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

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

  1. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    I'm digging the avatar by the way.
     


  2. concealed

    concealed Senior member

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    I dont want to be a dick, because I think you are a good guy, but you are in the wrong here IMO.

    Although you may not have purposefully done it, you kind of hid signficant details regarding the shirt, if you did not "shout" that it does not fit the average XLT customer. In addition, you probably should have disclosed that there was no "wisdom, knowledge, truth" and shown a picture of the damage. I would offer a refund upon return of the shirt, and apologize for the mistake. Then relist it with the significant details fully disclosed.
     


  3. Brianpore

    Brianpore B&S (BS) ambassador-in-chief

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012


  4. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    It seems like you might as well fight it now though. You can already bank on the negative feedback.
     


  5. TheNeedMachine

    TheNeedMachine Senior member

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    No big problems here so I thought I'd just list a few of my observations from years on eBay (though only recently selling clothing). This is my way; your mileage may vary and you may or may not agree.

    1) Communication is KEY. Key to getting positive feedback, as well as not getting a neutral or negative when you screw up on that rare occasion.
    When a buyer uses BIN or wins and pays right away, I always send a thank you, and state "any issues, questions or problems, please contact me directly" and let them know the item will be shipped within 3 business days. When shipped, I message them again, giving the tracking #, thank you again, and repeat "any issues, questions or problems, please contact me directly".
    When a buyer has taken more than a day or two to pay, I invoice them, including "any issues, questions or problems, please contact me directly". Once paid, same as above.
    If you want to grub for feedback, wait a few days after USPS says it's been delivered, and ask for it...though that opens you up to someone thinking "hmmm, I like it but don't love it - will leave neutral".

    2) Thrill someone when they have to return something because you screwed up, or an item was otherwise not as described - meaning, either way it was your fault. I've had to do it 3 or 4 times in 10+ years, but, I refund purchase price, original shipping, return shipping, AND toss them $5 for their headache of having to re-pack it and go to the post office. Of course they as a buyer won't know this is your policy in advance (and thus won't take advantage of it), but I have turned negative buyer experiences into positive feedbacks for me because of how I handled it.

    3) Regarding accepting returns, I see there has been some discussion on this. I used to always accept returns, then stopped and saw interest drop, and now accept them again. It's your choice. If you're a top-rated seller with a lot of feedbacks and 100% (or pretty close), buyers are savvy enough to look at the number and percentage and make a snap decision based on that. I know I do as a buyer, and don't bother to read the comments. If someone is below, say, 97% (and that's with lots of feedbacks - under 500 feedbacks and you should be at or near 100%) it raises a flag for me, more so than if they don't accept returns. And yes - to reiterate - there are some returns you have to accept even if your policy is not to. If you're just starting out with not much of a track record, I think you ought to accept returns and build up some cred.
    It's hard to convey your policy either way if you have exceptions and whatnot - I see auctions all the time with paragraphs full of "please read" info that dealt with each and every issue some buyer has had over the years. Who reads that? But having it I suppose covers your ass in case someone didn't read it and tries to return an item because "it didn't match the coat I bought for my Chihuahua" or whatever.

    4) I agree with under-selling, or at most selling pretty much as you see it, and not over-selling. When I sold collectible vinyl records, I used a standardized grading system that everyone who was a hard-core collector was familiar with, and always knocked mine down a few points so the buyer was at minimum happy with, and sometimes very happy with, their purchase.
    Since I'm pretty straight-forward in real life, I'm the same on eBay. I don't sell for $19.99; I sell for $19...or $20, whatever. I also don't try to sneak in a "lke new" in the title (ebay will censor if you try to say "like new, as new" etc on a pre-owned listing), nor do I use all caps, "[email protected]@K", "WoW!" and so on. I'm not selling used cars here...
    I don't use superlatives like "amazing, beautiful, awesome" etc unless I know what I have and it really is amazing etc compared to the regular dreck. My listings are pretty simple, not fancy, not gaudy, and it's a hobby so it suits me just fine.

