Author Topic: Selling photo gear on Amazon/Ebay - insurance for lower-cost stuff?  (Read 3362 times)

jeromedawg

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Hey guys,

For the photographers and hobbyists out there who have sold a great deal of gear online and dealt with shipping, do you typically insure all of your shipments? Even if they are lower cost (say under $150, or whatever you deem to be "lower cost" I suppose)? I have a few items that are no more than this amount and I often wonder if it's worth it to insure especially via Amazon's UPIC insurance. I always hear horror stories about UPIC as well as USPS' handling of insurance when it comes time for a claim to happen.

I guess it just comes down to what risk you want to accept and if you're OK with losing out on up to $150 or whatever you deem "low cost" at that point... but just wanted to get an idea of what others do especially for this kind of stuff. I'm pretty sure I've sold many other things in this ballpark cost range but never thought of insuring it.


forummm

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How much does the insurance cost? You could just have the buyer pay for it.

jeromedawg

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How much does the insurance cost? You could just have the buyer pay for it.

It's not much through Amazon for what I just sold (90 cents for $134.99 worth) but I was just wondering in general if it's always worth it. Unfortunately, you can't force buyers to pay for insurance on Amazon and also on Ebay I think... I think you just have to factor that into the general cost of the item and or what you charge for shipping at least on Ebay. On Amazon though, they pre-determine the shipping so you really only worry about setting the cost.

forummm

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90 cents sounds pretty cheap. If it's more than you're willing to lose, and PayPal and Ebay's policies won't reimburse you for buyer fraud or damage during shipping, then it seems like an amount you won't miss.

BrickByBrick

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...And if you're going through Ebay - don't rely one little bit on USPS's insurance.  The claims process is ridiculously one-sided in USPS's favor.  Ideally, since the buyer (receiver of package) has the damaged/destroyed package or postal slip, they are responsible for initiating the claims process.  But since you're an Ebay seller, the buyer is just going to contact you or outright open a case against you without describing the issue adequately.  USPS won't work with you without the buyer/receiver initiating the case, and Ebay is so heavily biased in favor of the buyer that they will basically tell you to shut up and refund the money and move on (Ebay customer service is completely outsourced and off-shored - they are incapable of following anything that is off-script).

That said I still use Ebay heavily as a seller - I just factor in loss of shipment into the cost of doing business.

Syonyk

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Yeah... I sell a lot on eBay and generally describe the process as "eBay sucks off the buyer at the seller's expense."

I've had clearly marked, explicitly labeled "UNTESTED/AS-IS" returns get rammed through by eBay because the buyer complained (after getting one hell of a bargain on the item, because most people won't bid on that).

I pretty much just self-insure.

BrickByBrick

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Yeah... I sell a lot on eBay and generally describe the process as "eBay sucks off the buyer at the seller's expense."

I've had clearly marked, explicitly labeled "UNTESTED/AS-IS" returns get rammed through by eBay because the buyer complained (after getting one hell of a bargain on the item, because most people won't bid on that).

I pretty much just self-insure.

My favorite was selling some vintage advertising with a known defect, where I explicitly stated in the title and listing multiple times about the defect, and uploaded photos of said defect.  Well after receiving the package the buyer gives me "neutral" feedback simply stating, "Product had defect."  I don't know if he was just trying to troll me or whether he was a genuine idiot.  Getting neutral feedback saying that was somehow more infuriating to me than if it had been negative (probably because you can't really fight to remove neutral feedback or comment on it).

Ricky

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Well I've sent items valued at over $2k and never insured. Not to say you shouldn't. I just pack extremely well.

seattlecyclone

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I've sold a bunch of stuff on Amazon. I never buy shipping insurance because it's unlikely for things to get lost in the mail and the claims process sounds like too much of a hassle for that low of an amount. You might get unlucky and be out the $150 if something happens, but in the vast majority of cases you'll end up saving 90 cents on insurance that you didn't need. Do be sure that your item has a tracking number. It's much more likely that the buyer would try to defraud you by saying that the package was lost in the mail than for it to actually be lost in the mail. A tracking number helps keep them honest because they know you have a record of shipment and receipt.

jeromedawg

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Yeah... I sell a lot on eBay and generally describe the process as "eBay sucks off the buyer at the seller's expense."

I've had clearly marked, explicitly labeled "UNTESTED/AS-IS" returns get rammed through by eBay because the buyer complained (after getting one hell of a bargain on the item, because most people won't bid on that).

I pretty much just self-insure.

My favorite was selling some vintage advertising with a known defect, where I explicitly stated in the title and listing multiple times about the defect, and uploaded photos of said defect.  Well after receiving the package the buyer gives me "neutral" feedback simply stating, "Product had defect."  I don't know if he was just trying to troll me or whether he was a genuine idiot.  Getting neutral feedback saying that was somehow more infuriating to me than if it had been negative (probably because you can't really fight to remove neutral feedback or comment on it).

This is pretty irritating. I learned the hard way about this on Amazon when I first started, listing some stuff that had defects or wasn't working, but mentioning it in the description. Of course, the buyer gets the item and complains that it's broken. And then I of course learned that you can't list broken/defective stuff on Amazon after-the-fact, but it goes to show that people either don't read product descriptions or somehow filter out the "bad stuff"

jeromedawg

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Re: Selling photo gear on Amazon/Ebay - insurance for lower-cost stuff?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2015, 05:27:14 PM »
I've sold a bunch of stuff on Amazon. I never buy shipping insurance because it's unlikely for things to get lost in the mail and the claims process sounds like too much of a hassle for that low of an amount. You might get unlucky and be out the $150 if something happens, but in the vast majority of cases you'll end up saving 90 cents on insurance that you didn't need. Do be sure that your item has a tracking number. It's much more likely that the buyer would try to defraud you by saying that the package was lost in the mail than for it to actually be lost in the mail. A tracking number helps keep them honest because they know you have a record of shipment and receipt.

I don't know why but I've definitely sold other stuff around the same price and haven't worried about insuring it. I think there's something about selling "photo" equipment that screams "insure me!" at least to me... dunno why haha. In any case, yea I always make sure to at least have the tracking number. But even for this photo gear I've also been requiring signatures too... not sure if that's overboard (it probably is) or why I'm so paranoid.