HOW IT WORKS
The main website and the marketplace ( the listings area ) is written in English but there is a pull-down menu which translates the listing categories and listing fields into German(DE), French(FR), Spanish(ES), Italian(IT), English(EN). You will find this on the top right side of a desktop. On a mobile, open up the top-left hamburger menu and scroll down to the end to find the language selector.
Listing prices are shown in US Dollars, so that all listings are comparable. If you bank account is in a different currency, then Stripe will make the necessary exchange.
Shipping prices should be quoted for domestic online tracked. If a buyer wants something other than is quoted, just ask the seller in the public comments for a quote to your country. If they agree it, then they will edit the listing to show the new price so that you can hit the buy button. Pickup is also not allowed on this marketplace for your privacy and protection.
Anyone can browse the blog, marketplace and profiles, but they have to sign up to take make a comment, list an item, or buy an item. After joining, your profile for sellers, is like a shop window! User reviews for both buyers and sellers, and the country they are located in can be seen here. Personal details beyond region/county are not allowed to be disclosed.
1. BUYERS GUIDE
Set up your account on the marketplace
It´s free !
There is no joining fee, and you pay no commission when you buy at item, just the price shown on the listing.
2. Email : Enter your email, your name (only your first name will show on the public part of the website), and a password. Then hit the CREATE ACCOUNT button
3. Verify : An email will be sent to your email address – just open the email and hit the VERIFY button
You are now set up on the website.
Now you can search the listings for your comics, ask any questions in the public comments, or click the big “ BUY ” button.
Clicking the magnifier icon by the search box will clear your search. If you have entered text in the search box at the top, you need to clear the search afterward by deleting the text in the search field and then clicking search again when the search box is empty!
If you want to see what else a particular seller is selling, just click on their profile on a listing and it will show you all their items for sale. If you follow them, you can also be notified by the system when they list another item.
Before you buy items
If the seller has been reviewed from a previous sale, you can click on the seller’s profile icon on the listing to see more detail, and also see what else they are selling.
Do your bidding on the listing comments and wait till the seller changes the price before you hit the button. See more detail on the buy and sell process in section 3.
On the listing, check which country the seller is located in because the shipping quote is for shipping within that country only. If you are in another country you need to ask the seller to quote for sending it to your country – give country only and no more personal details. If you agree the quote, then wait for the listing to be edited to reflect the new price before you press the button. International buyers are responsible for any customs fees, duty or taxes if your package is refused at the border.
When you hit the BUY button
Remember, when you actually hit the BUY button, you are agreeing to pay the price on the listing. You can’ t do any negotiating after that point.
***Don’t hit the buy button if the price isn’t what you want to pay ***
Liaise with your seller about how you want it packaged.
Here’s what happens within the transaction window, depending on whether you are using PayPal or Stripe. The global marketplace supports both Stripe and Paypal.
Buying the item using Stripe (credit cards & debit cards)
1. Messages : Once you have clicked on BUY, you can add an optional message to the seller. (Remember, entering any personal details or chat can get your account banned – just stick strictly to the transaction detail. Check out the community rules and guidelines below.)
2. Accept terms : Tick the box to agree to the agreement terms. Click on the word VIEW to read them all.
3. Card details : Enter your credit card / debit card number, the expiry date, the 3 figure CVC code, and your postcode and then hit the CONFIRM PAYMENT button. (If you are using a foreign credit card e.g. a Spanish debit card in Euros to buy a US item, your bank will automatically convert the US price into euros and then charge your card in Euros)
4. Acceptance by seller : The seller then has to accept the transaction and the payment then goes through. (you can also send a message to the seller if you want to).
5. Money transfer : Once the buyer has accepted the transaction, the money is taken from your account by Stripe and put on hold until the transaction is completed i.e. you have received and approved the product.
6. Completion : When you receive the product ok, write any comments you need to the seller, and then mark it as COMPLETED. Now Stripe can move the money into the seller’s account.
