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Maksutov
2006-Apr-13, 08:58 PM
Anyone here ever sell anything on eBay?

If so, how much of a pain was it to get started and what was the overall sales experience like? What were the pluses and minuses?

Thanks in advance for any input.

Nicolas
2006-Apr-13, 09:26 PM
I use the Dutch variant of Ebay (now property of Ebay): Marktplaats

It is much less regulated, but totally free (except for cars).

My experience is that you need to take care and stay alert. Even if people are correct with selling and paying, the goods might be not as adverted (or info incorrect). Always do a good google on what you'll buy.

I have not sold or bought on Ebay, but from what I hear it is better than Markplaats as there is much more regulation. The result is that in general, sales are more thrustworthy on Ebay. But always stay alert and google the goods!

Maksutov
2006-Apr-13, 09:40 PM
Thank you for the info, Nicolas. Have you sold merchandise on Marktplaats? If so, what was the experience like?

randb
2006-Apr-13, 10:13 PM
Are you planning on selling on a regular basis?

Maksutov
2006-Apr-13, 10:14 PM
Are you planning on selling on a regular basis?That is very probable. What's the catch? Tax number?

randb
2006-Apr-13, 10:29 PM
I started doing it a month ago. A friend of mine knows a wholesale dealer in Iowa. He got me some computer parts (100 units). I made a profit of $2000. There is no catch. You'll have to research the market, and figure out what sells the fastest. Ipods seem to be a very good option, but then you can't expect to make too much money by selling them. Also, its not easy to find a wholesale dealer. The best way to go about it is to
1. find a dealer.
2. get a list of items that you would be able to buy from him. (consider total cost price, availability)
3. If it costs you 40-60% of the average ebay selling price, then buy the lot.
4. Do not buy anything that'll sell for less than $25. (IMO)

Ebay generally charges a small listing fees. Once the item sells, you'll get charged about 3% of the sale price. Paypal would charge another 3%, if the buyer pays by paypal. (99% of ebayers use paypal) Then you would have to pack up the item and ship it. Simple as that....

Also, there are a few wholesale dealers, who will pack n ship each item directly to the person buying the item from you. You get charged for each item, as they are shipped. This process is called drop shipping. I don't know much about it, but you might wanna find out more...

Vermonter
2006-Apr-13, 10:30 PM
No, just fees for selling items, shipping items out, people who don't pay...it's a pain to run a business through Ebay, I think. I've sold about a dozen items in the past several years on Ebay, and sometimes its worth it, sometimes not. You get people who just don't pay, and get angry when you report them to Ebay.

sarongsong
2006-Apr-13, 10:40 PM
I've never sold, but have purchased many items---good, clear product photos are a big plus. Also, depending what your criteria and location are, http://www.craigslist.org/ , may be a viable option.

Maksutov
2006-Apr-13, 11:39 PM
I started doing it a month ago. [edit]you might wanna find out more...Thanks, randb, for all the information. That's good to know. BTW, do you include shipping in the final sales price, or is that something you absorb, or is it in there, just not acknowledged as such? I get the feeling that many mail order companies make most of their profits off of shipping and handling charges.

Maksutov
2006-Apr-13, 11:42 PM
No, just fees for selling items, shipping items out, people who don't pay...it's a pain to run a business through Ebay, I think. I've sold about a dozen items in the past several years on Ebay, and sometimes its worth it, sometimes not. You get people who just don't pay, and get angry when you report them to Ebay.So there are folks who will be the highest bidder or go for the immediate sale price and then turn deadbeat re following up on what they committed to purchase? Great. Is there a time limit between when someone says they're going to buy something and when they complete the transaction?

Thanks for the insights.

Jeff Root
2006-Apr-14, 12:13 AM
I need to sell a set of sterling silver tableware, and presume
that eBay is the place to do it. The set is incomplete, lacking
most serving pieces. It has been suggested to me to sell each
piece individually rather than the set as a whole. It doesn't
matter if it takes a while to sell it all.

Is this something I want to do? If so, how?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Maksutov
2006-Apr-14, 12:26 AM
I've never sold, but have purchased many items---good, clear product photos are a big plus. Also, depending what your criteria and location are, http://www.craigslist.org/ , may be a viable option.Thanks for that advice. I'm afraid the craig's list area is about 1500 (crow) miles from here. But I'll check around to see if there's an equivalent for N MS. Re pictures, who knows, maybe one would be worth not only 1000 words, but $1000 too! http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/566/iconwink6tn.gif

Tensor
2006-Apr-14, 01:41 AM
Anyone here ever sell anything on eBay?

If so, how much of a pain was it to get started and what was the overall sales experience like? What were the pluses and minuses?

Thanks in advance for any input.

My wife has been selling on Ebay since around 1998 (I've only bought), She makes doll clothes and sells them. She usually posts one picture, as you are allowed to have one picture without additional fees. She makes hers a composite of front, back, and side, thus getting three pictures in one. On some, more detailed items, she will post the extra pictures to give the buyers a chance to get a good close up of the detail, it just depends on the item.

Within the description, she specifies the buyer has a two week period to pay. After that, she contacts the highest bidder and voids the sales then contacts the next highest bidder and asks them if they want the item at their highest bid. Then leaves a nonpayment feedback for the nonpayer. This has been very rare for her (I think three times the whole time she's been doing it). Others may have had a different experience. I believe you can exclude bidders based on their feedback, you might want to check on Ebay for that.

She also specifies the shipping charges that will be added to the sale price. It costs her for materials to pack and mail. Usually a set postage rate, with another charge for material, all put in as shipping and handling. She does not charge for the Ebay and paypal fees. She does pay extra for a tracking fee, this to make sure the buy can't claim later they didn't get it. She also specifes paypal or money orders and will not accept checks. Very rarely does she pay for insurance, as the post office uses their own formula to determine what they are willing to pay. Again, check into the specifcs.

If you have any specific questions, again, check the Ebay site or PM me and I will ask my wife about it.

sarongsong
2006-Apr-14, 02:32 AM
...the craig's list area is about 1500 (crow) miles from here...Maybe not; their homepage opens with San Francisco, but there's a gazillion other cities in the right columns that can be accessed, too.

Maksutov
2006-Apr-14, 02:35 AM
Thanks, Tensor, that was very illuminating. I don't really understand the part about postal insurance, but everything else was really clear to me. I have been checking the eBay site, but some of my questions don't seem to be addressed by the FAQs, etc. A PM might be forthcoming.

And congratulations to your wife on her successful business! :clap:

Maksutov
2006-Apr-14, 02:38 AM
Maybe not; their homepage opens with San Francisco, but there's a gazillion other cities in the right columns that can be accessed, too.Aha! I didn't notice that. There's one for Memphis, which is about 60 miles from here. That means that, although pickup by the customer would be unlikely, at least the shipping charges shouldn't be too bad, at least before gas hits $4 a gallon.

Thanks again.

Tensor
2006-Apr-14, 02:50 AM
Thanks, Tensor, that was very illuminating.

You are quite welcome


A PM might be forthcoming.

Fire away, if you have questions.


And congratulations to your wife on her successful business! :clap:

I'll pass that along. It's really more of a hobby, but she does well. She loves to sew and loves Barbie, so it just kinda fell together.


BTW, welcome back and I'm glad to hear you're getting better.

Sammy
2006-Apr-14, 04:43 AM
I think Tensor covered most of the details.

However, if you will do this more than once or twice, you need to get a state retail sales tax license. It was no problem to get one in MD. You have to keep records of your sales and file a periodic report (quarterly for a small business in MD) giving your total sales, state taxable sales, and non-taxable sales, and pay the taxes you collected.

You'll also have to report your sales/expenses to the Feds, using Schedule C. If you do the work, and have your inverntory primarily in your home, you can take a home office deduction, which charges off a percentage of your utilities, home maintainence, ect. It sounds complicated, but a good tax program like TurboTax makes it pretty easy.

I suggest that you look in detail at a lot of listings for items similar to what you want to sell. You'll quickly pick up the "formula" and style to use in listing stuff.

