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Buying and Selling on eBay: Tips, Tricks, Problems & Questions - Page 374

post #5596 of 15804

Looks like I'll be shipping out this corduroy jacket pretty soon... Any pointers on avoiding creasing/screwing up the cords when packing into a box? I usually fold sport coats inside out (note, not with the arms inside out... I think you get it) and then fold over and wrap in a dry-cleaner plastic cover before placing it in the box.

post #5597 of 15804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Abed View Post

Looks like I'll be shipping out this corduroy jacket pretty soon... Any pointers on avoiding creasing/screwing up the cords when packing into a box? I usually fold sport coats inside out (note, not with the arms inside out... I think you get it) and then fold over and wrap in a dry-cleaner plastic cover before placing it in the box.

THIS. Got a NWT Isaia blue corduroy suit I want to package but don't know how
post #5598 of 15804
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Here are a few observations about your messages to the seller:

1. That's a lot of questions. None of them are answered in the auction description? You get a pass on this one because the auction seems to have been lacking in detail.
2. You are dictating shipping method to the seller.
3. Much of that seems passive aggressive to me. Maybe it wasn't meant that way, but that's how it strikes me.

I would have blocked you for the reasons mentioned in 2 and 3. And that doesn't mean that I was angry or that I think you are a bad guy. It just means that you strike me as a high maintenance customer, and my personality is not properly geared to deal with high maintenance customers. As George Costanza once said "It's not you. It's me."


Here are a few general observations about doing business on ebay (Not related to PJShep, just running off on a tangent):

1. There are many who ask irrelevant questions, and sometimes quite a lot of them. Don't be that guy.
Example:
What is the length of the shirt? Stupid question unless you are extremely tall or extremely short. BB knows how long to make the shirt tail on a 16-33 Slim. It fits the middle 98% on the bell curve.
If you have to ask that question, ask it like this so it becomes a non-dumbass question: "I have short arms and a freakishly long torso. What is the length of the shirt from the bottom of the collar to the end of the tail?"

2. The vast majority of measurement requests do not lead to a sale. So if you want a measurement, request it in a polite way.

3. Yesterday a guy asked for 4 measurements on a shirt. I had already provided actual measurements for neck, sleeve, and P2P. One of the measurements he asked for was P2P. I ignored his request. If you can't take the time to read the description I will not take the time to give you extra measurements on a shirt.

4. Politeness goes a long way. I often see something like this "I'll give you $XXX for it." Sometimes I see this "I can pay $XXX for this item. It is a great shirt and I understand if the offer doesn't work for you. I appreciate your consideration." One of those guys has a chance to do a deal on the item. The other doesn't. And if I received offers from those two guys at the same time I would sell the item to the second guy even if he offered less. I shit you not. It has happened.

5. If I see a pattern of unsolicited lowball offers from a buyer I will block him. There are jerkoffs who constantly run around ebay making lowball offers on non OBO listings. I am not talking about OBO listings. I mean regular listings. This is a time-waster and it is against ebay rules.

6. There is an old sales saying that describes my attitude toward a transaction (on ebay or SF). Always want a deal. Never need a deal. So don't be rude, don't be demanding, don't ask stupid questions, don't conduct yourself in a dishonest or unethical manner, don't be high maintenance. If you do these things too often or too hard you can join my No Soup For You list. It's not personal, it's just business.

About #6, don't take it that I am a real hardass. I'm not. But I am firmly convinced that almost any business would be better off firing the 5% of their customers who are the most difficult. And my percentage that I have fired is way less than 1%. Like I said, not personal, just business.


***Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that the way I run my business is the best way or is the way you should run yours.***

This is really solid advice everyone should read.
post #5599 of 15804

Would it really be low-balling if you know what the seller paid for the item he's selling? 

 

Sometimes you see various buyers snag up items at one-tenth of their selling price, and still get fired up when someone bids 2-3 times of what they actually paid, scoffing it off as a "ridiculous low-balling". 

 

Not sure if the bidder is low-balling, or the seller is asking too much/greedy. 

(This is probably a sore spot for the guys that base their Ebay shops on thrift-shop items...) 

post #5600 of 15804
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamspace View Post

Would it really be low-balling if you know what the seller paid for the item he's selling? 

Sometimes you see various buyers snag up items at one-tenth of their selling price, and still get fired up when someone bids 2-3 times of what they actually paid, scoffing it off as a "ridiculous low-balling". 

Not sure if the bidder is low-balling, or the seller is asking too much/greedy. 
(This is probably a sore spot for the guys that base their Ebay shops on thrift-shop items...) 

Yes, that's still low-balling. Don't take the price that the seller paid into consideration into your decision on what an item is actually worth. No one looks at major department stores and makes a decision on what they will pay based on the store's cost.

Make your decision on what the item is worth to you. If you're asking significantly below market value for no reason other than your speculation on the seller's profit margin, you're low-balling.

If I have a new item listed at €400, the market says that the item sells reliably at €390-410 and someone offers me €200, they're low-balling. While I do respond to messages with offers even though I don't use the "best offer" option, I don't really take these people serious. I normally respond with something like "My prices are firm, but thanks for your offer." If I'm willing to accept a lower price to move something, I'm upfront about it and say "I can't go to €200, but I can do a firm €380 with free shipping."
post #5601 of 15804
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamspace View Post
 

Would it really be low-balling if you know what the seller paid for the item he's selling? 

 

Sometimes you see various buyers snag up items at one-tenth of their selling price, and still get fired up when someone bids 2-3 times of what they actually paid, scoffing it off as a "ridiculous low-balling". 

 

Not sure if the bidder is low-balling, or the seller is asking too much/greedy. 

(This is probably a sore spot for the guys that base their Ebay shops on thrift-shop items...) 

 

 What I paid for an item has no bearing whatsoever on what I will sell it for. I generally go off what other similar items have sold for and are currently going for. If there's nothing else like it on the market, I aim high and see if I get nibbles (I have a 1940s suit coat that I really have no idea what it's worth -it's priced high and collecting watchers).

 

 The market doesn't care whether I paid $5 or $15 or $200 for a shirt, the market is dictated by what people are paying.

 

 Like Hansderhund (it took me forever to notice the dog in the name!) said above, people don't go into a department store and base your buying price on the cost they paid for the shirt!

 

That being said, I do occasionally entertain offers that are unsolicited. But only if they are politely worded. Let's say I have a Patagonia Snap-T listed for $75 (true story!), a potential buyer writing, "i have $40 for the jacket" will get nowhere with me. Writing "I really like this Snap-T, and I love the color, but I feel the price is a bit high given current market prices. Would you take $50?" will likely get a response from me saying, "I understand what you're coming from. Check back in a couple of weeks... If the jacket hasn't sold by then, I might be willing to negotiate the price then."

post #5602 of 15804
Quote:
Originally Posted by HansderHund View Post

Yes, that's still low-balling. Don't take the price that the seller paid into consideration into your decision on what an item is actually worth. No one looks at major department stores and makes a decision on what they will pay based on the store's cost.

Make your decision on what the item is worth to you. If you're asking significantly below market value for no reason other than your speculation on the seller's profit margin, you're low-balling.

If I have a new item listed at €400, the market says that the item sells reliably at €390-410 and someone offers me €200, they're low-balling. While I do respond to messages with offers even though I don't use the "best offer" option, I don't really take these people serious. I normally respond with something like "My prices are firm, but thanks for your offer." If I'm willing to accept a lower price to move something, I'm upfront about it and say "I can't go to €200, but I can do a firm €380 with free shipping."

EXACTLY! This is why I DO NOT deal with people on here in terms of B&S or the t/c thread. I only deal with certain people because people mainly on SF constantly undervalues an item b/c of 1. high supply of the item or 2. knowing what the other person paid (less than normal)

It's like, if someone bought a car from a friend for $1K but the car is worth $5K and you decided to trade it in then would you trade in your $5K car for a $1K one b/c that's what you paid?

Anyways, #rantover
post #5603 of 15804
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post

Here are a few observations about your messages to the seller:

1. That's a lot of questions. None of them are answered in the auction description? You get a pass on this one because the auction seems to have been lacking in detail.
2. You are dictating shipping method to the seller.
3. Much of that seems passive aggressive to me. Maybe it wasn't meant that way, but that's how it strikes me.

I would have blocked you for the reasons mentioned in 2 and 3. And that doesn't mean that I was angry or that I think you are a bad guy. It just means that you strike me as a high maintenance customer, and my personality is not properly geared to deal with high maintenance customers. As George Costanza once said "It's not you. It's me."


Here are a few general observations about doing business on ebay (Not related to PJShep, just running off on a tangent):

1. There are many who ask irrelevant questions, and sometimes quite a lot of them. Don't be that guy.
Example:
What is the length of the shirt? Stupid question unless you are extremely tall or extremely short. BB knows how long to make the shirt tail on a 16-33 Slim. It fits the middle 98% on the bell curve.
If you have to ask that question, ask it like this so it becomes a non-dumbass question: "I have short arms and a freakishly long torso. What is the length of the shirt from the bottom of the collar to the end of the tail?"

