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Tips for Buying and Selling at Auctions

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      19.06.2011 09:27
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      My tips, through trial and error, to upping your sales on Ebay

      I have been selling on Ebay for a few years on and off and over the years have, through trial and error, learned a few things on what works best, this is what works for me, it might work for you too but there are no guarantees. I do not list on ebay every week as I am just too busy, with work and looking after my 3 little ones, but i will list a lot of items at once, then if they dont sell re list them within a week or so, or wait for a free listing weekend to maximise my profits. Lately there have been a lot of free listing weekends, so when you get those emails from Ebay, don't just delete without reading first, as they will give you a heads up on when the next one might be so here goes My Tips ~Items in season sell well - because people will be looking for them, not super savy people like you and me, but those that leave everything to the last minute kind of people. ~Baby and children's items always sell well - this is anything from shoes clothes , toys nursery items, cots prams, baby gates ~Large bulky items - pick up only - I have sold a bed, sofa's, fridge freezer, things that people just tip - if you want to offer postage, do your research through royal mail but also courier services to offer a realistic rate of postage,otherwise you may find yourself out of pocket. Also offering postage obviously opens your sale up to a wider market too. ~ I have to mention this again, even if it is a small item, don't guesstimate, weight your item and put in a realistic postage price, other wise it will sell cheaply and then you will be stung by extra postage and then fees from ebay and paypal, and in some cases you end up be out of pocket. - I have learnt from experience. (Royal mail postage prices can be found here: http://sg.royalmail.com/portal/rm/PriceFinder?catId=23500532&gear=pricingcalc) ~ Clothes sell well if you list them in bundles not as separates unless those clothes are designer, you generally get better interest and more bids if you say have clothes from the high street like Next, Debenhams, Gap etc. Especially if you bundle them together. ~List clothes in bundles of between 6 and 10-12 - no more as postage cost can be a killer Weigh items to give you a rough idea of postage anything under 2kg is usually ok to go through royal mail anything over or of a large shape but under 2kg I send via courier usually My Hermes (www.myhermes.co.uk) - as they are very cheap some people have had problems with them but i never have. I then compare the cost with royal mail and see which would be the better option for me. ~If not sending an item by courier I only post second class mail and i state this in my listings, unless there is only a penny or so difference between second class and first class ~ When listing a smaller item always offer postage and local pick up, the majority of my items go for local pick up - which means i dont have to worry about postage etc. ~THINGS YOU WOULD NOT EXPECT PEOPLE TO BUY - SELL. I say this to people all the time and they think I am nuts, used makeup, 1/2 bottles of perfume, old light fittings, paving stones, nappy bins, money off coupons, the list is endless, one man's junk is another man's treasure. ~Always be honest with your listing and for this reason I have a no return policy ~ I never use a 99p starting price any more as i have often been disappointed when an item did not sell for the minimum i wanted it to, that is why I love free listing weekends, as there is not fee regardless what price you start your listing at, for this reason I always list my item with the lowest price I want for it ~I always leave my items running for 7 days minimum, it gets interest. If you want to be in with the best chance of having a bid, and selling well, list your item on a Thursday for 10 days, this way your item will be listed for 2 weekends, the majority of people view items at weekends, this is also recommended by Ebay themselves. ~ Be careful of the day and time you end a listing, I avoid saturday and thursday/Friday endings. And never end a listing at a school run time, alot of mums just like me are looking for bargains on ebay - so you loose out. I know I have not bid on something or been unable to competitivly bid as I was off on the school run or so busy I forgot ~ I have also bought items and got some good bargains when people have listed items at rediculous ending times because no one is around at those times to bid, so the opposite is true, if you want stuff to sell list it properly ~ I tend to end a listing between 6.45pm and 8.30pm and usually a sunday or monday night, most people are home at these times. ~ For packaging I use recycled packaging I have got from online shopping, black bags doubled up, and even the 10p bags for life they are so durable and strong they cut down on buying expensive parcel wrap - I also shop at the £1 shop for padded envelopes and also parcel bags they have multi packs of 6, 8 and 10 for you guessed it £1 and the best bit using parcel bags and bags for life means less postage as they weigh very little. I also add to my listing i use recycled packaging so the reduced cost is passed onto the buyer, and i state this in my listing. ~My items are usually things we no longer need, unwanted gifts, things given to me, competition wins I have no use for - the best being Beyonce concert tickets for £250. I hope this is help full, this list is by no means exhaustive, but just some things i have found that work over for me. Overall I think Ebay as an auction site, is a great way for anyone to up their income.

