How to Use eBay - Chat - Basics

How to Use eBay - Chat - Basics
On November 2, 2006, BellaOnline held a chat to discuss ways of using eBay to maximize your savings.

Scott: Do we have any new eBay users here tonight
Elle: I've had an account since 2004 and never used it...
Scott: If not how long have you all been registered on eBay
Lisbeth: Heh. Since it's inception?
Lisa: Member since: Sep-17-99
Lisbeth: Years and years.
Lynne: I've had an account for years and have used it a few times. I'm a very amateur user
Chris: I haven't used ebay to sell for some time now ... I have purchased
Lisa: Heya Terrie :)
Scott: elle .. at least you don't have to worry about the new icon hovering on your ID then ;-0
Denise: 5 years - never sold anything though
Scott: Hi Terrie
Elle: huh?
Jilly: I've sold stuff on ebay, mostly music and books
Jilly: hi terrie
Scott: elle ... when you're a newly registered user on eBay they tag you with a newbie icon
Scott: I've been on eBay since 1999
Elle: oh, I get it. What I do worry about is starting to use ebay but having big fat zeroes against my account that shows I've been there 2 years
Elle: I worry that people will see that discrepancy and wonder about it
Lisa: Greetings Carna :)
Scott: It doesn't hurt to purchase a few things first in order to get some feedback
Carna: hello
Scott: Hi Carna
Elle: My hubby has made several purchases on his account and has good feedback
Lisa: Hey there MercuryRising1
merc: Hi everyone... Its Southwest USA
Scott: elle ... I don't think you will have a big issue with most buyers, in fact they may like it that you have been on eBay for so long
Elle: I asked him to buy me a Bjork CD the other day
Scott: I got my girlfriend set up and she has 16 feedback all from buying, so it's a start
Elle: I'm actually surprised they haven't shut me down because I never log in or visit ebay
Elle: Like hotmail do, grrr
Lynne: I have a 10 feedback - all from selling. I've never bought anything
Scott: You will see a difference in the amounts people are willing to pay when you compare a new seller to a seasoned seller but it's not that bad. As soon as you sell your first few items you'll be hooked
Lisa: Hey there Camille :)
Scott: Hi Camille
Elle: Are your buying and selling feedback numbers added together or viewed separately?
Camille: Hello.
Scott: I personally buy and sell on my ID .. but there are a lot of the Powersellers I talk to that have separate IDs
Chris: What experience has any one had with remediation when a transaction doesn't go smoothly?
Lisa: Hey there Julie :)
Scott: Hi Julie
Lisa: your feedback number is the total of all your feedbacks, buying and selling
rhani: Good evening everyone!
Scott: Chris ... are you talking about PayPal or just trying to fix things on your own
Scott: Hi Rhani
Lisa: However a given person only counts once so even though I've bought 10 dresses from HolyClothing I only get 1 point for their happy feedback
Chris: Through PayPal and through ebay
rhani: Hi Scott
Scott: I like the protection they have actually, it's better than what you get through Visa or MC, if a customer has a problem you at least have a chance to resolve things instead of getting surprised with a charge back
Chris: Not in my experience.
Camille: I had a situation on eBay where the buyer wasn't happy with the merchandise. He said I had washed the clothing. I hadn't. I spoke with Live Help and since I didn't say anything about Final sale, I paid to have it shipped back to me. Now I put Final Sale in my script.
Lisa: I find with my sales that the key is to email early and often. I email at every stage, and send a note every 3-4 days if I don't hear from them. That way there's a trail and people don't feel abandoned
Scott: I haven't had any customers go through it, but I have used it as a buyer
Chris: As a buyer .. I found the remediation worthless
Lisa: People generally don't get grumpy if you talk to them frequently unless there really is something wrong with the item itself
Scott: That's great Lisa, I too communicate along the way and after the sale. Customers are very appreciative of that
Lisa: During XBox 360 release I bought 3 of them online figuring I wouldn't get them all. I only got 1 out of the 3 - I did get my money refunded promptly for the other 2
Lisa: lots of photos help too if you're selling an object, not just a CD or something generic. I always post 5-6 photos of the item from all angles
Scott: The PS3 is going to be really interesting ...
Lisa: not via their online system because that costs a lot of money ... I post them in the body of the description, with regular IMG SRC links to my website, because that's free
Lisa: the more photos you have, the less likely someone is to complain when they get it
Scott: Something else you need to watch for is scammers returning items that you didn't send
Lynne: Can you explain that Scott?
Scott: You can use a UV pen to place a code or identity mark somewhere on the item. The ink is invisible except under a UV light (black light)
Scott: Then if a customer sends you back the wrong item, you will know it wasn't what you sold them
Lisa: That's a sneaky tip :)
Elle: people do that?????
Elle: i know i shouldn't be surprised... but still!
Scott: There are people who will buy an item and return a junked up, or fake designer item saying there was something wrong with it, and after the return the wrong item, they keep the one you sold them hoping to get a refund from you
Lisa: I have a 417 rating - most were sales - and haven't had that happen but it's good to be prepared
Denise: electronics especially I would think you'd have to be careful about it. They break theirs, buy your same item and send you the broken one.
