I'm new to the Old Gas community. I have several old and heavy porcelain signs to sell and I'm finding it difficult to establish a price for them and how to handle shipping. I checked with UPS and they're telling me that I must ship "freight" and the packaging costs for them to put it in a crate that is acceptable for shipping would be $175. Two of the signs weigh 30 pounds each and are in excess of 48 inches top to bottom. They tell me shipping from my home in Arizona to Illinois would be about $470 not including insurance. Thus, shipping is not going to be cheap. If I sell on Old Gas it looks like there are no fees assessed or am I missing something? I think EBay charges 10%. And do I just negotiate shipping with an Old Gas buyer. Thanks for any help.
Hi Donald, welcome to Old Gas.
Hopefully I can help you out a bit with some of my experience. Selling on ebay is typically 10% and most of the time you are paid through PayPal which cost 2.9% (so, 3%)...for easy math, let’s just consider this 13%. The other issue with EBay is you really need to just post a cost for shipping. People don’t typically like “to be determined shipping”. I feel like a lot of bigger signs on EBay are just a round number for shipping, such as $100 or $35. It could cost the seller much more than that number but it lets the buyer know what they will have into the item regardless. The huge benefit of EBay is that it is worldwide with a ton of users.
Old Gas charges nothing for the seller and you can also tell the buyer that you do not PayPal fees taken out. Getting paid by money order or check is easy as well. Also, shipping is really the buyer’s problem on Old Gas. Many members here Have purchased a lot of gas pumps or big signs from across the country and are savvy at who to contact for freight. You may need to package or crate the sign for them, possibly at their cost.
From my experience, Old Gas members like the good, rare stuff and condition is everything. If you have a common sign, in not-so-great condition, it will probably bring much more on ebay than on Old Gas.
As far as how much the items you have are worth...EBay has a “sold” section under their advanced search. Also, just doing a Google search describing your item may help as well as well as using the Old Gas search box. You could also offer your item up in the “offer” section of the forum.
Hey J: Thanks for the good advice. Very nice of you to help me. Getting the sign packaged is not a problem. UPS is nearby and they are probably a tad expensive but it will be done right. I am new and haven't posted enough to get an OK to sell so will just nose around a little more and see if I can find prices. The Flying A signs don't seem to be common as I can't find any for sale that are just like mine. Found one almost exactly like mine that sold in 2017 that was in about the same condition but said "Flying A Heating Oil" instead of "Flying A Service". He was asking $3,200. Didn't say what it sold for.
Saw that the Midwest is having a lot of storms. Hope you're far enough away that you don't get tornadoes or lots of rain. We're supposed to get cooler than normal temps here in Arizona and I heard snow in the Cascades of Oregon and snow in the Sierra Navada mountains in California. Wierd weather. Have a good one.
Hi Donald. I am in Tucson and have used FedEx Ground for shipping signs and large items. Usually cheaper than UPS or USPS. Ed.
I shipped a sign last week to Pa.--UPS --$43.00--USPS wanted $63.00
I personally have had too many issues with Craig's List and E Bay. As a result , I simply do not use either for any reason . I'm sure that limits me from several vendors . Stil, my sanity is more important and I prefer to actually see before buying . .
I'm sure location has a lot to do with it,as I am just outside of Chicago and have great success with Craigslist here.
It's one on my favorite places to buy/sell on,as eBay is ridiculous.
I agree Craigslist is great. It’s free and it’s the new classifieds. Of course you deal with some “no shows”, people wanting stuff for free, scam texts and what not....but overall it is hard to beat.
I just found a company by the name of C. H. Robinson that has an internet site ......freightquote.com and you just fill in all the size and weight details and they give you a quote from about 8 or 10 trucking firms, including FedEx and UPS. It's only when you get into the larger sizes of signs (like 4 to 5 feet in diameter and 30+ pounds) that you evidently have to go "freight" which is more expensive.
I'm a little leery of Craigslist and EBay. I've heard horror stories about both of them. Let's face it, there is potential for problems with just about every selling service.........except Old Gas!
I received a 60" Oldsmobile Service Sign by FedEx Ground, wasn't too expensive, but that was a number of years ago. A 48' sign should run $100 to $125 depending on distance. I have had and heard good about Forward Aire for large items, neon signs crated, don't know about 6 foot Porcelain signs unless they are crated and that will be expensive whoever you use. I use E-bay for small items that gains you a worldwide audience, Craigslist for large items that would be expensive to ship so you are prone to a local audience for usually being picked up. I know using Old Gas will target your item to the best market of buyers, but not having a degree in electronics from MIT, I find posting pictures on e-bay and Craigslist extremely simple, thus willing to sacrifice a few dollars in exchange for lack of computer skills. And it seems I am often reading on here Posts about deadbeat buyers, no pays, slow pays, dreamers and PenPals. At least e-bay forces prompt payments with PayPal and Polices its users. This site is a close knit group of sincere, dedicated collectors that will be absolutely merciless to you if you are not on the up and up. Kudos to the Faithful. Ed.
Ed........I like your take on the folks that use this website. "This site is a close knit group of sincere, dedicated collectors that will be absolutely merciless to you if you are not on the up and up. Kudos to the Faithful. Ed."
I’ve also used greyhound to ship very large and heavy items. It’s $99 flat rate.(Haven’t done so in about a year so it may have went up) It doesn’t go directly to the buyer as they have to pick it up at the nearest greyhound depot near them. I have asked sellers to do that for me when buying items as well when shipping is too much.
Craigslist and Ebay are well established markets but there are a few more options to consider as well.
1) Facebook marketplace. This is 100% free and with the added benefit of scammers being much less of an issue.
2) LetGo & OfferUp. I lump these two together because they are essentially the same competing free marketplace apps. Typically mobile phone platforms, you get a lot of, "passing through your area" pickers who will run these apps in the physical area where they are picking. Again, the scammer issue is minimal in these two apps.
Shipping is a separate issue but there are several companies who specialize in large item logistics. I've found that the well known carriers such as UPS and FedEx are not economical choices.
I like both marketplaces, but my one major criticism of this site(Oldgas) is the number of people who agree to purchase an item and then change their minds and will not contact you. I have had this happen to me several times and I keep a list of these individuals and will not deal with them again. Thankfully there are only a handful on this site that are notorious for this behavior. Other than that, this site is the way to go.