Sunday, 25 March 2012

My First Ebay Sale

I have been decluttering a lot lately and rather than just giving away items of value, I decided to see what I could get for them on Ebay. I am probably in the huge minority, but I have to admit that until this week I have never bought or sold anything on Ebay. I know, how very 20th century!

I have always been wary of Ebay. Everyone seems to use it with ease, but until recently I just wasn't motivated enough to learn what was involved and how to do it. I found the guide to Ebay selling on Money Saving Expert useful for a complete novice like myself.

If there is anyone out there (apart from me!) who has never used Ebay, basically all you need to sell something is a vague idea of how much your item is worth (check out completed listings on Ebay to see what has sold before and at what price!), a small amount of money upfront to list an item for more than 99p (although there are often free-listing weekends to encourage people to sell), and a digital camera to take photos of your item. You also have to register with Paypal to send and receive payments.

I decided to list some things that were not hugely valuable as a tester. A couple of coffee table books, some perfume I didn't like, that kind of thing.

The first thing I noticed was that you get a lot of “watchers”. These are people who are keeping an eye on the lot, but are not currently bidding. A quick Google search confirmed my assumption that they are usually either other sellers researching how much items are selling for or people who may decide to bid at the last minute (but often don't).

For an extra 6p you can add a “Buy It Now” option, to set a price for people to just buy the item for outright without bidding and waiting until the auction ends. I did this with one of my lots and it sold within three days. I based the price on what other people had sold the item for.

I'm quite excited to see how the rest of the lots pan out though. A couple have low bids on them already, but apparently the last couple of hours is where the real fun is to be had! I'm going to put any money I make into my Emergency Fund to try and beef it back up a bit!

Any experienced Ebayers out there with some tips for a newbie? :)


saving for travel said...

We ebay.

Most of the money has gone towards our Africa trip.

Now that's all paid for we're using it for frugal fun.

Sft x

saving for travel said...

Meant to say:

Good luck and I'm excited to see how you get on.

Sft x

Eleanor x said...

ebay is great, I've done it for years and there is nothing more exciting than a bidding war on something you were going to donate to the charity shop!
my advise would be to re-list as something that doesn't sell one week can get 5 bids on it the next and make sure your p&p pricing is accurate, no-one likes paying over the odds for recycled envelopes!
above all enjoy it!
you can make enough to buy a new washing machine - trust me!

Wean said...

For an extra 6p - you can 'schedule' your sales too, I like to put mine on to end around tea-time, when most folks are at home, but if I'm not around to enter them at tea time, I schedule them.
Don't forget the 'final value' fees - these often go overlooked and can mount up.
Good Luck ........

Wean said...

another thought .........
if you see an item go for a good price, don't assume that your similar item will do the same, it often doesn't !
i.e. a Stratton compact recently went for £12.99 - damaged, I've had one around for ages, listed it starting at 99p - and that's what it went for - undamaged ! I was gutted but had to let it go.
That's another thing, if you have a price in mind then start your auction off at that price ( or place a reserve on it) - it will cost a little more, but better than 'giving stuff away' !!
You may not achieve that price first time though, it's a gamble on Ebay.
It annoys me actually how folks say - 'you can sell that on Ebay' - they mean well I suppose, but what they should say is 'you can 'list' that on Ebay' - there's no guarantee you will sell anything.
Don't want to sound negative, but I've found out the hard way, I still use Ebay a lot, but make sure I have these safety measures inplace.

Frugal Living UK said...

The only thing I have sold on e-bay was a second hand pair of jeans, I couldn't believe that in the last hour they went up to over £20! I nearly chucked them out! so it just shows that there is a market for most things! good luck.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with giving stuff away.
1. Charities depend upon it.
2. I have benefited so much from charity shop bargains, I like to feel I am giving something back.

Nothing wrong with ebay, but don't abandon the charity shops.

Wean said...

what I resent about charity shops is they seem to think they should set their prices the same as the high street -
now if I want to buy an item from an antique centre, fair enough, the dealer has had to buy it in the first place, pay rental costs for their units, all sorts of taxes etc., they have a living to make - but the charity shops have had their stock given to them for nothing and charge very high prices usually - this I resent very much - I can actually buy clothing items cheaper brand new than buy from most charity shops.
Most of the managers/manageresses in shops seem to think they are running a branch of Harrods ! the prices have gone silly just lately - I think those in charge should realise they would sell more if they kept their prices down, as I said before, they've had their stuff given to them after all.
I believe most charity shops have a professional 'valuer' now to make sure they get top prices for their 'free' goods - this leaves a very nasty taste in my mouth !!
I'm not against charity at all, but resent very much being ripped off by them.

Eleanor x said...

actually I give a great deal to charity shops, anything that I regard as too heavy or unlikely to sell on Ebay goes straight to the charity shop - 5 bags went this week alone and I sold 2 things on Ebay, 1 of which was a pair of shoes that I listed several times last year, forgot about and relisted this week which resulted in my previously mentioned bidding war!
As a single mum of 3 I certainly do my bit for the charity shops (always have) but feel I'm entitled to be delighted at a sale of my own!
Good luck with your ebaying - it's great x

Bryallen said...

Wean: I definitely know what you mean about charity shops. In the ones near me, you can't find anything for less than a tenner, and often a lot more than that!

Anonymous has a valid point. Charity is important. Not so much for the "giving back" to the charity shops (which seem to be trying to rip us off!), but to give sellable items to the charity itself. I have just given a huge box of stuff to my Nana (she will use it for prizes and jumble sales raising money for the British Heart Foundation).

Eleanor said to give things that are too heavy or unlikely to sell to charity shops. I tend to give them things that they already sell, such as books, clothes and kid's toys. Things I'm selling on Ebay have sold for a few pounds or more in the past so I am getting a little bit of the money back to help me both declutter and raise money to move!