Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

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Fynox ( 0 )
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Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by Fynox » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:04 am

I am brand new to this site and brand new to selling pre-owned miniatures online. What this means is that I have absolutely no reputation on this site and a mountain of miniatures to sell. I am selling them in bulk according to their game system/army so the prices are all more than $100. Some very much higher. Now here is the dilemma. I will probably have to ship miniatures first and stand to lose quite a bit of money in models if I choose my trading partner poorly.

After reading through many helpful threads, I haven't seen this particular question answered. How can I protect myself from being ripped off in this situation? I have created a PayPal Business account since this provides some insurance to any trader willing to pay first but how do I protect myself if I ship first? It seems to me that I would have no way to recover my losses should someone pull a fast one on me. How have you handled this situation? Is it really just a matter of crossing your fingers? Or is a practice of half before shipping and half after receiving an acceptable compromise to ask for?

I am asking because even though I know it is NOT a rule on the site, many traders still use "lower rep ships first" as a personal rule. So I may have to test my luck to make any deals at all. If I were to ship first, what reputation would you consider trustworthy enough to do so with? I know this is a matter of personal preference but I'd still like to gauge the answers.

Lastly, another shipping related question. Since my offerings are all large, would it be better to just eat the cost of shipping to make the deals more attractive? Even paying shipping myself and the PayPal Business fees, I think it could be worth it. But this is really due to me not knowing how buyers feel about shipping costs for used miniatures. Has paying shipping costs yourself helped significantly in attracting buyers? Let me know your opinion.

I really hope I didn't make a newbie mistake of missing a thread that answered these questions before posting. Thanks for reading and any responses/help you can offer.

Edit #1: Changed Subject Line to be more descriptive.

MagickalMemories ( 826 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by MagickalMemories » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:09 am

Wow.
Great f*ing newbie post. Seriously!

Good on you for looking into the details and asking questions in advance.
Let's see what I can do to help.

After reading through many helpful threads, I haven't seen this particular question answered. How can I protect myself from being ripped off in this situation?
Overall, we're a good site with good members. But sh*t DOES happen. Bottom line is that you cannot entirely mitigate the risk of loss if you're shipping first. The best you can do is reduce it to the point that your risk is minimal. Keep reading.
How have you handled this situation?
I researched my partners, looked at their histories and judged based on that. Problems with shipping or paying on time? Problems delivering what they promised? I'd have been unlikely to ship first. Note, though, that I joined at a time when few people would've had triple digit ref scores. Now days, you are USUALLY relatively safe when it comes to people with triple digit scores. You do still want to look at their RECENT history (a couple months) and see if they have more than 1 or 2 negatives. Negatives are SUPER rare in high rated traders, but many of us end up with one, eventually. I'd weigh it in relation to the rest of their refs, including WHAT the trader said and how old it is.
Is it really just a matter of crossing your fingers?
No. Not at all. It's actually a matter of doing your homework on your trade partner. You can get someone's personal information and pop them into a simple Google search, as well. You can also look up their address on Zillow, Google Maps, etc.
Check references, PM recent trade partners, PM staff and ask OUR opinion of the trader. Luck has little to do with it, typically.
Or is a practice of half before shipping and half after receiving an acceptable compromise to ask for?
Acceptable? Well, that depends on the person you're asking, since it's opinion based. It's not unreasonable, though.
The bottom line is that NO trader should get ANGRY if you ask them to pay first or do a half & half trade. They might refuse, and list all the reasons why, but if they get noticeably ANGRY, then don't waste your time. We all started out at zero and, if we've forgotten what it was like to be a concerned newbie, then we've forgotten our roots!
I am asking because even though I know it is NOT a rule on the site, many traders still use "lower rep ships first" as a personal rule.
I'm glad to see you're aware of this. Although I have it in my sig line and, in fact, was the first person to ever put it there, I ABHOR when people try to pass it off as a site rule with newbies, because it shows dishonesty or ignorance on their part, and neither of these is acceptable in an established trader!
If I were to ship first, what reputation would you consider trustworthy enough to do so with? I know this is a matter of personal preference but I'd still like to gauge the answers.
This is rough, because you could get a ton of different answers. LOL
For me, it's still "lower rated ships first," but I have the option to disregard that. If it's someone I know fairly well or who has a couple hundred+ ref score, I'll consider it if asked. Usually, though, people like that won't bother to ask me unless they need the item quickly.
As I was coming up, though, it was generally anyone with a higher score than me and no negatives. My first trade (no refs were exchanged) was with a guy who had a 10 score (5 trades). Generally, I start to look in ranges. Like, if I have a 700 and they have a 650... that's close enough for me. You know?
Lastly, another shipping related question. Since my offerings are all large, would it be better to just eat the cost of shipping to make the deals more attractive? Even paying shipping myself and the PayPal Business fees, I think it could be worth it. But this is really due to me not knowing how buyers feel about shipping costs for used miniatures. Has paying shipping costs yourself helped significantly in attracting buyers? Let me know your opinion.
Lot SIZE, more than VALUE determines this. For example, I'll list 3 asking prices from worst to best. Let's assume your "best price" is $200, it'll cost $25 to ship, and that you'd really rather NOT pay the PayPal fees. According to https://thefeecalculator.com/, you'll pay $6.83 in PayPal fees, or your buyer can pay an extra $7.03 for you to come out with $225.
1) $200 plus shipping.
This is bad because you're not telling them how much shipping will be. You're better off to weigh it and get a quote to ship it VERY FAR away from you. For example, I'm in the St. Louis, MO area. My shipping quotes are to Seattle. If they're closer, it'll be cheaper and I'll end up giving them a better deal. If you can weight it, though, you can give them an exact shipping price when they message you. You should still give them a number to start with, though.

