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How to sell online (Can anyone give a crash course?)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by okinana, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hi everyone. I have been wanting to sell some stuff but a bit apprehensive about doing so because I have certain questions regarding the process.

    1. I already have a PayPal account. How do I use it to receive payment for what I am selling? How do I set that up? How will I be able to get the payment? Will PayPal send me a check or will it go to my bank account tied to my PayPal account?

    2. What is the best way to ship? How do I estimate the shipping cost? How will I know how long it will take for my item to reach the buyer? I only intend to ship within the Continental US (CONUS, right?).

    I guess those are the 2 most important questions I need to ask. If you think there are other things I need to know, please feel free to post them in this thread.

    I am looking forward to selling some of my photography stuff soon.

    Thank you in advance. :2thumbs:
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    1. Paypal collects money for you in an account they hold, for you. You send your e-mail address to the buyer, and they send you funds to your account, tied to your email. You can then use the money in your paypal account to buy other things from people who accept paypal. There are ways to get money out of your paypal account into your bank account. google on how to do that, but to REALLY make things smooth with Paypal, you really need to make your account "verified" where you confirm your address and bank account information with Paypal. This helps with buyer confidence and also for setting up to take money out of your account from Paypal. Don't use paypal goft for purchases. Yes, it saves you fees, but its against the paypal agreement, and they can block your account, and not offer you protectiont (the latter is more for buying than selling)

    2. Ship how you want, but to get paypal protection, you need to ship with signature confirmation. Sell to people who re paypal verified, and the via regular paypal (not gift) and you can easily set up shipping labels from inside paypal itself. If you are shipping utside of paypal, most folks use the three most likely ones: fedex, ups and usps. I use UPS ground or USPS priority mail. Priority mail for the less expensive or smaller items. Often I sip uninsured pvia USPS. UPS provides base insurance automatically, and in my experience is cheaper with larger packages. You can chekc rates at both ups.com and usps.com. I don't use fedex personally.
     
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  3. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    W21,

    I already have a verified PayPal account. I have been buying from eBay for sometime now. Why is it not advisable to use PP Gift? Is it not advisable to use it when I buy or when I ask for payment?

    How do I print shipping labels from inside PayPal?

    If you choose UPS or USPS, how will you know how much you will charge the buyer for shipping? Do you pack the item at home before going to the UPS or USPS?

    Up until now I haven't tried selling any yet because I still couldn't figure out exactly how to do it. I don't want to fumble my first sale.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Yes, pack the item at home, as you'll need size and weight to estimate shipping.

    Don't use gift for a couple of reasons:
    1) it's against paypal rules, and if they catch you, they will ban you.
    2) It against paypal rules, so have some personal integrity.
    3) if you ship by gift, and you are scammed at either end of the transaction, Paypal will not cover you.
    4) as the seller, you cannot use paypal to create shipping labels in a gift transaction. Using paypal to create shipping labels is a) very easy, b) deducts shipping right from paypal, c) gives you tracking info from inside paypal, and sends the tracking info to the buyer, d) as the shipper, the recipients address is automatically filled in, e) you get slightly lower shipping rates that paypal provides. For me, on most transactions, these items alone are worth 3% (especially if I'm doing a few hundred dollar transaction, and not thousands).

    To get all the shipping benefits above, though, your recipient also needs to be verified, as well as not using gift.

    Finally, even with all the above, ship with signature required and insured.

    Here's three stories:

    I) I shipped a $140 lens from a Fredmiranda.com transaction, with sig required but NOT insured. The USPS dropped of the lens WITHOUT getting a sig, and the buyer is claiming he didn't get the lens. I ended up giving a refund so I'm out $140 and the lens, and USPS will only refund me the signature fee ($2.05). They said I should also have insured it, even though they screwed it up.

    II) I was contacted by a buyer who was verified, and who had a posting history (this was on POTN, not mu-43) to sell me a Canon 17-40. I sent them the money, and never heard from them again. Because they were verified, and I sent regular Paypal, Paypal covered me for my $550! POTN also banned the user, who it seems scammed a couple of people.

    III) I recently shipped a small $50 item to my first international buyer. When this little item got to the buyer, their government slapped an import duty on the item, so the buyer refused the item, and now it's sitting in limbo in their country. I can either pay to have it shipped back, or abandon it.

    So, for me: paypal verified only, only known buyers/sellers with a history, and CONUS only. Sorry if I'm draconian, but after 4 years of successful buy/sell, these three things happened to me in a span of about 5-6 months, so I'm going to be ultra-conservative from now on. YMMV.

    Having said all the scary stuff above, I should note: these are my only bad experiences, and amount to a total loss of $190 over 4 years (the one lens and the $50 item), and I've saved what must be high hundreds if not thousands of dollars by buying and selling used (of course, I'd save even more if I stopped buying gear, lol). Though I won't factor in my time value here, as then I'm probably losing quite a bit :)
     
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  5. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    As WT21 mentioned: (1) it violates the agreement that you have with Paypal, so if they determine you are buying/selling with PP gift, they will block your accounts; and (2) all of the buying/selling protection that comes with using PP is not applicable to PP gift transfers, as it is meant for sending money only.

    Basically, the fees that you pay for using Paypal vs. Paypal gift are for the services that Paypal provides. Using Paypal gift means that you don't get those services and Paypal will get mad that you are misusing their system. It's probably not a big deal for one or two small purchases, but for any regular buying/selling, you should not use PP gift.

    Edit: typing while WT21 was typing, so just read his.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Another way to look at it -- all businesses charge fees. Isn't it cool that Paypal gives you the ability to send friends/family money at no charge? That's what gift is for.
     
