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Selling Stuff Horror Stories...........

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Taco, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. For the past few weeks I've been raising funds for some new glass and much needed new tractor tires. I didn't want to dip into household funds so I've been moving collector car parts on Ebay and hauling scrap cars with the high tonnage rates. I did end up with a few vehicles that were way too good to scrap and decided to advertise them in the local free ads. I was expecting some low ball offers for vehicles that need work but now I think I've seen and heard it all. People ask if I'll take less than half of the asking price without seeing the vehicle and I've gotten offers like I'll repair your basement walls or do stucco work for your truck. I've also heard some very creative financing schemes like 50 down and 20 bucks biweekly till whenever........I finally wholesaled three trucks to an auto wrecker and am pleased to report a 24-70 2.8 is on order and the tractor is getting new paint and tires. I was mentioning the wild responses I was getting to my ads and a buddy at work recalled his experiences at his last garage sale. His wife owns a company that sells custom embroidered clothing and custom logo items. They had a whack of new good quality pens with different company names and were selling them for a buck a handfull. A woman said she had small hands and only wanted to pay 50 cents. My buddy said well I have big hands I'll just grab a pile for you. Her response was no that's too many pens for me...then drove off in her 50k SUV.:biggrin: If you have any horror/funny stories feel free to post them.........


  2. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    Putting a disclaimer in your eBay auction that you're only selling within the US will guarantee that you'll get questions if you can ship outside the US.

    Adding a line "any inquiries regarding shipping outside the US will be ignored" will ensure that you'll get some follow up emails on said questions along the lines of "I haven't heared from you. Pls let me know because I want to bid on your widget".
  3. Funny and true Bart.

    Well Ted with the economy such as it is, could that be part of the cause of such low balling and creative financing, or is this just the newer human nature:biggrin:

    On the tractor tire Ted, just wondering what it cost, I laid out $425 yesterday, for a 14.9-28 R1. they do not make anything like they used to, heck I only got 30 years out of that tire:frown:
  4. Being in the sales profession now for the past 10 years I have heard a lot of good ones. What I have found is that when I sell a machine for $200,000 there is little said about the price. However, when I sell a machine for $8,000, I get beat up on price every time! :rolleyes: 

    We did a project with a very well known company and were working with the site engineer. He asked for a small discount as they are a big company and buy lots of equipment from us so we obliged and gave them a few points. A few weeks later we met with the senior engineer to sign off on the project and when he got to the discount he asked what that was all about. We told him that because they are a valued customer that we gave them a few points off. He asked that we REMOVE the discount and that they would pay the full price for the project. :eek:  He said that he has been an engineer for many years and one thing he has learned is that discounts mean that the machine will be of lesser quality, or that they might not get the after sales support that they need and that it was not worth it in the long run.

    Why can't there be more customers like that?
  5. Hey Bart

    I just advertise worldwide shipping. I've had car parts shipped to the UK, Sweden, Serbia, Turkey and New Zealand. Sometimes the shipping is a lot more than the value of the part. I find Ebay is an amazing marketing tool. Usually two guys will duke it out over a rare part then someone with sniper software will scoop the part in the final 2 seconds...........


    I realize the US economy is soft right now but we are enjoying a fairly strong economy for now. There's no reason to low ball people that are asking a fair price for an item. Most people here price stuff to sell at garage sales and I usually just pay their asking price. I just don't have any patience for hagglers and resellers. Sorry to hear you only got 30 years out of your tires. I got 59 years out of my Ford 8n tires. The rears are 260 a pop and the fronts will run 70 each. The origional tires just didn't have any shine left:biggrin:.....


  6. Michael

    Good point. I spent 16 years in the civil engineering field and met a contractor that was very candid about his pricing for government jobs. He always went in high on his tenders and quotes since he felt that if you didn't charge more than everyone else they would think your work was inferior. If your employer wasn't feeling some pain on the price you weren't appreciated. Worked well for him he's a millionaire that started with nothing............


  7. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007

    I'm just lazy :smile: - shipping within the US means that I can print the label from eBay, smack it on the box, walk in the post office and drop it on the counter yelling "prepaid".

    International means filling in customs papers and waiting in line.

    I'll save that aggravation for when I'm shipping gifts to my family.

    Ok, here's another sales anecdote - I work for a shipping company. Feedback we get from one of the customers: "next time we'd like to see the container delivered at the destination with the doors still on it" :eek: 
    And another favorite in the industry: customers always think we're joking when we point out that there's never a guarantee for a box to arrive - depending on where it's stowed, it might fall off the ship. "Yeah right, hahaha". Obviously they're not aware of the storms in the pacific or the atlantic ocean. :tongue:
  8. I don't care who you are, that there is funny! :biggrin:

    We had a customer order 3 machines that take about 8 months to build, and durring shipping one got washed overboard!:eek:  They had to wait another 8 months for another machine to be built, and it delayed the line start up nearly 1 year.
  9. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    "Ship happens!"

    Biggest snafu that my former employer (I now work for another shipping company) had was the delivery of a container of chemicals to an American pharmaceutical company in St. Petersburg (FL).

