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Online Buying/Selling Expertise - Help, please?!

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Sparkalicious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
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3,721
Hi everyone! I know that some of you are well versed at online buying and selling. Me - not so much.


I would appreciate if anyone was willing to share information, best practices or just show me the ropes a little. None of my friends or family are really familiar either so, unfortunately, they don''t serve as much of a resource, in that regard.

In particular, I''m looking at selling some items on various sites, e.g. Craigslist, Ebay or maybe even jewelry related sites. I have set up a Paypal account today. Yay me
but now I''m not sure what to do.

I should be fine with posting an ad but what if someone is interested and serious about purchase??


- How do I handle that transaction without getting scammed?

- Do I accept their payment via Paypal first, for example, and then ship the item to them? This is the part of the transaction about which I am most curious.
- How is it best to frame an "ad/item" so that it doesn''t get overlooked?

I apologize if my inquiry is ignorant as I know that most people are much more savvy in this regard but I felt it better to ask than to just fly blind.

Thanks in advance for any assistance!!
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
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2,975
OK, I typed up a nice long reply and my computer ate it. Arg. Anyway.

Yes, accept payment then when you recieve it, ship item. You will want to use delivery confirmation and insurance, this is your protection against someone claiming non receipt of item. If they file a PP claim, you can show that it was sent out and they received it. Easiest method is to use Paypal''s shipping system, which links to USPS but gives you free delivery confirmation and you print the shipping label on your computer. I believe you have to set up a USPS account if I remember. It''s been a while since I used that system, but I loved it! I just do 90% international shipping now, so it''s pointless for me. But once it''s set up, it''s super easy and very useful.

You will want to take good, clear pictures, lots of them, with good clear closeups. That''ll put you ahead of the pack by far. It''s your best method of description.

You can accept personal checks, money orders, and cashiers checks if you like. But, deposit them and wait for them to clear before shipping (typically a weekish). Even some types of cashier''s checks can bounce. Paypal''s easiest but not super cheap, if you accept credit card payment.

Describe to the best of your ability, clearly without fluff. Some sellers add fluff ("ooooh this widget is the most beautiful widget in the whole world!!11!") but as a buyer, that makes me gag a bit and I don''t think it looks professional at all. Let your pictures and your description show how beautiful your thing is.

Determine a fair return policy. Mine is (and keep in mind, I don''t typically sell jewelry- I list auctions for our antique dealers) as follows: "We do our best to accurately describe and represent our merchandise; however, in the unlikely event that an item is not as described, you must contact us within seven days for a refund." I also sell mineral makeup online, and for that, no returns at all.

You WILL run into some people that will make you want to tear your hair out; if you can''t cope with that sort of thing, don''t list auctions on ebay or do craigslist, you''ll haaaate it. Email brings out the devil in some people, that''s for sure. People say things via a keyboard that they''d never say in person, and ebay is also full of people who deal much better with stuff than humans, unfortuantely. Keep your patience tightly in hand, and answer all the idiotic questions (that were answered right in the auction listing, if the person had taken the time to read it, dangit!) politely and quickly. Nobody likes a snarky seller, even if you have reason to snark! If someone is super rude and/or impossible, type the response you WANT to send, then delete it and send what you have to send. It helps, a little! I do burn out on ebay for that reason; and so does every other person who''s done that job at our antique mall. We rotate the duty pretty much, so nobody gets too sick of it. I can deal with the public every day in person just fine, but not so much on ebay!
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
I am certainly not an expert by any means...but I''ve sold things using both Craigslist and Ebay...

1. Make sure you''re totally honest in the discription of the item. Esspecially if you''re using Ebay. If you''re selling something that is bumped or marked, make sure you take pictures of the damaged areas. This is done to protect you so that someone doesn''t come back demanding a refund or whatever. And, you''re not wasting your time or theirs...

2. If you''re selling it via Ebay, then you want to have a paypal account so the buyer is required to send money immediately. You can opt to only accept paypal, which is a win/win since the buyer can use a debit or credit card, and you get paid securely right away.
If you''re selling it on a site similar to/on Craigslist, then clearly mark the item "cash and carry only, first come first serve"...meaning, if the person comes to look and decides they want the item, they must pay for it on-the-spot. Refuse to "hold" the item, or take partial payment. No checks, either.

3. Usually key words can get an item sold very quickly...for example, Pink Centro Cellphone Unlocked with Ringtones will grab someones attention more thant Pink Centro Cellphone will.
You can also making the selling price something crazy like $99.97 which captures people more than $100.00 will.
 

Sparkalicious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Messages
3,721
Seriously - Bless you both for responding with such in depth and thoughtful answers. Thank you!!
I felt like such an idiot for posting a question about something that seems so second nature to most people nowadays so thanks for not making me feel dumb.


Such fantastic and insightful advice ... Thank you! I feel more confident about jumping into this arena already.

LGK - I know how frustrating that is.
Since it''s happened to me one too many times, I know regularly copy any response that I have typed, especially if it is long and if it gets "eaten"
I just try to submit it again and paste my previous response.
Definitely better for my blood pressure!
Given that you took so much time to retype everything ... My heartfelt appreciation. Thank you so much for so much of your time!

Italia - As always, thank you for the terrific and thorough advice!!

I''ll let you know how it goes!
 

HappyAnniversary

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Messages
419
Hey Sparky--Can I call you Sparky? I sell on ebay sometimes and have learned a lot from following the threads on the Purse Forum --http://forum.purseblog.com/ebay-forum/ If you have a specific question, search first, there are so many noobies asking the same questions over and over again. They are wonderful on that site helping you through selling/buying problems. An hour of reading through problems/scams etc would be well worth it.