Hover over your PROFILE PICTURE, select MY LISTINGS, go into TRANSACTIONS and find the item that you just received. Click on the STATUS and change it to COMPLETED. ) Now you can also review the seller at this point.
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2. SELLERS GUIDE
Set up your account on the global marketplace
1. Either you can click on SIGN UP at the top of the page, or if you try to list an item, you will be asked to set up an account before you carry on.
2. Enter your email, your name (only your first name will show on the public part of the website), and a password. Then hit the CREATE ACCOUNT button.
Note: If you choose to add a description, keep it simple and positive. Don’t add personal details.
4. Set up to receive payments
You can connect your bank account, via Stripe, to receive your money. Stripe allows people to pay by credit card or debit card.
If you make a listing and forget to enter your payment details, the system will give you a warning. You can then either click on the warning that said you are NOT SET UP TO RECEIVE MONEY YET, or you can click on PROFILE NAME under your profile picture, and click on EDIT PROFILE, and select PAYMENTS from the menu on the left-hand side.
(Note: your item cannot be approved for listing if the payment details are not added, but the system sends you an email to let you know.)
Commission is 9% for us and we take 3% for Stripe (because we will actually pay your Stripe fees on your behalf – so it makes it simple and secure for you).
How to set up your bank account using Stripe
1. Click on ADD BANK DETAILS
2. Enter your name, date of birth, Country, Address, and your bank account details (it may ask for your IBAN, or your sort code & account number depending on your country)
3. Hit SAVE and you will get a message saying whether the account is approved instantly or whether any extra documentation is needed. Depending on the money laundering rules of your country, you may be asked to send a copy of a passport or driving license, or another document. We do not see any of these documents – they are purely for the payment processing provider – Stripe.
Once approved, you are ready to wait for your first sale to happen.
HOW TO CREATE A LISTING -a quick summary
1. To create a listing for your item, click +LIST AN ITEM button. You will find this to the right of your profile sign when logged in (a circle with your profile image in it or your initials). On a desktop, it should be at the top right of the screen, and on a mobile, you will find it when you open the menu ( 3 line hamburger ) on the left side.
2. Complete as many details as you can. The buyer can search for many of these fields so the more you complete, the easier it is to find your listing. (Fields with a * are compulsory, the rest are optional)
3. Add several photos showing all the main features of the item you are selling, including any damage.
4. Make sure the pricing is sensible. There are many sources online where buyers can find a fair market value for a particular item. You should also use these sources to price your item at a level that will actually sell.
5. Add your payment details so the buyers can pay you. If you don´t add your payment details, the listing will remain in the pending approval state which means your item is not being shown live on the marketplace.
Bank details apply to your user account so you only need to do this once, not for each item that you list, but if you don’t have them added then the system will send you an email notification to alert you on every listing you make – so it’s best to do this when you make your first listing.
Detailed listing steps
Category : After you use the big button that says +LIST AN ITEM. Choose the best MAIN CATEGORY followed by SUB-CATEGORY. Then start to complete all the fields for your listing
Title : The title appears on your photo in the main listing grid so pick something short and relevant. Use industry recognised short codes that buyers will understand.
Price : Enter the selling price.
Check the fair market value for your item online (just like the buyers will be doing !)
Our commission for sellers is 12%, and included in this is the 3% we need to pay your Stripe fees.
Selling through Stripe : We charge sellers using Stripe 13% for selling and we pay your Stripe fees for you. You can receive payment from credit card and debit cards and the cash comes straight into your bank account.
Defects / Marks / etc: Make sure you describe any marks, defects, etc – if the buyer has been misled then they can cancel the transaction & return the goods & get a refund. This marketplace only works if there is honest, accurate, and ethical communication by both the buyers and the sellers.
Photos: The main photo, title, and price are the only items that a buyer can see for your listing until they click on it to see more information. So make sure the main image is clear and appealing. The ideal image ratio is 3:2 ( e.g. 660 x 440pixels) – see more information in the FAQs.
