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 Post subject: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Mon 11, 2019 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 05, 2019 2:57 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Decatur, AL, 35601
All:

Finally at a point where I have both time (a little) and money (less), I'm finally getting serious about a long time love, collecting, restoring and using vintage test equipment - 60's through early 80's, primarily HP. Some of this I will keep and some I will sell, as well as things bought specifically for resale. I'm not in the selling end as a business, just to offset the costs and support the habit.

My main concerns are protecting myself from hassles after the sale while still being very forthcoming in the initial listing - I want anyone who buys an item to know as much as I do about it. As it stands, I plan on posting comprehensive pictures of the item both inside and out, as well as "in-test" shots. On items on which I have done any restoration work, I am thinking of providing work logs and a detailed listing of the parts used. Basically, the information I wished that I had before I make a purchase.

People being people, and the people on the 'tubes in particular, this plan kinda makes me feel like I'll be figuratively dropping the soap in the prison shower.

So i would truly welcome any suggestions on how to be an honest seller without creating too many liabilities. I'm only anticipating selling a couple of things a month so there is really not the volume to soak up mistakes.

Thank you all in advance!

Hal


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 7:15 am 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 747
Location: Houston, TX
If you've made purchases on eBay, you probably already know most of this, but it's worth repeating.

There once was an eBay that was meant for closet cleaners and small time hobby sellers.
That eBay is long gone.

There are fees out the wazoo, and too many ways to get shafted by scammers and stupid buyers. The big sellers can write off a certain percentage of losses as a cost of doing business. It's not easy for the weekend closet cleaner to do that.

Your intention to supply data overload to shoppers is commendable, but the sad fact is that very few people are actually going to read all that, including people who have purchased your items. Don't be surprised when you get proof in the form of questions that are already answered in your dissertation on a given unit, and don't be surprised when the buyer later says they didn't know xy or z about the item, even though you put that info in the listing.

Buyers don't have to care about reading descriptions. If they have buyer's remorse for any reason, they can just file a SNAD (Significantly Not As Described; now just called NAD by eBay) with eBay or PayPal (if they used PP to pay), and they'll get a full refund and YOU will have to pay return shipping (and older test gear is bulky/heavy).
What do you suppose the chances are that they're going to be extra careful to make certain you get your item back in the same condition you shipped it to them?
So now you have a most-likely defective unit — e.g., a popular scam with electronics items is parts theft — AND you had to pay return shipping to get that bad unit back. Sound like fun?
Don't expect eBay and/or PP to side with you.
It doesn't matter how detailed your description is. You may think you have everything imaginable covered, and you might. It won't matter if the buyer is savvy. The SNAD is like a superpower for buyers.

It is pointless for sellers to have a "no returns" policy, also. It's meaningless, and most buyers know it. With a SNAD, the seller will be taking a return and will be paying return shipping in 99.99% of cases, EVEN if the buyer has left positive feedback and says they're happy with the item. It happens all the time, just read all the horror stories in eBay's own seller forum.

You may feel warm & fuzzy when a deal goes through and you think you and the buyer are happy campers. Then you find out much later that you're getting hit with a return — eBay gives the buyer 60 days to file a dispute, and the PP window is 180 days.

Sellers have left eBay in droves. It's essentially turned into eBay Free Rentals... and a scammer's paradise.

You may have enough perfect transactions to make it worth your while, but since you'll be selling so few items per month, just one or two bad buyers can be very costly.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5614
Location: Montvale NJ, 07645
HalFoster, where are you located? There may be some people here who would be interested.

I have sold on Ebay in recent years to thin out my collection, and it has been positive with a few blips, but nothing serious. When selling, packing is everything and you will find yourself spending a LOT of time to properly pack items. I would take a local sale anyday, but it is hard selling in my area. The heavier the item, the more susceptible it is to damage as the shipper may (probably will) drop it several feet onto concrete. So, packing right is my best advise. You will fork over about 13% between PayPal and Ebay fees (and this is charged to your shipping costs also), but that is the cost of reaching the whole Country (or World if you choose). I would typically discount items sold locally by about 25%-30% of what I think a realistic Ebay price would be. But with heavy items, I have found that I am paying more fees for the shipping than for the item itself :shock: I do try to sell heavy items locally, but that doesn't always work out.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 15, 2015 1:16 am
Posts: 639
Location: 18424 PA
"It is pointless for sellers to have a "no returns" policy,"

Why is that? I have no returns just because of the scammers. As-is , no returns item is as shown in the pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 12539
Location: 06457
n3uvt wrote:
"It is pointless for sellers to have a "no returns" policy,"

Why is that? I have no returns just because of the scammers. As-is , no returns item is as shown in the pictures.

