Selling on this forum is painful

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by nebulight, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. nebulight

    nebulight Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Mar 12, 2013
    I bought some lenses from this forum and all went pretty well. Simple PM to seller asking for paypal (or try to negotiate the price), then send payment. Simple. I sold my EM5 on this forum and also had my fathers EM1 listed. I have never in my life had so much interest and so many members say they would take it, ask for the paypal address, then never hear from them again. So many people were interested in the EM5 but wouldn't make payment. The final buyer for my EM5 was pretty much straight to the point so I lucked out there but I didn't think the EM1 would be so difficult to move. For the EM1 I had probably 5-6 different PMs going with different members and no one would respond after I sent paypal info. I even had one member make payment, but then tell me he made it from the wrong account and asked for a refund so he could make payment from a different account, so I refunded him. Never heard from him again. I had one member with maybe around 15-20 PMs and we finally agreed on a price only to have him not reply AGAIN! When I asked a few days later if he was interested, I get a reply "Bought a GH4 instead." Thanks for the update....

    I get that my original thread was too high and I wasn't aware that it could be had cheaper than $1299, so I relisted at 975obo which I still think is fair so I don't think it was my price that was holding me back. Some members had issue with the Paypal gift option, which I understand and said I would take normal paypal, still no luck. I also have a low post count, but I have over 190 positive ratings on eBay (100%). I listed on FM as my first post with no feedback and sold in 2 hours for my asking price.

    I really have no idea why I'm posting this, but I've just never had so many issues selling something before. People need to grow up and communicate properly. If something changes, just update the person you are working with so they know. And if you're not really interested or don't have the cash, don't bother PMing someone. I normally put something on hold for 24 hours when I send out my paypal info just so I don't end up with 2 people making payment so it really holds things up. However after this fiasco, I'll just deal first payment gets it.
     
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    It sounds like you just had a bit of bad luck here (and good luck on FM). I've had the occasional experience at FM similar to the one you had here, so it can happen on either site.

    What I now do to avoid such experiences is to write this on all my sales:

    Since I started doing that, I haven't had many issues. If someone still PMs me with questions, after about two PM exchanges, I'll try to say in as polite terms as possible that it's taking too much effort, and I don't want the transaction.

    Of course it's also true that the better the price, the less likely one is to have "bad luck" with a buyer, but that is a separate issue.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ronk

    ronk Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Jul 26, 2014
    Twin Cities, MN
    Ron
    What is 'FM'?
     
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
  5. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    Your experience sounds much like my experiences on craigslist buying/selling (not just lenses/cameras)...though yours sounds even more extreme. Someone with more than one paypal account sounds "unusual" or farcical.


    I think buyers here are just informed and savvy to simplify it...maybe fickle too. Lenses/cameras listed at good prices often go fast. Stuff listed at ebay prices or higher sits. There's a supply demand equation too in there too, of course.

    I buy here more often than anywhere else, but I usually end up selling at the bay more than here. Often, despite the high fees, I still come out ahead and sell faster on ebay. Just a wider audience for one. Case in point, I had a near mint Olympus 100mm F2.8 manual lens...sat here for a week or two with several price lowerings and not one inquiry. Listed it at a higher price on ebay and it sold in a few hrs (then wishing I'd raised my price).

    Timing matters too. 4-6 months ago you couldn't expect to get more than $80-90 max for a 17 f2.8...then a few months ago the supply of used ones seemed to dry up and suddenly I saw them going for $120-145 online....and less than a handful listed at a time.

    Everyone here knows you can get refurbs and posts bargains, so you have to bear that in mind when listing something for sale. It's hardly worth selling a kit lens here, because you're going to get bottom dollar, whereas on the bay you might get the going price or more. If you have something hard to find like a 75mm black, you might get a higher price than ebay possibly.

    Something else I've noticed. Some people buy/sell frequently and often change their minds. On more than one occasion, I've sold a lens to someone, only to see that person resell it a week later on here. It's a cheap way to try out lenses.
     
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  6. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've noticed what the OP references here and everywhere (except ebay). It seems to me that more and more potential buyers are completely self-centered with regard to transactions, and treat sellers more like a retailer than another "community member".
     
