Monday, January 12, 2015

Offers on eBay Listings

Some buyers have a real problem with items offered on eBay with free shipping.  They don't realize that I am paying part of the shipping cost, so they don't want to purchase multiple books without receiving a discount.  I break even when multiple books are purchased.  They have received a discount on the first book ordered when I offer an item with free shipping.

Back in September, a buyer offered me $49 plus shipping for seven different books on eBay.  I did not consider the offer.  I might have considered the offer if the buyer had presented it differently.  The buyer was probably figuring a postage cost of around $6 for the seven books and was willing to pay $49 plus $6.  It would have been complicated for me to have changed the listings.  I would have had to have taken seven listings and converted the postage from free to a postage cost of $3.95 plus $0.60 for each additional listing.  I would then have had to have figured the starting prices so that this would have worked out to what the buyer wanted to pay.

Alternatively, I could have canceled the listings and made one listing with all seven books plus postage, which would have solved the problem.  However, I did not want to cancel my listings and then have to create a new listing since I am allowed a set number free listings per month.  Moreover, I did not want to have to go to any extra trouble.  If you've read a recent post where I mentioned my reluctance to spend extra time on buyer questions due to illness and stress, then you'll understand why I didn't consider setting up a new listing.  I didn't want to mess with it.  If the buyer had stipulated a set price per book, like $8.00 with shipping still set as free, there is a small chance that I might have quickly edited the seven listings to $8.00 each so that the buyer could have made a purchase.

For these particular books, I was certain that I had not overpriced these books, since they were desirable books.  When the eBay listings expired, I moved all seven books to Bonanza.  It was clear that the eBay buyers wanted me to offer them below value.  I had received previous offers on these books.

Five of the books sold immediately on Bonanza.  The books sold in two different orders on Bonanza, and the prices paid ended up being within around $0.50 each of the prices of the original listings on eBay.  I was correct that I had not overpriced the books.

In another situation, I had a complete set of Nancy Drew books, #1-56, with the double oval endpapers.  I priced the set at $295 including postage.  I knew this was a bit steep and wasn't sure if the books would sell.  One day in early December, I almost reduced the price to $275.  I decided not to do it for whatever reason.  Just a few hours later on that same day, a buyer contacted me and asked if I would take $275.  Why not?  I had almost lowered the price a few hours before, so I told the buyer that I would lower the price.

I did lower the price, but the buyer did not purchase the set.  No matter.  Five days passed, and then a different buyer purchased the set.  Around two hours after the set sold, the buyer who had asked for the lower price contacted me to ask what had happened to the set, since she was going to buy it that evening.  Unfortunately, she waited too long to make the purchase.  She should have purchased the lot on the day that she made the request.  The price of $275 was at the right level that made the lot desirable to others.   

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