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How do You Use Ebay?

Old 06-29-10, 08:45 PM
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metabike
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How do You Use Ebay?

I am going to be listing on Ebay some older parts (Suntour Command shifters, Cyclone hubs, etc.) and was wondering if I'd be better off using the "generic" shifter category for example or using the "Vintage" category? Thank you in advance for your input.
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Old 06-29-10, 09:03 PM
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Generic. But peruse some of the better ads (completed auctions). Notice full size pictures (using a hosting site), end times, no reserves, starting price, key word titles, cleanliness and preparation, etc. And in the end, ebay is a bit of a crapshoot sales price wise.

The command shifters should go very well. Some Cyclone stuff goes cheap, some does not.

Good luck!
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Old 06-29-10, 09:14 PM
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I would suggest listing them in the road bikes component cycling category (and drill down to the derailleur part). The vintage category is practically burried on ebay.... (that's where I go to find bargains and the collectibles/transportation/bicycles area....) List that correctly
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Old 06-29-10, 09:16 PM
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I always start/end my auctions Saturday or Sunday night that way the majority of possible bidders in the U.S. are free to bid before that auction ends. I.E. they don't have to be at work. I run 7 day auctions usually and have done a 10 day that starts on Thursday night and ends Sunday night. You pay more for a 10 day auction, but it is up for a full two weekends.

But, for me Ebay is my absolute last resort to sell anything. The sometimes shipping hassles and the huge chunk that Ebay and Paypal takes away doesn't help.
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Old 06-29-10, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by redxj View Post
I always start/end my auctions Saturday or Sunday night that way the majority of possible bidders in the U.S. are free to bid before that auction ends. I.E. they don't have to be at work. I run 7 day auctions usually and have done a 10 day that starts on Thursday night and ends Sunday night. You pay more for a 10 day auction, but it is up for a full two weekends.

But, for me Ebay is my absolute last resort to sell anything. The sometimes shipping hassles and the huge chunk that Ebay and Paypal takes away doesn't help.
I sell on ebay every week. But one key for me is that I sell stuff that I could not sell elsewhere, or at least, would get very little for anywhere else. That way, the 10% I lose to Paypal/ebay fees is not so painful.
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Old 06-29-10, 09:48 PM
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Tripod, macro setting, natural light (no flash), neutral background.

800 pix wide self hosted images (flickr, photobucket etc).
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Old 06-30-10, 08:04 AM
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I think you can list in two categories for a minimal fee, like 30 cents or similar.
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Old 06-30-10, 08:13 AM
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what jan said about flash. DO NOT use flash. take it outside, set it on something that is approximately 18% gray (use your imagination here) and shoot it.

I buy almost exclusively from ebay as my local craigslist is a bicycle ghost town. When I search, I go to sporting goods and click cycling. From there I use keywords. I almost never go any further into categories because it ups the chances that someone has stuck something in a strange category.

Keywords are your friend, Categories are not. By the same token don't use a bunch of random keywords trying to get someone's attention. If it's a Cyclone MK II rear derailleur, the title should say exactly that, not 'CYCLONE MK II, BRIDGESTONE, MASI, JAPAN!!! AWESOME!!! RARE!!! etc.'
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Old 06-30-10, 08:28 AM
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^+1. The guy who's willing to pay the most is the guy who needs exactly what you're selling, and you need to convince him you know what you have. So make sure you have your spelling correct.