You can post several more images to give as much detail as possible to the buyers.
You can use the comments fields to ask the support team for any advice, and they can tidy up ( delete unnecessary) the comments at any time for you in order to keep things neat.
Shipping: Pick-up is not allowed, and you should choose a type of shipping that you can be tracked online. This is part of what provides you protection if anything goes wrong. Make sure you also take out insurance for anything valuable!
Payments: After you post the listing, it should go up on the site but if you will get a warning saying that you are “not set up to receive money yet”. You will need to go into your profile again and add your payment details.
Editing your listing : To edit your listing (if you need to), just go to the top of your listing, hit EDIT LISTING at the top right of the page. Make your changes and hit save.
Camera: Any phone or digital camera will do.
Surface: Clear the area you are going to shoot. Most photos look best with a light colored background and a clean, clear, non-reflective surface is best. Most items look better on a simple clean table, sheet, or work surface.
Light : We prefer natural light, so if you can take the photo during the day it will give a better idea of the real colour and will look nicer. Open your curtains to create a bright environment.
Crop : Images on the marketplace are generally landscape orientation ie they are wider than they are tall. Typically a 3 : 2 (wide : high) ratio will work well.
Centralise : Your product should be in the centre of the photo.
Angles : We like to take photos so that you can see the product in its entirety. You do not need to show every page, but front, back, center pages, and any relevent pages (e.g. damaged, stained, written on, etc) should be shown. Try to keep the background the same -this will ensure you have consistency and that the focus is on the product and not on the surroundings.
Damage : Take close-up photos of any damage. You want to be sure that the buyer knows about them to avoid any misunderstanding.
3. Select and upload
You only have a short time at the top of the listings board so it’s important to get the price right straight away. So you should make sure your price is tempting right from the start – when you are at the top of the listings board and buyers get to see your item more easily. After that you will move further down the list and out of sight so don´t waste the opportunity at the top!
How to price your item and help it to sell quickly
Pricing is such a tricky subject. On the one hand you want to earn good cash for your item, on the other hand you want to sell it quickly and effortlessly. So what is the best way to price an item so that it is attractive to other people?
We have put together a few tips to guide you. Please note there is no rule, these are just guidelines and we don’t ensure success.
You can look on Ebay for recently sold items and this will give you a guide for an actual transaction price (much more useful to know an item sold for $50 rather than knowing one is for sale (and unsold) for $100 !
Analyze the condition of your item. The price of the same item will vary massively depending on its condition. Be realistic, the buyers will want to know exactly what is right & wrong about your item. Nobody expects every comic to be a 10, or every 30 year old poster to be as new, so be honest & up-front about the condition. The photos should help reinforce your choice of price.
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3. HOW A SALE WORKS
(Who does what)
Ground rules for everyone
This is simply a marketplace to buy and sell securely, messaging is not possible outside of the listings. Messages on the listings are for questions or bidding. Keep the chat positive and respectful.
In your profile settings, make sure you have notifications turned on so that the system informs you when there is any activity on a listing you are buying or selling. So make sure from the start that the firstclasscomics emails ( the system notifications) are not going into your spam box. Log in and check your emails regularly, and your inbox in your account. Scroll down your listing to the bottom to see the latest comments.
How bidding works
If the seller has ticked the box saying that they will accept offers, then the buyer can make their offer on the public comments. If the seller accepts the offer they will then edit the listing to show the new price so that you can hit the BUY button.
(Note: The public comments is where haggling works best because if you hit the BUY button before negotiating a new price, then you have committed to the listed item price, and then have to depend on the seller to reject your offer and re-edit the listing so that you can hit the BUY button again for the correct price.)
