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chanstevens

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Maybe sell in larger lots? When you add in the $8.95 shipping, the average total cost of these works out to about half retail, roughly the same price available at chain stores with 40% coupons (though sales tax could come into play).

I'm not suggesting that your shipping is out of line, just that when I pull the trigger on an online order, it's usually at least $20-30 to justify that cost of shipping...

Of course, I've also seen some folks selling $20 items for $0.01 starting price but $19.95 shipping since the auction fees were based on selling price, not total invoice price. Probably made a lot more sense before Paypal fees starting coming into the mix.
 

madsen

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When you add in the $8.95 shipping
And there is your problem. You cannot expect to sell a $10.00 item for $0.99 and then add in $9.00 shipping. Do like chanstevens suggests and sell in bigger lots. I see bids for $0.99 rockets all day on ebay--with shipping that puts the cost out of sight. People who buy on ebay are cheap--and want a deal. We all know that there are lots of places to get heavy discounts--whenever I see a listing on ebay that looks good--I immediately look at the shipping. All of a sudden it is not all that good.

May I suggest that you should try selling larger rockets on Ebay. With larger rockets the shipping would not be such a negative issue. Also, you cannot pick up a King Viper at Hobby Lobby. You are a LOC dealer. Put LOC kits up for auction--give it a try. Try putting up a Big Nuke at a reasonable price--I guarantee that I will bid. Try putting a Hyper Loc 1600 at a starting bid of $99.00--I assure you that it will receive bids--lots of them--and I will be one of them.
 

Pat_B

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You can get free shipping boxes from USPS and ship most smaller items for $4.60, and that's for Priority Shipping. What's with the $8.95?
 

madsen

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You can get free shipping boxes from USPS and ship most smaller items for $4.60, and that's for Priority Shipping. What's with the $8.95?
Hi Pat_B: You make a good point. If a vendor is selling an item for $100.00--I would expect a "handling charge". I do not have a problem with that. However, if a vendor wants to sell very low dollar items--he should be prepared to eat handling charges. It may not seem fair to him--but people do not want to pay handling charges that inflate the cost of the item over what they can pay at a local outlet. (God, I am smart)
 

UMRS

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You can get free shipping boxes from USPS and ship most smaller items for $4.60, and that's for Priority Shipping. What's with the $8.95?
Priority mail is $4.90 ($4.80 with retailer discount.) for parcels 1 pound and under. While the shipping charge may not be $8.95. We all know its not $4.90 either.

And yes they have free boxs some sizes that are usefull for rockets. What happens when someone orders one that doesnt work in a free box? Which is about 65% of the time.

The postal service does not supply free packing material, Im guessing you would be upset if your kit was just placed in a box and allowed to smash/slide around inside without any proper packing material?

The post office does not pay you to properly package & weight your order.

The postal service does not pay anyone for there gas & time to wait at the post office to drop off customer packages.

If you are fortunate enough to live by a brick/motar place shipping charges are not a concern for you, and thats great.

Ebay is a poor example to rate shipping charges on, they overcharge sellers on all fees. Retailers pass the cost of doing business to the buyer.

Yes it may only be $4.90 but remember its alot more than just postage. Order a .99 part from Lowes/Office Depot or any retailer. Im pretty sure your shipping will be more than $4.90. And it will probably most likely come first class not by priority.
 
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madsen

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What happens when someone orders one that doesnt work in a free box? Which is about 65% of the time.
Wow--here is a business owner that is on top of his costs. If someone is picking a figure out of thin air--they never use 65%. It is always 90%, 50%, etc. This tells me that Uncle Mike knows his business. If he says that 65% of the time--stuff does not fit in a Priority Mail box--I believe it.
 

Commonwealth.Net

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Thanks for the input.

I did make a 2 kit lot so the shipping will not be to bad.

FYI: Shipping.