2) $200 + $25 shipping.
They're going to try to get you to pay for shipping this way. "How about $200 shipped?" Play your cards close to your chest.
This is till better than not giving them ANY shipping number, though.

3) $225 shipped in the US.
This is the best because, if you're unwilling to go below this number, you know exactly how much you're getting. If you're shipping to the other side of your state, as opposed to shipping across the country, you even make MORE money off of it.

Now, as an addendum to the above 3 options, you might want to include PayPal fees, so you get the full amount. Here are 1a, 2a, and 3a (worst to best, again)

1a) $200 + shipping. Buyer pays PayPal fees.
This is just annoying and ticks people off. If you want the fees covered, just add the darn amount into your asking price. Otherwise, we feel gouged.

2a) $207 + $25 shipping
We're dropping the $.03, simply because it's easier to deal in full dollar amounts. This has the same problems as #2 above, though.

3a) $232 shipped in the US.
This is the best for the same reason as #3 above. You're getting all of your money, but not breaking it all down. It keeps you from ticking people off.

I really hope I didn't make a newbie mistake of missing a thread that answered these questions before posting.
There are some REALLY BAD, REALLY ANNOYING newbie posts with newbie mistakes. They really DO get on our nerves, because they're typically already answered in about a dozen different threads.
This isn't one of them!

Eric
Lower rating? You ship first.

Give me a sense of humor Lord. Give me the grace to see a joke.
To get some humor out of life and pass it on to other folk.


I think what this situation needs is some imagination.

"...I'm a nerd, and I'm here tonight to stand up for the rights of other nerds.” – Gilbert Lowell

Want my help with a BTR or backout? All messages sent/posted should be in CHRONOLOGICAL order. Otherwise, I just won't read it.

reegsk ( 396 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by reegsk » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:23 am

Hey Fynox, welcome to the site!

So with current PayPal policies, you might find people a bit more willing to send money first even with a newer user. How willing would, in my mind, directly relate to how big of a purchase it is. I'd have no issue sending first to someone with 0 rep if it were say, $50. Now if it's a full army and we're talking $400, I might be a little more cautious.

The other thing you could do is try to work out deals with people that have 100+ reputation. Once you hit that point, you've invested a good amount of time into building up that rep. While that's not a guarantee nothing bad will happen, it is less likely.

Re: shipping costs and whatnot. Everything is negotiable. It depends upon how good a deal you're offering. Some people are drawn in by a lower price point without shipping, others prefer knowing exactly what they're going to pay without having to worry about any additional cost. Bottom line, you know what you're willing to accept as a final price, just in your head know how much shipping and PP fees are going to be in the end.