How to buy several items from one seller – creating a package
The buyer negotiates a price for this listing and others by the same seller. This is all done in the public comments. The seller just needs to close all the other item listings in the deal, except the one with the deal comments in it. Then the seller a) edits that listing to include a photo of all the items in the new deal, b) adds a quick note in the description to say they are all included in the deal, c) edits the new agreed price and shipping and re-posts the listing as a set of items. The buyer then hits BUY and the seller accepts this purchase offer from the buyer they have been dealing with.
If you are in a different country to the item location don’t just hit the buy button with the domestic shipping fee quoted – the request will only have to be rejected by the seller and you will waste time waiting for your money to be refunded again.
Here’s what you need to do.
You will need to publicly ask the seller in the listing comments if they are willing to ship to your country, and to kindly provide a quote. If you agree to the quote, then the seller has to edit the listing to show the new shipping fee before you hit the BUY button.
The 5 steps of a transaction
Step 1: BUYER hits the BUY button
When you hit the buy button, you are accepting the listing and shipping price on the listing. You must have the correct fee for shipping to your country. You will be asked to put your payment details in. All prices are in US dollars, and the payment systems will exchange to/from USD to your currency and deliver that to your bank/paypal account. Stripe will pre-authorize your card for the total amount.
Step 2: Seller accepts or rejects the purchase request.
After the buyer requests to purchase, the seller has 3 days to choose to “Accept” or “Reject” it. If you do nothing, then the system will cancel the transaction after 3 days. If a sale is rejected the pre-authorized amount is returned to the buyer. If accepted, Stripe will take the money from the buyer and holds it until the transaction is marked as completed.
Step 3: Packaging and Shipping
When you are ready to send the item, package it up carefully so that the item doesn’t get damaged, and make sure it is also protected from the elements.
You can use any courier or the domestic postal service, and send it to the Buyer address given on the transaction page – unless the buyer has made an error and corrected that by sending you a message in the transaction. Make sure it is online tracked and ideally insured and signed for. Use the transaction messaging to provide the tracking number to the buyer.
Communication is key. Buyer and seller should keep in touch with each other through the transaction messaging.
During a transaction, any messages from the buyer/seller are in your inbox (hover over the little circle containing your profile picture / initials at the top of the page & click on INBOX. If there are several messages from the buyer/seller, they will all be within the same item in your inbox – click on it to open it up, and at the bottom are all the individual messages from that buyer.
With Stripe transactions, at any time BEFORE the transaction is completed, the buyer can dispute the transaction.
Within the marketplace, buyers can mark a paid transaction as disputed before it is marked as “completed”. This clearly communicates to us that you are not happy and we get involved.
We listen to both parties, and we can then decide how to resolve the dispute.
With Stripe, we can manage the funds and authorize Stripe to either refund the buyer or continue the transaction as normal and pay out to the seller.
If we find in favor of the buyer, the seller is asked to pay for the item to be returned to them before the buyer is refunded. Please read the Payments & Protection section to understand more.
Once resolved, the transaction is effectively completed and the buyer and seller can then review each other.
Step 4 : Complete the transaction
Buyer: Once you receive the item, check that it is what you expected (contents, condition, etc) and mark it as Completed in the system. Stripe then releases the money to the seller. Note: Sale will be automatically marked as “Complete” after X days if no action is taken.
Step 5 : Review
Once the transaction is finished, it is review time. You both get the chance to rate each other. Please do this because it helps the whole community to know the best buyers and sellers, or any helpful hints on working with them.
It only takes a minute to do. The system will ask you for a comment on how the transaction went, and then ask you to rate the buyer as either Positive or Negative… that’s it ! It will be so helpful to everyone to know a bit more about how it went.
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4. FEES, PAYMENTS AND PROTECTION
First of all, enjoy peace of mind knowing that secure payments are provided through the marketplace, and you are protected most when all communication between the buyer and seller is done through the marketplace alone. Communication outside the marketplace is not allowed because if there is any indication that there is communication outside the system then we cannot provide the usual protection.
