Dismiss Notice
We are rebuilding the search index and other forum caches this morning. Search results may not appear correct until indexing has completed, and the forum may respond a little slower than normal until this has finished.

Beginning to sell on eBay, first time ever. What to expect?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by nosticker, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ringwood, NJ
    Hello All,
    I'm needing to make room/get some money flowing for expenses. Over the 20 years, I've been online, I have heard all manner of crazy stories. This isn't about whether to eBay or not, but rather a general request from those of you who are experienced sellers. I'm going to start small with LPs, CDs, and DVDs/Blu-Rays

    What should I include in a listing beside a general description and a few pictures? What kinds of shipping options? Insurance? Which policies should I mention, if any? Can I refuse a bid from a seller with more than a few negatives?

    Thanks for your time!

    Dan
     
  2. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Based on most posts I've read, your experience will be anywhere between a total nightmare that ruins your life forever and an enjoyable experience. :)

    You can adjust your seller settings to accept bids from specific buyers. It should be under Buyer Requirements. Set these before you list. You don't want to be cancelling bids once they've been placed.

    Include a lot of photo for any items that are valuable. People love photos. Just don't use blurry, dark and useless photos :)

    For cheaper items. I tend to just include a few photos, like back, front, picture of cd sort of thing. But if it's a rare cd then I include as many photos as I can.

    Grade the items with as much detail as you can. Saying VG+ is good, but if you can add a few comments on any issues, that helps. I would also photograph any marks, etc on any items.

    It's worth listing any specific policies you might have but make sure they do not contradict any eBay or PayPal policy as you'll just look foolish to any buyer that knows the rules IMO. Besides, they'll overrule you anyway!

    Postage wise, I tend to keep it simple. For expensive items (set your own threshold) I only send via tracked an insured and offer two options, one with faster delivery times and one with standard delivery times. For items of lower value, I offer a cheaper non insured option along with a tracked and insured option in case the buyer prefers that anyway.
     
  3. mesfen

    mesfen Forum Resident

    Location:
    lawrence, ks usa
    2 things: as a newbie, a lot of folks won’t buy from you since you have no history; might have to sacrifice ( sell at a loss) something just get something in your history; and, Don’t ship anything overseas; major pain compounded with covid. Keep your business here.
     
    kozy814, ScramMan2 and nosticker like this.
  4. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Some good points made ^^^. My 2 cents:

    Don't feel the need to rate as conservatively on eBay as you would if selling something here. Likewise, "Ex" is standard on eBay, replacing VG++ here. You may already know this but when I grade stuff outside of SHF I tend to under-rate out of habit and forget that "Ex" is a valid rating.

    If you have no feedback, you may want to consider making a few cheap purchases to get a handful of positive ratings. Maybe grab a cheap CD from a few sellers. Consider it an investment in your eBay stats.

    I have seen sellers stating that they will accept bids only from 98%+ positive buyers. I'm not sure how that is enforced but it's worth a mention.

    Shipping by UPS is expensive (minimum $9.50 I think) but one cool thing is that UPS has a description field on their receipt and you can fully describe the item you are shipping. This is usually enough to settle any beef regarding someone saying they didn't get what you shipped. This is a consideration on anything of big $ value.
     
    nosticker and eddiel like this.
  5. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    You want to put up lower-priced stuff to begin with.

    You want to have at least a dozen of similar category (all rock, or all jazz) items up at the same time. 24 items up are ideal. People like to grab a couple of items at the same time to save on shipping costs.

    Find some and look at sellers who are very successful and long term, copy their text, (edit) put your details into it. This includes shipping details and the works. That's right copy shipping prices, and countries they will NOT ship to, and things like "we pack using real LP mailed with LP outside of the jacket to prevent splits". We ship internationally, but no Italy. Brasil, South America, Russia, etc. etc. You need to kno0w high-risk countries. You need to know the safe low-risk countries (the Netherlands, German, UK, Japan, Aust, Sweeden, France, etc. etc. If you decline all international bidders be ready to make less income out of the deal.

    There are enough great sellers with all the kinks worked out that grabbing their shipping terms and basic listing text for an item can be a really fast way to look professional in your earliest listings.

