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I sell a lot of electronics – including games on CD/DVD. I’ve been selling gaming systems for 20 years on eBay.
I have found the easiest way to deal with people is eat the return shipping, get the item back, and re-sell it to someone else. I rarely get returns, but this is the easiest and headache free way to deal with it. Most items I buy are under $10, and sell for over $100, so if I have to eat $10 of shipping every once and awhile, I’m still making profit when I resell the item.
Some people don’t know how to work some electronic items as well – sometimes the issue is that they have no clue how to turn on an item, connect it to their TV, change the channel to get the gaming console to show up, etc. Any return I have got (that was the same item I shipped) work fine. I’ve had a couple scammers, but they get caught quickly as they pull the same scam dozens of times in a short period and that sends red flags up on their account.
The other issue I have as an electronics buyer is that people don’t describe the item correctly, or lie. “Untested” or “As Is” always means it doesn’t work or is broken. “I didn’t test this function” means that function doesn’t work. I don’t understand why people don’t honestly say what functions don’t work, or if the item doesn’t work – there are a lot of people like myself that can fix most items (and resell) or are looking for parts – your not going to get top dollar, but you will get a honest sale with a happy customer describing the item as it is.
Too me the profit would need to be good for the shipping hassle of such a large item. Large items are a pain, especially if the buyer wants to return it…
I never understood who would buy a mystery box – makes no sense to me. I learned my lesson as a kid when they use to sell “mystery bags” of candy at my local corner store – it was just a bunch of junk they couldn’t sell.
Reminds me also of my neighbor that buys storage lockers like those fake TV shows – he seems to have a dumpster permanently in his driveway and his routine seems to be buy a locker, empty and clean it out for the storage place, bring home everything, and place it in the dumpster, and complains about how he never finds anything of value.
I personally rather have an idea of what I am buying…08/03/2017 at 4:54 pm in reply to: What you don't want to hear at your favorite Thrift Store #21299
A lot of thrift stores in my area “hold” the “good stuff” for in-store and/or online auctions – however, they still leave a lot of “gold” on the floor since they are ignorant to what it is.
Everyone has ideas of what they think has value, what doesn’t have value – and usually they are wrong. I’ve see stuff in thrift store auctions that is worthless on eBay, and have found $100+ items on the sales floor for dollars that they overlooked.
I would bet that if 10 regular eBay sellers walked into a small thrift store, we all would find something that we knew we could make money on, and walk past items that others would find valuable to sell.
Unless their knowledge base is the same as yours, you will still find good items at that store. Unless they have the time to look up every item and the skills/time to list anything good.
I also lay my clothes flat to sell them. I have three different backgrounds that I made (a flat white, flat black, and laminate flooring) by painting or putting the flooring on a thin sheet of plywood. They are large enough to fit large clothing items, but thin enough to store. It also gives me contrast options (for example, a white shirt on a white background doesn’t look good or something looks off-white).
I only have concrete and carpeted floors, so the boards are a good solution if you don’t have nice floors to lay your items on.08/03/2017 at 2:29 pm in reply to: What Sells On eBay: Edison horn, 48 star flag, Nintendo box, Cowboy kettle, Models & Trains, Schott fringe jacket #21281
I find that ephemera always does well, and is cheap when you find it – however, I think most people just toss it!
Keep a look out for old store circulars/flyers – especially defunct local and national stores do well from the 1970’s or earlier.
I also have found luck with older “TV Magazines” – the knock-offs of TV Guide found in local newspapers – they do very well also. Even from the 1980’s these tend to sell well.
I’ve had some sales cutting up old newspapers and selling the ads from them, but found it wasn’t worth the effort as they only get about $5 to $10 each and most don’t sell.
I like the Nintendo box – I’m starting to sell obsolete electronic “peripherals” like storage cases/boxes and they are doing very well. They are usually $1 or $2 and bring in a good margin.
Can you not just print out the shipping label today, it will appear as if it is shipped (and will have tracking?), but don’t drop off the package for 3 weeks?
That’s how I would handle a buyer like this – but haven’t had this type of request before.08/02/2017 at 4:18 pm in reply to: Has anyone gone from full time seller to employed full time? #21202
I’ve gone all over the place in 20 years as an eBay seller from a hobby as a college student in the 90’s, to doing it full time in periods of unemployment or underemployment over the years.
For me, I like having a job to cover my bills and have a consistent income if times are lean or rough on top of what I may make in a week selling on eBay.
