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FAQ 7n. Tips For Sellers

1. Research what other sets like yours are going for on Ebay. Go to and sign up (it's free). Most sets are sold in the "Toys & Hobbies : Games : Traditional : Mah Jong" category (so that's where you should post your for-sale items). Also check other areas. Some sellers ill-advisedly post their mah-jongg items in "Toys & Hobbies : Games : Vintage," and some people post them in "Collectibles : Cultures & Religions : Cultures : Asian".
And check out sites and apps where people sell their stuff (google that). Ebay, Facebook Marketplace... lots of places, apps around.
Check FAQ 7h for some tips on figuring out your set's value.

2. You need to write a very detailed description of your set. Describe the case and any flaws. Describe all the contents, listing all dice, chips, racks, etc. Talk about the condition of all those pieces. Are they clean and attractive, like new, or dirty, mildewed, smelly? What are the tiles made of? (See our "FAQ 7c. What's It Made Of" page.) Be honest in describing the set, but present it well to maximize its sales potential.

3. You need to take photos of the set. See how sellers on Ebay arrange their sets, observe what looks like a good sales photo and what does not. And if you don't have access to a digital camera, your photos need to be scanned so you can email them or post them on Ebay to sell your set.
Image size is important, too. 320x240 pixels is too small, and 640x480 is also too mall. The iPhone will offer you four sizes when sharing a photo by email: Small, Medium, Large, and Actual Size. Choose the Large size. Small and Medium are too small, and Actual Size (at 4 megapixels) is overkill.


As mentioned in number 2 above, you have to describe the set in detail. This checklist is intended to aid you in doing so.

Note: When you advertise an item for sale, here's what the grading terms are supposed to mean (don't be one of those unscrupulous sellers who uses these terms dishonestly):

Pictures are important. You need to take photos of the set. Your best bet is to lay out the tiles on a table like this:

Arrange each suit in 4 rows by number; put your winds, dragons, and 8 flowers in 4 rows. If you don't know what those tiles are, see FAQ 7B. If you have other tiles, put those at the right side, by type. If you can't identify a tile, see the Mystery Tiles FAQ.

If you don't have access to a digital camera, your photos need to be scanned so you can email them or post them on Ebay, or link to them from our Sets For Sale board, to sell your set.

Also make sure you check these sites so you don't make any unsupportable claims in your sales pitch: - See the Mah Jongg Gallery.

4. Post your item on the site or app you chose in step 1.
Before you post, do make sure you understand that site's rules and norms. I can't help you there, sorry. Good luck with your sale! And don't stop reading here. You need to know what you're getting into...

COMMENTS from the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board:


Mah-Jongg sellers take note! Be advised that sometimes your "for sale" post can get offers from scam artists who offer to buy your stuff but are really trying to rip you off. For example (actual email from April, 2007):

(And another actual email from 2005):

Note the warning signs of a scam artist:
  1. It's hard to tell exactly what he wants to buy. He seems desirous of buying just any old thing. This vagueness would continue, should you email him back.
  2. "Mike Howie" has contacted other vendors to order mah-jongg merchandise but apparently doesn't know anything about mah-jongg whatsoever.
  3. Odd that "Ben" says he'll pay by credit card - usually these guys want to pay by check, and the check turns out to be for more than the purchase amount, so they need the difference reimbursed (and that's where you lose money, because his check bounces). So I don't know what this guy's deal is - maybe bait and switch (saying now that he'll pay by credit card, but when it comes down to it, "oops can I pay you by check instead"), or maybe he has stolen credit card numbers.
  4. "Ben" mentioned Nigeria. Everybody is well familiar with the Nigerian scam, right? You've gotten those emails? A main business activity in Nigeria is, well, scams. You can look it up on the internet. The US gov't a few years ago issued warnings posted about doing business with anyone in Nigeria.
  5. Frequently the buyer wants his order (usually a large amount of goods) shipped to some overseas location (not necessarily Nigeria). So what happens to the hapless seller is that the check is bad (or the credit card turns out to be bad) and a large amount of expensive inventory is now gone. Seller beware.

For more about scams, click HERE.

Nigerian 419 scam

>From: gina smith
>To: MJ
>Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2007 6:42 AM
>Subject: from Gina Smith
>Tom, I am not sure if this came through on Outlook or not,  If it is a repeat, please forgive me. G
>Speaking of scammers, I have a great tale to share. I get an email from a man who claims to be an antiques dealer (world wide) who got my name off of your site. He says that he has a client who is interested in vintage Mah Jongg sets. Since I sell a variety, I sent him pictures of what was available. He picked out four of my best where the total was around $1800.00. He asks how I want to be paid, and I suggested Western Union, a certified/cashier’s check on an American Bank, or preferably PayPal. OK, here it comes. His client bought about $4500.00 worth of items in the USA. Wasn’t pleased with them. So he is going to send me a cashier’s check for $4500.00, I am to take my fee out of that, and then Western Union (by the way with Western Union, once you send money, it is gone) the balance to him – in Nigeria. With the four sets. So, I played him along for a while. Looked up the ISP address and found it was out of California. A check was mailed to me, with an address in Florida, but the bank was in Virginia. So I cashed it, informed my bank that it would probably bounce so that I wouldn’t get charged a fee, and waited. Three days later, it “cleared”. That means there was enough funds in MY accounts to cover the check. You have to wait another 10-12 days to find out if it clears the bank on the check. So believe it or not, I get a call from this guy with a heavy accent from what sounds like a basement boiler room, asking if I had sent him the cash and the sets. I told him, as I had in my previous dealings, that I wait until the check clears HIS bank. So with all this information, and phone number, I go to our local police and talk to the guy who is head of internet fraud. He said that this happens so frequently and people are falling for it in various capacities. Stocks, Bonds, inheritances, lotteries, hefty bank accounts where they can’t get the money out of the country without your help, etc. He turns over all information to the FBI. Interestingly enough, they have an internet fraud division, from what I was told, strictly for Nigeria! A ton of corruption. I live in a very sophisticated area near Princeton NJ. The police told me that one business exec in the area worked out a deal buying a very high end car in Germany, to be delivered to – yep, Nigeria, and the deal was he had to go over there, pay for it in cash and get it home. The deal was ridiculously inexpensive. Well, this exec went to Nigeria and they are still looking for him. Very scary. Apparently these scammers are very difficult to track down. Money gets wired through so many countries and the people are always on the move. People need to be very careful in their internet dealings. Gina.

Hi Gina,
There's a lot of information about the Nigerian 419 scam out there for anyone interested enough to just look around:

  • Learn more about it at Wikipedia -
  • Internet Crime Complaint Center -
  • There's even a hit Nigerian song about 419 scamming, "I Go Chop Your Dollars" by Osofia. Listen for the line "You are the loser, I am the winner."

    I Go Chop Your Dollars

    May the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Los Angeles, CA (USA)
    Cinco de Mayo, 2007

    Notice: All trades or sales are private transactions between individuals--the Exchange is simply a listing point for those who wish to make such trades and is no way involved in any transactions, nor may it be held responsible for any problems.
    Sellers on this site are especially advised not to lightly make claims that an item is "ivory". See our FAQ 7c. What's It Made Of? page for assistance in how to tell ivory from bone.

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