unixphreak

The Day eBay Killed RC

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I tried to sell two things on eBay...

The first was five years ago: a kiteboard, brand new, wanted $500. Someone "bought it now" and I sent him my PayPal details. Waited for a few days with no reply, then messaged him if he still wanted it. Next I know, eBay contacted me -- he'd opened a dispute saying he'd paid me by bank transfer but I hadn't sent the goods. I had clearly said in the eBay post "PayPal only". eBay closed it but limited how much I could sell per month.

The next item was an inflatable kite, bar and lines. The day before I decided to sell it and posted it on eBay, I used it out for five hours, to make sure there were no issues.

Sold it, shipped it, guy got it and was happy, but then the next week I get a message from him telling me he wants his money back because I got the date wrong (technical matter and I didn't), it wouldn't stay inflated for more than an hour (balls) and something on the bar wasn't working (I actually specifically used that feature for over 30 minutes and it was fine).

After he tried to prove it was leaking, we narrowed it down to a very slightly leaking valve and I refunded him $30 to get a new valve put on. I would've been more reasonable, but his history consisted of him buying cheap kites then flogging them off for another couple hundred bucks more expensive :rolleyes:

So, never again with eBay.

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My eBay experiences have been for the vast majority of buys and sells totally positive. 

I avoid anything that smells bad. 

When selling give as much detail with photos as possible and send a photo of the item as its being packaged, one all done up with name and lastly one when actually over the other side of the post office counter with the post label on it. This means they CANT depute it was posted. Most buyers seem to like this and reply with a thanks.

I have struck up conversations and other sales off the grid with other collectors of the back of it and have steered some to join this very forum.

 

I only started 2 years ago and I see a seasonal change in prices coming up to Christmas. I also have seen my own ideas on price change as I near the completion of my targeted collection (will pay more for the last few buggies than would have previously)

Snipping tools (which I use myself) have lead to no real bids till the last minute of an auction. Its the same result just compacted into the last few seconds. I do like the put on your bid via the snipping service and forget. if it gets outbid I get a notification but always just let it go I left what I was happy to pay and wont go back. This means I put in a lot of cheeky snips that are WAY outbid BUT sometimes I get something at a cheeky price and its worth restoring or adding to my collection.

Now Gumtree......thats a totally different ball game. Full of cons and scams - have contacted so many sellers and reported the same as very quickly smell sooooooo bad. No come back at all.

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I have started gathering parts to do a restoration on my Striker.  After searching every eBay site I could think of I only 1 B parts tree and with shipping it is $40.50 usd. It is killing me to pay that much but since the seller is apparently the only one with one I guess I don’t have a choice.  I was able to pick up a couple parts for 85% below their BIN price so I guess things will even themselves out in the end.

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The ones that list 2nd hand items for more than new are dreamers. Any buyer with a brain will do some research on the value of an item before buying second hand. The fact that the listings are still running means that no one who has seen it is willing to pay the asking price...

As far as selling on ebay I've only had positive experiences. Describe the item accurately, provide good pictures and there should be no reason for a buyer to give you the run around. Don't start an auction at a price you aren't willing to sell for. More often than not you will get a better price with a 'buy it now' listing instead of an auction but sometimes you will have to wait for the correct buyer to come along. A lot of people don't want to have to wait a whole week to have a punt at an auction and then be outbid. If it's buy it now it's theirs immediately and they are willing to pay a premium for this convenience. Always offer postage if possible. Again, people are willing to pay a premium if the item can be posted because they live in a remote area or don't have the time to go and pick up the item. If you only offer pickup you are drastically reducing the number of interested buyers.
Some times I've listed an item for over a month before the right buyer came along and paid my asking price. Plenty of people probably saw my listing and thought I was dreaming but in the end I found a person willing to pay my price.

For buying, if it looks too good to be true it probably is. If the seller doesn't list it as working perfectly, expect something to be not quite right with it. It's also worth firing the seller a message to query them about their item if the listing is vague - if they provide better photos/description via private message that puts you at a competitive advantage over everyone else who comes across the vague listing and decides that it's too risky to purchase.
Other times I've bought items with totally vague listings because everything appeared to be there in the photo and the price was dirt cheap buy it now. So cheap that even if I had to fix it I'd still be in front by a fair bit. Plenty of those times, the item turns up and it is mint! The few times I've been burnt doing that have been more than made up for all the times I bought something very cheaply and it turned out to be as-new or easily fixed and I've moved it on for a massive profit.
If you want a deal on ebay you need to save searches and enable notifications so when someone does list what you're looking for at a reasonable price you can buy it before other people who know what it's really worth snap it up.

