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Alright I know many of you use eBay to buy and sell from time to time.  I have some "stuff" that is not trains so sell off.  Can any of you direct me to a site or offer me the basics here on the dos and dont's of a sale.  I am not looking to be some on going dealer type, I'm just clearing out the clutter and I know some stuff would be of value to the right persons.  I have zero experience buying or selling on that or any other site.

I presume I need to set up a PayPal account to manage the financial transaction.  Are there other things I need to do to keep from getting burned as a seller?
 etc, etc, etc.

Thank you

Robert
 

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A paypal account is a good idea. If you don't want to get burned then you can specify paypal only for payment. Bad thing about that is you could lose some potential bidders and of course just like the government and mafia they will want a piece of the action. But the good thing is you are covered and don't have to worry about bad checks, taking credit cards, or fake money orders.

Never ship until payment has been received and cleared.

Also, make sure you offer insurance for mailing. Either include it as part of the shipping cost or make it optional. My understanding is if someone does not select the insurance and the item gets lost some where then they are liable not you. But if you don't offer insurance or don't include it then you can get stuck for not only the item but the refund to the buyer, so a double whammy. For expensive items I only offer UPS or Fedex so I can see the tracking.
 

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Posted By jimtyp on 03/04/2008 10:16 AM

.... My understanding is if someone does not select the insurance and the item gets lost some where then they are liable not you....


Nope.  In the US, the seller of an item is responsible for getting the goods to the buyer.  The insurance is for the shipper...not the buyer.  If you've ever had a shipping problem, you learn that ONLY the shipper can file the claim...and collect...not the buyer/receiver.  But...it's still the sellers job to get the product to you...or refund your purchase (but not shipping) price.  

I suppose a separate agreement could be made where the buyer releases the seller from that responsibility...but why would anyone do that?

Liability is always with the seller/shipper...except it doesn't seem that way because he has your money.  This is why the eBay rating of a seller is so important IMHO. 
 

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Mike, do you have a reference for this info? If that is the case then a lot of sellers have opened themselves up to fraud. I could get an item, as a buyer, and say I never received it. Most sellers put a disclaimer on their items that if insurance is not purchased they are not liable, and from my experience ebay seems to back that up.

In any case, items of value I would only send via a tracking service or include insurance in the shipping cost.
 

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Posted By jimtyp on 03/04/2008 11:48 AM
Mike, do you have a reference for this info? If that is the case then a lot of sellers have opened themselves up to fraud. I could get an item, as a buyer, and say I never received it. Most sellers put a disclaimer on their items that if insurance is not purchased they are not liable, and from my experience ebay seems to back that up.

In any case, items of value I would only send via a tracking service or include insurance in the shipping cost.


There are numerous references for the sellers liability in the Federal Trade Commission rules regarding sales, and in particular, sales via the telephone or via the internet.  For auctions, you should start at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/online/auctions.shtm and at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/mailorder.shtm . 

In reality, a dispute like this is a civil issue...so, for me to say it's a "law" is a bit overstated.  Sorry, but let me explain.

US law has many roots in English common law...and English common law held that it was the sellers responsibility to ship an item bought by a buyer...but it also said that when the goods were delivered by the seller to the shipper, the seller's job was complete.  However....this common law was established at a time when the BUYER provided the shipper.  You've heard the term FOB (Freight on Board)...that is the shipping process where the seller delivers a product to the buyers shipping company...and can stipulate in the sale that the price is FOB (as in FOB Detroit for cars....it's the dealers job to pickup the car and ship it to his dealership using the dealer's freight company of choice).  (For the full skinny on shipping types see http://www.foreign-trade.com/reference/incoterms.cfm .)  But I degress...

The confusion over who is responsible CAME from this old English Common Law.  It's NOT the same now...especially for internet sales...because the buyer does NOT provide the shipper.  In most internet sales the seller stipulates the shipping mechanism...and states a price for it...in his ad.  The FTC regulations here in US say that the seller must discloses these costs...and recommends he do that before the sale.

The philosophy that is used for most internet sales is that the seller stipulates his shipping policy to get the goods to the buyer....and the buyer accepts and PAYS for the seller's selected shipping process.  That's the quid pro quo...and the basis for any civil proceedings.  If goods do NOT arrive at the buyer's end, then the seller is NOT released from liability AS LONG AS THE BUYER PAID ALL SHIPPING COSTS DEMANDED BY THE SELLER.

