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Old 02-20-2009, 02:04 PM   #1
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A FS0T Checklist & Helpful Hints

* A FSOT Checklist & Helpful Hints *

~there's something here for everyone- newbie or not~

Hey DS Mamas! Here are the two main goals of this thread:

1) To help buyers know what they are getting.

I've been researching since fall 2008 and began actually using them when my son was born December 3rd, 2008. During my time here on DS, I have had many pleasing transactions- but not all. Some of the let-downs were totally my fault because I just didn't ask the right questions and made assumptions. Some of them were honest mistakes or oversights from sellers that they agreeably corrected. Some fell in the gray area of I didn't ask, but it should have been disclosed anyway (in my opinion).

The problem with being a newbie is that you often don't even know the right questions to ask and may have to learn the hard way when an item shows up with a defect that you weren't aware was even possible. For example, I had no idea that my Fuzzi Bunz could have runs in the fabric until I ended up with one. I had no idea that PUL could peel and crack until I saw it on a Blueberry I bought. I couldn't have predicted that the tabs on my Bum Genius would be beginning to separate.

2) To help sellers become more efficient and have happy buyers.

The most efficient way to save time, have quicker sales and to have happy customers is to have complete postings to begin with. I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets tired of pm'ing the same questions over and over to different mamas every time I have an interest in something. Wouldn't it be great if those "Top 10 questions" so-to-speak were just always answered in the original post to begin with? If they were, then sellers would probably get a lot more initial PM's just asking for PP addresses!

In actuality, a detailed and well-organized post is way more tempting to me. I just feel like a person who takes the time to create a neat and detailed post is probably a neater, more well organized person in real life. This makes it easier for me to buy their used items! Alternatively, sloppy posts, leaving out details, and sloppy pictures portray to me that their dipes may have been treated in the same fashion. This may or may not be true, but when shopping from individuals on the internet these are our only clues as to whom we are buying from so we have to (whether consciously or subconsciously) consider them.

OK mamas, so here are my lists! Obviously, sellers can't realistically put each and every one of these details in every post created- there's just noooo way! However, sellers should always check to see if any of these issues do apply to any of their items before listing. And buyers- you can use this list to help ask the questions that are important to you! It will also be helpful in evaluating your items once received.

I hope all of you, but especially the newbies, will find this very beneficial!

Applicable to All Categories
pictures of Insides, Outsides & Close-Ups of flaws (avoid links to albums)
shipping cost (& handling time if yours is unique)
preferred methods of payment and terms
are trades an option or not?
namebrand or wahm name if known
stains (from what and to what degree)
smells (either stinkies or fragrances)
loose stitches/threads
what type of material is it (ie MF, bamboo, hemp)
holes, snags
has anything been repaired/replaced (elastic, snaps, velcro, seams, etc....)
if the item is dyed, is it set?
is there pet hair (or the possibility there could be?)
size and if it's true (any shrinkage or stretching)
*justify your abbreviations for condition (EUC, VGUC, etc) with details!

All Things Wool
measurements AND approximate age/size of child
type of wool
stretchiness (or lack thereof)

condition of elastic (tight, relaxed or shot)
condition of PUL (cracked, bubbling or peeling)
condition of snaps (loose, missing or just not staying snapped anymore)
condition of velcro (weak, fuzzy, tabs splitting or curling)

All in Ones / All in Twos
condition of elastic (tight, relaxed or shot)
condition of snaps (loose, missing, or just not staying snapped anymore)
condition of velcro (weak, fuzzy, tabs splitting or curling)
condition of lining (soft, piling, thinning, etc.)

condition of elastic (tight, relaxed or shot)
condition of snaps (loose, missing, or just not staying snapped anymore)
condition of velcro (weak, fuzzy, tabs splitting or curling)
fading, piling of exterior
condition of lining (soft, piling, thinning, etc.)

Prefolds & Flats
snappi/pin holes
measurements/size (not just stitching color)

condition of elastic (tight, relaxed or shot)
condition of PUL (cracked, bubbling or peeling)
condition of snaps (loose, missing, or not staying snapped as well anymore)
condition of velcro (weak, fuzzy, tabs splitting or curling)
condition of lining (soft, piling, thinning, etc.)
condition of inserts & are they the same brand as the dipe they are being sold with (don't assume "with insert" means the original insert!)

*A few more tips that I can't really shorten enough to put in my list:

1) Keywords/Searches: In order for buyers' searches to turn up your post, a keyword has to match, right? So, if you have used only brand name abbreviations (FB for example) and a person types in the proper brand name (Fuzzi Bunz), your listing will not show in their results. To increase your number of "hits" you should always use BOTH abbreviations and proper names either in your title, in the body or both. Make sense? Oh, and you can only search terms with more than 3 letters, so if you only use WCW for example, people won't find your post!

