In a country where the job market is not entry level friendly, I find purchasing new items difficult. So I go to the next best thing: selling things online.
It’s simple; go to a listing site, post your item, someone buys and they get the item while you get money. But there are many ways about doing this and I choose Listia.
My first choice was Craigslist. Local Pickup, no shipping costs, easy right? Well despite getting offers, no one replied back after confirming that I had the items. I moved on to Amazon. They require a credit card. Seeing as my bank account fluctuates up and down it is not a good idea. Plus, I hear Amazon takes a percentage. Not only that they offer very little for selling the items to them and my printer was out of ink, so no printing shipping labels. No thanks, but I will will limit myself to just buying off of Amazon.
Next, I choose Ebay. I was literally seconds from posting my entire Pokemon card collection and then I heard about Listia. It was through Facebook that I found it and I ended up joining.
What is Listia?
Lets establish what Listia is. This isn’t a money to item site. Listia uses what is called credits in which you use to win stuff through auctions, raffles, or the new credits store. The bread and butter of Listia is the user created auctions and not only do you not have to pay to list your items but you get paid credits(15) for listing. It is for all tense and purposes a used item auction site even though some items offered in auctions might be brand new.
Buyers and sellers are given a feedback percentage rating which can go up and down based on how they handle the winnings with the buyer/seller. There are only three ratings, Positive, Neutral, and Negative; and the Negative can only be given under very extreme cases. But no matter which way you rate, you may write a comment under the rating saying whatever you want allowing you to explain why you gave such a rating. These ratings are viewable to the public and helps buyers decide if they want to bid on a specific auction.
To instill buyer confidence sellers can go through various verification processes to show that the person is real and not a scam artist. The verifications are Facebook and Twitter verification that links your accounts to your Listia account but be warned Listia will spam both each time you win an auction or list an auction. The idea being that you can get buyers from your “friends” on these social networks. Next is bank account verification where you make a small purchase of Listia credits. A must if you are charging for shipping in my opinion. I have it verified even though I will never charge shipping and of course phone verification for I guess if Listia wanted to call you. From there you have two forms of verification that come from listing activity. First, is Sellers Badge for completing (list, have a winner, send out, and have them verify that they got the item) your first auction and the Trusted Seller. You get this by having 15 auctions completed and have you getting positive feedback from the buyers. These are all given in the form of “badges” and are viewable on your profile page and any auctions you list. However the Twitter and Facebook badges also double as hyperlinks to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. I guess a way for seller to see if you are a real person or as another means of contacting you. There are other badges to be earned but they only appear on your profile page.
Listia also has a leveling feature but it has no use so far.
Of course, me being new to all this at the time, I acted as a buyer first to see if it works. Listia gives 500 credits, well it gave me that much for joining, to new users. After winning a couple of Yugioh cards I decide to start putting my stuff up for winning.
For a Seller, there are many options. Of course you have the title, the category where item belongs, photo of item, item description, and your shipping options, and this where things get tricky. For a seller listing from the United States. You have three options.
- Local pickup
- Will ship to the US
- Will ship Intl
From there you have three shipping types: Free, Flat Rate, Exact.
Free means the sellers has agreed to incur all costs in shipping the item to the buyer. Flat Rate means you post an exact number of how much the winner of the auction has to pay for shipping. Exact means basically to be determined after winning.
If you also clicked Will Ship Intl(International), then you have the option of India, Canada, Europe, and Worldwide with the same shipping charge options as above.
Most people who charge for shipping do PayPal transfers. Again having bank verification is a must if you want people to trust you enough to shell out money.
Then you have Location. Basically saying where you are. You can put whatever you want and I have seen people put their home address, a dangerous thing to do. The idea being that you confirm that you live somewhere but since you can just google up addresses, its moot.
Also, your auction is set a minimum bid of 0 and to last 7 days. You can change this in the advanced options right under location. Once you have the Trusted Seller badge you can do what is call Get It Now. Basically, letting a seller get the item now and end the auction but there is a listia credit fee and the get it now starts a 2000 minimum, so no cheap sales unless your selling a TV or Game System.
Once you submit and get a winner, you have a option. If the item is digital then you can just send it over the pm system or through each others emails. If you are shipping the item out then the winner has to send you their Listia Verified Address of LiVA for short. The winner can set one up at the auction page or through their My Listia page(they can access it easily by just clicking their user name at the top right corner) and scrolling down to the bottom left and clicking Saved Shipping Addresses, there is also a Saved Meetup Information under it as well so people doing local pickup also have to have their info verified by Listia. Once received, the seller uses that as the sending address and sends the item. Once you do so, you must press the sent button and now it is up to the shipping service you used. If the buyer gets their item and is satisfied they press the got it button and transfer the credits(automatically transferred once you get a winner if you have the Trusted Seller Badge) and and give feedback. You may give feedback as well and then the transaction is done unless the buyer opens a dispute in which can result in them getting their credits back which opens you up to negative feed back if they win the dispute.
Confusing? Here is Listia’s version.
- False Trusted Seller Badges: What this means is the user has posted up several how to or recipe listings and sometimes the same one under a slightly different name in order to get the badge quickly through less than genuine means, and have not likely gone through the motions of physical packaging auctions. However, not all digital item auctions are bad. Codes and what not are fine as long as the user is getting something for free from the code. Examples here, here, and here.
