What makes a good eBay seller?



#2

I am planning to switch from being a "simple" buyer on eBay (with great success, may I say, in finding vintage HP calculators in good shape and at a reasonable price) to becoming a seller, mainly for calculators/manuals/accessories that I have in multiple samples.

The criteria that I use as a buyer, to determine wether I will do business with an eBay seller, are the following :

-- The seller has a globally positive feedback history, with at least a dozen sales, and a percentage of returning customers;

-- The seller accepts online payements such as Paypal, Western Union, or international bank transfers, as opposed to cash-in-an-envelope, checks, or local pickup;

-- The seller accepts to sell internationally, at least to "secure" countries (why on earth are there so many Americans that don't seem to know there is a world outside the USA...);

-- Good, crisp, detailed pictures are displayed, and show the minor defects without "forgetting" to mention them, including batteries compartments, self-test results, slipcase, manuals, yellowing, etc...;

-- The seller answers my (reasonable) mail questions within 24hrs;

-- Reasonable shipping costs, delays, and strong packagings are promised (I had several cases, as a buyer, where shipping prices were grossly expanded to compensate for a cheap auction price);

-- English is used as the auction language, as a convient worlwide communication tool.

Do you think that following the above good practices will help me start my seller activity on eBay? Do you have any other recommendations, or pitfalls, or warnings, to suggest?

Thanks!

Emmanuel


#3

I would add:

- In the auction text there is no flowery phrase like "sold-as-is", "no return", ...
- After the item has arrived, the seller asks, if the buyer is satisfied. Otherwhise the seller is appealed to fix a problem.

#4

While accepting paypal, etc. is good for a seller, there is generally no reason NOT to accept cash (at buyer's responsibility for safe delivery), or checks (with a wait-till-it clears mode) or local pickup as payment options.

I believe a good seller should post immediate positive feedback upon receipt of payment, not upon receipt of positive feedback from the buyer. Once the buyer has paid, he has properly fulfilled his part of the bargain.

Good pictures are important. Stress that they are of the actual item.

#5

When you intend to sell systems that connect to the mains, battery chargers for instance, it is important to specify the voltage and type of socket it is designed to work with.
If you leave in Europe, this will avoid you receiving complaints from US buyers who fry their calcs.
The best of course is to have 110/240V chargers!

Arnaud

#6

I'm not going to disagree much with what you said, but I will expand on it a little.

Quote:
-- The seller has a globally positive feedback history, with at least a dozen sales, and a percentage of returning customers;

You don't want to take that to the extreme I have heard from some people who refuse to buy from an eBayer who has ANY negative feed back. I have bought from eBayers who's feed back numbers are in the thousands, frankly if they didn't have one or two negatives I would more suspicious than if they did. If you have sold something to thousands of different people it is almost inevitable that you have run across at least one moron that won't be satisfied unless the product arrives at their door 10 minutes after the auction ends and in a condition such that you couldn't find a scratch with an electron microscope.

Quote:
-- The seller accepts online payements such as Paypal, Western Union, or international bank transfers, as opposed to cash-in-an-envelope, checks, or local pickup;

I had an auction once where I said I would deliver the item to anywhere with in 100 miles of Oklahoma City, or they could arrange their own shipping. Only because the item wasn't worth what it would cost to ship it and it was too big for UPS or FedEx, but not for the bed of my truck.

Quote:
-- The seller accepts to sell internationally, at least to "secure" countries (why on earth are there so many Americans that don't seem to know there is a world outside the USA...);


Quote:
-- Good, crisp, detailed pictures are displayed, and show the minor defects without "forgetting" to mention them, including batteries compartments, self-test results, slipcase, manuals, yellowing, etc...;

Someone recently asked me if I had a 15C I was willing to part with for a reasonable price. I told them I had one fairly bad condition I would part with and gave them these photos so they could see the condition. That is the level of detail I would like to see but seldom do.