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        29.07.2009 14:27
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        ~ Give it a go ~

        I have been using online auction sites for about 6 years now. The site I use most is Ebay.co.uk. I think this is the most well known around. There are a lot of hidden charges and terms and conditions when using these sites, please make sure you read everything very carefully before buying and selling. ** Tips for buying ** > Make sure the seller is trusted with good feedback > Check the postage charges as well as the item price > Set yourself a price limit, don't get carried away with last minute bidding > Paying by paypal is best as you are protected if the item isn't received or posted. ** Tips for selling ** > Be aware of insertion charges and final value fee's. When selling on ebay you are charged for listing the item, selling the item and then again a small percentage when the payment is received. I would suggest only selling items worth over a few pounds because after all the charges it isn't really worth your while selling something for 99p. > I would definately suggest sending all items recorded delivery. If the item goes missing, the buyer is always favoured over the seller. > List your items at peak times, EG 6pm on a Sunday evening, this is when more people are likely to be online. Your item ends at the same time that it is listed at. > Be sure to make your item as attention grabing as possible. In the title include as many key words as possible. Just writing "topshop top" is not going to get much attention. The best thing is to write the brand, pattern, size and condition. EG. "NEW Topshop star print black top size 8". Adding other keywords such as "Vinatge" or "Indie" will help with the sale too. > Make sure if you sell something, it is good condition, only sell things you would be happy to receive. > Post items ASAP to ensure you get positive feedback. You can sell almost everything and anything, you would be surprised to see what's for sale in some of these auctions. Give it a go, it is a good way to make money and also save money by buying cheaper clothes than in shops.

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          17.07.2001 22:52
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          I've only just got into internet auctions and I'm completely obsessed! Here are my tips for buying and selling: BUYING: I generally buy clothes,cds and shoes so I find that ebay and yahoo!auction are the best sites for shopping. If you are looking for a particular item try using a search or looking in the catergory you think it'll be in. If you find an item you want to bid for check seller rating to see what other buyers have thought of their service.A good rating means it'll will be safer to buy,bad ratings mean stay away! Ask questions before you bid,if need be.So if you need to know whether the shoes are real leather or pvc then ask! Only bid as much as you can and go up in small amounts returning to bid if you get outbid by someone else.Remember unless postage is included this will increase the price. If you win,pay up promptly to ensure you don't get a bad rating as others may refuse to sell you what you want to buy. Have fun!! SELLERS: I am not as experienced at selling as buying but i have some tips. some sites charge you to list your item(ebay does,yahoo doesnt). Put as full description of you item as possible to ensure people know what they are getting.Where possible included a photo.Try to find out postage so you can include it in your decription. Start the bidding at as low price as possible. When the auction is over contact the winner as soon as you can,so transaction can finish quickly.Have fun.