The First Class Comics marketplace is specifically designed to protect everyone by having built-in one of the most popular, secure payment systems – Stripe.
Buyers : If you see the following icons, you’ll know the seller can accept payment by debit or credit cards via the secure STRIPE system.
We’ll show you how the system works but please also perform your own due diligence, and remember, you may also have added insurance connected with your own credit or debit card.
Buyers : You pay no commission, just the price shown on the listing
Sellers : Commission is 10% for Paypal transactions, and 13% for Stripe transactions (but we will pay the 3% Stripe fees on your behalf).
Fee calculation example
STRIPE – if you sold an item for $10 through Stripe, the fees are 13% (10% for us and the extra 3% is what we will use to pay to Stripe on your behalf for their fees). So you will receive $10 less $1.30 (13%) = $8.70. This payment is taken from the buyer immediately and is then put on hold until the buyer has received their goods and has marked the transaction as complete. Once it is complete, the payment is released and it will be in your account, typically in 7-10 business days.
PAYPAL – if you sold an item for $10 through Paypal, you would receive $10 less your normal Paypal fees. You will then have the 10% transaction fee (10% x $10 = $1) sent out automatically to us from your account.
When your “buy” request is accepted by the seller, the money is sent from the buyer’s account into a STRIPE pending account ( a bit like when your credit card has $$ blocked when you rent a car and leave a deposit – some people think of it like an escrow account ). The money is not actually transferred to the seller until the transaction is marked as “completed”. So if there is any dispute about the transaction the funds are held until it is resolved. The buyer then usually marks the transaction as completed to signal that the item has been received ok. Once the transaction is marked as completed, it can no longer be disputed and the money is transferred to the seller, less the 13% commission due to First Class Comics. (This extra 3% is used by First Class Comics to pay toward the transaction fees that Stripe charges for the transaction.)
We strongly advise you to follow the seller protection requirements – they are required in order to resolve any dispute.
In order to protect yourself as a seller, it´s important to keep a track of every detail.
This is why you need to provide :
Clear and honest detail of the item in your listing
Message at every stage and keep all communication on the marketplace
Send the purchased item to the address given on the payment page
Provide the buyer with the online tracking information once available
Only ask the buyer to mark the transaction as completed once the buyer has received the item and is satisfied with it.
If there is a problem during your transaction, First Class Comics will help to find a solution to the dispute. We can act impartially, and help to resolve the issue without the need for a lengthy dispute process.
If a refund is required during your buy/sell transaction, we can put in a transaction to cancel the trade in our system & our system instructs STRIPE to refund the money into the buyer’s account. This can only happen before the transaction is marked as “completed”. On top of that, you also have any bank or credit card company protection that applies.
Your protection starts when you accept a buyer’s offer because the money they pay has moved into a pending STRIPE account that First Class Comics where able to manage the money flow between buyer and seller. We can act impartially, and help to resolve the issue. This is why it is so important to send your item tracked so that we too can see if it has been delivered. If you don’t do that, you are taking the risk here of losing the item and the money.
In addition, (if it ever comes down to it!) you also have the protection of your bank or credit card company to resolve any further disputes. Businesses can also apply for STRIPE chargeback protection which helps protect from fraud.
4. Disputed transactions
Within the marketplace, buyers can mark a paid transaction as disputed before it is marked as “completed”. This clearly communicates to us that you are not happy and we get involved. We listen to both parties, and can decide whether to agree to the dispute and refund, or continue the transaction as normal. Once resolved, the buyer and seller can then review each other.
If Stripe was used, only the First Class Comics marketplace administrators can authorise the transaction refund.
If something goes wrong, STRIPE is a fantastic system that can provide your credit card company with lots of transaction detail.
Why you should NOT try to arrange payment outside of the marketplace.
By staying in the secure payment system, you all the protections that they offer. You will lose all the security & safeguarding features that our approved payment providers offer when you desert them… and us!
