Selling via JCA and thru the blogs has been great! Overall it's gone really well for me. However, one of the nuisances can be communication about the items. Since we are all busy, busy glaydies, we should discuss ways to foster successful swap/exchanges. This is my POV:
1) Understand that you're engaging in a business transaction. Money is money. Most of us take it very seriously. I might come across as cryptic when responding to email because I try to get to the point. I don't mean to be unkind. I'm just focusing on the transaction and thinking about what I'm promising from my end to ensure I don't make a mistake. Don't we all have multiple email accounts with tons of volume coming thru each day? Let's honor each other's time in the small, easy ways we can. Yes, I actually *do* have a career.
2) When placing your ad, think about the definition of "reasonable price" or "reasonable offer" before using the words. It's completely subjective. My mother thinks anything full price is unreasonable. Some people think the final sale price of an item per the J Crew website is the only reasonable price. You may highly value an item, but cannot wear/use it and it may be desirable to somone else, but at a different price point than what you consider it to be worth. So, be brave and throw out a number instead of saying "reasonable offers only." Make it higher than you'd accept to give room for negotation. And still, don't be offended if someone throws out a number you don't like. You may skip ahead to Tip #8 if you are still unconvinced.
3) When typing the content, this is the best format to use, imo:
condition - size - color - item - price
I.e. NWT, 2, blue dylan tank, $25
It's easy on the eyes and you will ensure that you have the key specifics. Some people add additional info such as 'only worn for a few hours' and the like. Whatever you feel will help sell your item. Just remember to put the basics for each. I have seen many people neglect to put the color.
4) Try to find online links to photos of your items. Do a Google search. Sometimes I specifically type in kaboodle, polyvore & stylefeeder along w/the item in Google. If you cannot find photos online, you should have photos available --esp if the items are older or less well known. I snap pics and put them in a folder so when people email me, I am prepared to send the photo in response. Some people will want a irl photo even if you have a link to an online pic. So charge your camera battery and take a photo of your item(s) before placing your ad.
5) Add helpful information about your schedule, if applicable. If I know I won't be able to respond to emails until the evening, I try to remember to add that to my post. That way buyers aren't wondering if I've received their email or not.
6) Remember to put your email in the bottom of the ad! It's a good idea to subscribe to comments as well.
7) When contacting the seller, put the item name in the subject line. This is helpful for people who have a lot of items for sale and are receiving a large number of emails. Also leading with a specific subject line like 'dream cardi' rather than the more generic 'For Sale' will help keep emails out of Spam boxes.
8) If you know you want to purchase the item and don't need to see pics, tell that to the seller in your initial email. The point is to try to cut down on the number of emails back and forth.An email might look like this:
Re: dream tie cardi
Hi Crewlover -- I would like to purchase your honey glaze dream tie cardi if it's available. You can invoice me the $40: ilovecrewtoo@gmail. Thanks!
-- This is assuming the seller will work with an invoice. See Tip #11. I work with sellers who are fine with just receiving the money directly sent thru Paypal, without an invoice. I am flexible as possible with people.
9) If you ask for pics and they're emailed to you, send a courtesy email confirming receipt. If you are no longer interested once you see pics, at least thank the person for the photo(s) and let them know it's not a match. No need to get specific on why you're passing. Just wrap things up so the seller is not left hanging.
7) Don't complain to the seller about their prices. We all have different goals when selling. Some people want to recoup what they paid. It also may be higher than the final sale price on the J Crew website. Someone else may sell the same thing for less. If you don't think the pricing is fair -- if it's not a match, then keep moving past the ad. See Tip #1.
8) If you contact the seller to see if she will take a lower price, don't tell the seller if/why you think her price is too high. Just ask if she will accept a lower price. If there isn't an agreement between you two on price, politely decline and move on. Be sure to respond and not leave her hanging. I much prefer to receive a, "Thanks, I'll pass." -- than to have people vanish into thin air, esp if multiple emails have been exchanged. Remember to communicate.
I have had people express interest, disappear and then reappear a week later asking about the item again. My favorite is the chick who emailed me multiple times telling me she needed to open a Paypal account. I said fine, I'd wait. I never ever heard from her again, even after emailing her. I realize we have lives, emergencies happen, we don't get back to our computers, etc... But, I finally decided that if I'm selling something and don't hear from people within 24 hours, I move onto the next person who is interested. We're all different and I imagine some don't want to hurt the feelings of others by backing out of a deal. However, it's more respectful, to let the seller know you're no longer interested than to just disappear. A simple "pass," or "no thanks," should suffice.
9) A seller may be open to a partial trade. Monica & I agreed to a swap where one of us owed the other a couple extra bucks. She send me a luscious pair of Juliets. I sent her a beautiful sweater and the difference was paid via Paypal. I think I initially approached her about purchasing and she returned with a proposal to swap. Or maybe vice versa. Point is, sellers & buyers may be more open than the ad states. If not, don't be offended.
10) Paypal is the best method to use, imo. Of course you are free to work with money orders (m.o.) or checks, but I have never done so. Many of us read about the funky issue someone posted on JCA about not receiving an item paid for by m.o. Let that be a lesson for all.
11) If an agreement has been made for an item, the seller can choose to send an invoice through Paypal. In the past I have simply sent and accepted money. A seller recently asked me to wait for an invoice from her and I loved the idea. Before sending the invoice, it's good to ask the buyer what her Paypal email is, in case it differs. Not everyone is going to want to take the time to email an invoice, but it's esp nice if there are multiple items in 1 transaction.
To send the invoice:
Log into Paypal
Click Request Money (3rd tab)
Look to the right-hand side of the screen
Click Send an Invoice
Click Select Template - I haven't saved a standard template, so I...
The rest should be self-explanatory. Under Item ID I choose to fill in the manufacturer (I.e. J Crew). In the Description field I briefly describe the item. I price my items to include shipping and don't enter an amount in the Shipping field.
There are other ways to send money, but I only have experience with Paypal. I don't even have any other suggestions for you.
12) Consider sales to be final, unless you work out something with your buyer/seller prior to completing the transaction. This is a business transaction, but it's still a swap/exchange; you are not interacting with a retail store.
13) - Check out a few comments about swapping in this thread. Search username "Corry." Basically, don't fib. Girl, if the item is not NWOT, it is not NWOT. Be honest and say it's EUC. Would you want someone to lie to you?
Good luck w/your sales & exchanges!
If you have tips to positively add to the conversation...chime in...
ETA: Ashley brings up a good question...
"...when trading/swapping does the buyer send their trade first? just as they would pay for the item and then you mail it out... i guess what im asking is what is a good way to trade and to be sure that you both receive the item? does one put a deposit?..."
I haven't done a straight trade so if anyone wants to chime in specifically on this, we'll appreciate it.