JohnD
2006-Apr-14, 09:30 AM
All,
I use eBay from the UK, though of course it is worldwide. I have bought and sold, mostly classic car parts and photographic kit, without problems, even to the USA and from Australia.
The problem is that eBay is as vulnerable to hacking as anything else on the 'Net. Mine started with spoof postings in my name, then the account was hijacked for auctions of objects that I suspect were stolen. Before that I had recently started using PayPal, and then my card was royally ripped off, to the tune of £6000 plus ($10K). I told the card issuer asap and didn't have to pay the debt, but it's not nice having that sort of money on your debit account, when you had nothing to do with it, and the hassle of getting the matters sorted, new cards etc was a waste of time.

I'll no longer use PayPal, and always send a cheque when buying and ask for the same or cash when selling. The only downside is waiting for the cheque to clear. I've used cash US dollars to buy abroad and will accept them too, as they are a 'universal' currency and the odds of having your mail stolen and losing cash are very low.

Just my view - in short be very careful, don't expose yourself to exploitation.
John

randb
2006-Apr-14, 10:43 AM
My wife has been selling on Ebay since around 1998 (I've only bought), She makes doll clothes and sells them. She usually posts one picture, as you are allowed to have one picture without additional fees. She makes hers a composite of front, back, and side, thus getting three pictures in one. On some, more detailed items, she will post the extra pictures to give the buyers a chance to get a good close up of the detail, it just depends on the item.

Within the description, she specifies the buyer has a two week period to pay. After that, she contacts the highest bidder and voids the sales then contacts the next highest bidder and asks them if they want the item at their highest bid. Then leaves a nonpayment feedback for the nonpayer. This has been very rare for her (I think three times the whole time she's been doing it). Others may have had a different experience. I believe you can exclude bidders based on their feedback, you might want to check on Ebay for that.

She also specifies the shipping charges that will be added to the sale price. It costs her for materials to pack and mail. Usually a set postage rate, with another charge for material, all put in as shipping and handling. She does not charge for the Ebay and paypal fees. She does pay extra for a tracking fee, this to make sure the buy can't claim later they didn't get it. She also specifes paypal or money orders and will not accept checks. Very rarely does she pay for insurance, as the post office uses their own formula to determine what they are willing to pay. Again, check into the specifcs.

If you have any specific questions, again, check the Ebay site or PM me and I will ask my wife about it.

Want to get additional pictures on the auction without extra fees????

Try this:

Open the picture you want to put on there in Internet Explorer.
Drag the picture from the IE window, and drop it in the decription box of the auction, where one actually types the description of the auction.

Vermonter
2006-Apr-14, 04:00 PM
So there are folks who will be the highest bidder or go for the immediate sale price and then turn deadbeat re following up on what they committed to purchase? Great. Is there a time limit between when someone says they're going to buy something and when they complete the transaction?

Thanks for the insights.

Usually the buyer has to pay within one week of winning, and if not, they have to contact the seller and make an arrangement. But yeah, you'll get people who just don't pay, even after being pestered.

Maksutov
2006-Apr-14, 05:52 PM
[edit]BTW, welcome back and I'm glad to hear you're getting better.Thanks for the greetings. Today I bring the walker back to the hospital supply store! It's biped time from here on out!

Give me a few days to accumulate some info and then, instead of a bunch of PMs, I'll put all the eBay ?s into one. Inboxes here can get filled pretty quickly.

dvb
2006-Apr-14, 07:58 PM
If you're going to do auctions on eBay, don't forget to use Turbo Lister (http://pages.ebay.com/turbo_lister/). It's free. I'll also echo JohnD's comments. I've had a friend ripped off by Paypal giving him the run around, and then not seeing his money again, and having his account suspended for several days without reason. Check out this (http://www.paypalsucks.com/) site for more information on Paypal's past. I still use paypal myself, and I don't really have the kind of money for a merchant account, so I find myself using it out of convenience. The one rule to follow while using paypal, is to transfer all funds to your bank account as soon as you receive money in your paypal account. This way if they freeze your account, you still have the money. It's always good to have one other payment option as well. Not everybody likes electronic payments, so it's a good idea to offer money orders as an optional payment method. This also increases potential buyers.

The rules that every buyer should follow on ebay are
read item descriptions in full
check sellers feedback rating
check the shipping costs before bidding
ask the seller questions if the description is lacking
if it's too good to be true, it probably is, so buyer bewareYou may be surprised at the number of people who don't follow the first rule to buying on ebay. I've had friends who've received negative feedback from people who don't read descriptions, bid on an auction, and then aren't satisfied with what they get. This makes it all the more important to make your descriptions clear.

