Though the Ebay fees, Papal fees, and increased shipping costs means I'm not getting as much of the purchase price as I'd like, I'm still getting MORE than I was trying to get for it locally. Everyone still wins. Time to go shopping for REALZ.
EDITED TO ADD:
I've shipped two saddles now and there are things that I didn't really consider before doing so. Here is how YOU can avoid what I've just done.... I still did very well on the sale, but comparing the Auction sale price to what I actually MADE is usually a shocking reality.
Ebay FEES: Ebay's fees are constantly going up. Check Ebay's "Final Value Fees" so you are prepared for what they'll charge you. It's a percentage, but there's a cap so currently anything that sells for over $500 will be $50.
Paypal FEES: Paypal is owned by Ebay now so it's highway robbery because they are really charging you twice. There really is no other option for a safe way to send/receive funds, so you suck it up. It's also on a percentage. AND instead of Ebay taking the listing fee and final value fee out of the purchase price itself, Paypal charges you a percentage based on the final value, THEN you have to pay Ebay fees. They certainly have developed a money maker.
Shipping FEES: A little research can tell you how much it will cost to ship. I thought $75 was reasonable and I assumed I'd have to pay a little more if it had to ship far.
- Measure the saddle - I ship horn down, just like you set the saddle if there is not a rack available. The smaller the box the cheaper it ships and the less the saddle jostles around the better.
- If you do not already possess a sturdy box of that size, call the shipper or another box supplier to see what they have. I decided on a 30x20x24 $14 box.
- Weigh the saddle - they say add 2-5 lbs for box/packing.
- Call the shippers and get a quote. You'll need the zip it's going to (pick whatever is furthest away from you), the weight, and the box dimensions.
- Protect the saddle: I removed the stirrups (not the fenders), wrapped the stirrups, mock billets, horn, and the tack in bubble wrap and tape. Encase the saddle in plastic just incase the box gets wet. Put a layer of bubble wrap in the bottom. Pack bubble wrap/air pillows/whatever you've got around the saddle so it stays in place as much as possible. It's the rocking and rubbing that causes damage.
- The final box weighed in at 48lbs. I estimated the saddle itself was about 40lbs using the scientific method of weighing myself then weighing myself holding the saddle and finding the difference. (I swore that thing was 50lbs, but apparently I'm jus a wuss and the 8 lbs difference between that and my training saddle matters a lot.)
All told, the difference between the final value fee and my actual "earnings" was 205.72. This is still nearly $300 more in "earnings" than I was trying to sell it for locally, so everybody wins, I just wish I had charged $100 for shipping, but sometimes numbers like that scare bidders away, so you never know.
I am still pleased and now I can move on to a new saddle!