Scott: Yep it happens, but usually if contacted by a customer asking for a refund you can let them know you will be happy to refund them and you will be checking your security mark on the item before issuing a refund
Scott: This will most likely prevent a scammer form trying to do it in the first place
Elle: good advice
Scott: I agree with Lisa on the photos, and it's a great practice to point out any flaws in the item. Just as Lisa has stated about the reviews and pointing out the bad parts. You will gain a lot of customer respect when you're willing to disclose the flaws
Scott: You want to do your research before listing an item too
Scott: I was just about to list a Fleetwod Mac LP tonight when I noticed many of them weren't selling at all, not even for 99 cents .. so I decided not to list it and not waist the listing fees
Elle: And list all the tracks on CDs - I get very frustrated trying to work out if a CD is the same one I'm looking for and all that's there is the title spelt wrong!
Elle: How much is the listing fee?
Scott: The fee will vary depending on your starting price
Elle: Oh i see
Scott: That is something you want to pay attention to though
Scott: if you can list something for 99 cents instead of a dollar you will save 30 cents
Scott: Some goes for 9.99 vs 10.00
Elle: Aha! So that's why there's so many at those amounts!
Lisa: I tried to sell a bunch of LPs for my dad and only a few sold. it seems a hard market for records right now, he had some classics too
Lisa: I always start all my game and CD listings at 99 cents
Scott: I hear that, I thought for sure when I saw the LP at the second hand store I have a winner ;-)
Denise: how does that work with high value antiques?
Lisa: People will always bid the price up if it's a good thing. I listed a set of computer tapes at .99 and they sold for $40
Lisa: I bet if you listed a PS3 at .99 it would still sell for $1500
Scott: Denise are you asking about the fees for antiques ?
Denise: yes
Lisa: Hey there Rhonda :)
Scott: here's a link to the eBay fees ...
Elle: We've noticed that people list the CDs we've looked at starting at 99c, but they set the postage at $4 or $5 to get some money off it that way.
Rhonda: Hi!
Lisa: Well I don't get money, I charge $5 for shipping. $4.05 is the priority mail and $1 is the envelope so I sort of lose 5 cents :)
Scott: Antiques are an area you either need to know about the item you're selling or you need to do research on it to get the best price
Elle: Have you found better results with a shorter or longer time period for the auction?
Camille: I had a vintage rock poster which I sold for over $100. The buyer asked if I had others and I have sold them outside of eBay. Do you think that happens a lot?
Julie: You can do an advanced search of completed items to see what your item has sold for the previous two weeks. also has a search function that shows you what things sold for over the last 30 days, what the best key words are and the best times to end items.
Scott: The duration of the auction will depend on how much in demand the product is
Lisa: I wouldn't have sold them outside of ebay, what if others would have paid more? He could always have bid on them in eBay :)
Julie: eBay is also shutting down auctions of people who list with really high shipping and low starting prices.
Camille: But it was a sure sale and no listing or final sale fees. I took a chance.
Lisa: Heya Jase :)
Scott: Something to consider when selling outside of eBay is you don't get any of eBay's buyer protection.
Scott: Hi Jase
Lisa: re the time period, I always list for 7 days and usually there are no bids until the last day anyway :)
Camille: I was the seller and he was happy with the posters. So it worked for me.
Rhonda: I have had buyers ask me if I had other similar items to sell that I had not listed and I always tell them no (even if I do have them) because I was afraid it may violate some ebay rule. I don't really know if it does or not though.
Scott: Mpire is a great service ... I use them also for management of my auctions, I use Terapeak for the research, (which is how Mpire gets their data)
Lisa: I do always start (and therefore end) them around 9-12pm EST so that most people are home and able to be at a computer for those final hours
Jase: Hi, sorry I am late.. took me longer getting my sushi than I thought it would.. it's only 25 degrees out there so things don't move so fast
Elle: My hubby watches items until the last few minutes and then scoops them if he can
Lisa: yup my boyfriend loves to snipe
Jase: I love sniping as well
Scott: You can get some great deals sniping ;-)
Jase: I put watches on items and it warns you when there is little time left and I watch it like a hawk the last 15 minutes or so
Lisa: sniping is great until you get distracted for 5 minutes and miss the entire auction, and could have gotten the item for a great price :)
Camille: How do you snipe?
Lisa: sniping is just bidding at the last second so people can't outbid you
Lisbeth: I am such a snipe, I note.
Lisbeth: ;)
Scott: I use hammertap's snipe service but haven't used them forever .. I'll have to look the link up
Camille: I understand, but how do you know what the highest amount is they want to bid?
Scott: You can use services to automate the sniping so you don't have to sit there at the computer
Lisbeth: You don't. Thus the adrenaline rush.
Lisa: On my game auctions like I said nobody will bid until the last 2 days ... then a few people will bid ... but most people bid in the last 30 minutes of the auction. They wait until the very end so the price doesn't drive up
Rhonda: I seem to have more bidding wars in the final hour of the auction if I end it on a Saturday or Sunday. I also do the same as Lisa and end it later in the evening (on a Sat or Sun).
