I’ve been trying my hand at selling stuff I don’t want anymore on eBay for over a month now, and I kind of like it. The money made is good, but if you scour Google, you won’t see a lot of praise for the way eBay now treats its sellers. Already I can agree with that. The restrictions are never-ending and that probably won’t change.
While it’s still somewhat structured and starting to sell is still possible, however, I thought I’d share my experiences.
I’m sure if you have a supplier, you could make this a full time job. People do. Of course, you can’t go from jobless to making big money on eBay, especially these days.
Selling limits are not cool.
So far, I have a selling limit of $1000 or 10 items, or whichever comes first. That means I’d better only post high-ticket items, or else I’m likely to make about $100 or less by the time I’ve reached my limit.
Why are there seller limits? When you start out, eBay wants to ensure you’re a reputable seller. That means, get 100% positive feedback on everything. It’s a lot of pressure — everything you sell must be absolutely perfect, as must be the transaction and shipping. People will complain about just about anything. I’m fine with that, as someone who actually provides customer service, I just wish more people were honest to begin with so these restrictions didn’t need to be implemented. Oh well.
OK, got it. Must sell high-priced items then, in order to make any money at all.
But I might not want to part with everything I own that could earn me money. Why not limit it to $1000, I wonder, so that I might sell a lot of little low-ticket items that people are likely searching for that I am OK with selling? Ebay would make more money in this way and so would I; I could also work on my seller’s feedback. Wins all around. Yep, eBay doesn’t make any sense.
Start at $9.98 or lower for high-ticket items.
If you do have a limited edition book/album/toy in packaging, etc, rather than set a fixed Buy It Now price, your best bet is to search on eBay for the item, filter the results by “Completed listings” and look for the green totals. Those are the ones that sold. More often than not, I’ve found that completed listings were not Buy It Now, but rather they started low, giving buyers hope that they’d score the item for much less than they would normally pay.
Also, this engages a bidding war if there is some interest, and everyone likes to win. Your limited edition item as a result may pull in a lot more money than you expected taking such a risk.
Usually when you check the bidding history on completed listings that started low for high-ticket items, you’ll see there was interest from several parties, which bettered the chances of a great final sale price (and often got just that result). The wonder that is Second Chance Offer also comes in at this point, so that you don’t lose much on the sale if the winning bidder bows out on you. You can offer the item to the next highest bidder, and lose only the last little bit of money that the final bidder added.
For example: A couple of weeks ago I put up a limited edition Tool album/DVD into which there seems to be regained interest, thanks to a recent re-release by the band of another older album. (Which? Limited Edition 21st anniversary of Opiate — why 21st was chosen, I can only speculate that it’s Tool and there is no real reason.) Started at $9.98 expecting to take a big loss. To my surprise, the bids started pretty early on and it sat at $87 for the last day until the final 10 seconds, when it shot up to $97.
I’ve concluded that I need more limited edition items.
Starting higher… not the greatest idea.
You don’t seem to pull in a lot of money starting the bids higher, as I touched on earlier. In fact, you barely see movement or even views at all when you begin higher. Even if it’s an item that’s clearly worth more, I like starting low and ending up with a potential bidding war. In fact, I’m now starting the bids for some jeans for $0.99. Hopefully they sell for a bit more than that. I might start bids for a camcorder at $9.98 soon. Haven’t decided yet if I want to part with it, but the part where I haven’t used it in ten years might make the decision for me.
I’ll be writing more on eBay as I learn. There’s a lot to cover.
If you’ve sold on eBay before, how did it go?