Thursday, April 24, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Should I list my items simultaneously on eBay, other websites?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 10/17/2013

Dear eBay Queen: I need help with two issues.

1) I made a deal with a lady who saw one of my costumes on a local paper/website — it also is listed for sale on eBay. The lady emailed me and said she wanted to buy it. The listing will be over today in four hours — no watchers on it! I told her to bid just the starting bid before it ends because she told me she couldn’t afford the BIN price. She can’t pay for it until Friday, and I don’t want eBay to freak out. She will be picking it up rather than me having to ship it. I know there was something about a listing still being able to be bought by someone else if it hadn’t been paid for in a few days. How do I handle this?

2) I tried to figure out the eBay preferences when it comes to combined payments and shipping. I would subtract 3 ounces from each additional item — the product was four straw hats — two including the box were 1 pound, 12 ounces eBay gave the buyer a discount of $5.77. That seems a bit much! Good for them, but not for me. Fortunately, when I figured it out, in the end the shipping for me was only $8.90, which also is crazy because on one calculated shipping link, it wanted more than $27! Neither USPS, or eBay shipping came up the same — so hopefully, when the box ships, it doesn’t bounce off someone’s scale somewhere and come back to me or cause the buyer problems. I knew I should have just sent a changed invoice myself. The person didn’t wait for me to let them know about possible cheaper shipping — guess they didn’t read my shipping disclaimer! Shipping problems are causing my hair to fall out! I want to be fair, but I don’t want to pay more than need be myself. How do you do it? — Tracey

Dear Tracey: I think you are very brave to have something listed not only on a website/newspaper, but also on eBay. I would be afraid that I would sell them in both places. eBay is a pretty unforgiving place for a seller who does not have the goods when they promised to sell them.

Here are my answers:

1) If your buyer does not pay, eBay will not penalize her unless you file a non-paying bidder case. If you want to give your buyer more time to pay, it is completely up to you. Your item is listed as an auction, not a store. The eBay policy is to have it still for sale until the buyer pays when it is listed in a store, only in certain categories.

2) I combine the shipping myself when the listings are done, and I am sending the buyer an invoice. I prefer to do it this way because it always seems higher when eBay does it. I would turn off eBay’s combined shipping discounts; this way, you always give the buyer the best rate.

Dear eBay Queen: I have the secret formula that works with titles and descriptions. I’ve decided to not waste another word in my title, and use very specific things in my descriptions. 

I’ve had this item for sale for months, at about the same price, but no bidders. I decided to remove the word “large” from the title, and reduced the title to a simple statement of size. I kept the size as “L” in the title. Wouldn’t you know it? One bid this morning.

I think it’s subliminal. Women don’t want to be reminded they are buying a large. They want it to fit. This is like the manufacturers who keep enlarging their garments so people don’t think they’re fat.

When it comes to my descriptions, I have found if I use bullet points instead of paragraphs, buyers like it better. Here’s an example.

• Length 14”

• Waist measured flat 31”

• Full coverage with 1/4” sequins

• Non-stretch material

• Size is large

What do you think of my new moves? — Avery, Springfield, Mo.

Dear Avery: I think you could be on to something. I’ve always thought bullet points were the way to go when it comes to descriptions. Keep up the good work!

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 321137545405. There often is an abundance of unique artwork listed on eBay. This print is pretty unusual: “Into the Morning Into the Tide (The Annunciation) framed Joe Sorren.” It sold for $725 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Into-The-Morning-Into-the-Tide-The-Annunciation-framed-Joe-Sorren-/321137545405

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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