Tips for people new to ebay & selling
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:38 am 
 

I thought it'd be a good idea to set up a thread where experienced Acaeum members can offer tips to people new to ebay who want to sell stuff. I want to avoid making mistakes, so what is good practice, and what is bad practice?
What's the best way to pack items sold? Eg. hardback books and boxed sets should obviously be bubble-wrapped, but what about other items. When is it acceptable to put an item in a padded envelope (with no other packing), and when not?
Whatif you've sold multiple CDs or modules- should you use something to separate them within the envelope or box?

What are the advantages of using a reserve vs not including a reserve, a Buy-It-Now (and/or best offer), starting out an item at $0.99 say, or starting an item at $40 when the value might be $50 (for example)?

All tips are appreciated!


Last edited by astenon on Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:42 am 
 

This would be good.

Also I think at some point I might do a video primer on how to properly pack Collectibles for shipping.

It seems one in every 3 items I get from ebay are packed like shit and the modules or boxes get fuct.

:(


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:02 am 
 

Since the bidding market seems to be a bit down, lately I have listed most of my items as a BIN.  It cost 35 cents to list for 30 days but the final value fees are a bit higher.

This lets me list the items on Ebay fairly cheaply and try and get the price that I want.

I think the big key for listing items is to describe the product accurately.  Spend the couple minutes to look over the product and see if there are marks/writing/highlighting and if the item is complete or not.  This is also one of the frequent new buyer mistakes - to not know what should be included with a product and to verify if it is complete or not (lots of the supermodules T1-4, GDQ, etc are sold without the map books).

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:03 pm 
 

How I pack individual Magazines, Modules, and thin paper back books.
Put item being shipped inside a protective plastic sleeve with backing board.
Place that inside a cheap Envelope Place a piece of carboard (Preferably SLIGHTLY larger than the Item being shipped).
Seal the envelope and add a piece of packing tape over the glue tab to make certain it wont come loose in shipping.
Sometimes I use cardboard on both sides if the item is a bit more expensive than common stuff....

I try to remember to Write DO NOT BEND on BOTH sides of the envelope.
I ALWAYS purchase Delivery Confirmation (domestic mailings) and charge this to the buyer. (IN the USA that is only a 65 cent charge).
Even with a piece of cardboard, the thing can still be bent with some little effort by the postal workers....
Less effort than walking to your doorstep....

I do this for shipments of up to 3-4 modules or 2 magazines... much more than that and the envelope begins to get too thick.
At which point I might either go with a larger padded envelope, or perhaps a box.... depends....

If the Magazine is something like a Dragon Issue #1, or some expensive rare module, then there is NO WAY I would agree to ship it in a freaking envelope.
I also ship that sucker in a protective poly baggie with backing board too, but instead of an envelope, I slip it into a flat rate box with enough padding to keep trucks from crushing the thing....  8)
If you are buying an item that runs $200-300 (USD) or more then you should also have enough funds and be well pleased to have it shipped Priority in a box with extra protection.
That or dont buy from me.


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Last edited by Gnat the Beggar on Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
  

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:05 pm 
 

There should be a stack of selling on eBay tips on Acaeum already. Don't know if the seach facility works though. I tend not to use it because if lists every thread just in a different order. But selling on eBay tips is a subject that comes up regularly.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:19 pm 
 

Maybe a sticky here? Purely on the basis of newbies and sellers stumbling across this site when they plan on selling. It could cut down getting bogged down in the numerous threads that the 'Search' throws up.
I'd like to think that I would search for a suitable site before selling       (A)D&D items and most would find this one.

That way they could get an insight into how important it is to pack correctly for collectors and prevent negFB. It may also get them onto the 'good seller' thread currently running and all for repeat business.
8)


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:08 pm 
 

I've been thinking about writing a guide to post on eBay, so here are a few ideas that I've already jotted down:

1) Invest in a digital scale. I bought a small one for around $20-30 with a 50lb. limit. If you're going to print your own shipping labels (through eBay/PayPal and/or USPS.com) a scale is a must. Then you can just drop off your packages or even schedule a home pick-up. Beats the heck out of standing in line!

2) As previously mentioned, a thorough, accurate description is key! For printed matter, take the time to look at every page and note any defects. Examine the covers in good light at different angles to pick up creases, dings, and other flaws. For miniatures, I want to know if it is broken, missing pieces, or otherwise incomplete.

3) Don't take half-arsed pictures! Take a few minutes to learn about your digital camera's modes, including macro and digital zoom for smaller items like miniatures.

4) Be prepared! Have your packing materials on hand before your auction(s) end. You can have Priority Mail boxes/envelopes delivered to your door for free! Make sure you have bubble wrap, shipping peanuts, tape, and an assortment of your own boxes/envelopes if not shipping via Priority Mail.

5) Pack items the same way you would expect to receive them! I have received shipments of minis that were tossed together in ziploc baggies and the baggies tossed into a box with NO PADDING! I spend a lot of time packing up items I sell, but it's worth it - and it will be reflected in your feedback.

