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Expecting communication with seller/Ebay?

Old 05-10-22, 11:37 AM
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big chainring 
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Expecting communication with seller/Ebay?

So I find myself with a full set of 1970 Campy NR components and other tidbits from my recent Raleigh Pro Mk l purchase. The Mk l frame unfortunately was bent, and am now looking for a frane to hang these components on. Ebay has gone to the dogs, sales tax, high prices, questionable sellers, and whatnot, but I did find a couple frames in my size, (60cm if anyone has something to sell). I have questions regarding condition and sizing and get no response from sellers. Am I expecting too much that a seller would actually respond? Ready to spend my money but I "gots to know" before I buy.
What has your experience been lately?
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Old 05-10-22, 11:39 AM
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You should expect prompt communication from sellers. If you don't get that--move on.
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Old 05-10-22, 11:53 AM
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When I deal with a good seller, communication is prompt. If not, it’s a huge flag for me. If they’re apologetic about a delay, then maybe all is well, but an experienced seller with good feedback should be prompt.

EDIT: I have seen plenty of folks have good luck with a WTB ad in the sales section here.
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Old 05-10-22, 12:40 PM
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Generally you should receive a response about requests for more relevant details that are missing in the description and it could be an inexperienced seller or one that just doesn't want to bother with the customer service aspect of selling. Could also be a bad seller who wants yer money not yer lip.

Not that this would apply to you but on the flip side, it could be that a potential buyer's message came off as tire kicking, requesting concessions or seeking information that may not seem important to the seller. I've received a few messages I don't respond to because of insultingly low offers or comments (not questions) about an item's quality and or condition that are already addressed in the ad or patently false. It could also be that the time limits for having active ads are much longer now than they used to be and they could be away or forgotten about their postings.

Last edited by Narhay; 05-10-22 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 05-10-22, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
So I find myself with a full set of 1970 Campy NR components and other tidbits from my recent Raleigh Pro Mk l purchase. The Mk l frame unfortunately was bent, and am now looking for a frane to hang these components on. Ebay has gone to the dogs, sales tax, high prices, questionable sellers, and whatnot, but I did find a couple frames in my size, (60cm if anyone has something to sell). I have questions regarding condition and sizing and get no response from sellers. Am I expecting too much that a seller would actually respond? Ready to spend my money but I "gots to know" before I buy.
What has your experience been lately?
These are often the sellers that will inform you "payment is expected at close of sale", so answer my questions promptly and properly if you want to close the sale.
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Old 05-10-22, 03:10 PM
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I've had more problems with sellers not on ebay than sellers from ebay , but one person's experience in one person's experience.

What I don't understand is all the griping about ebay. Please name for me an auction house that takes less than a 30% cut and doesn't have a buyer's fee. Ebay is well below 20. Sales tax is a gubmint thing, not an ebay thing, can't blame them for death and taxes.

As for asking questions, if they are relevant, objective, not ambiguous and most importantly, to the point, then yes, you should get an answer. But if you go on and on about your passion for a brand but this one is SL tubing and you want to know the ride characteristics compared to SLX tubing then it would take all my being to ignore you even though I would want to tell you to go **** yourself.

A transaction should easy when kept objective. Whining over the meaning of "excellent" condition is a hell you deserve. Knowing the size and nature of a defect is required.
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Old 05-10-22, 03:14 PM
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There are all kinds.
I have won an auction, paid promptly, crickets till day 10, seller decides he has an sentimental attachment but if I offered him three times the original price, he would consider.

oh boy, the ticked part was eBay while they read the communication and said "that's not right" still took another month to return my money.

and reportedly give him a "black mark"
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Old 05-10-22, 03:18 PM
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If they don’t follow through, I’ve found it pretty easy to get your money back, eBay seems pretty weighted to the buyer these days.
Tim
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Old 05-10-22, 03:27 PM
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I think the answer to the OPs question is simple...the vibe.

36-48 hours business day response time is pretty much my limit. I move on, or if really interested I send one follow up. If no response, I do not buy from them at all.

if the response is snarky to a question I move on (I am unusually polite and friendly).

If the response is solid, I know I am buying from someone legit and I tend to watch their stuff.

All of that said, I have had unusually good experiences from the overwhelming majority of everyone here in the Us and in Europe except for two American sellers.

I made my concerns known and left fair but very honest feedback for their transaction.
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Old 05-10-22, 04:11 PM
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Slow or weak (fragments not sentences) are negative points to me. I just communicated with a seller the other day, and while he responded quickly, he refused to share the serial number on a bike I was very interested in buying. I wanted the serial to determine manufacturer and year. He said people get the serial numbers then register them with Bike Index and try and claim them IF, repeat IF theyíre ever stolen. Seems like one big bunch of work to me, especially since Iím in Virginia and heís in Idaho. I really wanted that bike, too.
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Old 05-10-22, 04:25 PM
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Iíll allow 24 hours and then move on. Lately I only buy stuff on eBay from brick and mortar stores using it as a way to sell products to a wider audience.

Iím always pleasantly surprised what turns up at this-here forum if you ask. Someone here may not have it but they know a guy (gal) who does.
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Old 05-10-22, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
When I deal with a good seller, communication is prompt. If not, itís a huge flag for me. If theyíre apologetic about a delay, then maybe all is well, but an experienced seller with good feedback should be prompt.

EDIT: I have seen plenty of folks have good luck with a WTB ad in the sales section here.
I have sold and bought many things on ebay, leading to a 200+ actions 100% positive profile. Still i have a life and a job and I won't react always within n the hour.
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Old 05-10-22, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by martl View Post
I have sold and bought many things on ebay, leading to a 200+ actions 100% positive profile. Still i have a life and a job and I won't react always within n the hour.
My definition of "prompt" is not that strict. I've had a couple of sellers get back to me after a week or more saying that they had something reasonable pulling them away, and I went ahead and completed the sales with good experiences, left good feedback. On different occasions, I've had sellers not acknowledge a similarly long delay and either be gruff or simply respond as though all was normal, and I didn't take the risk those times. It might have been fine, but to me, it wasn't worth the risk in those cases.
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Old 05-10-22, 05:19 PM
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“Sales tax is a gubmint thing, not an ebay thing, can't blame them for death and taxes.”

I find it funny that when I sell things on eBay from Japan, from a business registered in Japan, and payments being made to a Japanese account that eBay collects American state sales tax. Japan requires sales tax only on things sold in Japan. I stopped selling on eBay and set up my own site, and do not collect sales tax on foreign transactions. It says a lot that my first month’s sales from a new store without marketing or strong online presence was higher than several months of eBay sales combined. Not only do I not have to charge sales tax, I don’t have to pay eBay’s fees or deal with their endless and everchanging BS. eBay used to be fun, but not anymore.
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Old 05-10-22, 06:12 PM
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I've been on ebay for over 20 years as both a buyer and seller. eBay has experimented with a variety of models over the years - it's never been worse than it is today. Selling bikes is a tough deal because eBay charges sellers the same percentage on shipping fees as they do on the actual sale price. You sell a bike for $800 and charge $150 for shipping, eBay collects fees on $950. This is tough when both FedEX and UPS have a $31 surcharge on shipping bikes.
I bought a bike on eBay for $750 and with tax and shipping the cost was over $1000.
In terms of bike parts, Brooks saddle, Campy seat post - 90% - 100% of the listings are Buy-it-now with prices that begin at double what the same items realistically sell for. So for me, buying on ebay means no bikes and waiting for the part I need to show up as an auction. Also, you can't trust sellers' feedback anymore as eBay routinely removes even neutral feedback at the sellers request.
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Old 05-10-22, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
ďSales tax is a gubmint thing, not an ebay thing, can't blame them for death and taxes.Ē

I find it funny that when I sell things on eBay from Japan, from a business registered in Japan, and payments being made to a Japanese account that eBay collects American state sales tax. Japan requires sales tax only on things sold in Japan. I stopped selling on eBay and set up my own site, and do not collect sales tax on foreign transactions. It says a lot that my first monthís sales from a new store without marketing or strong online presence was higher than several months of eBay sales combined. Not only do I not have to charge sales tax, I donít have to pay eBayís fees or deal with their endless and everchanging BS. eBay used to be fun, but not anymore.
Your state collects the tax, not the origin state or country. I buy from Illinois, Illinois charges me 8%. I buy from Texas, Illinois charges me 8%. I buy from Italy, Illinois charges me 8%.

