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Author Topic: Selling Questions  (Read 492 times)

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Offline northstar3184

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Selling Questions
« on: June 20, 2019, 12:33:10 AM »
Hey Folks:

This is my first time on the arena in a long time and I'm debating selling off a large portion of my collection. However, I've never sold anything online before and never sent packages before. Are there any good how to guides for selling ponies (how to wrap them, package them, estimate shipping costs, etc...)?

At this point I'm only considering this route, and just wanna get a feel for what I'm in for. If I do sell online, I'm thinking the arena would be best, as I want to avoid fees, etc... and would love my collection to go to fellow collectors.

My ponies are G1 and G3.

Offline Pumpkin_Tart

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2019, 02:05:08 AM »
Hi!
I sell on eBay and on the arena. If you do decide to sell G-3’s, I would defiantly be interested!
Shipping tips..
Don’t package ponies with newspaper touching them! ( I learned this the hard way) pack them with bubble wrap and then you can prevent damage by putting balls of newspaper 🗞
If you feel up to international shipping, I would defiantly ship with a box to survive the mail 📦
If you get paid through PayPal , it is really easy to print labels  and calculate costs before paying for shipping ( also if you do have an eBay account, in the listing tool there is a calculate shipping section which I normally use)
You can also buy postage at your local post office but that is a little more expensive than PayPal rates. If you do this, I would always send the tracking # to the buyer
Before you sell....
Communication is key, I send pictures through attachments on email and ten send them to the buyer. White backgrounds are always helpful...

I completely get your nervousness about selling online as I had it when I first started, but it isn’t that hard once you start! Hope this helps! 😁
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 02:08:27 AM by Pumpkin_Tart »

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2019, 06:13:53 AM »
One good tip from years of international selling is that it helps to have a postal scale that you can weigh packages on before posting. If you aren't taking them to the PO, then it helps a lot with getting an accurate calculation, and it also makes it less likely you'll charge too much or too little on the postage.

If you're doing international shipping - and that is up to you, though it's really not that hard - fill the custom form out honestly - don't price it up and don't price it down. Also if someone bought from you, it's not a gift. Some buyers ask sellers to falsify this information and they shouldn't - it's not nice paying fees but it's not the seller's responsibility to deal with them if they happen. Also use tracking. I would use tracking anyway. Selling here is less of a risk than ebay this way, but it also prevents someone easily claiming the item didn't arrive if you have proof that it did.

Lots of photos and prepare to answer questions depending on each potential buyer's preference or pet bugbear regarding flaws. Pictures and descriptions are best, but if you can only do one, detailed pictures are probably better.

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Offline banditpony

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2019, 12:33:03 PM »
A scale is good for ANY type of shipping, not just international. You can always take in your box and ask if you need to. Don't guess. I got my scale used for $2 at a thrift store. Always round up to the nearest oz.

Prices jump at these weights for international:
Under 8 oz
9oz - 2lb
2lb 1oz +

Price jumps for first class domestic kind of jump between oz. I don't know off the top of my head.
0-13oz can be considered for first class
13oz+ is parcel post / priority

Parcel post sometimes can be cheaper then priority.. but only at heavier weights. So priority is your best bet for things higher then 1lb.

14-15 oz using eBay can be first class... I THINK.

If you are shipping 2-3+ lbs, consider a med flat rate box. You can order these for free on the USPS webpage.

General packing info:

Most non fragile ponies can be shipped in a bubble mailer. If you are selling a ton of ponies, invest in a lot of bubble mailers on eBay. You can get them as low as 10 cents compared to a dollar at the store.

You can separate non fragile ponies with white tissue paper (or white paper towel) to prevent rubbing.

Save all boxes that come to you in the mail. Ask friends, families, and stores for their used boxes. Boxes can cost $3+ at the store. Better to reuse them when you can.

If you are shipping a mib/mip item in a box... Do NOT lay it flat on any side of the cardboard. Mummy-fy that puppy in bubble wrap. If the box gets dented, so does your item.

If you are shipping something fragile, pack it well with bubble wrap and shake the box when you are done. There should be no movement inside.

Remember your box is going through a bunch of rough automated conveyor belts.. a heavier box can fall on yours.. people can/will throw your box. Etc.

Small corrections to pumpkin_tarts advice:
Don't use the eBay if you aren't shipping on eBay. They give discounts. Use the USPS webpage for accurate pricing : https://postcalc.usps.com

You can buy postage through USPS or PayPal if sent money online. Both are the same price. In person is a little bit more sometimes. This is shown to you on the USPS webpage.
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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 01:05:23 PM »
I meant the scale for all postage too. I thought that was clear but maybe not...
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Offline banditpony

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 01:58:09 PM »
Oh I can't read in the morning.

I thought it was a tip for international shipping.. not just a thing you've learned from international shipping. :) I just figured I'd mention it was good for domestic too .. especially since prices are so high anymore across the board u.u
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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2019, 04:15:35 PM »
Oh I can't read in the morning.

I thought it was a tip for international shipping.. not just a thing you've learned from international shipping. :) I just figured I'd mention it was good for domestic too .. especially since prices are so high anymore across the board u.u

It's fine, I just thought maybe I was being obtuse. Not an uncommon thing. It was early in the morning when I posted that too :)

I've always shipped overseas from the off, my first trades were with Canada and the US as there were hardly any UK people online then so I guess I just see it automatically as just "shipping" xD.

Getting the scale was one of the best things I did.Though unfortunately here you have to measure stuff a lot as well now - if that's a thing in the US too, I suggest keeping it in mind...
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Offline banditpony

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2019, 04:43:56 PM »
Oh I can't read in the morning.

