eBay selling advice sought - best way to get started?
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 31, 2, 3
Author


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5611
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 19, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 1:01 am 
 

Hola folks---

Heather and I are in the process of finalizing the purchase of a home in Wichita, Kansas, where her family lives. As such, I have no desire to move the many items that I've picked up over the years that are unnecessary spares, items bought with the intent to sell later (their time has come!), and games I no longer play much at all.

I haven't sold stuff since the heydey of rec.games.frp.marketplace, so what're the best steps/best practices that you can share with me about selling successfully on eBay?

I figure I have to do these things, at least, but I'd like some guidance on what else I should think about

  1. Stop buying stuff for awhile ;)
  2. Don't shill my own auctions ;)
  3. Charge actual shipping/packing costs vs. inflating them ;)
  4. Verify my paypal account. (Do I need to verify my eBay ID too?)
  5. Keep some funds in my paypal account (for refunds, etc.)?? (I don't currently keep cash in my paypal account, I only make payments from it via credit card).
  6. How do you handle credit card payment processing charges (kick them back to the seller, eat them, etc.)?
  7. Figure out what Frank's occasional comments about buying via escrow mean to me as a seller.
  8. Organize my stuff to sell, figure out what's actually worth selling, and then ditch the rest (freebies and trades here, dump the dross on NobleKnight/local used bookstores/etc.).
  9. Create some sort of template for my sales
  10. Figure out minimum bids vs. reserve bids vs. BINs and when to use them.
  11. Include digital photos (I don't have a scanner) always/sometimes/never?
  12. Sell the rarities with good support items, and advertise here/elsewhere as appropriate to generate interest in them.
  13. Philosophically, I really believe that I should give positive feedback upon receipt, but I'm not sure how realistic/rational that is for a seller.

What are the other things I'm missing that I should think about? How quickly can you get sales rolling coming from a standing start?

Thanks for your thoughts!


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 16, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 2:17 am 
 

grodog wrote:Hola folks---

Heather and I are in the process of finalizing the purchase of a home in Wichita, Kansas, where her family lives. As such, I have no desire to move the many items that I've picked up over the years that are unnecessary spares, items bought with the intent to sell later (their time has come!), and games I no longer play much at all.

I haven't sold stuff since the heydey of rec.games.frp.marketplace, so what're the best steps/best practices that you can share with me about selling successfully on eBay?

I figure I have to do these things, at least, but I'd like some guidance on what else I should think about

  1. Stop buying stuff for awhile ;)
  2. Don't shill my own auctions ;)
  3. Charge actual shipping/packing costs vs. inflating them ;)
  4. Verify my paypal account. (Do I need to verify my eBay ID too?)
  5. Keep some funds in my paypal account (for refunds, etc.)?? (I don't currently keep cash in my paypal account, I only make payments from it via credit card).
  6. How do you handle credit card payment processing charges (kick them back to the seller, eat them, etc.)?
  7. Figure out what Frank's occasional comments about buying via escrow mean to me as a seller.
  8. Organize my stuff to sell, figure out what's actually worth selling, and then ditch the rest (freebies and trades here, dump the dross on NobleKnight/local used bookstores/etc.).
  9. Create some sort of template for my sales
  10. Figure out minimum bids vs. reserve bids vs. BINs and when to use them.
  11. Include digital photos (I don't have a scanner) always/sometimes/never?
  12. Sell the rarities with good support items, and advertise here/elsewhere as appropriate to generate interest in them.
  13. Philosophically, I really believe that I should give positive feedback upon receipt, but I'm not sure how realistic/rational that is for a seller.

What are the other things I'm missing that I should think about? How quickly can you get sales rolling coming from a standing start?

Thanks for your thoughts!


Allan;

Rather than whip everyone here on the board with a long winded post, I'm going to PM you later this morning or Monday afternoon with some advice.  Good Luck!

Mike B.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 4:30 am 
 

heh Allan, i was just about to say, instead of asking everyone, why don't you just have a word with Mike (Badmike)....he's the main man! :D

but he beat me to it :)

should sell it all to him anyway like anny did and save a fortune in ebay/paypal fees...

