eBay selling advice sought - best way to get started?
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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.)

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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?

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 9:23 pm 
 

Here's an option: For every positive feedback you get, make sure you get a negative, Then you will stay at 0 and not have to worry.
Or, quit your job, become a full-time reseller, and spend 15 hours a day combing over eBay for those deals that all of us miss. At night, you will lay in bed in a cold sweat wondering if some three-toothed hick will give you your very first negative for that crappy module that you clearly stated had been pissed on by your 2 year old. When it actually happens, you will be under 100%, so you will say phuq it and become a JonB, selling items you don't even own. You will begin to shun the daylight, and the thought of eBay and all the potential buyers you can rape will drive you into a frenzy, causing you to charge higher handling fees and start auctions at three times the value in order to extract more blood money from your buyers. Eventually a huge mob of stiffed D&Ders will show up at your house with torches and scythes, having pegged you as an eBay vampire, tear you loose from the computer chair which has grafted to your ass, drag you out into the cursed light, stake you with a shellacked B2, decapitate you, fill your mouth with shredded modules, sew it shut, turn it face down and incinerate the entire mess. Your undead spirit will wander the Earth, endlessly searching landfills for the missing TSR art items, and cursing the day you asked for our advice.

It could happen.


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Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 9:42 pm 
 

I can't believe we are having a discussion about whether it is "moral" for a seller to protect himself from the occassional a-holes that frequent ebay.

I don't think asking a buyer to drop an email through ebay verifying that they have received their item is too damn much to ask before leaving positive feedback.

I have had at least three jerks try and hold me as the seller hostage after I had left positive feedback. And guess what? None were newbays. One tried the old "item got mangled in mail...I'll send it back...and you refund or send a better copy..." OK, I'll help you out. Item comes back and it sure in the hell wasn't the one I sent! But shit, I already left pos. feedback...

Should sellers hold off leaving pos. feedback until buyer does? No, but blindly leaving feedback sucks.

Blackmoor has it right when he illustrates that potential buyers with sort through hundreds of positives to find those few negs. So they do count.

One more point, and I'll get off the soap box. Payment is not a guarantee of actually getting payment. I have also had the payment withdrawn fiasco. The bastard even went so far as to leave me a negative feedback saying they never got the item, when I had a delivery confirmation via USPS saying they did. It was all a scam to beat me down on the sales price. Never got paid, shipped items and even left the jerk positive feedback because I used to do it automatically when payment arrived. Once burned, twice shy!

That is why have adopted my "let me know if you are happy" policy.


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

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

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Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 10:02 pm 
 

Though I don't currently subscribe to the policy of withholding feedback, I figure bbarsh has it about right.  However, let me present the shiny happy other side of the coin, just for fun.  

On one occasion, I've actually sent positive feedback as a buyer before I received the item, as it was at a very good price and with a very reliable seller.  I knew that if something wasn't right, it would be made right.  Bottom line, either deal with people you already trust, or take the odd burn.  C'est la vie.

(If you're wondering who the seller was, here's a hint: Acaeum member.  Not around much lately.  Starts with "D" and ends with "arkseraphim".)  :wink:

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Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 10:07 pm 
 

red_dawn wrote:Move on, worry about your selling, & rise above the masses of yard-salers on eBay.


Oh, so that's how to be a good eBay seller. What do I need seven years of experience and 2,000-plus sales for? I can just come to you for advice! Thank you, thank you, thank you — a thousand times thank you — for explaining to me what I was doing wrong.

Okay, dude, I'm cool with you taking a few shots at me, mostly because it's funny that you're so convinced you've got it all figured out. However, I tried to get this thread back on-topic — *^*points to second-to-last post on previous page*^* — and I'm not going to debate this with you any longer. If you feel the need to remind me some more about how right you are, PM me ...

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Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 10:19 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Though I don't currently subscribe to the policy of withholding feedback, I figure bbarsh has it about right. However, let me present the shiny happy other side of the coin, just for fun.

On one occasion, I've actually sent positive feedback as a buyer before I received the item, as it was at a very good price and with a very reliable seller. I knew that if something wasn't right, it would be made right. Bottom line, either deal with people you already trust, or take the odd burn. C'est la vie.

(If you're wondering who the seller was, here's a hint: Acaeum member. Not around much lately. Starts with "D" and ends with "arkseraphim".) :wink:


We haven't even touched feedback from that perspective. As a buyer, I ALWAYS leave postive feedback the day I receive the item. It is simply common courtessy. And I don't care if seller hasn't left FB for me. Mainly, because I know as a seller, I only see about 2/3 FB rate of return on sales.

Ebay is an unique marketplace. Buyers and Sellers have responsibility beyond the purchase. It is simply a shame that a few rotten apples, or lazy pieces of crap, can have a (sometimes) profound impact.


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/

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Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 10:19 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:
red_dawn wrote:Move on, worry about your selling, & rise above the masses of yard-salers on eBay.


Oh, so that's how to be a good eBay seller. What do I need seven years of experience and 2,000-plus sales for? I can just come to you for advice! Thank you, thank you, thank you — a thousand times thank you — for explaining to me what I was doing wrong.

Okay, dude, I'm cool with you taking a few shots at me, mostly because it's funny that you're so convinced you've got it all figured out. However, I tried to get this thread back on-topic — *^*points to second-to-last post on previous page*^* — and I'm not going to debate this with you any longer. If you feel the need to remind me some more about how right you are, PM me ...