Ever do taxes? Know the part where you tell the state if you had internet purchases from outside your state? That's what ebay collects.
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Old 05-10-22, 08:38 PM
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eBay sellers come in all shapes and sizes. The long term sellers with spotless feedback tend to be great communicators. Pick one that sells a lot of bike stuff, rather than a generic picker that just happened to find a bike or a frame in a storage locker or garage sale. If what they are selling is all over the map, thats a sign. If they are not a top rated seller, thats another sign.

eBay's system tends to punish sellers who do a mediocre job. They won't last very long, and eBay can ban them at any time, sometimes for life. So the pressure is on for sellers to improve their service.

Check how long the seller has been selling on eBay, one year? two years? twenty years? Check their feedback as a seller (ignore their feedback as a buyer).

The great news is eBay almost always sides with the BUYER, sellers are an afterthought. So it should be a much safer transaction than say buying a shipped item off FB marketplace. There are so many scams on FB marketplace right now, its caveat emptor.

And +10 above. I sell on eBay to all 50 states and other countries as well. eBay charges California buyers California sales tax. Only buyers that pay NC sales tax live in NC. Where I live has no bearing on the sales tax. And then there is the pesky 1099. I've been getting one for several years, but for those that have tried to stay under the threshold, the rules in 2022 have changed. Sell $600 in gross proceeds or more, and you will be getting a 1099. And those that sell here and use PayPal, same rule applies. And gross proceeds will include what you charge in shipping. So it doesn't take much to reach $600.

100% of my sales on eBay are Buy It Now. Why? Because I had so many slow/no payers on auctions. If sellers price stuff too high, their items don't sell. Sellers can ask any price they want but most buyers don't fall for it. Its pretty easy to research actual prices paid, not asked for.

+10 on fees. In person auctions here take 30% or MORE. And for that fee you get the local market of people that happen to show up. Meanwhile, despite all the fees involved, I continue to pay less than 15% to eBay to get access to a global marketplace. Its all about weighing what access to a global marketplace is worth to you compared to what it costs you to access that market. FWIW, I sell a lot of sporting goods items at a local consignment shop. Similar to the situation above, I only get the local market of people that walk into their store. Cost? 50%. Thats right, they take HALF of every sale. Needless to say, if the item is worthy of selling on eBay, off it goes. I'd rather pay 15% to access a global market than 50% to access the local market. So why bother? It tends to be a bunch of $5 to $15 items, not worth the hassle of taking pictures, writing an ad, waiting for a buyer, shipping the item, and so on.

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Old 05-10-22, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
What I don't understand is all the griping about ebay. Please name for me an auction house that takes less than a 30% cut and doesn't have a buyer's fee. Ebay is well below 20. Sales tax is a gubmint thing, not an ebay thing, can't blame them for death and taxes.
I agree that eBay is a great tool and often the best outlet for many items. Over the years, we have sold tens of thousands of items in various categories and through multiple eBay IDs. However, the 30% vig on other auction houses is not always comparable. Those auction houses largely do everything for you - from taking pics, to writing copy, to dealing with bad debt and shipping the item. That is not the same as eBay where the seller does all the work and shoulders the risk of returns. Besides, there are specialty auction sites that will do all that mentioned above for a fee that is in line with eBay. I am not aware of any bike related auction sites that can beat eBay though.

Specialty Sites with commissions of 10% or less (no buyer's premium), will do all the work (scan, write copy, ship, collect money) and will even give you an advance on items yet to be auctioned:

Comiclink.com
Comicconnect.com
mycomicshop.com

Two of three have achieved record, million+ sales in their specialty but also offer items as low as $50. I would throw a fourth auction house, Heritage, in the mix. However, their stated fees are 10% and 20% buyer's premium. Unlike eBay, those fees are negotiable. For the right pieces and/or collections, commissions (including the BP) could well be within eBay's range. The above auction houses will print physical catalogs and mail them to prospective buyers. They will gain much more exposure for your key items than eBay even would. I wish there was a Heritage of bike sales. Heritage has auctioned the occasional bike:

1992-94 Lance Armstrong Used Team Motorola Eddy Merckx Bicycle.... | Lot #53809 | Heritage Auctions (ha.com)

(you can tell they don't auction many bikes...lead pic is from the non-drive side. Chain is in the big ring though.)
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Old 05-10-22, 09:24 PM
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Try Facebook Marketplace. Much better selections and you can search your local area.
But - responses from sellers still are hit & miss. Frustrating as heck!
RR
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Old 05-11-22, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Your state collects the tax, not the origin state or country. I buy from Illinois, Illinois charges me 8%. I buy from Texas, Illinois charges me 8%. I buy from Italy, Illinois charges me 8%.

