Ebay is the generally the most reliable appraiser. Too many "appraisers" are also sellers so their self interests skew the values up. Ebay is willing buyers actually doing the deal. I am not aware of any other site where you can look at completed deals on such a large scale. I think the pay appraisal sites are using ebay transactions
When I was a kid, my Pop, no doubt inspired by John Entwhistle, knowingly or not, grabbed up a stack of his old '33s', three shotguns (two 12s and a 4-10), me and my brother in tow, and we went out in the back field and trap shot the HELL out of those records.
I remember at the time thinking, 'why is he shooting up all his old records?'
Now I understand why he did it. If I owned a shotgun I would repeat history. Lol. Bet I could hit every single one of them, so long as properly tossed. I'd need a ten shell warm up first, its been many years since I fired such a weapon.
Former marksman though, so I'm pretty sure I could hit those wild turkey sized records no prob!
After getting lightly burned on some of my early sales here's what I learned regarding selling on eBay:
1)I always ended my auctions on a late Sunday afternoon. Usually around 3-4:00pm East coast/ 6:00-7:00pm west. Simply because people were most likely home.
2)After scrambling at the last second too many times I learned to have my shipping box/final weight all set to go before listing. Nothing like having a sale go through and f**king up the shipping cost because I underestimated weight. Or worse, didn't even have a box that'd work. Dumpster diving a la 2013.
3)I never used words like mint, perfect, etc. Just sets you up for failure.
4)USPS is awesome and cheap for the stuff under 2-3 pounds. You can(or at least used to) order free priority boxes of all shapes and sizes that'd deliver free to your house. USPS can be wretched regarding insurance claims, though. UPS and FedEx better with that. You can get a good digital postal scale for $20.00. It's worth it.
5)Research the holy heck out of your item before listing. Look at other eBay auctions. Are similar items moving? How much? If someone is getting a ton of traffic look at their auction and try to figure out why it got so much attention.
6)Try to NEVER use the stock photos that eBay may offer. 10 different auctions with the same photo scores pretty low on the wow factor. Plus people want to see the actual item they're bidding on.
These are things that just worked for me. Just ideas to knock around. I'm sure other who have sold a lot on eBay have other ideas that work.
They make mailers specifically for 12" records. Take two empty record covers and put on either side of the item you are mailing then put inside the mailer. Be sure to mark on the package "do not bend" and "fragile"
The common mistake that people make that are new to shipping LPs is to put the record in between two pieces of cardboard and then wrap tape around it. This is a sure fire way to damage the cover or break the vinyl because there is not space between the record and packaging.
James makes excellent points. I would add that I have gone to mostly Buy It Now format unless it is a really popular and somewhat rare item. Buyers hate waiting for an auction to close unless it is a really big ticket item.
I have shipped a lot of vinyl and laserdics between two sheets of thick cardboard. Ony fatality was one laserdisc got cracked, USPS is terrible in their handling. If it is high value you may want to use a box.
Thanks again. The shipping info is useful - appreciate it!
On the ending times, I researched a bit and people were of different camps. Most felt that people who bid will either enter their high bid and see what happens, or use a sniper program to bid at the last seconds.
I know that when I used to buy on EBay, I would look at Ending Soonest auctions, and then enter my high bid. If I was home and watching, I might get caught up in the last minute frenzy. I will try timing the next auctions for the ending as suggested to see if it helps.
It seems to me that I am putting way too much effort into the project I am working on. The items just aren't highly sought after. Doing the Fixed Price is probably the better way to go on most of them(but really, much still isn't worth the time involved, photos, research, writing the listing and such).