If NOT as described in anyway the buyer always has the advantage to return regardless of your sold as is statement in description. :)


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 15, 2015 1:16 am
Posts: 639
Location: 18424 PA
Don't give a description then. See pictures for condition. If you want to maximize your profit then lie and take the loss when you get scammed. Condition unknown sold as-is, that's your best bet.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 09, 2006 3:11 am
Posts: 6389
Location: Aurora, CO 80013
I stopped selling large items years ago except as "Local Pickup". I occasionally sell a few tubes or items I consider relatively safe. Your plan may work but there's lots of risk- as others have noted.

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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 12539
Location: 06457
n3uvt wrote:
Don't give a description then. See pictures for condition. If you want to maximize your profit then lie and take the loss when you get scammed. Condition unknown sold as-is, that's your best bet.

Buyer ALWAYS has the advantage with EPay if not happy with item or description. Will usually favor the buyer for a partial refund or full refund. Sellers have few rights today. :)


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Feb Fri 20, 2015 10:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: SE Minnesota 55949
Best tip I can give is not to lie about it and pack well. An honest buyer will never return it if you dont lie and it shows up undamaged. I dont sell much electronics, just a few a year, but sell and ship lots of fragile stuff. If you mis-lead in the listing your gonna get it back.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 717
Location: Merrick,NY,USA
Take a lot of clear, sharp pictures from every conceivable angle and be scrupulously honest and thorough in all of your descriptions. Then, pack your items to survive a nuclear blast and charge for it accordingly by adding a modest handling fee. This is 80% of the battle.

Make sure you filter out as many troublesome buyers as you can in your seller preferences (too many unpaid item strikes, etc). If a prospective buyer keeps asking you annoying or stupid questions, simply block them. Also, don't sell anything that you have a lot of money invested in, because you may end up losing it through shipping damage, etc.

If a buyer files a claim against you for not getting the item as described, you can prove that you disclosed all info in your listing. At worst, you can make them return the item to you before you have to issue a refund. Unfortunately, you will have to eat the shipping charges both ways. Out of 200 or so sales, I've taken returns on 2 vacuum tubes and one radio. That's it. I resold the radio without problems (buyer wasn't happy with the radio's reception capabilities in his steel and concrete office building)). I resold one of the tubes (buyer conducted some sort of elaborate test on it which didn't pass muster, however, tube worked fine in circuit). The other tube was a loss as filament opened up during shipment.

I've been successfully selling big ticket items on Ebay for many years, and yes, you do get some buyers who try to scam you or are a real pain, but they are in the minority. If you want to get decent money for your stuff and get the widest possible exposure, it's the only game in town.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 6:09 pm 
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Location: Ohio 45177
I gotta admit, nowadays Ebaby seems like a less attractive venue for sales, unless you make so much profit that the substantial fees are not hard to swallow. And the issue of big items shipping. That has kept my ebaby sales very scarce lately. I have not been scammed by a buyer YET. I have had plenty of experience with shoddy sellers. Only one commercial vendor stiffed me. The rest were generally newbie or near newbie individuals.

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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 05, 2019 2:57 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Decatur, AL, 35601
What are any recommended alternatives?


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 08, 2007 9:40 pm
Posts: 4008
Location: Muscletown, USA
I have bought many pieces of test equipment at auction. Heathkit, EICO, etc. at very low prices. I usually state the truth: plugged in, tubes light up, no further testing. And I get decent prices. No hassles yet. Pictures from every side so that nothing can be complained about. For things like amplifiers, I'll be more forthcoming. I'll pull the rectifier and measure voltages off the transformer. Also no problems yet. FWIW, a busy consignment store in my town charges 45% commission :shock: . So, as far as I'm concerned, eBay is the only game in town.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Tue 12, 2019 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5614
Location: Montvale NJ, 07645
HalFoster wrote:
What are any recommended alternatives?

Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and there are a couple of lesser known alternatives I have never used.
It depends on where you are located. Some areas are hard to sell in.
I personally would try Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace first, then head to Ebay. Of course, the classifieds here have also worked for me in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2019 12:24 am 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 5029
Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
[quote]What are any recommended alternatives?/quote]

I'd give the classifieds HERE a shot. You may get higher prices on Ebay, but you will also get a much higher chance of an ulcer. I've bought stuff there I should have returned, but it's simply not worth the hassle. I've pretty much stopped buying over there ....

Depends on WHAT you are selling, and I suppose, how much you are asking for it. I've seen items on Ebay for $750 that can be had at electronics auctions for less than half that, except of course you have to know where to sell.

Perhaps try contacting one of the other auctioneers such as one of the ARF advertisers over there. >>> Schulman's Auctions. Or see if you have a local hamfest or swap meet, although again, lower prices at those generally.

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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2019 12:37 am 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 747
Location: Houston, TX
n3uvt wrote:
Don't give a description then. See pictures for condition. If you want to maximize your profit then lie and take the loss when you get scammed. Condition unknown sold as-is, that's your best bet.

Honesty is always the best policy. The problem is a lot of buyers aren't honest, and eBay helps them get away with lying.