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            08.05.2001 04:35
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            Part of the attraction of Internet auction sites is the ease with which it is possible to buy and sell internationally. However, you can run into problems when you get to the stage of sending or receiving money for the goods. Technically, in these hi-tech days, the transfer of funds should be rapid and uncomplicated. Unfortunately, the reality is far from different. For example, there are problems with the acceptability of credit cards - for example, many US companies will not accept cards with an address outside the US, because they maintain there is too great a risk of fraud. Also, private individuals are not usually able to accept credit card payments. Secondly, most British banks cannot wait to rip off people who want to transfer or receive money internationally. Sometimes, the charge the bank wishes to impose can be more than the actual sum being transferred. I regularly use one of the following solutions to get round the problem: 1. Paypal.com - Paypal is a scheme which permits payments between individuals with a credit card and/or bank account. It is available to a number of countries, including the UK. You pay money into your Paypal account using your credit card, and that money can then be transferred to somebody else's Paypal account. In the same way, you can receive payments into your Paypal account. When you set up an account at the Paypal site, you can choose for it to be personal, premier or business. Payments in and out of personal accounts are free, however, there are restrictions on how much money can be received in any one payment and also over any one month. Premier (for individuals) and business accounts have a charge of 3% for money received, however, no limits are set on how much money goes into them. You can keep money in your account to be used when you need to pay someone. Alternatively, you can request it to be paid into a UK bank account for a further fee of £1.50. Paypal is one of the most common me thods of payment on Ebay. I have used it both to pay and to receive payment, and have not had any problems with it. 2. Bidpay.com - My first purchase on Ebay led me straight into trouble because the seller would not accept credit card payments either directly or through PayPal. The only options open to someone from the UK were to send cash or a money order to the US. I was not happy about sending dollar bills in an envelope. The cost of a money order from my friendly high street bank was £15 - absurd since my total purchase came to about £12. I was despairing until I found out about the BidPay service. Basically, you register with the BidPay site and instruct them to send a Western Union money order to any address in the United States. The fee for this is $5 (about £3). I found the registration process painless. Within minutes, I received confirmation of my registration. At the same time, a message was sent to my US seller informing them that a money order would be sent. In the case of auction sales, BidPay visit the auction site to verify the buyer's and seller's details. Once a money order has been sent, it is possible to track its progress through Western Union's on-line tracking system. Although the fee is slightly high, it still makes most smaller purchases manageable. I cannot express how relieved I am to have found this service! Bank accounts - Most UK banks charge about £5-8 if you wish to pay in a cheque denominated in a foreign currency. This can be a very high percentage of the typically small prices that occur on Internet auction sites. One way to get around this problem is to open a current account in the foreign currency that you are most likely to be using, eg US$. You are then able to pay in dollar cheques at no cost, and also write out dollar cheques if you wish to purchase anything in dollars. The interest rates on these accounts tend to mirror US interest rates. At the time I was looking into these matters, the rates were more favourable than standard rates on UK£ current accounts. However, the downside was that most of the dollar accounts required an initial investment of at least £2000 ($3000), and in many cases required this sum to be kept in the account at all times as a minimum balance. Most of us do not happen to have a couple of thousand to lock away like that against the offchance of making a $20 or so sale or purchase at Internet auction sites once in a while. Finally, I found the solution staring me in the face. My own bank, First Direct, appears to be unique in that it charges a £5 fee not per cheque, but for any number of cheques that you pay in at any one time, up to a maximum value of £250. I tend to receive a number of small dollar cheques on a fairly regular basis, so I wait a month or two until I have a few cheques to pay in together. I have found that using a combination of these three methods, I have been able to buy and sell on Ebay.com as well as on Ebay.co.uk, and also cash in fairly small dollar earnings from pay-for-answer expert sites, without losing too much money to the ever-hungry coffers of the British banking system.