Being employed full time and keeping up on eBay (I sell about 200 items a month – and also find and list that many items) takes a lot of time – but for me it is worth it.
Overall, you just need to set your financial goals, make sure you can afford your lifestyle, and do what makes you happy. For me, my plan is to work hard now, any extra income goes into my financial plan, and one day earlier then others I will retire or just sell on eBay as a hobby more then depending on the income.
If I ever lose my job, I’ll use those 40 hours to sell even more on eBay, but for now I do what I can to maximize my income and still have a bit of a life.
The biggest headaches I ever had were when I was 100% dependent on eBay income, and sales were slow – it was very stressful.
Good luck in any direction you choose!
I tend to price based on the following rules:
-if others in the same condition are for sale, be the cheapest available, especially if dozens are available at any given time. Being the highest price for a commodity item never works out.
-if there are others internationally, but not in the country, you can ask for more – I usually ask for 20-25% higher if I am the only one in the country selling an item. People will spend more to avoid customs and long shipping periods, but too high they will go foreign.
-if it is the only one available on eBay anywhere, and others sold recently, always ask for more then the average sale price – about 50% higher is my rule.
-completely unique? The sky is the limit. I’ve priced stuff that I couldn’t find anything on for what I thought was crazy money, and I have gotten good pricing – if it doesn’t sell for a few months, you can then lower the price or relist to attract buyers.
I like a high turnover rate – I like to sell my items within a month. I have about 600 items up at a time, and sell about 200 a month and replenish my listing with 200 items a month. I know I leave some $$$ on the table, but I’m not sitting on inventory for long periods of time. My strategies may not be for everyone, but I like the constant in/out of items.
Maybe we underestimate the foot fetish crowd? They may sell the item at a premium with that photo! Rex Ryan may be on the lookout for a Monopoly game…
I actually filed a mail fraud case with the USPS a few years ago after eBay sided with a fraudulent buyer. I am in Canada but had a buyer in Minnesota try the switcheroo on an iPod that didn’t have the same serial number and didn’t work when I got it “back”.
It turned out that the same buyer was doing the same thing all over the place – and ended up getting sent to jail for a short period of time (10 days – not really justice in my opinion depending on the number of frauds committed).
I received a refund check from USPS but eBay was horrible – even with a conviction they didn’t do anything.
I like watching a show from the UK called “Bargain Hunt” – it has two teams scour an event like an estate sale, antiques fair, boot sale, charity sales, etc. to see who can find the most valuable items with a budget. At the end of the show, they auction off the items to see which team had the best finds. I think it is on every day in the UK for almost 20 years, so you will never be able to watch every episode…
Good to find out what stuff sells in the UK, and for items you may overlook in your travels.
I tend to pack my larger items soon as I list them – that way I can get an accurate weight and dimensions to allow for accurate shipping costs – being out a few ounces or inches can ding you big time on larger items so I now make sure it is accurate. It is also easier to stack the large items in boxes then put them on shelves where they take up too much space.
For my small items (something that is less than 2lbs or will fit in a shoebox or smaller), I bought a workbench from my local hardware store. It is about 4′ long and 3′ deep. It has a shelf just above the floor the same size as the bench where I place boxes. Above it is a pair of 2″ high drawers for scissors, markers, small tape, small envelopes, and the plastic courier envelopes. The table top is left clear except for my postal scale, tape gun, and measuring tape. 3′ above the table top is a small shelf with lights under it – on the shelf I keep all my small boxes and envelopes. I also have three rolls hanging from the ceiling above the bench – two different bubble wraps (small and large bubble) along with a roll of kraft paper (to wrap around well used boxes, boxes with writing, or to scrunch up as filler, etc. to make a clean appearance).
As I work a 9-5 job, it helps in the morning to have everything ready to go for overnight sales to be packed and ready to drop them off at the post office on the way to work.
I’ve been cancelling old listings that are coming up to the two year mark and re-listing – it’s the easiest way. I’ve only had a few so far.
It also gives me pause to decide if I should keep storing the item, or return it back to the thrift store cycle.
I’ve been using Isopropyl Alcohol for years on my items – usually $1 or less a bottle and lasts me several months. Just don’t use it on printed surfaces that may smudge…
I sell a lot of electronic items and repair them – it also not only is good for removing stickers/smudges (especially those annoying Savers/Value Village price stickers), but for cleaning various contact points, heads, lasers, etc. on electronics.