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Selling on eBay

benfoldsrockbenfoldsrock Member Posts: 8
edited December 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Hi I am a reseller on eBay and have been for almost 2 years. I ship worldwide and I really want to take advantage of the top rated seller listing special of the 20% off final value fee from now til dec. 24. Bc with top rated seller I get total 40% off.

Problem is that I have to list 1 day handling which is fine and offer expedite shipping and free shipping. Around half of my customer are international. I don't want to raise the price up of the item and make it unfair to international customer. Any solutions or how are you getting around to maximize savings?



  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 874
    edited August 2012
    So I received an email from eBay last month offering to list and sell one item for free (no listing fee or final value fee), tied to my username. Took advantage of it (after carefully checking the terms and condition like any good lawyer would) and sold the item.

    Lo and behold eBay invoiced me last week for the Final Value Fee. Called them and nicely asked them to correct their error before my PayPal account was charged - after a half hour on hold I was told it would be corrected and I would receive a call back to confirm.

    No call received. Called again three days later and spoke to a second person. Told this time that the mistake would be corrected and the correction would be made before my Paypal account was charged.

    Lo and behold I check this morning and they didn't fix the error and my Paypal account was charged. Now on hold after another half hour of back and forth with an ebay customer service representative without any resolution. They are struggling to validate the "officialness" of the offer, which I received in my personal email inbox. This is frustrating, because:
    (1) The email is clearly from eBay based on the detailed sender information.
    (2) The links in the email all lead to legitimate eBay website -- following those links, I actually not only checked the terms and conditions but also listed and sold the item!
    (3) Their invoice clearly notes that a "promotion" was applied to my invoice to waive the listing fee and buy it now fee, so their promotion clearly applied on the front half of the deal but not the back half.

    Anyone else experience a similar problem? Any suggestions for how to resolve the issue?
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    Funny you mention this. Based on an e-mail from ebay stating that they would reimburse the FVF if one item was posted with the Ebay mobile app, I sold a train back in June. I basically passed the savings along to the buyer by letting it go at auction for less than I would have wanted otherwise with BIN. August came along and still no credit. I went to find the e-mail and there was no record of anything in my ebay inbox or regular e-mail.

    It's not a lot of money, but it does bug me...I won't be taking advantage of any future offers from them. I swear they must have deleted the e-mail right out of my msg box..that, or I imagined the whole thing (which is possible I suppose..but if I'm going to imagine stuff, I think my subconscious would pick something more grand to makeup then just getting the FVF reimbursed on one Ebay auction).
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 874
    I received the one listing free from the mobile app as well! Didn't pursue that one -- and happy I didn't!

    I did get to speak with a manager. The bottom line is that if you don't have an email in your MyEbay inbox, they do not consider it legitimate. Even if you have an email in your Gmail account or what have you. They did let me forward the personal email I received to their spoof department to verify whether it is real. (If it turns out to be real they will relent.) Fake emails claiming free listings are apparently not an uncommon experience for them. (Supposedly spammers use them to collect info -- I'd get that except that I did actually legitimately list and sell an item on their site and all the links were legit!)

    I sold Market Street and so the final fee was considerable ($59.40) and all else equal I would like it back. I probably would have sold the item for about the same price, after discounting the final fee, on Bricklink or on here, so I don't think it was actually an economic loss, but it is still frustrating and I feel used.

    I did strongly suggest that the only way I would consider using eBay again was if I were to receive a "legitimate" free listing opportunity from them. The manager did think that was a very good idea. We'll see what happens.
  • The_MackThe_Mack Member Posts: 239
    I've found the ebay really likes to agree with it customers complaints, but rarely follows through.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited August 2012
    So I found this link:

    Looks like I wasn't the only one that had the June promo issue...the last person's post looks very similar, even down to having their msg removed by Ebay.

    Oh well, lesson learned. Good luck @hoyatables, hopefully they do the right thing for you especially since you still have the e-mail for your promo.

