Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Should I risk an in-person eBay delivery?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 2/6/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I just sold a beautiful crystal bell, and noticed while making the label that the buyer lives in my same city and zip code. I used Google Maps to see how close she was to me, and not only is she in my city and zip code, she is in my same subdivision, two streets up! I am wondering what I should do. She already paid for the item with shipping cost. Should I just mail it to her even though we have the same mail carrier or message her and ask if she wants to do a local pick up and I refund her the shipping cost? What would you do as a seller? What would you want as a buyer? — Charlene

Dear Charlene: How awesome is that? I’ve sold to people who live in the same town, and once, I sold an item to an auctioneer from whom I earlier purchased other items! In a situation like this, I would be inclined to ask the buyer if she would like to meet you and pick up the bell, or if she would rather you just send it to her.

Here are a couple things to keep in mind if you meet your buyer:

• eBay will not refund the shipping final value fee portion to you, even if you refund it.

• Take an invoice with you for her to sign, just on the off chance she claims she never got it. She will be able to file a case and win if you do not have proof of delivery. If the item is worth more than $200, you will need more than just a signature. I suggest you meet somewhere you can photocopy both the buyer’s driver’s license and your driver’s license together to prove it was delivered.

If you’d prefer not to take the risk, I would put a cute note in the box about being neighbors and mail the package. 

Dear eBay Queen: My wife told me I should shoot you an email since she told me you were an eBay expert. I accidently found myself at a Public Storage Auction. I heard people buy from them and sell the good stuff on eBay. I’ve been looking to start my own business since I was laid off in November; I just don’t know what to do. Is it worth it? I need all the help I can get! — Bill

Dear Bill: I’ve only gone to one storage auction. I found the prices to be pretty high in comparison to what I’m typically comfortable paying, but I truly think it depends on the auction. Don’t let me discourage you from going out there and checking out the storage auctions.

Here are a few things I think might help you at a storage auction:

• Bring a flashlight. Most storage auctions only let you look in the building.

• Bring the correct form of payment. Find out if the auction you are going to accepts credit/debit cards, cash or checks.

• Don’t get caught up in the heat of buying. Know your limit and stay within it.

• Make sure the vehicle you brought is one that will hold what you are buying. Most storage places require you to move your items within 24 hours.

• Do you have a place to store the stuff you are going to buy? Also, be prepared to deal with all the stuff once you do buy it. You will spend lots of time sorting and cleaning the items before you even get it listed. 

• I think it’s important to dress in clothes you aren’t too attached to. You will get dirty! I’ve never been to a storage auction or collectibles auction where I did not come in contact with dust, grease, or trash.

• It’s helpful to bring a lock for storage units that you purchased. Even if you will be emptying it the same day, you might be walking away for an hour or so, and you don’t want to risk someone getting into your treasures.

Good luck! I hope you find some fantastic deals!

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 26132708757. Have you ever been to a storage auction? Apparently a few people sell entire storage units on eBay. I found this one full of car parts. I figured it would have sold for a higher price! “Old Car Parts Storage Unit Full Ford Model A GM Fenders Carbs Lends Tires & More” — Sold for $861.65 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLD-CAR-PARTS-STORAGE-UNIT-FULL-FORD-MODEL-A-GM-FENDERS-CARBS-LENS-TIRES-MORE-/261327087572?

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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