 

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Pre ebay I had a couple of cars that I simply could not get parts for locally. I was trying to get a set of E parts for a KBF to replace a broken rear shock tower. The KBF had sat of the shelf for months and months. Then I found ebay and had me a set of E parts ordered and paid for. Didn't take long for and parcel to arrive from O/S and I had the KBF back in action.

Since then I have spent way too much time and money on ebay, but had a lot of fun in the process. Have come across some bargains, paid a little more than I wanted for hard to get gear and come across the occasional seller who is trying to take advantage. All in all it has been positive and if if wasn't for online shopping (especially international) I would probably have a couple of non working cars hanging on the wall instead of the 26 working ones I have now.

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I thought of this thread recently, as I watched a nice, used Fox project with period radio, parts, manual and original box... sell for an absolute steal under bidding on eBay, for just AU$117. A Fox empty box alone is normally worth $70!

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com.au%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F143246270144

I also thought of this thread recently, when I saw a nice Frog set (with cut but unpainted body), undergo a strong bidding war and sell for a strong AU$454. That’s almost exactly 4 times the price of the Fox.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com.au%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F223496964133

.:. 

Both of these examples kinda dispute this thread.

The first because every person only has themselves to blame if they are not paying attention when things sell for ridiculous low bargain prices under bidding sometimes. (14 bids on Fox by 5 bidders)

The second, because it shows how there is also plenty of genuine demand under bidding, to drive prices high, when people are actually awake and paying attention. (43 bids on Frog by 8 bidders)

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example one, way high price, really crappy condition and not very popular for said price. https://m.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Kyosho-Stinger-MK-Nitro-4-Wheel-Drive-with-Hitec-Challenger/283495695378?epid=97052527&_mwBanner=1&_rdt=1

 

 

second one, person did not know what the model was until I discussed that he research and drop the price was 384.00.

 

btw, I bought two of theses for 110.00 with radios and other extras.the the guy is a gold digger and the price keeps falling, was 284 yesterday. https://m.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-KYOSHO-STINGER-Nitro-4-Wheel-Drive-Chain-Drive-Remote-Control/183810446956?epid=97052527&_mwBanner=1&_rdt=1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I actually hate eBay just because of the nature of auctions. If I want a thing that's for sale, I either have the money to buy it or I don't. I know immediately if the thing will become mine or not. With an auction, I have no idea whether I'll ultimately end up with the thing or not, based on how much money someome else has, which is a factor I have no control over. It doesn't matter how much I want it; if someone else can throw more money at it, they get it.

The very nature of auctions monetizes and commoditizes hobby items in a way that really turns me off. Usually if I want a thing, it's because I have some feelings attached to the thing, and I happen to have enough money in one place at one time to acquire it. But the money isn't the important part of the equation, not to me. I hate money. It's a stupid way to measure the world. And reducing an object I really appreciate and want to a battle of bank accounts and timing and (at least a little) luck just gets me angry and frustrated, whether I "win" or not. I don't want to "win" it. I want to own it and cherish it. It's never a matter of who "wants" the thing more; it's only about who can out-spend whom. And the only words I have to accurately describe my feelings about that situation are words that would be bleeped out if I typed them.

So you folks have fun with your auctions, and don't worry; I will never be trying to out-bid you. Been there, tried that, hated every second of it.

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right on man. I think i will try to sell more of my items on this website instead of ebay. Got a few cars and parts to let go of Tamiya, Nichimo, Kyosho.

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before i'd stay on Amazon, now Amazon is  Ebay yesteryear. Ebay i have only had a few problems and ALL went my way.

there is times i have missed ordered (not reading thoroughly) and return shipping costs it's cheaper to keep it and use elsewhere or re-sell it.

in the first conception i never understood the auction side, too many variables, i want it i buy it now. so far all purchases from ebay have been really good and established communications with many vendors that i purchase frequently and has been most fun these last couple of years.

If you do not know what you are purchasing and if it's used prepare how to reconstruct.

Ebay has been around how long? Exactly, Amain. Falcon, Stormer, RcMart, Goinitro , and alot of other vendors sell there and yes i still visit and shop on their sites,

but as of late (depending on product) the better deal is Ebay, free ship, different price (sometimes it's more) majority it's less.

That said i miss my Hobbytown, great people were there helped me with several projects mostly electrics.

so all that said I'll Purchase my RC Fix from whom ever has the product i need, price point is always an issue. that said for those that delve into this hobby expect to Pay.

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eBay has saved a lot of hobbies. I can get vintage bike parts that were unavailable 20 years ago because they were in someone’s shed and they had no way of finding a buyer. 

There will always be people asking the earth for junk but you mostly see it listed over and over again because no one will pay it.

An item is only worth what people will pay, if you are complaining because parts now cost the maximum of what you will pay rather than a fraction of that then, unfortunately, that is the way markets work. If they have it and you will pay then it sells, if you will not pay but someone else will then it sells. People seem a little bitter because the seller is now getting the best price for their item. 

A wider market has pushed costs up because we are all chasing an ever decreasing quantity of stuff and competing with an ever increasing amount of people who want it. 

If you think RC is bad then look at the vintage bike market. Cars are out of reach for the middle range investors so bikes are the new favourite. Money is making nothing in the bank so people are buying “stuff” instead.

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Anything like eBay where we ultimately decide the cost, do we have anyone but ourselves to blame? 

I genuinely believe you can lower a value of a specific product (in a niche hobby like this) by not playing along. Don't drive up prices with needless bidding, don't pay the asking price and be prepared to wait. 

I don't bid until the last 30 seconds. I have my price in mind and I'll go up in increments of a few pounds until it looks like the other person is going higher than me and then I dip out. At the end of the day, not winning auctions is kind of a good thing as it means I keep my money, and add some of next month's paycheck to it so I can go higher if I still want the next one. Keeps me from spunking money on passing fancies. 

 

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I live in NZ so we don5 have a large market place to purchase Rc stuff from so EBay has opened the world up for me to source car parts and new kits at reasonable prices or for hard to find parts. We have a local trading site where you see the really great deals (we have all been lucky at some stage to score a bargain) and also some sellers who have no idea about value and them low and behold someone pays what I think is a silly price as I suspect that it is simply people attachment/emotions that relate to something they owned in their childhood being stirred up by seeing it again. I waited about 10 years before I managed to bye a second hand sand scorcher for. $175NZ because everything else was going for over $500. One just has to be patient as things will pop up at a reasonable price at some stage. I miss the seller JR-RC  who used to find all sorts of Tamiya stuff. He is in Australia now but doesn’t have nearly as much stuff as he used to on the Bay.

I personally think EBay has opened up RC rather than kill it as I believe a lot more people have access so a bigger selling pool and bigger buying pool which I guess means bargains are harder to come by as there is more competition, it has probably however killed your local hobby shop unfortunately.....or we have? Oh and don’t start me on sniping......

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On 5/23/2019 at 7:22 PM, Baddon said:

My eBay experiences have been for the vast majority of buys and sells totally positive. 

Same here.

I've probably sold a few thousand things over the past decade or so and there's been maybe 5 occasions where a buyer has tried to rip me off. Send everything by recorded delivery and avoid selling items like phones and games consoles and you're usually fine, those two tend to be the items where you get the most scammers trying to send you back totally different (and broken) items.

In terms of buying, I've never had a problem that wasn't resolved to my satisfaction. Anything that didn't arrive, I was refunded for. Anything that wasn't as described I was able to return or get a refund for.  I even once got an RC truck from America via the "global shipping program" which got broken in transit. Because ebay take responsibility for the international leg of the shipping, I was refunded, got to keep the item and the seller got to keep their money too. 

It has always been 99% positive for me, you do get the occasional knob 'ed who tries it on but if anything, it only seems like a drama when it happens because it's so rare and out of the norm.

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On 5/24/2019 at 7:39 PM, Scott_CT said:

I have started gathering parts to do a restoration on my Striker.  After searching every eBay site I could think of I only 1 B parts tree and with shipping it is $40.50 usd. It is killing me to pay that much but since the seller is apparently the only one with one I guess I don’t have a choice.  I was able to pick up a couple parts for 85% below their BIN price so I guess things will even themselves out in the end.

Sometimes people enlist in ebays "global shipping program" which means they just send the item to ebay and ebay themselves deal with the international part. The problem is they just seem to randomly generate the shipping cost using some algorithm which can either be very reasonable or ridiculously expensive. I sold a few things GSP before and it's so random it's ridiculous. I've seen people pay $20 to have an entire RC car delivered and then other people pay $60 to have a single tyre shipped, no idea how ebay come up with those prices.

If they are using GSP, it might be worth contacting the seller to see if they would be willing to post it to you themselves which would probably work out cheaper.

 

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21 minutes ago, nowinaminute said:

Sometimes people enlist in ebays "global shipping program" which means they just send the item to ebay and ebay themselves deal with the international part. The problem is they just seem to randomly generate the shipping cost using some algorithm which can either be very reasonable or ridiculously expensive. I sold a few things GSP before and it's so random it's ridiculous. I've seen people pay $20 to have an entire RC car delivered and then other people pay $60 to have a single tyre shipped, no idea how ebay come up with those prices.

If they are using GSP, it might be worth contacting the seller to see if they would be willing to post it to you themselves which would probably work out cheaper.

 

Global shipping programme I avoid if at all possible as it appears to be a rip off......well at least most of the time

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16 hours ago, ACCEL said:

That said i miss my Hobbytown, great people were there helped me with several projects mostly electrics.

