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#1 roy26

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:02 PM

I would like to buy a good comparatively new questar, unfortunately there are relatively few in the UK compared to the USA. What makes it more frustrating is that not every seller is prepared to sell outside the continental USA. This is a pity because, even with import duty, USA prices are very competitive. Is it the effort required to ship the item that inhibits sellers? While I can sympathise with this view, I believe that this denies them a wider market. If this sounds like sour grapes, well I guess it is. There was a cracker went recently which I was not able to bid for. As far as I was concerned it went for much less than I was prepared to pay. I intend to keep looking. Clear skies everybody.

#2 NeilR

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:16 PM

May also be because in the case of fraud it is far more difficult to deal with. I guess that is why many fraudulent ebay deals involve foreign sellers.

Buyers can claim fraudulent damage, non-receipt, and etc. If transacted with Paypal, Paypal can take the money back, leaving the seller with no scope and no money.

For that reason alone I would personally be very wary of such a large international transaction on eBay.

#3 roy26

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:31 PM

Thank you NeilR, I hadn't considered that possibility. It is a viable concern but I guess I considered myself as a genuine buyer with no fraudulent intent. I have bought quite a few things on ebay and sold a couple without problems so I guess I put my trust in PayPal. It is a sad reflection on today's world that trust is at a premium. I just don't work that way.

#4 NeilR

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:39 PM

It is sad, but it is a fact. Plus, eBay tends to favor buyers in its attempt to create at least the illusion of a perfect transaction world.

#5 Panotaker

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:41 PM

Fraud is one of the reasons, plus there are so many buyers here in the USA, that there is really no reason to sell it outside of the USA.

#6 EddWen

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:25 AM

I think a lot of sellers are a bit lazy with regard to shipping overseas. Perhaps you could determine what the procedure is and offer to guide them through the process ?

I believe UPE and FedEx ship overseas, so the sellers task should be about the same as shipping conus.


#7 Seiko4169

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:31 AM

Neil, I don't believe paypal distinguishes between overseas and otherwise. If the item is paypal protected then it doesn't matter where it is shipped from.

#8 roy26

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:31 AM

I believe Seiko4169 is correct regarding PayPal. See their Seller Protection guide. Also:
http://www.ebay.com/...00071688/g.html

I would be concerned if a valuable and delicate instrument such as a telescope was not insured, for peace of mind for both buyer and seller.

#9 NeilR

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:21 AM

Insurance... there was a lengthy discussion recently on the Yahoo Questar group discussing the idea that most major carriers exclude "glass breakage". I don't think there is a consensus that insurance is worth much, and I suspect that when the claim spans oceans it doesn't help matters. Just to say that paying insurance and getting an actual claim paid are two very different things and real world experience with high end optics seems to vary quite a bit.

Paypal seller protection...

Consider this hypothetical but very real world scenario:

1. You list a Q and sell it to an overseas buyer for $3K plus, what?, $300 or more for shipping and insurance?

2. The buyer files a "Not As Described" claim with Paypal, claiming something in the control box does not work, or the optics are misaligned... some sort of hidden damage insurance will not cover.

3. The buyer claims $1000, or more, $400 for a Questar service and $600 or more to trans-ship it to New Hope

4. What do you think Paypal will do?

Do you think they will hire an independent expert in the buyers local vicinity to inspect and vet the damages? Would such an expert even exist?

There is no Ultimate Truth here. Paypal has to either side with the buyer, or take your word for it that it was functional when shipped and shipping could not possibly have damaged it (an impossible assertion).

Is Paypal even in a position to understand the merits or even the nature of such a Not As Described claim on such a complex and precision instrument?

My example is the likely outcome of the most minor Not As Described claim I can think of. A minimum $1K claim.

It is not clear to me what, if any, circumstances might result in Paypal demanding the return of the scope in order to settle the claim. I'm sure the scammers have looked into that in great detail, though.

Depending on how Paypal typically reacts in such a case, a greedy scammer might claim more serious defect(s) such as lens fungus, coating failure or not up to spec optics, or etc., leading to a claim for any amount, up to a full refund.

Even in the case that Paypal might demand a return, the big problem is the cost of trans-shipment overseas. That is a big enough problem with domestic transactions, and the same Not As Described concerns are still there. That high freight cost makes it very difficult to come to a happy ending even if the scope is returned because the seller is almost surely going to eat the freight both ways, and while all this is going on, Paypal will likely freeze adequate funds in the Seller's linked bank account to cover the claim.

That all forces the seller to accept some sort of claim settlement, assuming the seller has any choice in the matter. And if the scope is returned, what happens if it effectively comes back loose in a box and rendered useless and worthless? Would you want to battle that out with Paypal, who may have released funds to the buyer on receipt of a shipment receipt? So many things can go wrong here for the seller. Not much for the buyer, who wields the Not As Described weapon.

