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Selling Car Model Kits on eBay


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As others have said, you can't beat ebay and it's reach/customer base. I try to only sell rare or hard to find model-related stuff on ebay, whether car kits, decals, aftermarket, etc. I've been able to sell most of the stuff I list through auction at either break even prices or making a profit. There was an instance where I listed a mediocre resin body for $25 and much to my surprise, it sold for $120! Yes, the cumulative $20 fee at the end hurt, but then I remembered how much I gained and how no other selling venue would have resulted in such a large profit. I stick to selling less rare kits or items on facebook where the fees won't cut into my already minuscule profit. 

Edited by av405
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45 minutes ago, magicmustang said:

On my last sale thru Ebay, the winning bid was $12.50. They charged me .80 for PayPal fees, plus at the end of the month I was charged $1.62 for selling fees (don't forget they include shipping costs fee($4.18 on this item) in your total sale price). $1.62 plus $.80 equals $2.42 divided by winning bid of $12.50 equals 19.36% fees. That is your total cost of doing business. 

this example has been the same as my experiences the past few years of selling off stuff except its not the 100% total cost, if you buy postage online add the cost of labels, ink(bought any lately??) tape which you can not get from USPS like you do the boxes and then if you have to buy packaging material such as bubble wrap or peanuts it all adds up

so with all that in mind I don't mess with listing anything less than $25

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2 hours ago, Dave Van said:

Buying on ebay is about perfect....no issue there.....

I don't like the sellers address??? I can return item with ZERO cost to me!!!!!Better than WalMart!!!!!

Also remember that ebay takes a percentage of your shipping cost.....so if you charge actual cost you loose money.

Just be informed......if you like ebay?? FANTASTIC....I may buy from you......but if I don't like the type of box you used to ship....it will cost YOU.

I’ve been fortunate and never had something returned - I am not high volume but have sold 1000 or more items (I bought a large collection once). Regression to the mean will probably catch me before too long. 

One part of eBay I miss, but don’t miss the hassle, was international shipping. It used to be interesting to me just to see where my models went - I sold a lot to Russia, Brazil, Italy, Finland - even one to El Salvador. It’s way too much work anymore and ebay’s international program seems very expensive for buyers. 

Edited by Erik Smith
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17 minutes ago, Erik Smith said:

I’ve been fortunate and never had something returned - I am not high volume but have sold 1000 or more items (I bought a large collection once). Regression to the mean will probably catch me before too long. 

One part of eBay I miss, but don’t miss the hassle, was international shipping. It used to be interesting to me just to see where my models went - I sold a lot to Russia, Brazil, Italy, Finland - even one to El Salvador. It’s way too much work anymore and ebay’s international program seems very expensive for buyers. 

the international shipping is only worth doing on large lots imo. I almost bought a set of resin caps until i saw ebay wanted $75 for shipping, yet a lot of 20 kit shipped for $80. Both were from the us to scotland and the same region. Just now I tend to buy from australia on ebay as the exchange rate is pretty favourable in my direction and shipping isn't much more than inside the uk

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I have rehomed a bunch of stuff over the last few years and I don't feel cheated. I didn't make a billion dollars, but I got rid of stuff that I will never build. If it went to someone who thought they needed it, great. If it went to someone who was drunk shopping, so much the better. My spouse does not know the difference between my JoHan 69 Roadrunner, my $200 Paul Hettick resin kit, or the Old Pro Nova I bought last night as a parts donor. As I do not know the difference in value between the ~1000 books that are surrounding me as I type this. We have way too much stuff, and if I can find a new home for it before I die, I am happy. Otherwise it will be entrusted to an estate sale company or dropped at Goodwill.

I have only had two flaky buyers on eBay. One guy who wanted to send me a postal money order even though I stated PayPal only, and another who "won" a large scale kit but didn't have the money to pay for it for a couple weeks. I wound up accepting the money order (I think it was only about $10 for the item and shipping) and I waited out the guy who won the kit and had to wait out PayPal to actually deposit the money in his account. It was kind of rare-ish, and the shipping alone was around $90. It all worked out.

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8 hours ago, Erik Smith said:

I wouldn’t be turned off. What are you selling? If it’s a Revell Corvette model, don’t bother. If it’s an AMT 1965 Falcon annual, sell it on eBay. 
A lot of the complaints here are not based on actual facts, they are conjecture and misrepresentations. Is eBay greedy? I believe it’s their fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits - they are a publicly traded company. That’s called capitalism. If they raise fees too high, people will leave, profits will fall, and either they make reconciliations or they continue to lose business and, eventually close. 
What are your options? Making your own website and selling? Taking them to a swap meet? Craigslist?