Don't rely on photos to show flaws. If your item has any scratches or parts missing, mention this in the description and photograph the area.
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Old 06-30-10, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by metabike View Post
I am going to be listing on Ebay some older parts (Suntour Command shifters, Cyclone hubs, etc.) and was wondering if I'd be better off using the "generic" shifter category for example or using the "Vintage" category? Thank you in advance for your input.
here we go
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Old 06-30-10, 10:05 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by metabike View Post
I am going to be listing on Ebay some older parts (Suntour Command shifters, Cyclone hubs, etc.) and was wondering if I'd be better off using the "generic" shifter category for example or using the "Vintage" category? Thank you in advance for your input.
This is going to be long, but its worth it. Have a seat

Some good points have already been mentioned:

- Use generic categories and good key words. This opens up the viewer base.
- Use full size pictures... as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Select end times wisely. Friday-Sunday nights 9-12am EST is the prime time. Avoid holiday weekends... and the Super Bowl.
- Avoid reserve pricing like the plague. That is a game where you set the price and others have to guess at it. Its insulting and is guaranteed to minimize your bidder count.*
- Start at a low price. This keeps your insertion fees low and gets people excited

Ill also add the following (the long part) .................

+ Leave off the "rare" descriptor - it is so overused it is insulting. If what you have is genuinely rare (and the burden of proof is on YOU) then put it in your text description. Using the term to dupe people into your listing is shabby and is what bad used-car salesmen do - and its lying. Believe me if something is rare, the interested parties will know it.

+ The highest and best use of ebay is to reach the one person who will pay the most. THAT is why you pay the fees. You'll kiss a lot of frogs on Craigslist before you find one prince of a buyer. Remember, ebay is about AUCTIONING and that is to your advantage. If you just want to sell stuff, stick with classified advertising.

+ Auction items worth buying. Vintage, collectible, used and useful items are the best. But always avoid trying to retail something, or to sell commonplace crap. You have to have something people really want and the market dictates price on ebay - not you.
Low-value items bring low value money. Again the burden of proof is on you - just because you think it is top shelf doesn't mean it is.

+ You make your money when you obtain an item - NOT when you sell it. This is why used items are so appealing on ebay and is a top reason people complain about losing money on ebay. Just watch a few episodes of "Pawn Stars" and you'll understand what I mean...

+ Open the bidding to international bidders... they are often the best bidders. On bike parts I dont expect this to be a factor, since you need to offer things overseas that are hard to come by for them. They got lots of bikes around the world.

But it costs you nothing to do it. They pay the shipping and there is only one form to fill out. Once it leaves your hands its done, whether shipping across town or across the world.
So why deny the world the chance to give you money?

+ Avoid ebay clutter. Dont pay for their added features, except for bold titles and large pictures in the search result. The goal is to get people to click in to your auction, not pay to entertain them when they are there.

+ Use TurboLister. Its a free download from ebay and allows you to create the listing at your leisure. It's a mini-ebay on your desktop.

+ Research the price. Use ebay completed listings - the ones that have sold - to find what like or similar items actually sell for. Since "all frogs praise their own pond," your notion of value and that of the bidding market are bound to be different.

+ Understand sniping. This is the use of a program to remotely bid on auctions within the last few minutes, or even seconds. The "sniper" enters his max bid and then goes away to wait. Whether you like it or not, this is a strategic tactic used by serious bidders.
That last few minutes is where the real money on worthy items comes from. This means you need to welcome these wolves with an honest, informative and enticing listing to keep them with you.

Whats all this mean? Here's an example of something I have on ebay right now:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...STRK:MESELX:IT

It has been on ebay since Friday night, passed. No reserve, it got to its present level in a day. And while it has slowed out of Phase One, it is already beyond what I set as my "happy price." If it continues, it will go to Phase Two, when a trickle of bids early Friday will carry it past the $300 sticking point. Once past that, Phase Three will take it out in the last 5 minutes for it's final push.

256 people have viewed it and I gain about 10 views per day. Experience tells me that 10% or more of those have logged it as watchers. I'm certain from previous auctions that up to half of the watchers have logged robot snipe bids, which are still to kick in. That's a bunch of people that haven't bid yet.
I'll predict $325, just for fun. The money is going to a new bike, so check on it often and see how it does, okay?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* For those who insist on sticking with reserves, here are two tips.
- If you feel compelled to recoup a minimum investment, then do so by openly starting the bid price there, with NO RESERVE.
- Dont lure customers with low "openers", then hit them with RESERVE NOT MET until they cross your price line. That's insulting!