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            24.04.2001 02:25
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            I have been buying items from websites for a number of months now. I mainly use Yahoo Auctions and EBay, and have compiled a list of general buying tips that I think may be useful. Online Auctions are a great way of buying specific items you want, and finding new and interesting things. The only problem can be that there are too many things to buy! While there is a certain amount of risk with online auctions, as long as you're careful when you buy, I think the risks are minimal. I've had no problems at all, apart from being outbid on things I wanted! Buying Tips ------------- 1/ Check Sellers Rating. While not a perfect method of checking someone's reliability, its a good start. If you have the time, read a few of the comments left for the seller. This is a good way to find out extra positive information, speed of delivery, quality of items, etc. For some sellers you may not even need to check any comments (Some people on EBay have ratings in the 000's!). Do not necessarily be put off by a couple of negative comments, as they can generally be explained by reply comments, and may not be the sellers fault. If theres no explanation, however, proceed with caution, if at all. Also do not necessarily be put off by new sellers, after all everyone starts with a 0 rating. If in doubt, mail the seller. 2/ Set your price. This is the sort of advice you will see in the Help files contained within online auction sites, for the reason that its very true. Admittedly for that must-have item you *will* go above your set price if necessary. However, for everything else, set a price and stick to it. Auctions are not necessarily the cheapest way of buying and you may get a better price from a specialist shop or another auction site. Chances are, if its not particularly rare, someone else will put one up for sale within a week! 3/ Don't bid your full price. This goes hand in hand with the previous advice, and mainly applies to auctions with quite a lot of time remaining before they close. If you stay under your set price, you have a certain amount of flexibility if you are outbid. If outbid you can rebid for an item, and stand a fair chance of winning without exceeding your set price. If you were to bid your full price in one go, you would be the current winner, although perhaps not the winner at the auction close. Once you have bid your full price, you may have to exceed it or risk losing the auction (Although this depends on whether many other people want the item). 4/ Avoid Snipers. A 'sniper' is someone who outbids the current winner on an auction a short amount of time before it closes. This allows them to win the auction whilst keeping the price down and avoid 'bidding wars' which can push prices up a lot. The auction sites I use feature a system called 'proxy bidding', which is in effect all the time the auction is open. It allows you to place a bid thats higher then the current price. This way you can be the current winner whilst still having a bid higher than the price. This will beat snipers who place a bid higher then the current price if its lower than your proxy bid. The system will accept their winning bid, then will automatically place your higher bid. This is quite ironic as the sniper will place a bid at the close of the auction, so no-one will have time to place another bid, including themselves when they lose to your proxy bid! If you can, you should stay under your set price with your proxy bid, and monitor the last 5 minutes of the auction. This allows you to place another bid if someone beats your proxy bid late in the auction. Alternatively you could simply use your set price as the proxy bid. 5/ If you're not sure, don't buy it. The Auction sites I use have a built in feature that allows you to ask a question for any individual item. If the seller isn't prepared to answer a reasonable question about the item, theres probably a reason! If the question isn't mailed directly to the seller, they will receive an email about it, so there are no real excuses for not answering. Unless you ask the question 5 minutes before the end of an auction! If you're not sure about the seller, mail them or look at their feedback comments. If you're still unsure about the item, walk away (Virtually!). If you really want the item, but you're not sure, search the site for other examples of the same thing. 6/ Check Sellers Website. EBay in particular seems to be used by a lot of people as promotion for their websites, which they advertise in item descriptions. These websites are often excellent ways of finding a larger selection of related items, all at fixed prices. Often the sellers will be selling the same items as they are auctioning but for the same price or less (Due to people bidding on the auction item) which can definitely save you some money. You also have the benefit of being able to check the sellers auction feedback before buying. While this does not remove the element of risk, it does reduce it somewhat. If the seller did rip you off, the auction site would not help you directly, although you are not without comeback. Some people leave warning messages about individuals as auction items, which is a good way of getting a point across, although the seller will not be happy! 7/ Postage costs. As a buyer, you have absolutely no control over the postage cost set by the seller. Some sellers choose to add extra to the postage to maximise profits. The only real way around this is to buy only the items that feature a fixed postage cost as part of the description, or to mail the seller before bidding and ask the P&P cost. 8/ Leave feedback, Negative or Positive. The strength of online auctions has always been in the feedback systems which allow the users to identify the trustworthy buyers and se llers. The higher the value, the more unique trades they have participated in. Its important to maintain this system by leaving honest feedback about both buyers and sellers. Its particularly important for newbies and people with low ratings. You may find that people (buyers and sellers) sometimes forget, in which case I recommend 'nudging' their memory with a polite email. 9/ Don't buy the first one! When looking for a particular item, you'll probably find it easiest to use the built-in search engines (If available). When you do this you should make the search as simple as possible to allow for all the different item description permutations. When you do find the item you want, don't bid on the first example, as chances are there will be more, of similar quality and differing costs. There are many factors to consider, such as sellers reputation, postage costs, and item condition. 10/ If you have the time, think about it. This particularly applies to the more expensive items. Add the item to a watchlist and have a think! You may be able to find a better price, from the same auction site, another auction site, or even a specialist shop. You may even be able to find a better example. 11/ Communicate. The key to a successful auction is communication. If you won an auction yesterday, but haven't received an email from the seller, send them a polite email about winning their auction. If you're expecting an item and it hasn't turned up, mail the seller and ask when it was despatched. It may be that they are waiting for your cheque to clear before sending you the item, but have neglected to tell you. Resorting to negative feedback and notifying the website should be a last resort only. Most problems can be sorted out with a couple of emails. Good luck, and happy bidding!