I hope this helps.

zebo-the-fat
2006-Apr-14, 09:34 PM
I have been buting and selling on ebay for about 3 years, some things I bought were bargains, some not, read the description fully before you buy. When selling make sure you have described the item fully and calculated the postage costs correctly.
VERY IMPORTANT... do NOT reply to any emails you get from ebay by clicking on a link in the email, the only links you should click on are on the ebay site itself. I made the mistake once (idiot!) and within minutes someone had put hundreds of high value items on my account, if I hadn't caught it, I would have been charged several hundred pounds in fees. (ebay staff sorted it out at no cost to me, but it was annoying to have to change passwords etc.)

Tensor
2006-Apr-15, 10:00 PM
Thanks for the greetings. Today I bring the walker back to the hospital supply store! It's biped time from here on out!

yeaaaaaaaaaa.


Give me a few days to accumulate some info and then, instead of a bunch of PMs, I'll put all the eBay ?s into one. Inboxes here can get filled pretty quickly.

Works for me, I'll be waiting.

beskeptical
2006-Apr-16, 07:00 PM
I sell there. I've been on a hiatus from September to April because it's a pain to be in the garage in the winter with as much stuff as I have in there. I can't open the door and move stuff in and out when it's raining.

It was easy to get started.

It takes a while to get efficient at listing so you don't work for minimum wage. Same thing with getting your merchandise management and mailing system organized.

I have a lot of board games to sell so I bought boxes they fit in. It makes a big difference in packing time. Otherwise my local grocer has a ton of small boxes for free. Also I bought shipping supplies from companies online. They are much cheaper than the shipping and office supply retailers here.

If the profit margin on your items is small it takes a lot of time to list and mail so you have to decide if you'd rather earn a little on something or just give it away instead. For me that matters since I started selling to clear junk out of my house which got a higher price on Ebay than in a yard sale.

Paypal might have some disadvantages but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Allowing personal checks is important but give a wide time frame for checks to clear. I never had a bad one but the bank will only tell you the check cleared if you ask them to specifically call the other bank. Otherwise they will only tell you it bounced. They said there was no guaranteed maximum date for a check to be returned. Seems stupid to me so check with your own bank's policies.

Also it is very convenient to use a bank account transfer for Ebay and Paypal money transactions. I set up a new account for this so it was not connected to my regular checking account. Better control of the money that way.

And finally, if you buy and sell it is a real pain if you want to leave negative feedback for something you bought. There's no way to prevent retaliation feedback and it is lumped together on your rating unless the buyer takes the time to see if it was from buying or selling. I think that is a real shame because it has stopped me from leaving well deserved negative feedback on sellers from purchases. It also means you can't trust the ratings since others are going to be just as reluctant.

I have been very disappointed with a number of purchases and happy with others. Sellers are sometimes very sleazy people who just outright lie about their stuff. I bought supposedly old items that were obviously fake reproductions, items advertised as new that obviously weren't and a meteorite that was mostly crummy resin coating over a very thin slice. So far I haven't had a bad buyer.

I've gotten refunds from Paypal then found out you were limited to three. I got a refund for the first three and burned on the last two. So I just quit buying. To heck with Ebay if they make billions and won't offer a decent protection policy. For the seller, you would only lose listing fees since you receive payment before mailing the items.

beskeptical
2006-Apr-16, 07:10 PM
... I don't really understand the part about postal insurance, but everything else was really clear to me. I have been checking the eBay site, but some of my questions don't seem to be addressed by the FAQs, etc....USA post office has postal insurance with 2 or 3 flat fee rates. The main advantage is you have proof of the buyer receiving the item but that's no guarantee they won't claim what is in the box isn't what they thought they were getting. The other benefit is it's insured if the PO loses or breaks it. It make sense if it is an expensive or fragile item but not for an inexpensive one.