Most of the FREE boxes at the post office are not the proper size for rockets!
I purchase NEW boxes that cost from $1.00 to $3.95 each!
Then I have to account for tape and packing material.
In most cases we lose money on Ebay shipping charges.
Typical packages weigh 2-4 lbs and do NOT ship for $4.95

UPS shipping for even a pound can be as high as $11.95, YES!
I send a 1 pound package 30 miles from my store for $11.00 the
same package to a urban area of California is only $9.00

FYI: LOC

Most very large LOC kits get a small dealer discount, very small.
Selling them at retail just about covers the credit card processing fees.
Else you would see a lot of LOC kits on Ebay !

The input was good, and I will take it into consideration!

PS: We have MANY 99 cent auctions JUST ADDED to Ebay!
 

madsen

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FYI: LOC

Most very large LOC kits get a small dealer discount, very small.
Selling them at retail just about covers the credit card processing fees.
Good! I have no credit cards. I am too poor. I must pay by money order. Therefore, lets not worry about the cost of credit card processing. The last time that I purchased a Bruiser-EXP from Al's--Ken charged me $8.00 for shipping--drop ship from LOC. May I suggest that if you post items on ebay at a good price--with realistic shipping--you will have greater interest.
 
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harsas

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Ebay is no longer a great place to sell rockets. It is ok for dumping stock you no longer want, but their policies and prices are not seller friendly. In addition, partly do to the economic situation, people no longer are willing to pay a fair price. They expect items for 50% retail and complain about the shipping. I do not like people who list an item with $20.00 shipping either, but I can say with confidence that neither Commonwealth or UMRS are one of those sellers. $9.00 to ship two kits is more than fair.
 

Peartree

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I suggest that part of what you are up against is the mentality of the average ebay user. Ebay started as a sort of national electronic yard sale and while retailers rushed in (at Ebay's invitation) and have often pushed the yard sale-ers out (also due to Ebay policies) the average user still sees it as a yard sale. We're not shopping for retail goods (although new and undamaged is a bonus) so much as we shop for bargain used stuff.

The end result is a disconnect of expectations between buyer and seller.

Sellers (retail) expect Ebay to be an electronic shopping mall where they can attract quality retail buyers.

Buyers expect yard sale goods (possibly slightly used, possibly not) at yard sale prices.

This disconnect of expectations makes everyone unhappy.
 

dr wogz

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John,
Good analogy.. I like it!

While true, the shippign is always an issue. It's what i look for, and try to minimize. $5 to ship a $2 item, not going to do it. but, $5 to ship $100, now, that's more like it..

I won't look at anything purchanced online, unless I'm looking at about 10% of the total cost in shipping..

E-bay & Online is also kinda "buying blind". We've all heard the stories of not getting exactly what was advertised..

And, let's not bring up crossing international borders..
 

sunward

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... $5 to ship a $2 item, not going to do it. but, $5 to ship $100, now, that's more like it..

I won't look at anything purchanced online, unless I'm looking at about 10% of the total cost in shipping....
Using the 10% figure, it would be unrealistic to be able to buy anything less than say 50.00. It has been discussed the postage for a small package via USPS costs 4.90. Using 10%, you are already at 50.00 retail.

....E-bay & Online is also kinda "buying blind". We've all heard the stories of not getting exactly what was advertised....
When buying on eBay, check the seller's feedback, and try to use a credit card for purchases.

As for online sellers, use ones that have been around and actually ship right away. Noone has an excuse for waiting 2 weeks to ship. If they do, they need to tell you right away or refund the purchase.

...And, let's not bring up crossing international borders..
Sunward takes care of all borders issue for US customers.
 

JAL3

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Ebay is no longer a great place to sell rockets. QUOTE]

Its also not a great place for buying them.

A very significant part of my inventory came from EPay. I probably paid too much for many of them but that is MY fault. I only bought from vendors who didn't mind dealing with the hassles of accepting a check and I didn't mind that. I stopped using EPay when it became Paypal only.

My wife, on the other hand, thinks that's the greatest thing Epay has done because it stopped me cold.
 

Gus

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I think eBay is still the fairest and safest market out there for both buyers and sellers, which is why it remains the biggest, most vibrant market.