  7. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I'd like to chime in here, as I have sold several items successfully on this forum and elsewhere and I also had a brief dialog with the OP about his E-M1.

    I did originally inform the OP that his original asking price was too high, because new E-M1s could be obtained for his initial ask. I was interested in an E-M1, but not seriously interested in his, because of the initial price. His adjusted price was much more appropriate as an initial ask. Unfortunately for him at the same time he posted his, there were a couple of other E-M1s on the forum as well - admittedly - not in as nice condition as the OPs, but they were also cheaper - one of which was significantly cheaper (on the order of a couple hundred dollars) - but with a known and fully disclosed cosmetic issue from a drop. I actually ended up getting that E-M1, but for substantially less than what the OP was asking for his. IMHO, that's just the realities of a competitive marketplace. It's also true that I live near the seller of the E-M1 I ended up getting, so I was able to physically inspect the E-M1 I bought, and insure that it's disclosed issue was in fact JUST cosmetic, not functional at all, and thus, really just an opportunity for me to save money. Which I did. So that may have been a bit of bad luck for the OP, that an interested buyer had a geographic advantage in buying from another seller at a better price. But that being said, price was still an issue, because there is an ebay seller who has been steeply discounting New In Box E-M1s (most likely liquidated inventory from J&R or Calumet) and during the past 2 weeks, they dropped their price another $100, in two $50 increments. The E-M1 I bought started out competitively priced relative to condition, but the aforementioned availability of a new one on Ebay for a discounted price impacted him as well, and HE also dropped his price, and gave me an even better deal in a cash transaction, reflecting our geographic proximity, and the fact that PayPal and the USPS were not taking their share of the deal - which would have been a nontrivial amount of about $40+ . So I agreed to buy his E-M1, at very significant savings. Again, a combination of a competitive market, and the dumb luck that I the buyer lived near that seller.

    All of that being said, the OP DOES have a legitimate point. Buyers on this forum are way more knowledgeable than average, specifically with Micro 4/3 gear, AND they are generally picky and ask lots more questions than ebay buyers do. I too have found that when I am selling, I can usually command a 10% or greater premium on ebay relative to here - and that 10% covers the ebay cost differential. When I list stuff here, I usually simultaneously list it on ebay, where I always list it for about 10% higher price than I list it here. And of the last 5 items I've listed here, 4 of them sold on ebay, at those 10% or greater higher prices than I would have sold them here. In fact, the last thing I sold, a Panasonic G5, WHILE I was engaged with a potential buyer here, who was peppering me in multiple PMs for information such as the shutter count and exact details on it's use before I got it - which I couldn't provide, an ebay buyer bought it out from under him for 10% more than I was asking here. Ebay seems to offer a pool of buyers that is both broader, and have lower expectations for exact detailed information about what they are buying, and who seem to be willing to pay more. That's just the facts as I've observed them.

    I also would add that I exactly agree with the point demiro just made in the post above mine. As an example - I recently listed a lens here, and right after I listed it, I got a PM from a potential buyer who simply asked if the lens was still available. When I said that it was, and that I had in fact only put it up for sale an hour earlier, I never heard anything more from that buyer. Then 3 days later, after the lens was no longer available, but I hadn't yet marked it completed, that buyer came back with a low-ball offer. It was apparent to me that this was an intentional strategy, NOT to buy a lens that was freshly listed, but to hope that I would get desperate and sell it cheap.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. synthetictone

    synthetictone Mu-43 Regular

    124
    May 22, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Dean
    You can now get an E-M1 for $999 brand new.
     
  9. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    That's what I was referring to in my prior post - the ebay seller I referred to previously, thegamesarena, was selling E-M1s for $1099 (probably liquidated inventory from Calumet or J&R or some other distressed retailer) at the time of nebulight's original listing, and has subsequently dropped the price by $100 in two $50 increments over the past couple of weeks.
     
  10. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I think the key is to price items aggressively/realistically from the beginning. I usually discount a decent amount below lowest new price and factor in that I am not paying an Ebay seller fee (~10%). Unfortunately, mirrorless bodies do not have a great resale value with the frequent product refreshes and heavy discounts.
     
  11. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    Not to mention $1039 for a refurb, less the usual 5% and 20% sales, plus sales tax...and you get a 90 day warranty.
     
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I do that, but I've noticed that over the past couple of months, with the stuff I've listed for sale here, I get many more folks asking tons of questions and giving low-ball offers than I've experienced previously here. Keep in mind that just about everything I've listed here, was also listed with the exact same level of detailed information and pictures, and at a 10% higher price on ebay. And recently in particular, almost everything is selling on ebay, not here, despite the fact that I'm pricing the stuff 10% lower here.

    Basically, my pricing strategy has been to pretty carefully research what I think I can get for the item on ebay, given condition, accurate descriptions, and good pictures of the item, and then I list it on ebay at that price for Buy it Now, and at a 10% lower price on this forum (or, for non-Mu-43 gear, on SeriousCompacts). By far most of the stuff I actually sell gets bought on ebay at the 10% higher price. Which tells me that folks are really looking for low-ball prices here.
     
  13. synthetictone

    synthetictone Mu-43 Regular

    124
    May 22, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Dean
    Yep... I remember paying about $1200 or more for the GH3 and now it can be found for less than $850. The values are almost comparable to computers since the technology moves so quick and prices change just as quick.

    I remember buying my D200 with grip and high activation many years ago for $700 while new they were going for $1500. Not more than a year later new with grip dropped to $850. Now I have still have the D200, hate to sell because I can't get more than $200 for it.
     
  14. synthetictone

    synthetictone Mu-43 Regular

    124
    May 22, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Dean
    That sounds about right. I learned from Nikon forums in the past there are people that search for sale sections looking for deals that they can scoop up and resale for a profit too and always want to haggle on already good price.

    I think using ebay etc. also give some buyers more a secure feeling in transaction and they often will pay more for that.
     
  15. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    But this gets right to demiro's point, that this venue is supposed to be a community. My sense as a BUYER has always been that I would rather buy from a known photographer who uses similar gear as I do, than some random seller on ebay, assuming the price is comparable. But most of the prospective buyers who contact me in this venue don't seem to have that mindset. I've certainly had some folks - who will remain nameless - who PM me coming in with an attitude that I definitely have a sense they want to buy only if they're getting things for below their true market value. Ebay is a big enough market venue that those folks won't get anything that way, unless they are buying from clueless sellers right after the item gets listed at a too low a price.
     
  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    My experience with selling on the forum is people will expect the absolute lowest price for m4/3 gear here. Presumably that's because they're very familiar with the m4/3 products and any issues or concerns, as well as the going market price. Anything listed here that's going to sell successfully generally needs to be priced at the lowest price available (and be in excellent condition). Likewise, you're far more likely to get detailed questions here for some of the same reasons.

    Can't say I blame people for wanting a good deal on well cared for used gear... but I will agree I've found it simpler and quicker to sell elsewhere.
     
  17. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I don't think the issue is pricing. It is buyers (especially) just being rude. For example. you list an item for sale and you get a PM offering a lower amount. You respond back agreeing to that amount and provide your Paypal address. That deal has been agreed upon, correct? Many "buyers" will then just ignore it, not even having the decency to PM back saying "I changed my mind". That sort of behavior is the issue to me.

    I understand that if I price something at or above market I will likely get more than my share of "lowball" PMs. I can accept that. Responding back "no thanks" is not a big deal to me.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    There I'd have to agree... hasn't really happened to me yet, but I would be pretty put off if it did. I don't like to go back on my word and I'd feel pretty bad as a buyer if I left someone hanging like that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    The other problem is that olympus has sales on their refurbished cameras and lenses quite often, and if buying used from a seller here costs more, then they'll go to olympus or ask for a better price.
     
  20. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Sure, the price needs to be competitive - but I've recently been running into the uncivil prospective buyers and low-ball offers even when my price is as low as comparable items are selling for anywhere - as I said, in most cases, I'm EASILY selling these same items on ebay at prices that are 10% higher than my prices here. As I said previously, when I'm a buyer, I want the best price, but assuming the price is right, I'd rather buy from another photographer who uses the same gear I do, than some random seller. I just haven't been feeling that from most of the inquiries I get here. This includes real mint condition product that is comprehensively photographed to demonstrate it's condition.