So... where do you auction/sell?
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:41 pm 
 

I couldn't find a proper section here for general RPG sales questions, so I figured I'd use this forum; hope it's OK.

A little history:
I've been selling and buying from various online auctions since '95, back when I used to manage some auctions for games and toys in UseNET.  Since then I used eBay for a while (the first thing I bought off eBay was Scott Haring's own copy of Delta Green!!!).

I haven't sold a lot of stuff online since my last great purge of 1/3 of my comic book / game / RPG collection in 2007.  At the time, I felt the eBay / PayPal combination had started to really chip away at any $ I had coming to me; I felt cheated.  While I'm not out to make money, and this is not my livelihood, I am also not out to get ripped off.  Recently I sold a textbook from school on Amazon to a private buyer, and with the way they handled shipping, that felt good.

Nowadays, everyone's "free shipping" this and that, and while I'm more interested in getting rid of the majority of my stuff (about 40% of the rest of my comic and RPG collection; I'll post a link later to the Google Doc if someone responds that it's kosher to do so), and really singling out the quality items, I don't see how anyone makes anything from it.  Sure, last time I did it, I was all about putting up everything at once and combining shipping costs, but these days I am not sure WHERE to put them and HOW to do it.  

I see complaints about getting ripped off by buyers, and on eBay they dropped the ability to rate buyers (really?  That was the only way I knew a buyer was bad!)   I've seen "advice" to use product-specific online auctions instead of eBay, like "comic auction place dot whatever" or "online-auction-house-specific-to-gaming dot com".

Is this true and the way it's done now?

Should I use something like (googles for "role-playing game auction") rpg.net to auction (really, rpg.net?) or (searches for "comic auction") Comic Connect, or do I go the eBay route; are they still nickle-n-diming people?

What's the general experience on this?



  


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:07 pm 
 

Josh,

Only you can answer some of your questions.  You seem to know the basic venues and the relative risks.  Further, you understand that the items you sell have to be valuable enough to justify the time and effort.  That equation includes the selling costs, which each venue posts for you to accept or not and the transaction risks.  You have to account for all costs (including risks) in your sales.  You may elect to minimize transaction risk by paying for tracking and/or insurance, or you may elect to run the risk of total loss of your product, time and shipping costs.  

Although selling your collection may be a hobby to you, it is a business to ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, your competitors and likely to some of your buyers.  I don't understand not liking posted fees.  The beauty of internet sales is that most costs are variable costs.  Meaning, you don't have many fixed costs in rent and utilities.  Unfortunately, Amazon and Ebay know exactly what the average operating costs are for a retail bricks and mortar business.  It appears that they have each decided that online sellers can be compelled to pay a similar % of overhead in variable costs.  You can't avoid their fees and accomplish similar market reach.  

I completely understand the desire to sell things without transaction fees or risks.  But, even the small booksellers who used to set up on the sidewalks in Manhatten rent-free... had to worry about rain, transportation... and turf wars.  I frequently experience people who think they are selling without costs on Craigslist, but failing to account for driving to meet people and assuming the risk of getting mugged or shot.  

My advice is get over your reservations about ebay, group your materials into lots that should sell for over $25 and let them fly.  It gets the matter over and done with quickly and reasonably.  Unless you are intending to create listings and restock them...  I would not even consider selling very inexpensive items on Ebay because I would not want to end up shipping dozens of dollar packages and dealing with all of the potential hassle.  If you can get your average sale price above the budget of a high school or college kid... you can probably save yourself a whole lot of headache in the long run.  JMHO


Pipswich Peddles (and trades) for his collection!  
http://stores.ebay.com/Pipswich-Peddles

  


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:11 am 
 

It isn't quite that I dislike fees (who doesn't!), it's that I feel eBay in particular, combined with Paypal, feels like it's double-dipping the pot.  When it was around, I used Western Union's BidPay, and would have loved to use Google Payments, but obviously one is stuck with Paypal with eBay.  

That was my last experience with it and I haven't been back in a while; I'm uncertain what new tools are out there to help sellers, or how others are going about selling.  Are we still stuck with Paypal for eBay?
Are there more "preferred/specialized" auction places for these types of items now instead of the one big bay?

And yes, I do consider realistic prices now; some items I own that I thought were even somewhat obscure or could make at least $5 on are going for a penny plus $3.99 shipping on Amazon.  :(

As regards Craigslist, I do take caution with "Free" sites like them (I've sold furniture and a car, and bought furniture off of it), and I understand the relative fee of driving and the hidden expense of writing a listing that will actually get found on their unintuitive interface... and relisting it... and relisting it again... and then having to reword the damn thing to relist it again...



  


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:20 am 
 

Pipswich wrote:My advice is get over your reservations about ebay, group your materials into lots that should sell for over $25 and let them fly.  It gets the matter over and done with quickly and reasonably.  Unless you are intending to create listings and restock them...  I would not even consider selling very inexpensive items on Ebay because I would not want to end up shipping dozens of dollar packages and dealing with all of the potential hassle.  If you can get your average sale price above the budget of a high school or college kid... you can probably save yourself a whole lot of headache in the long run.  JMHO


I think you edited since I hit the reply button.