I have some unique kits (super rare collectible gold-plated ?), such as a Fujimi 1/16 Toyota 2000GT, for example.  I understanding website needs some revenue to stay alive, I'm surprised MCM hasn't monetized this forum.  I belong to a Chevy truck forum, members who want to sell/trade need to pay a membership fee.

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8 hours ago, magicmustang said:

PS: Nobody should charge a fee on shipping!

This was changed years ago (I would say at least a decade ago?) because sellers would list an item for $.01, then charge a shipping cost which would bring the total cost of the actual item up to a more realistic value. For example, a 1/25 Revell '70 Hemi Cuda for $.01, plus $24.99 for shipping. It was a loophole which eBay closed, so I can't really blame them.

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I was fortunate to obtain most of my stash in the mid 2000's when shipping was reasonable. I remember getting a whole box of wheels and tires for under $15 including shipping. I still snag some things from ebay once in a while. I haven't sold anything for years as the TIME it takes for posting, monitoring and shipping isn't worth the little cash you get back. I would much rather trade with a fellow modeler though shipping cost almost make it not worthwhile. I have sold off a few kits on scalemates as the buyers were willing to trust me by sending payment first and my prices are reasonable.

 

The best way to fast search ebay is picclick.

https://picclick.com/

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6 hours ago, Bills72sj said:

I was fortunate to obtain most of my stash in the mid 2000's when shipping was reasonable. I remember getting a whole box of wheels and tires for under $15 including shipping. I still snag some things from ebay once in a while. I haven't sold anything for years as the TIME it takes for posting, monitoring and shipping isn't worth the little cash you get back. I would much rather trade with a fellow modeler though shipping cost almost make it not worthwhile. I have sold off a few kits on scalemates as the buyers were willing to trust me by sending payment first and my prices are reasonable.

 

The best way to fast search ebay is picclick.

https://picclick.com/

Thanks for this link, very useful tool!

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Well, lots of responses to selling on eBay. In the end, you just do what works for you. I've found that selling on eBay is a pretty easy and hassle-free way to sell the extra kits that I have jamming up my basement. I 've had just 2 or 3 unhappy customers out of 500 transactions, pretty good ratio, in my opinion. I just asked the customer to return the item, refunded their money and covered return shipping. Pretty low cost way to keep the customer happy. One other thing I forgot to mention about shipping via USPS, if you use USPS Priority Mail boxes, USPS will send you boxes for free, shipped right to your door. Works well for me. For odd sized and shaped boxes I just save up boxes that got shipped to our house for other stuff and use them as shipping boxes as needed. In the end, sell the stuff you don't need anymore in a way that works for you, try not to get uptight about it. After all, this is a hobby that is supposed to bring some joy and satisfaction into your life. Have fun! 

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I buy and sell via ebay.  It is what it is.   And I can buy and sell whenever the mood strikes.   I don't have to pack it all up to go to a show or deal with internet flakes on FB, CL.   

Had a couple weird experiences.  Worst was a Danbury Mint car I sold, then buyer claimed I packed it poorly and was damaged and was incensed.  And wanted his money back.  I told him to pay the shoipping back to me and I'd refund his money.  He complained about all the cars he bought that were broken and blah blah blah.  He sent car back.  I couldn't PROVE it, but I think he sent back a diiferent car than I sent him.   I had already deleted my listing photos and had no photos of car I sent.,  but I think it had part that were missing on mine and vice versa.  It might become a hot rod someday.   Packard Sedan - wouldn't that be cool?   Or I may part it out - good money in that as well.

I sold enough to buy a new riding mower a couple years ago so I've done okay weeding out my stuff.

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51 minutes ago, dwdirks said:

Well, lots of responses to selling on eBay. In the end, you just do what works for you. I've found that selling on eBay is a pretty easy and hassle-free way to sell the extra kits that I have jamming up my basement. I 've had just 2 or 3 unhappy customers out of 500 transactions, pretty good ratio, in my opinion. I just asked the customer to return the item, refunded their money and covered return shipping. Pretty low cost way to keep the customer happy. One other thing I forgot to mention about shipping via USPS, if you use USPS Priority Mail boxes, USPS will send you boxes for free, shipped right to your door. Works well for me. For odd sized and shaped boxes I just save up boxes that got shipped to our house for other stuff and use them as shipping boxes as needed. In the end, sell the stuff you don't need anymore in a way that works for you, try not to get uptight about it. After all, this is a hobby that is supposed to bring some joy and satisfaction into your life. Have fun! 