Last edited by dahut; 06-30-10 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 06-30-10, 10:14 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I sell on ebay every week. But one key for me is that I sell stuff that I could not sell elsewhere, or at least, would get very little for anywhere else. That way, the 10% I lose to Paypal/ebay fees is not so painful.

+1 I generally only list auction items that I need national exposure so the item will bring max price... but it is not fool proof as I have items that went for much less than I hoped.
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Old 06-30-10, 02:44 PM
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Some usefull information in this thread.

I use ebay like its my own shop. I start my auctions every wednesday/thursday night for 10 days, so they end on weekend evenings and overlap the previous weeks items.
Hopefully this get's a following.

I post alot of photos (hosted off site), post a velobase link and start at a reserve style price. In this case, 16 euros.

I try and post one campagnolo item per week, to try and get people to see my other less seached items
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Old 06-30-10, 04:10 PM
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+1 To the quote from above: "You make your money when you obtain an item - NOT when you sell it. This is why used items are so appealing on ebay and is a top reason people complain about losing money on ebay. Just watch a few episodes of "Pawn Stars" and you'll understand what I mean."

This is my number one lesson for any flipper or seller on ebay, Craigs List or whatever. You make your money when you buy an item, not when you sell it. Pay too much, and you will rarely make any money on it. Buy right, and you can make money on anything: guitars, real estate, cars, trucks, golf clubs, or even bicycles....
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Old 06-30-10, 11:19 PM
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Some good advice in this thread. I'll add a couple of things I think may be pertinent (and possibly repetitive of what has already been posted):

1) Describe ANY flaws/issues in an item, no matter how minor. You don't necessarily have to have pictures of every ding, but be descriptive ("light scratching on the left brake lever..."). In addition to this, give an opinion in standardized terminology of overal condition - I use poor, fair, good, excellent, and outstanding as descriptors for used items. Be honest about the description but also be enthusiastic about the item in general.
2) Ship stuff FAST. I can't overemphasize this. Doing so seems to innoculate against a lot of problems. Somebody who is tapping their foot waiting for their item is predisposed to be critical of the sale, vs. the guy who is delighted the item is already there. Generally, I try to get stuff out the day after payment arrives at latest and often the same day if payment arrives early enough.
3) Unless is it is something that has a thin market, which is sorta unusual for most bike parts, start your auctions at .99 cents, no reserve. Out of hundreds of items I've sold, I've only regretted this once or twice, and in those cases it was really obscure items. But rather than do reserves or large starting bid in the rare case, I would probably go with a buy it now price.
4) Don't make money off of shipping. Most of my auctions quote shipping prices that are at or a little below actual shipping cost. Occasionally, the actual shipping will come out a little below what was charged. If it is more than a buck, I refund it to the buyer w/an explanation. This delights buyers and, again, tends to predispose buyers towards viewing you as an honest broker should item condition issues (almost inevitable when dealing w/30 year old bike parts) arise.
5) If a condition issue arises, for typical bike part items, I just refund the entire auction with a smile and tell the buyer to keep the part. This is for the typical <100 dollar type stuff. it doesn't happen very often, maybe once every hundred sales at most. Anyhow, I figure it is just the cost of business being a junk reseller. If I think the buyer is overly picky, I then silently put them on my block list. This has happened only once or twice. Anyhow, for the stuff I've been selling, with few exceptions, it isn't even worth my time to get into a dispute w/a buyer.
6) Pack stuff nicely, show the buyer you care as much about the part as they do. Remember, when selling vintage/collectible stuff, your item may be the stuff of dreams for the buyer and the crowning glory to his project even though you may think it is just a ratty old derailleur or something. I use USPS for the most part because they give out free boxes, nice to ship stuff in a new box rather than a beat up old shoe box or something.
7) Respond to all questions/inquiries.
8) Sometimes you might want to hold off on an item. Semi-rare stuff tends to go highest if an instance hasn't appeared for a while. When something like this goes for a high price, it often brings a few more examples out of the woodwork and the closing price will decline with successive auctions. I've seen this pattern time and again. So if you are selling some NOS Maxi-Car hubs, might want to wait a little while if there is a current auction for some or if an auction completed recently. I even have done this with some of my own items of which I have multiples.