Also, if you have LotR stuff, let me know. . .

Fynox ( 0 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by Fynox » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:43 am

Wow! Thanks for such an excellent and comprehensive response. I feel I understand what I'd be getting into a little more and how to better prepare for it. Hopefully, people with high reputations are interested in my offers. Also, I'll be looking over my offerings now and see if I was being fair about shipping and modify them accordingly. Really great info, thanks guys!

reegsk ( 396 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by reegsk » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:42 pm

And as an FYI, MM is often the person who responds to Bad Trader Reports when someone fails to hold up their end of the bargain. He and the other mods and admins are like friggin’ bloodhounds when someone tries to rip someone else off. So worst case scenario, you’ll get very good advice from very experienced people if things go wrong.

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3eland ( 70 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by 3eland » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:21 pm

Reegsk and MM have given a lot of great information above, and I would like to add a small one to the bunch.

Some traders are willing to pay on receipt of shipment. What this means, is once you bring the package to the Post Office and hand it over/pay, some traders, on receiving a picture of the receipt with tracking, will feel more inclined to pay you immediately after.

Don't forget that all terms of a trade can (and should) be outlined through PM before any side finalizes the deal. If you feel like it would be easier to trade when shipping first, but would like to add the caveat that the trader pays you on receiving receipt of shipment, then make sure you discuss that. I know my receipts always shows the destination Zip Code/ Postal Code as well as weight and cost. If you even include pictures of the package, as you packed, it goes well above and beyond to satisfy most traders (I say most because some traders will still refuse regardless of what you do. It is up to you to determine if you want to go through that trade or not). I always take pictures while I package my boxes, as well as one fully packed up and taped. That way I can show the trader how I packed it and what to expect (regardless of whether they want them or not, it also helps in case there is damage on the trip or it goes missing).

Always set guidelines when setting up a trade. If you tell them you will ship on X date, try to ensure you do so. Life happens, so if it does, immediately PM your trading partner to let them know. Clean, clear (and friendly) communication will do more than you think, especially being a newbie. You have to remember that traders are also putting faith into you when they contact you for goods. You are brand new, have no history or trades. An established trader (or even one that is new themselves) has to put as much faith in you, as you are willing to put in them.

In the end, however, always remember: Trust your gut. If the deal makes you uneasy, end the trade before you get to the finalization of it!

Welcome to Bartertown!

Ryan
~Ryan~
I'm like superman, but without the super.

The rules for Bartertown can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=45470
Helpful guide for sending packages to Canada: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=123125

2019 W/L/T ratios:

40k
Tyranids - 12/11/1

AOS
KO - 2/7/0 ~ Khorne - 3/1/0

MagickalMemories ( 826 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by MagickalMemories » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:28 am

More good info above.

To highlight something reegsk said: I'm like a novice bloodhound, compared to 3eland.
I don't impress easily, in general (really... not about ANYTHING), and 3eland REGULARLY impresses me with the sh!t he digs up.

That being said, you hopefully won't have to deal with anything in the Bad Trader Report area ever or, at least, not any time soon!

Eric
Lower rating? You ship first.

Give me a sense of humor Lord. Give me the grace to see a joke.
To get some humor out of life and pass it on to other folk.


I think what this situation needs is some imagination.

"...I'm a nerd, and I'm here tonight to stand up for the rights of other nerds.” – Gilbert Lowell

Want my help with a BTR or backout? All messages sent/posted should be in CHRONOLOGICAL order. Otherwise, I just won't read it.

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kturock ( 566 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by kturock » Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:11 pm

I wrote an entire post on this topic. I guess no one has read it; even though it's been up for almost 10 years.

The prices have changed, but the basics of the information is correct.
Here is a link to the post.

https://www.bartertown.com/trading/view ... 1&t=106194

Here is some of the updated information from usps.com .

