We would like to announce the Buy/Sell/Trade forum tutorial. Here you'll find some good tips for getting the most out of your transaction activity at B&B. Please note that these are tips & suggestions from people that have used the Buy/Sell/Trade forum, not guidelines or rules that will be enforced by Moderators. If you have any tips you would like to suggest please send the forum Mods a PM.
To start please remember there are posted guidelines about using the Buy/Sell/Trade forum which are enforced.
Tips for Sellers:
Shipping Tips For Sellers:
- Take good pictures of your stuff. Here is a great tutorial about this by one of B&B's best. Describe as best you can any flaws that do not show up in your photos. If you can't take pictures try to describe the item as accurately as possible. If you are selling a vintage razor with no pictures expect to do a lot of work discussing the item and answering questions. If you are selling a soap, cream or razor blades you can probably get away without pictures; but folks will still ask for them.
- Indicate the kind of shipping you are going to use (UPS, USPS, Royal Canadian, etc) and offer insurance. If the item gets lost or damaged everyone is protected. If you don't offer insurance or if the buyer refuses and the item is lost/damaged, you'll have to work something out with the buyer. B&B Moderators are not obligated to get involved in these situations. This is your deal with the buyer.
- It's good courtesy to send the buyer a PM letting them know when the item has shipped. If you have a tracking number send it their way.
- Respond to PM's as quickly as you can. If you anticipate being out of communication for more than a day let a buyer you are working with know this. If you have items for sale and you'll be away, make a posting to set expectations as to when you'll respond.
- Be open about positive and negative comments about the price and characterization (i.e. "mint") of your items. It goes both ways. A lot of B&B members are very familiar with the markets at B&B and Ebay.
- Make sure your item is well packaged to prevent damage. Here is a good thread that discusses packaging techniques that have been effective. Tell your buyer how the item will be packaged and make sure they are comfortable with your methods. If they want more secure packaging consider offering to do so if they agree to pick up the added expense.
- Don't rule out international shipping for your items. Given the global distribution of the B&B membership it will significantly open up your pool of potential buyers. This Thread and This Thread have some good discussion about international shipping.
- For international shipping, try to be as aware as possible how to properly mark a package to minimize customs/duty fees a buyer will incur. Discuss this with the buyer as they may have a good idea what the best options are. For example, here is a great thread discussing how to declare a vintage razor to minimize VAT fees when shipping to the United Kingdom. The thread contains some other good advice and experience with international shipping.
Tips for Buyers:
- Respond to PM's as quickly as you can. If you anticipate being out of communication for more than a day, let the seller know.
- It is especially important to not to keep a seller waiting for a final purchase decision. While they are working with you they are also getting PM's from other interested parties. If you ultimately decide not to purchase an item the seller may have lost opportunities with potential buyers.
- Don't assume the item is being offered at the best price available. Folks are entitled to make some money on items they have found and restored. Many sellers are trying to maximize their trading dollars. Even new, unused items can sometimes be obtained from a vendor at lower prices depending on how much the seller originally paid and what they are trying to recoup. Do a search to see how much similar items have been sold for on B&B. Also take a look at Completed listings on Ebay. As always: Buyer beware.
- All negotiations with the seller should be through PM's. It is bad courtesy to make counter offers, discuss shipping options etc. in the public forum.
- Make sure you discuss shipping/packaging options and price with the seller. Also, seriously consider getting insurance for the item being shipped. If the seller is not offering insurance it's a good idea to ask for this and pay the extra charges.
- Make sure you understand how the item will be packaged. If you are uncomfortable with the packaging the seller is using (i.e padded envelope and you insist on a box) offer to cover the extra charges for more secure packaging. Also be prepared to wait longer for the seller to ship if they agree to change the packaging methods for you. They may not have the packaging on hand. See this thread that discusses packaging techniques that have been effective.
- When you have received an item it's very good courtesy to leave some positive feedback for the seller about the transaction in the original posting for the item. This is a big help for them if they choose to make additional listings.