- Perceived Bot Bidding/Late Minute Bidders: When you first start to bid you may notice that sometimes you are immediately outbid. This is not because of a bot. How bidding works is like this: it is called proxy bidding. For example, you see a pair of shoes at 120 credits with no bids. You must bid 121 or higher and if you go higher you are putting the most you would pay for the item. You put in 150 but to everyone else it shows 121. What it means is that the next bidder must put in 151 or higher to out bid you, sort of like a reserve price. You bid 150, someone bids 135. It will then show up as 136 with you as till as the lead bidder. However when it wins you do not give up all 150 unless others have raise it up that much. You can also adjust your bidding up and can still bid if your reserve bidding is defeated. Also, to minimize how much they shell out in credits, people tend to leave the auction alone until the last minute to sweep up the item. Learn the tactics if you want to win.
- Sellers trying to make a profit through Shipping charges: Beware of anyone who is charging for shipping. I understand that not everyone can do free shipping but there are a few bad apples in the bushel. Usually what they do is charge more than what it costs to ship the item and after shipping the item pocket the difference. That is against the rules. When you decided to list your items on Listia, you understand and agree that you are not on a money making website like Amazon and Ebay and that you make a 0% profit from all shipping charges. At best, research yourself to see if what they are asking for is fair. For me, I only bid on free shipping items.
- New Sellers: Listia is growing and because of its advertising on Facebook and may attract younger than 13 year olds to the site. These children then create fake auctions. Again, when deciding to bid on a new seller, look for twitter, Facebook, phone, and bank account verification badges. Another indication of a fake auction is a auction having a high start up bid for something that normally goes for cheaper. The person is trying to get the credits from having their first listing without having to give a thing. They should be reported immediately.
- Shilling: Basically a seller drive up the bidding on purpose to get more credits out of an item. They will do this by having a friend bid or by creating a fake account and bid on their own auctions. Unless they admit to it, you are gonna have to use your intuition on this one.
- Profit Auctions: These are fake auctions that try to get money for their items. Usually it will say “you get something random if you win” while the seller discuss business in the comments section of the fake auction. Besides the fact that this isn’t a money to item site, it distracts potential bidders from real auctions, and the seller earns badges from these fake auctions. Users like these are cancer of Listia.
- Trade Binder Auctions: This is something unique to the trading card section of the site and a subcategory of Profit Auctions. Basically these fake auctions serve as trading and selling(for cash) boards. If you don’t want to give your stuff for credits then get off Listia and go to Ebay. We don’t need your auctions cluttering up the list. I suggest everyone block them. Here is an example of trade binders: Here.
- Item and Credit Thieves: Basically people who win auctions, get their item and make false claims about the item received so that they get the item and the credits back. They will break the item and post a picture of it saying that is how they got the item. Best thing to do is take a picture of the item before sending, and put in your item description that you are not responsible for the damage incurred by USPS, FedEx or whoever else you use. Don’t forget to use appropriate packaging. If your service determines or listia determines that damage incurred during shipping is because you used inappropriate shipping materials, you will lose the dispute.Then there is those who claim they never got their item. Only protection is to get delivery confirmation. Another tactic is to get your service to declare your item fragile. Doing so causes the transporter to be careful when moving your items. Its a must do if you are shipping video games, their systems or any electronic products , glass, and cds of any kind.
- Non-Readers: People who do not read the item description and ask what could be answered in the item description. It’s there for a reason.
- Listia doesn’t have a suggestion or ticket support help: It does. If you have a suggestion or you need help such as deleting an account, account to credits issue, or a auction problem go here.
- Inflators: This means that someone starts listing items for higher than they normally go. This could scare buyers away and result in less bidding and cause a category to become more expensive to enter. For example, manga usually start in the hundreds but a user is listing them at 2k per book. He/She gets less bids but their flooding the market with their over priced item can cause the other users to post their items for higher. Making it a potential market killer; though so far it has made anything less than 1k a instant bidder magnet so far. Only time will tell.
Now recently, one of these trade binder auctioneers won one of my auctions. I have to say that they are some of the most stupid people on listia that I have met. Idk, if the auction is still viewable but here. I post in all of my cards auctions item descriptions: Used: Product maybe bent, peeling, and/or have scratches and/or dents. This is because I move my stuff around a lot and stuff maybe bent. I use to play with these cards and not every child is careful and so many have wear and may have wear from trading(in real life) with such children. I used to get my cards from Shonen Jump Magazine before it went completely online and because many people may have handled the magazine before I bought it or from when I was extracting the card from the magazine, it may have bents. The shipping company may damage the cards as well so its very tricky when the card is leaving many hands. Not only that but when I give out bad condition Pokemon Cards, I tell people so in my item description if the card is in real bad shape and I add a legendary Pokemon as compensation since the item is damaged. Works so far. I don’t do so for Yugioh since I am still into it, and I leave my bad condition Yugioh cards out of auctions since what constitutes as appropriate compensation is tricky. Here is an example of one such a type of auction. Sorry if the link does not work.
The conversation went like this:
Yesterday I get this message with neutral feedback: