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

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HansderHund, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    Since so many people buy and sell on eBay, I thought it might be convenient to have a place where those more experienced could offer up advice or answer questions. I know that I've run into problems as both a buyer and seller and I've been fortunate to get advice from other members.

    Feel free to discuss anything related to eBay, but please avoid rants about such things as PayPal. Also, it would probably not be best to call people out as there is (I think) a dedicated thread to that somewhere else. There is also a thread available to members that want to list their new auctions Instead, here are some ideas:

    - Questions related to buying/selling on eBay
    - Tips sellers use to drive traffic
    - How to handle problems
    - How to maximize sales (i.e. Buy-it-now vs. true auction format)
    - International shipping costs and concerns
     
    2 people like this.
  2. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Well-Known Member

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    This is a fantastic thread, and I would be more than happy to help contribute my expertise here.

    Hard and fast rule #1 -

    IF YOU SHIP ANYTHING OVER $250, MAKE SURE IT IS SIGNATURE CONFIRMATION.

    This will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

    Also, some quick tips for shipping internationally by USPS :

    1. You can't send anything over $2500 to China without some seriously complex paperwork
    2. You can't insure anything to Canada over $675
     
    2 people like this.
  3. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    Spoo's expertise should be invaluable to anyone that sells on eBay, especially those getting started!

    I've never shipped something to China, but I can only imagine the red tape (pun not entirely intended).

    I'll add a couple of things...

    1. Offer international shipping, but beware of the scams that are out there. Some countries are black holes and you'll never see your item again and likely the money as well unless you track it.

    2. Having said that many international customers are legit and are easy/not very demanding. I live in Austria and have been shot down on buying something from the US because the seller didn't want to ship abroad. I've also talked sellers through the process to get an item to me and tried to make it worth their while.

    3. Simply offering international shipping opens you up to an entire market and thus more people will view your auctions.

    4. When you ship something internationally at the cheapest rate, you still have limited tracking. The part of the customs sticker/form (I think) gives you enough information to know when it leaves the country and sometimes when it arrives in the destination country. I can follow something sent from the US and then when it arrives in Austria, I can use the same number for post.at. This number doesn't cost extra.

    5. Someone in the US will have to correct me, but based on the USPS site, you can easily do international shipping and have it picked up from your house (???).

    6. Shipping internationally may seem incredibly expensive to you, but your international buyers probably expect it. When the € was much stronger a couple of years ago, it was downright cheap to buy luxury goods from America, even when shipping a pair of shoes cost $50. New pairs of Edward Greens were somewhere around 50-60% of the price compared to shopping in our home countries. It's not quite the deal now that the € has gone down.

    7. Don't gouge your international buyers. I make repeated buys from American sellers that are willing to ship here and don't raise their prices when they see it's going somewhere else. We have access to USPS.com as well and can see when you're upping the price.
     
    5 people like this.
  4. gyasih

    gyasih Well-Known Member

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    + 1000. I have seen Spoo turn a piece of coal into DeBeers!

    Great post HansderHund.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  5. like a BOSS

    like a BOSS Well-Known Member

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    That said, what are some of the countries that you suggest we be weary of?
     
  6. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Well-Known Member

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    ^ Ive had less than ideal delivery times with Russia, Germany, and Poland particularly, so use Express mail when possible for those countries.
     
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  7. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to offend anyone on here that is a citizen of any of the following countries, but I generally won't ship to the following:

    - Russia
    - Belarus
    - Romania
    - Bulgaria
    - Turkey

    I've had some experience with most of these countries and it hasn't been great. If I want to list something as BIN, I'll price it out in other countries. If I can't compete with the prices in the US, I'll eliminate it from the listing. It's not because I wouldn't want to send something to the US, but it's much cheaper to ship it within Austria or to Germany. Often, I'll take a look and my item will cost twice the price of all of the American listings when you factor in shipping. I'm afraid someone will overlook the shipping costs and have problems with me, so I attempt to avoid it.

    I always appreciate when someone ships single items in an international priority envelope. It's around $18 and it arrives to my address 7 days from when it's shipped. It's really reliable and sellers have fit unhemmed pants into those things. They come out wrinkled, but it's faster. If I buy something on SF, I'm usually offered the cheapest option and I'll take it (more trustworthy on SF).

    I can honestly say I have better luck selling shirts with a BIN price instead of an auction format. I don't know why this is or if its region specific. I had two new Brionis, one I started at €9,99 and it finished at around €33. I sold one a week later at €75 BIN.

    I also find that, based on completed listings, your item can get far more than it should. The previous week's completed auctions set the price standard. If one person undercuts everyone else the previous week, the following week will see cheaper prices on similar items all around. Again, I'm not sure if this is region-specific. I'll occasionally hold back on listing something to see if the current auctions finish higher than the previous week's.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone noticed that eBay changed their completed searches a bit? Previously, the auctions that were BIN/OBO displayed the original price and when you clicked on it, it would then reveal the accepted offer. I noticed on ebay.de about a week ago that they only show the accepted price and not what the original price was. Now, they're also doing this on ebay.com.

    I found it useful to find what other items were being listed at and also seeing the accepted offer. It gave a bit of insight into what filters price buyers were using, i.e. they are viewing auctions that are listed at $200 even if they're making offers of $100. I also liked seeing the difference between asking prices and accepted prices to determine how much other sellers were marking their items up in order to receive acceptable offers.

    Anyone else have an opinion?
     
  9. Brianpore

    Brianpore Well-Known Member

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    Great thread, hope it gets traction. I'm more then happy to offer my experience's on ebay.

    In regards to International shipping, I ask for approx actual cost of shipping and ONLY use USPS Registered 1st class mail (this is the safest way to ship IMO) for items under 4 lbs that can go slow OR Express Mail. Both have good tracking and signature's are required buy the buyer. If the buyer does not want to pay actual international shipping prices, no problem, I won't ship to them. I've never had a problem shipping either method.
     
    2 people like this.
  10. strangedream

    strangedream Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, maybe we should start "eBay nightmare" thread just to pair with this thread...
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. IRKSM

    IRKSM Well-Known Member

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    this thread is genius
     
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  12. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    If you use Stamps.com, you can insure over $675...
     
  13. mjt73106

    mjt73106 Well-Known Member

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    I will try to look into the 1st class registered mail, is it only available through the counter? I do not see the registered part available through either eBay or PayPal shipping label generation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  14. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Well-Known Member

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    Really? Not at the counter. Not sure if I would trust it myself, I learned the hard way.



    Pretty sure thats a counter only.
     
  15. Brianpore

    Brianpore Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  16. VLSI

    VLSI Well-Known Member

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    Do you need to buy the brown tape yourself or do they do that?

    What's the best way to deliver digital goods (gift card code)?

    *edit* Any why did ebay have to upgrade their listing page right as I was making listing :fu: It's back now...
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  17. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    I've never sold digital goods, but it's a really good questions. Would it be best to send the gift card code through Paypal's message service? I don't know if that adds any protection, but it might make a better case if the buyer were to open a dispute.
     
  18. VLSI

    VLSI Well-Known Member

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    Well it is my understanding that a buyer cannot open a SNAD case for "intangible" goods, only an item not received. So I would think using either ebay or paypal message service would be safest to prove delivery since you can't prove you sent an email to someone. Will let the experts weigh in :)

    Also minor gripe. I put a shirt up with $5 starting bid and it sold for that. Guy relists it for way more. Whatever, don't really care about that, it wasn't a nice shirt and that's just the way it goes. What bothers me is I just looked and he never leaves feedback as a buyer, only as a seller... very selfish. if you're going to make a buck off me at least give me feedback :(

    Already enjoying this thread. I have so much pent up ebay aggression and woes :embar:

    Another question... when do you guys typically leave feedback? Immediately or try to time it with item delivery? I used to wait a few days but recently just did it all immediately. I've noticed a much lower feedback reciprocation rate.

    Why do you sometimes see multiple consecutive bids from the same buyer for the same amount?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  19. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense. I suppose if they offered the same protection that they offer physical goods, it would be a playground for scammers. Surely someone sells digital stuff and can hopefully weigh in on it.
     
  20. Brianpore

    Brianpore Well-Known Member

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