  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    ^Agreed. I remember once they did not award me ebay bucks for a particular purchase (would have earned about $25). I called them and they said they would take care of it and that I should be credited in a couple of days. 2 calls and 2 weeks later nothing. Thanks ebay.
  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    edited November 2012
    Recently, I had two cases where bidders retracted a bid with the reason "entered wrong amount". While I don't really care, I was a bit confused. Is it really that easy these days to withdraw a bet? I don't even know how to do it, and couldn't find much information about the process either.

    Also strikes me as dodgy, as in both cases the bids where fundamentally sound (the items later sold for more) and were each time retracted several hours after they had been entered (I would expect an immediate withdrawal if somebody entered the wrong amount).
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    It's quite easy to retract a bid. I think you have a maximum number of retractions until you cannot retract anymore.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    It has nothing to do with "Wrong Amount". They just picked the best option available. If there was an option that said "Bidder's Remorse" I'm sure they would have picked that one :)
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    Looks like they may have over spent their allowance or found the same item for less as a BIN or another auction ending sooner. The penalty is on them not on you. Too many retracted bids will eventually cause your e-bay account to be suspended.
  • weaselkingweaselking Member Posts: 61
    I don't know how common this is in the LEGO world, but I collected hockey cards for many years. There were some less-than-exemplary dealers who had secondary accounts. They would bid a high amount to see where the previous high-bidder's limit sat. Eventually they would retract, though not always. If they felt amounts were less than they wanted, they would "win" from themselves. Else, they would at least know what the highest bidder was willing to spend at that point.

    There used to be a way to see how many retractions any bidder had, and from whose auctions. Unfortunately I think that went away a couple of years back.

    Bottom line, I don't know about the items above specifically, but there can be some malfeasance sometimes.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited November 2012

    There were some less-than-exemplary dealers who had secondary accounts. They would bid a high amount to see where the previous high-bidder's limit sat.

    Yep, this was a big issue many years ago, i had it done to me once when I was buying something. The othe bidder retracted then put a max bid just under my max bid, but with the same account so was real obvious. i think accout was closed.Doesn't seem to be much of an issue any more as I think eBay really cracks down on any one who abuses it.
  • AnseltheCatAnseltheCat Member Posts: 141
    Surely anybody who retracts because they "entered wrong amount" should immediately rebid with the correct amount? On the few occasions I have had bidders retracting, for some reason or other they have never rebid!
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,746

    Surely anybody who retracts because they "entered wrong amount" should immediately rebid with the correct amount? On the few occasions I have had bidders retracting, for some reason or other they have never rebid!

    I was always under the impression that if you retracted a bid, you had to enter a new bid? (I've looked at it a few times, after mistakenly bidding too high for what I realise something is worth. Fortunately there has always a bidder more stupid than myself).
  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    Well, "my" two bidders did not enter the correct amount.
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    I saw this in the past two weeks on two different auctions. On one auction, there was a bid retraction a little before the auction ended. That auction ended at a lower price than I expected. eBay doesn't provide data on what the retraction was. So I felt maybe it was a way for the person to bump up the price to a higher amount, scaring off other bidders, then retracting and winning it at a lower price with another account. That is a GUESS, I really don't know.

    On another auction, the buyer who won sent me these strange note saying that she would never pay the amount she paid for it (it was a low-priced auction, around $20), and something about another buyer bidding $450, and then (I think) retracting. No idea. For such a low-priced item, it isn't worth the trouble!

    But it made me start thinking about the strategic use of bid retractions, and the stories in this thread only confirm that.

  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    Yep.. I've seen this. 2 accounts, same person. One account bids 30$ for $60 item, other account bids $100 to scare anyone else off, then retracts and gets it cheap.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,366
    I thought that they changed it so you cannot retract in the last 12 / 24 hours, so as to stop bid shielding - where you place two bids with different accounts, then cancel one last minute.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,837
    12 hours I think, but if those final 12 hours are either whilst everybody is at work or in bed, those 12 hours are more or less useless.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 2,063
    Yeah its the final 12 hours that you cantretract.

