Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

ebay experiences good or bad?

I have successfully sold quite a few things on ebay, but have bought very little. My recent Gucci scarf transaction went like clockwork and I'm very pleased with it.

My rules are: only buy from individuals; never buy from anyone selling in bulk; look to see their feedback for buying as well as selling; never buy from abroad; ask a lot of questions.

When selling give clear descriptions, brutal honesty about the condition, measure everything and only give refunds if the item is not as described. I had one return when I washed an Issey Miyake skirt which had a small mark, and assumed it had come out in the wash and didn't check before I sent it. It hadn't. Also if you really don't want to let something go for .99p, put a minimum price on it.

Do share your own experiences.


rb said...

I've sold some highly collectible shoes in eBay. Have received a good price - bidding wars in a couple of cases - and got good feedback from the buyers, so I assume everyone's happy.

I have bought clothing and shoes on eBay as well. I generally only buy "NWT" - new with tags - as I am squeamish about used/vintage. I have had better experiences with bulk sellers than individuals in terms of accurate descriptions.

Kelly said...

Actually, the feedback you get as a buyer isn't a good indication anymore. As of a couple weeks or months ago, Ebay will only allow you to leave positive feedback for people who bought from you. This is so that buyers feel comfortable leaving negative seller feedback without fear of repercussions.

metscan said...

In the country I live in, we have our own small `ebay´,which is quite safe due to our small population here. Well,atleast it is safe for the seller,the party my daughter/I represent. The product on sale is not posted before the money is on the bank account, and I have heard nothing but compliments from the buyers side.I already told of our experience on the real eBay as buyers below.

Robo said...

Mostly good experiences on eBay with the exception of the first couple of pairs of vintage shoes I won. I didn't realise how narrow the shoes were, so they're languishing in my closet while I plan on relisting them. Shame because they're beautiful shoes.

Now I stick to vintage hats, which are usually in quite good condition, and the sellers generally point out flaws if there are any. I think there was only one hat that seemed a bit more worse for the wear when I got it than what the listing said. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Bobbi said...

In my last pregnancy I went on Ebay to help see me through without spending a fortune on maternity clothes. Mostly a good experience, except for the first transaction. I bid .99 without looking to see that the shipping was $15 for a shirt that was located a six hour car drive away. Since it was a simple cotton shirt it could have been sent for about $5. Turns out the seller made her money from shipping and I should have read the fine print. To make matters worse the shirt was not in the condition advertised, and didn't fit, but the seller was choked I had already given a neutral rating and refused to refund any money or accept a return.

Every other transaction went well.

Anonymous said...

Individuals having closet clearouts can be the source of some great bargains but buying from them can be a risk.

Many don't know enough about fabric, fit etc to provide accurate descriptions. They can also take a lot of poetic license with describing condition too. I bought one item described as 'great condition' which I'd consider only fit for a duster.

Anonymous said...

I've only bought once from eBay -- not clothes -- but it was good experience.

Baked enamel breadboxes from Holland & Germany. I bid on a few (I forgot and lost those!) & the others were "buy now". Great communication, packaging, items as described. She even honored my request to include (at cost) a couple bags of my favorite Dutch candy.

She didn't charge extra for shipping, but -- as you can imagine -- it cost a fortune to post such a heavy package from The Netherlands to California.

-- desertwind

PS - I've had good luck buying handmade items from Etsy (quilt, vest, scarves, artwork).

Anonymous said...

The only real problem I have with my ebay transactions is buyers remorse. When I get the item, I often wonder why I wanted it.
If you ask the right questions, read between the lines, check the feedback and attitude of the seller things usually go well.
If things go wrong (horribly wrong as they did for me once) then you are on your own, as you will find out in the ebay smallprint.

karenP said...

I've bought quite a few things from Ebay. There are a couple of clothes agencies on there that often have new or barely used things. They guarantee that the stuff they sell is not fake.

They take bags to the nearest store for verification as genuine before putting them on Ebay.

As someone who lives in the countryside, with the only decent shopping available on-line, I think it is great !

miss cavendish said...

I've recently bought a few Christiane Celle Calypso pieces on eBay--two from one seller, which were perfect, and another, a silk tunic that was full of fabric flaws (rips) and ballpoint pen marks. There were no returns on the last item, but after I explained nicely, the dealer is refunding my money.

I do sell my daughters' gently used clothing--Boden or Hanna Andersson, as I've found that only poshy brand names draw a crowd--and have also sold my husband's Liberty shirts.

I doubt I'd ever pay over $100 for an eBay item, because I'm very wary about quality.

lady coveted said...

i'm in the same boat as you... actually, i've purchased only a handful of stuff. the auctions kind of scare me off... but they do have everythign you can imagine!

Laurel said...

I have enjoyed buying on eBay for many years with only one really ugly seller who advertised an item as horn when it was coconut shell and I requested a refund. The name calling and e-mails I received from the seller were ugly. I didn't respond in kind but was firm, wanting my money back and I got it. I fault myself on that one because I had an intuition that said not to buy and I ignored it. Glad that I got that lesson early on.

Clothes, not so much; although everything I have purchased has been fine, I have risked very little. Fit is the issue. My purchases have been mostly costume or vintage jewelry, books (where I check prices against, catalogues from art exhibitions and other art faves. I read shipping costs before descriptions, ask questions and request pictures. I don't bid on reserve auctions believing that if the seller has a minimum bid, start with it and don't waste my time. I stay away from feeback below a 99.5 or, if lower, factor it in to the risks I am willing to take after reading the comments. I haven't sold on eBay, 'tho I should. . . .

Starting years ago I had a seller who contacted me with items I bought somewhat regularly ... in this case favorite candles ... not authorized by eBay, of course, the out of auction contact. It got so that when she was preparing to list my favorites she would contact me
offering them to me at a price less than she would list. The transaction saved us both money and continues to this day.

I find eBay a great learning opportunity, entertaining, and good fun probably because my interests are largely items that are vintage or older. I,too, have had many of those "what was I thinking?" experiences after treasures arrive. I am assembling them for a future turn as a seller.

Duchesse said...

I'm an avid eBayer and have had 97% great experience (one counterfeit item).
Occasionally sell and am proud of my 100% feedback rating.

My advice is, if it sounds too cheap to be true, stay away.

Anonymous said...

I love getting stuff on ebay. I have sold a few things but as a rule it's easier to sell something designer and higher priced like a coach bag or something with a searchable name - a plus size dress from Torrid for example. I don't do it that often because shipping is a bit of a pain in the ass and the USPS requires you go to a post office for anything over 13 oz.

I have had only a few problems buying. Generally my rule is unless it's somehow extremely special clothing that is new or near new should be 1/2 retail or less. I also buy cheap cell phone accessories and cables here. Collectibles can be found but i usually find much cheaper prices on vintage and antique items doing a little research away from ebay. I don't recommend for those who aren't good at shopping. You need to be able to evaluate from photos and description whether the buyer is accurate in their description of the item. You also should be good at shopping relying on shape and proportion and some measurements as opposed to just marked size. If you can do all that you can get good prices and not get ripped off.

As for bulk sellers vs, individuals. I find that individuals usually are better at answering questions and providing extra service like shipping to a gift address. I haven't had more problems with one of the other.

i don't tend to shop designer name items much so don't really worry about fakes in the same way. I'm generally buying because i like the way it looks