I agree with Harold that from a seller's standpoint the fees, both eBay and Paypal, have risen to a point where items below $20-$30 are hardly worth selling. Unfortunately, lots of kits would trade in that range. But there are lots of OOP kits that routinely bring very high prices. The market for sellers on the other auction sites are so small that selling prices are usually much lower than what they would be on eBay, negating the lower fees.

From a buyer's standpoint, eBay gives me access to a huge variety of kits I would otherwise never have access to. No, I don't need to buy a Baby Bertha on eBay (I can buy one at Commonwealth :D), but if I want an Estes Saturn V I can buy one almost any week. And for other OOP kits there's just a huge variety. Great deals are harder to come by than they used to be on eBay, but that's because the market has matured and most things sell for their fair market value.

Finally, with regard to safety of buying and selling on eBay, both Paypal and eBay could be much better about preventing fraudulent sellers, but even so, it remains a remarkably safe place to trade. As for non-North American sellers , I have dealt with a number and only had one problem, years ago. If you use a credit card through Paypal your risk is very small.
 

Mikus

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I don't mind paying shipping if the total cost is reasonable. I usually look at shipping costs as "how much time would it cost me to...?" because as they say, time IS money.

Most times it's the quality of the transaction and the customer service tendered that makes or breaks a deal for me.

Truthfulness and respecting your customers goes a long way in my book.
 

sandman

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Shipping is no big deal if you break it down logically.

Let's just say waht I want is at Wal-Mart. My nearest Wal-Mart is 22 miles away.

Both ways that's about 2 gal of gas...@ $2/gal that's $4 plus at leat 45 minutes on the road.

Plus...going into Wal-Mart (PIA for any guy!:rolleyes:)

Yea, that's worth $10 to me!;)

All I have to do is go to my mailbox...or if it's a big package my mail carrier pulls up the driveway honks on the horn and I got it.:)
 

Mikus

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Shipping is no big deal if you break it down logically.

Let's just say waht I want is at Wal-Mart. My nearest Wal-Mart is 22 miles away.

Both ways that's about 2 gal of gas...@ $2/gal that's $4 plus at leat 45 minutes on the road.

Plus...going into Wal-Mart (PIA for any guy!:rolleyes:)

Yea, that's worth $10 to me!;)

All I have to do is go to my mailbox...or if it's a big package my mail carrier pulls up the driveway honks on the horn and I got it.:)

Exactly. QFT. :D
 

Pat_B

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I like what BMS does by shipping body tubes in the triangular Priority boxes taped back-to-back to each other. They'll even combine a few of those triangular boxes in a telescoping fashion for longer tubes. Somehow they're able to ship the majority of my orders for the standard Priority fee.

Rockets are lightweight and I would think that there would be other options to ship them other than Priority- first class, parcel post?. It would take longer, but should be cheaper.

I sold a few hundred GPS units on Ebay a few years ago. I managed to fit each one into a standard size Priority box that I trimmed down just a little with a utility knife and stuffed the inside with newspaper. My material costs for shipping were $0.00.

There's no doubt that shipping fees have been skyrocketing over the years.
 

powderburner

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I bid $9.75, half expecting someone to top that.

Someone bid $9.63, which triggered ebay to use up the rest of my bid margin, all the way up to $9.75. And the other guy let it go. I mean, anyone could have seen that my counter-bid did not go up to $9.88 (or whatever the bid increment was) and that $9.75 was my "top" but he didn't want it badly enough to spend a few more cents. I have to say, I don't get it either.

Apparently we have folks out there that expect sellers to pay them to accept rocket kits? If I was you, Commonwealth, and if the ebay market continues to behave like this, I would give up on selling via ebay. My 2 cents.

Other than odd products that are hard to find locally, I have to agree that ebay has become a poor place to sell rocketry goods, or for buyers to look for bargains. Bargains are getting pretty rare. Actually, ebay has been in this condition for a looong time, IMHO.

Commonwealth, I also bid on a few of your Kevlar auctions and some other stuff. I think I pumped up the bids pretty well for you. You're welcome.
 
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