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Selling your stuff in an online auction
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You immediately e-mail Dbanner:

Congratulations! You are the winning bidder of a vintage Incredible Hulk metal lunchbox with a matching thermos. Please pay within 10 days using Paypal. Please e-mail your name and shipping address to me. Including insurance, the shipping cost is $5.60. Added to the final auction cost of $41.99, the total payment should be $47.59.

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If you do not want to pay for insurance, the shipping cost is $4.30, which would make the total $46.29. However, as I stated in the item description, I am not responsible for loss or damage if you do not pay for insurance.
Sincerely,
HulkFan

You print a copy of this e-mail for your records.

The next Tuesday morning the payment, which includes insurance, is posted to your account. In your inbox is an e-mail from Dbanner including his name and mailing address. You print a copy of the e-mail for your records.

During lunch, you take the lunchbox and thermos, which you have carefully packed in Bubble Wrap and sealed in a USPS priority box, to the post office. You pay for postage, delivery confirmation and insurance and save the receipts and tracking numbers.

Back at the office, you e-mail Dbanner:

Dear Dbanner,
I have just mailed the Incredible Hulk lunchbox and thermos (item No. 19781982) to your P.O. Box in Bethel, Ala. The post office said you would receive it within three days, weather permitting. I have pasted the tracking number below. Please let me know when you receive it and if you are happy with it.
Sincerely,
Hulkfan

On Monday you receive an e-mail from Dbanner:

Got it! Love it! I posted positive feedback for you.

Using the feedback form e-mailed to you by eBay, you see that Dbanner left feedback saying:

Great seller! Item was exactly as described and well-packed. Communication was great!

You leave feedback for Dbanner:

Great bidder! Paid promptly and was very polite.

Off to the movies
You sit down with a calculator to figure out your final profit after fees and postage. Shipping was $4.30 (which includes delivery confirmation for 45 cents), plus insurance ($1.30); PayPal transaction fee of 30 cents plus 2.9 percent ($1.21); plus 50 cents listing fee; plus final value fees of $1.31 plus 2.75 percent of $41.99 minus $25 (47 cents) totaling $1.78. The reserve price was met, so the reserve fee was refunded. Total cost adds up to $8.18. Your total profit was $39.41.

You have enough money to take your girlfriend to the movie ($13), buy popcorn to share ($3.50) and Cokes for both of you ($7) and still have change to get a bone for your dog ($5) on the way home. With the remaining $10.91 you can buy a few beers for Chris and beg his forgiveness for the lunchbox incident.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Updated: Feb. 24, 2006
 
 
More stories by Amy Fleitas
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