Ebay

Sara - posted on 09/04/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Anyone ever sell stuff on Ebay? Think you can actually make money that way? Any tips from anyone who does sell?

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Jodi - posted on 09/06/2009

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Sara, I used to sell on ebay - it's actually how I started my business. I don't sell on ebay anymore, just my own internet site, because I struggle to keep up with both now and don't want to have employees, so I want my business to stay small until my daughter starts school next year. Yes, you can actually make money - in my first year of operation I made a profit of around AU$15,000 :) This was 4 years ago.



Basically, you need to find a niche market of things that sell well and make sure you know your product! My secret, I believe, was having a really large variety (my store was actually the largest of its type on ebay in Australia at the time) and aiming for repeat business. I had several wholesale suppliers, and turned my stock over regularly, getting the newest and latest in as I sold out the other stuff. That way, people kept coming back, because there was always something new to look at.



Every time I sent a parcel, I ALSO sent a discount voucher to my internet site to introduce them to that, and I still have many of those customers buying from me directly today off ebay. You can't beat customer loyalty!! Continually relying on new business is much more difficult, time consuming and expensive than finding something that can encourage repeat business.



I still occasionally sell off stock on ebay in bulk lots when I need to get rid of it at wholesale, but that's all I do.



In addition, I rarely had any auctions. I just put all of my stock as Buy it Now, about 90% of it in my store (cheaper listing). Having a market where more often than not, people would buy multiple items meant the store feature worked for me. It doesn't work for some. Auctions very rarely achieved a reasonable price, and I was there to make a profit. Occasionally I'd auction to get rid of old stock, but I found auctions a pain in the neck :)



But really, it does depend on what you sell as to what works best. You should make sure you do your research to see what is selling and what prices it is selling for (check out completed listings).



Also, you will find that the more you sell, the more you will sell. I noticed I more easily achieved my demanded price and had more customers as my rating went up. In the end, my rating was up around 8000 with 100% positive. This gave new customers a lot of confidence. In the early days, my sales were much lower. So it does take time to build this up - you just have to plug away at it.

Kylie - posted on 09/05/2009

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I've had one bad experience on ebay last week..i accept paypal payments and i sold a printer cartridge that went for 160 dollars and the buyer payed for regular postage. I posted the item straight away but the buyer said they never received the item. i had the receipt form Australia post with the buyers post code, date and the postage cost which matched what i had charged him. The buyer opened a claim with paypal and got all the money back because i didn't not have proof of shipping address or a tracking number....you only get that if you post insured or registered. I offered insurance in my listing but the buyer did not pay the extra..but according to paypal the buyer gets the money back. so i am out the item, the money, the postage costs, ebay and auctiva fees and my time. And to top it off the buyer was a company called the ink center i went on their website and they have the exact printer cartridge i sold them for sale for 229 bucks. maybe i should have taken this to the venting community I'm so annoyed!:). So the tip is always post registered or insured if your accept PayPal payment ..because they protect the buyer not the seller.

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Jodi - posted on 09/06/2009

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I've never had problems with Aus Post paying up, so you should be right :) At least you'll get something back.



The 99c auctions work with some things, and not others. If you are wanting to do it for profit, you need to do the research as to what will work at auction and what is better as Buy it Now. With what I sold, I just found Buy It Now easiest and most reliable.



Another tip, know who your customers are and time your listings to end at times those people are most likely to be online. It can take a bit of time to notice the buying trends, but you need to pay attention to it because over time, it will boost the buying if you know when more of your customer base is online. The majority of people agree Sunday nights are busy ones, but it really does depend on the audience. I found Thursday evenings, and daytimes on Mondays very busy (mums pack their kids off to school after a weekend, wait for hubby to go to work, and then jump on the computer to shop, so they'll have it by the next weekend, LOL. That's my theory anyway, and it worked!)

Kylie - posted on 09/06/2009

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Thanks for letting me know that Jodi, I'm going to the post office today to try :) It's the first time I've had a parcel go missing in the mail so lesson learned.
I'm a casual ebay seller and i always start my auctions at 99 cents with no reserve...its a lower listing fee and i find it gets people interested and bidding.

Jodi - posted on 09/06/2009

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Kylie, if you have the receipt for the post, at least put a claim in to Australia Post. They cover up to $50 plus postage for regular post items. I have had a few claims and because I could provide the receipt, and a copy of the customer invoice, they paid up :) You can get the claim form at your post office.