If you do give out personal details, you also set yourself up for scammers and time-wasters. It’s well known (and also our personal experience), that once you do this, it all goes a bit wonky! Sellers know you won’t have any comeback when you give your money outside the system, and buyers know they can take advantage and try to re-negotiate ( or even give fraudulent cash ) and you have no one to come back to.
As administrators, we do see ALL messages entered into the First Class Comics website so we know when people are deciding to stray off the straight and narrow route we have set up to protect you!
As it is a community rule to not give out personal details like this, the moderator has the ability to disable accounts with immediate effect.
If you stay within the system, however, we will have a record of the buyer/seller message exchange, in case of any transaction disputes, and, you will have our continued support.
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5. COMMUNITY GUIDELINES
The marketplace is primarily designed for the buying and selling of premium comics and collectibles between private buyers and sellers.
Only create listings for items you own personally, so your listing should include at least one photo of your own item specific item.
Let the comics do the talking!
This isn’t a chatty site – the listing fields should give most of the detail. Comments should be simple and clear and only about the listing or transaction details. Keep it all respectful, and keep it kind.
Personal or Business information
For the safety and security of our community, personal or any commercial / business information must not be disclosed to any other users on your profile, your listing, on listing comments and also within the transaction messaging unless there is an error you need to correct about the shipping address. This includes emails, phone numbers & social media info.
Shipping costs are in addition to the item price and it should cover for online tracked delivery. Your buyer is paying this and it is commission-free.
Personal delivery/pick-up is not allowed. We have hidden the PICKUP field for this reason, but there might be a rare time when you see it. Try not to choose it, as it will stop your listing from being approved.
For payment protection, sellers must have an online tracking number with proof of delivery so that the buyer can know when it is arriving and so that there is proof of mailing in case of any disputes. Make sure you put this number in the transaction messaging and also hold on to receipts incase we ask to see them.
Trading outside the marketplace is not allowed.
If there is any indication that trading is offered by the seller, or requested by the buyer, the moderator may disable the account with immediate effect.
It is also against the rules to advertise any other businesses or encourage any other connection outside the marketplace.
Why sellers should NOT ask a buyer to message them privately or offer to deal outside the marketplace.
Because this isn’t simply a place to freely advertise business elsewhere. There are other places where you can advertise for that. Everything you need to operate securely through the marketplace is already in place here.
Why any user should NOT try to arrange payment outside of the marketplace.
If you do this, you set yourself up for scammers and time-wasters on both sides ( buyers or sellers).
It’s well known (and also our personal experience), that once you do this, it all goes a bit wonky! Sellers know you won’t have any come back when you give your money outside the system, and buyers know they can take advantage and try to re-negotiate ( or even give fraudulent cash ) and you have no one to come back to.
By staying in the secure payment system you have any protections they offer. You will lose all the security & safeguarding features that our approved payment providers offer when you desert them… and us!
As administrators, the site is heavily monitored and we do see ALL messages and updates on the First Class Comics website so we know when people are deciding to take the wonky route! If you stay within the system, however, we will have a record of the buyer/seller message exchange, in case of any disputes between you.
Get in touch with us at email@example.com if you need any help, or report any transactional issues. This is better than the contact form as lots of spam hits that, and your message may go into our spam folder unintentionally.
Keep in touch !
Log in and read your messages regularly. Scroll down your listing regularly to see any comments from the COMIC team or from potential buyers.
Make sure you keep an eye out for emails from us and make sure they don´t go into your spam box. Reply as promptly as possible to any listing issues.
Make sure your email works, and that you can receive notifications and emails from the marketplace system and from our customer support team. We sometimes get emails returned saying a member´s inbox has not been overfull and cannot accept our email. If we cannot contact you about your listing, we will have to close the listing so as not to disappoint the buyers.
Please email us…….if you see anything that doesn’t follow these rules or guidelines.
Phew! We hope that answers all your questions about how it works. If not, head over to the FAQs page for more questions and answers.