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Subject: Mailing versus Local Pickup - a small rant rss

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Tim Collett
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Shawnee
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Note: This is not directed at any particular person or people. These are simply questions and comments from my own auctions and the experiences I have had and experiences others have shared with me. Also, no animals were harmed during the writing of this post.

After running quite a few auctions over the last several weeks along with running quite a few auctions previously (and talking to others as well), I am not sure I am a big fan of local pickup. While many of my experiences have been good, some have been questionable. Maybe I have different standards or expectations than other people do based on my experiences with buying other items online from other people (not retail but Facebook, Craigslist, etc.)

I understand that people don't want to pay shipping costs and that they are kind of high. You will get no argument from me. For me, when I buy something from someone else thru an online transaction or email agreement and it is local, I figure I am kind of on their time and I need to go to them to get the item(s). If, for some reason, the item is large and I can't move it myself, it is on me to find another person or pay someone else to help me, etc.

I have had strange requests like "If I buy your game for $5, would you meet me halfway so I can pick it up?" and they live 50 miles away. So for $5, I am going to do approximately an hour of driving for both directions and spend at least $5 in gas?

Has local pickup become a situation where I am working on the buyer's time only? I have no problems working with people to find a time and location to meet, but sometimes the requests have been a bit out there. If I say Saturday doesn't work for me, that is what it means. Please don't reply back with "Well I would like to do Saturday." We all have lives and we are all busy.

In a lot of ways, shipping sometimes just seems easier because I can drop it in the mail and you get it dropped off right at your door with no special situations (yes I know there are for some but overall, the mail is delivered right to your door and you can get it on your time).

Thoughts?
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brian
United States
Cedar Lake
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Your auction, you set the rules. That includes local pick up and what those terms should be. My opinion is it is on the buyer to make it work.

When I have arranged local (as a buyer), I first try to find common ground. If not, I'll determine if it is worth my time to drive extra or just go back to shipping. I also try to be accommodating like on their way to or from work. But I also have a job that allows flexibility to move about my metropolitan area. Or failing that, make it a FLGS or something where we both might be interested in going, but again on the seller's schedule.

Regardless, I think it reasonable that the seller set as strict of guidelines as he wants or just go back to shipping it.
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Michael Aldridge
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It's local pickup, not local delivery, right? Sure, you can be a nice guy and meet them somewhere convenient, but in my opinion, you're not compelled to do so (unless you say that you'll deliver in your auction terms).
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Chris Morse
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Your expectations are perfectly reasonable. Buyers who try to take advantage of you should simply be told "No" and don't let yourself get worked up over it.

Personally, I have never sold via auction but I've bought many times with local pickup and have been amazed at how accommodating the majority of sellers have been. I've had sellers drive halfway to meet me even though I offered to go all the way to them because I agree with you, the burden should be on me.

I also haven't had any trouble working out dates and times. If you're busy, you're busy. A couple of times it has taken a month or more to arrange pickup. Not a problem for me if it's not a problem for you. If I really needed the game RIGHT NOW I'd pay for the shipping, right?
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Travis Morton
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My favorite is Local Pickup when they have a very specific schedule when they are sort of near you, or better yet, they do not drive.
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fightcitymayor
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knuckles29 wrote:
My favorite is Local Pickup when they have a very specific schedule when they are sort of near you, or better yet, they do not drive.
Yeah, as a seller, even if someone is local, I refuse local pickups. Just because I don't feel like dealing with flake buyers who can only leave the house between 4:30PM and 4:37PM on the second Harvest Moon of every other Autumn. Screw that, pay for shipping like everyone else & don't waste my time.
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Gretchen Fontenay
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Apison
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Local pick up is just that- the buyer comes to your house or job or agreed place and picks it up. It is not on the seller to do more than be reasonably available.
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Richard Keiser

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Your sale/auction, your rules. Unless it is a large $ purchase, most likely not worth meeting up anywhere out of my way.

Unless you are unemployed and time has no $ value.
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Jeremy Mease
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I don't want to meet any of you in person, no offense. ;D
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Jon Bowker
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The reason I would choose to pick something up locally is because it would cost me less in gas and time to find you then it does to pay the post office. As mentioned, it's called Pick Up, not Delivery.
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Jason Begy
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I sell a lot of stuff (not just board games) locally on Craigslist and Kijiji and I deal with this kind of crap all the time.


