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dCap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: eBay Tips
    Posted: 22 June 2006 at 00:31
This thread is a place where I shall start a list of eBay tips and tricks and advice, mostly camera kit related, but its general eBay. We have some proficient eBay buyers and sellers in here, but we do also have Qs from eBay newbies. These are just off the top of my head to get the subject started, I'll edit it and tidy it up as we get responses.

Depending on the replies, I may either copy and paste and then delete the messages, and make it all just one page on eBay tips with little headings, or maybe just leave it as a 'thread' ... we'll see. I'll list all authors at the bottom of the page.

*************************

dcap (and others) guide to eBay:

For the Buyer
- know your stuff, know exactly the item you are looking for, know the version, and find images of it elsewhere so you can recognise it in the photos
- set your own maximum price, and stick to it.
- if in doubt do not bid
- lurk, get a feel for the price range of an item
- are you paying more on eBay than a local used store, if so, why?
- don't be afraid to "ask the seller a question"
- don't expect answer back from the seller if you ask a question in the last hour of the auction! We don't all watch our auctions close!
- some people list lenses like this: 85/1.4, or 1.4/85, or 85mm f1/1.4 .... make some guesses when searching.
- search with wildcards: " Smooth Tran* " will find a lens, "Smooth Transition Focus" will not find a lens listed as Smooth Trans Focus.
- leave feedback for your sellers
- never login to eBay drunk!

******

For the Seller
- time your sale! Having an auction listing that closes at 7am on a Sunday isn't going to have very many last minute watchers on it!
- best close times are Sun/Mon 9-10pm, (need some backup from you guys here, do you think the same?)
- Fri 11pm and Sat 11pm, people are either in the pub, on the town, watching a film, or in bed ... not a good time to end an auction (need some backup from you guys here)
- end time mid morning/afternoon on a week day: people are at work, again, not many last minute bidders
- do not list a page with 5 screens of Ts &Cs, it puts people off. If you must have an elaborate Ts & Cs page, put it on your about me page
- make an about me page! Even if its a one-liner: "my name is George and I sell used camera equipment and reconditioned washing machines". or make a fuller one, with your payment rules explained, make it friendly but to the point.
- be clever with the content of the ad. Selling a 35mm f2 should have these words on the page 35 35mm 35/2 2/35 f2 to capture all searches relating to that ad
- do not SPAM your search terms, that same 35/2 sale. Having the words 600mm f4, Dynax 9D, STF 135 ... this is SPAMMING your ad, again, its against eBay policy, see it, report it.
- if the lens is free of oily blades, free of mould, state it - you will only get asked if not! Even if you say its MINT and as new, people still ask!
- leave feedback for your buyers

******

Feedback
- read some of it, don't just look at the numbers
- click a few items, check that the seller has been selling valuable stuff, not $1 items!
- see the negative entries, if they are from people with 0 or 1 feedback point themselves, then often the feedback is invalid, its a case of bad comms or someone not used to ebaying

******

Foreign language ads
- eBay Germany is one of the biggest European places to see Minolta lenses for sale. Paste eBay page into one of the translations website and read the ad in your own language. If in any doubt, "ask the seller a question", ask them in very simple plain language, then you can translate the reply

******

BIN: Buy It Now
- sometimes by the time you've read the ad, its already sold. Read quickly! But read it all.
- if you are not looking for huge profits, this can be a good route to sale.

******

Strange but True
- quite often, listings that start at 0.99 with no reserve end up with: more watchers, more bidders, and a higher final price than items with a reserve or with a high start price.
- we've seen item start at 0.99 with a BIN of $400, take some bids, and close for $500
- these things make very little sense, but watch a few auctions, and these are indeed: strange but true!

******

Payment
- PayPal is hugely popular on eBay (eBay owns PayPal). Its fast, it can enable same day shipping. But there are fees, it pays to read the small print in the terms, and add up those %ages, for big items it can make a difference. This is normally a hit for the seller!
- it is against eBay policy to charge a buyer the PayPal fees. If you see it, report it, and the seller will get a warning.
- not every country is supported by PayPal, do you want to exclude those buyers? Consider the alternatives.

******

Postage
- watch the postage cost
- some sellers hide their fees in the postage, its a bit 'bad policy' but if you are happy with the total price, why not?
- check the return policy if they have one, it may be minus postage?

******

International
(I'll pop something in here tomorrow night)

******

Oddities
- listings without photos? Why isn't there a photo?

******

BAD tricks & SCAMS
- someone might have a 100% (50) rating, but they may have sold 50x $1 items and delivered everyone of them.
- check the feedback profile, if the eBay account has been dormany for 2 years and then there is a BIN for a 600/4, its probably a scam

*************************

Edited by DcapVividOptic - 22 June 2006 at 00:43
2005 = Dynax 7D and various prime lenses and Maxxum 7D
then I moved to Nikon, then I added some Olympus
30-Nov-2018 = Panasonic G80 + 12-35/2.8 <<< planning to shoot with just this camera/lens in 2019
 



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nigelbrooks View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nigelbrooks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2006 at 10:26
Two more tips to add.