2)Editing SOLD posts: Aside from marking an item sold and moving it to the bottom of the post, sellers should leave descriptions and photos as-is until a buyer has had a chance to receive their purchase and leave feedback. That way, if accuracy is a questioned by either party it can still be verified. I've starting doing "screen captures" on items I'm buying for that reason. Having done that means that even if the seller deletes or edits, I can still refer to the post as it was when I agreed to buy! (See post #71 in this thread for instructions on Screen Shots)

3) Photography Hints: On most point-and-shoot digital cameras you have a macro setting (and its icon is usually a flower). Using this setting and turning off your flash will result in better close-ups of details/flaws. You'll have to hold your camera very still as it's easy to get blurring when doing this. Photos need to be sized appropriately; too small and they're useless -too large and they won't fit on the screen and require scrolling. Please see post # 43 in this thread for example of sizes. *When using Photobucket you must designate the size before downloading.

4) Title Hints: Titles should be as informative as space allows and not just a catch phrase. (For example: "Prefolds Cheap" is not nearly as effective as a title that includes brand, quantity and size too. You'd be surprised how you might attract someone who wasn't even looking for prefolds but since they saw their brand and their size in the title, they decided to click anyway! Ideally, a good title will include brands, sizes and even gender (particularly for wool). Another note on titles: Once an item has sold, edit your title as well. It is a turn off to read a title, click on the post and then find that the item you were interested in was already sold. FYI: Editing a title is accomplished by clicking "Edit" and then clicking "Go Advanced".

5) Hover Feature: Work that hover feature to your advantage! You all have surely seen that when your mouse scrolls over a title, you are given a preview of a post. Well, this feature should be worked to your advantage! Don't waste the first few lines on the nitty gritty stuff or image codes. Use those first few lines to get your critical info exposed! Sum up all of your items and prices at the beginning of your post, then follow up with the details and photos. The goal is to make it so that a person hovering your title will get a snapshot of everything in your thread thus enticing them to click! This REALLY is a smart way to get your product in front of more people's eyes!

6) Shipping Hints: Sellers- Protect yourself with Delivery Confirmation! If a buyer doesn't receive their purchase and files a Paypal claim, you WILL lose without proof of delivery. Just consider the cost of DC as part of your selling prices and keep it in mind when accepting offers. FYI: For priority mail, delivery confirmation is free online (via Paypal or For other types of postage purchased online, delivery confirmation is an extra $0.18. If you buy the postage at the actual post office, delivery confirmation will always cost $0.65-0.75.
*Remember- it's illegal to use PO mailers for uses other than their intended purposes (for example, turning a priority envelope inside out [even a used one] to ship 1st class)
Manila envelopes are not ideal for shipping. If you decide to ship in one, keep in mind the the admin team will not mediate any problems that arise from your decision to use them. (FYI, you CAN use bubbled lined manilla envelopes no problem.)

7) Paypal Tip for Buyers: Always be sure to include your DS username and items you are purchasing either in the subject box or the notes box! Sellers may have a hard time matching your payment to your items without it. FYI: When you go to Paypal- on the final page of sending payment - if you look toward the bottom there are 2 boxes (one is subject field and the other is notes I believe). You can type into either of these as much as information as you like. It is always wise to describe what you are paying for because this is basically your receipt!
*As of 6/3/2009, Paypal chargese 2.9% fees on all transactions- funded or not- so you may as well just consider that part of your asking price now.

8) Feedback and Member Profiles: Check feedback before buying! Note whether their feedback is from buying, selling or trading? A member may have 10 ratings at 100% but a closer look may reveal they were only buying- not selling. As a buyer you should use all the profile information provided to you (such as join date, number of posts and type of feedback) to help you enter into a safe & informed transaction. For example: If someone joined yesterday, hasn't posted in forums and puts up a $200 lot- it may be suspicious! If a member is new and has little to no feedback here, just ask if they have feedback anywhere else or if any other members can vouch for them. On the flip side, it's nice when a new seller has that information already provided in their listings or even in their signature.

9) Money Orders & E-Checks: Sellers should never, ever ship until cash is in hand or credit has appeared in your account. For example: Do not ship until a Money Order is both received AND cashed. (There are counterfeit Money Orders in existence! Also, it is possible for a buyer to cancel a legitimate M.O. after mailing to you thus rendering them useless) Second example: E-Checks show up in your Paypal account activity just like a payment even before it has cleared. It would be an easy mistake to overlook the fact that it is a "pending" payment (and therefore no $ has actually been credited to you yet). This could result in your shipping the item prematurely. Since it can take about a week for E-checks to clear- the buyer could potentially receive their package in time to cancel that payment.

10) Sellers & Money Earned: Sellers should never, ever spend money earned until buyer has both received their purchase and had time to leave feedback and/or address issues. You just never know what could go wrong and saying you don't have the money to refund someone is NOT ACCEPTABLE and will earn you a negative (and possible issues with your Paypal account.)

Thanks for reading, Mamas! Happy Swapping!

Please let me know if you have anything to add!


Last edited by Juan M; 05-15-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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