Sunday, May 24, 2020

eBay and Etsy Pandemic Update

On May 20, I wrote about how I had reactivated my Etsy listings and was in the process of getting my eBay listings back up one listing at a time.  The process was tedious and akin to torture, since I had to edit 191 listings individually.  Finally, I finished last night.

I could have done some of the editing through the bulk editor, but one task had to be done individually.  I wanted to clean up the extraneous HTML that was embedded within a majority of my eBay listing descriptions.  The extraneous HTML was an artifact of old listings copied and pasted over the years.  The embedded HTML sometimes caused problems, and I wanted to get all of it removed.

I copied each description into Wordpad on my computer to strip it of the HTML.  I deleted the HTML completely from the item description.  I then pasted my description back into the listing.  That got rid of the extra junk.

As I removed the junk HTML from each description, I also added the message seen below.

The issue with "best offer" is getting on my last nerve.  I do not have "best offer" activated in my eBay store.  That doesn't stop the buyers from trying.  They use the "contact seller" link to make a best offer.  Now all of my listings contain a statement mentioning that I do not accept offers.

I fully understand and accept that this will not stop the offers from rolling in.  I can only hope that slightly fewer prospective buyers will make offers.  I do not respond at all to most of the offers.  The only ones that I do address are the ones from people who get really pushy and start contacting me each day.  After two or three messages, I finally reply, declining the offer.

I had one person contact me several times, even going so far as to explain to me how I could edit the listing to lower the price for them.  Gosh, I never would have guessed that I could change the price on my own listing.  Wow!

The reason I don't accept offers is because my books tend to be priced at the bare minimum I will accept.  The biggest factor into how I price my books is what I paid for my books.  I tend to pay more than most people realize.  These neat old series books don't just fall out of trees.  I have to find them, both online and offline.  I have to pay good money for them.  I don't find that many bargains.

In order for me to accept best offers, I would need to raise my prices.  I call it "doing it the JCPenney way."  Put a really high price on the merchandise, then place it on sale at varying amounts all the time.  If I had fake high prices on my books, then I could accept lots of offers.  But I don't like playing games like that.  I refuse to do it.  So I don't take best offers.

I fortunately receive far fewer offers on Etsy, although I have already received one request this weekend for a deal on a multiple book purchase.  Due to the friendliness of the request, I did respond and decline.

The books for which a deal was requested are selling extremely fast, so much so that I believe that I set the prices too low.  I'm sticking with how I priced the books, since most of them have sold.  I am certainly not going to lower the prices of books just listed that are selling fast.  It's not logical to do so.

I felt that I needed to address the media mail slowdown in my eBay listings.  My incoming media mail packages are taking around 10 to 14 days, so media mail is definitely running slow.  The slowdown had to be addressed because some buyers are very quick to accuse a seller of wrongdoing.  I had a buyer early this year get really upset over a delayed acceptance scan.  I have used red boxes to indicate the rather strong accusations made by the buyer.  Remember that you can click or tap on an image to see a larger version.

I didn't hear back from the buyer until the postal service finally did the acceptance scan, five days after the package was dropped off.  The buyer was livid, since the delayed acceptance scan clearly meant that I was a liar.

I especially like my first paragraph seen in the upper right.

The buyer didn't reply until the package arrived some days later.  The buyer was like a completely different person, thanking me for a great transaction.  She mentioned nothing about her previous accusations.  She left me very positive feedback.  I was baffled, to say the least.  My shrewd guess was that the package must have arrived in time for the birthday, which made everything right in the world.

That's why I feel I need to warn buyers about the media mail slowdown.  My outgoing packages will also be slightly slower than before since I am not always going to ship the next day.  By telling buyers that I ship on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, they will be aware that not all packages will go out the next business day.

Sometimes I will deviate from my usual shipping schedule, like this week because of Memorial Day.  Several people purchased books this weekend.  I will go to the post office on Tuesday this week, since I don't want the packages to be delayed until Wednesday.  Going on Tuesday will probably cause me to shift the other two days to Thursday and Saturday.  Next week I will resume the Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.

When I closed my eBay store and Etsy shop in March, I knew that I could suffer a temporary setback in visibility, especially on eBay.  I have had two eBay transactions for a total of two books sold since my items were reactivated, which isn't great but better than none at all.  I expect that eBay sales will begin to pick up now that all of my items are back up for sale.

Etsy sales tend to be quite sporadic for me with great sales for a time and then nothing.  Since I reopened my Etsy shop last week, sales have been outstanding.  I have had 16 transactions with a total of 64 books sold.  At times, Etsy runs nearly as good as Bonanza/Bonanzle did for me in 2009 through 2011.  Bonanza/Bonanzle was a fringe startup site that could have been the next big thing, but the site's management squandered their traction by making some major mistakes.  Those mistakes were what caused me to close up my booth and head to Etsy in 2016.

In the coming days, I will begin to create new listings for books that have not previously been available for sale.  Any boys' series books will be on eBay, since boys' books do not do well for me on Etsy.  I suspect that Etsy buyers are predominantly women, which causes the boys' books not to sell as well.

I will be more likely to list Trixie Belden and Dana Girls books on Etsy.  Nancy Drew books with dust jackets and Three Investigators books almost always go on Etsy so that I can avoid a certain difficult person who purchases those books on eBay to resell on eBay.

Any books from more obscure series will go on eBay, since eBay has a larger audience than Etsy.

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

1 comment:

Evelyn said...

Your sales prices are very reasonable, so I'm really surprised that so many people contact you with offers. I'm glad that you are managing to sell some books on Etsy, and I hope that your eBay sales pick up soon.