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Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it

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--- Quote from: strafe on Sun, 24 November 2013, 22:45:29 ---So remember to place a bid on the item, even if it's only $10.

--- End quote ---

Don't bid, snipe. And do it immediately when you see the item, then put it out of your mind.

Very good write up by conveying the perspective of all three parties: buyer, seller, and platform provider (ok maybe PP is fourth). Both new and veteran ebayers can find some wise advice here. Your interpretation of eBay's business model/strategy also appears to be a dead-on assessment.

--- Quote from: fohat.digs on Sun, 24 November 2013, 18:02:04 ---Never forget that fact. Ebay is a reluctant partner with sellers but an enthusiastic champion for buyers.

--- End quote ---
this deserves reddit gold

Thanks for sharing, fohat.

This is downright one of the most important posts ever seen on Geekhack. It ought to be made a sticky after everyone has commented, and the best comments (best advice and useful experiences) selected for that sticky!

OK as a sometime seller, here are a few additional suggestions:
1)   Delivery confirmation is your friend. Send everything above $20 tracked
2)   Make sure you have signature confirmation on paypal sales above $250
3)   Bubble wrap anything that is capable of breaking! If you think bubble wrap is expensive, then save it from other purchases and recycle the bubble wrap when you sell! If selling clothes or books, use a plastic bag to bag the stuff just in case package is caught in the rain, gets dropped on a puddle, etc.
4)   Murphy’s Law states that anything bad that can happen, will happen during shipping. Remember the video of a FedEx guy tossing packages over the front gate? Go check on youtube; it’s probably the tip of the iceberg. I have also seen postal workers playing toss and catch with packages behind the post office. I doubt if they would do for heavy keyboards, but be forewarned that your keycaps aren’t perfectly safe in the hands of thuggish ex-con minimum-wage temp postal workers! Remember, to go postal is to go crazy, so we're not talking about gentle and careful nurses handling your Kmac like a Baby after you've spent 10 hours soldering and stickering everything!
5)   Any feedback below 98% is in the danger zone already.

As a buyer most of the time, I would suggest the following:
1)   Blurred photos and stock photos = red flags. We live in the modern world, where everybody has a mobile phone and everybody can delete his blurry mobile phone photos and take photos again.
2)   Everybody is a better sniper than me. Sad but true.
3)   When somebody says he tested it with a Hagstrom or Soarer converter, but doesn’t have a photo of it, it is wise to assume he didn’t test it at all. On more than one occasion I pretended to be dumb and asked, what is this thing called a Soarer, can you show me a photo or link - and the seller never replied after that.
4)   ‘It’s just a scratch’ usually is more than just a scratch.


--- Quote from: jalaj on Mon, 25 November 2013, 09:03:18 ---ok maybe PP is fourth

--- End quote ---

Paypal is not 4th.

Paypal is a thinly-veiled appendage of ebay and another way that ebay makes money. However, Paypal's fees are less onerous than ebay's (at least for now).


--- Quote from: fohat.digs on Sun, 24 November 2013, 18:02:04 ---you are an idiot unless you start your bid at the lowest amount that you would be satisfied with accepting.

--- End quote ---
This is bad advice. People go to eBay to find deals and more people will bid on an item that is a greater deal. The trick here is that people are not rational. Once they have placed a bid on your auction they are emotionally invested in it and will usually bid up higher than they would have initially paid for it. This is why you often see people make another bid once they have been outbid. This is the reason why people bid snipe, to avoid the irrationality of other bidders and keep the price down.

If you list your item for the minimum amount you are willing to take, then you will get that amount and likely not much more.


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