Ebay??

Framar

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I know a lot of you are involved with selling items on Ebay. I personally have never seen their website (except for a few pages like the guy in the wedding dress and the Menopause Barbie) but I digress, I have a LOT of stuff I could be selling and I want to ask y'all just how easy/time-consuming/safe, etc. it is to get started.

I recall hearing that it it far less easy to become established as a seller now than it was in the beginning (it is now and ever shall be - oops!). I have many personal collections which include vintage prints, vintage T-shirts, magazines, figurines, posters, Star Wars crap - I need to get rid of this stuff and I need money. Ebay seems perfect.

What are the hidden negatives of all of this? I have read recently that new businesses are opening up where they sell this stuff for you and take a percentage (30% was the figure they mentioned). I have the digital camera, scanner, and the power of description. Do I have the time, eyesight, patience???

Does Ebay suck you into being a buyer once you hang out there regularly? That is a HUGE fear of mine!!! Or are you compelled to go in search of more crap to buy once you have exhausted your own personal stash???

Please share your thoughts and experiences with me. I have matted and bagged the vintage prints and they are in bins in my shop and I only sell one or two a year. I could use the shop space and they are too way cool to toss.

Thanks!
 

Framerguy

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Destin, Florida
Mar,

EBay cam be easy, time consuming, and safe depending on how you approach it. I have sold off and on for about 8 years and signed on when it was probably still easier to get registered than it is now.

EBay can be addictive. You have to have self control and know what you want to use eBay for before you get started. I know of people who spend a wad of money on things that they don't really need just because of the thrill of the bid and getting in at the last second to outbid somebody else on something that looks like it is needed.

If you want to take the time to photograph each one of your items and load them onto your computer, upload them to the eBay site, write up a descriptive and compelling short posting of the item, make arrangements for payment from the buyers, (I use PayPal for all my online sales and purchases), you can do OK on eBay. One thing that I would recommend is to do a search of the things that you want to sell first to determine how many other people are trying to sell the same thing. If there are umpteen other items exactly like yours, chances are quite small that you will get a good bid on your item.

The new store next to my frameshop is an eBay reseller and I would not recommend going that route unless you just don't want to fool with doing it yourself. Their commissions are quite high on some items and they don't always research the items well enough to make a valid posting on them.

It can be alot of fun and it can be a good way to sell all that stuff that has been laying around the house for so long. But it does take some planning and some research to get the job done and make any money at it. There are some items that are natural sellers on eBay but most times there are so many items that resemble yours that you end up getting no bids or maybe a few that don't come close to what you actually feel you should have for an item. You need to start your bid somewhere close to what you want when you first start out. After you sell so many items and can set a "reserve" price on the sale, you stand a better chance of getting either a "no sale" or get what you want for your auction items.

Framerguy
 

Marion P

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Maroochydore, Australia
ebay can be very addicting, I had to band my husband from using it.. He was finding too many car parts. He can spend hours searching for that one great deal....

But it also can be profitable if you have the right stuff to sell, and it seems people will buy anything.

My Dad had a wholesale western leather business and when he sold the business, he had alot of stuff that was hanging around the house, so he got onto ebay and sold a few things, he is now a Power seller... (a grand title I guess hahaha)

My dad sells alot of his stuff thru ebay and has helped a few people get started.. I believe he has a webpage on step by step information about ebay. If you want his email address I would be happy to pass it on. Just let me know.
Oh he is located in Seattle, WA.

Also there are a few business that will list your things on ebay, but they take a huge percentage. If you have a clear photo of your item, and a brief description its easy, but yes time consuming... It will help if people can pay you via pay-pal.

Hope this helps.

Marion
kaffeetrinker_2.gif


PS.. the last time I was in Barnes and Noble I saw a book on "how to get started on ebay"
 

wpfay

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eBay sponsored a class at the Atlanta show on how to use their services. It was not well advertised (well, I didn't know about it), but seemed to be well attended. I hope they are planning to continue sponsoring these classes a future events.
 