    5) Provide measurements for everything, no matter what it is (unless it's obvious or not applicable). It's a chore, do it anyway.

    6) Pack your items nicely. Every clothing item I ship is wrapped in 2+ layers of white tissue paper and sent either in a box or new padded mailer. I have purchased & received clothing wadded up in the bottom of a big thin Tyvek mailer, which may have been nicely folded when shipped, but bounced around and arrived in a wrinkly ball. Takes an extra few minutes and it will arrive the same way you sent it.

    7) If you're using your 50 free listings on eBay, add a BIN option, as long as it's more than double the minimum bid. Example: list a shirt minimum bid $20 and add a BIN for $41. If it gets that first minimum bid, it will sit with a $20 bid and the BIN for $41 is still there. I've had buyers come along and decide to just outright buy it for $41 when it already had that $20 min bid, instead of get in a bid war.

    8) Unless it was a higher-value item, I usually don't harass non-paying bidders. But that's because this is a hobby for me, not my business or relied-upon source of income. I just cancel the transaction, add to my blocked list, and move on...and half the time I just end up keeping the item for myself and it's no harm, no foul as far as I'm concerned.

    9) NWOT / BNWOT - you better be sure of that... I have used it a few times, when I had to un-pin and unfold a shirt to take photos and it didn't have any tags, or otherwise knew for goddam sure it really was NWOT. If you only suspect it's NWOT, just describe it as "appears unworn and unwashed".

    10) Use the scheduled selling tool. Pay the dime per item and use it. It'll make your life easier, and it's a lot more fun when watching the auctions end all within a few minutes of each other instead of spread apart. If you're like me, you're not sitting there listing items at 10pm ET / 7pm PT (in my opinion, prime time to start & end auctions)...you do them as you feel like it, middle of the day when work is slow, middle of the night when you've got insomnia...and you can do all that, but pay the dime to have them all start a few minutes apart on the same day. You can take 3 days to list 40 items and have them all start/end at around the same time. Trust me on this one. If you're a cheapskate, list your next ten auctions using the scheduler and I will Paypal you the $1 (assuming you're listing stuff that will sell and not junk). Offer good for the next 5 people who PM me to take me up, and do not use / have never used the scheduler, and it's obvious to tell by looking at closed listings.

    1b) Communication is KEY...

    Eh, not sure why I even started this posting...surely not to start another debate on some point, so, it's take it or leave it and if you disagree that's cool.
     


  6. mjt73106

    mjt73106 Senior member

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    Very good insight. Thanks. You should get at least 1 hour college credit for that post. Good job - well thought out.
    BTW, per your earlier post, I usually add a short blast of Fabreeze to all shipments. Last month I got a message from a customer asking about the scent. He wanted to know what it was because he enjoyed it. . .
     


  7. ruben

    ruben Senior member

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    I generally agree with this.
     


  8. acosbysweater

    acosbysweater Senior member

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    TLnoob...I've been selling on eBay off and on for 12 years and have never broken it down into quite such helpful advice. I can be a confrontational person in real life and that comes through in my contact with buyers. I trust my judgement enough to never return items once purchased and don't see why people don't take leaps of faith or at least research what they're buying before hitting the payment button. If he really wanted to know why the length of the shirt and the arm length were the same, he should've asked. Buyers remorse for a funky alteration shouldn't be my fault. I am offering a refund and groveling for forgiveness to potentially avoid a negative feedback. I will continue to alter my eBay template to insist that people not be shy and ask me goddamn questions or for more photos if they have them. If there's one thing I'm cooperative on, it's giving more information than needed when requested. Thanks for the help, all.
     


  9. Brianpore

    Brianpore B&S (BS) ambassador-in-chief

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    Take a look at this listing... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140479423641&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

    Guess what people do.... they still use the BIN button and pay, then ask how much shipping is going to be or expect me to ship it for the BIN price (it would cost more to ship then the BIN price even is). The point is, no matter how you alter the template or what you try to do to convince people to ask questions first, you will have stupid people who don't read. You just need to factor that part in, when you receive emails from people.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012


  10. mjt73106

    mjt73106 Senior member

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    +1 after a while it is part of the eBay game, you can block 5,000 of them. . .
     


