made over 500 transactions on eBay over the past few years and 95% of
these have have gone very smoothly, and the vast majority of people are
friendly and fair in their approach to others. This is really a
guide for eBay novices, it's based largely on my own experiences, with
tips for buying and selling which in the end are of just two sides of
the same coin.
carefully. If an item is undamaged a good description should
say so clearly (If it doesn't contact the seller and ask). Some
sellers will list items "as found", A/F, or sold as seen - I
personally never bid for these. Since you cant handle the item
yourself, it really is the sellers job to verify the condition.
Look at the sellers
feedback (This will tell you if other buyers have had problems).
Lots of buyers will track
items until the last few minutes or seconds of a sale before bidding, so
expect the price to rocket at the end. If you've made an early
bid, and there's only a small margin between the current price and your
maximum bid, then there's a good chance you wont win the item.
Pay for items using
paypal. It does mean more commission been paid by the seller, but
increases your protection as a buyer also.
I have on a few occasions received
damaged Pots. Sometimes there were damaged in the post (see
below), sometimes they had old cracks which the seller hadn't
spotted. When this has happened sellers have refunded me on all
but one occasion. When you first receive an item examine if for
any damage, and if you spot any, contact the seller. Be polite, as
its likely to be a honest mistake. Take a photo of the damage and
email this to the seller. Agree a refund (including postage costs)
on return of the item. Make sure you send by recorded delivery
(The one time, mentioned above, that I lost out on a purchase was a result of the seller
claiming not to have received the pot I'd returned). Once you've
been refunded leave positive feedback. I think as a buyer you can
expect to get refunded so keep communications friendly and polite and if
the seller wont cooperate then use the eBay/paypal dispute process, and
then leave negative feedback.
As a buyer the best
thing about eBay is the shear size of the marketplace for Poole Pottery,
I really can't imagine how rubbish my collection would be without it.
Despite, no doubt, the
huge numbers of bargain hunting eBayers, it is sometimes possible to get
a Poole Pottery bargain. The cheapest pots I've bought are from
people who haven't followed the rules below.
Take good photos, I take
shots of the base and inside as well and "supersize" them.
Give as full a description
as you can. If an item is in perfect condition, say so. With
Poole Pottery even though you might expect there to be crazing, it's
best to note this in the description also.
There's always a risk, but
I think, I get better prices by stating all my listings at £0.99 with
no reserve. Reserves on eBay always put me off bidding.
List items to end at times
when the maximum numbers of people will be watching. Most Items
I've sold in the UK are to UK buyers, so list at weekends, in the
evenings, and not during "The Antiques Road Show"
Protect your own feedback
by been a good seller. I think you have to be prepared to give refunds
if buyers aren't satisfied. If you don't have any feedback, build
up some positive feedback on smaller items people will take a risk on
before listing your huge Tony Morris charger.
Always send things by
recorded mail: Royal Mail Signed for is a good option.
Pack items well. As
a seller you will carry the cost of any damage in the post. For
pottery, you need a strong and much too big box, with lots of loose
filling around all sides of the pot. The amount of sellotape
you use won't protect anything. Items I've bought that have
arrived damaged have been either too tightly packed, or packaged in too
small a box. Plates are especially vulnerable, because they fit
easily into jiffy bags.