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How to Invest in, Buy, Sell, Store and Insure Precious Metals in Canada (4/4)
Category :- Investments

Author :- Art Smith 
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Posted on April 3, 2014, 1:29 am
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Some Advice and Recommendations for How to Buy and Sell on Ebay

  Ebay is an online auction service used to buy and sell items.

How to Buy

- It is important to remember that your goal is to make money which does not mean that you should necessarily win every auction on Ebay. It is not an ego game: nobody knows you and nobody cares whether you won a particular item. (See this infographic about differences in investment psychology between men and women; women are better investors than men because they do not have the male ego).

- Before bidding, always decide what maximum price you are willing to pay and never bid for a higher price. If someone overbids you and you have reached your maximum price, simply move on and do not bid again. You will have another opportunity later. If you are winning more than 25% of auctions you bid on, you are probably losing money.

- Try to bid only once, the more bids an auction has the more buyers it attracts. After bidding you will get an email from Ebay encouraging you to increase your bid – disregard it. As explained above, you should bid only once, setting the price to the maximum you are willing to pay for the item.

- Do not bid too early, the best strategy is to bid at the last minute, right before the auction ends.

- Check out auctions that do not have any bids and end relatively soon. It is human nature to think that there is something wrong with these auctions and many potential buyers overlook bargains.

- Skip auctions that have over 20-25 bids if you want to get a bargain.

- If someone overbids you it does not mean that the item is worth more, it only means that another bidder is willing to pay more. You will get an email notifying that you were overbid and encouraging you to bid again. As before, disregard it and move on to other auctions.

- Put as many items as you can in your "watch it" list. If nobody buys the item you are interested in after the auction ends, contact the seller to check whether s/he is willing to sell it for a cheaper price than the auction price was. In many cases sellers will agree to sell their items cheaper.

- Buy in lots/bulks to save on shipping charges.

- If you also speak languages other than English try international auction sites (e.g. ebay.fr). You will have much less competition and, as a result, significantly lower prices.

- Days to buy on Ebay.com (meaning the auction should finish that day), from best to worst, are Friday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Saturday, Thursday, Monday, Sunday. Sunday is the worst day since most people prefer to buy on Sunday.

- If you buy on Ebay.ca use Ebates or Canadian Rebates to get cash back.

- Buy on Ebay.ca to avoid customs. Only precious metals of 0.999 percent purity that are bought in USA and shipped to Canada are not subject to duty, NAFTA fees or GST (see Canadian Customs Tariffs).

- Buy when there is a major event such as Olympics Games, elections, Christmas, etc., that would keep other buyers away from their computers.

- Enroll in Ebay news and if they offer discounts for sellers shop that day, since there will be more items to buy.

- Find out if a particular Ebay seller has his/her own web site and visit it; the seller might sell the same items cheaper on his/her site.

- If you buy from non-Canadian Ebay sites always send a message to the seller and ask about shipping charges. This way, you will know if the seller is willing to communicate, to begin with, and you will also find out if the shipping cost you see on his/her Ebay page is indeed accurate (in many cases it is not).

- If you know the item you bid on well (you do not merely rely on sellers’ pictures) - choose auctions with the worst quality pictures or without pictures at all. Such auctions would attract fewer potential bidders.

- Similarly, if you know the item you bid on well, choose auctions with a poor description of the items, since such descriptions also attract fewer bidders.

- When you search for items, include misspelled words in your search (e.g. in addition to ‘candelabra’, search for ‘canedlabra’).

- Even if you do not think you are going to win the auction still bid for the item you are interested in. You might win it or sometimes you might get a ‘Second Chance Offer’ if the final winner (who overbids you) does not end up buying the item (i.e. does not complete the transaction).

- If you bought the item but the purchase experience was not satisfactory (you did not receive the item, received a wrong item or the item turned out to be broken, etc.) you can always contact your credit card company and ask for a refund (regardless of the Paypal protection). Your credit card company might not necessarily refund you but asking never hurts.

- As explained above, if you buy silver items never assume that ‘silver’ in the item’s description really means silver: it might be silverplated, its color might be silver or it might be only 10% silver. When in doubt always ask the seller; sellers might provide ambiguous descriptions but they are usually honest when asked upfront. Do not buy if the seller answers that s/he is not sure whether the item is silver.

- Buy from individual sellers rather than from professionals, who have thousands of feedbacks. Professional sellers attract too many (returning) bidders who increase the final price of the items you want to buy.

- Privacy-wise, it might be a good idea to set your Ebay feedback profile to ‘private’ (by default, it is set to ‘public’). However, note that if your feedback profile is private you can buy, but not sell, on Ebay.

- Consider buying items that have less than 0.999 precious metal purity. If you hold such items long enough before reselling them, you might not need to pay tax on your capital gain (if you have realized a gain), since they may be considered personal or collectible property. Seek tax advice before pursuing this strategy.

- You can retract your bid on an Ebay auction before the auction is over if you made a mistake. Some conditions apply: e.g. the request should be reasonable and the seller or Ebay need to approve your request. See the full list of conditions here.

- If the seller offers shipping insurance for extra cost, check whether Ebay or Paypal guarantee to refund you in case your item does not arrive. If they do, there is no need to also pay for the shipping insurance offered by the seller.

- If you think that the shipping charge is excessive send a message to the seller before you bid and ask if s/he would reduce the shipping cost. Do not ask this question after you have bid or won the item.

- Most people like bidding round numbers (e.g. $5.00), bid with one or two more cents (e.g. $5.02). In many cases this simple technique can increase your winning rate.

