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What "markup" would you pay for an ebay find?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by TravelingGal, May 1, 2012.

  1. TravelingGal
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by TravelingGal » May 1, 2012
    A thread in the preloved section made me think it wouldn't be bad idea to start one here.

    A lot of people are buying and selling old cuts these days. Many are found on ebay, dismantled and resold (going on the assumption here that the PSer changed their mind on a project and isn't buying just to flip.) Are you willing to ebay yourself and take the risk, or do you not mind paying more and giving the PSer a nice profit?

    Just thought I'd leave this thread open to discussion on pricing on old stones in general in the second hand market.
     
  2. Circe
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Circe » May 1, 2012
    What an interesting question.

    I actually prefer old pieces to old stones in modern settings, so I'd generally prefer to trawl the high seas myself, but for the right piece, I wouldn't begrudge a fellow PSr a profit ... assuming we're not talking something ridiculous. If I'm buying a secondhand setting, say, I'd prefer not to be paying the same price it would cost new! Though I guess it's on the buyer to check that - due diligence, and all. But if you've found a deal and you're charging fair market value (insofar as these things are judged by antique standards), yeah, sure! Why not? Aside from the potential consumer/reseller conflict, I never could quite understand why people were so opposed to the idea of flipping.
     
  3. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » May 1, 2012
    I don't think it's about flipping, per se...as I think a lot of people are doing it and I don't see anything wrong with charging fair market value, especially if one was savvy enough to find a deal.. My question is more what people think fair market value is? Retail? X percentage less than retail? What auction houses are charging? Although I think flipping is part of the equation that PSers seem to be taking in mind when it comes to paying for diamonds.
     
  4. iLander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by iLander » May 1, 2012
    I wouldn't expect to get the "Ebay bargain rate" from a PSer, because I'm assuming the stone is somewhere within PSer standards. I wouldn't want to pay for a big profit either, though. If there's a happy medium, I guess that's where I would want it to be.
     
  5. kenny
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by kenny » May 1, 2012
    I think no matter how long everyone talks about this the result will not be one answer or percentage that everyone is going to agree too.

    You can guess why.
     
  6. TravelingGal
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by TravelingGal » May 1, 2012
    I don't need everyone to agree...not asking for a consensus. Just thought I'd throw it out there for different PS POVs, because of course, people vary!
     
  7. iLander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by iLander » May 1, 2012
    Oh, I guess I just figured out what you were asking. I think two to three hundred dollars (on a diamond) is plenty of markup for the time and effort involved. Much smaller amount for a colored stone, maybe a hundred dollars max, is fair IMHO.

    Wish I knew which stone/thread this was referring to, but that's okay, I'm just responding in generalities.
     
  8. kenny
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by kenny » May 1, 2012
    Whatever the two people agree upon is perfect in every case.
     
  9. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » May 1, 2012
    For me, I'd buy something if it was a harder to find item (pair of loose OECs that match well), or something where it's below retail value by a healthy amount, regardless of what the seller paid for it. But if it is a larger stone, and it's closer to retail, then I'd want a EGL certificate. The "my jeweler says" really isn't good enough for me, especially if there are no returns.

    Also a unique and cool ring in its entirety might be of interest to me, and that seems to be harder to gauge value. It's just a matter of whether it is "worth it" to me.

    It's the return policy that's a killer for me, which is why it would have to be a significant deal for me to take the risk over buying from a dealer.

    Ebaying takes up hours of time, and even though it's fun in its own way, it can be nervewracking. Not to mention the time spent going to the jeweler, having things checked out, taking pictures so PSers can see every single facet and mousebite (or lack thereof) makes me have no problem with someone flipping something. You can definitely find some real steals on ebay, but I don't think PSers are paying too much in the preloved section in most cases for something that's represented fully well. Speaking for myself, I bought a brooch with stones I love...but who knows what will be the condition of those stones when they are taken out of the setting? Some people don't want to go through the hassle.

