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rcreweread

Quality versus Price

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Hi Rich, unfortunately these days most people want perceived quality and low prices. All the usual retailers have had to go Chinese to remain competitive - it's the same old story, a race to the bottom, it's happened in my business too (consultancy)

I've found from selling on eBay that it's very hard to sell high ticket items at a good price, everyone wants a bargain and you have to wait a long time and gradually reduce the price until someone bites.

As others have suggested already you need to raise your profile via the usual online mediums so people don't forget and when they need a new diff etc they contact you first.

Good luck Daz

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You are doing a lot of unnecessary traveling, paying stall-fees and standing about.

You are maximising your competition.  Place is full of blokes like you.  Not much you can do to stand out.

Your customer base will be drawn from those looking for "bargains".

You are relying on somebody really wanting what you have on the one day you are there.

I trade rebuilt wiper-motors on eBay and have no trouble selling as many as I want to do.  I get almost no "agro" of any kind.  I do get some interesting customers from all over the world now.   High class restorers, museums, racers etc.   And guys with nice cars and money to spend.

There are a few key things to get right when you do this.  It's about the usual things, reputation,  credibility, branding etc.

It's my impression that traders go to places like that and to pick up cheap stock and then trade it on eBay for a profit.

PM to me and I'll tell you some secrets.

 

Edited by AlanT

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20 minutes ago, AlanT said:

I get almost no "agro" of any kind. 

Agro ? Paysans ?

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Hi Rich,

I'm sorry Stratford didn't work out as you had hoped. Though punters cry out for more traders and more quality parts at shows like the IWE, I believe in the internet age far more of us are buying online, and less go to shows to gather restoration parts than used to be the case. Just my opinion of course but as evidence, I suggest that this is one reason the annual Stoneleigh Triumph show ceased to be viable on its own and needed to combine with the MG fraternity. 

However, I feel strongly your approach to quality is and will continue to be appreciated by discerning Triumph owners. Perhaps the key to success is in finding the right channel(s) to reach your target customers. Sounds like Alan can offer some valuable insight.

And I will come back to you for that gearbox and overdrive as soon as I can.

Best wishes,

Nigel

Edited by Nigel Triumph
Typo

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As you will recall Rich we have had a couple of chats & dealings & I am surprised that Stratford was a disappointment. Quite frankly I thought the event could have been better & I found it all a bit disjointed  & I have to confess I missed your stall & would have liked to have introduced myself in person. I never did find TR Enterprises who were listed in the programme! Were you listed? You are on my list of suppliers & when required again I shall be in touch but in the meantime keep going! You know how I feel about some of the junk we sometimes find ourself with but of course some people are happy to pay cheap & accept it. Good luck.

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Rich, one of the things I've learned about high-dollar items at shows from my extensive experience (with a much smaller item) is that the big shows really don't pay for many of the dealers based on walk-up sales.   

They treat the time in the stand as a way to meet new contacts and strike up what they hope will be a relationship.

And they try to pre-sell as MUCH as they can, so the things they bother to haul to a show are already spoken for.  Means less has to come home, too.

So my advice would be to gin up as much interest / commitment / pre-sales as you can, and then enjoy shooting the breeze (with a purpose) during the rest of your show.

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Good Morning Rich,  what great feedback you have had . Keep up the good work and the Quality and it will happen.

"Build it and they will come " 

Having had my Autojumble Stall next you  I do understand your Logistical Problems , just tone it down a couple of notches , get a van and a decent Gazebo, when funds allow,  and life will be so much easier.

Both at Stratford and Stoneleigh,  you were continually busy, maybe not selling as much as you hoped, but making new friends and contacts. Slowly , slowly catchee Monkey, so they say  !!

Certainly don't give in , it's going to happen, just give it time.

Great comments, great Forum, 

Conrad.

 

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Guys 

Thanks for all your encouragement and helpful comments and I'm sorry there has been some delay in coming back to this post. I will get round to responding to all those who have offered help ( it may be a little while as on a few days hols with the family and the dog and doing much TR stuff is definitely a no-no!!)

I do want to stress again that this wasn't supposed to be a moan about how well or not I did, but rather an observation on the reality of demand for quality parts which I thought would be better - price is obviously a major factor in this - I work to fairly small margins to start with, and with OE parts being sold on an outright basis which has to be the norm at shows, I have to be conscious of how I replace that stock and how much it costs to start with. 