Having said that, I send everything over $100 by Registered Post automatically, I don't care whether the customer wants it registered or not.

Sharon - posted on 09/05/2009

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You're right. I always pay for insurance even on a $5 bundle of pens. a lot of times the seller will tell me its guaranteed that I'll get the item and I don't need insurance. since I have their promise in writing I'll let the insurance slide. But I always warn them them that my postal carrier is a thief and we don't always get our packages.



I filed a complaint at our local post office for rare eggs and got 3 times the amount they were worth.

Kylie - posted on 09/05/2009

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I sell stuff on eBay.. i use auctiva ..it used to be free but now it costs 4.95 per month. I think its worth is as you get 25 large size pictures and templates and a scrolling gallery for same price as a normal ebay listing with one small picture.. it helps to make your auctions look really professional. If you use the right key words in your listing header and use a gallery picture it helps get you more hits. to be honest I'm shocked at what most my auctions end at (good shocked).

Konda - posted on 09/05/2009

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I've never sold, but I buy...a lo of people think everything on Ebay is just crap.....it is not, I just decorated my son's room in Thomas and bought some plate covers for the light plate and electrical plates, the lady somehow put Thomas fabric on them, they look great and were under $20 for the entire room, and they just make a nice touch. I have bought my son an embroidered Birthday t-shirt, again, new, and cheaper than I could buy it anywhere else. I love Ebay....hubby, dislikes that I FOUND Ebay.

Sharon - posted on 09/04/2009

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I sold some childrens clothes on ebay. It was ok. Ebays fees were a pain in the butt, and then paypal got its fees.



I think if you're doing the buy for cents and sell for $$$ it pays off, but just clearing your house, not so much.

Dana - posted on 09/04/2009

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I've heard that it's best to sell stuff that's easily shipped. Meaning nothing that's too big. My husband sold a guitar to someone in Austria(we're US), he had to take the neck off to ship it. A big pain in the ass and something you don't really want to mess with when it's a vintage Fender.

~Jennifer - posted on 09/04/2009

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Quoting Evelyn:

My mother sells old books and textbooks on ebay and makes a ton of money. She goes to salvation army and tag sales and whatnot looking for older books and used college textbooks and re-sells them on ebay. She does this as a side hobby of course, but she does make quite a bit of money selling it. It's not uncommon for her to buy a used book for a couple bucks and resell it for over 100 dollars on ebay. I actually just unpacked a 1941 Gershwin songbook from my things that I bought at a tag sale for like a quarter about a year ago and found out I can prob get upwards of 250 dollars for it. I'm going to give it to my mom to sell for me. She also has sold a lot of clothes on ebay as well. I think a good tip would be to make your title stand out...with the books its pretty cut and dry, but descriptive words like NEW or GENTLY USED can make people a bit more intrigued and click on ur link before others. Hope this helps!



well, you hooked me with the 'old books'.........Can I have your mom's store name or seller name?  I'm a great customer where old books are concerned!



 



=)

Evelyn - posted on 09/04/2009

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My mother sells old books and textbooks on ebay and makes a ton of money. She goes to salvation army and tag sales and whatnot looking for older books and used college textbooks and re-sells them on ebay. She does this as a side hobby of course, but she does make quite a bit of money selling it. It's not uncommon for her to buy a used book for a couple bucks and resell it for over 100 dollars on ebay. I actually just unpacked a 1941 Gershwin songbook from my things that I bought at a tag sale for like a quarter about a year ago and found out I can prob get upwards of 250 dollars for it. I'm going to give it to my mom to sell for me. She also has sold a lot of clothes on ebay as well. I think a good tip would be to make your title stand out...with the books its pretty cut and dry, but descriptive words like NEW or GENTLY USED can make people a bit more intrigued and click on ur link before others. Hope this helps!

~Jennifer - posted on 09/04/2009

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I'm not the seller, I'm the buyer....but damn, you can find great stuff on ebay. I don't think I've been to a mall or a flea market since e-bay started.

Dawn - posted on 09/04/2009

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I have a friend that does and its a hit and miss. It just depends on what is currently in demand. She does antiques and right now isn't getting any hits on her stuff.

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