Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ebay Rant.

Some time ago Mir posted about Ebay and its likeness to an abusive boyfriend. She has also made several references to the sheer stupidity of many of the buyers.

My problem is different. My problem is the sellers. I mean, I sell things on Ebay. I spend a lot of money on Leila's clothes and it's nice to get a bit of it back so I can go spend some more. But here's the thing: I don't misrepresent. I sell clean, unstained, rip-free clothing that I have either ironed or at LEAST tossed in the dryer. I take multiple clear pictures and the majority of my items have been worn maybe three times, max. They are also normally only about three months old. Last year, however, I saved all of Leila's summer clothes that were in good shape and I'll be selling them--they will still only be six months old. I start my bids at 99 cents, because even when I started them at $2 they did not sell as well.
Here is my advice to you, bad sellers or potential sellers, because I am a little tired of having to sort through 500 ads of CRAP to get to one or two decent finds.

1) Take decent pictures. Standing five feet away from a pile of folded clothes tells me nothing about what you are selling, and your detailed description still isn't as good as a photo. Make sure there is light, I can see most of the items in question, and if there are details, take a closeup. I want to know what I'm bidding on.
2) Start your bidding at 99 cents. No one is going to bid on your lot of 3 pairs of jeans if you start the bidding at $7.50. If you start at 99 cents, they might go for more than they're worth.
3) Your clothes from 1997 need to go to Goodwill or one of those charities that sends clothes overseas. No one is going to pay good money for that mess, especially since most of it looks like your crazy Aunt Susan sewed it.
4) If the clothes are so old that I don't recognize the label design (the old Gymboree one with shapes on it, for instance) then they need to go to charity. You should be selling clothes that are reasonably current.
5) Use the spellcheck function, for the love of all that is Holy. I am not going to buy Ralf Lawren Curdorey lavandar kapris, mmkay?
6) Your lot of two Cherokee Kids shirts is ridiculous. I could go to Target for that. In addition, $6 is a completely unreasonable shipping fee for any less than six items. I ship USPS Priority and I know full well it cost $3.75 to mail those two shirts.
7) I buy my child clothes from Wal Mart and Target. I resell those on Ebay. BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE IN GOOD CONDITION. This means that they should not have been worn more than a few times, and do you know why? Because they came from Wal Mart or Target and they do not stand up well to multiple washings and wearings! And while we're on the subject, people: fleece. It is not a reseller's friend. It pills and fades. If it is new or almost new, great. Otherwise: goodwill. They are your friends. For every item I sell on Ebay ten go into the goodwill bag.
9) Pilling is acceptable in only one circumstance: an applique with a bit of pilling. Pilling on the hiney of a bathing suit or pants, all over pilling, etc, these are not things you should say are acceptable, okay? Would you buy a shirt from the store if it had pilling on it? No? Well, you shouldn't be selling stuff you wouldn't purchase yourself.
10) Defects that are acceptable include things like small stains in inconspicious places, and light fading. LIGHT FADING. If it used to be red and it is now pink, that is not light fading. If the stain is grey and covers the entire lower arm, that is not a SMALL stain. And tears and rips are just not acceptable, ever. If it's "easily fixable" you should have fixed it yourself before listing it.
11) Titles should include WHAT you are listing, the age and sex of the person it is for, and maybe one descriptor. Not, CUTE ADORABLE STUFF FOR BABY GIRL L@@K. Cute lot of 6-9 months Baby Girl outfits!
12) Be honest. Please. I bought a "like new" lot from a woman--my first ebay transaction--and got three faded pieces from a line Gymboree had three years ago. They looked okay in the picture and were described as "like new!" and "perfect condition!" when really they were faded and worn many a time. I also bought a lot advertised as coming from Old Navy and Gap that arrived reeking of cigarette smoke and with tags from the factory outlets. You should tell people if you smoke. And you should be honest about the origins of your items. Factory store items are not always the same as the items you get in the store. Many outlets manufacture a separate line of clothing exclusively for selling at the outlet.
13) NWOT indicates that the tags were taken from the item but the item was either never worn or possibly worn once. Like new indicates that the item is in the exact same condition as the day you brought it home from the store, despite having been worn. Please be accurate as well as honest.
14) Be fair on the shipping. I mentioned this above, but people really try to pull a fast one. On the same transaction I mentioned above (with the cigarette smoke) I accidentally clicked on "Bid" before looking at the shipping fee. It was ten dollars for five items. They arrived SHOVED into a tiny box for shampoo samples and had cost $4.00 to ship. She made a freaking six dollar profit off of shipping those stinky clothes.

Hmm. I may be done for now. We shall see.


Slacker Mom said...

wish the people who NEEDED this advice would actually get it...

littlemissme said...

When I get my legion of fans, they will! :-D