2. The vast majority of measurement requests do not lead to a sale. So if you want a measurement, request it in a polite way.

3. Yesterday a guy asked for 4 measurements on a shirt. I had already provided actual measurements for neck, sleeve, and P2P. One of the measurements he asked for was P2P. I ignored his request. If you can't take the time to read the description I will not take the time to give you extra measurements on a shirt.

4. Politeness goes a long way. I often see something like this "I'll give you $XXX for it." Sometimes I see this "I can pay $XXX for this item. It is a great shirt and I understand if the offer doesn't work for you. I appreciate your consideration." One of those guys has a chance to do a deal on the item. The other doesn't. And if I received offers from those two guys at the same time I would sell the item to the second guy even if he offered less. I shit you not. It has happened.

5. If I see a pattern of unsolicited lowball offers from a buyer I will block him. There are jerkoffs who constantly run around ebay making lowball offers on non OBO listings. I am not talking about OBO listings. I mean regular listings. This is a time-waster and it is against ebay rules.

6. There is an old sales saying that describes my attitude toward a transaction (on ebay or SF). Always want a deal. Never need a deal. So don't be rude, don't be demanding, don't ask stupid questions, don't conduct yourself in a dishonest or unethical manner, don't be high maintenance. If you do these things too often or too hard you can join my No Soup For You list. It's not personal, it's just business.

About #6, don't take it that I am a real hardass. I'm not. But I am firmly convinced that almost any business would be better off firing the 5% of their customers who are the most difficult. And my percentage that I have fired is way less than 1%. Like I said, not personal, just business.


***Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that the way I run my business is the best way or is the way you should run yours.***


Steve, I agree with everything you've written. nod[1].gif YOU and I can def. do business together.
post #5604 of 15804
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fueco View Post

 What I paid for an item has no bearing whatsoever on what I will sell it for. I generally go off what other similar items have sold for and are currently going for. If there's nothing else like it on the market, I aim high and see if I get nibbles (I have a 1940s suit coat that I really have no idea what it's worth -it's priced high and collecting watchers).

 The market doesn't care whether I paid $5 or $15 or $200 for a shirt, the market is dictated by what people are paying.

 Like Hansderhund (it took me forever to notice the dog in the name!) said above, people don't go into a department store and base your buying price on the cost they paid for the shirt!

That being said, I do occasionally entertain offers that are unsolicited. But only if they are politely worded. Let's say I have a Patagonia Snap-T listed for $75 (true story!), a potential buyer writing, "i have $40 for the jacket" will get nowhere with me. Writing "I really like this Snap-T, and I love the color, but I feel the price is a bit high given current market prices. Would you take $50?" will likely get a response from me saying, "I understand what you're coming from. Check back in a couple of weeks... If the jacket hasn't sold by then, I might be willing to negotiate the price then."

Ha, yes, "Hans the dog" is a bit lost in my name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by k4lnamja View Post

EXACTLY! This is why I DO NOT deal with people on here in terms of B&S or the t/c thread. I only deal with certain people because people mainly on SF constantly undervalues an item b/c of 1. high supply of the item or 2. knowing what the other person paid (less than normal)

It's like, if someone bought a car from a friend for $1K but the car is worth $5K and you decided to trade it in then would you trade in your $5K car for a $1K one b/c that's what you paid?

Anyways, #rantover

Agree completely. I've never quite understood the logic of basing my price on someone else's cost. I feel the same way when someone balks at the price of a mass-produced object and says "€300 for a pair of glasses?! It probably only cost them €XXX to make!" I always ask "Oh, what's it cost you to make a pair of glasses?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by k4lnamja View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


Steve, I agree with everything you've written. nod[1].gif YOU and I can def. do business together.

+1!
post #5605 of 15804

I think used clothes are a very difficult area to calculate, mainly because the price variance is very large. You can for example see the same suits routinely go for 150$ and 600$ on ebay, difference is that when they go for 100$ they move very fast, and when they go for 600$ they can be listed for many, many months.

 

Should the buyer (or seller for that matter) use the high priced, slow selling items as basis for "average market price", or should he take both into account? I know many ebay flippers will always use the former, no mater what kind of items are being sold.

 

Low-balling is also very relative: I regularly follow around 8-10 sellers that all sell the same type of items(at high speeds), at MUCH lower prices than their counterpart. Difference is that the items usually don't last long enough to be properly "seen" on ebay main pages, and thus people don't seem to base the average price on those. (Again, a lot of sellers have a funny way of making average price based on items that hang around for a long time on Ebay) 

post #5606 of 15804

Arrrgh CHARGEBACK! On an item sold almost a month ago, received and positive feedback left on the 11th.  The person has disputed the charge through their CC.  Anyone had to deal with it, what was your outcome?  It was on my largest single item sale to date, I'm so pissed right now.  No communication from eBay, just the chargeback on PayPal.  Funny thing, if the GD thing fit me, I would have never sold it! AUCTION

Someone here was bragging how they could get any buyer out of any charges for any reason in this thread a couple hundred pages ago, who was that and WTF!

 

Edit- found the part of the thread, was from back in July.  Couldn't find where I remember someone mentioning that they could get any seller out of paying for anything.  Maybe I imagined that?  Good to notice that the people that talked about having chargebacks, won the case.  Hopefully that happens to me, anyone LOST a chargeback?  I imagine with the lack of communication and with the item being shipped to Canada, it appears I also may never see the item again since the person is not requesting a return.


Edited by txwoodworker - 9/27/13 at 4:47am
post #5607 of 15804
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamspace View Post

I think used clothes are a very difficult area to calculate, mainly because the price variance is very large. You can for example see the same suits routinely go for 150$ and 600$ on ebay, difference is that when they go for 100$ they move very fast, and when they go for 600$ they can be listed for many, many months.

Should the buyer (or seller for that matter) use the high priced, slow selling items as basis for "average market price", or should he take both into account? I know many ebay flippers will always use the former, no mater what kind of items are being sold.

Low-balling is also very relative: I regularly follow around 8-10 sellers that all sell the same type of items(at high speeds), at MUCH lower prices than their counterpart. Difference is that the items usually don't last long enough to be properly "seen" on ebay main pages, and thus people don't seem to base the average price on those. (Again, a lot of sellers have a funny way of making average price based on items that hang around for a long time on Ebay) 

I think a few economic principles are being mixed together. Clothes, like any product, will have a significant spread in price. You have to take into account a number of issues including age, condition, and size, to name only a few. The overwhelming majority of secondhand clothes depreciate over time, the exceptions being pieces that are valued for their age, designer, or material. However, across all of this, you can come to an average price for what a piece sells.

Since you're asking which price sellers should use, I can say that the smart seller takes a close look at their item and compares it to those that have sold across the spectrum. Maybe the seller has a rare size that doesn't often appear on ebay and can therefore ask a higher-than-average price. Maybe there is a surplus of larger sized suits on ebay and he has to ask for a bit less. Either way, he has to analyze the market and compare it to what he has in his hands. Therefore, you (buyers and sellers) should take the higher-priced, slower selling item AND the lower-priced, quick selling item into consideration. It's all a part of the average. When it comes to high-priced, slow selling/low-priced, quick selling items, you can see market-value in action. Why is the low-priced item selling fast? Simple, it's being priced below market value and the customer base sees. As a result, it sells quickly. The other side is true. Someone is pricing themselves above market value and it is taking longer to sell.

The same is also true for a buyer. If the buyer is a smaller size and most of the listings are of a larger size, the buyer can expect to pay a premium for his size and therefore can't compare it to the prices paid for larger sizes.

Again, it's important to look beyond price as the only restriction. Are we assuming these suits are identical in every way (size, color, condition, etc.)? If that is the case, it's easy to understand why the higher priced item sits longer on the shelf. We can get further into it and say that some sellers on ebay, as in real life, have a certain reputation. Seller ABC may have a long history and loyal customers that appreciate his service and have built a relationship. People may be willing to pay a bit more with seller ABC because they trust them.

Low-balling is only relative to the item in question. Low-balling, by definition, is offering significantly lower than market value. It's used as a sales technique in order to convince the seller that their item is worth less and therefore feel much better about selling it at a discount. For example: I'm offering a product for $100 and a potential buyer offers me $20, 80% off of my asking price. I say no, it's worth far more than that and they raise their offer to $50. Suddenly, the buyer has offered 2.5 times their original offer and the seller now feels as though they're making a much better deal.

Finally, yes, some sellers inflate the price of their goods. Ebay has thousands of sellers, many of whom don't put a lot of thought into pricing/business models, etc.
post #5608 of 15804
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgill79 View Post


I appreciate any feedback. I've looked around for the option but havent found anything obvious.

 

It works. I created an auction this morning. http://www.ebay.com/itm/251347760187?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649. I put in a price, a line of text and a color to revise. After the auction posted, i changed all 3 and reposted from GS. 

post #5609 of 15804
Quote:
Originally Posted by HansderHund View Post


I think a few economic principles are being mixed together. Clothes, like any product, will have a significant spread in price. You have to take into account a number of issues including age, condition, and size, to name only a few. The overwhelming majority of secondhand clothes depreciate over time, the exceptions being pieces that are valued for their age, designer, or material. However, across all of this, you can come to an average price for what a piece sells.

