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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fellow ATers:

I thought I might provide some pointers for selling online (and buying) that might be helpful to some of you guys...this is free, worth what you paid for it, but I've been buying and selling online extensively since 1999, and this comes from a lot of trial and error...I've also shipped literally millions of orders in ecommerce, but this is how I do it personally.

So here goes...

1. PayPal. Set up PayPal if you haven't already (this is free). Once you have it set up, have your account and your address verified, and then link your main checking or banking account, as well as a back up credit card. Bank transfers are free or the least expensive. Once you have the accounts all set up and verified, download the PayPal app for you iPhone, Android, or other device for use while mobile. PayPal is the fastest, easiest and safest way to do business online short of a real merchant account. MOs, cash, checks, etc. all work, but you lose an enormous amount of trackability and leverage using them. PayPal is the way to go if you can't exchange cash face to face.

2. Shipper Accounts. Set up your own shipper accounts (this is also free) with USPS, UPS, and FedEx. This allows you to set up the account, and ship right from your PC. Note: this works best on a PC, not an iPad or iPhone. You also need a printer, and the ability to print to a PDF which is a standard function in Windows. Setting these up allows you to save addresses, cancel shipments, manage them, track them, communicate status, and so on. You can use a credit card to pay, or what I do, use PayPal, again for the ease of use and safety.

3. Scale & Packaging Materials. Get a scale that will go up to 50 lbs. or so, or just use a bathroom scale by weighing yourself with and without the package and calculating the difference. Also, get a tape measure to measure the L x W x H. Go to the PO and get some of their packaging and tape, it is free. Keep it at the house. Save the packaging from Amazon and others, especially the Sealed Air air pockets and the brown wrapping paper. Of course, you can use newspapers. But the cheapest, because it doesn't weigh anything, is reusing the air pockets. Peanuts suck, and newspaper and other fillers add weight. They also don't keep something from moving that is heavy.

Now, you are all set to sell, package and ship.

1. Listing/Preparation. First, take all the pictures you might need of the item, including models, serial numbers, etc. and write it all down. I create an email to myself normally, so then I can just forward that to someone that is interested and I always have my iPhone and iPad with me. Put a date, or a current utility bill in one of the pictures, to prove that it is you, and that you have the item.

2. Packing. Package the item up, so that you know weight and take a picture of the internal and external packaging. I tend to wrap items in bubble wrap, then put them in a box with air pockets and the paper I recycle. This is important to do right, and take pictures along the way as proof of how you did it. If it is a heavy item, I sometimes attach it to the inside of the box with heavy tape to keep if from moving, then fill in around it with cushion. That keeps something from hitting the edges of the box. Tape it up thoroughly, and if you need to, leave it open except for just putting in the PayPal invoice and closing it up.

3. Sell the item. Provide a specific and accurate description. Give the item location, and zip code for shipping calculations. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure that in the selling process you agree on the price, shipping timeframe, shipping method, and who is paying for what. Are you covering shipping, or is the buyer? Be specific, and do it over email or PMs that you can save. Texts work too, but I prefer emails or PMs.

4. Payment. Take payment only via PayPal, ideally from verified users with verified addresses. Do NOT use the gift option to avoid the fees, as you will lose the abiility to use PayPal's great tools and resources if there is an issue. Just build it into your price. Once an agreement is made, send the buyer an invoice, with specific details and notes, on PayPal to their email address and requeest payment ASAP or at least within 24 hours. If they have PayPal, and use the app, this is easy peasy. Now you have a record of the transaction, an email address and a physical address, and verification of any notes pertaining to the transaction.

5. Shipping. Ship from your PC, using your shipper account, using the method agreed upon and insurance. For one, it is cheaper normally, and two, you can put the buyers email into the system and it will send them the tracking number directly, along with every status change of the package all along the way without you having to email them, call them, etc. It is so simple and sweet. Take a picture of the package, the shipping label, put the PayPal invoice inside the box, close it up and ship it. Depending on how you do it, you might be able to just take it to work which is what I do...drop it off, they pick it up, and voila, I don't have to do anything except put it in the car and remember to take it into the office. Note: some shipments may require a signed form to drop off, i.e. if it is over $1000 value etc. If it does, you'll have to make sure to do that to be able to insure it.

6. Feedback. Wait on the buyer to get the item, verify that they are OK with it, and request feedback from them. In addition, ask them to take pictures of the packaging on their end, as well as pictures of the items once they unpack them and have them emailed or texted to you to verify the condition upon arrival. Once they do so and leave feedback, give them feedback in return.

7. Enjoy.

Now, I'm sure will say that you don't have to do all this, and that's right you don't. But I've never been scammed, I have 100% feedback, and I've bought and sold items that went up to $100K online. I just reverse the process above as the buyer, including a couple of other things:

1. Google the seller. Spend 5 minutes doing a little research to see if the person is legitimate and trackable. It's easy. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, AT, etc.