  11. hmmurdock

    hmmurdock Senior member

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    For the collective masses:
    Sold a SC on eBay....received positive feedback from buyer. About two weeks later get message that he had sent jacket to tailor who had found a moth hole. Buyer wants to keep the jacket and asks if I will foot the bill or a reweaver. I'm quite positive it wasn't there when I had sent the jacket. I apologize as it is quite possible that there could have been a larve working on the jacket and ask for a pic. Clearly a hole has developed. I offer to have him return the jacket or work out a partial refund. Buyer says wants to keep the jacket but will not pay for cost to reweave. Again I tell buyer if he intends to keep jacket I will offer a partial refund but if we cannot work out an amount he will have to return the jacket. Buyer again contacts me and says reweaver has quoted him $80 (He purchased the coat for $100) and that he expects $80 refund. I tell buyer to return the jacket as I will not be refunding $80. Buyer then states "No one else is going to buy a moth infested jackets for more than what I did even with the refund." I offer $20 refund or return of the jacket for full refund.

    And so the open item case hits five minutes later. This is where it goes into fantasy buyer land....where he claims he can see a moth hole in my pics and that I was selling the jacket as BNWOT (neither of which is the case). Also has claimed the tailor altered the jacket and had all the labels removed to show off the fancy lining (which in previous email he stated the moth hole was found by the tailor and that they didn't want to start work on it until he was notified about the hole.)

    Any ideas from the peanut gallery? At this point I'm planning just to call eBay, forward along all the emails between us, and ask for a return. If I had to guess the outcome of this....he's going to send back something completely different and I'll be screwed either way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012


  12. grendel

    grendel Senior member

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    Wow... This guy sounds nuts. Link to the auction? What's his ebay name so I can block him?
     


  13. capnwes

    capnwes Senior member

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    Ummm... Huh!?!?! I am constantly amazed by people.

    If he had the jacket drycleaned it is definitely possible that a minor un-see-able moth damage would turn into a hole. There's no way either of you could know that.

    As for a return, If he has really already made alterations to the jacket, I wouldn't accept a return. What if he has t-rex arms, or worse yet, only one arm and had it altered to fit. Who knows the condition it will be returned in. If the tailor removed the lining to make alterations and then stoped working, it may come back with the lining loose or missing. I don't know off the top of my head the ebay rules on this one, but I would "assume" that he buyer would be required take full responsibility and ownership of the item since it is no longer the item you sold.

    Also, if he claims he can see the moth hole in the pics, he should be on the hook for the hole since it was shown. ( I realize it was not)

    Link to the auction would be great.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012


  14. Brianpore

    Brianpore B&S (BS) ambassador-in-chief

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    1) When posting something like this, great idea to link the ebay auction and add the buyer to the Black List

    2) When you correspond with a buyer make sure ALL of the email are though the ebay message system. This is the only way ebay will even look at email pertaining to the case if a dispute is opened. You forwarding emails from your private email account will do no good (as you can easily modify them before forwarding). If buyer uses personal account to contact you cut and paste into eBay messaging before responding.

    3) How did he pay? Direct payment or with a cc though paypal. Even if you win the case, he can open a chargeback if it is with a cc though paypal and not a direct bank account/funds from a previous sale

    4) When you speak with ebay I would warn them of your fear of something different coming back and ask what you can do if that happens. If that happens, it is mail fraud and over state lines which is federal. Prob not worth it thought for $100 jacket.
     


  15. hmmurdock

    hmmurdock Senior member

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    Clearly I hadn't considered the implications of his altering the coat. Which frankly I'm getting conflicting messages from him if he did alter the jacket or not.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemVersion&item=120939861907&view=all&tid=918783584002

    pmison92
     


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