Since you're asking which price sellers should use, I can say that the smart seller takes a close look at their item and compares it to those that have sold across the spectrum. Maybe the seller has a rare size that doesn't often appear on ebay and can therefore ask a higher-than-average price. Maybe there is a surplus of larger sized suits on ebay and he has to ask for a bit less. Either way, he has to analyze the market and compare it to what he has in his hands. Therefore, you (buyers and sellers) should take the higher-priced, slower selling item AND the lower-priced, quick selling item into consideration. It's all a part of the average. When it comes to high-priced, slow selling/low-priced, quick selling items, you can see market-value in action. Why is the low-priced item selling fast? Simple, it's being priced below market value and the customer base sees. As a result, it sells quickly. The other side is true. Someone is pricing themselves above market value and it is taking longer to sell.

The same is also true for a buyer. If the buyer is a smaller size and most of the listings are of a larger size, the buyer can expect to pay a premium for his size and therefore can't compare it to the prices paid for larger sizes.

Again, it's important to look beyond price as the only restriction. Are we assuming these suits are identical in every way (size, color, condition, etc.)? If that is the case, it's easy to understand why the higher priced item sits longer on the shelf. We can get further into it and say that some sellers on ebay, as in real life, have a certain reputation. Seller ABC may have a long history and loyal customers that appreciate his service and have built a relationship. People may be willing to pay a bit more with seller ABC because they trust them.

Low-balling is only relative to the item in question. Low-balling, by definition, is offering significantly lower than market value. It's used as a sales technique in order to convince the seller that their item is worth less and therefore feel much better about selling it at a discount. For example: I'm offering a product for $100 and a potential buyer offers me $20, 80% off of my asking price. I say no, it's worth far more than that and they raise their offer to $50. Suddenly, the buyer has offered 2.5 times their original offer and the seller now feels as though they're making a much better deal.

Finally, yes, some sellers inflate the price of their goods. Ebay has thousands of sellers, many of whom don't put a lot of thought into pricing/business models, etc.

 

I agree that the market sets the price. Cost determines how long you're going to want to be in this business. The Spread. Return on investment and return on your time.

 

For those of you who do this as a primary or secondary income, cost has to come into play. You all know this better than I do, but if you sell an item for $25 and someone offers you 15, your fees are $3 and your shipping is $5, you're down to $7. If you paid $3.50, you net $3.50. Most people here wouldn't go hunting for that amount of return. 

 

Wes recently said that he sets his first price based on 3x cost, plus fees, plus shipping since all of his include shipping. (I would guess he has mastered the cheapest shipping methods.) That's a great benchmark and provides a return that he's happy with. 

 

In my company (tech), if we invest $1 in R&D, we need a return of around $20 in sales to make it worth renting space, paying everyone, buying equipment etc,. And of the 4 items we fund, 1 will probably make the 20x return, 2 will do 10x and 1 will fail. Like that BB tie you bought for $1 that just won't sell. 

 

So what a buyer doesn't see are all the fees, time, expense that go into this business. What I've concluded from you guys since I've been coming on here is that for it to be worth your time, you need to have a targeted return for every item you buy. Spend $1 to make $3 or whatever your target return is. One of my few thrifts was a pair of florsheim shell longwings. pretty beat up. while they only cost $3.50, it took me almost 5 hours to clean, moisturize, polish etc. Yes, I know I'm slow. So, even if I sell them for a big amount (Wes suggested a BIN around $180 with a likely BO around $60) I don't get an hourly rate that makes it worth my time to look for stuff. . At $60, I'll make $50, pre-tax. 

 

So if someone knew that I paid $3.50 for the shoes and offered me $35 for them thinking it is a 10X return, I'd turn it down until I had tried to sell them for a couple months at the higher price. If I hadn't put the time into the restoration, then I might take the $35.  

 

Just my observations. worth probably $.02.

post #5610 of 15804
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamspace View Post
 

Would it really be low-balling if you know what the seller paid for the item he's selling? 

 

Sometimes you see various buyers snag up items at one-tenth of their selling price, and still get fired up when someone bids 2-3 times of what they actually paid, scoffing it off as a "ridiculous low-balling". 

 

Not sure if the bidder is low-balling, or the seller is asking too much/greedy. 

(This is probably a sore spot for the guys that base their Ebay shops on thrift-shop items...) 

 

Yeah.

 

For example, If the seller states, "I got this as a Christmas gift but it doesn't fit, so I am selling it."  Would you then expect to purchase the item with winks and smiles rather than paying a fair price for it? 

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