The MLP Arena

TCB => Trader & Shipping Support => Topic started by: PrincessStarlily on June 14, 2021, 12:12:47 AM

Title: HELP! Collection downsize...need tips from buyers and sellers!
Post by: PrincessStarlily on June 14, 2021, 12:12:47 AM
Hello friends! :happy:

This is my first time posting after a long absence...the past five years have been a whirlwind! After getting my bachelor’s degree and holding down several part-time jobs/freelancing in the craziness that was 2020, I am excited to be moving out of state for grad school starting this fall.

To cut to the chase—I’ve realized that now is the time to vastly downsize my collection (my ponies have been collecting dust, and grad school isn’t cheap!), and wanted to ask you lovely people for some advice!

Questions for sellers:

1) What is your preferred platform for selling? I would like to give the Arena community first dibs, but recognize that eBay or Mercari may be more efficient (and would be nice to clear out my room sooner rather than later).

2) Best shipping methods? I’ve heard about Pirate Ship but haven’t tried it yet. Also, I’m open to shipping internationally if someone has pointers!

3) Best packaging methods? I want to do what’s affordable and good for the environment, but also don’t want it to be ugly...

4) Best organizational methods? At the end of the day I would like to clear out 200-300 ponies in my collection, which is a bit you sell individually or in small groups? Give small discounts for purchases over certain amounts?

Questions for buyers:

1) Do you prefer to buy individually, in preset batches, or buyer handpicked batches? (Multiple ponies may result in cheaper shipping, although I haven’t actually calculated how much of a difference it would make.)

2) If purchasing through the Arena (not eBay, Mercari, etc.), are there any payment methods that you stay away from/can’t use? Venmo is the most convenient for me, but I recognize that people may be used to a different/more secure method.

3) What add-ons have you liked receiving in the past? I plan on handwriting little notes for each purchase (probably with a little doodle since I’m an illustrator ^.^), and would consider adding slightly fancier drawings or MLP stickers I’ve accumulated over the years to larger purchases.

4) Do you like having the option for insurance on large purchases (say, over $75-100)? As a buyer, this would be an extra cost for you.

Thank you all for your help! I feel sincerely privileged to be a part of this warm community, and while I don’t foresee myself actively collecting for a while, this will always be my MLP home when I’m craving a little pony fix. :inlove:

Title: Re: HELP! Collection downsize...need tips from buyers and sellers!
Post by: nhal039 on June 14, 2021, 04:37:34 AM
Ok my 2 cents worth.

I personally prefer buying from the arena first, ebay second and then facebook. As a seller it's properly better to sell in the opposite order due to the pace ponies move.

I don't think shipping methods matter too much, people will pay it if they want the ponies. I prefer to buy the cheapest tracked method available.
As a seller, I would only recommend tracked shipping as there have been so many horror stories with shipping since covid started, you want to be covered.
I would offer to US buyers first then only if you need to, offer to international buyers. I only say this as most international people can send to a usa forwarding agency so they are still able to buy for you and it saves you having to get intl postal quotes.

Packing - personally I am not fussy, plastic ponies are resilient! Just make sure the material wont transfer ink (newpaper, plastic with vivid on it). I also prefer light weight (bubble bag rather than box) and in a sized bag/ box to fit the purchase. I use a forwarding agency and we get charged on both weight and dimension of the parcel).

I would single out expensive ponies (over $25+) and sell individually. Depending on how fast and easily you want to clear out ponies I would bundle common ponies and throw in one harder to find pony so people will buy the lot just for the 1 htf pony  :) I wouldn't split the lot as you will be left with ponies.

I buy ponies singularly or in lots I just use paypal  :) I love add ons I think everyone does, I display pony art with my collection  :lovey:

I don't normally get extra insurance, I feel secure with tracking and just take my chances

Title: Re: HELP! Collection downsize...need tips from buyers and sellers!
Post by: PrincessStarlily on June 14, 2021, 07:58:28 PM
Thank you SO much for the advice, nhal! I really appreciate what you’ve shared as someone buying/selling outside the US. I will definitely be prioritizing tracked shipping and keep the packaging light and simple! The point about selling more common ponies in lots is a great one, too.
Title: Re: HELP! Collection downsize...need tips from buyers and sellers!
Post by: tailrustedtealeaf on June 14, 2021, 08:21:35 PM
I buy and sell!
1. Arena is always a nice platform (and I am biased! Show us stuff first!) but I do make most of my sales on eBay, then Mercari nowadays. The plus to selling on here is you can take pictures of your offerings in groups and it saves time versus having to make listings for each individual pony/lot. I don't sell on Facebook but I know people go there as well.
2. I use Pirateship to print out USPS labels. I've not found a situation where UPS or Fedex is preferred. Paypal's built-in label creator is a nice alternative if you prefer to keep things on fewer platforms, it's just a little bit more money than PS.
3. Don't worry about ugliness. I reuse all my packaging. You can ask neighbors, friends, family members, to keep any Amazon mailers or other packaging and hand it over to you. If I get stuff in Polymailers, and I'm selling a small G4, I will cut up the mailer to make it go further! If you do purchase new packaging, make sure you include that price in what you charge. I prefer to use bubble mailers for most ponies, but boxes are easier for lots.
4. I do not have a time limit to sell my ponies and I am looking to maximize my sales, so I sell individually. If I'm selling G4 that are common, I'll sell them by set. Lots will definitely clear out your ponies quicker but you will not get as much $$$. This is also why I suggest here first, so you can post large pictures of all that you have, sell a few of 'em off, and then you can regroup the new ones into lots. One HTF with a lot of commons will help clear them out quicker.

1. If I'm buying on the Arena, handpicked lots. If I'm buying on eBay, I prefer to look for deals.
2. Venmo does not offer buyer or seller protection, so, um, that. :P
3. I don't particularly care for add-ons! Doodles are always sweet, though. :) I wouldn't worry about this too much as they are not an expectation and can take more time to put together.
4. I do but I've not used it. >< At least not if I'm buying domestically, I see no reason to.
Title: Re: HELP! Collection downsize...need tips from buyers and sellers!
Post by: goddessofpeep on July 02, 2021, 01:41:27 AM
1) My collection is at the point where I need very few things(and I have an entire large closet stuffed with extras), so I like to buy only what I need.  However, I do  like to buy multiple things at once from the same seller to combine shipping and save. 

2) I’ve been using Paypal for for pony purchses since pretty much as long as it’s existed.  It does have some buyer protections that give me peace of mind.  In 20+ years on ebay, I’ve never had to open a case with Paypal, but having that protection gives me the confidence to make larger purchases, and to give newer sellers a try.

3) I like non food items. I live in a hot area, so I’m not a fan of things that could melt and damage my items.  Other than that, I love little bonuses!  I also love fun packaging.  One seller I used to buy from wrapped all her items like it was a present. Her packages were always fun to open..

4) I am very big into insurance.  With all the postal shake-ups in my area, the mail goes crackers often.  I’ve had delayed items, items that got sent to the wrong state, items that got sent to the wrong country, items that bounced around the country for weeks, lost items, damaged items, and every iteration of postal insanity known to man. I’ll often contact the seller and request better shipping/more insurance even if it’s not offered.  If it’s worth paying for, it’s worth paying a little extra to make sure I get it(or the replacement value if it gets lost).
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