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The Curmudgeon's Lair

My thoughts on e-bay

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Like anyone really cares, but here I go anyway.

Every time I have sold something on e-bay I get the same feeling that I have gotten both times I've bought a new car. The feeling that I should rub my ass because it's sore from being screwed so hard.

My most recent experience...

So this month I decided to try and sell some left over baby formula that my son is no longer on. It is a special formula that costs $240.00 plus tax for a case of 6. Yep, $40.00 a can for baby formula, baby formula that made my kid puke 6-12 times a day for 10 months to boot. So I figure that I'll sell it for 1/2 price, that's a pretty good deal right? Well apparently not, because nobody bid on it and It cost me 2 or 3 bucks to post the add. A week later I try again, because we really need the money. I do a little research and find out that most cases sell for about 120.00 - 130.00 dollars on e-bay. So I put it up for a 100.00. A week later, no bids, I'm out another couple of bucks. Finally I try again, because we really need the money, so I put it up for auction on the 5 day plan because I need the money fast if we are going to pay our bills on time. I post the starting bid at $50.00, hoping I might get $75.00- 100.00 for it. I get one bid the whole time. I only allow payment via paypal so I don't have to worry about being hassled by other forms of payment and can get my money quickly. The buyer pays with an e-check via paypal. WTF is an e-check? beats me but it takes 9 days to clear. So I go to mail the formula today, and I'm not in a very good mood because; basically I just lost $200.00, the bill I needed the money for is past due and now I have a late fee, and to top it all off the shipping calculator on e-bay isucks and it costs me an extra $6.50 to mail the crap. So I made $50.00, minus $6.50, minus $6.00-8.00 in sellers fees, minus $1.00 for the tracking #, so around $35.00-37.00 total.

...and I can't even leave negative feedback against the buyer for being a douche bag and paying with an e-check, because e-bay won't let you do that.

So instead, if you read this and then ever find yourself at 4407 8th ave Brooklyn, New York in front of a store named Fast World Closeout, please feel free to go inside and kick someone in the nuts for me.

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  1. cplmac's Avatar
    how much you want to bet that they are going to turn around and sell what they paid $50 for to someone where they are at for somewhere around $100 to $150.
  2. kirksmithicus's Avatar
    I expect they'll charge someone full price for it.
  3. Otakar's Avatar
    I feel your pain, Kirk. Was itching to own a miserable game called "Magic Realm" but was part of my early fantasy gaming. I found that the game was no longer in print and decided to get it on Ebay. I ended up paying $50 for it. That's fine but when it arrived the joker didn't have the decentcy to remove the $1.00 Goodwill sticker. Yea, I felt like a shmuck.
  4. Etarnon's Avatar
    I don't feel like a schmuck buying. To me if it's worth 50, it's worth 50, and having it in hand i don't care how much the seller paid i got it now.

    The thing with the baby food i think is like i got a kid here's some food off ebay. it might be spare it might be bad, do i feed my kid this?

    I would never buy food from ebay. Only Ropleplaying games and such. Evben then a lot of stuff labedled smoke free home, etc no markings arrives filled with mildew, which i just pitch out.

    But i get good deal sometimes on stuff that they don't jknow what they are selling like they'll sell "fantasy game" 1.00
    and it's a brand new 3.5 DMG
    only nobody bid on it because they didn't put D&D 3.5 in the search engine tag.

    I see and pick up a lot of stuff like that so it's a mix. overall my ebay experiences have been 90% positive, 5% a few hassles, 3% tough to deal with takes a while to resolve, and only 2% Really really bad.

    I recently broke an 800 ebay rating with my little RPG store, ocelotgames.
  5. Farcaster's Avatar
    Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with it, Kirk. I've not done much with eBay, but the few times I have tried it I haven't been met with a terrible amount of success -- at least as a buyer. I guess I'm just not able to commit right away and put my highest bid, which ends up defeating me every time because someone will swoop in and snipe the item at the last second of the auction to outbid me.

    As a seller, I have had reasonable luck. But, I've only tried selling a few things on there and usually electronics at that. I haven't sold anything recently though, so I haven't been hit by their new pricing structure either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Etarnon
    I recently broke an 800 ebay rating with my little RPG store, ocelotgames.
    Oh! That's cool. I didn't know you had an ebay storefront, Etarnon.
  6. Etarnon's Avatar
    Yeah. If you guys need RPGs here I can get a lot of the older stuff cheap, depending on what it is, what condition, etc.

