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>>>>> ( WHAT IS IT? ) <<<<<
QXL is an online auction site much like eBay. An electronic clearing house. Much like regular auction houses but these ones are on the Internet. The site has been running since 1997 and has gone International. Has sites for the following countries. Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland.
[ lol, stopped my mouse pointer over the Norway flag and it says "Noway". Maybe I should tell them about this. ]
A user can list an item on there for sale, then users can view the listing if they are interested. They can then bid, or buy the item instantly depending on what options the seller has set up on their listings.
***Whenever I say "listing", I mean an auction listing with an item for sale"***
>>>>> ( SITE LAYOUT & NAVIGATION ) <<<<<
The site looks good. By that, I mean I think that it looks professional and nice to look at. Items are listed in categories so they are organised and easier to find, but there's also a search box on the main page so you can simply use that to find what you're looking for. Looking for items is easy. Items are listed in different categories so they can be found more easily by users browsing the site. Listings can also come up via the search feature. All the categories can be found on the main page. Click on a category to see subcategories. Click on one of those to see the item listings. When browsing items by category, you can also choose to view only items with the following:
"with bid" - meaning anything that has bids so you can find popular items in the category.
"BuyNow!" - auctions that can be ended instantly at a fixed price so you do not have to wait the entire duration.
"Starting at £1" - That's self explanatory.
"New" - newly added (within 24 hours)
"Item Picture Gallery" - Display all items with a picture.
You can also search for items within a category. If a search is unsuccessful or comes up with too many results, you can choose to do an Advanced search to be more specific.
>>>>> ( CATEGORIES ) <<<<<
A variety of categories. To name a few....
- Automative - Antiques & Art - Books - Collectables & Toys - Football - Music & Movies - Property / Real Estate - Sports & Fitness - Travel - Telecommunication
and even an Over 18s category! errr....I WAS TRICKED INTO GOING IN THERE! *ahem* ...anyway a bunch of other categories...
>>>>> ( BUYING ) <<<<<
Find what you want (if you can find it) > Bid/BuyNow! > Contact Seller > Send Payment > Receive Item > Rate seller
Quite straight forward and an easy but it's mostly to do with who you're dealing with. Some sellers can make the transaction a pleasant transaction whereas others can make it hell. Most go well though.
There's also this automatic bidding system where you place your 'max bid', or the price you're willing to pay for the item (exc. p&p) and then the site places bids for you up to your max bid price. It'll go up by the bid increment and how much it increases depends on what other users bid.
>>>>> ( SELLING ) <<<<<
To sell, you must first register for seller status. You receive an activation code through the post, enter the code into a textbox in your account and Bob's your uncle, you're read to go. This is to verify your address. I think QXL's safer than eBay.
The listing procedure is simple and straight forward. Simply fill in the boxes that are marked compulsory, the optional ones you want, and select any other options you want. Just submit and you're done.
>>>>>( INFORMATION ON SITE )<<<<<
Good concise information that's easy to locate. Provides useful information on how to buy, sell as well as tips on how to shop safely, payment methods, etc.
>>>>> ( COST TO USE ) <<<<<
It's free for buyers to use. Buyers simply have to pay for what they bid on.
SUCCESS FEE (Only charged if item sells) ------------------------------------------ FROM - TO % FEE ------------------------------------------ £0.00 - £15.00_____5% £15.01 - £600.00___3% £600.01 +_________2% ------------------------------------------
Soon to be lowered to: 3.25%, 2% and 1.25%.
Special listing features (i.e. Bold, Highlight, Featured Listing) costs extra but are optional.
Additional images after the first one costs extra BUT you can use HTML to avoid the extra charge AND get more pictures in your listing.
They have a pre-pay system where you credit your account and then they take off what you owe from listings and sales from the credit in your account. Simple procedure.
All much less than eBay fees.
>>>>> ( PROS ) <<<<<
- Selling fees are lower than those of eBay. - You can shop at home - You can find bargains with less competition than other auction sites. - Seller address verification - Sell your thingsfrom home - Easy site navigation - Automatic bidding
>>>>> ( CONS ) <<<<<
- Not enough users. QXL isn't the only auction site around, nor is it the most popular. eBay is the biggest and the most famous so most people seem to use that one and so, QXL can be quite quiet. Since there are fewer users, sometimes you just can't find what you're looking for, as chances are, there are no sellers selling what you're looking for on QXL.
- IDIOTS. QXL is a venue, so items are listed by people. Not everyone follows the rules, there is the chance that you buy from, or sell to an untrustworthy person and you get cheated.
If it's an untrustworthy seller, there's the chance that you receive an item that is not as described or is damaged. Sometimes, you do not get your item at all, even after paying. See 'FEEDBACK RATING SYSTEM' section and 'TIPS' sections for safer online auction shopping tips.
Some people sell items listed in the wrong categories, which can be a bit annoying.
Time Wasters! If you sell, then there's the chance that someone wins one of your auctions and changes there mind about getting an item. Fair enough, so long as they at least let you know. There are some users who do not pay, do not bother to contact you and do not bother to respond to your emails.
>>>>> ( FEEDBACK RATING SYSTEM )<<<<<
QXL, like all other auction sites, has a feedback rating system. For every transaction, the buyer can rate the seller, and the seller can rate the buyer. This is optional though.
You can give/receive the following ratings:
POSITIVE For smooth transactions or those that had problems but were resolved. Or if the person you dealt with was so nice that you didn't have the heart to give them anything else.
NEUTRAL For transactions that were OK. A bit 'bumpy' but sorted out in the end. Somewhat satisfactory.
NEGATIVE BAD transactions. No contact or replies after numerous attempts. No payment, rude buyers, rude sellers. Paid but never received item. Item not as described, etc.
Rating percentages are indicated with stars under a username.
If the first rating received is a negative, then the user's QXL account is automatically suspended. Unlike eBay.
>>>>> ( COMPARISON ) <<<<<
You can't really put QXL next to eBay and expect it to stand a chance against the giant. QXL is also International but doesn't have a site for the U.S. It 'could' be just as good if there were more users. Unlikely to be just as good though considering how quickly eBay is growing.
Right now, I see it as a good way to get bargains since there are fewer users (competition), so long as you can find what you're looking for that is.
>>>>> ( RECOMMENDED? ) <<<<<
Yes. Despite the bad points mentioned, 90% of the time, transactions are as smooth as a baby's bottom (not that I know how smooth a baby's bottom is...). Using QXL is a good way to find bargains since you'll have fewer competitors bidding on the same item as you, like on other auction sites. Also, cheaper to sell than on some other auction sites.
I havne't used it much because there's more people on eBay to sell to. Also, I can find more things I want on eBay. XD <==Tilt your head to the left to see what this is. ^_^
>>>>>( TIPS )<<<<<
- Read the item description properly BEFORE bidding. You don't want to bid £100 on information on where to buy a phone for £20, thinking you're bidding on the phone itself. Know exactly what you're bidding on/buying. If the item is not new, check for details of the item condition.
- Read Terms of Sale BEFORE bidding. Know what the seller expects from you. How long do you have before contact is to be made, when payment should be received by, what payment methods are available. I'd recommend contacting the seller and sending payment ASAP if you win an item though.
- Check for other costs such as postage. If it's not mentioned, ask the seller before bidding just in case the seller plans on overcharging you for postage. Make sure you know how much postage costs and if it's excessive, don't bid, or incorporate that cost into your max bid price so the final price + postage is what you're happy to pay. You can't complain after the auction ends since it's stated, and by bidding you agreed to pay it.
- Check seller's feedback. If the seller has received lots of negs (negative ratings) with commenting on poor customer service or items being of poor quality, or never arriving, I suggest buying from a different seller.
- Write a clear, informative, concise item description, that's as accurate as possible. Include all important details and features that you would want to know if you were buying it. Don't make it too long and space out everything with paragraphs. The more information you include, the fewer emails containing the same questions you'd have to respond to. As little spelling and grammar mistakes as possible.
- Write a Terms of Sale so potential buyers know what you expect from them. Include when you expect contact from them and when payment should be recieved by.
- Use HTML. It can make your auctions more attractive and professional. Do not over do it. Follow the K.I.S.S. strategy (Keep It Simple, Stupid). It can also save you money if you use HTML to display pictures on your listing.
- Be polite. Reply to questions and act in a professional manner. If you're polite, then your buyer would be happy, and they wouldn't need to think twice before buying from you again. If you're rude, then they may comment on this in the feedback they leave you.
- Include pictures. These can attract bids, as a picture says a thousand words.
So why use QXL when you have eBay and the other auction sites? Well, less competition when buying. Fewer users means that you're less likely to be outbid since fewer people would be browsing the item. That is, if you can find the item.
Also, cheaper fees. If you have something sell but don't want to spend too much on fees, you can give QXL a shot.
>>>>>( THANK YOU FOR READING! )<<<<<
Hope I haven't bored you. ^.^;;; Take a look at my other op's if you have time. I don't have many anway. :-)