    There are so many things to know that it helps if one has bought 100 or so items via ebay first so that you know about packing an LP correctly. How to get an old price sticker off of an LP cover without leaving any damage. How to clean an LP without leaving any signs that it ever needed cleaning to begin with.

    Buying LP mailers in bulk so as to not overpay which will cut into profits. This is why buying 100 items (records) first and saving those mailers is good advance thinking.

    Things like "returns accepted" buyer pays for return shipping seems a no-brainer, but remember to put that in.

    But basically copy everything from another seller who has been around at least 7-8 years and has 99% positive feedback or better. They must be doing something right.

    You want to write out everything in a Word or notepad document outside of ebay. And copy and paste things in. A lot of copy & paste is what I do with my listings.

    I would start by buying LP mailers with cardboard inserts squares. Inner sleeves, and outer sleeves, packing tape.

    Copy text from several ebay sellers.

    Work on your written text for each item on a sheet to be used later - pasted into a listing.

    Other tips are to get fresh mailers for the DVDs and Blu-Rays (Staples), but try and find free bubble wrap, and thick cardboard for extra packing materials near dumpsters in the back of stores that sell items like stereo gear, sunglasses, and lighting fixtures.

    All this is a lot of work for just a simple selling season. I would try and do it part-time on and off for a year or so.
     
  6. fluffskul

    fluffskul Would rather be at a concert

    Location:
    albany, ny
    Well first of all let me be the first person to formally welcome you to 2005.

    Great advice here. But I must ask, have you ever bought from ebay? If no, this is going to be tough. An online sale is a world's difference from an in-person, even with identical products. If you've bought from e-bay, as a seller just list the same things you would want to know as a buyer. Personally, as a buyer I like seeing original pictures. In fact I insist on it, I won't buy an item from a stock photo, unless it is a very common item I just happen to have an itch for. Anything specific, i wanna see the photo. So i do the same as a seller.

    As a buyer if someone took 15 pictures of the same LP, I'm suspicious. I'd much rather see one pic of the LP (enough to demonstrate it wasn't used as a cat toy) and an honest description like plays VG+, surface noice present during quiet passages.
     
    nosticker likes this.
  7. Joseph.McClure

    Joseph.McClure Forum Resident

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Expect a lot of frustration and people trying to scam you and ask for partial refunds.
     
    rnranimal likes this.
  8. joachim.ritter

    joachim.ritter Senior Member

    If you aren't very experienced with vinyl start with CDs, DVDs any Blu-rays.

    If you will open a new account for selling get 10 positive feedbacks as a buyer before you start listing stuff.
     
    MC Rag, nosticker and fluffskul like this.
  9. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    Don't take overseas business. If you don't have a tracking number some will do a Paypal reversal on items they received but the customs number goes dead in Jamaica New York: JFK Airport, the last scan. They get the item for free being liar crooks they are. Put $40 cost for postage in your listing to cover the mailing and registered fee (for the tracking number) and you'll get zero business and laughter. You need a checking account to be on eBay now....they lost a lot of sellers because of this. It costs 4 dollars to ship one 2.8 ounce package with a cassette in it....don't let USA buyers fool you saying "that price is ridiculous". $3.33 media mail works on albums plus mailer fee. I just cut thick cardboard, rock solid, and tape it up.
     
    nosticker likes this.
  10. wendigone

    wendigone Forum Resident

    nosticker,
    I'm in the same boat you are, wanting to sell a few items on ebay but not become an ebay business.
    So far I am very skeptical of the whole ebay scene, so I would appreciate a brief update from you after your first ebay experience.
    Good luck! I hope it goes well for you.
     
    nosticker likes this.
  11. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ringwood, NJ
    I have been on eBay since early 2001, just never sold anything on there. I've sold on other sites, but not this one and I have heard horror stories left and right...which is why I had yet to list something.

    Dan
     
    fluffskul likes this.
  12. fluffskul

    fluffskul Would rather be at a concert

    Location:
    albany, ny
    I hope you took the welcome to 2005 as a joke. That was the intent.
     