For Sellers
Take your photos of the item for sale, then pack it VERY carefully.
Assuming you don't have accurate postal scales, take it to the Post Office (or courier) and get it weighed for accurate carriage costs.
List carriage options (with and without insurance if you want) but make it clear that items sent without insurance are totally, absolutely and irrevocably at the buyer's risk.

For Buyers
Avoid China.
Actually that's not fair but most of the hijack scams come from China. If you feel you must buy from a China-based seller then review the feedback VERY carefully.
Ofetn you will see a mtrix of buyers/sellers where they have each sold lots of L/$1-5 items to each other to get good feedback ratings and suddenly have a 7D for sale for a ridiculously low price.

THE OVERARCHING MAXIMS
If you are in doubt, don't do it.
If it seems too good to be true then it probably is; walk away and let some other poor soul get scammed.
I've been away!
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Bela View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bela Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2006 at 11:09
I think there is one more subject for buyers: how to handle items sold by e-bay newcomers??
This question is actually quite important because of the risks and opportunities involved.
The generic rule is that you don't want to buy anything expensive from someone who has only a few feedbacks. On the other hand he/she could be an honest ebayer and because everybody tries to avoid him/her you could make a good deal.
I've bought a perfect 200HS from a newcomer for Ł350 and it was a wonderful deal. I have also bought a crap 24mm from a seller with 10k positive transactions.
So how do you decide? Well - 6th sense? Read between the lines..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nazzza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2006 at 13:48
First of all
Congratulations for your new "job" Dcap!

Here there are some little observation I've done in my short experience.
For the buyer:
you find best prices when the seller don't know what he is selling (no photo hobbyst), so when there are items listed as "reflex bag and accessories" ; probably they received the "bag" from the father don't search only for "35mm f/2", if you go for "minolta reflex" you have to read thousands of auctions but find nice surprises
I never had problems with private sellers , only with a shop: read also the withdrawn feedback!

For the seller
Seems to me that the best close time is Monday at 17-19 (should be before close office? )
I prefer to sell more items in the same time and post them in different ebay (I post in ebay.de and ebay.uk , but also ebay.fr and ebay.es , so more ebayers will see the items, for example now I have items on 4 different ebay, and at 4 days from the end I have on 2 items over 65 watchers)
I prefer to wait to have some items as a 50mm 1.7 or a 500mm in my auctions, so more ebayers will watch for my other items

ciao
nazzza
Sorry , but today I have more troubles then usual with my english :)

Edited by nazzza - 22 June 2006 at 13:50
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jaquoval View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jaquoval Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2006 at 18:33
A few more tips for buyers. Some are an expansion on concepts already mentioned.
DCap - feel free to edit/move/hack/delete as required.

If you have any uncertainty about the listing (model, condition, shipping cost not specified, etc) don't guess - Ask! A good seller will respond promptly with photos or information. If they're not co-operative at this point, you probably don't want to do business with them.

As Nazzza mentions, there can be some good deals from folks who don't really know what they're selling. The flip side of that of course is that they may not be able to accurately evaluate condition - proceed with caution.

Read the seller's feedback. It's not unusual to find negative comments posted as positives, to avoid retribution. Negatives left by new users who may not understand the system or those listed as "no longer a registered user" can often be discounted, as can those left by other 'poor percentage' users who respond to negatives with negatives even when they were at fault.

Leave useful feedback, to help the next guy:
":::P::: :::E::: :::R::: :::F::: :::E::: :::K::: :::T:::" is virtually useless.
"Nice lens, as described. Well packed. Good communic but slow ship." is much more helpful.

Scams:
Seeing a lot of account hijacking these days. Telltale signs are big-ticket items inconsistent with seller history (e.g. seller with perfect feedback gained by selling baby clothes suddenly has dslr's, laptops and high-end audio equipment), seller location different from item location, and direct email contact links in the listing ("BIN available!! Email me at *****@aol.com for details!"). Report these if you see them.

Searching:
Be inventive with your search terms and don't just stick to the most obvious category. I've found Minolta lenses listed under canon or nikon, 'Vintage', Antiques and Collectibles, Consumer Electronic Equipment, even Power Tools. Be cautious with items that are severely miscategorized, though - that's another tactic that seems to be used by account hijackers (possibly to avoid detection...?)

This may be contentious, but my recommendation is that unless you're going to use 'Buy it Now', don't bother bidding early in the auction. Most of the serious action happens in the last 5 minutes (sometimes the last 5 seconds). All you do with early bids is give other buyers something to bounce their bids off of and ultimately drive up the price. Do your research and figure out the maximum you're willing to bid, then place that bid as late in the sale as you can manage. If it goes over your max before that point or if you still get outbid, shrug your shoulderss and move on - there'll always be a next time. Some folks use sniping software - I personally prefer to do things manually. (Seems fairer to me, and you can't beat the adrenaline rush... ;)

I know this is not always possible depending on buyer/seller location, etc, but I prefer listings where paypal buyer protection is offered, with payment made via paypal, funded by credit card. This gives you 3 avenues of recourse if things turn sour:
- Paypal buyer protection - have had to use this a couple of times - both non-delivery. Slow but effective.
- Reversal of charges thru credit card provider. haven't had to use this myself for any ebay transaction, and I gather that paypal frowns upon it, but a good backup to the first option.
- Ebay Purchase Protection - last resort - limited usefullness.
Obviously these should only be used in case of major dispute (non-delivery; non-functional; significantly different than described) that can't be resolved by direct communication with the seller (ALWAYS the preferred approach).
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jaquoval View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jaquoval Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2006 at 19:23
Meant to mention, as well:
Dyxum member seagr112 has written some ebay guides that are well worth a read.
 



