[IC] Mulri-Vendor Marketplace

Electronics Plus sales at elecplus.com
Sun May 15 21:24:03 CDT 2016

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Ali
Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2016 8:01 PM
To: 'General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts'
Subject: RE: [IC] Mulri-Vendor Marketplace

> without the huge fees of eBay. Each seller would set their own 
> shipping rates and countries they will ship to. Payments would go to 
> the seller. The startup cost for this is about $1600, which I can pay, 
> but in return for setting everything up and arranging the hosting, 
> etc,. I would ask a small percentage (maybe 5%) to help defray the 
> costs.

Without wanting to sound negative on this I am not sure what is in it for
the buyers? Most sellers tend to oversell their vintage equipment (we have
all seen phrases like "worked 30 years ago selling as is", "like new but
untested", etc. etc.). Vintage packing also requires expertise and hefty
costs something sellers usually don't want to undertake (I've lost count of
how many broken monitors I have received). Yes they could pass the cost on
to the buyer but when you are already asking $300 for a run of the mill IBM
5150 you are going to be hard pressed to find someone who is also willing to
fork over another $100 to ship it.

Those "hassles" you refer to help buyers feel safe in bidding and buying on
eBay and probably are essential in some of the high crazy final auction
prices you see. Unless you plan to offset those protections somehow (e.g.
all items must start at $0.99 auction and bidding increments are locked at
$0.25, etc, etc) I don't see buyers rushing to pay large sums of cold hard
cash to strangers half a world away without guarantees that are backed by
the auction site. 

Even for the sellers I am not seeing the big draw eBay charges a 10% fee and
you want to charge %5. If they are accepting PP for payments well then the
buyers have a six month return period and many of the same protections, I
mean hassles, as eBay. 

If people really just want to sell (and not think they have hit the jack pot
because they have some tattered boxed non-working monochrome monitor) then
the marketplace on the VCF is great. No fees and no headaches for the
sellers and for the buyers reasonable to low prices (yeah no one is paying a
$1000 for a KB on the marketplace) which is why most sellers don't like it.

I would love to see a specialized vintage bazaar where you can find what you
want at a reasonable price from trusted sources but the reality is that will
never happen in e-commerce. For better and worse eBay has spoiled us and
created certain expectation. The only way we could ever have a decent
vintage exchange would be to have a swap meet which is of course its own
logical nightmare (not to mention the massive over head costs).

Just my two worthless cents...


My experience is that eBay charges actually amount to about 38% of the final
sell price. They actually charge a percentage of the shipping fees too, not
to mention fees for pictures, and anything else they can think of. It has
been years since I sold much on eBay, but the experience really soured me.

So far I am only asking people on a couple of trusted lists if they want to
join. Sure eBay has tons of buyers, but if we get participants from all over
the world to sell, then we will have lots of buyers too. Nothing is huge
immediately; it takes time to grow. Rules can always be set for returns, and
if a sellers is worth his salt, he knows how to pack. That being said, I
have been packing things for over 20 years, and UPS still manages to smash
or lose some things. That is just the way it goes.

My thought was that it would be a great thing to have a vintage computer
marketplace, one dedicated spot for items dedicated to old computers and
related items, without having to sort through tons of unrelated stuff. How
many times have you looked up 720K diskettes, and found recipes or something
instead? What is to guarantee that an eBay seller knows what he is doing?

Also, this is a fixed price system, not an auction. I looked at multi-seller
auctions, and most of them fell short in several areas, or else they were
about $10K or more to buy. That is beyond my means. The 5% is just to defray
costs. I am not looking at making money off other sellers. Any effort like
this is a lot of work. People mentioned that they would like to see a
centralized selling system, and I am willing to make the leap, if people
want to join me.


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