My last two big eBay auction attempts were large lots to pare down my collection (before a move, after the kid, etc.) and had many minor-dollar sales off eBay.  Sent a complete New Warriors collection to Germany (TWICE because he sent me the wrong address!).  Cost $70 to ship both times; cost $50 for the books.  He still "won", and I felt like I "lost".  I don't plan to do individual issues of comics this time around (no cuttin' 2 pieces of cardboard to tape together into a makeshift package for me!); lots are where it's at.  

I have shown it to the only local comic dealer who (1) I trust and (2) who actually deals in older books, and he's getting together his wishlist, which I hope he gets to me sooner than later.
I have considered sending "To the troops" a while ago, but it's only now that I've cataloged what I actually HAVE.
I used to give books away for Halloween, but I haven't done so the last 2 years and I'm over a month late now.
I do have some material that might just go to the local foster home system (there's a "village" of foster homes nearby); I know that $1 Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG book in the lot is definitely going in that direction; the Feng Shui and ShadowFist books?  eBay lot.



  


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:27 am 
 

I'd look at the rpgmarketplace or stick with Amazon.

eBay has lost my sale business from now on. I rarely sell and it tends to be a few things at a time when I did. The 'fees' are taking a chunk that I don't want to lose and the hassle is increasing.
I recently sold an old mega drive system, with plenty of games. The buyer negged me immediately he received it and put a PayPal chargeback on. I was forced to refund £10 as my paypal account was on hold. eBay didn't give a crap despite there being no contact from the moron to me and no chance to discuss any issues.

eBay sucks now, IMO, and despite the fact I have a few things I wish to sell now, it won't be via them, despite that probably being the biggest marketplace.


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:43 am 
 

Interesting hurricane sales btw :wink:


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:20 am 
 

ashmire13 wrote:Interesting hurricane sales btw :wink:


Thanks.  That went viral the day I did it because I did it with funny pictures of myself and my dog (and I blurred out BOTH our faces).  I sent the auctions to a few friends and everyone forwarded it to everyone else.  A good friend / former coworker of mine who knew about it got forwarded it from his sister and he had to explain I sat next to him at work.  Created a slew of copycat auctions of people selling sticks, tree limbs, etc.  Francis was the first "easy" hurricane before Ivan, Katrina, etc., so it was Ok that I "got away" with that.  Due to that auction series, I was interviewed by a local morning show and the pictures of the auction were shown on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  It was kind of fun.  Followed it up with a kite flown in Ivan that raised over $400 for the humane society.



  

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:40 pm 
 

ashmire13 wrote:eBay sucks now


But adding up all the pros and cons, it still sucks the least.  *shrug*


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:50 pm 
 

TheHistorian wrote:
ashmire13 wrote:eBay sucks now


But adding up all the pros and cons, it still sucks the least.  *shrug*


too true I'm afraid. Generally though, I don't have a huge amount of issues selling gaming stuff, but if I sell anything else (generally for the wife or kids) it seems to always go tits up :roll:  (Perhaps a lesson to be learned here somewhere! :D )


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:38 am 
 

TheHistorian wrote:
ashmire13 wrote:eBay sucks now


But adding up all the pros and cons, it still sucks the least.  *shrug*


Is Amazon that bad to sell via? Was considering starting there..


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:08 pm 
 

ashmire13 wrote:
TheHistorian wrote:
But adding up all the pros and cons, it still sucks the least.  *shrug*


Is Amazon that bad to sell via? Was considering starting there..


Amazon gives the seller even less rights or options than EBay.  Amazon considers all it's sellers true "merchants", so it there is a charge-back on a $400 item, tough titty.  You get it yanked out of your account with no recourse. Ebay makes the buyer jump through a few hoops that can benefit the honest seller who is getting screwed.

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:44 pm 
 

Are there many charges though Mike


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:12 am 
 

Well how about the Classifieds section of this message board? Parallel that with a post on ENWorld, and some old school boards more specific to the items listed..

Works well if you know the prices you want to get.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:18 pm 
 

ashmire13 wrote:
TheHistorian wrote:
But adding up all the pros and cons, it still sucks the least.  *shrug*


Is Amazon that bad to sell via? Was considering starting there..



Avoid Amazon like the plague. They held up my money for 4 months because I hit some threshold for sales....just because I actually sold stuff they put it "under review". My seller rating was perfect. What was worse is you could not get a human to talk to you. I had to have the Attorney General threaten them before I got my money from them. Apparently they do this all the time and take the sellers money and make interest on it.

You have no way to talk to a human...and if you email them more than 3 times you get an email that states they will be ignoring you. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. They held thousands of dollars that belonged to me in their account for 4 months and not as much as an apology or explanation. One day I just got the funds. They are despicable.

  
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