So...it just seems to me that a seller should always require goods to be insured....because even with simple insurance, at the USPS there is a record of the item being delivered.  Unfornately the seller doesn't have that proof...just the USPS...unless the seller pays for it.  The receiver/buyer may not have to sign for the item...but the post office can show that it was delivered (somewhere).  If the seller wants more protection, he can go with the signature required method...and get a return receipt showing the item being delivered.  The key here is that the SELLER can protect himself JUST by stipulating HIS shipping requirements...and doing them.

If the seller's policy is to make insurance a BUYER option...and has this in the ad that without insurance, the BUYER accepts the shipping risk....well, I suppose that is a decent position.  Me, as a buyer, would NEVER accept that option on a substantive item (big, expensive)...unless I could control the shipping.  As far as eBay backing this method, it makes sense to me...but the whole point of this thread is about who is responsible...and if eBay is saying that if the buyer doesn't pay for the insurance offered, the buyer is accepting the risk...then they ought to flat out say that somewhere.  I've not found it.

From the BUYERs perspective, the Buyer should pay via Credit Card or PAYPAL...to insure that he can get his "money back" if there is a dispute.  That's really HIS insurance.  If the Buyer is willing to pay for shipping insurance on an item that does NOT offer that option, he should ask the seller if he will insure it BEFORE the auction closes.  The "BEFORE the auction closes" is because that with the advent of  Flat Rate Shipping by the USPS many sellers buy the flat rate boxes, fill them, and ship them from their house.  They do NOT go to a post office to ship...nor to buy insurance...and therefore, due to the extra work involved to get the package insured, some sellers may opt to NOT get insurance, even if the Buyer would pay for it.  I do not think I'd bid under such terms on expensive stuff.

Now....I said "delivered (somewhere)" earlier.  I've heard of one case where the postman/FEDEX/UPS guy delivered  train stuff to the wrong address...and marked in his delivery system as "delivered".  In this case, the buyer did NOT get the goods, but the seller gets a receipt that the goods were delivered.  That's a conundrum...and only if the seller pays for tracking is there any hope of that dispute being resolved easily.
 

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Get a Paypal account. On post office shipments, I always get Delivery Confirmation-it's only 60 cents. I put in my ad that I always buy it, had a few deadbeats claim it never got there, so have done that ever since. Sell to overseas people also, LOTS buy stuff from us, because of the cheap dollar, pretty easy to mail it overseas from the post office. Just tell them you will check on what the costs will be. Jerry
 

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Thanks for the info Mike! You are very thorough.

Yes, I remember Bob's K-27 was sent to the wrong address, I think even wrong state if I remember correctly, via UPS. I know he has his so I assume it finally got resolved.

You seem to have a lot of background in this area, have you worked for the FTC or just done your homework?
 

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Experience....had to "explain" the law to a seller I bought from....and in doing that, I did a bunch of research. Also....my father once was an Assistant Post Master General (for R&D)...

And...it wasn't Bob's K27...it was a prior order. He never got that one. He got the K27 after a long ride. Re the one he didn't get, a year later, he found the items he ordered, wrecked, in the trash of another home with the same house number...different street.
 

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You are getting a lot of good advice here, and here is some more, some more, not exactly in line with what you have alread heard.
1. DONT use paypal.  Unless you are a business, and just want to sell off a few things, it is too costly.  It's not worth the cost. Plus your credit card information is available one more place.
2. I only take Cash, Money Orders, and Bank checks.  No personal checks.
3. Only sell to US customers. It costs more to sell or buy  in Canada
4. Delivery Conformation is a good idea
5. Don't ship until the payment clears
6. Pay and Ship fast. This impresses everyone, buyers and sellers, I  send a MO the day I win an auction, and ship the day I receive payment if possible.
I have sold, coins, stamps, trains, I have bought trains, knives, gun barrels (not any more on ebay) Shotgun shell boxes, wet suits and have nearly 300 transactions, I have only had one  transaction that caused me trouble, and that was a buy from a Canadian train Dealer. 
That's my story and I am sticking to it.
Paul
 

