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Question for eBay shoppers (especially saddles)

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  • Question for eBay shoppers (especially saddles)

    Would you buy a saddle or other items from a private seller with no feedback?

    I've been an eBay member for 10 years, but I've only bought a handful of things in that time, most recently in 2010. I've never sold anything.

    So, obviously, no feedback rating. But also not an account that just opened yesterday with no history whatsoever.

    I need to get this stuff sold, but I don't want to waste my time listing things on eBay if people won't even look at the listings due to lack of feedback.

  • #2
    I have sold a couple of saddles on eBay. I don't sell much on eBay so obviously not much feedback as a seller, and had zero feedback when I sold the first saddle (though had plenty of buyer feedback but I don't know whether that makes any difference). So I don't think having zero feedback is a major handicap. Having a great description and good pictures, as well as timely responses are keys I think.

    By the way, if memory serves, as long as you don't set a reserve, you won't get charged if your item does not sell.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, that helps. You're right about being able to list free if it doesn't sell, so nothing lost by trying it.


      • #4
        I'll do it as long as the listing is clear and professional. Sketchy listing plus no feedback? That's a no-go.

        But it's also a pretty much no-risk transaction with all the protection ebay/paypal have for buyers, so there's that too.


        • #5
          If you ever buy on eBay, you will get feedback from that. I recently sold a saddle first time on eBay. I had sold a few other things first, though. Buyers can check the buying/ selling history, and if you have bought other equestrian items, that helps. I know I have done that when buying. If I am dealing with a real horse person, and not someone who sells electronics and jewelry mostly, then I will buy with confidence.
          2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

          A helmet saved my life.


          • #6
            I've done a lot of eBaying and purchased (and sold) several saddles there. You need to be as upfront and detailed in your description as possible, and include TONS of photos. I know you have to pay extra for them, but take them from every side, show every flaw, and make sure to say that if the buyer wants more specific photos, you'll be happy to take them and send them to them.

            Provide all measurements (best if you can actually get someone else to help you take measurements while you take photos, so you can show the tape measurer against the saddle).

            And to really get their interest and trust, offer a 7-day money-back guarantee (less S/H), provided the saddle is returned in the same condition you sent it.


            • Original Poster

              Ah - yes, I do have limited buyer feedback and it's all positive. At least one thing is horse related.

              But it sounds like the photos and description are going to matter the most, and that's not going to be a problem. I've done enough looking at consignment sites and window shopping on eBay to know which photos/descriptions are or aren't effective, so it should be pretty clear that I've seen a saddle or two before, probably even sat in one, and know what all the flappy things are called.


              • Original Poster

                Alex and Bodie's Mom, I thought about returns, but I have zero interest in dealing with that hassle, especially given eBay's already stifling payment process. If I can't sell it on eBay with no returns, I'll send it to a consignment shop and let them deal with it.

                The photos/description will be very detailed as I'm not going to leave the door open for any "item not as described" complaints.


                • #9
                  If the item is "not as described" in any way, then its coming back to you whether you have a return policy or not. A no return policy is only good if the buyer feels the item is as described..... buyers discrepancy. This is Ebays "Buyer protection plan" and why people here are saying they would be willing to purchase from a buyer with zero seller feedbacks.... buyers are totally protected on Ebay.

                  This is why it pays have perfect photos, show every flaw, and take really good measurements and answer buyers questions quickly and accurately. This lessens your risk of having the saddle returned on you.

                  I always offer a return policy in my ads, and I've only once had an item returned. Having a return policy makes people more willing to bid on your auction as it makes the seller appear honest.

                  You might think, 'well, an unscrupulous buyer might just decide they don't like the saddle and make up something and return it". Yes they might, but most buyers are honest and don't want to waste their time either. Not to mention they have to pay the shipping charges to return the saddle (unless there really is undisclosed damage, then a seller would do the right thing and pay the return ship, whether ebay makes them I am not sure), which isn't chump change.

                  Selling a large expensive item like a saddle on Ebay isn't a walk in the park. The photos and ad takes a lot of time to put together nicely, if your saddle is nice expect a lot of people asking really finnicky questions. You have to hope you estimated your shipping fees properly and don't end up paying out of pocket. And then you get to sweat bullets when you ship the saddle out, hope it arrives in one piece or doesn't "go missing". Then you have to wait until the buyer gives you feedback or the obligatory 45 days before you can consider the transaction final.

                  Its not rocket science, but it can all get real aggravating real quick. If you're looking for an easy way to sell a saddle and aren't stuck on a certain price, consignment shop isn't a bad idea.
                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                  • #10
                    RE: Shipping the saddle.

                    Not only will you need Delivery Confirmation (which MUST be viewable online, so be sure to print your shipping label via eBay, PayPal or the USPS website), but if the saddle sells for $250 or over, you also need to get Signature Confirmation.

                    Good luck!
                    Equus Keepus Brokus


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HappyVagrant View Post
                      Alex and Bodie's Mom, I thought about returns, but I have zero interest in dealing with that hassle, especially given eBay's already stifling payment process. If I can't sell it on eBay with no returns, I'll send it to a consignment shop and let them deal with it.

                      The photos/description will be very detailed as I'm not going to leave the door open for any "item not as described" complaints.
                      Totally understand. I have quite a bit of feedback and don't offer the guarantee when I sell something either. But I've also never (crossing fingers) had anything returned or any negative feedback. Though I'm seriously considering taking my saddles back from the consignment shop and putting them on eBay just to be rid of them.

                      And don't forget insurance!


                      • #12
                        I buy and sell saddles quite a bit on eBay. I prefer to buy from someone who has a record selling, but if they have other feedback from purchases, that's okay. Mostly I want to see lots of photos and a good, accurate description.

                        I have never offered a return and have never had a problem. Ebay has changed and most of the power is now in the hands of the buyer. The saddle market is soft right now, too. However, I sold a saddle over the summer and it sold for the BIN price within 24 of listing, so it's not that soft.

                        I also sold a saddle this summer on www.eventingnation.com -- that also sold instantly and you only pay for the ad, not a % of the sale. If you have a jumping saddle that might appeal to the eventing market, I had a great experience listing there.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                        • #13
                          I have bought a few saddles on eBay. I would buy from someone with no seller feedback, IF I could make personal contact with the seller and verify that they actually had possession of the saddle by asking for, and getting additional pictures.

                          I agree that a detailed ad with lots of photos (particularly of the serial and tree/flap/panel notation numbers) is important. The more educated about saddles the seller is, the more likely I am to consider their ad. An explanation of why they are selling helps too...i.e., didn't fit my horse, leaving for college, etc...lends an air of authenticity.

                          I've seen two I was interested in recently, listed by a sellers with only buyer feedback. I sent questions to both...one responded promptly with more details, the other ignored me. Second is out of the running, since, if they can't or won't answer the question I asked, they probably don't actually have the saddle and might be a scammer. Someone who will engage in an email conversation with me, and who sounds like they know what they are talking about will still be a possibility, even with no seller feedback.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks all, this is very helpful!


                            • #15
                              I just did this very recently. Have tons of Buyer feedback, very little sellers feedback. I sold another saddle first, lesser quality, lesser price. That went well. I sold second saddle with a buy it now, tons of photos, and free shipping. I included extras. I took photos of every angle that I would want if I were to purchase saddle. I was very upfront and honest. I sold saddle below market price because I wanted it to sell, quickly.

                              Good Luck!
                              Be Patient! Be Kind! Try to understand!


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                                I'll do it as long as the listing is clear and professional. Sketchy listing plus no feedback? That's a no-go.
                                There's always a real person behind the on-line persona of the buyer and seller. I'm happy to be either so long as I get a sense of who the other guy is. With saddles, I have usually had an e-mail conversation with the person first. That makes sense to me. It's a big purchase and the buyer might have questions I hadn't thought of.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat


                                • #17
                                  Bogie, where does the saddle ad show up on EN? I think I must be blind but I'm not seeing a place for that. I need to sell a PJ but am not sure Ebay is the right market for that kind of saddle. Also not sure eventers would want a PJ, will have to investigate that.


                                  • #18
                                    I also had the experience of a great deal of questions -- including measuring all the flap lengths and needing the exact model number, date of manufacture, etc. Measuring everything before hand will save you doing it later when people ask.

                                    Without that information, unless the saddle is really cheap, I don't think they sell.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                      Bogie, where does the saddle ad show up on EN? I think I must be blind but I'm not seeing a place for that. I need to sell a PJ but am not sure Ebay is the right market for that kind of saddle. Also not sure eventers would want a PJ, will have to investigate that.
                                      On their sister site -- sporthorsenation.com.

                                      The ad was $15 so not a huge investment.
                                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                      • #20
                                        Depends on the dollar amount. If it's a $10 item, I'll take a risk. If it's something I can pick up locally, then yes, because I can see it when I pay for it.

                                        My recommendation to a brand-new seller is to sell a bunch of smaller things really cheap & build up some feedback. Even a score of 10 or 20 is good.

                                        The other issue is would I buy/sell saddles on ebay. I personally have found much better sources of saddles. And I recognize how expensive it can be to ship a saddle when I tried to sell one or two of my own. I suppose you could try it and just see if it works for you?
                                        Veterinarians for Equine Welfare