6) Pricing - for standard auctions, lower starting prices typically attract more attention. If you post a NM copy of T1-4 (with map) and a starting price of .99 cents, you probably don't have to worry about it ending at $1.37. If you post it with a starting price of $50, maybe you sell it, maybe not. Make your starting bid whatever you feel comfortable with - and if it doesn't sell, you can always re-list it with a lower starting price.

Hope that helps!

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:06 pm 
 

viewtopic.php?t=8655

Here is a thread I was working on a little while ago.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:17 pm 
 

So with listing fees, you have to pay up front whether they sell or not, yes?

And the overall listing fees for listing multiple items is cheaper, yes? Eg. listing 10 CDs at one time will be cheaper than listing 2 CDs at one time, and listing 20 CDs will be even cheaper than listing 10 CDs at one time, right?

Edit: Jason, I read your thread. It has some useful tips.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:22 am 
 

As a test, I've listed some CDs (before I think about selling RPG stuff).

A Russian guy (with over 900 feedback) has asked if I'll ship there. Has anybody shipped to Russia before, and did everything go smoothly, or not?

  

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:50 am 
 

ericthecleric wrote:As a test, I've listed some CDs (before I think about selling RPG stuff).

A Russian guy (with over 900 feedback) has asked if I'll ship there. Has anybody shipped to Russia before, and did everything go smoothly, or not?

Personally, I've never been asked. But I'd ship to Russia recorded delivery if PayPal confirmed they's cover me with their Seller Protection Policy.


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:39 pm 
 

ericthecleric wrote:A Russian guy (with over 900 feedback) has asked if I'll ship there. Has anybody shipped to Russia before, and did everything go smoothly, or not?


I only shipped once to Russia, a wool scarf actually, and it never made it to the buyer.  I scanned the receipt and sent it to him to show I mailed it and he never placed a claim.  I'd figure out a way to ship that would convince Paypal not to do a chargeback if the package is lost.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:56 pm 
 

ericthecleric wrote:So with listing fees, you have to pay up front whether they sell or not, yes?

And the overall listing fees for listing multiple items is cheaper, yes? Eg. listing 10 CDs at one time will be cheaper than listing 2 CDs at one time, and listing 20 CDs will be even cheaper than listing 10 CDs at one time, right?


I guessing you are asking about listing on Ebay.

If you are listing them as separate auctions you pay a listing fee for each one and will not be discounted for multiple listings.

You pay a small fee up front and then if the item sells Ebay takes another 8-15% of the final value it sells for.

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:19 pm 
 

ericthecleric wrote:As a test, I've listed some CDs (before I think about selling RPG stuff).

A Russian guy (with over 900 feedback) has asked if I'll ship there. Has anybody shipped to Russia before, and did everything go smoothly, or not?

Never shipped to Russia, but many CDs that I have bought on eBay are the quasi-legal CDs for distribution in Eastern Europe/Russia only.  Russia doesn't pay royalties to artists, so the CDs become really cheap to sell.  Maybe the Russian Mob wants your CDs as orignal masters!

  


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:33 pm 
 

Thanks for the replies, guys!

JohnGaunt wrote:Maybe the Russian Mob wants your CDs as orignal masters!


That would be a bit scary.  8O
...But the individual is already selling a different format version of the same CD (at a higher price), so I don't think I need to worry about that... (hopefully!).
I'm a bit concerned about the unreliability or not of the Russian postal service and whether a customs official takes a liking to the CD (like in the silk scarf story above).

  


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:30 am 
 

How long should one wait before regarding  someone as a nonpayer?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:33 am 
 

astenon wrote:How long should one wait before regarding  someone as a nonpayer?


It is a matter of communication. If the buyer doesn't contact you to say they might be delayed then go with the minimum time allowed. Supposedly ebay is soon to make this process automatic and make it impossible for deadbeat buyers to leave sellers a negative in retalliation for getting an unpaid item strike.

But try to contact the buyer first politely before starting the process of getting a refund on your fees.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:13 pm 
 

Thanks, Jason. I'll bear that in mind should it happen in the future. Fortunately, they've all paid now. :)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:29 pm 
 

Don't know what is going on with me. Maybe just a fluke of nature, but each of the last three weeks, there has been one sale that does not get paid for 4 business days. Don't really mind much except the extra trip to the P.O., but it just seems like something strange going on. There is certainly no notice by the buyer, EBay or Paypal for the delay.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:17 am 
 

I'm happy to report that the CD arrived successfully in Russia!  :D

A different CD that was bid on by someone (in my country) that never bothered paying, and so I opened a non-payer case after asking if he was still interested and had no reply. The guy hasn't replied to the non-payer case yet, either, so if I get no response does that mean my fee will be returned after a total of 30 days?
In the meantime, I gave the original bidder a second chance, and he paid in about 15 minutes of me doing so!

Something I'd like advice on from people in the UK. I've tried to find a box suitable for sending boxed sets that isn't 16+ cm tall. Staples and WH Smiths have deals with DHL, so you have to post with DHL if you want the box- and it's very expensive postage. The post offices don't have suitable boxes.
Ian (MBassoc) told me about one box from Staples that he uses (that's not connected to the DHL "deal"), but I couldn't find it on their website or in my local branch. Any suggestions?

  
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