Scott: If you ever see buyers bidding early they are most likely new to eBay
Scott: Hi Rhonda
Lisa: Well but at 99 cents a lot of people bid early because they figure they'll pay 99 cents by doing nothing, or they won't get it which they don't really care about
Lisa: so they'll bid on a bunch of games at 99 cents and then go away and see what they get at the end
Scott: When I sold some TMX Elmo's I watched several buyers get outbid and move to the next Elmo I had up for sale
Scott: There was one seller that jumped to four Elmo's and finally won ... we sent them a note telling them we were rooting for them ;-)
Lisa: yup when the XBox 360s were selling I was doing that. I had a max price I'd pay so I'd bid on a few, and if I got beat I'd move onto the next set and bid on those
Elle: Are we allowed to sell review copies of books we've been sent? (when we've finished reading and reviewing them) Or is that a no no?
Lisa: eventually you get lucky
Lisa: Elle - usually I give those away in my forums, but yes it's yours so you can sell it if you want
Jase: I have sold mine ;0)
Scott: I agree Lisa .. I have purchased some items like that too, got some great deals
Jase: i run out of room on my shelves all the time with books
Jase: but now at the new house maybe I won't have to ;0)
Lisbeth: Lisa and Scott - do you have some method in this? It seems like you sell specific items and have a lot of luck in that, ie Xboxes. Tickle Me Elmos, etc..
Lisa: To build your rating up it's good to think up lots of little things you can sell, like I went through my CD collection and sold a bunch. I only listen to iTunes MP3s now anyway
Lisbeth: Do you just wait and see what's hot and buy locally? Or..?
Rhonda: I give my review copies away in the forum but I have had some contests that no one played :-( so I traded them at
Lisa: Just to clarify I was trying to *buy* an XBox 360 because I run a game review site and needed one for review purposes :)
Scott: It's mostly about keeping an ear out for the deals, my GF was the one who tipped me off to the Elmo's as she saw it on the baby forum she frequents
Lisa: Rhonda - email me separately, there are techniques to get lots of forum activity, including having a super easy contest and promoting it in our sweepstakes system
Lisbeth: Ahhh. I got ya. But I do know that seems to be fairly lucrative if you can hit on the right thing. Just curious about that some.
Lisa: Well right now if you got your hands on a PS3 for say $699 you can easily sell it for over $1500
Rhonda: Ok...thanks! :-)
Lisa: the problem is finding one to sell :)
Jase: Lisa, I have tried the sweeps thing in the forum but not having much luck getting people to answer them LOL
Lisbeth: Geez - seriously???
Jase: Damn, and here I am selling my beauty products (professional)
Lisbeth: ::::: mentally notes to go and see if the local Walmart has any PS3's:::
Lisa: Lisbeth - but the trick is that they are completely sold out everywhere. Many stores won't even let you wait in line. They are completely sold out
Jase: I just wish there was a way to get things more wholesale
Scott: Yes the PS3's will be HUGE and I wrote an article on tips for camping out ... although I might have rethought the title a bit
Lisa: No no they won't be released until mid-November. But all the pre-order tickets are going for $1500 that people already got
Lisbeth: Dang it. ;)
Jilly: I'm lazy and only sell books and music on ebay - they way I can just use the photos they already have for media products.
Julie: Getting things wholesale is actually really easy if you get a state tax id number.
Jase: i do have a state tax ID number, just don't know where to go to get the things
Lisa: Yes Jilly they made it SO easy to sell things like CDs and books. You literally just type in the UPC code and they fill in all the rest including providing a photo
Lisa: the same with computer games
Jase Julie how do you get things wholesale easily with the STID?
Scott: Finding wholesale products can be easy if you know how to search ... I'll touch on that ...
Lisa: Jase - make sure the contest is super easy ("what color is spinach"), that you promote it in all your newsletters, that you fill in the sweepstakes promo page and even have a full article about it on your site homepage. Usually just the newsletter plugs will get you people
Rhonda: I would imagine that the day after Thanksgiving would be an excellent time to find some items on sale that would be easily sold on ebay for a good profit. Of course, you usually have to get up really early to get the good sales.
Scott: I do have an article in the Online Auctions about terms used to find sources
Lisa: Go to thrift stores and yard sales, you can find really great stuff
Jase: I am going to have to go to your site and read up ;0)
Scott: but the trick is thinking like the wholesalers and use terms they may have on their site
Jase: i live in the boonies... only one thrift store and it's crap and we don't get many yard sales
Scott: Try searching for "dealer application"
Julie: Also, search the name of the product and "wholesale"
Scott: or "tax ID required"
Rhonda: Hi Jilly! I agree about the photos. It is such a pain taking photos, saving them on your computer, uploading them, etc. So much easier to sell books and CD's.

This article is part of the eBay Chat Log. The conversation then moved on to the eBay Drop Shipping Discussion topic

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