jakemoore wrote:eBay. $1 with no reserve is great when you value your time and want it gone. If two people bid, you know you get a true market price.
Here are some lessons I learned from my EBay experiences.
Sell a kite and bar separately. You will reach a larger audience. Some may want just a bar and some may just want a kite. Only a subset of potential buyers will want both.
On each post, always mention the other items you have for sale. Offer free shipping on the bar if they buy both. It is the same cost to ship a kite and bar as it cost to ship a kite (USPS). This will allow the bidder to be willing to pay a little bit more for the bar if they don’t have to absorb the ~$15 cost of shipping. Also, try to offer discounted shipping for other gear combo purchases.
Include pictures of any damage/repairs with honest descriptions. It is very important to gain the trust of bidders so they will not hold back $$ due to uncertainty about the product they will receive. Take pictures of the wear points on the tips and front and rear attachment points. Close-up pics of anywhere that is a known wear point will give bidders a feel for the overall condition of the kite. ALWAYS pump up the kite to take pics and verify it does not leak and make sure you mention that it does not leak in the description. Fix any leaks or you will be accepting a deeply reduced high bid when you disclose the leak. Don’t forget a picture of the bag with the kite in it and a sentence describing the bags condition. Also include any accessories such as patch kits, manuals, stickers....
Don't be greedy. Don't be afraid to let the market work. Skip starting at $1 and putting in a reserve price. Reserve prices are a joke. Just start with the lowest price you are willing to accept, before you would rather keep the gear. If your starting price is too high, you will not show up in a bidders search, depending on the search parameters. It is the equivalent if hiding from customers. If you are not sure how to price your kite, gain some confidence by watching bids for a couple of weeks first.
You might like the "Buy it Now" feature. You can set a starting price low, but also set a price that someone can buy the item immediately at a price you are willing to accept. I like this feature because sometimes you find a buyer that will take the "buy it now" price to guarantee he will not be outbid.
Instead of reinventing the wheel with your kite description, find a similar piece of gear already posted on EBay, copy it and modify to your needs. After an honest description of the gear, add or link the manufactures description. If you can link product reviews, include that link too.
When posting gear for auction, pay attention to when the auction closes. You don’t want it to close on super Bowl Sunday or any other day when people will probably not be watching their bid as close. If they are sitting at their computer they are more likely to rationalize raising their bid. I am very guilty of this. I recommend ending your auction at 6PM PDT. This will give you maximum exposure to the after work, but not asleep time slot from the east to west coast.
I recommend only shipping in the lower 48 with a flat rate (if you live n the continental US). You can adjust your settings, so bidders outside the US cannot bid on your auction. In the product description, I always state "AK and HI extra. No shipping outside the US". I did not have the settings correct in my profile and had 2 Russian bidders than kept screwing up my auction. Use the slow USPS ground (please chime in if you know a less expensive way to ship). Charge ~$25 for a kite. You may eat a couple of $$ once in a while, so what!!
It is a "buyers beware" world, but if you are going to sell old gear that is not good for beginners, I think you are ethically bound to add something similar to the following. "If you are a beginner, stop here. This is not the kite for you. This kite is only for bidders that know exactly what they are buying. Bidders should be experienced Kite borders only". I have seen many deceptive "good for a beginner" descriptions for old kites on EBay and Craig s list. Life it too short and your integrity is too precious to spend time taking advantage of peoples trusting nature.
You can get boxes at Lowes or Home Depot for less than $2. Box size matters more than weight when shipping USPS. Pack a kite in the smallest box possible. You can fit more in a small space if you remove the kite from the bag to ship.
That is all I can recall for now