    Ive only retracted a couple of times and its because ive discovered I cant afford to pay for that item. Life tends to get in the way. I did get in trouble for it once as the woman kicked off that I had retracted a bid. She had dreams of her making a fortune from the set I had bid on.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002

    Surely anybody who retracts because they "entered wrong amount" should immediately rebid with the correct amount? On the few occasions I have had bidders retracting, for some reason or other they have never rebid!

    The eBay policy is that they are supposed to rebid with the correct amount, but this is just another of their policies that they never seem to enforce. Though, to be fair, I did once retract a best offer I had placed after not paying attention to the shipping price, which was pretty outrageous (i.e. $100 to ship a modular from Illinois to Indiana).
  • thehockeyboythehockeyboy Member Posts: 97
    Calculate the shipping cost prior to shipping and set a flat shipping rate.

    So if you increased the price of the item $10 and know shipping via priority to worldwide is $40, just drop that price to $30.
  • benfoldsrockbenfoldsrock Member Posts: 8
    What about for people like Canada vs. Australia or different postage price?
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    I sell a lot of custom stuff and charge a flat rate for international buyers and then just refund them if they are over charged...
  • thehockeyboythehockeyboy Member Posts: 97
    edited December 2012
    You can set multiple prices depending on where they are from. If you did flat price for Canadiens and then flat rate for worldwide (using cost to Australia as the base) you should be fine!

    Also, please keep in mind most sellers on eBay include eBay/Paypal fees in their shipping cost. All of my items I sell include at least $1 handling fee on top of shipping cost and international I charge $3 minimum over exact shipping costs.
  • benfoldsrockbenfoldsrock Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the advice. I don't know if I can go through over 130 items right now to re do listing fees. Do you find the free shipping more beneficial when doing auction though?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002

    Also, please keep in mind most sellers on eBay include eBay/Paypal fees in their shipping cost. All of my items I sell include at least $1 handling fee on top of shipping cost and international I charge $3 minimum over exact shipping costs.

    That's technically against eBay policy, though I did it for years before anyone brought it to my attention.
  • thehockeyboythehockeyboy Member Posts: 97
    It's absolutely is not against ebay policies, which is why they include a "handling cost" when using shipping calculator. My mom took a course years ago (2002?) with Griff (the vp of eBay?) and in the workshops he strongly recommended it. What you are thinking of is the people who would sell an item for $1 and charge $99 shipping to avoid fees, but since eBay changed their fees to include shipping price, charging a handling fee is absolutely an acceptable policy!

    Depending on the price/size of the item, and how many are available from other sellers, I'll offer free shipping. This is mainly done to get more towards the top of the page when lots of other sellers have their items on or if its a seasonal item (ie Christmas is coming up).

    The way I look at it, everyone wants a "bargain" to justify their purchase and boast to their friends. When you sell a lego set for $50 and free shipping, all they can say is they paid $50 for it. But if you sell it for $35 and $15 shipping, 90% of the people will say "wow, this item is normally $60 but I paid only $35 for it!"

    Similar to the person who goes to Vegas and says "I just won $400!!!", but fails to tell you he lost $400 before he made $400.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    ^It is very much against eBay policy to incorporate your fees into the handling charge. In fact, they specifically state that if you want to recover those fees, you need to tack it onto the price of the item upfront.

    "What you're not allowed to charge

    Insurance: You can't charge a separate fee for insurance, although you still need to make sure your item arrives as described.

    Tip: You should incorporate any insurance fees into an item's price or handling cost.

    Tariffs, duties, and customs fees: For cross-border transactions, you're not allowed to collect tariffs, duties, or customs fees. (Buyers may be responsible for paying these fees as required by country laws.)

    Tip: Remember not to inappropriately classify an item as a gift as a way to avoid certain duties, tariffs, or customs fees. US law prohibits submitting false or misleading customs information.

    Related fees: Things like gas, mileage, time spent at a carrier, employee wages, or eBay and PayPal fees shouldn't be added."
  • thehockeyboythehockeyboy Member Posts: 97
    ^ that is an old page that hasn't been updated since the change in ebay fees.

