View Full Version : [Beginner] A guide to selling

03-09-2007, 03:32 PM
This is a guide I wrote a while back on ebay, and its primarly focused towards selling on Ebay, but many of the principles are the same. I'll post a followup with some suggestions for forum selling.
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Many people selling paintball gear fail to get the maximum value from their auction, frustrating sellers with less money and making buyers have a harder time buying. Here are some tips to make your auctions more profitable and get the best value out of your sales.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: It is the seller's job to make a buyer want to buy, so make it as easy as possible for the buyer to want to buy!

1. Know your market. If you are selling a marker, make this your focal point. Buyers are going to be looking for the marker and incidentals such as masks, jersey’s and pods will have little overall effect on the final value. Your pictures should be large and clear, completely showing BOTH sides of the marker in detail. If it has milling or special anno, SHOW IT. If potential buyers can't make out details, your value will suffer. Don't show five pics of all the extra junk and one picture of the marker, your buyers don't care and will value your auction less.

2. Include pictures, pictures are worth a thousand words or 90% of your auction. Without a picture, most buyers will NEVER read your description. Pictures need to be clear, of high resolution and show both sides of a marker.

3. Accept paypal, Paypal is the leading method of doing business online, and a growing percentage of buyers are no longer willing to send Money orders. Paypal gives buyers a sense of security and ease of payment. If you don't have paypal, you are loosing bidders.

4. Don't lump. If you want to sell everything you own, thats fine. But split it up, you will make more in the end. Sell your most valuable marker on its own, and put the extra's like masks and jersey’s with the beginners gear. The people looking at high end gear are not interested in the extra gear and would prefer not to pay extra shipping (tanks, barrels and hoppers are excluded here). They will not add the value of this stuff to their bids, making it a nuisance to them and loosing you money. Jerseys, masks, gloves, packs, pods etc are more likely to be valued by a beginning player. lumping two or more markers means you are AT BEST only getting 1/2 to 1/3 the value at best for the second one, it is well worth it to sell it as a separate auction. People will not pay for two angels, the final value is too high for most budgets; A spyder and a timmy will only have people bidding on the timmy and ignoring the spider.

5. Know your market, do some research. Chances are, if you have not been actively buying or selling in a few months, you are out of date on what your stuff is worth. Paintball gear is like cars, as soon as you buy a new one, its value is halved. Autocockers especially have seen a drop in value, if you played in the 90's your $1500 cocker is now likely worth $100- $250 on ebay, depending on what it was. Check the market, it is rapidly changing and old gear is not always collectors items (in fact, it seldom is though there is a decent market for some older pumps).

6. Be reasonable on shipping. If you are charging over $15 on domestic shipping, be very clear why. People are very critical of shipping costs, and an extra $5 shipping may cost you $20 worth of bids. If you have to, eat some of the cost or don't list some of your extra gear, you may very well make more in the end.

7. Treat potential buyers with respect, answer their questions and help them want to buy your marker. Don't over hype it, but don't be afraid to say if it works or if it has problems. Your feedback will reflect your honesty. if you know any important details, say so.

8. BE ACCURATE in your listing, do a little research. The difference between advertising an autococker and advertising a Bad Boys Toys Westwood with Splash anno and matching barrel set may be several hundred dollars.

9. offer shipping options. Many people have a prefered shipper or have issues with a companies delivery sheduals or pickup locations. Limiting to one shipper will elminate some customers, being flexible helps your buyers.

Good luck!

03-09-2007, 03:59 PM
#7 is very important: if you're not honest in your dealings with me, I'm petty enough to make your future selling attempts uncomfortable if not downright impossible, and I'm not alone. Selling over the internet these days is about trust as there are too many layers of anonymity between sellers and buyers, and if your user ID has a bad reputation, buyers will avoid your sales like the plague.

03-09-2007, 04:04 PM
Additional tips for forum selling.

1. Know the difference between negotiation and fishing. It’s a fine line, but forum selling is not an auction, so don't treat it like one. Pick two prices. the first is the amount you won't sell below, keep that firmly in mind. Then pick a second number, it can be the same as your list price, or it can be higher. This is your asking price, and from there negotiate as needed as low as your minimum price. Do not fish for price by asking a person to bid, or go higher without attaching a price you are asking. This is disrespectful to buyers and is a sure way to alienate them.

2. Be professional in your posts, if someone flames you, or posts something you feel is inappropriate, report them to a moderator and ask that the post be removed. Do not flame them back. Also avoid personal chatting, keep that to PM’s.

3. If someone meets your asking cash price, tell them yes or no and live with it. Never tell a buyer who’s willing to meet your asking price that you want to wait to see what else is offered unless you your are looking for trades and have made that clear both in your post and in your messages back and forth with the buyer. Many buyers will walk away if told you want to wait for other offers.

4. OBO means “or best offer”. This is to signify that there is negotiation room between your ask price and minimum and that you will negotiate. This does not mean its an auction, if you want an auction, go to Ebay.

5. If you are selling and have no feedback, do not be surprised if people ask for a third party transaction. If they ask for it, do it and split the costs, if you won’t do a third party transaction, this is an immediate red flag to buyers. Occasionally, a buyer will ask for you to ship first if you lack feedback. Examine the buyers feedback carefully, but you can always turn them down.

6. Feedback is not a right. A buyer doesn’t have to leave feedback, and if they were less then satisfied, they may often choose to not leave feedback rather then risk retaliation. Having feedback, even all positive feedback, is not going to necessarily satisfy a buyer. Feedback solely from purchases you’ve made has a lot less strength then feedback from a mix of buyers and sellers. Your feedback as a seller has more weight then your feedback as a buyer.