The trend to ebay buying is easily put into 2 categories -
1 - put a watch on the item and if there is little or better still, no activity, wait till the last moments of the auction to grab it at an absolute steal.
2 - immediately bid on it because it is desirable and continue to outbid any newcomers to the bidding arena, the item is desired at any cost, sometimes
at ridiculously high prices. (good for the seller)
Most buyers will have a leg in both categories while others will fit into one or the other.
There are fashionable trends - must haves - eg; wembleyware, remued pottery etc, that drive people to buy, but these types are few and far between, at the end of the day, buying is a split second whim. A buyer can look through pages of items before seeing something that appeals, not necessarily to his/her purse, not to his/her way of life, but just simply tugs at the heart strings. the 'ooh, I like that' sort of tug.
From a sellers point of view though, we need all buyers, it doesn't matter what the reason is that they buy, we need buyers simply because we can't be seen to be throwing away our hard earned money nor wasting our time, we need people to buy and at the end of the day, we don't care what category they fit into. On average, a seller will list, say, 50 items, only to sell if he/she is lucky, 20 items. Of the 20 items sold, only one will fetch a price that is worthy of all the work he/she has put into it, while the other 19 will barely cover the costs, let alone the time poured into obtaining the item, photographing the item, carefully listing the item making sure not to omit any scratch or crack, answering questions related to the item, waiting for the item to sell, and then if it sells, carefully wrapping the item in multiple layers to ensure the item gets to the buyer in one piece, and then trapsing off to the post office in his/her car using own fuel, standing in queue before finally getting it away safely to the buyer.
We sellers need buyers, otherwise it is all a waste of time, and in saying that, buyers need sellers. If not for sellers, there would be no ebay, no place to go which offers a vast wealth of objects to choose from and from the comfort of his/her own home. To a buyer, ebay gives him/her everything he desires, at a cost which he decides best suits the purse, without getting out of the comfy of the chair and airconditioned room, trudging through hundreds of stores or markets and all without using their own fuel and car. And with internet banking now on offer, buyers don't even have to go out of their way to go do the banking - just a push of the button, and it's done.
All sellers, including myself, wish it was that easy to sell, all we have going for us is a photo and a few carefully chosen words - we are at the mercy of the buyers. If the photo is poor quality and the words do not ring to the buyer, we loose a sale. if we list the item too high in price (but close to the real value) we don't pull any interest and loose the sale. If we list for too low a cost, we get bids much lower than costs and loose in monetary terms.
Costing an item is extremely hard and buyers are always on the hunt for that bargain, but risk pricing too high or too low, the seller will loose.
The seller needs to recover all costs - purchasing the item for resale, listing the item and if the item sells, then final valuation fees and if the buyer uses paypal to pay for his/her win, then another fee is added. Most sellers do not charge for their time or the materials used in packing the item for post, so they loose out again.
There are a few sellers that make good money from ebay, but the majority of sellers are ordinary people, trying to make a few extra dollars to supplement the main income. The sellers that do make money don't flinch at taking the buyers hard earned money in exchange for cheap imports, while the other sellers, offer value for money items, they are honest in their dealings, and they give up their valuable time to deliver your desired item to your door.
To finish off this review, I will leave a few points to consider when you, as a buyer, next purchase an item from ebay.
1 - Sellers are human and will make mistakes, so please don't treat them as though they are robots.
2 - The seller has spent many hours trudging through markets and garage sales etc, (time rather spent in bed) to bring you this item
3 - the seller has then poured more time into cleaning it, photographing it, carefully writing up a description, not missing a scratch, chip or crack so that
you as buyer will feel confident in the purchasing of the item. It is hard to do, try it yourself - write up a description for an object!
4 - the seller will then take photos using his/her camera, his/her batteries, trying to get the best possible angles.
5 - The seller then lists the item, this can take 10 minutes or so per item.
6 - the seller will then wait, answer questions, and usually some very stupid ones, for if the buyer reads the description carefully, the answer will be
7 - Odds are the item won't sell, but one in 10 do, so, then the seller will invoice the buyer with all the payment instructions, and more times than not,
the buyer, again, doesn't read and will ask more stupid questions. Packing is then done, making sure while using recycled materials, that the item
will get to the buyer in good condition, as it left the sellers hands.
8 - Now packed, and off to the post office in his/her own car, his/her own petrol, standing in long queues and hoping the post is going to be as quoted
to the buyer, otherwise another risk of loosing money.
9 - It's now up to the courier to deliver it safely but sometimes it doesn't get to the buyer in one piece. The seller is then accused and yelled at and will
get negative feedback, but it's not the sellers fault. If this happens to you, please lay complaint to the courier, not the seller.
10 - On top of the abuse, the seller will also have to pay the final valuation fee - usually 10%. Is it all worth it?
Buying - from a sellers veiwpoint...
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27 July 2007
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