{quote]
-- Reasonable shipping costs, delays, and strong packagings are promised (I had several cases, as a buyer, where shipping prices were grossly expanded to compensate for a cheap auction price);
[/quote]

It is obvious that some sellers just find junk that they can get for next to nothing that they think will sell for next to nothing and then add $5 to the shipping cost to make money.

Chris W.


#7

I tend to find seller locally and would be quite happy if he/she doesn't want to ship the item as I have better chance of winning the item.
I have encountered seller who doesn't want to me to pick the item up at his location. In such case, I refused to complete the purchase.

#8

Well I have to add my comments...

- I just won't sell anything outside the USA/Canada. Too much hassle. When I sell something on EBay it's to get rid of it and recover a bit of $, not a real profit-generating enterprise. And I've had 3 European + 1 Asian buyer flake after winning the bidding. So if I burn up an hour of a getting a funky deal squared away, there goes $70 of my time (and thus essentially negating any recovered cash from sale for typical small amounts...) I do have some limited protection (mostly in the form of prosecution) against fraud when dealing with US citizen, but nothing for outside the US. I know what a good check or money order is supposed to physically look like. (By contrast, I don't like to accept cashier's/bank checks due to recent forgery concerns.)

- Many folks don't like PayPal because they can suck money from your bank acct, card etc. at seemingly random times, not associated with a purchase. I'd rather just take a check or money order from someone, hold it till it clears, and send the widget. [Additionally I don't like PayPal's demonization of legitimate firearms owners w.r.t buying & selling firearm parts, so I further hesitate to do biz with a company that'd like to see these rights of mine eliminated.]

- I always provide detailed, complete and accurate descriptions and functional items. But when selling electronic devices or complex widgets (esp w/things like ham radio gear or gun parts) I don't know what the doofus on the other end did to it when he got it. Did he try to transmit without an antenna?? (i.e., power into no-load situation burns up final amplifier) Did he blow up the gun barrel with a bad handloaded round? etc etc. So I really don't wanna be the insurer for the buyer's possible idiocy.
When I have placed an item on EBay (not for quite awhile now) He is well warned as such, though, in my EBay ad listing.

Bill Wiese
San Jose


#9

"I just won't sell anything outside the USA/Canada. Too much hassle."

Excatly why I will never-ever get a HP-15C
BWAAAH! )-`:
(VPN)


#10

Hi, VPN, I got my HP 15 C in Germany for less than 100 € incl. a proper manual in German - exactly what I wanted. In my opinion HP 15 C in USA is somewhat overpriced. So be patient, keep on looking ... and good luck!

Hyvää päivää (or similar)

Walter ;o)


P.S.: I've won several calculators at ebay.com and have met many nice people there. And it's a great big country, no doubt! However, I had the feeling in some other cases, US people didn't want to sell "high tech" (of former decades) outside the USA - while on the other hands supporting ambiguous captains there they wish to shoot down a few years later. In the average, I think you can't expect too much of people not having left their home country once, not knowing another single language besides their mother tongue, and having difficulties to find countries on the globe. But that's a longer topic ...

#11

Bill,

I know it's off-topic, but will you please provide a bit of detail regarding PayPal policy on gun parts, etc.

I was unaware of any issues related to this; but as a concerned gun owner I would like to know what they are up to.

Do I need to end my relationship with them?

Take care.

Wayne.


#12

Acoording to the paypal site "You may not use PayPal to sell any firearm manufactured after 1898. Certain related items and high-capacity ammunition magazines are also prohibited, as described in more detail below. In addition, it is the responsibility of users to abide by all applicable laws when dealing with the sale of permitted antique firearms, ammunition, replicas, militaria and other associated items."

This is the same as eBay policy.

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=p/gen/ua/use/index_frame-outside&ed=firearms

Mike 1111


#13

However, when I sell HP Calculator stuff I post my classified here. I may not make as much money as ebay but I am selling it to one of us.


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