Really, most of this boils down to treating people how you would like to be treated. As I've been working through liquidating my bike/parts collection, which turns out to be a lot bigger than I thought, I've ended up with quite a few repeat buyers and I'm certain this results in higher closing prices.
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Old 07-01-10, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
Some good advice in this thread. I'll add a couple of things I think may be pertinent (and possibly repetitive of what has already been posted):

1) Describe ANY flaws/issues in an item, no matter how minor. You don't necessarily have to have pictures of every ding, but be descriptive ("light scratching on the left brake lever..."). In addition to this, give an opinion in standardized terminology of overal condition - I use poor, fair, good, excellent, and outstanding as descriptors for used items. Be honest about the description but also be enthusiastic about the item in general.
2) Ship stuff FAST. I can't overemphasize this. Doing so seems to innoculate against a lot of problems. Somebody who is tapping their foot waiting for their item is predisposed to be critical of the sale, vs. the guy who is delighted the item is already there. Generally, I try to get stuff out the day after payment arrives at latest and often the same day if payment arrives early enough.
3) Unless is it is something that has a thin market, which is sorta unusual for most bike parts, start your auctions at .99 cents, no reserve. Out of hundreds of items I've sold, I've only regretted this once or twice, and in those cases it was really obscure items. But rather than do reserves or large starting bid in the rare case, I would probably go with a buy it now price.
4) Don't make money off of shipping. Most of my auctions quote shipping prices that are at or a little below actual shipping cost. Occasionally, the actual shipping will come out a little below what was charged. If it is more than a buck, I refund it to the buyer w/an explanation. This delights buyers and, again, tends to predispose buyers towards viewing you as an honest broker should item condition issues (almost inevitable when dealing w/30 year old bike parts) arise.
5) If a condition issue arises, for typical bike part items, I just refund the entire auction with a smile and tell the buyer to keep the part. This is for the typical <100 dollar type stuff. it doesn't happen very often, maybe once every hundred sales at most. Anyhow, I figure it is just the cost of business being a junk reseller. If I think the buyer is overly picky, I then silently put them on my block list. This has happened only once or twice. Anyhow, for the stuff I've been selling, with few exceptions, it isn't even worth my time to get into a dispute w/a buyer.
6) Pack stuff nicely, show the buyer you care as much about the part as they do. Remember, when selling vintage/collectible stuff, your item may be the stuff of dreams for the buyer and the crowning glory to his project even though you may think it is just a ratty old derailleur or something. I use USPS for the most part because they give out free boxes, nice to ship stuff in a new box rather than a beat up old shoe box or something.
7) Respond to all questions/inquiries.
8) Sometimes you might want to hold off on an item. Semi-rare stuff tends to go highest if an instance hasn't appeared for a while. When something like this goes for a high price, it often brings a few more examples out of the woodwork and the closing price will decline with successive auctions. I've seen this pattern time and again. So if you are selling some NOS Maxi-Car hubs, might want to wait a little while if there is a current auction for some or if an auction completed recently. I even have done this with some of my own items of which I have multiples.

Really, most of this boils down to treating people how you would like to be treated. As I've been working through liquidating my bike/parts collection, which turns out to be a lot bigger than I thought, I've ended up with quite a few repeat buyers and I'm certain this results in higher closing prices.
robatsu knows of what he speaks, check these out and these are only a few of the great prices he has gotten.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEDWX:IT

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEDWX:IT
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