2. Research. Make sure you know what you are buying, and that you can ask all the specific questions you need to in order to ensure you get what you think.

3. You can create a return shipping label if you want to, and PDF and email it to the person you are doing business with if that helps or makes the transaction easier. I do this sometimes when I want to control the method of shipment, and to ensure I have a tracking number.

Last suggestion, some options for trades:

1. Have the items sent to a shop close to one of you...that way, the shop can verify condition of both items for each party. Follow the photo, packaging, and photos upon receipt process described above. If you can't send them to a shop, then:

2. Put some amount of cash in an escrow account like escrow.com or safefunds.com to protect each of you.

3. If someone has little to no feedback, you can have them gift you some amount to make you feel safe, then simply refund it once the transaction is completed. This is somewhat risky for the person depositing the funds, but I've done it with folks with little to no feedback.

I'm sure folks will say they hate PayPal, MOs are fine, whatever. I can counterfeit an MO and it happens all the time.

A couple of other things...

1. Talk to the buyer/seller live, ideally several times...
2. Don't ship until it is paid for...ever...
3. Communicate often and clearly...never assume, overcommunicate...
4. Use common sense, if it is too good to be true, it likely is. Flaky communicators don't get better. Bad pictures don't tell the whole story. Yadda yadda yadda....

I'm sure I left some stuff out, and those of you that do this a lot chime in and maybe we can stop some of these senseless threads...

Last. IF you feel you are scammed, email, PM, and call the seller or buyer directly. If you do the above, you will have all three of those. If you still don't get what you need, file a PayPal claim and contact a mod on here. Follow all of the AT rules for selling and buying.

Happy transactions...sorry for the long post, but figured it might help someone...
 

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Great advice. Just don't agree with #6-feedback. A buyer should be left feedback as soon as they pay, that's their end of the deal. When I sell something, here or ebay, when I get paid, as soon as I send it out, I pm the person with tracking number and let them know feedback's been left. If I buy something and my feedback's left first, they'll get 5 stars(as long as item is described). Too many sellers use feedback as a leverage. My 2 cents,lol.
 

· UnBannable
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Great advice. Just don't agree with #6-feedback. A buyer should be left feedback as soon as they pay, that's their end of the deal. When I sell something, here or ebay, when I get paid, as soon as I send it out, I pm the person with tracking number and let them know feedback's been left. If I buy something and my feedback's left first, they'll get 5 stars(as long as item is described). Too many sellers use feedback as a leverage. My 2 cents,lol.
Nope. Suppose you leave FB for the buyer and the buyer starts making up problems with the item to get you to give them money back. Suppose it's a scammer and they do a chargeback through Paypal. Too many things can still go wrong after payment is received. I've been buying/selling online for 15 years. If it can happen, it will happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great advice. Just don't agree with #6-feedback. A buyer should be left feedback as soon as they pay, that's their end of the deal. When I sell something, here or ebay, when I get paid, as soon as I send it out, I pm the person with tracking number and let them know feedback's been left. If I buy something and my feedback's left first, they'll get 5 stars(as long as item is described). Too many sellers use feedback as a leverage. My 2 cents,lol.
Fair but if you leave feedback when an item is paid for if you have a dispute you are in trouble. Best to wait for them to get the item and then leave you feedback. It's not leverage so much as it's prudent.
 

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Like I said-My 2 cents. I guess I've been lucky, 156 positives on here, 1467 positives on ebay. No negatives, no scams. Hope I just didn't jinx myself,lol.
 

· Den Bow's Custom Arrows
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Been doing it awhile online myself, I think you covered it very well.
 

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Good post KS. Pretty thoroughly covered. I especially agree about the feedback part in post 4 & 5. Item 6 in your first post might be helpful in actually getting feedback if the buyer isn't one of the hardcore lazy, inconsiderate ones. Of course if they are, you'll never pry it out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good post KS. Pretty thoroughly covered. I especially agree about the feedback part in post 4 & 5. Item 6 in your first post might be helpful in actually getting feedback if the buyer isn't one of the hardcore lazy, inconsiderate ones. Of course if they are, you'll never pry it out of them.
Thanks. Slightly updated from a while back, and figured it was easier to repost given all the white noise in the first thread.

What else? What are some pearls of wisdom to selling online, and on AT?
 

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Research your asking price. What you bought it for or how much you like it is totally irrelevant to the selling price. The market is the ONLY thing that determines that.

It's harder to do research on AT than ebay since there you can select "show sold price" or whatever it's called. On here you can only see the asking. The sold can easily be different, done through PM's. However, if there's a bunch of ttt's, and/or if the thread's been up a long time you can bet sold might be a good bit lower than asking.

If you've done good research, all you have to do is say "Sorry, no" when the lowballers come knocking and sit tight knowing you're centered in the market.
 
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