Category Archives: eBay Tips

Tips for successful eBay auctions.

Going once! Going twice! Going three times! Gone, Charlie Sheen!

I suppose if you have any Charlie Sheen items, now would be a good time to put them up for auction on eBay, although some people might consider it wiser to wait until he’s dead.

Sometimes celebrity memorabilia increases after an untimely demise.

I reviewed my collection of DVDs and I don’t have any Charlie Sheen merchandise. Drat!

Frankly I wouldn’t wait until he chokes on his own vomit. I would list Charlie Sheen items for sale on either eBay or Half.com right now. First of all, the improbable might happen and he could survive this flameout. If he does, it will rank right up there with the time Chuck Yeager lost control of the X-1A and plummeted 51,000 feet in 51 seconds before he was able to somehow right the aircraft and land safely.

And if the what-looks-to-be-inevitable does happen and Sheen moves on to star in that great sitcom in the clouds alongside John Belushi and Anna Nicole Smith I don’t think our interest in him will last long.

In other words, it’s highly unlikely that Charlie Sheen will ever be a hotter property than he is today. All the agents, lawyers and entrepreneurs (aka porn stars and strippers) that are currently hovering around him like vultures over roadkill are indicators of this truth.

So gather up your autographed copies of “Major League,” copyright your recipe for “Tiger Blood” and offer them up for sale on eBay before it’s too late.

I have just two words for people who think they can wait until tomorrow to cash in on this narrow window of financial opportunity: Beanie Babies.

eBay Dispute: To refund or not to refund, that is the question

I hate conflict as much as anyone, so when I was greeted the other morning by an email from Paypal declaring that someone had opened a “dispute” with me, my heart sank.

The person who won my eBay auction for our old kitchen light fixture said he never received the item. Here’s his dispute message:

ITEM NOT ARRIVED. IF YOU KNOW WHO SIGNED FOR MY PURCHASE PLEASE FURNISH INFORMATION SO I MAY ADD TO THE POSTAL INSPECTORS REPORT. THANK YOU

The first thing I did was go over to eBay and check my shipping information. Fortunately I paid the 19 cents for delivery confirmation and according to the Post Office, the package made it to my customer’s home. So I responded:

I have “delivery confirmation” from the Post Office, but I don’t believe a signature was required. Could it have been left at a neighbor’s place or something? Was the shipping address correct? I just printed out the label via the Paypal function. It went to 355 N 34th Ave.

This was the first time one of my packages didn’t seem to make it into my buyer’s hands. However, I did know that the USPS “delivery confirmation” notices aren’t always accurate. Just a few weeks ago, AT&T shipped a new cellphone to my son. He had the tracking number and was checking its progress as it seemed to zero in on his office.

One day it was “out for delivery” and then later that same day the online status showed that it had been “delivered.”

But my son hadn’t received it. He asked around his office and neighboring offices. No luck. He was bummed.

Then, the following day the mail carrier showed up with it. How is it possible that it showed “delivered” online a day before it was really delivered?

Anyway, I was hoping that this might be the case with my kitchen light fixture. But, it wasn’t. A few days later I got another message from my disappointed (disgruntled?) buyer:

I HAD SEVERAL ITEMS DELIVERED THE SAME DAY. POSTAL MAN OR LADY JUST LEFT IT IN FRONT OF HOUSE I FEEL THIS PURCHASE AS WELL HAS BEEN TAKEN. NOT SURE WHAT TO DO. IM LOSING MONEY AND SOMEONE IS STEALING MY GOODS. I HATE THIS.

I searched all the “help” files on eBay and Paypal to find out what happens when the seller has a USPS delivery confirmation but the buyer says he never received the package.

It wasn’t easy information to uncover, but eventually I came across an article on eBay and a forum conversation saying that the seller was not responsible and a refund was not required. I learned that if the buyer bumped the “dispute” up to a “claim,” the claim would be denied. So here’s my final message to this eBay auction buyer:

I don’t think there is anything I can do about this from my end at this point. Hopefully the Post Office will be able to find your package if it was improperly delivered.

I think you can ask PayPal or eBay to issue a refund, but I believe that when there is a delivery confirmation, refunds are not issued.

Again, I’m sorry that someone either stole your package(s) or the carrier lost them.

The buyer told me he had lost more valuable packages and was going to let the issue drop. He closed the dispute. I left positive feedback for him when he originally made the purchase. So far, I don’t believe he has given me any feedback, but according to what I read on eBay a buyer should not leave either neutral or negative feedback when there is delivery confirmation.

The bottom line is that the 19 cents paid for delivery confirmation is money quite well spent.

Sell those Free Premiums

With a quick nod to Vito Corleone in “The Godfather,” not long ago Omaha Steaks made me an offer I could not refuse.

I got a whole bucketful of beef along with some fish and side dishes for something like $60. I had been wanting to try meat from Omaha Steaks for a long time and this deeply discounted introductory offer seemed the perfect opportunity.

But what clinched the deal for me was the fact that they were also throwing in a set of knives and a cutting board. I could take those knives and immediately offer them on eBay and maybe pocket a few bucks that would make the meat offer even less of a burden on my bank account.

I started my auction at 99 cents with one picture. It didn’t cost me anything to post the knives on eBay, so at least I won’t lose any money on the deal. As I did a little research to see what I might expect from this auction, I discovered that I’m not the only Omaha Steaks customer to put his free knives on eBay.

Maybe my 99 cent starting price will stir up a little interest. I give my auction about a 50-50 chance to find a buyer.

However, for those of us who like to make a few extra bucks listing unneeded items on eBay, those “free” premiums we occasionally receive are a decent source of merchandise.