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I've never had any problem with payPal, either buying or selling. The only problem with PayPal as a seller is they want their cut. If you sell outside of this country use Paypal only. Then you don't have to worry about currency exchange, they do it for you. I once had to pay $60.00 on an $80.00 money order from Canada to exchange it to US funds. Don't do that anymore. Insurance, delivery confirmation etc. is up to you. As a buyer I rarely pay for it. As a buyer if someone makes it mandatory I usually pass unless it is something I really want. As a seller I offer it but only make it manditory on expensive items that I don't want to risk loosing my money on. As for people who claim they never got an item I usually tell them that if they don't get it is 6 months or so let me know and I will send them another one. In 3 years I've only had 1 or 2 people try to flim-flam me over something. If I believe they honestly have a problem I will work with them, otherwise they can sue me. (And by the way they have to come to Arizona to sue me!) ( I have also flown to Rochester, Atlanta and Tampa and filed in court over unshipped items bought on ebay. Seller got to pay for court costs, airline fares and hotel costs for both the filing and the court appearance. That wakes someone up fast.) I sell a lot of items in "Dutch" auctions where I have several of the same item and you bid on how many you want and how much you want to pay. Every auction I have someone who bids on 1 item and receives 1 item and emails me back saying they  thought they were getting 12 (or whatever). I tell them to read the auctions and enjoy the one they bought. One of the issues I have is with shipping. One item to watch out for is in the shipping  costs it says shipping described in the item description then you read the item description and there is nothing there about the shipping. I usually pass on those items as you don't know what is going on with the shipping. I've had several items I have just refused to pay for because the seller states shipping dependent to location and then tries to charge an expensive flat rate shipping. I live in Arizona and see a lot of stuff advertised from California. A lot of it is flat rate shipping of $15.00 to $20.00. Unless it is a heavy locomotive or something else heavy it doesn't cost that much to ship here. A lot of high prices shipping is sellers trying to load things like packing materials and handeling fee into the shipping. You don't pay fees to ebay on shipping so more profit. As a buyer I try to stay away from people like that. Overhead comes out of your profit margin not overcharging shipping to people. It used to be that the customer was always right. Overhead was part of business. But now everyone wants it their way and damn the customer. Just be aware that EVERY decision you make about the way you sell, about the way you ship, about the way you do business affects how many people look at and bid on your items. Making it the easiest for you usually limits the number of people who actually will bid on your items. As a seller or a buyer I don't pay any attention to the ebay rating or a persons feedback percentage(s).
 

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Posted By bottino on 03/12/2008 5:31 AM
1. DONT use paypal.  Unless you are a business, and just want to sell off a few things, it is too costly.  It's not worth the cost. Plus your credit card information is available one more place.


I've seen this posted several times....and I just don't understand why if one is a buyer...you shouldn't use Paypal.  Then again, I've never been burned...and all Paypal transactions have gone through fine. 

If an item listed on eBay is Paypal insured...that gives me protection in the event of a beef.  If it is NOT Paypal insured, then I generally use my credit card to pay the Paypal bill...and I get insured via my credit card.  

I can see how sellers could gripe...since they must pay the Paypal fees...then again, any seller has to pay fees for any "escrow" service...whether it's Paypal or credit cards.  Only Money Orders put the cost of the escrow on the buyer as far as I can see.  

What am I not getting about Paypal...when you are the buyer?
 

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I believe that the original question was about SELLING on ebay.  I think that has prompted the more negative Paypal comments.  Buying may be ok, but my original paypal account got compromised once, and I have never been able to use it again.  Also, don't change your email address. It won't let you in to change anything to the new one. I can't even open a new account because my name is on an old account that I can't get into to update. A total mess for me.
Finally, as the posts have pointed out, the only people who have said they like Paypal have businesses.  I even pointed out that it you were a business, I could see an advantage to Paypal.
Paul
 

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I don't use paypal myself.

I know a couple of people who got burned paying for items won off EBAY with paypal; in both cases they had to go through long drawn out 'dispute resolutions'. The one guy described it as 'at a certain point there is no record of the transaction having taken place'.
 

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i'm not sure what he's the above is talking about ive changed my email and my paypal setup 2-3 times since ive been a seller and a buyer on Ebay I have used for two yrs with no problems YET! anyway.Actually for me and pretty much everyone its the safest way to do either transaction buying or selling and you have some protection using it. I transfer money from there to bank acct and use credit card and paypal act balance all the time. The Regal  ps the only fee i encountered is if you are selling no fee for buying or transferring, and the fee is around 3-4% of final sale!
 
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