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  7. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks guys.

    Follow up question.

    If I print shipping labels from within PayPal, which shipping company should I use to ship the item? Do I pay the shipping cost inside PayPal or do I pay to the shipping company or do I pay both?

    I bought an item here in the forum but never received a feedback from the seller. That would have been the 1st for me here. I already sent him a PM but he still has not replied.

    I have 100% feedback (good ones) in eBay.
     
  8. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Sep 15, 2010
    a few things to add, you can either use paypal or just go to USPS website.

    I think the priority mail rates are the same whether you go thru paypal or USPS.com, but the advantage with going thru paypal instead of going to USPS directly are:

    1. paypal enters the buyer's info for you, so you don't have to type it in.
    2. you can ship first class with paypal for light items, and get discounted rate for delivery confirmation (tracking number), I dont' think you can do that in USPS.com.
    3. you can pay with paypal and not having to give out your credit card number to another place.

    so why use USPS.com? well, sometimes you can't use paypal because you either got a gift, or money order/check.

    either way, you need a printer to print the label. and a digital scale so you know how much the package weights. USPS priority rates goes up by each lb, so regular body scale is usually enough, if your package happens to be exactly 3lb on the scale (which happens about 95% of the time for me), just be safe and say it's 3.5 lb.

    to know how much the shipping is going to be, just get the zip code from the buyer and check it against USPS website. for most m43 items, it whould fit into the medium flat rate USPS priority boxes, so you can assume that shipping in the USA is not going to be more than $10.95+tax.
     
  9. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Sep 15, 2010
    I usually use usps because it is usually cheaper, and with priority mail it gets there in 2-3 days, and on saturdays (at least for now).

    you pay thru paypal only.
     
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  10. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks pcnyc.

    So, once the deal is closed. I send my email to buyer. Buyer sends me payment. Then I go to PayPal and print the label. If buyer is PayPal verified, his name and address should automatically come up. Then I pay shipping fees. But before I close I should tell the buyer how much the shipping cost is going to be. Right?

    How come in ebay they have a set shipping cost already without knowing who/where the buyer is?
     
  11. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Can anyone outline to me the steps please. :drama:

    From start until bringing to shipping store. :clapping:
     
  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Post the ad.

    Come at agreement with buyer

    give buyer your paypal ID

    Wait to confirm you've received payment

    Get a box, item and materials. Weight everything together and measure the box.

    Log into paypal

    Choose "print label" from paypal options. You can get prices from USPS or UPS, using weight and box sizes.

    Choose which one you want (UPS or USPS)

    Pay and print label.

    Assemble box, tape the heck out of it, mount on label (I put the label on the box and tape over it using clear packing tape so the paper label can't get wet)

    Ship -- USPS can pick up from your house, or you go to the post office. UPS can pick up from your house for an extra charge, or you can hand it to a driver if you see one, or you go to a UPS location.

    It's not complicated, but like most things, you really have to do it, to learn. Go sell something small and inexpensive, and learn how to do it.
     
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  13. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks again WT21.

    Do I charge the buyer for the shipping and handling? If that is the case then I should know the shipping fee before closing the deal right?

    How do they do it in eBay? When they advertise they already have a predetermined shipping cost without knowing who the buyer is and where he is from.
     
  14. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    About the PayPal Gift.

    I was supposed to buy something in this forum. The seller asked me if I can pay via PP Gift, since I have always been paying for items using PP (not Gift), I did not know that I can actually choose Gift when paying/sending money. When I said I did not have PP Gift, the deal was cancelled by the seller.

    Lesson learned, I should've asked him how to get PP Gift or how to pay using PP Gift.

    That's why now I am trying to learn before I do or say anything here.

    Thanks again for the help everyone.
     
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    okinana, given your level of concern with the process you may want to simply take your item, in original box, to a store that does UPS or Fed-Ex shipments. Give them the seller's name and address and they will pack it and ship it for you. Get insurance. Tack $25 on to your sale price and say that shipping is included. That should cover you in most cases, and should even out in end (unless you are selling some large or very expensive items).

    As for PayPal, you can transfer money straight to your linked bank account or have a check cut and mailed to you. Options are under the "Withdraw" tab when you go to "My Account".

    Forget about Gift payments as a seller or buyer. If a seller refuses to use standard PayPal cancel the transaction. That is a red flag. A buyer shouldn't want to use Gift, unless you are trying to tack on the PayPal fees. Just consider that when you establish your price and keep it simple.
     
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  16. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Sep 15, 2010
    there's no set rules, who pays shipping fees and paypal fees is your call.

    Some seller likes to list the net amount that he or she would like to get, which means more accurate shipping amount can be calculated after the potential buyer contacted the seller, and seller can give the buyer a lower looking price, if the buyer does not mind paying by gift.

    Personally, I like to give my buyers the final amount that includes shipping fees and paypal fees, to make it easy for them. that's my choice, and by choosing that, I have extra work to do to figure out how much paypal is charging me, and how much shipping might be, and consequently, how much my net amount is.

    including the shipping means you just have to estimate the shipping fees and kinda roll the dice. if your buyer happens to be in the same region as you then you might save some shipping cost, if not, then you lose some. i like to include shipping in my listing price, simply because as a buyer I like to know exactly how much I am spending, and I rather not do more things to figure out how much the extra costs are there. so I imagine my potential buyers out there are probably a bit like me.
     
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  17. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks Demiro. Your thoughts are well appreciated. :2thumbs:

    PCNY, I am on the same boat as you. I am primarily a buyer, and that's how I want it too. Thank you again my friend. :2thumbs: