1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

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

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

  1. PJShep

    PJShep Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    On the 18th I sent the seller a message asking, how many items were in the lot in total? Also, what are the sizes? Are they all linen? Do any have any stains, flaws, damage or defects of any kind? And how many are monogrammed? I received no reply so sent another message on the 21st stating that she had not replied and repeating the questions. Still no reply so on the 23rd I sent a third message stating, "I'd love to bid on this if you'd only answer my questions!!!! :)" Still no reply. Now it's the 25th, the day the auction ends. So I send another message stating:

    "I'm sorry that you are unable to answer my questions. However, I would like it noted that if I bid on this item and win that I would like it to be shipped USPS First Class Mail Intl / First Class Package Intl Service rather than Priority Mail.

    Thanks so much!"


    Finally, I get a message from the seller saying that she was away and that she would answer my questions when she gets home. So I ask,

    "Thanks for your response. So do you mean that while you are away, even though you have internet access, you don't reply to buyers' questions? This item ends in less than 9 hours. Will you be home in time to answer my questions?

    Kind regards"


    Then she finally answers some of my questions but not all. I ask again about the size of the items. She says she can't measure them because there in the "original state", meaning there in boxes, I assume. So I ask her to measure the boxes, which she does and provides me with the measurements. I'm happy, I think everything's fine and I go to bid....and I'm blocked!

    I realize that tone doesn't always translate well in emails, so I made sure to say thank you and include [​IMG]'s to show I was not angry in any way. But to no avail! Was I considered a "difficult" buyer because I wanted answers to my questions? I would very much appreciate your thoughts!
     
  2. PJShep

    PJShep Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Obviously.
     
  3. capnwes

    capnwes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,223
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Gentleman Cave
    Perhaps it is just her international settings blocking you.

    Or she gave you bogus answers to your questions to get you off her back and then blocked you rather than take a return when you found out the measurements were made up.

    Speculation of course.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  4. masaccio

    masaccio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    521
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    

    I don't think using smileys excuses being rude. Nothing in your messages is outright offensive, and speaking like this with your friends whom you know well and who have a history with you is one thing, but this is a perfect stranger.

    In the bolded passages above you are passive-aggressive ("I'm sorry you are unable to answer my questions..."), you make a demand that she change the terms of the transaction (First Class vs. Priority), you feign incredulity about her business practice while being away, and you've come here to tell the story yet you ask us to believe that you were not angry.

    I am only a very occasional seller and a more frequent buyer. As a seller I wouldn't have blocked you--I would probably have to work too hard to figure out how--but I could certainly see why another seller might. Or, as Wes says, it could be completely unrelated to your exchange.
     
  5. PJShep

    PJShep Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Man, you don't hold any punches, do you? Your observations of me are less than flattering, but if there's something I can learn from them, I'll accept them. Passive-aggressive? I've never been called that before but I suppose it's possible. And I suppose someone could assume that I was not sincere when I said, "I'm sorry you are unable to answer my questions..." even though I was. Anyway, this is not about defending myself, just trying to figure what I could have done differently. If I had held back, said nothing, accepted the fact that the seller didn't reply after 4 days and still didn't answer all of my questions when she did reply, would it have gone differently? Maybe I wouldn't have been blocked. I just wouldn't have bid because I wouldn't know exactly what I was bidding on.
     
  6. capnwes

    capnwes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,223
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Gentleman Cave
    You may well have not intended to sound that way. It's tough to translate emotion out of written text and can easily be misinterpreted 10 different ways by the recipient. Be careful of your wording and try to re-read before you send, as if you were the stranger on the other end reading it for the first time. Also, considering international transactions (I don't know where you or the seller are located), many times the ebay translation tools can be a little rough. If she were non-english speaking, who knows how it showed up on the other end.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  7. jebarne

    jebarne Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,597
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    
    I haven't tried yet. I recall reading you could. I will give it a shot over the weekend.
     
  8. Koala-T

    Koala-T Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,821
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Location:
    Austin
    
    I appreciate any feedback. I've looked around for the option but havent found anything obvious.
     
  9. PJShep

    PJShep Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    I agree. I'm in Canada...she's in the US. Maybe she didn't like me saying "eh", eh?
     
  10. capnwes

    capnwes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,223
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Gentleman Cave
    [​IMG]

    Maybe she's just a dumb American and she actually did you a favor by blocking you.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,998
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    

    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.***
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    2 people like this.
  12. PJShep

    PJShep Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    I agree. I don't sell on ebay much but I do on Craigslist. So I know the challenges of being a seller with people asking stupid questions and/or not reading the posting. I don't think I was angry with the seller,,,but definitely frustrated...especially after her ignoring me for 4 days because she was "away". But I really wanted the item and tried to "play nice", not very successfully, apparently. And, no, none of the questions I asked were answered in the description. I suppose I could have "asked" for the shipping method rather than "telling".
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,998
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    


    Concerning the shipping method, buyers will sometimes make demands about shipping method and declared value. Both of those things affect the amount of risk for the seller. If the package gets lost, stolen, or even delivered but the buyer says he did not get it, then it is the seller who has a problem. Seller's risk = seller's decision.
     
  14. PJShep

    PJShep Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Makes sense. However, I didn't mention the part where she replied to my request (or demand or whatever you want to call it) about shipping and she said she would ship any way I wanted. This is the thing...everything seemed to be running smoothly once she finally replied...and then bam! No soup for you!
     
  15. Fueco

    Fueco Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,794
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Where The Buffaloes Roam
    1 person likes this.
  16. Evil Abed

    Evil Abed Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    826
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Location:
    So Cal
    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.
     
  17. k4lnamja

    k4lnamja Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,524
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    

    THIS. Got a NWT Isaia blue corduroy suit I want to package but don't know how
     
  18. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,157
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Austria
    

    This is really solid advice everyone should read.
     
  19. dreamspace

    dreamspace Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    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...)
     
  20. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,157
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Austria
    

    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."
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by