Collect on Delivery (COD)
Let your customers pay for merchandise and shipping when they receive the package. You also get insurance coverage up to $1,000 based on amount to be collected or amount of insurance coverage desired, whichever is higher.
Hide Details
about Collect on Delivery

Notes
Purchase at a Post Office, or through your Rural Carrier, depending on the mail class chosen. Present COD for mailing to a Postal employee.
COD service provides the mailer with a mailing receipt.
Not available for international shipments, APO/FPO/DPO locations, and certain Freely Associated States.
The recipient may pay the COD charges via cash, personal check, or money order payable to the mailer (accepted by the USPS employee after the recipient presents an acceptable primary ID with a clear photo).
Heh, I was called a Grognard. ;-)
MY ALWAYS TRADE LIST: Scar Weaver, wmeredith, bloodstrike, tionas, wetstone, Frank Austin, akum, SW-DABOSS, Galador, nahatley, Joeb, Squeakula, mongse, con-fusion, basaint, jugglingfool, IsaiahTheBarbarian, Purple40k, Standard of War, BA-Best .

USPS Postal Inspectors: 1-877-876-2455
USPS complaint center delivery problem, lost mail, track & confirm, etc. 1-800-275-8777

MagickalMemories ( 826 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by MagickalMemories » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:11 am

Oh, it's been seen TONS. That only covers a portion of what this is about. To be fair to the OP, the last comment in the thread was over 6 and a half years ago. : )

Eric
Lower rating? You ship first.

Give me a sense of humor Lord. Give me the grace to see a joke.
To get some humor out of life and pass it on to other folk.


I think what this situation needs is some imagination.

"...I'm a nerd, and I'm here tonight to stand up for the rights of other nerds.” – Gilbert Lowell

Want my help with a BTR or backout? All messages sent/posted should be in CHRONOLOGICAL order. Otherwise, I just won't read it.

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kturock ( 566 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by kturock » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:15 am

MagickalMemories wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:11 am
Oh, it's been seen TONS. That only covers a portion of what this is about. To be fair to the OP, the last comment in the thread was over 6 and a half years ago. : )

Eric
Which thread? Not this one.
Heh, I was called a Grognard. ;-)
MY ALWAYS TRADE LIST: Scar Weaver, wmeredith, bloodstrike, tionas, wetstone, Frank Austin, akum, SW-DABOSS, Galador, nahatley, Joeb, Squeakula, mongse, con-fusion, basaint, jugglingfool, IsaiahTheBarbarian, Purple40k, Standard of War, BA-Best .

USPS Postal Inspectors: 1-877-876-2455
USPS complaint center delivery problem, lost mail, track & confirm, etc. 1-800-275-8777

reegsk ( 396 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by reegsk » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:37 am

kturock wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:15 am
MagickalMemories wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:11 am
Oh, it's been seen TONS. That only covers a portion of what this is about. To be fair to the OP, the last comment in the thread was over 6 and a half years ago. : )

Eric
Which thread? Not this one.
I think he means your thread, kt. Last post was 2013, and maybe it was missed since it’s in the “Misc. Messages” forum?

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kturock ( 566 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by kturock » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:37 pm

It is pinned but, yes, maybe it should be in this forum.. hint. hint.
Heh, I was called a Grognard. ;-)
MY ALWAYS TRADE LIST: Scar Weaver, wmeredith, bloodstrike, tionas, wetstone, Frank Austin, akum, SW-DABOSS, Galador, nahatley, Joeb, Squeakula, mongse, con-fusion, basaint, jugglingfool, IsaiahTheBarbarian, Purple40k, Standard of War, BA-Best .

USPS Postal Inspectors: 1-877-876-2455
USPS complaint center delivery problem, lost mail, track & confirm, etc. 1-800-275-8777

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3eland ( 70 )
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Re: Newbie Needs Advice on Shipping

Post by 3eland » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:23 pm

kturock wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:37 pm
It is pinned but, yes, maybe it should be in this forum.. hint. hint.
I'm sorry, are you trying to hint at something? Not entirely sure what it could be? Perhaps if you hinted stronger?

JK, moved.
~Ryan~
I'm like superman, but without the super.

The rules for Bartertown can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=45470
Helpful guide for sending packages to Canada: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=123125

2019 W/L/T ratios:

40k
Tyranids - 12/11/1

AOS
KO - 2/7/0 ~ Khorne - 3/1/0

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