I thought it was a tip for international shipping.. not just a thing you've learned from international shipping. :) I just figured I'd mention it was good for domestic too .. especially since prices are so high anymore across the board u.u

It's fine, I just thought maybe I was being obtuse. Not an uncommon thing. It was early in the morning when I posted that too :)

I've always shipped overseas from the off, my first trades were with Canada and the US as there were hardly any UK people online then so I guess I just see it automatically as just "shipping" xD.

Getting the scale was one of the best things I did.Though unfortunately here you have to measure stuff a lot as well now - if that's a thing in the US too, I suggest keeping it in mind...

Only time you need to measure is really large boxes (over 108" combined girth and length).. so playsets need special consideration... There are extra charges for over sized packages.

https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/153.htm#ep1678681

If you plug in the dimensions of the box on the USPS webpage, you can tell when it's over sized.

Sometimes using UPS or fed ex is better for oversized packages.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 04:57:03 PM by banditpony »
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Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2019, 06:21:48 PM »
Packaging

I use manilla bubble mailers with padding inside, like so:  link

Buy in bulk, it is so much cheaper than buying one at a time from a shipping store or the PO.  But also reuse any Amazon boxes or envelopes you have lying around.  Recyling is good!

You do not have to swaddle the average pony in tons of bubble wrap or send her in a box.

Exceptions: MOC / MIBs obviously should go in a box, Summer Wing / Windy Wings with wings are best in a box, Precious Pocket ponies with attached symbol should have extra protection or go in a box, flutter wings should be carefully removed from their sockets and put in a tiny box with padding--basically any pony with fragile sticky-outy parts needs extra care.

But aside from delicate ponies like those, the average pony is very durable.  All you need is:  aforementioned bubble mailer and an individual ziplock baggie for each pony.

The ziplock baggie is to keep the ponies from rubbing together, which could harm glitter symbols, and to keep their hair neat and untangled in transit.

Just be sure your ponies are 100% dry before sending!  I always give my ponies at least a week to fully dry (and a day or two set on their butts to let excess water drain out) before I send them.

Shipping

The average adult G1 plus bubble mailer weighs about 4 ounces in my experience.  But get a postal scale anyway, it's worth it.  (Even a cheap kitchen scale will probably be sufficient if you're only mailing lightweight stuff.)

After you know the weight of your pony + packaging, you can use the shipping calculator on USPS.com to get exact shipping:  https://postcalc.usps.com/

For domestic packages that weigh under a pound, First Class Shipping is the cheapest option. 

If you have any pony books, you can send them by Media Mail IF they do not contain any advertisements.  (You can't send comic books by Media Mail, for example.)  Media Mail is only for books / specialized educational material.

If someone wants a pony fast, you can use Priority Mail.  The PO provides free boxes for Priority.  Just be careful to get a "regular" Priority box instead of a Flat Rate Priority box.  Flat Rate boxes are only worth it if you're sending something very, very heavy.  (I have used it before for MLP comic books . . . They weigh a surprising amount when you get 100 of them together!)

You can also order Priority boxes, for free, online.  The PO will drop them right on your doorstep.

Posting pictures:

Tumblr is a convenient image host.  Use your account, or make a new account if you don't have one.  You can post about 12 (? I think?) pictures per "picture post", and can right-click and copy/paste the URL to display them on the Arena.

To minimize long loading times, I would only post one picture per pony, and tell people to ask for more pics (or link directly to the Tumblr page where you have the rest of the pics) on the ponies they're interested in.


Edit:  In addition to newsprint being bad, colored tissue paper is also risky to package ponies in.  The color can transfer to the pony.  But seriously, you don't need anything more than plastic baggies and a bubble mailer.  I've sent hundreds of ponies they way and they arrive just fine.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 06:36:08 PM by LadyMoondancer »
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Offline tailrustedtealeaf

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2019, 09:14:25 PM »
There are a few good ways to sell. It looks like the Facebook selling community is similar to the Arena's where everyone uses paypal, but I'm not sure how to navigate the group's sales too much so maybe someone more well-versed can give you tips on that front.
eBay has the largest amount of eyes but it does take out that 10%. Those scoundrels!
There are also some nice selling apps that also take out a percentage but make for easy posting because you can take photos in-app in most cases. Depop and Mercari strike me as the most popular but the former is better for clothes. I've sold a bit on Depop and I actually prefer it over eBay because it takes the fee out right away rather than billing me per month.
Of course, on here, Facebook or even a little yard sale if you have G4 or lots of cheap ponies will probably give you the most control over prices. on eBay and such you need to be fairly competitive I've found.
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Offline EnaRocketQueen

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2019, 02:41:06 PM »
Selling on Facebook is probably the best, that's where I've managed to do the most business. Beware of the amount of timewasters though, and people who think they've automatically reserved something by commenting "how much?" on the post and then get upset when they ask again 2 weeks later and you've sold it to someone else.

Offline Oneleo1

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2019, 07:04:24 PM »
Dont be afraid to ask for feedback from potential buyers and do a quick search on the user name to make sure nothing comes up.

There are a ton of reputable buyers out there but a few bad apples are out there too. Checking feedback can help you avoid issues.

And dont be afraid to follow your instinct. If a buyer seems to good to be true, it's likely that it will not go well.

If you are unsure, ask :) there are plenty here that can help give advice so you dont get yourself in a bad situation.
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Offline northstar3184

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Re: Selling Questions
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2019, 03:16:08 AM »
Thanks for all the useful tips everyone! I have a lot to read through here. Thanks again!