 

Agree with missing the LHS. I spent $1,000s in my one when I started on this slippery ride 25 yrs ago. Had a lot to learn and the staff knew their stuff and helped me a lot with making informed decisions on what gear to buy and helping with option/spare parts. They had copies of the popular Tamiya manuals under the counter and really knew their product.None of this let me check the computer crap, they just knew. Sadly that shop shutdown last year, was too hard for them to compete.They started as purely an RC shop, but over the years had to bring in other toys and stuff to keep the place afloat.

My best memory is getting a $500 gift voucher from work (20 yrs ago). I went into the LHS and said I need to spend $500 on parts and goodies. The receipt was nearly a  foot long by the time I finished. 

 

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2 hours ago, kalsh said:

Global shipping programme I avoid if at all possible as it appears to be a rip off......well at least most of the time

Also, allegedly the GSP warehouse selectively open and re-pack items where they feel they can reduce the dimensions of the package to save cost. If it's a fragile item that requires significant packing material to protect it, avoid GSP at all costs because they might remove all the packing material and shove it into a smaller box.

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2 hours ago, kalsh said:

Global shipping programme I avoid if at all possible as it appears to be a rip off......well at least most of the time

Depends where you’re buying from, with UK £ being so weak at the moment even with the GSP included the UK prices are great for anyone buying outside the UK. Obviously it works both way depending on how the exch rates are at the time.

I’ve bought & sold across the globe & in all honesty I never would have found 90% percent of the rare parts I needed if they weren’t on ebay. 

When selling as a rule I make a point of being as honest/critical as possible of the item I’m selling & always take clear pictures - That way the buyer is under no illusions about what they’re getting, & it diffuses them trying to argue the toss about anything at a later date. I’ll also always package properly (possibly a bit over the top) taking pictures along the way, & will only ever send by insured/tracked services - Thankfully I’ve only ever had to claim once & as a result of all the photo evidence it was paid out within 10 days.

Of the couple of times I’ve had a buyer trying it on, I’ve stuck to doing everything through ebay & provided whatever has photo evidence been required resulting in both cases being awarded in my favour.

Mot might seem a pain, but even as a private seller you need to think like a business to cover your own backside as a ‘just in case’. 

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Case in point right now! 

I really (really!) Want a falcon + box and to get that you've basically got to pay £200 plus. I want to pay about half that. 

One on eBay just ended sat around £60 for most of the listing, because people weren't bidding. Nothing until the last 30 seconds. I was willing to put down 100. Held fire as I saw the amount climb quickly to 80 and 90. I figured soon as I slap down 100 it's instantly going to be jumped over so why raise the price for someone else?  Final price £105! Much better than the £250 buy it now examples! 

 

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17 minutes ago, Hobgoblin said:

Case in point right now! 

I really (really!) Want a falcon + box and to get that you've basically got to pay £200 plus. I want to pay about half that. 

One on eBay just ended sat around £60 for most of the listing, because people weren't bidding. Nothing until the last 30 seconds. I was willing to put down 100. Held fire as I saw the amount climb quickly to 80 and 90. I figured soon as I slap down 100 it's instantly going to be jumped over so why raise the price for someone else?  Final price £105! Much better than the £250 buy it now examples! 

 

I suspect its sniping software. I use it but it took me a while to sus out exactly how it works. You tell it what your maximum bid is (in your case £100 but better to make it say 102.11), then you forget about it.

If you set it up to bid with say 5 seconds to go it will place your max as a normal ebay bid 5 seconds before the auction ends and eBay will take the minimum if needs to win from this as normal OR you get outbid. If your outbid then just bid on another. The one I use also lets me group so I can place bids on multiple similar items BUT it will ONLY let me win one, as in first winner will cancel all the others so I dont end up with more than one of what I want. 

The biggest advantage is that as soon as you find an item, set up the snip and forget about it. You will get a message if your outbid and also if you win.

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Ever since ebay introduced automatic bidding, sniping software is moot because whoever puts in their highest maximum bid will still win the auction. If I bid a maximum of 150 when the auction starts and then you bid a maximum of 148 just seconds before it ends, I still win. The only way for you to win is to bid more than 150 any time before it ends.

It's not unreasonable to bid in the last <5 seconds without sniping software anyway. The only advantage is that a few seconds isn't long enough for the average bidder to change their mind about how high they're willing to bid, and manually raise their maximum bid after seeing that the bids have gone above their maximum.

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Just talking about eBay auctions, there is one site I know of that if a bid is placed in the last 5 mins, the auction end date is extended by 5 mins. Meaning that there can be endless last minute bids. 

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7 hours ago, Hairyjon313 said:

Just talking about eBay auctions, there is one site I know of that if a bid is placed in the last 5 mins, the auction end date is extended by 5 mins. Meaning that there can be endless last minute bids. 

Bring a Trailer? 

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