- Most auction activity happens in the last 5 minutes of the auction. You are the ‘winner’ only when the auction is over.

- Keep in mind that if a particular Ebay seller has lots of positive feedback it does not necessarily mean that this user is a good seller. If this seller has never sold but only bought items before, this will still result in good feedback on his/her profile. Click on the feedback itself and check what his/her seller's only feedback is. A rating of 99.5% or below is bad. Be sure to read all the negative comments.

- If the item you want to buy on Ebay is being sold as “Buy it Now”, send a message to the seller and ask for a discount or free shipping. If the item has been for sale for a long period of time a motivated seller might offer a discount. If you want to know how long the item has been for sale on Ebay, Ebay allows you to search the history of sellers’ successful and unsuccessful sales in the last 15 days.

- Even if the seller’s Ebay page indicates that the seller does not ship to Canada send him/her a message asking whether s/he can make an exception for you. Many sellers will indeed be willing to agree.

-Try to be creative about other strategies and avoid competition from other bidders; you can only make money if you buy cheap.

- Platinum coins usually have a much lower premium. Platinum is quite rare (rarer than gold) and when it is traded below price of gold it represents good value.

(In addition, consider reviewing the Ebay Precious Metals Guide.)

How to Sell

- Sell on Ebay.com rather than on other Ebay sites (such as Ebay.ca, Ebay.fr); more bidders participate in Ebay auctions from USA than from any other country.

- Your auction should finish on Sunday when most potential bidders are at home.

- Sell when it is cold outside (winter) and more people stay indoors.

- Do not sell during major national events (Olympics, football games, elections, etc.)

- It is better to allow people to bid on an action rather than use the ‘Buy it now’ option. Most people want to bid/win (i.e. compete) and not just buy items right away.

- If you are absolutely sure that your item will sell well, start your auction with the initial price of $0.99. A valuable item with a cheap price attracts more bidders and more bidders attract even more bidders.

- Respect international buyers and be ready to specofy international shipping charges quickly if requested.

- Do not sell to people from countries where the postal system is not reliable.

- Always ship with a tracking number.

- Find out in advance all the details of the insurance policy of the shipping company you want to deal with (in case the item is lost or damaged when being mailed). Keep in mind that if you ship expensive precious metal items, shipping insurance might not cover them. Avoid selling items (on internet auctions) that you cannot buy shipping insurance for.

- Use best quality pictures and always provide several pictures of the items you are selling. Never take photos of an item holding it with your bare hands. If you do have to hold it, always wear cotton gloves. If possible, make readable pictures of the hallmarks of your item.

- Write short but informative descriptions. Always describe the metal of the item, its weight, hallmarks (if any), any dents on the rim your item has. Find out if similar items have been sold in the past and put links as references.

- After selling the item never ship it within at least 3 business days (regardless of how the payment is received). Seller’s payment may bounce and you may lose money. If you are going to delay shipping for several days as advised, always mention that in the terms of sale.

- If you sell a lot of items consider having several (Ebay) accounts. Some buyers are not honest and may provide lots of false negative feedback. If this happens to you, you may then switch to your other account.

- If you sell high value item(s) and you want your buyers' identities to remain anonymous you might consider Ebay’s private listings.

- Once in a while Ebay has promotions and you can put your items for sale for free (or with a reduced Ebay fee). Wait and be ready to use those promotions to save on fees.

- Do not use slang in the item’s description or when communicating with potential buyers. Not everybody is fluent in English. Do not make jokes or use phrases that can be misinterpreted. Avoid grammar mistakes or misspelled words.

- If one description does not sell the item – change your wording. Be flexible, always modify descriptions and compare sales' results.

- When a potential buyer asks you something you should reply fast, provide a full answer and anticipate further questions. Always tell the (potential) buyer what the next step would be and guide them through the process.

- Do not use words such as ‘I think’ or ‘may be’. Your description of the item should be precise and accurate. Avoid wordy descriptions; if your description has to be long, separate every 3-4 lines with a blank line, this will make your description more readable.

- Do not use a variety of font colors in your description as this does not look professional and serious buyers will avoid you.

- Buyers have more trust in sellers who guarantee to take/accept items back (in the original condition, of course). If you sell authentic items, such promise should not be an issue for you and it will make your auction more trustworthy.

- Exceed expectations of the buyer either by fast shipping or adding an extra small item (as a gift) to the sold item. This will result in good feedback, attracting more buyers in the future.

- Mention your other auctions (if you have more than one) when describing your item. Dealing with fewer buyers minimizes your time per transaction.

- Since the price of precious metals may fluctuate significantly, if you want to sell an item that has recently appreciated in value – sell it fast rather than put it up for a 7 day auction.

- List the same item you are selling under a number of similar categories (such as collectibles & antique; medals & military), not just one.

- Use the invisible counter option to know how many people have visited your auction.

- If you have sold a mediocre item for much more than you anticipated – do not assume it will necessarily happen again. If you have sold a valuable item for much less than you anticipated – do not think it will happen again either. In either case, try to find out why this happened (perhaps, the price of precious metals has gone up/down, you listed the item in a wrong category, or the item description was good/bad, etc.) and take that into account for your future sales.

-Always be honest. If the item is in bad condition, do not lie and always explain what the problem is. Emphasize it or even highlight it. People often only read the key words in the item description and might easily miss problems with the item. It is better not to sell an item rather than get bad feedback because someone missed something important in the item description.

Read How to Buy, Sell, and Profit on eBay: Kick-Start Your Home-Based Business in Just Thirty Days by Adam Ginsberg for better understanding of buying and selling techniques.


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