Just having pics and putting AS-IS in super huge letters isn't going to help. Pics are considered by eBay as part of the item description. A buyer can lie about the item after they receive it. It won't matter that it is exactly as pictured in the listing. The buyer usually doesn't have to prove anything to eBay or PP when they file a SNAD. And if they are asked to provide evidence, guess what an unscrupulous buyer is going to do. Right, they'll alter the item to make sure it doesn't match the image or description, then send those photos to eBay and they're going to win the dispute.
How is eBay or PP to know whether the seller or buyer is the liar? They can't, so they've decided to almost always side with the buyer.

That's if the buyer even sends back the actual item. Even if the seller wins, good luck getting the actual item back instead of a box of rocks. Try proving to eBay or PP that you didn't receive the original item back. Nope. They only care about the tracking that says it was delivered. Too bad, so sad, case closed.

Then there's the ever-present risk of CC chargeback. A CC company is going to side with their own customer vs the seller. That means the buyer is going to win a dispute, and the eBay seller is going to be refunding the money and almost certainly paying for return shipping.
As I pointed out in another thread, PP assesses their own chargeback fee ($20 USD), so the seller will get hit with THAT in addition to losing the original sale, paying for return shipping and probably not getting back the same item they sold.

SNAD and chargeback are superpowers bestowed upon buyers. Sellers have no effective countermeasures and thus are totally vulnerable.

You may read a few stories here and there where a seller has won a SNAD dispute or even a chargeback, but by far the vast majority of sellers lose.

Very few sellers have the time or resources to pursue a buyer on a CC chargeback, to go after them in an attempt to prove their use of the card was fraudulent. Oh, some will tell stories of how they contacted local authorities in the buyer's home town, and got the case sent to the CC company's investigative dept., determined to bust the bum, but you won't find many who can prove they ultimately won (even if they miraculously got the bum arrested, they will still have lost time & in some cases money in the effort).

Ok, so there's small claims court — maybe if a seller is rich and has all the time and energy in the world to invest in such an endeavor, but not many will bother, unless the buyer lives nearby and it's a sure win, and the item is worth significant coin.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2019 12:45 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA
The Story on "No Returns":

EBay covers every item with the eBay Money Back Guarantee. What it means is that if you buy an item and what you receive is not what was described in the listing, then eBay will give you your purchase and shipping cost back. This refund gets charged back to the seller.

As a seller, you get to decide whether you accept returns or not. What it means is, if something goes wrong with a purchase, do you want the merchandise back? The seller doesn't get to decide if the buyer gets a refund. The seller only gets to decide if they want their stuff back in the case that a buyer DOES get a refund.

If you say yes, returns accepted, then eBay will send a buyer a return shipping label, and the buyer must return the merch before they get a refund from the Money Back Guarantee. If you say no, then eBay does not issue a return label, let's the buyer keep the merch, and issues them a refund immediately, which gets charged back to you the seller.

The SNAD scam: Unscrupulous buyers seek out sellers who do not accept returns. They buy an item, then claim Significantly Not As Described. EBay gives them their purchase and shipping costs back immediately, and let's them keep the item, with the costs getting charged back to the seller.

The seller's only defense: You darn well better accept returns! Because if you don't and a SNAD scammer targets you, you can kiss your stuff goodbye. You'll end up shipping it straight to the scammer at your cost, and you'll have nothing to show for it.

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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2019 1:07 am 
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Location: Plymouth, MI
Hi Hal. Ebay is a great way to sell if you do it right. You are spot on giving as much information about what your selling as possible. An honest description and good photos will prevent most problems. Sure Ebay has fees, but in most cases the fees are small when compared to the differences in selling prices on Ebay and anywhere else. It's simple, more buyers = higher prices. When you make a sale, package it bullet proof so it arrives in the same condition as when you shipped it. It takes a little more time and cost, but the savings on having to take back items destroyed in shipping are huge. Sellers who have problems on Ebay usually create most their own problems, not all, but most. You will run into a idiot bidder on rare occasions, but they are rare if you do things right. My problem rate is .00625 percent of all transactions made, almost nothing and I've been on Ebay a long time. Good luck Hal.

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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2019 1:12 am 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 747
Location: Houston, TX
palegreenthumb wrote:
The Story on "No Returns":
Unscrupulous buyers seek out sellers who do not accept returns. They buy an item, then claim Significantly Not As Described. EBay gives them their purchase and shipping costs back immediately, and let's them keep the item, with the costs getting charged back to the seller.

Quite so.

Unfortunately, accepting returns does nothing to protect the seller against receiving a box of rocks. Once an item is sold to a dirty rotten scoundrel, the seller's fate is sealed. The only thing that can be done afterward is to post the buyer's name and the story on the blacklist websites to try to help other sellers avoid that person.


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 Post subject: Re: New E BAY seller advice
PostPosted: Mar Wed 13, 2019 3:30 am 
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Location: Plymouth, MI
Buyer must return whatever was bought unless seller does not want it back (which happens when the item is small and inexpensive).

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