    Plus I hate the post office. :tongue:
     
  10. iLander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by iLander » May 1, 2012
    Don't get me started on the post office. I received an Express mail today at 4, that was "guaranteed" to be here by 3 yesterday. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Upgradable
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Upgradable » May 1, 2012
    It's no secret that I have, over the last several years, collected, and eventually sold many old cut stones. I think the largest was just barely over one carat. Only one or two times have I bought a stone, either from ebay or a local jeweler I know, with the specific intent to "flip" it. I'm a soft touch with offers, and probably have only made 10-20%. Most of the time I end up losing money on stones that I've held onto for projects. I would be a horrid business person!!!

    As for what I think is a reasonable profit to hope for on a second hand diamond, 20-40%?


    ETA: I just reread the title of the thread. D'oh!! How much would I pay? I would pay what I think is a reasonable, budget price. And I base that on what I have learned about vintage stones. I do believe there should be a premium in price were it a seller that had been vetted by folks here on PS. And I would insist on a return policy of some sort!!
     
  12. iLander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by iLander » May 1, 2012
    I don't understand how anybody can sell anything with a "no returns" policy. Why would you force someone to keep something they didn't like? I'd feel guilty, if it were me . . . 8)
     
  13. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » May 1, 2012
    Private sellers do that all the time - pretty common.

    But it can get tricky with diamonds, I think. One person's eyeclean may not be another. One person's "faces up white" is someone else's "warm."

    I'm currently in the process of selling a diamond of mine. The potential buyer is local, and I am really glad he is. Because I like the fact he's getting fair opportunity to get the diamond checked out. If he decides to go another route, I'm going to consign it for the reason you say, iLander - because *personally* I would have a tough time making someone keep something that they paid $$$$ for that they didn't like. Now if it's a more paltry sum, maybe. :rodent:
     
  14. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » May 1, 2012
    Also, when someone returns a loose stone, it can be a bit of work. If I were a loose stone seller, I'd have to check to see if it was the same stone that was returned before I refunded the money. Which might be harder to do when you have a loosey goosey ebay stone with no cert. So returns can get tricky, I imagine.
     
  15. iLander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by iLander » May 1, 2012
    BTW I'm not referring to anyone in particular on the no returns remark, I am still speaking in generalities.

    I sold a purse on ebay a few months back, and it never occurred to me to check the "returns allowed" button when I did the listing (never even noticed it), so there it was, with no returns. It sold and then the buyer sent me a really nasty email saying that my "gently used" was --I guess-- equivalent to her "rolling around in the back of the car for a while". She threatened to report me! I wrote write back, that OF COURSE she could return it, $120 (for a $1400 purse :rolleyes: ) is a lot of money, no problem. I relisted the item, took out the word "gently" and the next buyer loved it. All ended well, since the first buyer left me excellent feedback, but still.
     
  16. aljdewey
    Ideal_Rock

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    by aljdewey » May 1, 2012
    To be honest, not much.

    I always get a kick out of people who think that they'll get near-retail for something when they list it......and I've watched several listings sit around languishing that way.

    For me personally, it's nowhere near worth it to pay near-retail when I'm not getting the perks of retail - trade-up, return policy, and all the other accoutrements. That's like asking someone to pay the first-class airline ticket rate to sit in coach......epic fail.

    I'm fine with a slight "I found it/bought it before you did" markup, but like you, T-Gal, I don't really care much to pay extra for what someone else's random jeweler thinks, and I certainly don't want to pay a ridiculous mark-up for that opinion that I didn't really ask for. If I wanted one at all, it would be from the guys I go to all the time that I trust in. But honestly, for old stones, I've seen hundred of old stones in person and am plenty confident in my own abilities to gauge them. With that and a good return policy, hard to go wrong. :)
     
  17. lyra
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lyra » May 1, 2012
    I'd just take the risk and buy direct from ebay. It's not rocket science. ;)) I had to return one item so far, and it actually went very smoothly. I'm in Canada, so there is more potential for racking up postage fees and importing fees. People selling on places like DB seem to be charging a hefty profit for what are secondhand items these days, and they rarely offer returns or shipping to Canada anyway. Ebay offers me more protection too. I'm not really an old cut person either. I think the mark-up on those has gone sky high with the popularity here on PS. I'd rather have a modern cut of the same carat weight for the prices I'm seeing. Just IMO of course.
     
