on how much you value your feedback and also how much you are interested in having repeat buyers as to how to handle the situation.  For an item of that amount, I personally would just refund him the item amount and be done with it, but that is just me.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:11 pm 
 

but assuming the buyer has paid you by paypal tere is really nothing through them that he can do.


No no no no. Something that it seems very, very few people know, is how limited the PayPal Seller Protection Plan is. For this plan to protect you, you have to prove that the item was delivered to their door. If the DC stops at your local PO, or at some handling center somewhere, you have NO protection whatsoever.

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:29 pm 
 

what was the item? I have more to add, but I am curious how it fits into the post offices recent "crackdown" on media mail shipping.

Also, have you talked to the post office.  They should be able to trace it down (especially since it is only a 100 miles away).

They have a lost mail tracking form which you can fill out.  This traces the route and tries to turn up the package.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:58 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:what was the item? I have more to add, but I am curious how it fits into the post offices recent "crackdown" on media mail shipping.

Also, have you talked to the post office. They should be able to trace it down (especially since it is only a 100 miles away).

They have a lost mail tracking form which you can fill out. This traces the route and tries to turn up the package.


The item was a 1965 NCAA Official Basketball Guide. It's a small book with a glued binding like a paperback, but the covers are glossy magazine style, and it does contain advertisements. I mailed several of these guides that particular day, and this is the only one that hasn't been delivered.

I did talk to my post office. All they could say was that it had definitely left their site, and that I should ask the Buyer to check his local PO to see if it's sitting there. The Buyer has already done that with no luck.

I'll have to inquire about the lost mail form. Unfortunately, the Buyer seems to be a bit impatient about settling the matter by early next week, and I'm leaving town for a week-long vacation in about 30 minutes. So I'm probably just going to have to offer a 100% refund.

Your further comments are welcome, though, for future reference.

BTW, what does the PO do if they inspect a package and deem the contents unsuitable for Media Mail? Do they throw it away? Return to sender?

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:19 pm 
 

They seal if back up and continue the delivery.  Then they leave the recipient and slip that says they have a package waiting for pickup with postage due.

The recipient has to come pick it up and pay the difference.

They also sent out a letter to the sender that they have done so (but they don't mention specifically which package it is - so if you have a lot out there, then you just have to guess)

This is why I have gotten a little stricter on media mail shipping and no longer offer boxed sets to ship by this method.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 6:05 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:This is why I have gotten a little stricter on media mail shipping and no longer offer boxed sets to ship by this method.


I've begun phasing it out completely. With rare exceptions (or maybe following a request from a trusted customer), every item that leaves my sweaty little hands goes out Priority Mail. The advantages are numerous, but I won't clog the thread by listing them here.

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:38 pm 
 

I have mailed more than my share of packages and so far "cross fingers" only one actual completely lost package.  Just last week I refunded a fellow for a gurps book that hadn't arrived in 3 1/2 weeks (media mail around 500 miles) and wouldn't you know it, the book showed up the next day.  This was a repeat buyer of mine and he was courteous enough to re-submit payment immediately.

That being said, I don't offer the option of insurance.  If the item is under $20 I don't use it (unless someone emails me specifically) and if something happens I will just refund and consider it the cost of doing business.  Anything over $20 I automatically insure to protect myself.  Insurance is really more for the seller than the buyer, especially considering how "easy" it would be for a buyer to get their chargeback from paypal.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:51 am 
 

I'm not sure if you folks use the "Favorite Sellers New Items/Favorite Picks" emailable option, but I find it a little disconcerting that eBay feels I'm interested in a "Lot of 8 Reloadable Brass 12 Gauge shells"...  8O  

Anybody else use this feature?

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