New parts such as the fuel tanks, rads and dashboards do not face the same problem and that is a much simpler margin decision which I think I'm getting about right.

I probably ought to do more on ebay but I resent the costs involved - I did list an OD gearbox not long ago and there were lots of views and watchers, but I hadn't realised how much the total fees would be if I sold it ( the Buy it Now Price was was £2000), so I withdrew it. I do need to more fully understand ebay selling fees and see if I can take advantage of all the offers they make but its always time which gets in the way ! (pathetic excuse I know)

Anyway, got to go now - beach dog walk is calling.

Cheers

Rich

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For expensive sales on ebay it's worth waiting for one of their offers:

 

FOR 2 DAYS ONLY

SAVE WHEN YOU SELL

With Final Value Fees at no more than £1 for a limited time only,
it’s a great time to get selling on eBay.

ACCEPT OFFER AND SIGN IN

*Valid from 10 February 2019 until 11 February 2019. Maximum fee per sold listing.
Applies on up to 1­00 listings. No insertion fees apply. Private sellers only. Item must sell within the first listing period. Terms & Conditions apply.

 

Bob.

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Quite right, I won’t try and sell anything of real value unless it is under the max £1 selling fee offer.

...... Andy 

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32 minutes ago, AndyR100 said:

Quite right, I won’t try and sell anything of real value unless it is under the max £1 selling fee offer.

...... Andy 

So when one of these offers comes along, there are still other fees to pay as well from I understand and it's this lack of transparency which creates a lack of trust from my perspective, hence I don't list at all!

I should try and learn a bit more about the whole process and whether you can draft possible ads and store them awaiting an offer - my cynicism means I suspect if you can do this, ebay can see it so may not offer any promotions - alternatively I suppose you could argue they might offer the promotion to encourage the listing

An ebay virgin aka 

cheers

Rich

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I write the ads on my personal device, then just cut/paste to eBay when an offer appears - takes a few mins including uploading the photos.

...... Andy 

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Rich,

Sorry to hear that you didn't have a particularly successful weekend. I am pleased with the TR4 interior door handle that I bought from you (pre ordered), good quality and reasonable price. I hope that the TR4A diff back plate that you purchased from me is OK. good luck in the future.

Dave McD

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Dave - rear cover has already been combined with a rear mounting ready to be blasted and powder coated before fitting to a 4A diff, so thanks for that - glad you are pleased with the OE door pull

cheers

Rich

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Hi Rich, give me a call re Ebay, when you have Holidayed.....

I can shed some light on it..

Cheers Conrad. 

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The biggest problem is that there seems to be a dissociation between quality and price.

Much of the time high price equates to the same cheap sh1t sold at a high price rather than quality.

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The point about eBay is that you pay NOTHING until it sells.  This means you can list stuff that you think will take ages to sell or put a silly price and see what happens.  It's quite surprising sometimes, what sells quickly.

So just add 10% to what you really want and in effect, the buyer will pay the charges.

Once you have enough feedback to qualify for the global shipping program buyers come much more quickly.  Bigger market has opened up.

If I list a common type of wiper-motor that fits Morris Minors, there will be 200 views in a week or so.  It will usually go in under 2 months.  And there are several others selling these to compete with.

 

 

 

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On 8/25/2019 at 2:47 PM, rcreweread said:

Many people have commented on this forum about the poor quality of many repro parts and indicated they would be happy to pay more for better quality.

I also subscribe to that point of view, hence when sourcing parts for my various restorations, I have endeavoured to use recommended suppliers - apart from quality new parts, this often involves reconditioning existing parts ( so never throw them away), and I have tended to get more than I need done, so I can make my surplus available to other members/enthusiasts.

To facilitate this, I decided to have a stall in the members autojumble at Stratford. To say I was somewhat disappointed would be a fair assessment of how I got on - maybe I'm a **** salesman, maybe I was in the wrong place, maybe my prices were not cheap enough ( quality??? - but cheaper than main stream suppliers) yet I sold no OE calipers & brake & clutch master cylinders, all rebuilt by Past Parts ( and at prices cheaper than they would charge you), no lever arms for both early and later models, as rebuilt by Stevsons, and properly painted by me, no EP Services water pumps, only 1 Dave Davies fuel pump, no fully refurbed trailing arms, no full rear brake kits, no dashboards or cappings, no OE rechromed bits etc etc - I won't bore you with all the other top quality parts I had.

Of the bigger stuff, I had a selection of IRS diffs, all fully reconditioned by a well known expert ( none sold) , and one OD gearbox sold out of a selection of 7 representing the full spectrum of TR units ( all rebuilt by the same expert).

At the time, the saving grace was that I must have handed out at least 50 business cards to people who seemed genuinely interested and asked for them, yet so far I haven't received a single response from that source.

My one success was the TR alloy fuel tanks - in addition the long range TR4-6 tank created lots of interest, but no orders and the alloy Mk 1/2 GT6 fuel tank I brought along specifically for our TSSC friends didn't attract a buyer - I had 3 people wanting a Mk 3 one!

This was the first International I have attended , not that I got to see much of it apart from the bar in the evening! I was having to attend to my stall most of the "opening" times so I can't really comment on the venue itself apart from the fact I thought it was OK and have been to many, much, much worse events.

The point of this post is not about Stratford as a venue, but rather my experiences - I genuinely expected a better response than I got - will I have a stall again, who knows, but at the moment probably not .

Many thanks to those who helped me, got me drinks, held the fort whilst I went for a pee, helped erect my gazebo when it as blowing away, and helped clear away at the end - I am very grateful.

It was also good to meet people like Stuart and Roger in the flesh and lots of others whose names I can't possibly remember!

I think I had better concentrate in future on my restorations, and forget about the surplus parts and helping others! At least my wife will be happy!!

Cheers from a confused Rich

 

One thing that springs to mind is is that people may not recognise you as a trader?

Until they get to know you and you have built a reputation many may well take the view that if they are going to pay top prices they will only do so from someone or a company they know and recognise. If it is a big ticket item they wish to be sure that if there is a problem they can pick up the phone and you will sort it.

Otherwise they may assume you are just someone flogging bits that may well have been rebuilt properly (or not) and that the purchase is a gamble.

That reputation takes time to build. Business cards can be bought cheaply and a mobile phone number isn't enough of a reassurance for many. That's built by time, word of mouth and the opinions of others who have dealt with you.

Until you get to that point many will assume you are a jumbler who has acquired a pile of bits that may well be sourced from eBay and expect to pay prices that reflect that.

That's not meant as an insult just a few thoughts on why it didn't go well this time - perseverance will enable you to develop a customer base and reputation and that isn't an overnight thing.

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Andy

Thanks for the response and I appreciate what you are saying  - my original posting was not so much about how well or otherwise I did at Stratford but rather highlighting the fact that people often say they are fed up with poor quality parts and will pay more for decent parts, but my experience didn't suggest this.

I only sell stuff I would use in my own restorations, hence it has to be good because I set myself very high standards - I would have thought that would be fairly self evident from the parts themselves on display, followed up by explanations what had been done to them and if refurbished by a third party company, who that was and why they were used.

I have followed the forum for many years now, and every time someone posts a supported recommendation for a top quality supplier, I make a note of it and follow it up, and then use them.

I accept many people will not know me from Adam and that reputation takes a long time to establish and people need to trust you - my big ticket items like the diffs and gearboxes are all rebuilt by Pete Cox and come with a 6000 mile/12 month guarantee and that was made very clear to anyone interested, so I don't know what else I can usefully do.

I am not a trader and I don't want to be - I've got a number of TR restorations to do in my retirement, and that means I need quite a few parts. If along the way, I can source quality parts at great prices, then I am happy to try and help other enthusiasts by making them available and thats it.

Hopefully those that have bought stuff off me have been satisfied as I don't recall any complaints as such and when there has been a problem, and they do occur occasionally, I have been fastidious in how I deal with them to mitigate any consequences.

If this post has come across as if I'm whingeing about being hard done by,  it's been misconstrued as I'm genuinely not, but I do also genuinely appreciate every ones constructive comments - honestly

Cheers  Rich

Ps I'm not a politician!

Edited by rcreweread
spelling mistake

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