Wow...I missed the last page when it rolled over it seems.  *Ducking crossfire*.  But seriously gentlemen, we all see through your little plot to distract us from the RJK auctions.  :D

To start this thread back on topic, and to respond to the original question, check out this earlier thread, there's some good points in there:

http://www.acaeum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2144

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Post Posted: Tue May 31, 2005 10:45 pm 
 

*<sneaks out from behind a bush>*

Whenever I sell, I always leave feedback whenever the buyer pays. :twisted:

*<runs and hides>*


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:26 am 
 

fwiw (and i dont really care if anyone agrees with me or not :wink: ) i do leave feedback right away. basically if i dont, i will just forget. i have plenty going on in my life and if you think i am gonna sit here combing thru every single thing, sod that for a game of soldiers!!

i noticed the other day that ppl who buy from me, i get left feedback appx 3 times out of 5. i dont harrass the hell out of the remainder, although i do feel somewhat dissappointed that they havent even let me know a. that the item was ok, or b. that they actually received it!

i think the feedback system is too inflexible and leaves you open to abuse by ppl who dont /cant use it properly - meybe its just not a good system at all?

anyone who has sense can read between the lines anyway.....

Al



  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:26 am 
 

Gro:

I think the bone of advice in all this FB debate is to be careful.

My point being, that if you are just trying to sell off your excess, and it is going to take you awhile with numerous auctions throughout an extended period of time, you do need to watch your feedback. If some jerk negs you right out of the box, it will hurt your future sales.

Basically, only 2/3 to 3/4 people actually leave feedback. You don't need a negative within your first 20 or so sales. So be careful. That doesn't mean do the hostage thing. I don't agree with that. And I never ask or bug anyone about feedback. Even if you already have a high feedback, customers will scroll through and hit that first neg and forget the rest.

Last bits of advice. PICTURES. They are huge in selling. Make sure they are clear and the item is CLEAR.

Use BIN and GALLERY if you can. Time them to expire in the evening when ebay traffic is heavy. Also, try to go through a weekend (again, more traffic).

Best of luck.


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/

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:55 am 
 

As a buyer, I leave FB as the item arrives. It's the way I keep track of my incoming purchases, which can be quite a few at one time (2 or 3 pages of the My Ebay FB screen if I've been particularly ambitious in the prior weeks). I'd never remember them all, so the FB helps as a checklist.

The vast majority arrive as expected, though you get the occasional dope shipping a Greyhawk box set in brown paper, who is then surprised when the item arrives damaged.  :(

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:01 pm 
 

Thanks for all of your thoughts, folks.  Given our looming move timeline, I may not bother listing stuff, and may well go for some sort of "dump the stuff all at once" option and/or just list stuff here.  I should know soon, as our moving schedule firms up.

(And just to reiterate, I'm not selling everything by any means, just stuff that I don't want/need anymore and stuff I've bought at a good price with the intention to sell all along, but haven't gotten around to selling yet...).


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:53 pm 
 

How do people handle refunds/returns as ebay sellers? If a buyer requests a refund, what exactly do you refund? Just the item sell price? Sell price + shipping one way? Sell price + original shipping + return shipping?

Just wondering if you make the Buyer pay the shipping costs involved in returns or if you refund all costs associated with the transaction.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:19 pm 
 

shadowfax17 wrote:How do people handle refunds/returns as ebay sellers? If a buyer requests a refund, what exactly do you refund? Just the item sell price? Sell price + shipping one way? Sell price + original shipping + return shipping?

Just wondering if you make the Buyer pay the shipping costs involved in returns or if you refund all costs associated with the transaction.


what i do is if the item they have received is being returned cos its my fault, then i refund in full (ie the amount they originally paid). if not, then i will refund the amount, less shipping, less ebay fees.

everyone who deals with me tho knows i am real fair and i always try and ensure a good deal all round. keeps everyone happy and ppl will wanna deal with you again (hopefully)....

Al



  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:59 pm 
 

I refund whatever they paid me; shipping included. If my item description was wrong, then I take responsibility.

But, I have only had to do that twice and one was a scam.


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/

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:34 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:
One more point, and I'll get off the soap box. Payment is not a guarantee of actually getting payment. I have also had the payment withdrawn fiasco. The bastard even went so far as to leave me a negative feedback saying they never got the item, when I had a delivery confirmation via USPS saying they did. It was all a scam to beat me down on the sales price. Never got paid, shipped items and even left the jerk positive feedback because I used to do it automatically when payment arrived. Once burned, twice shy!

That is why have adopted my "let me know if you are happy" policy.


This happened to me this year...as a matter of fact, that's why I have 1 neg this year. The guy got the item (delivery confirmation said so), yet said he never got the item, filed with paypal and ebay, and left me a neg after I had already left him a positive. Luckily, because of the delivery confirmation paypal ruled in my favor, and he was soon kicked off ebay anyway for not shipping items to his own buyers.  But since then, I've been more careful about automatically leaving feedback, particularly when the buyer acts "testy" about certain things, i.e. asking way too many questions, asking you 3 days after he bought it where the item is, telling you they are/know a lawyer so everything better be ok, etc.  These buyers may wait a month or more before positive feedback finds it's way to them.

Mike B.

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:42 pm 
 

grodog wrote:Thanks for all of your thoughts, folks. Given our looming move timeline, I may not bother listing stuff, and may well go for some sort of "dump the stuff all at once" option and/or just list stuff here. I should know soon, as our moving schedule firms up.

(And just to reiterate, I'm not selling everything by any means, just stuff that I don't want/need anymore and stuff I've bought at a good price with the intention to sell all along, but haven't gotten around to selling yet...).


Looks like I'll be selling off stuff after our move rather than before:  our worldly goods will be heading off to Wichita, Kansas, on Friday, and I'll be remaining here with the stuff to be sold.  So, I'll be pretty slow to respond to emails and PMs for the rest of the week, but I will get back to folks who've written to me about geomorphs, the Pagan Publishing manuscriptions, etc., once things have stopped being quite so chaotic.

Hasta!


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