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              10.03.2001 18:44
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              I am a fan of online auctions. They are definately the cheapest way to go about shopping, for things you want, things you need or totally useless things that sound fun. Indeed browsing the auction sites can be quite fun, looking at all the products that people are desparately trying to rid themselves of. I recently went through nearly all the auction sites, searching for mp3 players. Many auction sites are really just sites that allow people to sell their unwanted property. These sites (such as Ebay, Yahoo, QXL and swapitshop) are not the best ones to look at. Although they may seem cheap, there is certainly a risk element involved in shopping here, the chances are that the product you buy is broken. It has happened to me, and there is usually no way of getting your money back because the auctions are not run by the company, but by the people. So after a raw deal, I decided to search different types of internet shops. Then I found company auctions, these are auctions run by the company that is selling the product. These are not only cheap but, reliable. I almost bought the D.A.P jukebox from creative (at MSN) for £200, which is £150 off the shop price. Because these auctions are run by the company they will not be broken, or if they are you can return them. Be warned though, because the auctinos are run by the company the starting bids can be high and the final bids can often run above the shop price. I finally bought my Mp3 player in a shop, but I had a good experience in Online auctions. So my words of wisdom are: Try to find the company auction site for the product you are wishing to buy. If you can not find it, then look on other auction sites, but make sure you talk to the seller before buying (either phone or text) then judge if he is reliable. This way you are less likely to get a bad deal. I found the best auction site was MSN, then Yahoo. These are easy to navigate and have reliable sellers. Good luck!

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              12.02.2001 21:48
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              I have had many experience in using auction sites on the internet. The main one i use is ebay, but have also used QXL, Aukland and yahoo. Out of the above, i'd have to say that ebay is the best. Its a nice fresh looking site and easy to use. It pobably has a bigger audience than the others which is what you want. I'd avoid QXL. I'm not going to repeat what i have said in other post, but basically its the worse company out there. to find out why, read my post in the QXL section od dooyoo. Tips for buyers: (1) ALWAYS READ THE DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY!!! There was one woman who didn't read the description carefully and ended up paying $425 for a empty Playstation 2 box....i'm not joking. If the description is unclear, always ask the buyer more. There should be a "Ask buyer question" button there on all sites. If your unsure, don't bid. (2) Check to see if the bid includes postage. If not don't forget to take it into account with your bid. Some people overcharge big time on postage, so you might want to ask the seller how much it will be. (3) Find out what the item is worth, decide how much your willing to bid and stick to it. Your not in a competition and your not playing with monopoly money. (4) Check to see how the auction your bidding on is doing in the last 1/2 hour or so. Alot of people do something called snipering, which is coming in at the last second to outbid other people. This way they get it for a cheaper price. Ebay has a feautre where you enter your maximum bid and your actual bid will only be £x more than the previous bid (the amount will depend on the item.....lower values means lower x). If you can, try to sniper yourself, but don't leave it to the last second or the auto bid thing might outbid you. (5) Try and leave feedback on the seller after the transaction is over. They might return the favour and it will help you in the future. Rememb er, if you mess people about you will get negative feedback which will mean no one will want to trade with you again. Tips for sellers: (1) Try to give an accurate description, including any postage costs. This will avoid people e-mail you questions later. Word your description well, if it sounds dull no one will want it. Its got to have a punch to it. (2) To maximise the money you get, don't include postage with the bid. Alot of people don't take this into account when bidding so you will gget more overal. But do be reasonable with what you charge. (3) Try to arrange it so your auction runs over a weekend. This is when most people sit down and check out the site. (4) You might want to consider going for extra options. This will depend on what you are selling and how many. Extra features range from 15p to £20. Check these out with each site. (5) If your having problems selling on a site, try using another site. From what i have heard, QXL is good for selling games and movies (although i wouldn't use them). (6) Try to leave feedback on buyers. Hopefully they will return the favour and will leave feedback for you which will give people more confidence when dealing with you. Remember, if you mess people about you will get negative feedback which will mean no one will want to trade with you again. I'm sure i have missed out a few things, but if i remember anything important i will post an updated version, so keep your eyes open. Hope you have great success at using the sites, and always remember to be careful.

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