I know it is OT but we all do it to a degree on EBay. What I want to know is
any hints on selling, my wife and I want to reduce our respective clutter
and not because of an impending wedding :-)) but we want a change. What
should I look out for, what can I do and what do I need to be aware of when
setting up an account on EBay. My wife is very nervous and to be honest so
am I about putting up personal details etc and reading your posts gives me
food for thought.
Be aware of the fees. IMHO there is no point in selling anything only
to find that the fees and other costs mean you make a loss. Not only
is there a "listing fee" there is also a "final value fee" when the
item sells. Then of course fees for payments like PayPal, NoChex etc
and postage not forgeting any packaging. For the UK I use a formula to
calculate the postage charge: actual postage cost + =A31 rounded to the =
nearest 25p, this is for smallish items. Large/heavy would require a
bit more thought.
Be aware of American bidders, if you think the Great Unwashed of the
UK are dim, wait until you encounter a US e-bay bidder... You can
restrict your auctions to be viewed only in UK but that still doesn't
stop forgien bidders, IMHO it should.
Presentation is important. At least one good quality picture. Simple
but well laid out description, not just a solid block of text. The
basic HTML tags for this are easy to use, paragraph/line breaks,
bulleted lists, bold, larger font etc.
Fairly sure that only people you are actually doing business with can
get your address etc, you are not doing business with ordinary
bidders. Even then if/when they pull your details you get told who has
and I think you get theirs as well.
Take a look at the UK e-bay FAQ:
Or wander over to uk.people.consumers.ebay, though that might put you
off the idea completly, but remember people only complain about the
As long as you are careful of spoof emails asking for you to do
something with your account on-line, there are not many pitfalls.
We haveb been on ebay since 1998 and have had only a couple of so of
auctions where the bidder hasn't paid up, and they tend to be overseas
As far as putting personal information up, you do that all the time
for other things so why not ebay and PayPal.
The only thing I won't do is give our bank details to either PayPal or
Ebay, we deal with them through our credit/charge cards only. That way
you have at least half a chance if something goes wobbly. If you don't
use CC's then you're into giving your bank details.
Being honest and open with buyers and sellers works best we have
found, ducking and diving may get you a better deal one day but you'll
lose out on others in the long term.
Feedback is important, we have maintained 100% on all our family
accounts (Rita and Philip have their own accounts) and good
communications pays off, especially if you have a problem with
delivery or payment.
Overseas opportunities exist, we have bought quite a bit in Europe and
USA/Oz. Delivery costs can be relatively high, but in a wider market
you can often find some bargains that are not available here.
In general it has been a good experience, but you MUST be vigilant and
watch out for deliberate fraud (Shill bidding is rife)
Peter A Forbes
Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK
Martin, I agree with Peter above, use a credit card if possible.
I tend to start my auctions a good bit lower than the price I want (you can
always put a reserve on) as I think this gets people interested. I always
try to be honest with my listings and this shows when you get feedback from
others. Make sure you select the best catagory, people will not find an
engine if you put it in ceramics for example. Include as many keywords in
the description, I think ebays search engine picks it up quicker. If you
only want to sell to the UK only, make sure you state this in the item
description. And most of all enjoy it, it`s great fun really
Some one has something up for sale and either uses another account to
bid on that item or gets a mate to do it. A means of artificially
raising the final price. If they end up "buying" their own item they
may well still pretend it was a valid sale by leaving, effectively
false, positive feedback.
The seller sets up another ebay account and artificially bids the
price up, making sure that he (obviously!) doesn't win the auction but
the price is higher than it otherwise would have been.
We have nailed a few over the years, but they are always there.
Things to look for are:
1) Low feedback although the bidder has been with ebay for a number of
2) Only bids on auctions from the seller that you are looking at.
3) Recently joined ebay, like the day the auction started....
4) Has bids associated with one seller or maybe two only.
Experience will tell you what to look for, don't assume that what you
see is necessarily gospel, ALWAYS query things that look a little bit
strange, especially if it is an engine you are bidding for, these seem
to attract some bent bidding.
Peter A Forbes
Prepair Ltd, Luton, UK
Everyone should be aware of that and *NEVER**EVER* click on a link on
and e-mail unless you are absolutely 110% sure that the source is
genuine. Remember that the text you see in a link, even if it looks
like a genuine URL, can actually take you anywhere else on the net.
Good advice, the CC issuer is jointly liable with the "merchant" if
the goods fail to turn up. You can simply dispute the transaction with
your CC company and get a full refund. The CC company then goes after
Can you transfer money out of your Paypal account to a CC? I thought
it had to go to a bank account. Remember the OP is more into selling
Aye, this goes with communication as well. No one likes sending of
some money to the great unknown and then getting silence for a week.
Even if the goods arrive and there are no problems it still leaves a
nasty taste. Sending a quick, thank you for your purchase, your
payment has arrived, your goods have been dispatched, etc, email
And the source of much discussion as to when it should be left. As a
buyer I leave it when I have got the goods and I am happy (or not...)
as a seller I leave it when I know the the buyer is happy with the
But don't get to worked up about negatives, there are plonkers out
there and you will come across one sooner or later. I've got a
retalitory neg from a US buyer who bid and won on a film stills camera
(sold with film, the word film mentioned 5 times in the description)
thinking it was a digital camera. I guess I could have not negged him
but as I think peoples ought to be accountable for their actions a
buyer who doesn't read descriptions should be highlighted.
I've been an eBay buyer and seller for a while now and have built up a quite
decent feedback total. I've only had 2 glitches in that time.One where the
goods I sold went missing in transit and one where the item I bought wasn't
exactly what the seller said it was,but that was quickly sorted with a
refund. I would encourage you to put your sales worldwide with the exception
of SE Asia. I've had some good sales in the States where they don't seem to
mind how much the postage is!! Quick example is a Singer Hand Cranked sewing
machine sold for £20 and posted for £86!! to people I believe may be "AMISH"
My advice, go for it and have fun!!"Prepair Ltd"
I like to ensure the description is as accurate and clear as I can make it
and I check it several times for clumsy sentence structure, spelling and
grammar. I repeat the description in the text, highlighted in red and
expanded in content in the hope that people will read it! I've already
rattled on about Terms of Business, but I repeat that having ToB sets out
clearly what you expect and ensures that bidders know what you will and
won't do BEFORE they bid. AFAIK, they have never got in the way of a sale
There is nothing wrong with a little hyperbole when selling, but don't
overdo it or be in any way inaccurate in your description. If there is a
fault or the item is incomplete in some way, say so.
There is no doubt it is fun, and I disposed of a lot of my clock and watch
stuff on e-bay that would otherwise still be cluttering up Hazel's kitchen!
J. Kim Siddorn,
What I want to know is any hints on selling, my wife and I want to reduce our
and not because of an impending wedding :-))
Hi Martin, Its a good job you didn't omit the comma! 8^)