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EBAY: Buying Selling
Old 01-05-2019, 12:46 PM   #1
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EBAY: Buying Selling

Your experiences with EBay... Buying, selling? Good,bad? Mailing, shipping?, Returns? Payments? Problems? Commercial sources, individuals?

In short, anything about EBay that might help a beginner.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Your experiences with EBay... Buying, selling? Good,bad? Mailing, shipping?, Returns? Payments? Problems? Commercial sources, individuals?

In short, anything about EBay that might help a beginner.
I buy from eBay all the time, usually better prices than Amazon. In most cases purchases have money back guarantee and have never had an issue getting money back for unsatisfactory purchases (Rare). It does take a bit of time though if you do get a dud, but eBay stands by it's customers.

Selling is a different story, ~10%+ to sell an item is stiff.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:58 PM   #3
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It's not a bad place to buy, but sellers take all the risk and don't make top dollar by any means. Here's some random thoughts, if you have specific questions fire away.
  • I've sold just over a hundred items on eBay from $10 to over $700.
  • Most of my sales have been 7-day auctions, but I've done a few BINs (Buy-It-Now).
  • You've missed eBay's best days where sellers and buyers were on somewhat equal footing, but it still provides the largest audience possible which increases your probability of a sale.
  • Where it used to be popular with everyday people, they've mostly been crowded out by dealers and professionals who are looking to resell your item at profit/higher price.
  • Where people used to bid on items during the week, it's almost all "sniping" now, with no offers coming in until the last hour or even minutes and the winning bid is often during the last few seconds.
  • If you're going to do an auction, it's wise to have it end on Sunday, it gives buyers a chance to see your items on weekends instead of during a busy work week.
  • I would strongly discourage selling to international buyers, tracking doesn't work in some countries, and there are more scam buyers offshore who will say they never got an item, or got the item damaged, and you have no recourse but to refund their money or have your eBay reputation ruined. I contested one, and had proof - eBay was on my side, but PayPal refunded the entire amount against my wishes - they didn't care about my side of the story or proof. I have been scammed 2-3 times in 101 sales, it's a cost of doing business on eBay.
The pluses:
  • They make it very easy to list items, collect payment safely, and they've automated shipping/labeling/postage to make it very easy.
  • Your items will be seen by the largest audience possible. To me that's the remaining appeal to eBay.
The minuses:
  • Buyers have the upper hand period. Sellers assume all the risk.
  • Your chances of getting top dollar are very, very low. And eBay takes 10%, PayPal another 3.5% or thereabouts.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:18 PM   #4
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It's not a bad place to buy, but sellers take all the risk and don't make top dollar by any means. Here's some random thoughts, if you have specific questions fire away.
Wow! Thank you!

I didn't expect such a great reply. It answered almost every question I had, and many things I would never have guessed at. Especially about the risk.

When it comes time, I think I'll try Craigslist first.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:19 PM   #5
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Bought hundreds of things, new and used. very easy, sometimes cheaper than amazon on new items. Only problem I had, buying a van from an out of state dealer that turned out to be un licence and concealed damage. An expensive lesson.E bay was useless on this one. They finally banned the seller after others got the same crap.

Selling. Sold about a dozen things. Can be time consuming. Don't underestimate packing and shipping effort. Have a shipping plan for each item fully in place before listing an item for sale.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:32 PM   #6
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I won't bother to respond in a lot of detail because my experience is almost exactly the same as @Midpack's. I don't know how many things I have sold but my total feedback is over 700 and I've been on eBay for 20 years.

I'll buy on eBay but work very hard to avoid selling there. They are arrogant a$$holes to sellers and fees are very high. Most of what I sell these days is camera equipment. There are several camera sites with low or no fees for sellers and the risks for the seller are much lower.

If you're going to buy anything significant, you'll have to learn to snipe. I use a sniping program call JBidWatcher and it is excellent. It is programmed to enter my snipes 8 seconds before the end of the auction, which is not enough time for a human bidder to react to my bid.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Wow! Thank you!

I didn't expect such a great reply. It answered almost every question I had, and many things I would never have guessed at. Especially about the risk.

When it comes time, I think I'll try Craigslist first.
Craigslist is a good place to sell too, but there’s one more acute risk there. I don’t want to scare you unduly, but Google “craigslist risks.” At the very least, don’t make a craigslist exchange at your house - meet at a safe, public, neutral location with plenty of witnesses around. And have the buyer sign a sales agreement acknowledging receiving the item.

eBay has the advnantage of arms length transactions unless it’s a large item/local delivery. That’s why I tolerate the disadvantages of eBay and avoid craigslist. YMMV

I’ve also sold items on nextdoor.com if you’re a member. At least that’s known neighbors, but it doesn’t bring top dollar either.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:14 PM   #8
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I don't buy or sell too frequently.

