“ iOffer is an online community that allows you to buy, sell, and trade- just like you would in real life- by negotiating. „
I have been an Ebay member for many years, at the start I would browse the site for hours looking for bargains but over the past year or so I noticed Ebay became very greedy with the sellers fees, which totalled well over 10% of final valuation costs making the possibility of making a few pound near on impossible.
My husband has a designer clothing shop and regularly sold items on Ebay, sometimes he would sell thousands of pounds worth of clothes in a month but when the fee invoices started to spiral out of control we knocked it on the head.
We no longer sell on Ebay and I have to say I did miss picking up the bargains as a buyer, I lost interest when sellers hiked up the postage costs to avoid high selling fees making the bargains less likely.
Anyway as a total shopaholic I found a similar site called ioffer, so I am writing this to make fellow Ebay addicts aware of what else the web has to offer.
WHAT IS IOFFER
Ioffer is a web site similar to that of Ebay, is it an online auction site where you can buy, sell and even trade items with other members. The site was set up in 2001 and is still running today with over 35 million sellers and buyers signed up.
The founders noticed an opening in the market and decided to act on it, buy allowing sellers from all over the world to buy and sell on the one site. I personally find this a great bonus as Ebay have a UK and .COM site which complicated the situation when I wanted to buy from another country, so Ioffer get the thumbs up in this department.
You can buy anything from ioffer such as computer games, collectibles, antiques, cars, books, coins, computers and parts, toys, mobile phones, arts and crafts, home and gardening items, Dvds, stamps, and beauty products. You name it you can buy it.
I have described this as an auction site when if fact it is a little different, sellers basically place an asking price in the items description and you have to offer them a price, this can be for the item alone or it can include the postage costs, so basically if you can haggle you can get a great bargain.
All payments are made through paypal, so there is no need to worry about shady transactions as paypal do cover all payments made via them. You can also pay for items via Google Checkout, Mpayy, Amazon Payments, credit card, cheques, and money orders, providing the sellers accept these types of payments.
Signing up to Ioffer is very easy all you need is a valid email address to activate the account. First you need to visit the site at www.ioffer.com and hit the sign up button.
After filling out a short form asking for details such as your name, address and email address, you will be sent a confirmation email to the email address provided. Just click the link within the email and you will them fully activate you account.
You can create you own user names and passwords, which will remain the same for as long as you are active on the web site. It really is as simple as that.
The best bit about Ioffer is that fact that all listings are accepted free of charge, you don't have to pay a penny to the site unless your item sells, which is a brilliant bonus as Ebay charge at least 15p just to list your item.
To sell on the site you do need to submit your card details, this is to ensure the site get payment after items have been sold. This needs to be done to create the selling account if you don't submit the card details you will not be permitted to sell on the site.
The site do not take anything for your card as all invoices are sent to your email account on the first of every month, and you then opt to pay via paypal of the card for which you have already provided the details.
If your item does not sell you don't need to pay anything but if you do sell the items you can expect to pay the following prices.
Up to $4.99 will cost $0.50
$5.00-$9.99 will cost $0.75
$10.00-$24.99 will cost $1.25
$25.00-$99.99 will cost 5% of the final selling price.
$100.00-$1499.99 will cost $5.00 + 2.5% of the final selling price of orders over $100
$1500.00 and over will cost $40.00 + 1.5%
So as you can see the prices are much better that Ebays as it is all work out in dollars.
This is very easy to do as well, you search for the items you are interested in and basically start negotiations by asking what the seller is expecting as a shipping payment, as many sellers fail to tell you this. Usually they will come back with a stupid figure so you the hit them back with another and so on.
Once you are happy with the sellers price you just hit the accept button and the bottom of the sellers offer, by doing this you are committing to buy the item. The seller will send you an invoice which you pay and await for your items to arrive.
Every single email / question is recorded at the bottom of the items page, so you can see when the seller sent the item, how much it was, how much you paid and most importantly the items tracking numbers, which insure it has been sent and allows you to trace you purchase.
The site is very good at keeping both you as a buyer and seller informed throughout the transaction. When you have received the items you then leave the seller feedback and they will do the same for you. It is as simple at that.
The site is very basic and is very tricky to navigate at first as the site is not very well layed out, but give yourself half an hour just browsing and getting used to it then you will be fine.
For buying purposes this is very easy to use, it is if you try to sell you may find it difficult as the lay out is very messy.
To have a look at the site and find out what it consists of visit www.ioffer.com
If you have the guts to haggle then do it as the benefits can be very good, I personally wanted two rucksacks that were listed at $55.00 each and the sellers wanted $30.00 shipping for each bag, which should have cost £175.00 for the bags shipped to the UK.
After a day of haggling with three different sellers I managed to get both bags and shipping for $90.00, so it is worth haggling as you can get some very good deals.
Ioffer is very good at keeping both seller and buyers informed by posting all vital details such as invoices, payment and tracking details. I found this a god send on my first purchase as I was worry if I had been scammed, but once I saw the tracking information pop up I could keep my eye on the package from start to finish, until it was laying on the door step awaiting my autograph.
The vast majority of the sellers are Chinese so the English is very basic and some can be hard to understand, but saying that many seem to speak it will enough when it comes to you parting with your cash.
The site seems to consist of mainly Chinese so everything you are getting is coming from china, so shipping of your items can take up to two weeks which can be very frustrating when you don't know it is coming or not, this is why I pay with paypal to make sure I am completely covered if the sellers are pulling a fly one.
As this is a Chinese equivalent to Ebay knock offs and copied goods are abundant on the site, but after closer inspection I now strongly suspect the sellers on ebay have been buying from here for years and then flogging the items off as genuine on ebay.
I have no doubt in my mind the bags I bought are copies, but I am still happy for the price. Once I receive the bags I looked on Ebay and they were selling the exact same bag for five times the price, so now I am even wearier of Ebay and its dodgy sellers.
I am not sure this is a site that me and my hubby will sell on as it is rife with knocked off names such as Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, DKNY, guess and other high end labels, so therefore our genuine items from our shop will be placed in the same bracket and therefore be expect to sell for bottom dollar, so our clothing is staying on the rails in the shop to get its true value.
As far as the site is concerned for buying purposes I advise it, as there are some brilliant bargains to be had if you have the patience to manoeuvre the site and deal with the sometimes very persistent sellers, who more often than not can be worn down to your way of thinking. However some sellers stick to there guns but these are robbing you so I recommend you try to find the items with another seller, as you will get a better deal.
This is Chinas Ebay equivalent so if ebay is a place where you like to buy designer brands then try this ioffer site.