Al



  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1709
Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 23, 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 5:44 am 
 

I just want to reply to one point here:

Philosophically, I really believe that I should give positive feedback upon receipt, but I'm not sure how realistic/rational that is for a seller.


There is always a lot of talk on whether a seller should do this or not, etc.  I will always leave feedback first and never require a buyer to do so.  I'm at nearly 1,600 and 100% . . .

It's easy - just be completely honest, treat everyone as you would want to be treated and recitify any mistakes you make immediately without complaining.  

Remember all those times you get pissed when you are at a restaurant or store and the service sucks, the employees are rude and disinterested and everyone acts as if you are their problem?  Never, ever, let that be who you are in life . . .


"Gleemonex makes it feel like it's seventy-two degrees in your head... all... the... time! "

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 343
Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Last Visit: Dec 28, 2017
Location: Turin, Italy

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 5:50 am 
 

Upon prompt feedback:

I think that was what the system meant to be when it was designed.

Immediate feedback for buyer when he pays, immediate feedback for the seller when the item is received.
If I - as a buyer - pay promptly, I deserve a quick and good feedback: I'm taking my money and sending it to a complete stranger, basing my trust on the feedback he has, without knowing if and when he will ship the material, and in which condition the material will arrive.

Everything else is just undue caution.

My two coppers, that is.


"It's mint, it's a first print, and it's mine!"

KA-POW

"Not anymore".

 YIM  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Dec 25, 2019

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 9:14 am 
 

Hey Allan,  I can make it real simple for you.  Sell it all to me for $50.00 :twisted:  :twisted:  :twisted:  {j/k}

But seriously, I think BTB makes some excellent points.  Just be honest and forth coming in all of your auctions with everything.  This includes item descriptions, payment terms, shipping terms, etc.  Treat people like you like to be treated, be flexible, and be prompt with answering questions and shipping out the items once they are paid for.  It is very important that you are able to handle your auctions in all facets that you have up, so make sure that you keep that in mind when you start lisiting things.  

As far as feedback goes, I do believe that the seller should leave positive feedback when payment is made.  You may be setting yourself up to be unjustly negged by a impossible buyer, but truthfully it is the right thing to do.


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  


Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 245
Joined: Apr 24, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 24, 2008
Location: Georgia, USA

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 9:39 am 
 

As to your shipping question/comment - While it's nice to charge a reasonable shipping rate, it's only fair to include your some of your costs in the shipping price.  There's no reason for you to pay for boxes, bubble mailers, cardboard stiffner, bubble wrap, ink (if you print online) etc out of your own pocket.  Generally I charge around $1.00 above actual shipping price that covers the basic supplies, and helps me pay for these items.  Always ship with delivery confirmation and anything with much value include insurance.  This will protect YOUR butt from getting paypal claims falsly filed against you.

And ALWAYS include a picture!  As a buyer I get some of my best deals (which means worse prices for the seller) when people don't post pictures.

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 137
Joined: Apr 23, 2005
Last Visit: Dec 18, 2014
Location: Edmond, OK

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:34 am 
 

Some more advice from a large volume buyer and new seller.
-List the things for a price you want to sell them at, not a low price to generate bids. I was burned for so many valuable items doing this.
-Clearly state in your description or shipping info that the buyer will pay insurance fees for items over $50. Could save some headaches down the road.
-Clearly state that international bidders should wait to hear from you with a total before paying.
-Reindeergamez was dead on, figure out all your shipping expenses and charge a rate that covers them, not one to make money off. I have had a lot of repeat customers because they know I am not trying to make $ off their shipping charges.
-Always pack everything well. Another comment I get from customers is the packaging is very good, their item arrived safe and in good condition. Pack all modules in the good comic bags with backers and then also use cardboard as another layer of protection around everything. Wrap boxed sets in bubble wrap, use packing peanuts to fill in the Priority mail box. I raid the local recycle center for all these materials (except the comic bags and backing) so they are free except for my gas and time to go there.

pleveich

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3590
Joined: Dec 20, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 17, 2021
Location: Canada

Post Posted: Mon May 30, 2005 11:21 am 
 

The easiest way to do things is to treat your auctions and customers the way you like to be treated, pack it well, charge resonable  shipping, sell to the world (not just the US), answer questions quickly, add pictures etc.