Haven't had any bad experiences (knock on wood) except mistakes I made as seller but that was my own doing, like not putting a reserve price and no one bidding except for one buyer.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:25 PM   #9
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Great summary Midpack! I'm an occasional ebay buyer, but have bought some big ticket photo gear with great success. I doubt I've ever buy a lens new again. Honestly, I'm relying on ebay's pro-buyer reputation when shelling out big $$ for camera equipment sight unseen.


Good cautions re Craig's list too. I hear too much about potential issues you describe. I prefer ebay as a buyer, but I appreciate that this can come at the expense of a seller.



A buddy of mine made decent $$ "back in the day" with pro sports collectibles. He agrees with you that it's now a lot tougher to be a seller.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:38 PM   #10
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I've bought a few items off eBay but probably half a dozen items in 20 years so it isn't a major activity for me. One of the earliest was of all things, lawn sprinklers for our new house that I bought in the fall. The seller was Home Depot, dumping $40 sprinklers for ~$5 each in the fall so they wouldn't have to store them over the winter. And I got a good deal on a camera strobe light once.

From other's posts I've seen that the eBay market is stacked against the seller so I've never sold anything there.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:36 PM   #11
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Midpack has a good summary. As a buyer it is pretty risk free. Not totally, but ebay will side with the buyer almost always. I have a small home based business and sell on ebay as one of my sale methods. My products are new with BIN, and use only paypal for the money on ebay. It does have more risk as seller. Occasionally I sell a used item, and describe it fully so there is no dispute with pictures showing best I can. More than likely used stuff I do 7 day straight auction. No reserve, and just start at my min price I will take. Ebay and paypal both take their cut, but for some items the ebay market is the best way to get exposure and sell. Just consider the fees as part of the deal.
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EBAY: Buying Selling
Old 01-05-2019, 04:41 PM   #12
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EBAY: Buying Selling

Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Your experiences with EBay... Buying, selling? Good,bad? Mailing, shipping?, Returns? Payments? Problems? Commercial sources, individuals?



In short, anything about EBay that might help a beginner.

What type of items are you planning to buy/sell?
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:09 PM   #13
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Midpack pretty much nailed it, but I'll still take a shot at it as when we downsized to move, I sold about $3500 worth of stuff.

eBay is best for light (shippable) stuff with relatively high value and a limited market. For example I sold some collectible toys and some vintage alarm clocks that would never move or fetch a good price on Craigslist. Buyers can stiff you by claiming the item is not as described or undelivered. I had only one such issue where the guy had not updated his address with eBay and though it was delivered to his old address - he claimed it was never sent. But that was one out of maybe 75 or 100 transactions. eBay definitely gives the buyer the benefit of the doubt, which has worked to my advantage where I have had an issue buying.

eBay makes it easy to sell, with a lot of automation from creating a listing to generating mailing labels and collecting the payment. The USPS will pick the packages up at your house. Of course, EBay takes their cut as does PayPal. You can do an advanced search on eBay for sold items to see what they tend to fetch. This helps set a realistic price.

Craigslist is good for bulky items that have popular appeal. You are not going to ship a wheelbarrow on eBay and make a profit, but lots of your neighbors might want it. On Craigslist, I get a name, email and phone number before I send my address. I text my address, so I have at least some record of who is coming. Granted, it could be a burner phone, but with the other information, I get a good feel for who I'm dealing with. For small items or if in doubt, some police stations have a designated meeting spot, with cameras.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:27 PM   #14
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We bought a Prius from a Chicago-area Lexus dealer on eBay in 2012. We were quite happy with the deal and the car.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:37 PM   #15
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Ebay is great for selling little items that are easy to mail. Large items are better sold on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace unless they are valuable. I have been buying/selling on Ebay for 20 years with feedback over 1,000. I always recommend buying stuff at first to boost your feedback a bit. Then start selling stuff but start with low dollar items. It does two things: 1) you learn the ropes and 2) you get your seller feedback up. Then start doing higher dollar stuff. I usually run stuff for a week as an auction with a set minimum bid that I think is a reasonable amount to sell for. If it doesn't sell in a week then I list as a buy-it-now at the same price that it didn't sell for at auction. If it's a reasonably good deal it will often sell the first day of the BIN. Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:58 PM   #16
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I have bought a lot of things on eBay--usually things I cannot find elsewhere such as an item that is out of stock everywhere else. There is a certain style of shoe I like that is no longer made, I constantly search eBay for it and buy the shoes whenever I find them and stock up. I have had no problems as a buyer on eBay.