Ever do taxes? Know the part where you tell the state if you had internet purchases from outside your state? That's what ebay collects.
"Illinois." That says a lot. Here in Japan I do not have to pay for sales tax on goods I buy online from outside Japan, period.
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Old 05-12-22, 08:06 AM
  #21  
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As someone with 1000's of transactions on Ebay as both a buyer & a seller with 100% Feed back I am pretty much done with them, if I buy 5 things I can almost Guarantee there will be a problem with 4 of the items. This past week I was given a little 2cycle Mantis Rototiller that was used once and put away with fuel in it. I ordered a new Carb Kit that was listed for the model tiller and matching Carb number, it was a new carb, air filter, fuel lines and a bunch of small parts. Got the kit within 3 days and not one part was right, it was all knock off's and none of it worked, in the end I got my money back but I also found a NOS Carb from another seller at the same time, he had a BIN price or make offer, I offered $4 less then asking which was the shipping price, heard not a peep, they didn't counter, they didn't say anything just let the offer expire. I deleted my Watch page in full after that and will not go back.
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Old 05-12-22, 03:08 PM
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I used to sell around $10k per month on eBay. I literally couldn’t keep up with demand, and eventually did more than $1 million in sales. I always had 100% feedback and then 5 star ratings. But eBay kept making changes and “improvements,” which made it ever harder to make sales. Fees were raised, one had to ship within 24 hours to be a Top-Rated seller, cancellations easily resulted in higher fees and getting your listings buried. eBay got into a pissing contest with Google, resulting in huge decreases in traffic and much lower sales. $10k per month in sales became $500 per month, and this was before the addition of sales taxes. I closed my account and walked away.

The Harvard MBA bean counters eBay hired needed to keep coming up with new business plans to justify their salaries, and every single one of these plans made eBay a worse platform. The proof is in the results, eBay has seen a 10% drop in customers in the last 12 months.
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Old 05-12-22, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
"Illinois." That says a lot. Here in Japan I do not have to pay for sales tax on goods I buy online from outside Japan, period.
Don't pick on "Illinois". The internet sales tax is the internet sales tax. Most states have it. Have some fun with google instead of talking out of turn. And while Japan may not charge you tax in that particular way, I'm sure they get theirs, no need for your high horse. Gubmint, is gubmint.
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Old 05-12-22, 03:31 PM
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Well, one of the two sellers replyed back. 50% aint bad. He actually said I asked some very good questions.
The issues I have with one of the frames is the black finish. Pictures provided are good but black reflexs everything. Not sure what I am seeing in the pics. Hopefully we can sort it out.
In the neantime I have had some interesting frames offered up to me by forum members. But not sure how I will proceed.
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Old 05-12-22, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Please name for me an auction house that takes less than a 30% cut and doesn't have a buyer's fee. Ebay is well below 20. Sales tax is a gubmint thing, not an ebay thing, can't blame them for death and taxes.
That's not a realistic assessment. eBay's less-than-20% from sales gross is only part of the cut one will ultimately pay.

You haven't factored that eBay calculates a seller's 1099 from the gross sales figures - meaning you're getting charged income tax on what buyers are paying for shipping as well. That wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for the fact that some of our bike stuff might be worth equal or less than what it costs to ship. Case in point, you could sell $5k worth of stuff - net, prior to eBay's cut - but if your shipping was roughly parallel to your item sales, you could have a gross of $10k. This means you're going to be paying nearly $2k worth of income tax on $5k of sales, giving you a net of $3k.

In other words, not only is it a lot more than 15-20% at the end of the day, one could lose money selling on eBay if what they're selling is cheaper or equal to the cost of shipping that item. Definitely no $15 dollar cranksets shipped in a $14.95 Medium Flat Rate Box. By the time eBay fees and income tax come out of the total, you're looking at $11-12 out the window, meaning you've just sold a crankset for $3.

It's not worth it to sell the small stuff - or expensive-to-ship stuff - on eBay anymore; not so long as the shipping is calculated as part of one's income tax.

-Kurt
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