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Selling something on Ebay, is it easy to do?


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#1 of 78 OFFLINE   Travis Hedger

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Posted March 29 2003 - 06:47 AM

Hello all.

As long as Ebay has existed I have never purchased or sold anything.

Well, my computer is showing its age and is having all kinds of issues, yet I don't have any immediate cash on hand.

I have an item to sell, and judging by similar items being put up on Ebay, there is a demand, and I believe I should be able to get a pretty good value out of it.

I am going to sell my Remote Control Hirobo Shuttle Challenge helicopter.

I purchased it about 4 years ago, could never get it put together, gave up and threw it in storage and promptly forgot about it until recently.

I have a digital camera that I am borrowing and some WebSpace to host the pictures.

Can someone who has never sold anything on Ebay at least post their auction pretty easily?

Thanks
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#2 of 78 OFFLINE   Bob Sheen

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Posted March 29 2003 - 06:56 AM

It's easy to use. Just follow the intructions and fill in the blanks. Good luck.

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#3 of 78 OFFLINE   Michael*K

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Posted March 29 2003 - 07:13 AM

The selling procedures are pretty well laid out. Just follow the step by step instructions and you'll do fine.

#4 of 78 OFFLINE   Seth_S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 07:13 AM

Some advice:

Make it clear you won't ship the items until you've received payment. I used to think that this was obvious until someone got really pissy with me and threatened to give me negative feedback because I wouldn't ship until their check had cleared, and I didn't say this in my auction.

#5 of 78 OFFLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted March 29 2003 - 08:51 AM

Even better - state you won't accept personal checks.

#6 of 78 OFFLINE   Seth_S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 09:04 AM

Greg Kettell,

Eh, there are a lot of willing buyers who for some reason refuse to use payment options like paypal

#7 of 78 OFFLINE   DonRoeber

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Posted March 29 2003 - 09:09 AM

Seth, Then they can send a money order. I've been burned by personal checks before. Just don't bother anymore.
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#8 of 78 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted March 29 2003 - 09:31 AM

You can just as easily be burned by PayPal, as there is NO protection for the seller, despite what they claim.

Selling on Ebay isn't difficult, but does have its drawbacks. Look at several other auctions to see the kinds of restrictions others are using. Also remember that historic sales aren't necessarily what you'll get for your item. You will be paying Ebay's fees whether you sell or not, so think carefully about your pricing, and what you will be getting after deducting all the costs of listing.

#9 of 78 OFFLINE   Michael*K

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Posted March 29 2003 - 09:33 AM

Money orders are no guarantee either.

#10 of 78 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted March 29 2003 - 10:24 AM

Just reassure the buyer they are getting quality merchandise from you. If you start now you will have a feedback rating of 0 so it will be harder than normal to sell your things. Show lots of pics and be clear of your selling terms, especially your shipping charge.

#11 of 78 OFFLINE   Seth_S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 10:52 AM

Seth, Then they can send a money order. I've been burned by personal checks before. Just don't bother anymore.


How so, did you not wait for the check to clear?

#12 of 78 OFFLINE   Mike Lenthol

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Posted March 29 2003 - 11:53 AM

Another pointer: auctions last 3/5/7/10 whole days from the time listed, so try to list it when your target audience will be home and likely to get into bidding wars.

If it’s pretty expensive item and you have 0 feedback, might be worth stating that you’ll be willing to go through an escrow. Most, likely won’t deal with the hassle of escrow, but it’s still a reassurance of legitimacy.

#13 of 78 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted March 29 2003 - 12:35 PM

How long do you wait to ensure that a personal check has cleared?

And can anyone explain why opt for a reserve over a specific starting bid? Or vice versa?
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#14 of 78 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted March 29 2003 - 01:31 PM

I forget how much ebay charges for reserve prices nowadays but they have always charged a percentage of what the starting bid is. So it's always best to start the auction out at $.01 especially if you set a reserve. Only reason to have the starting bid up higher is if there isn't a big demand for the item you're selling and you don't want to set a reserve.

#15 of 78 OFFLINE   Seth_S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 01:43 PM

And can anyone explain why opt for a reserve over a specific starting bid? Or vice versa?


So you don't scare off bidders, and hope that people will over guess your reserve. I think it only works with expensive items.

#16 of 78 OFFLINE   Travis Hedger

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Posted March 29 2003 - 02:25 PM

What is this escrow?
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#17 of 78 OFFLINE   alan halvorson

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Posted March 29 2003 - 02:39 PM

Scott: Ebay insertion fees are based on the starting bid, or the reserve which, of course, is higher. A low starting bid will not save you money on a reserve auction. A starting bid equal to the reserve is cheaper than using a reseve; however, if the reserve is met, the reserve fee is not charged. My observaion is that a high starting bid is less likely to attact bidders, but this is certainly not a hard rule.

I specify USPS or Western Union for those buyers who pay by money order, and treat all other money orders as personal checks with at least a two week clearance (say this!).

So, we've learned from this thread that we can't trust PAYPAL, personal checks or money orders. That leaves cash, but not many will opt for a cash-only option (I won't). It's a wonder that Ebay can function at all.

A few tips:

1.) Describe exactly what you have, its condition and completeness. If parts, manuals, etc. are missing or broken, confess.

2.) Know what shipping will be. Do a preliminary pack and weigh it. If shipping via USPS, use this Domestic Calculator to estimate shipping costs. Remember, shipping varies by destination. I always pretend I'm shipping to San Francisco. For some reason, even though San Francisco is about the same distance as New York from where I live, shipping there is always higher. Shipping to Hawaii and Alaska may be higher.

One thing I hate is a charge for packing. That's a cost of doing business you should absorb. You may feel justified adding a fee for packing, but some people (like me!) are really annoyed by it and won't bid.

3.) Decide whether you will ship internationally. While it's not much of a problem shipping internationally - all you have to do is fill out a customs form - payments via PAYPAL are less trustworthy. Encourage international bidders to use BIDPAY, who will then send you a Western Union money order that won't be a forgery.

4.) If you sign up for PAYPAL, bite the bullet and upgrade to a Premier Account so that you can accept credit cards. Yes, there's a fee (2.9% + .30), but in the long run, you will get more and higher bids if the buyer can use a credit card.

5.) I recommend using Ebays' escrow service only. There are a lot of fraudulent escrow services. The only one I would feel comfortable with is Ebays' own.
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#18 of 78 OFFLINE   Seth_S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 02:52 PM

What is this escrow?


Basically the buyer gives the money to a third-party, and the seller only receives the money from the third-party once the buyer has received the item. It works to prevent the buyer from paying for the item but never receiving it. The disadvantage is that it prolongs the entire transaction period.

On shipping:

alan halvorson raised some points that I'd lack to add on to. As a buyer, I can't stand it when people try to squeeze some extra profit out of me by marking up the shipping - such as $3 to send a single CD USPS. You'll definitely get more bidders with realistic shipping prices.

So, we've learned from this thread that we can't trust PAYPAL, personal checks or money orders.


Personal checks can be trusted, but just never send an item before the check clears, and be sure to state in your auction that you do this.

#19 of 78 OFFLINE   Jon_Are

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Posted March 29 2003 - 03:11 PM

How can a USPS money order not be good?

Just curious.

Jon

#20 of 78 OFFLINE   Michael*K

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Posted March 29 2003 - 03:20 PM

Quote:
How can a USPS money order not be good?
Luckily it hasn't happened to me, but I know of instances where money orders have been forged or stolen straight from the issuing bank or post office.