    Except that, as they pointed out to us, the bill of lading really said St. Petersburg, Russia. Not a problem, they said. Just remember the late-delivery penalties - and we really need it the day after tomorrow. Airlifting that 40' container to Russia pretty much wiped out most of the cost savings we had realized in the first half of the year. :actions1:
  10. Well I was aware of this being a bit of problem, and after watching the containers being stacked 5 high on deck, I can see why, but it must be far more common than the public would believe. I have an Aussie photo friend, involved with search and rescue. He wrote that they spent 2 days looking for a 55' yacht that was over due. The general consensus was that it had been HOLED, by a submerged container, or a whale.
  11. Haha

    I recall some news footage of a container ship that dropped it's load off the UK coast. One guy scavenged hundreds of new car steering wheels and one guy was digging a pretty hot street motorcycle out of the sand. Maybe some of our UK members remember this.......


  12. My GF brother has made a living out of selling classic VW cars and parts. His philosophy is that that there is someone out there willing to pay you for what you have, you just have to be patient enough to find them. When you are in a rush to either buy or sell, that is when you pay too much or don't get what your item is worth.

    Patients young grasshopper, patients!:cool: 
  13. cculler


    Aug 12, 2008
    In order to afford my D80, I needed to sell my Nikonos V underwater camera set-up. I listed it on craigslist for $750. I had a gentleman call me, feign some interest, and then nothing. I called him back 2 weeks later and asked if he'd still be interested if I dropped the price to $600. He hemmed and hawed, and low-balled me for $550. Since I needed the money, and had no other bites, I agreed. I drove all the way across the state (I was living in Spokane at the time, and had posted it on the Seattle Craigslist) to meet with him. The afternoon we were supposed to meet, he calls and says, "$550 is too much. I'll give you $375." I almost lost my temper, but knowing I had no other buyers, I maintained my cool and got him to agree to $450 (which is still $300 less than my original asking price). TEN MINUTES before I meet him, he calls and says, "Yeah, I think I'm going to go digital. Thanks anyway."

    I ended up deciding to let Adorama consign it. I sent it UPS, but it never made it. UPS cut me a check for $604.50, which is probably more than I would have gotten at Adorama anyway.

    Now finding dates on Craigslist? That's a whole 'nother can of crazy...
  14. Chris

    Glad to hear you made out okay in the end even if the journey was a little rough. Anything good I have is listed with Ebay and anything too large or costly to ship goes on Kijiji or craigs. I don't use the term "firm" in my ads anymore since nobody respects it. To sell anything locally I have to initially ask at least 40% more than my bottom line to sell. For the most part the locals won't spend unless they think you're desperate and they have a leg up on you. For the dating scene my buddy has done quite well with "plenty of fish" a free on line service.


  15. rbellphoto


    Jun 8, 2006
    This is still my favorite. I used to buy and sell electric guitars on Ebay. Here's a classic email dialog from 2003. Note the date/times.

    Subject: 50s Strat
    Date: 12/4/2003 6:53 PM

    Hi Bob,
    Just had a chance to sit down and plug that Jap 50's strat in, and unfortunately it doesnt sound anything like you described on your auction. I cant even play this thing it sounds so bad. Im getting nothing but horrible static out of it, and the pots are completely shot. Now we can do one of two things here. One, you can refund 100.00 to me through paypal immediately, and we will call it even, or Two, I can tarnish you perfect feedback rating with a nasty feedback, and I can also contact Ebay and let them know about this auction and how unfair the conditions were for the buyer, me. Ill give you 24 hours to get back to me about this matter, after that Im gonna go ahead with plan two. Let me know what youd like to do.

    Subject: 50s Strat
    Date: 12/4/2003 6:59 PM

    Hi Bob,
    Sorry about that last email. Disreguard everything I wrote. I just found out my amp is blown. I feel like a real jerk for writting that nasty email to you. Sorry about that. Happy Christmas.

  16. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Yeah, people are always quick to blame someone else. I usually try to sleep on emails like that for a day before sending them
  17. Well

    I don't want to end up losing money on a transaction... The guy says he'll pay by check on Friday... I send him the goods on the Tuesday preceding the Monday, so far so good - I don't hear from him until the following Monday when he says he pay palled me the money - so in essence I end up losing a little over $12 on the transaction - no happy - he did not pay when he said he would and then paid using a different means of payment...

    Makes me wonder at times...
  18. luke_28


    May 12, 2008
    That's great ! LOL
  19. Last year I tried to sell my 300 2.8 AF here. Lens, metal trunk, Wimberly lens plate, and a Kenko 1.4TC - all in great shape - for $1400/shipped. I had a lot of tire kicking and amazing lowball offers. After about three days, I got tired of all the crap, pulled the ad and put the lens on ebay. One day later, it sold for $1650...WITHOUT THE TELECONVERTER! I later sold the TC for $100.

    Ok...so maybe it's not a horror story, but it still amuses me. I still regret selling it though.
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