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

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

  1. ThomGault

    ThomGault Senior member

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    If you create an account a slickdeals.net, you can set up alerts to find out when ebay pushes out coupons and discounts. eBay just started an 8% ebay bucks promo this morning, actually. Although, I don't think sellers would realistically alter their plans based on such promos---they normally last for 24-48 hours with little prior notice.
    I used to sell on ebay---mostly movies and cookware (my other two hobbies), and I understand your desire to protect yourself. My worst sale was a Le Creuset dutch oven that I purchased at clearance for more than I shouldve, which sold for less than I expected; I offered free shipping, and the buyer was in...Alaska, in a remote town that didn't even offer ups or fedex. When the buyer received the totally brand new pot, they found a tiny bubble in the enamel (which is totally natural and normal), and wanted a replacement. To avoid neg feedback, I had to pay for shipping back to me, track down a replacement pot in exactly the same color, and ship it back to backwoods alaska. I think I lost almost $400 on the deal, not including the time I spent cajoling the customer to not leave bad feedback. Anyway, I know your perspective.

    Two more notes on listings: even as a fairly seasoned ebay buyer, I don't pay much attention to the description because, while many buyers who don't read the description, many sellers don't create good descriptions, either. E.g., my wife likes Brooks Brothers clothing, so I'm always looking for items she might want. If I had a nickle for every item I bought that was actually 346 line (but not disclosed as such), I'd be rich.
    This leads to my next point: sellers should document every aspect of the item, both verbally and graphically, because there is a power imbalance between sellers and buyers. While ebay is known to be buyer-friendly while resolving disputes, initial transactions are hugely seller-friendly. This is because the seller is the only party who can see every detail of the item. E.g., they might post a picture of a stain on a garment, but poor lighting might make the stain appear to be a shadow; without a verbal description, the buyer has no way to know what the discoloration actually is. The seller can say, "well, i put a picture of the problem with the listing, I've done my duty," but the result will be a very unhappy buyer. Conversely, there is no possible discrepancy in what the buyer is offering to the seller. i.e., the buyer's payment is precise, and both parties know exactly how much the payment is worth. Therefore, the best case scenario is both the buyer and seller gets something in equal condition than what they expected; but the worst case scenario (and far more likely) is that the buyer receives something that isn't quite what they expected, yet the seller still gets the agreed upon price. The only way to mitigate this problem is by communicating every possible detail about the item in the listing before the buyer purchases. As a rule of thumb, if the actual text description of the item is shorter than your boilerplate language in the description which details your standard policies, you're doing something wrong.
     


  2. Sartoriamo

    Sartoriamo Senior member

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    Oops. Off to Home Depot this morning to get a wider shelf that will reach the next stud . . . I see lots of lint rolling in my future, to get all that damn sheetrock detritus off the navy blazers . . .

    IMG_6724.JPG IMG_6725.JPG
     


  3. Fueco

    Fueco Senior member

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    I disagree with the part about detailing every aspect of the item. Take good high res pictures, and describe any flaws, yes. But detailing every single pill of fabric on a sweater is an unreasonable expectation.
     


  4. Brianpore

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

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  5. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    I don't sell much online, but I've only experienced this with vintage items. Completed listings will show a solid history of $200 sales, but I'll get people making $15, then $20, then $23 offers, along with comments like, C'mon, you either got this from a thrift or from your attic -- you're making a 300% return!
     


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