  18. Upgradable
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Upgradable » May 1, 2012
    Here's another tangent to this subject. I guess the situation occurs to sellers, but really affects buyers. And this is multiple interest/offers on a particular piece.

    I have had a first responder, which I honor, drag their heels or are slow committing. While this is happening I have had another buyer offer full price. That leaves me in a conundrum.

    I also wonder what folks would thing of were a piece put up and offers were open for a prescribed period of time, and then the highest bidder at that time would get the item.
     
  19. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » May 1, 2012
    Uppy, what I do when I sell stuff on craigslist (not diamonds, but I'd probably do the same here) is if I don't get a full price offer, then say that I will wait a couple of days and if theirs is the best offer, I will honor it. Of course, you always run the risk of the person changing their mind, but you would probably know if it's a hot items or not pretty quick.
     
  20. Gypsy
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    by Gypsy » May 1, 2012
    I flip occasionally and my feeling is below retail because I'm not a retailer. I don't take returns generally. But I do a lot of due diligence.

    I have 2 bands right now. They retail for 5k each (crazy!). I am selling them for 900 each. NO WHERE NEAR RETAIL. I just couldn't do justify charging retail (this is just illustration, not self promotion in any way).

    Loose stones are harder. And I haven't flipped any. I had one that I bought for myself that I resold but that was different. If I flipped a loose stone I would still be below retail though.
     
  21. aljdewey
    Ideal_Rock

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    by aljdewey » May 1, 2012
    It depends on what you consider "slow" or dragging heels. Most people are super-chill to deal with, but I've literally had a transaction or two where I expressed interest during a lunch hour at work in something and the seller was emailing 3 hours later saying "I didn't see your payment - do you still want this?" Geeeeeeeeeez - yes, but this isn't the only thing on my to-do list today. Plus, $hit happens..... sick kids, internet connectivity blips, etc. so a little reasonableness goes a long way.

    If things are urgent for seller (meaning they have another transaction contingent upon fast turn), I find it helpful to know that up front - then I'm clear on the expectation, and I try to give that same courtesy to sellers when I'm the buyer. I recently let a seller know "yes, I am committing to this, but I'm out of town until tomorrow night late so I can't reasonably make paypal transaction until 2 days from now" and that worked fine.

    Not a fan of the bidding concept - takes way too much time on something that should be simple. If you're really concerned about buyers flaking, the easiest terms are "first one to pay gets it. No reserves.....no cash........no sale." :) Honestly, I'm grateful many sellers don't have to resort to this, and most buyers don't put sellers into this position. When I commit to a sale, I'm committed and I like to think most others are, too.
     
  22. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » May 1, 2012
    Well, I have expressed this before and I'll say it once more, it makes me a little mad at the thought of honestly trying to buy something for myself on ebay and end up bidding against another PSer who wants to turn around and resell on pre-loved and DB at a profit. Sorry, but that IS flipping and drives up prices for everyone (and they should register as "trade"). Therefore, you probably won't see me buying flipped old cuts there on principle. I'd rather buy from ebay or newly cut antique style stones. Let me say that I DO understand those who buy something for themselves and then find something better and sell the other item. I am NOT saying that I think everyone selling old stones on pre-loved is a flipper! Even I will do that as I add new and better things to my own collection. But I do not buy items I do not intend to keep or give to my daughters, period. So my answer is zero. We should be helping people find things that they are searching for at no profit just like we do on Rocky Talky every day.
     