YooperFramer

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Jul 28, 2004
Posts
864
From
marquette michigan
I have just one experience.

my husband tried to sell a 10 year old snowmobile. he listed 2-3 pictures and a detailed description...

ebay charged our CCard 40 bucks just for listing (we knew about that charge) but another $80 for the pictures which he didnt know was going to be charged.

the guy who won the bid(I think his bid was like $600) came to our house to pick it up, he immediately started trying to get the sled for less than what HE bid for.

my husband told him to go home.
So, here we are, $120 spent for nothing.
the sled still sits in the garage, this year we're doing it the old-fashioned way... good 'ol Newspaper!
 

Emibub

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Centennial, CO, USA
Happy, you must have had an unhappy experience. I have never been charged more than ten cents a picture. I bet you paid for it to be a feature or gallery item. They do have all sorts of options designed to make you spend more. They take literally pocket change if the item doesn't sell. I think if it does sell they take like 10%. Although, it is more on high ticket items. Plus, if you use Paypal keep in mind they charge 2-3% and I think it is .30 a sale. Plus, if in like Happy's case, if the sale doesn't go through you can report it to Ebay and then I think you are only obligated for the listing charge.

They now have great downloads to manage your accounts on Ebay. I have used http://www.vendio.com/ for all my listings in the past. They are set up to manage all your images although you have a website so you might be able to store the images there and avoid paying the image fee. They have fun templates and once you get the basic look you want it ain't that hard.

If all else fails yes, do look for that Ebay University, it has been through Denver on several occasions and they have all day workshops for beginner and advanced sellers. I've never been able to attend since they are always on a day my store is opened.

All that being said, I have had some really good results selling antique items. Small antique items. I also had some ugly statues here in the store when I bought it that turned out to be collectors items that I sold every last one of. But, I am sitting on quite a few items that I just am too lazy to list. It is all about motivation.

Also, Tom is right. Do your research on where you want your pricing. Don't start it at less than you want for it. I always marvel at the people who start the bidding at 1 cent without a reserve. Gotta have confidence it will sell for that.

Personally, I would like to find something steady to sell on Ebay, it would be perfect to manage in the store from listing to shipping. I just don't kwite know what I would sell.

Good luck!
 

boxer1

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Alberta, Canada
Most people won't even look at your listing on Ebay if you don't have a picture of the item. I'm one of them. Kathy mentions Paypal and although it is an additional fee it will also will broaden the buyer base as most people prefer the conveniance of using a credit card to pay for an item.
 

Lisa A

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Haymarket, VA
If you are going to do many ebay auctions, download the Ebay Turbolister. It is a free software on the ebay website that helps manage your auctions and allows you to set up your auctions in "bulk". Going through the ebay screens is fine for setting up one or two auctions but will take forever if you are doing any more than that. Plus it allows you keep all your auctions consistent, same look and feel, plus you can save templates to use later.

You should spend some time browsing the auctions to see how things similar to what you have are selling and what prices they are selling for. Having no reserve on the auction is a big attraction for people so if you set your beginning price high enough or charge enough for shipping, you should be able to get a nice payback.

IMHO, things that sell well are those that are unique, not available everywhere, or available in limited quantities. Collectibles like you have should sell well. Pictures are essential but since you have a digital camera, you are good to go.

To get established, you may want to sell some small items first and be sure to mail them out quickly and request positive feedback from your buyers.

Good luck and have fun!
 

Emibub

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Centennial, CO, USA
One more thang Mar, placing your item in the right category is crucial. Wording the title right is important too. You have to get the right words if people are searching by word and not category. That is the way I shop on Ebay. I don't browse categories, I just put in the word of the item I am looking for. I think you can list in two categories for no additional expense.

You are making me feel guilty Mar. I took pics months ago that I haven't listed yet. In fact, here I am Sunday afternoon on the computer just because your thread nudged me. Thanks!
 

j Paul

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Toledo,Ohio
I had a large n-scale model train layout that I tried selling for $450. when we moved several years ago. Finally listed it on Ebay and sold it for over $900., and the guy that ended up buying it was from my home town.
Also sold an electric violin at a much higher price than what I thought I could get locally. Just a much larger pool of buyers.
All of the precautions mentioned should be observed

One word of caution. If you are bidding on something, don't ever do it in the dark. I was bidding on an item and meant to bid $26.00, and mistook the "," for the "." and placed a bid of $26,000. For the life of me I could not remember the right terminolgy for canceling a bid. Boy did I have a sleepless night. Fortunantly I didn't get stuck to bad. So unless you have better eyesight than mine,or are a better typtist, always bid with the lights on.
 

Framar

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Buffalo, New York, USA/Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
Maybe I'd better wait about ebay until AFTER my cataract surgery!!! My eyesight is getting worse by the minute (I plan to try begging at the doctor's office tomorrow...). "Oh, please, kind sir, at least make the appointment for the Opthamologist NOW so I can get a jump on being able to see again so I can do little things like sell stuff on ebay and frame pictures to make a living!"

Thanks everyone for all the super advice!!!
 

CharlesL

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Clayton, NC
Hello. My name is Charles, and I was an eBay addict.

I smoke, so I carry BIC lighters because they fit in my shirt pocket and don't require filling with fluid.

Daddy used to use the Scripto Vu-Lighters with the fishing fly inside. I recently went on a Scripto buying rampage. I couldn't stop. I bought about 8 of 'em, and there are 2 that don't leak, and work properly.

BEWARE when you see the words 'Item sold as is'!!

I also found a great deal on TDK SA-90 brand new cassettes. Won the bid, and it took over a month to get them. Had to go thru eBay's version of mediation, which costs an additional amount ($30.00 I think). They seem to have made it more difficult to 'contact us' recently also.

Won the bid on an $18.00 poster, and kept getting responses from the seller that it had been mailed via USPS. Finally told him to keep the $18.00, as it was a low price to pay to learn he was a crook. It took me about 2 months to learn the seller was a crook.

PayPal is awfully handy, too. But it makes it so easy to buy, you can get in over your head quickly. The seller gets paid instantly, while you sit and wait for delivery.

I'm not a 'seller', just a buyer and an ocasional browser. There is one seller who ALWAYS comes thru as promised: Jin Wicked. I haven't been on eBay in so long, I'm not sure she even sells her art there anymore.
 

Ron Eggers

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Wisconsin
Mar, there is one of those "middle-man" eBay businesses in our area. They take your item(s), post it to eBay and collect a commission when it sells.

I've had no direct experience with them. The idea is sound but, based on what a customer told me, this particular operator appears to be inept.

They listed the item for 48 hours - I have no idea why it was such a short time - and even the seller couldn't find it on eBay until they showed him where to look.

Like framers, I would imagine these outlets vary wildly in the quality of their service.

BTW, one of the junk faxes I got a while ago was a pitch for either opening a franchise eBay outlet or to invest in the company that started them. I didn't spend enough time on it to determine which.
 

Mike Labbe

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I'm a big fan of ebay too, in moderation. I have bought and sold but mostly buy. (several vehicles, computer equipment, cell phone equipment, fish pond equipment, water filters, auto gadgets, etc)

If you need something discontinued or rare, it's a great resource. There's a lot of junk being sold on there too. It's a modern day "flea market".

They use a "Feedback rating system" based on experiences of previous transactions. After you make a purchase, you're asked to rate the seller "positive experience, neutral, or negative experience" and you can write a 1 line comment to explain your choice. You'll probably want to avoid anyone with more than 5% NEGATIVE feedbacks or someone with very few transactions in their history/log. It's a fairly decent way to weed out the scammers versus the legitimate sellers.

Sometimes you can find and win things for just a few pennies if no one else bids. It tends to get addictive


Mike
 
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