That’s really the ticket, Doug. Do what you’re comfortable with and what works best for you. 
eBay and its opportunities and ills are a recurring theme on probably any board, this one included. 
Fortunately, many of us are lucky to have the choices we do. 

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If there is a local antique mall, see if any of the booths have contact info posted.  A couple in my area have info posted if interested to reach out.  If they can do a quick flip, a few will pay a respectable number.  I know one guy that used to have a sports card store that had a booth in one of the local malls and would offer a whopping $1 - $2 for bobbleheads that he sold for $10 - $15 but would trade for like retail values if it was something he wanted or could sell quickly.  I found a good trading partner at another mall out of town.

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On 11/19/2020 at 3:52 PM, Erik Smith said:

I’ve been fortunate and never had something returned - I am not high volume but have sold 1000 or more items (I bought a large collection once). Regression to the mean will probably catch me before too long. 

One part of eBay I miss, but don’t miss the hassle, was international shipping. It used to be interesting to me just to see where my models went - I sold a lot to Russia, Brazil, Italy, Finland - even one to El Salvador. It’s way too much work anymore and ebay’s international program seems very expensive for buyers. 

I quit selling internationally on eBay quite a few years ago, because as you said, it just got to be too much hassle. 

Warning to new eBay sellers:  when you fill out the eBay Listing Form, eBay's International Shipping Program is selected by default.  If you are selling internationally and don't want to use it, you'll have to uncheck that box.

Even more dangerous, shipping to the whole world is also selected by default.  If you don't want to ship internationally, you have to manually exclude all the countries you WON'T ship to.  Selecting "North America" means you will ship to Canada and Mexico, so exclude that one too if you don't want to ship there. 

I also put a note in every listing, in ALL CAPS, that I only ship to the USA.    

 

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On 11/20/2020 at 10:17 AM, randyc said:

He sent car back.  I couldn't PROVE it, but I think he sent back a diiferent car than I sent him.   

In the early years of eBay I was a big car brochure collector and had tons of duplicate material including factory sealed cases of some brochures.

I was doing very well back then. Everything sold and there were multiple bidders on most everything. A guy sent me back a Firebird brochure that looked like a cow licked it! Cover had all dried gunk on it and pages were all wrinkled and messy.

It certainly wasn’t what I sent him because I was working out of a case of brand new old stock brochures. The one I sent was pristine and never even opened!
 

This was before PayPal and in the days when you had the buyers email address. I sent him a terse note that I wasn’t running a free upgrade program, and attached a photo of the case I was working out of.  Told him to send me postage if he wanted his cruddy brochure back. Never heard from him again. 

 

Edited by Tom Geiger
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On 11/19/2020 at 10:13 PM, stitchdup said:

the international shipping is only worth doing on large lots imo. I almost bought a set of resin caps until i saw ebay wanted $75 for shipping, yet a lot of 20 kit shipped for $80. Both were from the us to scotland and the same region. Just now I tend to buy from australia on ebay as the exchange rate is pretty favourable in my direction and shipping isn't much more than inside the uk

Can't remember the last time I bought on ebay, cuz shipping from the US to Europe has been going crazy, as are the import duties, which take all the fun out off it.

Now I again hop at brick and mortar stores or at shows, but since Covit-19 BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH I haven't bought anything, just the opposite, gave 300 kits in consignment with a specialty dealer nearby.

Luc

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On 11/21/2020 at 3:14 PM, Luc Janssens said:

Can't remember the last time I bought on ebay, cuz shipping from the US to Europe has been going crazy, as are the import duties, which take all the fun out off it.

Now I again hop at brick and mortar stores or at shows, but since Covit-19 BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH I haven't bought anything, just the opposite, gave 300 kits in consignment with a specialty dealer nearby.

Luc

I've used the Global shipping program.  I have no idea what the buyer ultimately pays, but I only have to ship to Kentucky, which is usually $7 or $8.  I'm not serious enough a seller to get involved in the international paperwork.  

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