Wednesday, December 11, 2013

eBay Brings Out the Weird in People at the Holidays

I tell you folks, this year has been the WORST Holiday selling season on eBay since I have sold on there back in 1998.

Since I listed items in October(so getting on to 2 months of selling)I have "sold" 16 items.
Granted I've only listed 61 items in that time, but still, Christmas has always been the peak selling season for what I sell-new in the box toys and collectibles worthy items.

I put "sold" in quotes because though I've sold 16 items, 2 persons backed out of their purchases and did NOT pay for them....both were overseas sales to people who didn't ASK how much shipping was before they contracted to buy the items.  Another sold item I am still waiting for the payment to process on Paypal....they must have paid with a check that hasn't cleared.

So really, at the moment I have 13 sales in 2 months.

On most listings, since the sales are so dismal this season, I have put the "Best Offer" feature and/or marked down my selling price after it's been up a few weeks.
This "Best Offer" feature has proved to be a constant source of amusement, if not surprise to me over the last 2 months.

It never ceases to amaze me how low the offers people make are.
I research my items for current selling prices online before I decide on a price, so I know what any particular thing is fetching in general.
I price my items competitively this way.....and if I just want it gone, I lower it from there.

I use to get "Best Offers" in the 75% of the items current selling price.
Not any more.
Now I am "lucky" is someone offers me at least HALF of what I am asking for it.
And those half-of-value offers are rare these days.

One not-too-bright fellow recently offered me $30 for a $29.99 listed item with a note enclosed that the $30 was for the item's cost AND shipping. 
Well, the item was going to CA so the shipping was $12.25, so basically I was offered $17.75 for a $29.99 item.
Just over half of what I was asking.

The problem was that when you make a "Best Offer", it clearly states on the page that the offer price is just for the item and shipping is additional.
So if I had accepted this offer, eBay would have sent them a congratulations email that they now owe me $30 and $12.25 in shipping or a total of $42.25.
That would have been fine by me but I know they wouldn't have paid me. 8-)

So I had to spend my time counter-offering him and enclosing a note to explain that he can't do what he wanted to offer me and how I countered a $12.00 reduction in the price of the item for him which mostly covered his shipping costs and he would owe me a total of $30.24 with shipping.
And of course I didn't hear another word from this doofus.
But that's ok because someone else made me a $22 + shipping offer which I accepted on the same item. 8-))

Here are some of the other jack wagons that make me offers I COULD resist....

*  $25 for a $150 item, which they upped to $35 when I refused it.(I sold it for $125 to someone else.)

*  $51.10 for a $125 item.

*  $15.00 for a $37.99 item.($15 is what used ones are selling for, mine is new sealed in the package.)

*  $9.00 for a $29.90 item.  They said the shipping was too high.  Well I can't control that or the fact that you live in CA.  I don't DO free shipping.  I already feel like a sharecropper on eBay so I am not paying the shipping costs buyers incur.  If you don't like shipping prices complain to the post office or better yet move closer to where your seller lives. lol

*  $17.00 for a $34.99 item.  I sent a counter offer of $20.00 and they replied with another counter offer of $15.00! LOLZ  Yes, I turned down $17 and they THINK I will accept $2 LESS than their last offer?  When I receive my lobotomy maybe. 
So I countered again with a price of $34.99......I would have sent an offer HIGHER than my selling price if the system had let me.....2 can play THAT game asswipe!

*$2.00 for a $24.99 item.  Seriously?  Whatever you are smoking I want some!!

And then there is the guy who emailed a Question to Seller and it was totally in Spanish.
I don't speak Spanish but the gist of it was "How much to ship to Mexico?"
I just told him I don't ship to Mexico and moved on.
I don't like dealing with people who can't conduct business in English(if something goes awry because of the language barrier, eBay will side with the Buyer usually)and there are security issues with the mail in certain countries, Mexico being one of those. Add the one with the other and I don't need the headaches this transaction could end up costing me.

Then I got a buyer with over 200,000 feedbacks.
Who buys that much crap on eBay??lolz
So I did some research and the feedbacks are ALL from buying, not from any selling......most people with that high of feedback are sellers but not this one.
This User Id had bought 29 other items on the same day they bought from me and 50 items the day before.....every day they were buying tens of items for months.  This made by fraud radar go off so I dug a little deeper.

Turns out this User Id(plus a few more IDs they own)is a company in CA that has built an eBay portal in Japanese, through which folks in Japan who don't speak/understand English can buy items through this portal on eBay, pay this company and they act as a middleman by paying/buying your items, you mail it to them in CA and they freight all the purchases to Japan to the customers.
Pretty cool really and it saves the customers shipping money, even with paying fees to the middleman.

As for me and eBay.....there are only a few days left before I put my listings on vacation mode until after Christmas.  I don't want to be at the mercy of last minute Christmas shopping procrastinators 2 days before the 25th buying items from me and getting angry & leaving me negatives when the Post Office can't magically get packages to their destinations in time for Christmas morning, because the buyer waited too long to purchase something.  Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

I take a break after Dec. 16th until the New Year on eBay.

Anybody else get any wacky eBay buyers?




  1. We've pretty much given up on Ebay the past year or two. Too much hassle. We always put "shipping to US only" in our ads. LIke you said, everyone wants your stuff for nothing and then by the time Ebay and Paypal take out their fees, you are left with even more nothing.

  2. I've been thinning my closet and selling clothes, handbags, shoes, etc. Most of it is priced reasonably and to sell based on same/similar items, but still I get emails asking if I will do free shipping (no), will I consider shipping overseas (no), or to tell me that my price is too high and will I lower it (no, but thanks for asking). This is the first time in a couple of years I've sold via ebay and it seems like the world has most definitely changed.

  3. I've been giving up on ebay too. I always do free shipping but when I figure out my prices I make sure to cover the shipping cost in the price. And I've switched to only using flat rate boxes or envelopes because I was spending too much time calculating costs. The best offers I was receiving were ridiculous. I've given up for a while. I might get back to it in the spring. Not sure.

  4. I gave up after five sales. I was told to list a few things way below value to get a few positive feed backs so people would trust me. I sold five things to five happy people who refused to give me feedback on the site, just emails to me. So, I quit.

    The first of the five told me shipped sheet music all the time and I was waaay to high on shipping and handling. She asked me to drive to the PO and check. I assured her she would have to still pay shipping and handling + an extra fee for my trip. She agreed. I drove the envelope to the PO and check the cost. It turned out I was about a quarter over the shipping. So, I sent her the shipping cost + handling + extra driving + price of sheet music. She agreed and sent me about $4 more than if she had just accepted my price.

    That woman was wacko. I truly hated her before it was over. She was overjoyed and yet refused to give me feedback. She just kept emailing praises to me. She was experienced, so she was just being mean. That was about 20 years ago, and I cannot bear to think about going back.

    I find that antique stores, junk stores, and specialty stores net me more satisfaction, less grief, and less money; that spells happiness. Hey, I know of a collectibles antique store in B'ham that might be easier to deal with and still net more money than you get from eBay or in writeoffs. Two friends own it. Want the address?

  5. I always offer free shipping (worked into the price), and I never sell outside the US. Ever. This loses sales, I know, but it avoids a lot of issues that I just prefer not to deal with. I rarely get feedback anymore. (I always leave it as soon as the item ships). My ratings have been high so I'm not complaining. However, if I needed some good FB to get my ratings up, I'd be in trouble because my customers just don't leave any.

  6. Hubby hasn't listed anything on ebay in a LONG time and he used to sell a lot on ebay. It just got to the point that it was a pain in the butt.


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