Games can get you through times of no money but money can not get you through times of no games!!

 WWW  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3861
Joined: Feb 21, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 21, 2020
Location: Milford, Michigan

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 2:28 pm 
 

Get organized. Take the time to sort everything and don't list more than you can carry to the post office with reasonable effort.

I have never left a neg. feedback. Never.  I used to leave feedback right when seller paid. Then came a few idiots and now I wait until buyer confirms delivery of item. I don't expect buyers to leave feedback before I do (as seller), but I do want to make sure they are satisfied before I leave my pos. for them.

If you are selling lots of stuff, make a template. This gives adds professionalism.

Finally, accurate descriptions are critical. I have never had one single problem with grading or describing my stuff.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 87
Joined: Aug 15, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 28, 2019

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 2:50 pm 
 

As largely a buyer on eBay, I'm always a bit suspicious of sellers who hold buyers hostage by waiting on leaving the feedback. I've heard all the justifications/rationales, and they ring pretty hollow.

2 types of sellers do this:

* Bad sellers practicing CYA
* Otherwise good sellers who feel like they need to artificially maintain their FB level.

Sellers with FB in the 3 or 4 digits aren't expected to have 100% FB. Nobody is perfect, and nobody has perfect customers. Deserved bad feedback is an opportunity for learning. Undeserved bad FB happens. Get over it.

98.5 - 99.5% is perfectly acceptable, and frankly much more believable than hostage-taking your way to 100%.

  


Active Collector

Posts: 26
Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Last Visit: Sep 13, 2005

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 3:35 pm 
 

red_dawn wrote:As largely a buyer on eBay, I'm always a bit suspicious of sellers who hold buyers hostage by waiting on leaving the feedback. I've heard all the justifications/rationales, and they ring pretty hollow.


As a seller, I always used to leave FB as soon as I received payment. However, a recent incident has led me to reevaluate this policy. Earlier this year, I made a sale. The buyer paid via credit card. Nine weeks later I got notice of a credit card chargeback. During that time the buyer had never contacted me to report any problems. Upon learning about the chargeback, I contacted the buyer asking what went wrong with the transaction. No response. In the end, I lost my merchandise and the payment, and never found out why.

IMO, that buyer deserved a negative feedback. Even if he had a legitimate reason for reversing payment, he should have contacted me first for resolution, or at the very least responded when I asked for an explanation.

  


Active Collector

Posts: 87
Joined: Aug 15, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 28, 2019

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 5:12 pm 
 

Those incidents will happen. Your words -- "However, a recent incident" -- make their own point. You don't make policy based on one incident, or even two or three.

I see this a lot when sellers attempt to justify FB withholding... They'll point at an incident or two, ignoring their previous dozens or hundreds of transactions.

My favorite excuse is "I want to make sure they were pleased with the transaction" or some similar nonsense. If that was their true aim, follow-up emails would take care of that, as well as allowing buyers to leave their honest opinions in their FB. Withholding FB by the seller says "I don't trust you" as much as those wretched auction descriptions full of threats & warnings.

Selling conditions on eBay aren't going to change. FB hostage-taking & retaliatory negs & neutrals are a fact of life. I just know when I see a classy seller, and one sign is that they don't use strong-arm tactics to force positive feedback. They know they give A+ service & the positive feedback follows from that.

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3590
Joined: Dec 20, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 17, 2021
Location: Canada

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 5:30 pm 
 

red_dawn wrote:Those incidents will happen. Your words -- "However, a recent incident" -- make their own point. You don't make policy based on one incident, or even two or three.

I see this a lot when sellers attempt to justify FB withholding... They'll point at an incident or two, ignoring their previous dozens or hundreds of transactions.

My favorite excuse is "I want to make sure they were pleased with the transaction" or some similar nonsense. If that was their true aim, follow-up emails would take care of that, as well as allowing buyers to leave their honest opinions in their FB. Withholding FB by the seller says "I don't trust you" as much as those wretched auction descriptions full of threats & warnings.