    My personal collection is larger than Most medium sized FLGS stores have.

    For the gamers in PGH on the Pittsburgh D&D meetup, I am trying to set up a loaner library.

    I take stuff that is too beat up to sell (because I'm one of those guys that buys the 75.00 "Pile of my old D&D books" lots, from retiring gamers or "His D&D Crap books" lots from gamers' girlfriends.), and I give it to players that I'm in games with... that stick around a that they have a book.

    I have this month given out 4 copies of D&D 2nd edition players' handbook, free to players, that in my guess, I could not get 1.00 Plus shipping for.

    Of my incoming stuff / invventory, 50% is ebay, 35% is half-price books, 10% is Local stores dollar rack sales, 5% is other/ garage sales, gamers trading it to me for games they want from my stuff, or gamers pissed off at wotc / their old group / the world in general giving it away to me.

    I know a guy who became a RL monk last year, he gave me 20 3.5 books, no charge.
  7. Aidan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Etarnon
    I know a guy who became a RL monk last year, he gave me 20 3.5 books, no charge.
    But he's going to need those 3.5 books...monks aren't out for 4e yet...
  8. spotlight's Avatar
    hey, next time some one low bids you like that, jump in and post a higher bid a couple hours before closing. My sister in law does it regularly with another account.
  9. Farcaster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by spotlight
    jump in and post a higher bid a couple hours before closing.
    Technically, that is against the terms of service, and it is questionable from a moral standpoint as well.
  10. spotlight's Avatar
    yeah i knew that, but she likes those
    evil games'.
  11. Etarnon's Avatar
    It's not technically it's actually. Shill bidders are against the terms of service or whatever, of ebay.
  12. kirksmithicus's Avatar
    I was just having a bad day is all, just needed to do a little *****in'.

    The formula is still sealed in the case, never been opened and I made that clear. The thing that really got me was that I sold a different type of formula on e-bay before that is less expensive than this type and I got about twice as much for it. It's just kind of hit and miss I guess. I sent the buyer of that case, two extra cans that I found after posting the original case up for sale. My good Christmas deed. Besides I know how much it sucks to have to pay way to much for formula because your kid has medical problems. I'm just glad we finally found something he can tolerate without puking all the time or blowing out his diapers every couple of hours.

    I've thought about the shill thing before, but honestly, it's to much work to set up another account (yeah, I'm that lazy). Creating the first one drove me nuts because I don't have a credit card and I wanted to get a paypal account in the first place, so I didn't have to give out my bank account number online. ummm yeah, and it's unethical. Besides I've already been under investigation by the G-man for wire fraud, Illegal phone tapping and some other stuff while I was in the Army. (I was never convicted of course because I was squeaky clean like a stainless steel rat, but they still decided to pull my T.S. clearance and turn me into Cavalry Scout just to be safe. It sure wasn't because of my gung-ho attitude or my non-existant scouting skills.) I don't need that kind of hassle again and besides I'm trying to be a good person these days, believe it or not. I'll deal.

    BTW thanks for the tip on searching for misplaced RPG merchandise!
  13. Otakar's Avatar
    Kirk, I'm too lazy to set up the shill account as well. Also, I look at it as what goes around comes around and I would get bit in the butt later anyway. I also liked the tip on getting the misplaced RPG stuff. Any tips on how to pick up cheap minis? Search for minis on Ebay and there are a bunch of bidders with logins like "m***i". I have no idea what that's all about.
  14. Etarnon's Avatar
    Ebay recently changed names to disguise bidders.

    So for example, my ocelotgames becomes o***s
  15. mrken's Avatar
    Hey Kirk, you bring back a bunch of unpleasant memories with your baby needing special formula. We were like you. Our daughter was born a month and a half early and her digestive system was not fully developed and everything in was more or less up and out within minutes. She took a lot of care to get enough in. We too went the way too expensive formula route, which turned the corner for her. She is now the tallest kid in her class and getting into the sports thing.
  16. kirksmithicus's Avatar
    Sorry for bringing up the unpleasant memories mrken, but I'm glad to hear your daughter is doing well now.
  17. Otakar's Avatar
    Thanks for the Ebay info, Etarnon. I don't pop in there too often but I wouldn't mind picking up some cheap minis.