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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 Senior member

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    Quick question...

    I bought something on US eBay and asked about shipping to Austria. In all honesty, I have a proxy setup in the US that forwards all American purchases for me. It's an individual, not a forwarding company. I still usually inquire shipping prices as it's easier to cutout a proxy. Anyway, I asked this seller if he'd ship straight to Austria and received a less than pleasant reply:

    This listing did not offer shipping outside the US and it is not an option....your ID says you are from the United States, why are you bidding on this auction if you are not? Please pay for this item and give me a shipping address in the US.

    I've never not paid for something on eBay, so I'll go through with the transaction, but have any of you replied to simple, polite questions in this manner? I'm almost always willing to pay what I know are inflated shipping prices if it means that I can get it sent to me, I didn't think I was being unreasonable to ask the guy if he'd do it.
     
  2. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    Sorry to hear about that. As frustrating as it may be for international buys to bid on something and inquire about shipping later when it clearly wasn't offered, I still maintain my composure and respond politely.

    Just reply with your feedback.
     
  3. HansderHund

    HansderHund Senior member

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    Thanks, it's usually not really a problem as I have an American account and a simple "No, sorry, US only" is perfectly acceptable. I was just bitter that he had such an attitude. I already fired off an email giving him more info, I'm just afraid he'll screw me over. My proxy doesn't usually open/check things, they just repackage it and send it my way. Oh well, I suppose that's part of the fun of buying online. :D
     
  4. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    Is your proxy someone on here or family? I'm sure there are guys on this forum (myself included) that would be willing to help you if you needed something checked out prior to sending.

    I have yet to open up my auctions to international bidders, though my volume has been so low recently that it doesn't really matter.
     
  5. HansderHund

    HansderHund Senior member

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    Really generous of you and PM sent :D
     
  6. ruben

    ruben Senior member

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    Dumb question.

    With just about every item I list, I get a "how much to ship to Japan/Australia/Russia/uk?" question.

    I always have my listings set up with a weight, shipping method and "international cost, calculated" . Is there some reason why buyers can't see what the shipping price to their country would be?
     
  7. HansderHund

    HansderHund Senior member

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    In all honesty, people might just be looking for a better deal. I pay what's stated for international shipping, even when I know priority international flat rate is cheaper. Occasionally, I'll find an outrageous international shipping rate and think that it must be incorrect, but instead of asking about it, I usually just pass on it.

    They're probably just hoping you'll give them a better price than your listing states :)
     
  8. mjt73106

    mjt73106 Senior member

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    Location:
    Southern Plains
    I have had buyers (Germans) buy items and then want to renegotiate the international shipping that I usually express as Express Shipping. They usually start off with the "I purchase a lot of items from the US and First Class only costs $10, you should be able to sent your item for the same cost. . . "

    But I agree that the message is more than rude. I usually state that due to the requirements of the Ebay seller protection program, I am required to ship Express which can be expensive.. . .

    I am thinking about opening up a DHL account for international shipments. They seem to own the market to Europe and the Australia. Anyone have any experience with DHL international?
     
  9. suited

    suited Senior member

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    I've given away a few free ties along with items people have purchased, and they never say anything. I think they believe I made a mistake by giving them the tie, so they choose to keep their mouth shut unless the seller says something. I was expecting feedback "great seller, gave me a free tie!"
     
  10. mjt73106

    mjt73106 Senior member

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    +1 - I purchased a bunch of CD's a year ago for very cheap and would include one in each item that I sent in a priority flat rate as a nice gesture and attempt to get rid of some slow mover CD's. I never received a thank you or a mention in feedback. After about 10 or 15 cd's I stopped doing it.

    I think that you are correct, the buyers did not value something free or they thought it was a mistake. No good deed goes unpunished.
     
  11. HansderHund

    HansderHund Senior member

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    Don't worry, Germans do the same with me on such a regular basis that I almost expect it with every auction. I charge standard rates for shipment using the Austrian Post with insurance and they always try to get me down on the price. I have a standard explanation and point them towards the calculator on the Post's website. They soon find out that I'm not making anything on the shipping price. I even had an Austrian that won some shoes for €6.99 with €6.00 shipping say that the actual shipping price is €4.80 to her. I explained that I had to buy a box and that cost was passed on to her. I'm still waiting on feedback on that one :confused:

    Long story short, Germans, which make up about 80% of my sales, complain often and loudly. I have just learned to deal with it and be polite and clear in my messages.

    DHL is big here, though I'm actually going to switch to Hermes delivery. I don't know whether it's available in the US, but they're prices beat out all of the other services (DHL, FedEx, UPS and the Austrian Post) price-wise and it's incredibly popular to use in Germany. If it's available to you, you might want to compare prices.


    Others have said the same thing. A few people have included free gifts and have had little success with it and occasionally it backfires. I've included small gifts when I'm a day late on getting their shipment out and have received emails that express gratitude for it. I doubt it helps my sales, but maybe it prevents negative feedback and reminds the buyer that I'm not some major company but rather an individual that works full time and does this on the side. I like to think it puts things in perspective for them before they leave feedback that says "It took 3 days to ship! Blah, blah, blah..." :D
     
  12. Mox C

    Mox C Senior member

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    Rochester, NY
    If you are going to include a free gift, you might want to include a little note mentioning that fact and saying that you included it as a thank-you for their business. It might help them realize what it is.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. Towers

    Towers Senior member

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    Maybe some Canadian or non-US sellers can chime in; do you find it kills auction traffic to charge for shipping? I've had no luck getting bids on items I charge for shipping on unless I start them really low, or if i do get a few bidders they go for way less than I would expect. For lighter things (shirts, etc.) I usually offer free shipping, but to keep my margins reasonable I need to ship small packet where possible which doesn't have tracking or delivery confirmation and I'm worried buyers will just claim they never received the item (I have a case open right now for this exact situation).

    Thoughts? Do you try to keep it domestic or accept the fact that you're going to take a bath on shipping charges if you try to leverage the US buyers?
     
  14. FaceOfBoh

    FaceOfBoh Senior member

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    ^^^
    I haven't tried the free shipping, though I have thought about it.

    I offer flat rate shipping for US customers at $15. For shirts, pants, jackets - anything but shoes - I might lose a buck or two, if that.
    For shoes I still offer $15 but with the knowledge that I'll probably lose about $5, so I price accordingly. I ship Canada Post Expedited Parcel. I print labels through ebay/paypal so I get about a 20% - 25% discount.

    And Expedited Parcel has tracking, but no delivery signature. I figure that's enough protection for both both parties.

    The only other thing I do is generally focus on high value items, so generally no shirts or ties unless they are stellar. On that front I can't compete with US sellers.
     
  15. Brianpore

    Brianpore Senior member

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    NJ
    A little confused....as soon as you start talking about shipping from Canada into the US thats a different story then what most of us do day to day. For US shipping I set it as free and know about how much stuff costs. As soon as I have to ship to Canada I consider that International and only ship express mail or 1st class registered mail both of which offer a high level of protection but cost a lot. Only way to go.
     
  16. bytor13

    bytor13 Senior member

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    . . . . . .
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Senior member

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    That seems to be feedback extortion. Keep it polite, do what you have to do, and if he leaves bad feedback then show that exchange to ebay and ask to have the feedback removed.

    OTOH, from the buyer's point of view it certainly appears that you are keeping him from winning this because the bids are low. Why not have your brother bid on it? You will end up paying 10% for your own item but you did make an error.
     
  18. ruben

    ruben Senior member

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    re: free stuff

    I'v gotten ties thrown in on a couple ebay purchases, but both times they were pretty awful things that'd I'd never even consider wearing (like a really 90s stafford and an ugly, stained rooster).
     
  19. bytor13

    bytor13 Senior member

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    Yeah, I can see how he might think that, but that's certainly not how I operate. I would ask my brother to bid, but he doesn't have an eBay account and has 3 kids + a VERY pregnant wife right now, so I don't think it'd be worth it. Since it was my mistake, I guess I'll just have to take any problems that come.
     
  20. grendel

    grendel Senior member

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    Upstate NY
    I include a free tie when someone buys something for over $100. I've gotten thanked once or twice,but I do get positive feedback more often with that and less returns.
     

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