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Los Angeles Classic Chevy Club
Monthly Meeting held at the
Sunday, Jan 12, 2014
610 Lairport Street
President’s Column For December 2013
As I mentioned last month, eBay is the way to buy things these days, especially rare or hard to find vintage things. But
not only is it a way to buy things but it is also a way to SELL things. I’m both a SELLER and a BUYER on eBay, and
have been one for well over 12 years.
First let’s talk pitfalls as a Buyer: As a Buyer you are going to see many different approaches to the way a Seller lists his
or her items. Some Sellers give lots of info, with lots of photos. On the other extreme, some Sellers say very little and
may have only one photo. I tend to stay away from these types of “low information” Sellers because I think its sloppy
salesmanship. And perhaps they are trying to hide something negative about what they are selling. Folks like this have
a tendency to gloss over problems and think a crack or scratch on an item is no big deal. If YOU don’t care, that’s ok,
you might want to take the chance, but not on an expensive item. I have been stung too many times by a Seller who
didn’t show the bad side of his item he was selling, or tell the truth about the actual condition.
A Buyer needs to do a bit of research before jumping into bidding on an item. Take the time to look at what others are
charging for the same item. Under SEARCH OPTIONS there is a way to look at COMPLETED AUCTIONS. Try that
too. I find that when buying an item, I like to feel comfortable with the Seller. I get a sense of how honest they are by
several things. One is the number of POSITIVE FEEDBACKS they have. A low number makes me worry, even though I
realize every Seller has to start somewhere. I also feel better the more descriptive the Seller is about the Auction and
the item being sold. I like clarity about the condition of the item and shipping details.
This brings up an issue that concerns both Buyers and Sellers, and that is SHIPPING & HANDLING FEES. Every Buyer
thinks that the cost should be very low, but that’s unreasonable. You have to have a feel for what is fair. As a Seller I’m
being hit constantly with how expensive it is to ship anything these days. A 12 lb item can cost $20 to ship within
California but $40-$50 to ship to the east coast. Dimensions of the boxed item can affect the cost dramatically. One
inch larger in one dimension can put the boxed item into a higher priced category, so be very careful when choosing a
box to ship with.
Pitfalls as a Seller: Well, you just read the biggest issue we have as a Seller, SHIPPING FEES. Seems 50% of the time
I get screwed when I estimate costs. Recently I sold an item for $4 plus $4 S&H, but it cost me $6 to ship. Do the math.
It pays to do research on how much others are charging for similar items. Another issue is packing your sold items. I
use recycled “popcorn” and bubble wrap for all my sales. Buying these things is expensive too. I have a storage shed
full of old boxes I can use for future sales, but it seems I’m always needing another box to fit an oddball item I’m selling.
Another important thing to remember as a Seller is to be 100% accurate in your description. Take very good photos, the
more the merrier. This takes a lot of time I know, but you will make sales where others won’t. As I mentioned, Buyers
will feel more comfortable buying from you. One thing you want to avoid is NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. Most Sellers bend
over backwards to pamper their Buyers and avoid it. EBay does not allow Sellers to give strong Negative Feedbacks on
Buyers, however Buyers can give Sellers very negative and detailed Feedbacks. Not fair, but an issue to deal with.
This is just a small sampling of my thoughts on the pitfalls of using eBay. We can continue this subject at an upcoming
Club Meeting if you’d like. The world of eBay, is a great place if you can avoid it’s pitfalls.
Happy trails! - Jerry Mull, LACCC president
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year everyone! –Jerry:>)
Jerry Mull – LACCC President GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES