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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adventures in Downsizing

I've been working on pruning my collection, and getting a sales list together. The heatwave here the last couple weeks has put a damper on that. I don't imagine anyone wants anything with bonus sweat. So, beyond my original list. I only pulled some of the larger pieces.

With those, according to Ebays completed auction listing they sometimes sell for stupid amounts. So instead of risking insulting my fellow collectors I decided to list them on Ebay and see how that goes.

Let us just say that Ebay has a reputation, and it is well earned. As a buyer things couldn't be better usually. But as a seller it is a whole other ballgame. After learning my way about the system having never sold anything on there before I listed a half dozen items.

Nothing has sold, I still have a few remaining. And no matter how many watchers I doubt they will either. And it's not that I didn't price them competitively because I did. But probably because shipping is just too high. Canada Post does me no favors in that regard. And neither does Paypal if I want to protect myself by adding some stipulations to how I can ship and keep that protection.

But, getting back to Ebay again. I was very careful in how I setup my auctions. Shipping only in North America. USA & Canada. I excluded everywhere else and PO Boxes. And stated it in the auction. And yet I still get bids from Chinese buyers with Ebay accounts only 2 months old and almost 1000 purchases (Insane) but in all fairness maybe legit. I cancel those bids, and find out I missed a loophole buried in my control panel. So I close that loophole. And said Chinese bidder still get though, so I cancel his bid again and ban him. And I have one remaining bidder. He wins, which was great. And when I get payment I find out from the Paypal info that he is another Chinese bidder, shipping through Los Angeles to an unconfirmed address.. Here we go again. Opening a case with Ebay, refunding the money through Paypal and several hours later I'm back where I started.

Almost a month into this, and the only sales I have made are a handful to my fellow Canadians through the TF Community. Which is very appreciated. But I have a lot more I want to get moved. Once these last auctions come down, I may cross post my sales over into TFW2005. Members in the community seem to be a lot more understanding of what shipping is like. And there a lot more US members than Canadian ones.

But in the end, Ebay seems like a great waste of time and aggravation. I agree with all the complaints I've ever heard about. And I don't know how anyone makes any money on there with small ticket items with all the fees.

In other regards at present I am mainly keeping my G1s, Beast Wars / Machines, CHUG, RiD, Prime and Animated stuff. So that means I am mainly clearing out all the doubles, and movies stuff I shouldn't have bought. And any figures I bought for the 'Coolness' factor but have no real attachement to. Which means some third party figures.

Going forward I'm not sure. I'm thinking about staying with G1 / Masterpiece. And filling a few holes I have missing. And finish Prime since I'm half done or better now anyway( And how is Hasbro messing that up??). But I know one thing, I feel better without the weight of all the new releases on my shoulders (I was far from a completist. But I liked too much of what was coming all the time) And the flood of items that never seemed to end. There has to be a limit somewhere. The hobby is too broad and deep otherwise. Or else you need very deep pockets. Because you can't afford to do anything else if you don't.

Once I get the bulk of items moved that I cleared in the first passes I will go back and decide what else is staying. I have duplicate Cyberverse, Deluxe and Voyager stuff. Clear out the Cyberverse versions?? Keep the voyager versions?? I will need to decide that once I've sold most of what is waiting to go now.

And too add to the aggravation.. Paypal is being a real pain.. I setup an account to link for selling purposes. And PP stated that if the account held too few funds to cover a purchase it would go to the CC attached instead. Well, for the record they don't. They like to overdraft the account and not go to the CC as they are supposed to. Something that needs to be watched carefully. I feel like changing my sales to EMT only.. But I know too many people use PP and have money in their accounts. But once I'm done selling, I will be closing that account and removing it from my PP account. I don't want to have to go into my accounts and transfer funds to cover purchases every time I buy something because PP doesn't go the CC when it's supposed to.


  1. You could always post a sales list here on your blog, that way a few other die-hard fans would see it. eBay is always a royal pain, especially for sellers. I've been selling on there for years and it only gets worse. But unfortunately it is the largest pool of customers and for that reason it will always have a monopoly in the online auction game. I try to deal off eBay as much as possible, but it is often a last resort.

  2. eBay is a double edged sword. You can't beat the exposure your items get, but man is it ever expensive with all of their new fees. I've been using both the TFW2005 forums and with great success. Yardsellr is 100% free for sellers. It may not have the best interface for buying, but I've sold many TFs that collector's didn't want on Yardsellr. I even sold my two Hercules bots for my asking price of $80 each.

  3. Well, I am officially done with selling on Ebay now. Had it happen again. What's the point when they can use dummy addresses to skirt the shipping restrictions and then I need file a cancellation. And then Ebay tells me if the buyer disputes, they will still cancel the auction for me. But stick me with the closing fees.

    Definitely a buyers paradise, but I can't imagine how anyone sells. Unless it's all small ticket items. Then if you get scammed for a few bucks here and there it doesn't hurt.

    Cross posting my sales thread to TFW this morning.