  13. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ringwood, NJ
    I know I'm way overdue, plus I didn't mention that I've been on there for 20 years, which I should have. No worries.


    Dan
     
  14. klownschool

    klownschool Forum Resident

    If you value your peace of mind you will look for another avenue. Best of luck.
     
    rnranimal likes this.
  15. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    Go USA and a tracking number. You'll only lose $3.33 if a return.
     
  16. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Yo-Yoing where I will...

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    I've been selling mostly physical media on eBay for 12 years. I've had very few problems. The fees are high, yes but that's my only real complaint. The thing about just starting on eBay is feedback score. The better/higher score you have the better you do. To increase your positive feedbacks start buying common things on eBay: oregano, paper clips, etc. as way to build it up a bit.
     
    MC Rag likes this.
  17. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Yo-Yoing where I will...

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    As for selling overseas use the eBay Global shipping service, You only need to get the item to Erlanger KY and eBay does the rest. No problems with customers claiming they didn't receive the item. It's all tracked by eBay. The customer pays a high fee but if they want that rare album that's just the way it is.
     
    MC Rag and zphage like this.
  18. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    eBay's Global Shipping Program is an invitation for no sales. Only an idiot pays for that. If you are selling $1,000+ items daily....I would use it.
     
  19. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anaheim
    Seller pays zero for GSP. If buyer wants to pay, more power to them. I don’t send international without it. Of course, I’ve been lambasted here for both of these, not shipping international direct and for using GSP.
     
  20. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    Few buyers will pay it. If you advertise GSP only your sales will be nowhere like other dealers. I would be $24 first class for one album. You are open for crook buyers to lie and do reversals.
     
  21. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    You are not alone. With the onset of the pandemic, I decided to only sell internationally on eBay using GSP. It has helped to eliminate virtually all of the headaches involved with international transactions, which have always been the most problematic on eBay.
     
    SJP and Wally Swift like this.
  22. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    I'm an occasional seller, when it comes to insurance, nothing I send out goes without it. It's my (hence, yours when you start) responsibility to get the goods to the buyer.

    You see some listing saying "you want insurance you pay for it" but they mail it (whatever "it" is) out economy or regular 1st or 2nd class post. In the UK, 1st and 2nd class postage comes with cover up to £20 anyway, so you just need proof of postage if the CD you've shipped out goes into the Twilight Zone - refund the buyer and go back to the post office). So you as the seller are fine if what you've sent out via cheap post is worth less than that.

    If that item gets run over by an 18-wheeler on its way to your buyer but is worth more, guess who pays? Yup, you.

    So I insist on it. In fairness, I'm not shipping big cover items, but a few rare SACDs went out in the last few years and they were all covered. My old Marantz UD7007 went for a few hundred to a buyer in London, and the courier shipping with insurance came in at around £25 or so. It's non-negotiable for me: both the buyer and the seller are covered then.

    I had a seller I bought a cheap LP off recently saying for his item market "Free Postage" pretty much that he couldn't be responsible for what happens once it's in the hands of the post office. He got a message back pronto pointing out that if said item did indeed turn up like it had been through a mangler, I'd be back in touch and would get my refund. He also lost my future custom. The LP arrived no problem but he lost my goodwill in one fell swoop. His loss.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  23. kozy814

    kozy814 Forum Resident

    At one time I was selling a lot of items. Ebay has become a flea market. Most listings have inflated grading and price. In order to build some seller history you should consider listing your low cost items first and price competitively. I sell only to CONUS and track every package. For high ticket items, free shipping.
     
    Brother_Rael likes this.
  24. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    The most important video I saw was one which said "Don't be the cheapest, but be the best". If you have quality products at competitive prices (not necessarily the cheapest, but not inflated to absurd levels), then buyers will keep returning.
     
  25. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anaheim
    Thank you.

    There was a time back in the wild west days of eBay where a seller could be cavalier like this and get away with it. Heck, I think I even believed this to be the case at one time. But things are clearly different now. eBay sides with the buyer and if there is no proof of delivery, the seller will lose 100% of the time.
     
    LordThanos1969 and Brother_Rael like this.

Share This Page