For a while, I had a good little system going. Since I had to stay home with my autistic child, I had to find a way to make a few bucks for gas money to her appointments. Of course everyone knows about eBay! I had been purchasing my daughter’s cute little outfits from there for years but never actually sold anything on eBay. So I used my couponing to make some money on products I got free or cheap. Many stores double and triple coupons so I would stockpile products that I was able to purchase free after coupons. I opened a store on eBay and sold deodorants, razors, lotions, cough drops, over the counter medicine, character Band-Aids, and even tampons!
Those were the good old days. When I printed out my postage at home and dropped eBay packages in the mail each week. Back then, the items in my eBay store only cost me a penny or two each month to have listed all the time. Of course, final value fees and a monthly store cost of $15 applied. But still much better than now where prices monthly for EACH item can run you three and five cents each month with a monthly store fee of $16. Final value fees now on store items are 12% of the closing cost. It really does no good to list small items any more as you won’t be making much profit after fees! Setting up the store was incredibly easy though, great directions and fill-in-the-blank boxes to use or you can use your own HTML for more savvy users. No skill is needed at all! You can even make your own unique logo! I was able to use the vacation setting to hide my eBay store when we were out of town so no issues with buyers being upset when they could not contact me.
Selling on eBay without opening a store is easy as well. Click on the SELL button and off you go. You have options to choose from such as setting a price and then letting buyers bid it higher or choosing buy it now so with one click your item is sold. eBay tells you, before you submit your auction, how much you are charged so if you make a mistake, this will alert you to that fact or you can choose a fixed price and sell items in bulk if you have multiple items. You need to decide how long the auction will run, one day (extra fee for this), three days, five days, seven days, or ten days (extra fee). Most sellers do choose seven days so more buyers can see the item. Sundays seem to be the best days to end your auction UNLESS they are a holiday. Also you can set up an auction only for a specific person…use this if you are contacted about buying your item off of eBay and you want to follow eBay’s rule about no sales off of eBay. Each contact email will tell buyers and sellers not to contact each other about buying items outside of eBay auctions. For an extra dime, you can start your auction at a later date or later time. Good for people who go to bed early and want to start their auction later. For shipping, you can put a fixed shipping and handling quote for everyone or you can put in the weight of the item you are selling and put the way you are shipping it (FedEx, Priority, etc) and the auction will show each person how much shipping will be to their zip code. You can also add in a handling fee for packaging. You can use eBay’s picture service and get one picture in the auction free or you can use HTML and use your own picture service like Photobucket to place as many pictures as your heart desires for free!
Buying on eBay is simple. With one click, you have purchased the item if it is buy it now or a fixed price. For auctions, you place your bid and wait until the end of the auction to see if you have won. Many times you will be outbid. The thing to remember is to put the highest bid you are willing to pay for the item. For me, I can never find cute baby/little girl outfits in the stores. Slutty clothing for the littlest babies is what is common these days. I want the old fashioned dresses and outfits that cover my baby’s bootie. The sort with the matching hat and bloomers. Only on eBay can I find them! It is hard to find a good price on them. So if I am only willing to part with $8 for an outfit, I search by lowest price and come up with the cheapest prices on what I am looking for. You can also search by closest item to where you live (in some cases, you can pick up especially larger items like chest of drawers), items ending soonest, newly listed items, and more. I am a horrible shopper. My eyes glaze over after the third page of items but you will never run out of selection on eBay. You can shop for used, new, antique, and looks-like-new items. Find 100 year old doctor’s tools, toys that were on the market when your grandmother was young, a favorite toy your child lost last week, or just more crap to collect dust. Sometimes you will run across an item that others have overlooked and get a heirloom piece for peanuts! Some sellers actually buy items at low cost to resell on eBay!! Sometimes, especially after the Black Friday sales, you will find eBay flooded with expensive items for cheap. Everyone was out shopping and loading up on them with reselling on eBay on their mind! If you are looking for survivalist items, you will find them here. Or looking to buy in bulk to save money, you will find many bulk items here. I can’t tell you how many compliments my daughter has received on the cutest little outfits from eBay, even handmade and knitted outfits! One purchase I made was for a fancy Christmas dress for my daughter for $30. This was a brand new red and white flower girl boutique dress in perfect condition and was beautiful! Stunning for the Christmas party and portraits!
Now for the bad stuff. eBay has changed. Now only buyers can leave feedback. Sellers can’t leave bad feedback for buyers who are just plain crazy. I have had buyers who did not read the auction and sent a personal check. Insisting on me taking a personal check from a complete stranger, then left me bad feedback. I have had people not pay and say they did. Complete lunatics who took six weeks to pay, then insist that the item was not as described….one actually told me that the bumper sticker was not the one in my picture. Weird since it was the only bumper sticker I had for sale and it was the picture of the actual item! This really hurts trustworthy sellers who do describe down to the minute details on the item.
eBay is requiring PayPal for some sellers (most from what I have seen) and holding the PayPal funds for up to 6 weeks or until the buyer leaves feedback. I have sold strollers, Britax car seats , and other large items that cost buckoos of cash to mail out. NO way am I chancing not being reimbursed for the postage AND losing my money that I have in the item for sale. This is a new change since eBay has acquired PayPal. Not to mention those high PayPal transaction costs for each item you sell on eBay. Really easy to lose money by auctioning your items on eBay. Now I only sell high ticket items that will net me over $50. No use in auctioning other items as I will lose money in the end. I would not ship any item out until I received PayPal payment or money order either!
What do I think about eBay these days? I was a frequent seller and buyer on eBay. Now not so much. eBay seems to be against sellers by raising costs to sell on eBay, holding PayPal funds, requiring Paypal and not letting sellers choose other forms of payment, and only having specials running for PowerSellers. PowerSellers are the worst at delaying shipments, not responding to emails, and bad customer service. Too big for their britches! The feedback system is a joke especially now that sellers can’t leave feedback for buyers. There are other auction sites but none as big as eBay and none have the same traffic. Some are free to list but your item may languish forever without a bite.