I have also sold a few things on eBay. The biggest problem I have on eBay is the cost and hassle of shipping. I think the best things to sell on eBay are lightweight small items that can fit in one of the USPS priority mailers. I have had good success selling silver coins on eBay.

For larger things I have sold and bought several things on Craigslist but I am always nervous about meeting strangers. I insist on meeting at the parking lot of the local police station and I insist on cash and if they won't do that I say forget it.

I have had excellent results selling things on Next-door. I am able to get the real name of the person, I also know area where they live and can usually find out info about the person online. I feel much more comfortable dealing with buyers/sellers on next-door and have had very good success selling there. You don't get scammers and tire kickers on next door. Most everything I have listed on next-door has sold for a good price. I just sold a used car on next-door right before Christmas.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:16 PM   #17
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My wife and I have been selling on eBay for almost 15 years and have made almost $100,000 in that time frame. We also buy on eBay.
In all that time we have had only a handful of bad experiences mostly related to someone thinking they can sell something in poor condition and not disclosing it or a buyer who is a complete a*s. eBay’s policies usually resolve matters, maybe not always quickly, but they do get resolved. Count me as an eBay fan, both as a seller and a buyer.

As far as advice. Take lots of pictures, include measurements or photos of measurements. Ship immediately after payment. Communicate. Sell some small stuff to get some good feedback. Don’t lie.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:35 PM   #18
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I've been on eBay for many years with 1700+ feedback rating.


As others mentioned, it is heavily slanted toward the buyer. Even if you put in your ad "sold as is, no returns, no refunds", the buyer can simply file an "item not as described" case. If they win the case, and they generally do, you get to pay the shipping both ways. Also, you really have no recourse if the item is different/damaged when you get it back.


As if that wasn't bad enough, if the buyer uses PayPal, and they usually do, they have 6 months to return the item. I had a $500 item returned 4 months later, with the claim that it was damaged in shipment. eBay forced me to pay for the return, and then I had to fix the item before selling.


That said, you have to build these "selling speed bumps" into your pricing, as well as the eBay and PayPal fees. While it is not anywhere near as fun to sell on eBay as in the past, you can still make money if you keep these things in mind.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:50 AM   #19
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I have sold big items on craigslist, like snowblowers and a car.
I only take cash as payment in full.
For the car, it was after some fellow in Canada was murdered during the test drive of a nice truck, so I was a little nervous.
However, my car was selling for $1,100 and the guy came by himself to test drive it.
Lastly for the car, I did have DW stay in the house and lock the house doors and told her to call 911 if anything bad happened outside.

I noticed on craigslist, lots of lowballers will email you (I only had a throwaway email as first communication). The lowballers will send you an email , often not even asking questions and just say "will you take 50% on that item" .
Or they are in another State and want to know "Will you deliver it".
I'm not even sure they know what the item is, maybe its a software program sending the email.

If I ever sold a gun I'd do it at the police station, and I'd clear with the cops first.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
It's not a bad place to buy, but sellers take all the risk and don't make top dollar by any means. Here's some random thoughts, if you have specific questions fire away.
  • I've sold just over a hundred items on eBay from $10 to over $700.
  • Most of my sales have been 7-day auctions, but I've done a few BINs (Buy-It-Now).
  • You've missed eBay's best days where sellers and buyers were on somewhat equal footing, but it still provides the largest audience possible which increases your probability of a sale.
  • Where it used to be popular with everyday people, they've mostly been crowded out by dealers and professionals who are looking to resell your item at profit/higher price.
  • Where people used to bid on items during the week, it's almost all "sniping" now, with no offers coming in until the last hour or even minutes and the winning bid is often during the last few seconds.
  • If you're going to do an auction, it's wise to have it end on Sunday, it gives buyers a chance to see your items on weekends instead of during a busy work week.
  • I would strongly discourage selling to international buyers, tracking doesn't work in some countries, and there are more scam buyers offshore who will say they never got an item, or got the item damaged, and you have no recourse but to refund their money or have your eBay reputation ruined. I contested one, and had proof - eBay was on my side, but PayPal refunded the entire amount against my wishes - they didn't care about my side of the story or proof. I have been scammed 2-3 times in 101 sales, it's a cost of doing business on eBay.
The pluses:
  • They make it very easy to list items, collect payment safely, and they've automated shipping/labeling/postage to make it very easy.
  • Your items will be seen by the largest audience possible. To me that's the remaining appeal to eBay.
The minuses:
  • Buyers have the upper hand period. Sellers assume all the risk.
  • Your chances of getting top dollar are very, very low. And eBay takes 10%, PayPal another 3.5% or thereabouts.
I can fully confirm every word of this, from experience. Ebay is very good for buyers, so so for sellers.
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