Selling conditions on eBay aren't going to change. FB hostage-taking & retaliatory negs & neutrals are a fact of life. I just know when I see a classy seller, and one sign is that they don't use strong-arm tactics to force positive feedback. They know they give A+ service & the positive feedback follows from that.


Its funny, lets say you are a responsible seller (Like me  :D ) and you leave a positive prior to getting one from the buyer, the buyer now holds you hostage, for any reason he may like, he can leave a neg, even if it is an issue with an item clearly described in the auction.  Lets face it, how many of you have seen a buyers feedback rating of lets say 98% and searched through 100's of positive feedbacks to see what the negs were all about, one neg wipes out hundreds of positives.  I for one have been burned by this and knowing I am a responsible seller, I refuse to have my feedback rating destroyed by an unreasonalbe buyer.  That is just the way it is, if there is an issue that deserves a negative, you will get one (See ETC rating for proof on that one), withholding feedback until the customer recives his item is just plain smart. :!:

By the way, I do sell stuff, I just buy way more than i sell.


Games can get you through times of no money but money can not get you through times of no games!!

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5613
Joined: Jun 30, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 15, 2021
Location: New Hampsha

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 5:36 pm 
 

Feedback should be left when both parties are satisfied. I have never felt that merely paying for an item suffices to get immediate feedback. Not in these days of chargebacks, lost package claims, etc.
I think people in general worry way too much about feedback. I've taken 3 hits, all from sellers who stiffed me, and I don't sweat it. If it got too bad, I'd just start a new account. People REALLY need to stop treating their eBay account the same as a phone number or mailing address, or pretty soon things will come to this:

Frank Farris
150 West Clarke Street
Manchester, NH 03104
(603)555-1212
e-mail: [email protected]
eBay ID: eyeamgawd
Feedback Rating: 300

I have WAY more important things to worry about.


If you hit a Rowsdower, you get to keep it.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 6:41 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Feedback should be left when both parties are satisfied. I have never felt that merely paying for an item suffices to get immediate feedback. Not in these days of chargebacks, lost package claims, etc.
I think people in general worry way too much about feedback. I've taken 3 hits, all from sellers who stiffed me, and I don't sweat it. If it got too bad, I'd just start a new account. People REALLY need to stop treating their eBay account the same as a phone number or mailing address, or pretty soon things will come to this:

Frank Farris
150 West Clarke Street
Manchester, NH 03104
(603)555-1212
e-mail: [email protected]
eBay ID: eyeamgawd
Feedback Rating: 300

I have WAY more important things to worry about.


LOL Frank...you have such a way with words chummer :D

always make me chuckle....

youre right of course.

Al



  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 6:41 pm 
 

First, Red, you've not mentioned a very important point: feedback is MUCH more important to an eBay seller than it is a buyer. We've actually discussed this on other threads, and I'll steal a line from someone (DarkSeraphim, perhaps) who said, in effect, selling is all about reputation. For a serious eBay seller, every non-positive feedback entry is much more than just red or gray pixels — it's a potential handicap to his ability to make money in the future.

As for buyers — frankly, who cares? Anything at 0 or above is good enough for most sellers, who aren't exactly going to turn down money just because of a feedback score. Most sellers I know NEVER check their bidders' feedback during ongoing auctions, even if they say they do in their listings. For one thing, who has the time?  

red_dawn wrote:2 types of sellers do this:

* Bad sellers practicing CYA
* Otherwise good sellers who feel like they need to artificially maintain their FB level.


A blanket statement with more holes than Swiss cheese. For instance, I'm a seven-year eBay veteran who leaves feedback second and I'm neither of the types you describe above.

red_dawn wrote:I'm always a bit suspicious of sellers who hold buyers hostage ...


Too funny — "feedback hostage" is the exact terminology I use to describe BUYERS who think they can do anything they want after receiving a positive. Or, technically, that's the expression I formerly used, because after about the third time it happened to me, I stopped leaving feedback first.

Deadlord36 wrote:I have never felt that merely paying for an item suffices to get immediate feedback.