    Regardless, if that is still the "rule", everyone does it. I consider my added fees mainly as "insurance": while I don't purchase 3rd party insurance on my packages since (as discussed in other threads) its mostly BS and is a pain to actually collect on, I have calculated the likelihood of the USPS to lose packages and fraudulent buyers who attempt to cheat sellers out of money (ie return used items, claim they didn't receive a package, credit card chargebacks) and incorporate those.

    With the new fees, it's moot whether you tack your fees onto the item cost or on the shipping cost.
  • thehockeyboythehockeyboy Member Posts: 97
    Also that whole page is misleading, as it puts "shipping and handling" and "handling" into two different categories. It says you can't charge insurance is S&H but you can charge it in H.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    It says you can't charge a separate fee for insurance, but that you can fold it into handling. And as I said, a user on here pointed it out to me, but I do agree with you that eBay can't seem to be bothered to police their own policies, nor would I assume they could prove just exactly what you're considering 'handling.'

    For folks that want to stick to the 'rules' however, I suppose it's still important to know that you could potentially be reprimanded for tacking fee reimbursement onto handling.
  • thehockeyboythehockeyboy Member Posts: 97
    Yeah, ebay has to make things confusing! Good info to know, though after 8+ years of ebay I had never heard it, and never been reprimanded for it either!
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    Same here. A fellow Bricksetter pointed it out to me a few months ago. And as I've said several times, I feel like most of the fees eBay has put into place (which are inconsistent across regions) are only there so they don't need to enforce any of the policies they lay out.
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 477
    My opinion is that as a buyer I am informed up front what postage is and can make an informed decision to buy based on that. If one auction has $8 shipping and another $12 then that is reflected on what I would bid. And since I lose 12% on my shipping fees now to eBay and paypal I do not want to end up having to pay out of my pocket/profit to ship. It did not used to be that way.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    In Australia we still don't pay Final Value Fees on p&h (I wonder how long that will last). Currently eBay + PayPal fees workout at 10.3%, I'm not liking the sound of the close to 20% I keep hearing about in the US :(

    eBay gets annoyed when you sell a $100 item inc p&h for $1 with postage of $99 and I understand why, but I can sell it for $70 + $30 or $80 + $20 and they do not care, (from my experience any way) nor should anyone else.

    I find it annoying when people complain about postage charges that are clearly stated. Any one who does not factor in shipping charges when buying really have no one to blame but them self if they feel they were ripped off.

    Saying that I find it better to have a set postage price listed, so this is normally in the middle range of what it will cost me to send the item any where in Australia. On sales close buy I may make a few dollars and on those I send
    further afield I lose a few dollars,It all evens out in the end.

  • dragonhawkdragonhawk USMember Posts: 633
    edited December 2012
    Just use free shipping and incorporate the shipping cost to the (starting) price of the items. Ebay takes a slice of final value + shipping anyway, there is really no reason to split them up anymore. Plus you get the benefits of better placement in search results and guaranteed 5.0 on S&H DSR
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 477
    ^ I have played with both (free shipping and shipping separate) and while it makes no difference in fees if you factor it in to the price, for auctions I have not had consistent luck with free shipping (i.e. it did not bid up to the same items that had shipping separate at the end result) so it was not as profitable. For BIN it may not matter, although as others have said some people may not really factor in the shipping price when they see the item price (although they should).
  • thehockeyboythehockeyboy Member Posts: 97
    If you guys truly think there is no difference in sales between a BIN with free shipping and one with a strategically set shipping price, you are clearly beginners at eBay.

    Not to mention the boost in international sales that can happen (as this thread talked about).
  • wilburwilbur Member Posts: 49
    edited December 2012
    I'm starting to sell quite a bit on Ebay, and I have a pretty good handle on most of it...

    I've taken to looking at the past selling histories of sets I am either currently selling, or interested in selling in the near future, and I've notice a huge disparity in the sale prices of all currently discontinued sets...