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dCap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2006 at 21:54
cool, lots of input. I will have a good read through and move all of the information to the original start topic. I'll edit as fitting, and make new subheadings to make it all more readable. I'll then either pop your Dyxum tag at the bottom as a co-author. For the moment I won't read the eBay guide and see how we get on with Dyxum advice first.

I think, I may also make a clear subsection to that thread about newbie buying and newbie selling. Agree with what is put, I personall don't bid/buyer from new eBayers. But I have to admit I have had some of the very smoothest sales to two people with ZERO rating, joined eBay to buy my lens. So, newess does not mean unable or unwilling.

Keep it coming people.

Edited by DcapVividOptic - 22 June 2006 at 21:55
2005 = Dynax 7D and various prime lenses and Maxxum 7D
then I moved to Nikon, then I added some Olympus
30-Nov-2018 = Panasonic G80 + 12-35/2.8 <<< planning to shoot with just this camera/lens in 2019
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Post Options Post Options   Quote santiclaws Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2006 at 00:19
For US sellers: keep in mind the time differences. You don't want to have your auction end when half the country is asleep.

I also like to end auctions on paydays or the day after. People are willing to spend a little more when they have money in the bank.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Its Atomic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2006 at 02:26
Sellers: the one that really gets me is: why are you selling this lens???

Don't tell me how incredibly sharp, fast and accurate a lens is and then leave me wondering why you are selling it, it makes no sense!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kumakichi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2006 at 05:27
Lots of stuff covered already. I'd just like to add one small thing.

1. Try to read between the lines regarding lense on auction on Ebay. Sometimes people aren't so camera savvy. Other times they are just hyping the lense. When I read a post and the wording seems a bit vague or leaves a lot of latitude open I go right to the sellers feedbacks. Are they a power seller or are they just a regular individual like me. How good is there feedback. What kind of items do they generally sell. Y

You can answer a lot of your own questions or at least build somewhat of a background on a seller. And I think that really pays off in the long run. There are few things more disappointing than paying money for camera equipment only to find out you've been deceived. So use your common sense and if necessary your gut feeling about auctions. If something smells fishy its ok to pass on that auction and wait for the next one!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote digitalshooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2006 at 13:39
Some folks have 2 ID's one for selling and one for buying.
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dCap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2006 at 15:45
Originally posted by digitalshooter digitalshooter wrote:

Some folks have 2 ID's one for selling and one for buying.


that is against eBay policy I think? That would mean you could "Shill Bid" ... bid on your own item to bump the price up. If you see evidence of it, report it. Their accounts will be closed asap.

typo: SHILL bidding. I'll add that to the updated thread when I re-write it at the w/e

Thanks

Edited by DcapVividOptic - 23 June 2006 at 15:45
2005 = Dynax 7D and various prime lenses and Maxxum 7D
then I moved to Nikon, then I added some Olympus
30-Nov-2018 = Panasonic G80 + 12-35/2.8 <<< planning to shoot with just this camera/lens in 2019
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nazzza View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nazzza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 June 2006 at 17:24
For the seller:
Control always if there are events ending when your auction ends.
For example:
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER ends auctions when there is an important world cup match (as I've done :( ) if you don't want lose last second bidders!!!!!!!!!!!
;)
ciao
nazzza
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Minoks View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Minoks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2006 at 12:43
Originally posted by jaquoval jaquoval wrote:

This may be contentious, but my recommendation is that unless you're going to use 'Buy it Now', don't bother bidding early in the auction. Most of the serious action happens in the last 5 minutes (sometimes the last 5 seconds). All you do with early bids is give other buyers something to bounce their bids off of and ultimately drive up the price. Do your research and figure out the maximum you're willing to bid, then place that bid as late in the sale as you can manage. If it goes over your max before that point or if you still get outbid, shrug your shoulderss and move on - there'll always be a next time. Some folks use sniping software - I personally prefer to do things manually. (Seems fairer to me, and you can't beat the adrenaline rush... ;)

On the contrary, my recommendation is to always place a bid if you are really interested (I've won an auction although not being the hig bidder, and below the price I set as my limit). Seller can cancel bids following his own policy, winning bidder can fail to complete the buy, etc.

If you are afraid of bidding too early, place a bid below what you are willing to pay, but not too low; something like "wow!, if i can get it at that price...". You can always place a highest one at a later time, perhaps in the last minute of the auction.
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