AMEN. Especially in the age of PayPal — clicking your mouse three times to send a payment doesn't prove anything. Frankly, I was more impressed in the "old days" when buyers had to actually show a little effort (envelopes, stamps, making sure they got my address correct, etc.) to get me my money within seven or 10 days or whatever. I appreciate a quick PayPal payment as much as the next seller. It doesn't mean that same buyer won't try some bullshit extortion tactic two weeks down the road ...

At the end of the day, though, this is a discussion where no one is going to be "right." Some people feel passionately that sellers should leave feedback first; others, like me, feel passionately that the first group is made up solely of people who have never before been burned by an unscrupulous buyer. Until eBay actually comes up with a legitimate feedback system — a topic for another day — we're just all going to have to live with each other.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 6:51 pm 
 

just another thing worth pointing out....i know the other guys who have an ebay shop will know this...i dont think you can do this without one of them. you have an option where you can use a third party program to give you reports on your shop/account etc.

one of the reports is it tells you which of your pages are being viewed and which ones the most etc...

guess which one gets viewed the most? feedback!

so it is very important....it can influence many in coming to deal with you, so you do tend to feel protective of it as well. its a shame that newbies who come along dont really use it properly...but hey! :)

Al



  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 7:09 pm 
 

Allan —

Hitting a couple of your points:

grodog wrote:Verify my paypal account. (Do I need to verify my eBay ID too?)

Yes to the first; no the the second. eBay's "verified ID" program is a good idea poorly executed. I don't know of anyone who takes it that seriously.

grodog wrote:Keep some funds in my paypal account (for refunds, etc.)??

Not necessarily. For instance, my PayPal balance is always set to $0 at the end of every selling day (I just drain everything out of it). The only thing to remember is that using PayPal to pay for something requires that money come from somewhere: if your balance is $0, PayPal will just use one of your reserve sources (checking acount or credit card).

grodog wrote:How do you handle credit card payment processing charges (kick them back to the seller, eat them, etc.)?

Every seller has different methods here. I have varied between just eating all associated eBay costs (the fabled "cost of doing business") and charging buyers anywhere from 20 to 80 cents to help offset some of these charges. I go back and forth; I can't decide which, if either, is the way to go ...

grodog wrote:Create some sort of template for my sales

Absolutely. If not an eBay template, then there's plenty of shareware out there that can create respectable-looking listings.

grodog wrote:Include digital photos (I don't have a scanner) always/sometimes/never?

ALWAYS. This is a must. Do everything you can to get a picture(s) in your listings, whether it's via your camera or eventually investing in a scanner (which are perfect for modules, Dragons, etc.)

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 87
Joined: Aug 15, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 28, 2019

Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 8:01 pm 
 

Chaa... So much double-talk, Xaxaxe...

selling is all about reputation.

Exactly. Feedback is a tool for the buyer. Wouldn't it be nice to know a seller's real reputation, not watered down through clever use of the FB system? This Mexican Standoff perpetuated by fearful/paranoid sellers *is* the problem with eBay's FB system. How many times have you seen "positive" feedback left for sellers that have negative remarks? Real useful, that.

As for buyers — frankly, who cares? Anything at 0 or above is good enough for most sellers...

Exactly. So why withhold the FB? You cannot refute the message you're sending by waiting: "I DON'T TRUST MY CUSTOMERS. I KNOW THEY'LL SCREW ME GIVEN HALF A CHANCE."  It is precisely the same as the threat-filled auctions. Unprofessional & negative. If you have service like "beyondthebreach," feedback isn't a problem. If you don't -- or you fear your customers, I could see the reason for concern & the need for feedback-protection tactics.

If FB left for buyers doesn't matter, then what difference does it make that you leave a "gotcha" FB for a buyer who initaited a chargeback? Move on; chargebacks are a cost of accepting credit cards. I receive app. $1000 per month in PayPal payments, and have been for a couple of years now. Zero chargebacks so far. I know I'll get a chargeback some day. It'll suck, but whatever. You play, you pay. If chargebacks are plaguing you, it may be time to look at your operating procedures.

The occasional neg & neutral is nothing for a seller to fear. Move on, worry about your selling, & rise above the masses of yard-salers on eBay. As Deadlord says, there are more important things to worry about than feedback, yes?

  
Next
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 31, 2, 3