  23. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » May 2, 2012
    I understand both sides of this, and definitely your POV too. I think most people seem to buy things, and dismantle it, keeping the bits they want and reselling what they don't. Which is different than flipping immediately.

    I don't have the stomach for flipping, even though I may have the cash flow. If I wanted to flip, I'd flip somewhere faaaar away (like an antique dealer or something!) I just would feel sorta bad if someone saw a listing of mine and said, "hey, didn't you JUST buy that for $X less than what you're selling it?" Doh. Plus so many people are trolling ebay, it's not rare for people to be seeing the same stuff!

    Still, I generally don't have a problem with it if someone buys something and sells for a good deal, since they got a good deal themselves (even if there's some profit in it for them).

    I do think the preloved forum has changed the dynamics around here a bit, where some may have gotten bitten with the hunt and resell bug. Such is the lure of money...
     
  24. madelise
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    by madelise » May 2, 2012
    I saw that particular thread you are referencing. Honestly, I feel those type of conversations should be in private, between the seller and the buyer.. and off that particular thread! I'm glad it did not ruin the sale of the item though :)

    To answer your question, if I knew someone paid x for something off eBay, and got a ridiculous deal, no, I do not expect them to "return the favor" per se, and sell it to me at that exact price. It takes HOURS, DAYS, and MONTHS to sort through eBay finds.. and it's nerve wrecking like hell to watch the last 20 minutes when you're in a bidding war. Sure, I wouldn't pay retail for the item, but I wouldn't be offended if I knew they made a little bit of a profit off the item?
     
  25. sapphirering
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    by sapphirering » May 2, 2012
    Never say never but right now I have no plan to buy or sell on the pre-loved forum. I buy old cuts to do fun little custom projects that don't cost a mint. To pay for a markup would take the fun out of it.

    Having said that, the whole eBay hunting has gotten a bit old for me. I only hunt when I have specific projects in mind, and right now my plate's full so I'm taking a break.
     
  26. MissStepcut
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by MissStepcut » May 2, 2012
    My biggest issue with pricing old stones that were someone's ebay find is they seem often to not be GIA or even EGL certified, then priced at, say, 30%-40% off retail... for a certified stone, based on their estimate or their appraiser's estimate. If I'm shouldering the risk of uncerted, I want a BIG discount for it.
     
  27. Pandora II
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Pandora II » May 2, 2012
    I keep all my bargains so no intentions of reselling here, but...

    I managed to buy a vintage Mikimoto strand of pearls in beautiful condition for £100 GBP - I took them to Mikimoto in New Bond Street in London to have them cleaned and restrung, they dated them to 1947 based on the clasp and valued them at £1,300 GBP if I was to try and replace them.

    If I was to sell them on PS (which I will not be doing - I wear them a lot) then I would probably price them for the value I see similar strands going for elsewhere - around the $800 mark. I did a lot of work in terms of hours spent to find those pearls (they weren't listed as Mikis, I spotted the hallmark) and I wouldn't dream of selling them on for the same as I paid.

    Personally I don't care what someone else paid - I evaluate whether I feel a fair price is being charged for what I want to buy. Within that evaluation is the consideration of benefits of retail etc. If I feel the price is fair then I will buy and it doesn't worry me whether the person makes 10% or 200%.
     
  28. makemepretty
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    by makemepretty » May 2, 2012
    I can honestly say I've never sold a thing for profit. I've bought some beautiful pieces off of ebay but I tend to resell them for less for a fast sale to a good home.
     
  29. Maisiebelle
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    by Maisiebelle » May 2, 2012
    I always sell at a loss. But for some weird reason I don't mind. I like the idea that someone is getting a great deal.
     
  30. Imdanny
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Imdanny » May 2, 2012
    Some at PS have a big talent at finding vintage stones on eBay. I think it's a great skill and I don't have it. I respect anyone who can find a great stone while sometimes having only a fuzzy picture to look at. I'd be very happy to pay someone who could do that for me if I were in the market.
     

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