"How about I pay you less than the cost of transit fare, and you go 90 minutes out of your way to bring it to me?"


"What is the lowest price you will take?" This is not how bargaining goes. When people ask me this I just give them the price I listed.


"I am interested in X." People here do this all the time. They contact me to tell me they are interested in an item, but never respond to my reply. Like they just wanted me to know they were interested, in case I was wondering.

My FAVORITE though was someone who tried to convince me to sell a video game for $10 because OTHER games could be bought for $10. Not THAT game, of course, as it was a rarity, but just other video games generally.
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Tim Collett
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So what do you guys consider a reasonable amount of time to pick something up? I realize that some people may be out of town, etc.

My latest set of auctions have been more about moving stuff out in general than making any money so, for me, just having the games gone is a bigger value than the money itself.

What I am not a fan of is holding on to games for weeks at a time. I end up having them still in the house; I don't get the money for them at all; I have also paid commission on the sale so I have paid more money for a game that I still have and haven't been paid for. LOL
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Andy Andersen
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Time frame should be as short as possible. One week at most.

Also, you have a game I want to buy for $8.00 and would like to meet you halfway to pick it up.

I live in SW Michigan. What's the best time for you?
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brian
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tcollett wrote:
I don't get the money for them at all; I have also paid commission on the sale so I have paid more money for a game that I still have and haven't been paid for. LOL

I have offered this up when I suggested local pick-up: pre-pay with PayPal or whatever means they wanted. That way they have the money, we don't have to worry about that part of the transaction, and they the security of no loss.

So you could make pre-payment a condition of the local pick-up process. And if they don't show up within a given time frame of your choosing, sell it again!
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An-Jen Tai
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Haven't run an auction here, but in my listings in marketplace I offer local pickup specific to where I live and where I work. Granted there has only been a few local transactions, but no one has ever suggested something else. And if anyone tried to pull that with a $10 item, I wouldn't even bother to respond .....

A
 
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Aaron Edwards
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The last time I had an auction I offered unrestricted local pickup and had a buyer win a game for like $12 on the assumption that he could do local pickup. Then we realized that even though we're in the same metro area, we were like an hour away from each other. Even meeting in the middle, it wasn't worth the time over a $12 game. So I pretty much just said nevermind, I'll eat the shipping cost and mail it. He was cool about it and sent me some money for shipping, but it made me realize what a waste of time local pickup can be. Now I'm going to try to time my auctions around local events that I know I will be at so that I can say "local pickup available at this time and place." Otherwise, I'm not going to offer it any more.
 
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Robert Stetler
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Just adding my voice to the choir. I've sold items ranging from games to live reptiles for local pick-up. The majority (but not overwhelming majority, sadly) of such sales are without a hitch, the buyers understanding that for the convenience of being able to examine before they buy and saving on shipping cost that they operate on my schedule and location availability.

But there are an incredible number of buyers who expect you to go to them (in a couple cases I've had, requests to travel to an isolated area on the "bad side" of town), or wait until pick-up to bicker about the price, or expect you to fit into their restricted time schedule. Usually for a sale of $20 or less on an item you're already bargain pricing. I doubt those buyers ask either online vendors or brick & mortar retailers for that kind of service, why would they think they can demand it from us?

Jasonbartfast wrote:
"How about I pay you less than the cost of transit fare, and you go 90 minutes out of your way to bring it to me?"


"What is the lowest price you will take?" This is not how bargaining goes. When people ask me this I just give them the price I listed.


Funny thing about the first example, I've never actually got anyone offer to pay *anything* as compensation for such a request. Not even transit fare.

The latter example is one of those hilariously sad but true tales. We've all had those total price with shipping offers that wouldn't even cover shipping, let alone pay for the item. But at least those actually make the effort of an offer, rather than expect you to haggle with yourself to drive your own price down.
 
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Tim Collett
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I have ran quite a few auctions and it just seems to be getting harder and harder to do local pickup just because of the restrictive nature that people put on the situation is all.

Like someone else said, people put such odd time frames that they are almost impossible to meet. I realize they have lives but I do too.

