Selling something on Ebay, is it easy to do?

Travis Hedger

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 24, 1998
Messages
695
Hello all.

As long as Ebay has existed I have never purchased or sold anything.

Well, my computer is showing its age and is having all kinds of issues, yet I don't have any immediate cash on hand.

I have an item to sell, and judging by similar items being put up on Ebay, there is a demand, and I believe I should be able to get a pretty good value out of it.

I am going to sell my Remote Control Hirobo Shuttle Challenge helicopter.

I purchased it about 4 years ago, could never get it put together, gave up and threw it in storage and promptly forgot about it until recently.

I have a digital camera that I am borrowing and some WebSpace to host the pictures.

Can someone who has never sold anything on Ebay at least post their auction pretty easily?

Thanks
 

Michael*K

Screenwriter
Joined
May 24, 2001
Messages
1,806
The selling procedures are pretty well laid out. Just follow the step by step instructions and you'll do fine.
 

Seth_S

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
335
Some advice:

Make it clear you won't ship the items until you've received payment. I used to think that this was obvious until someone got really pissy with me and threatened to give me negative feedback because I wouldn't ship until their check had cleared, and I didn't say this in my auction.
 

Greg.K

Effects Supervisor
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Greg K.
Even better - state you won't accept personal checks.
 

Seth_S

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
335
Greg Kettell,

Eh, there are a lot of willing buyers who for some reason refuse to use payment options like paypal
 

DonRoeber

Screenwriter
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Feb 11, 2001
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1,849
Seth, Then they can send a money order. I've been burned by personal checks before. Just don't bother anymore.
 

Jeff Ulmer

Producer
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Aug 23, 1998
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5,584
You can just as easily be burned by PayPal, as there is NO protection for the seller, despite what they claim.

Selling on Ebay isn't difficult, but does have its drawbacks. Look at several other auctions to see the kinds of restrictions others are using. Also remember that historic sales aren't necessarily what you'll get for your item. You will be paying Ebay's fees whether you sell or not, so think carefully about your pricing, and what you will be getting after deducting all the costs of listing.
 

Scott L

Cinematographer
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Feb 29, 2000
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Just reassure the buyer they are getting quality merchandise from you. If you start now you will have a feedback rating of 0 so it will be harder than normal to sell your things. Show lots of pics and be clear of your selling terms, especially your shipping charge.
 

Mike Lenthol

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 28, 2000
Messages
322
Another pointer: auctions last 3/5/7/10 whole days from the time listed, so try to list it when your target audience will be home and likely to get into bidding wars.

If it’s pretty expensive item and you have 0 feedback, might be worth stating that you’ll be willing to go through an escrow. Most, likely won’t deal with the hassle of escrow, but it’s still a reassurance of legitimacy.
 

Peter Kim

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
1,577
How long do you wait to ensure that a personal check has cleared?

And can anyone explain why opt for a reserve over a specific starting bid? Or vice versa?
 

Scott L

Cinematographer
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Feb 29, 2000
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I forget how much ebay charges for reserve prices nowadays but they have always charged a percentage of what the starting bid is. So it's always best to start the auction out at $.01 especially if you set a reserve. Only reason to have the starting bid up higher is if there isn't a big demand for the item you're selling and you don't want to set a reserve.
 

Seth_S

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
335


So you don't scare off bidders, and hope that people will over guess your reserve. I think it only works with expensive items.
 

alan halvorson

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 2, 1998
Messages
2,009
Scott: Ebay insertion fees are based on the starting bid, or the reserve which, of course, is higher. A low starting bid will not save you money on a reserve auction. A starting bid equal to the reserve is cheaper than using a reseve; however, if the reserve is met, the reserve fee is not charged. My observaion is that a high starting bid is less likely to attact bidders, but this is certainly not a hard rule.

I specify USPS or Western Union for those buyers who pay by money order, and treat all other money orders as personal checks with at least a two week clearance (say this!).

So, we've learned from this thread that we can't trust PAYPAL, personal checks or money orders. That leaves cash, but not many will opt for a cash-only option (I won't). It's a wonder that Ebay can function at all.

A few tips:

1.) Describe exactly what you have, its condition and completeness. If parts, manuals, etc. are missing or broken, confess.

2.) Know what shipping will be. Do a preliminary pack and weigh it. If shipping via USPS, use this Domestic Calculator to estimate shipping costs. Remember, shipping varies by destination. I always pretend I'm shipping to San Francisco. For some reason, even though San Francisco is about the same distance as New York from where I live, shipping there is always higher. Shipping to Hawaii and Alaska may be higher.

One thing I hate is a charge for packing. That's a cost of doing business you should absorb. You may feel justified adding a fee for packing, but some people (like me!) are really annoyed by it and won't bid.

3.) Decide whether you will ship internationally. While it's not much of a problem shipping internationally - all you have to do is fill out a customs form - payments via PAYPAL are less trustworthy. Encourage international bidders to use BIDPAY, who will then send you a Western Union money order that won't be a forgery.

4.) If you sign up for PAYPAL, bite the bullet and upgrade to a Premier Account so that you can accept credit cards. Yes, there's a fee (2.9% + .30), but in the long run, you will get more and higher bids if the buyer can use a credit card.

5.) I recommend using Ebays' escrow service only. There are a lot of fraudulent escrow services. The only one I would feel comfortable with is Ebays' own.
 

Seth_S

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
335


Personal checks can be trusted, but just never send an item before the check clears, and be sure to state in your auction that you do this.
 

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