However, there is no insurance option for mailing out of the country.

beskeptical
2006-Apr-16, 07:14 PM
... It's really more of a hobby, but she does well. She loves to sew and loves Barbie, so it just kinda fell together. ...r.Hey, I've bought Barbie Halloween clothes, did she make any of those? I love Halloween and Halloween Barbies are very collectible. So I bought the homemade clothes on Ebay, some Barbies from the thrift stores, and some Halloween mini-decorations to add a finished touch. They turned out quite nice.

beskeptical
2006-Apr-16, 07:21 PM
...
The problem is that eBay is as vulnerable to hacking as anything else on the 'Net. Mine started with spoof postings in my name, then the account was hijacked for auctions of objects that I suspect were stolen. Before that I had recently started using PayPal, and then my card was royally ripped off, to the tune of 6000 plus ($10K)..... I've used cash US dollars to buy abroad and will accept them too, as they are a 'universal' currency and the odds of having your mail stolen and losing cash are very low...Interesting. I wasn't aware Paypal or Ebay had been hacked. Did the bad guys get your info from Ebay or Paypal or get the info elsewhere and then do the damage?

Here, the mail is vulnerable but they mostly look for outgoing mail, not incoming. People put their bill payments out, put the flag up, and thieves steal the mail, wash the checks and change them to their name and try to cash them. Or they use the information for identity theft and just make counterfeit checks or open credit cards in your name.

beskeptical
2006-Apr-16, 07:24 PM
I have been buting and selling on ebay for about 3 years, some things I bought were bargains, some not, read the description fully before you buy. When selling make sure you have described the item fully and calculated the postage costs correctly.
VERY IMPORTANT... do NOT reply to any emails you get from ebay by clicking on a link in the email, the only links you should click on are on the ebay site itself. I made the mistake once (idiot!) and within minutes someone had put hundreds of high value items on my account, if I hadn't caught it, I would have been charged several hundred pounds in fees. (ebay staff sorted it out at no cost to me, but it was annoying to have to change passwords etc.)
Oh, maybe that's how John was scammed. Why didn't your firewall protect you?


I use Turbo Lister as well.

Maksutov
2006-Apr-17, 04:16 AM
[lots of great information about eBay]Thanks, beskeptical! Lots of food for thought. So far it appears the pluses are outweighing the minuses, especially if one is careful and diligent. Appreciate it!

Hey, wouldn't that be great if one of your dolls' Hallowe'en outfits was a Mrs. Tensor product!

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/figuren/c035.gif

Knowledge_Seeker
2006-Apr-17, 04:21 AM
here in chicago and the nearby area, there are these ebay selling stores where you take something that you want to sell, and the store sells it for you, but they take a percentage of the sale as comission, but seems easy because there are no hassles

Maksutov
2006-Apr-17, 04:55 AM
Sounds as though the "eBay" company acts like a firewall between you and potential online problems. I'll have to see if such services are available around here, and if so, what their "cut" is. Thanks, Knowledge_Seeker!

Knowledge_Seeker
2006-Apr-17, 05:12 AM
Thanks, Knowledge_Seeker!

Your Welcome :D!

beskeptical
2006-Apr-17, 09:27 PM
here in chicago and the nearby area, there are these ebay selling stores where you take something that you want to sell, and the store sells it for you, but they take a percentage of the sale as comission, but seems easy because there are no hassles
They generally only want items >$30 US (you can bundle items to get that amount) and they take too big of a cut to make it as worthwhile as doing it yourself. It is worth it under some circumstances so check it out if you want.

jfribrg
2006-Apr-18, 03:41 PM
I've bought things on ebay. Never sold anything, but that may change soon. I check the seller's rating, how long they've been on ebay and how many transactions the seller has completed. If it's a valuable piece (like the computer I just bought), I look for a seller with a high transaction volume and minumum 30:1 satisfaction rating. Any merchant is going to have an occasional issue, but 30:1 tells me the merchant is delivering what he promises. The thing I like most is that because I use Paypal, the merchant doesnt see my credit card number.

Nicolas
2006-Apr-18, 10:11 PM
Thank you for the info, Nicolas. Have you sold merchandise on Marktplaats? If so, what was the experience like?

I did sell indeed. Up to now, all went fine. Except for people bashing you via mail, trying to get the price ridiculously low, not coming on appointments etc..but that's all because there is no regulation whatsoever on Marktplaats.

Tomorrow I have another appointment. I'm curious!