I also meet people in a public area like in a major parking lot or somewhere that is pretty open. I will give my number and the vehicle I am driving and then no response from them. I get no vehicle type or phone number or anything. So what is something happens that I can't make it for some reason? How would I get a hold of them? And then I am left sitting in the parking lot having no idea what they are driving or if they are even showing up.

I think going forward it will be very direct times of when and where I will be available during the week following the auction for local pickup. If you can't pick up then, then don't bid or pay shipping costs.

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James Lautermilch
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Since I don't drive due to health conditions right now I have everything shipped to me unless, it is one or two game that I can fit in my backpack and it is local enough that I can reach it in a reasonable amount of time via local transportation. I live near San Jose and bought a game from a guy in San Francisco. Yes only 42 miles away but not worth the hassle so I pay the shipping costs which are worth it to me for peace of mind. If local pick-up tell them when you are available and where you can meet them. That should be that. The seller shouldn't have to meet you half way and if those conditions are unacceptable then accept the costs for shipping or don't bid.
 
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John Teserovitch
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tcollett wrote:
So what do you guys consider a reasonable amount of time to pick something up? I realize that some people may be out of town, etc.

My latest set of auctions have been more about moving stuff out in general than making any money so, for me, just having the games gone is a bigger value than the money itself.

What I am not a fan of is holding on to games for weeks at a time. I end up having them still in the house; I don't get the money for them at all; I have also paid commission on the sale so I have paid more money for a game that I still have and haven't been paid for. LOL


I have not sold anything on BGG but I have sold quite a bit on other Internet sites (Bartertown, MagicOnlineTraders etc). I am willing to go a little bit out of my way to avoid having to pack and ship but I always say how far I am willing to go in the sale post. I will always go out of my way to meet a seller to avoid paying shipping. The seller makes the rules but they must be spelled out ahead of time. For example, if you are going to accept local pickup put a time limit on when the exchange must occur by and them stick to it. A no show equals a cancelled sale. I think you should just put the essence of what you posted here in your sale post and point your slackers to the small print when they let you down.
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John Teserovitch
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tcollett wrote:
I have ran quite a few auctions and it just seems to be getting harder and harder to do local pickup just because of the restrictive nature that people put on the situation is all.

Like someone else said, people put such odd time frames that they are almost impossible to meet. I realize they have lives but I do too.

I also meet people in a public area like in a major parking lot or somewhere that is pretty open. I will give my number and the vehicle I am driving and then no response from them. I get no vehicle type or phone number or anything. So what is something happens that I can't make it for some reason? How would I get a hold of them? And then I am left sitting in the parking lot having no idea what they are driving or if they are even showing up.

I think going forward it will be very direct times of when and where I will be available during the week following the auction for local pickup. If you can't pick up then, then don't bid or pay shipping costs.



A phone number and car description are common courtesy for in person pick ups. If they do not give you one, then no deal. I agree that your last paragraph is the way to go. Now just move closer to me so I can do local pickup on your auctions.
 
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Mary T.
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Unless I know the person, I like to meet in a public place (library, game store, mall, etc.) and have not had much trouble getting people to agree to a time and place I choose.

What I really can't stand are people that expect me to make change. I'm not a store. I don't generally have much cash. Pay with exact change, for God's sake! (I haven't had a lot of this, but there are a few notable exceptions.)
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Jonathan Schindler
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I list specific towns where I'm willing to meet, and I have a few places where I tell people I'll meet them (generally, well-lit parking lots close to major artery highways). I try to be accommodating since I think local pickup is mutually beneficial (I can charge higher prices; I don't have to pack something for shipping; the buyer pays less). I also like meeting BGGers in real life, and sometimes you can build rapport with repeat sales. But sometimes it is more hassle than it's worth, especially if the buyer doesn't view local pickup as a service.
 
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Nathanael Robinson
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I think that it would be helpful if sellers listed the places that s/he is willing to meet in order to make exchanges: any game store within 10 miles of the seller should be legitimate. And it is better to go through paypal than to wait for cash: it's simply more protection.
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Larry Rice
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I make sure to emphasize pick up or meeting up at a one of the game meetups I attend. I also emphasize exact change and that I won't have change available. There hasn't been a sticky situation as yet in my experience - most of the questions about meeting halfway are asked by potential bidders before they bid which takes care of that problem.
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