For example, if the item is over $250 ( including shipping!!) you have to have signature confirmation per PayPal rules. Even if you insure it and that requires a signature that is not the same as signature confirmation, the sig for insurance purposes is not always retained later so you have no proof months later. Even if you say buyer is responsible for the item once you ship it, people say if it gets lost/damage, as the seller you have to refund the money so I am insuring more often now

I print out the paypal transaction and staple the delivery confirmation , USPS receipt, etc to it and file it under what month I sold it. I hear of people coming back months later and asking for their money back.

Evil-bay, as some refer to it, has been very weird lately putting people on 30 and 90 day restrictions on listing designer things . No reason why that I can understand. If you revise a listing they consider that the same as another listing, so don''t revise willy-nilly. If they restrict you don''t try to open a new account from the same computer, they KNOW these things and don''t like it!!


I like to do BIN (Buy it now) and sometimes include Or Best Offer if I am willing to deal a bit.

You can block people from bidding--I block international bidders cos I don''t want to deal with the hassle and I have heard of them buying even when you say no international shipping.

LGKitten-You are so right on the frustrating buyers. I recently sold a designer cosmetic case for a great price, and after receiving it the buyer said, Its a lovely case, but I think it is not authentic. I have 5 XXX bags and if I know anything, I know my bags. Can you explain? I typed an e-mail that said Yes I can explain, lady, you obviously don''t know anything! Then I re-typed a nice letter assuring her I bought it myself at the store. She wrote back that the "leather" zipper pull came apart when she put her finger nail between the pieces. (Well, lady, stop picking it apart with your fingernails!--and I never called it leather in the listing cos I have no idea what material it was)

If you are sending designer purses (or something people might switch on you), some sellers put an identifying tag that can''t be removed without cutting it off,in a conspicuous location so the person can''t switch bags or use it and then return it.

Don''t click on links from people''s e-mail. I got an e-mail from an account that had been hacked and if I hadn''t had a Mac I would''ve been in trouble.

Yawn--tired and must be off to bed. Good luck!
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,291
I''m not a seller, but I''ve bought plenty from e-bay. Ditto what Happy Anniversary had to say! As a buyer, I rely heavily on the item listing (the "titles," for lack of a better word) because that''s what my searches use. I''d suggest checking out listings for items like those you''re planning to sell so you get an idea of the conventions used. The more info you''re able to provide in the title, the more people visitors you''re likely to get. I don''t use ebay''s categories for my searches, but I imagine the same is true there. As a buyer, I really appreciate good photos and I''m learning (the hard way!) to avoid auctions with poor photos. Reserve pricing also bugs me -- why not just start with a price you can live with? -- but some sellers use that feature so I guess it works for them!

Good luck!
 

m76steve

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
605
sparky-ive bought quite a bit from ebay & i known many sellers-for buying-read all descriptions well-ask questions-there are a few bad apples in the bunch that only want to scam-u. go thru paypal as much as possible-they act as a buffer between you and whats out there. for selling-do not send items to buyers until funds or fund-acceptance is verified by paypal. only the basics-more from others will follow....
 

Sparkalicious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Messages
3,721
Happy Anniversary - Can you call me Sparky? After you took so much time out of your day to provide such a thorough response ... You can call me anything you want!!
Sparks is good too.

Firstly THANK YOU for your advice!
Thanks kindly for the referral to the other site. I will lurk and try to get some tips. If there is something that I have learned, it is that insurance is essential. I cannot believe the antics that some people get up to. That''s crazy. It sounds as though you are very methodical and organized with your approach to selling - just like any good business. I think that this is probably key to experiencing a relatively stress free selling experience.

I think that the Buy It Now function might work best for me or Best Offer if I can''t figure out a firm value for the item. Hmm ... I didn''t even think about international bidders. How do you block people from bidding when you don''t know who will bid?? I guess this is just something that I will figure out when I figure out Ebay. Can you tell how much I am looking forward to this? Ugh. Your assistance is making it so much easier to ease into though ... Thank you!

to switching out products! Why can people be suck whack jobs??!

VRBeauty - I love your new av pic but whenever I see your name I always see your minims av pic. Weird, huh? I appreciate the buyer''s perspective ... thank you! The more info the better ... I have to agree. People tend to shop online to save time and money, right? Who wants to take time to look at listings that waste their time by not providing enough info. Seems fair enough. Thanks so much for the luck! I can certainly put it to good use.


m76steve - Thank you!! Your recommendations sound like great advice based on experience. Can''t beat that, right?! Your point about not sending off the merchandise before the funds are confirmed as being accepted is important to me. Since I''m not familiar with the process too much, I wasn''t sure if the seller needed to be sent the item right away. In retrospect, thinking about it now that you have all been so kind as to respond ... that''s the only thing that really makes sense. This may account for why it takes a couple of business days before item can be "shipped". Wow - that was a "duh" moment for me.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,291
Date: 2/13/2009 12:06:27 AM
Author: Sparkalicious

VRBeauty - I love your new av pic but whenever I see your name I always see your minims av pic. Weird, huh? I appreciate the buyer''s perspective ... thank you! The more info the better ... I have to agree. People tend to shop online to save time and money, right? Who wants to take time to look at listings that waste their time by not providing enough info. Seems fair enough. Thanks so much for the luck! I can certainly put it to good use.
And here I thought I was flying under the radar!
Thanks for remembering!
 
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