    For example.. The Harry Potter Knight Bus NISB usually sells for around $40 to $50, but there is an instance where someone paid over $160 for it! I want to know why in the world anyone would do that! What drives people to spend that kind of money on a set that is more or less available at near retail prices?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    One thing I've learned in my time on eBay is that Best Match actually has a huge impact on sales. Whereas I initially thought no one would ever be stupid enough to search by Best Match and they would naturally gravitate towards 'Price+Shipping - Lowest First' they actually seem to inexplicably stick with Best Match. And while I cannot explain the $160 Knight Bus example, I do know many sellers with high volume on a set will start 'reasonable' and then inch their price up. Each item they sell against a listing boosts their visibility in Best Match, so someone that has a set available for $30 higher than what you're asking may easily sell theirs before you, even though it doesn't make sense to the savvy buyer.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ never underestimate the ignorance, lethargy, and stupidity of the "average" buyer.
  • dragonhawkdragonhawk USMember Posts: 633
    It does not hurt to have a selling account with 10000+ positive feedbacks
  • yak_faceyak_face Member Posts: 11
    dougts said:

    ^ never underestimate the ignorance, lethargy, and stupidity of the "average" buyer.

    fine example... the Minecraft sets.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,366
    ^ Minecraft is an odd one though, that it keeps going out of stock. If a parent looks on, sees it as out of stock then they go to ebay and buy there. They don't go back every few hours to check if it is back in stock. Especially as christmas approaches.
  • NintendawgNintendawg Member Posts: 18
    Yeah, Ebay pricing really doesn't make sense. While on the topic of Minecraft I have sold three of them. All had the same description. One sold for $113, another for $132 and the one that was clearly the most damaged of the three? A whopping $160. Crazy.

    Basically you have 3 options on Ebay as a seller.

    - List as a buy-it-now, smack on exactly the price you want. Good for niche items or basically anything where its a supply is much larger than demand. Also good for people that are in a rush and need the product quickly. Downside to this method is if your bin is even just a few dollars too high it may be completely ignored.

    - List as an auction with starting price just below where your buy it now price would be. This is kind of inbetween the two other ways. Fairly safe, but unlikely to incite a bidding war.

    - List as an auction at 50% or less of what you actually want to sell the set for. This is the high stakes listing format. Starting at 99 cents always seems to get far more watchers. More watchers equates to more and higher bids. But of course, the downside is the risk of having to sell at a loss if things go badly.

    And yes, I agree Best Match is unfair, and part of ebays larger plan to push the little guys out of the game.
  • dragonhawkdragonhawk USMember Posts: 633
    edited December 2012
    CCC said:

    .... They don't go back every few hours to check if it is back in stock. Especially as christmas approaches.

    This is a bit unfair. Not everyone has the time or access to computer on hourly basis to check on LEGO/toys even when they are for gifts. At the end of the day, it is worth it to pay a few dollars more to get what you want with minimal effort
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,366
    edited December 2012
    ^ ??? Why is it unfair ???

    I wrote .... If a parent looks on, sees it as out of stock then they go to ebay and buy there. They don't go back every few hours to check if it is back in stock. Especially as christmas approaches.

    That is, they pay a few pounds / dollars more since they think it is out of stock on and they will miss out for Christmas. I know not everyone has the time to keep checking stock, which is why they just go on ebay and buy from there.
  • wilburwilbur Member Posts: 49
    I used to shop for lego on ebay all the time, but not so much anymore. Anyway, I always notice that people are listing sets that are currently in production for 2x, and sometimes up to 3x RRP!!! I laugh at those people and say, "what idiot would pay $300 for the Shuttle Expedition when they could just get it on Amazon for $100? this seller must be stupid." But apparently people actually will pay $300!!! WHY????

    Same thing with the USC Falcon. You can get it NISB for around $2000 or a little less! So why would anyone pay $3500? Is it cause they ship overseas or something?
  • wilburwilbur Member Posts: 49
    @y2josh Am I correct to conclude that Best Match works well for sellers that sell many copies of the same set, as opposed to perhaps only a couple copies of many sets?
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