This is what I meant by "Paypal strongly favors the buyer". These are not necessarily all or nothing scams.

I googled "paypal foreign buyer not as described scam". Here are a couple of quotes directly from page 1:

"If not, the scammer will open a dispute with PayPal and claim the item was not ... Often, these types of scams are perpetrated by people in foreign countries. ..... is telling me that the buyer only has to say that the item was not as described or say ..."

"Scammed and robbed by a buyer and PAYPAL does nothing to help me as a seller ... sale on ebay, offering international shipping to paypal confirmed addresses only. ... the buyer opened a dispute on paypal stating the item was not as described. The buyer claimed the screen not working and demanded a complete refund."

Regardless of the merits of those quotes, what counts is the *perception* of sellers, and I don't think the perception among experienced sellers is very favorable here.

For inexperienced one-off sellers of something of this nature, even if they have some experience with more mundane eBay sales, it is even more difficult. And they are googling and reading the same stuff as they try to decide on the level of risk they will take, based on their terms of sale.

I'm not saying that perception is right, wrong or indifferent. Or what the ultimate Truth really is in a case like this.

I'm really saying it doesn't matter. The only thing that counts, in terms of the original question, is strictly the typical *perception* among typical sellers, and it is not generally good in this type of sale.

#10 roy26

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:26 AM

What options are there other than using your credit/debit cards; back to the market place? Never having been in the USA at the time, my bank account was debited for a purchase somewhere in the mid west a few years back.Thankfully, my bank sorted it out. How about that then? What's a boy to do?

#11 NeilR

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:00 AM

Not sure exactly what you are asking there...

#12 roy26

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:15 AM

The last comment was purely rhetorical, the first one was relative to the dangers of other payment options. Everything seems fraught with risk nowadays. Sorry if I wasn't making myself clear.

#13 NeilR

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:21 AM

"Everything seems fraught with risk nowadays"

Yes it is, especially all this electronic fund transfer stuff.

#14 Seiko4169

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 05:14 AM

I think the problem is Neil the risk exists irrespective of where the buyer originates. It really doesn't make any difference if you ship from one side of the us to another or send it across he pond. The same shipment problems, headaches and risks are there.

Btw, I'm not singling you out specifically. Most of us have this bias when selling on ebay. Ultimately though, you do your research and take your chances!

#15 NeilR

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:06 AM

I agree with that - there is always risk, and I stated that.

I also tried to suggest that the huge additional cost of trans-shipment increases those problems tremendously. The higher the cost of trans-shipment the more pressure is placed on the seller to accept a price adjustment.

In the case of outright fraud that somehow falls outside of Paypal protection, the seller also has to worry about the laws and real world interest in enforcing them- in 196 possible countries. By limiting it to domestic purchases the seller is then assured he can deal with the one set of laws and enforcement he is most familiar with.

Nothing I said is based on any "bias" I may personally have. My comments are an attempt to objectively outline the risks, as perceived by typical eBay sellers. What I might or might not do has no bearing on what I said.

It is certainly an unfortunate state of affairs for a legitimate foreign buyer. It could also be argued that these instruments are simply not good candidates for long distance transactions, although it is done "every day", with varying degrees of success.

#16 ukcanuck

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:18 AM

I would like to buy a good comparatively new questar, unfortunately there are relatively few in the UK compared to the USA. What makes it more frustrating is that not every seller is prepared to sell outside the continental USA. This is a pity because, even with import duty, USA prices are very competitive. Is it the effort required to ship the item that inhibits sellers? While I can sympathise with this view, I believe that this denies them a wider market. If this sounds like sour grapes, well I guess it is. There was a cracker went recently which I was not able to bid for. As far as I was concerned it went for much less than I was prepared to pay. I intend to keep looking. Clear skies everybody.


I keep looking for a great deal on a Questar too...haven't found it yet though. :cool:

Have you tried placing some wanted ads? You may find if you are upfront with your requirements, you may turn up some potentials. Of course, you will also turn up some less savoury options, which you will have to weed out. :smirk:

Also, it does appear as if there are some USA sellers who export to UK/Europe and regularly advertise in the UK...you could perhaps contact them with your requirements and inquire whether they can do some personal shopping for you? :question:

Send me a pm if you want to discuss it.

#17 roy26

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:45 AM

Hi, thanks for the offer, much appreciated, however I have bought one from Telescope& Sky and am awaiting delivery. I was getting fed up of chasing dead ends and went for it. I would be interested to know about UK based vendors or contacts.






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