Ebay's a doddle.
It's worth getting a friend who already uses Ebay to walk you through the ropes the first time but once you've got an Ebay and PayPal acount setup it's very simple to use.
If you don't mind loosing 15 to 20% of your cash to the eBay / Paypal tag-team and if you don't get some a-hole from Zambia try and ship you a pair of ProAc Studio 140s BEFORE he pays for them...
Which is why I suggested that he should get someone experienced to help him out. They would show him things like how to check peoples feedback to see if they're a good seller/buyer and show him how to check PayPay to make sure that the money has gone through before he posts things onto the buyer.
Ebay is easy to use and provided you are sensible (only buy from reputable sellers and check Paypal before posting etc) it is pretty safe. I've been using Ebay regularly for six years and have never had any major problems.
I also only ever sell to the UK. It's too much hassle and expense posting stuff abroad.
The feedback thing is garbage. People mark sellers down because they don't ship the minute the auction ends, forgetting we have jobs, that a grand piano (or a big pair of floorstanders) can't exactly be stuffed into a jiffy bag and popped in the post on the way to the bus, etc. etc.
I had one buyer complain his stuff was late, even though I was quite literally snowed in for a week, and EBay upheld his complaint, even AFTER I told them to google up the BBC News weather reports for my postcode. I had another who complained, after paying late himself, because I went offshore for a fortnight. THis is AFTER I warned him well in advance that I needed to see payment by two days before I went offshore, and told him why.
On the other hand if a BUYER screws you around, doesn't pay up promptly or whatever, there is no way to leave negative feedback against them, or at least there didn't used to be...
EBay started out as a good, honest, affordable way to sell stuff on the internet. Well intentioned and cheap enough to use. Once EBay went public, and especially once it bought Paypal, the motives became pure greed and self-protection. EBay, by the way, makes a gorss profit of around 20% on YOUR money.
As for Paypal, there aren't enough expletives in the dictionary for that lot of money-grabbing-barstewards...
3) Package it well as couriers are handfisted oafs. Also note that unless you package items in accordance with couriers recommendations (which are ridiculously OTT) your extra insurance you take out will be worthless. They will reject it due to packaging being insufficient.
Oh how I love sweeping generalisations
There may well be couriers who fall under this description but I am certainly not one of them, or are the vast majority of my colleagues at work.
As for packaging, you can never pack your valued equipment TOO well, and certainly the company I work for have strict packaging requirements, but these are only sensible measures rather than OTT. I wont bore you with examples of some of the hi-fi equipment I have rejected over the years due to laughably poor packaging.
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Sorry no offence meant but, it's still a little fresh in my mind from a couple of weeks ago when I had an amplifier returned due to it being used as a football. Apparently the original packaging, which the manufacturer would have done its drop tests in, weren't sufficient enough according to the courier (little rant over).
I always read the negative feedback to see what the reason was. Sometimes the buyer will leave a comment saying something like "Item was faulty but seller gave a refund" which I consider to be a good thing even though the buyer gave them negative or neutral feedback score.
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As a seller you are entirely at the mercy of the buyer to give you good feedback, but have very little power to do anything if they slag you off for no good reason. EBay always assumes the buyer is right. And if your buyer screws you over, doesn't pay up on time or tries to defraud you, you have no way to say to other sellers "watch out - this one's a con-artist". You can leave positive feedback about buyers, but not negative.
The only thing you can do with a bad buyer is mark him with positive feedback but say what you really mean in the comments section, and just hope that future potential sellers read the so-called "Positive" feedback in full. I do now everytime since I sold a cartridge last year as a BIN to a time waster. When I read his 100% positive feedback comments over 50% of the 80+ comments were really Negative, Some of the comments were quite shocking, a serial time waster (Why?). Anyway, I complained to Ebay but to the best of my knowledge nothing happened.
So Ebay and Paypal are money-grabbing rip-off merchants according to some.
10% to Ebay (Paypal is free for home users and doesn't take commission) to shift your stuff at a reasonable price, from the convenience of your own home?
Sounds quite reasonable to me.
EDIT Or you could flog your £500 speakers for thirty quid at a car boot sale in the pouring rain.
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It costs a couple of quid to list an item, and ebay will take 10% of the sale total (excluding postage costs) up to £40- i.e if you sell something for £20 they get £2, but if you sell something for £10,000 they only take the maximum £40.
Not true, they changed this a little while ago and removed the £40 cap.
The cap is at £75 now.
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I've never had any problems with ebay, and I've bought/sold cars, boats, guitars, watches etc etc.
As long as you are honest with the description, put good clear photos, including any dings/scratches, and then package the item extremely well.
I would put a Buy It Now price for anything that you as an individual would want to buy straightaway. (ie. higher value items that are in demand, that someone would shop around for and then want to have asap).But the BIN option disappears as soon as someone places the first bid.
Avoid Reserve prices (they waste everyone's time) - just put it as the starting bid, but be prepared for fewer bids.
A low starting price does tend to get people bidding, and having lots of bids inspires confidence in potential bidders, especially for items which might need some deeper knowledge (collectible watches, guitars, hifi gear etc).
Finally, as a buyer, I don't see the point of anyone bidding before the last 30 seconds of an auction - what's the point apart from to push up the eventual sale price?
I always use auctionsniper - I put my maximum bid in at the start, but only to be posted in the last 30 secs of an auction. That way I never spend more than I rationally think it is worth, and the sniping app will do all the work for you.
You can also programme it to potentially bid on multiple items of the same thing, but to cancel all the rest when you actually win one at the price that you want.
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