Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Well I haven't posted on the blog in more than a year and with good reasons. I haven't been selling anything on Ebay in a while. I tried again last Fall by listing 4 items to see how things would go and it was just not worth all the trouble. With another increase in fees coming up, these happen every year, and new feedback policies where sellers won't be able to post negative feedback for deadbeat buyers, many people feel that this is the last straw.

A seller strike on Ebay was announced for this week from February 18 to the 25th. I don't know if it will actually work, but it seems that the powers that be are paying attention at Ebay head office. Will it pay off? Who knows? But it did motivate me to go out and see if there is any options to selling online other than Ebay. The last time that people were yelling and screaming about fee hikes, a few sites tried to start up and be an alternative to Ebay, but to no avail. The shear size of the auction monster was hard to beat and let's be honest, it 's still is.

There are 2 alternative auctions sites to Ebay that I have checked out. One is Bidtopia and Both offer the same type of environment as Ebay. Another way to sell your stuff online is with Craigslist, those are free classifieds in most major cities. Craigslist is mostly for people selling stuff locally, but you can offer to ship. There is also that offers third party stores and finally the last option is to open your own website to sell your wares.

For more info on this and other Ebay related options, check out this very good article:

Gerry :)

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Well, there are many ways to get a higher price for your item that you are selling on Ebay, but the most important one is a great picture. Take at least one sexy picture of your thing and use it for the first picture they see on the listing and in the gallery. Then show other pictures to describe the item. Descriptive pictures are ones that either show damage to your item, any type of inscription that can authentify it or cool features that might encourage people to buy. The rule is, if you find that picture cool, your buyers will as well and they will just WANT to buy your stuff. Here's a few pictures from my auctions as an example.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Ok, you've worked your way into some positive feedback, bought a few useless items and ebooks and you're ready to go. Those transactions are not only to get yourself some positive feedback, but also getting yourself acquainted with the Ebay universe. Nothing helps you more in learning than actually doing. You'll get to see what type of people you might deal with. One thing you cannot forget is to keep your customers informed.

Before you get customers, you have to sell something. Let's do that, now log in and go to the "SELL" section of Ebay and start by choosing what type of sale you want to do. I never bother with anything else but live auction. No reserve, no buy it now, just a live raw auction with a low starting price, $0.99. It will get the ball rolling since you low ball everybody, except for the ones selling their stuff at a penny, but those guys usually charge $30 or more for shipping (That's the BIG secret of penny auctions by the way, just saved you some bucks on an ebook!).

Choose the category in which you will sell your thingamagy, because you DID read this blog and you DID do your research...right? Ok, now list it at the price you want and write a decent description. Always let people know what is defective with your doodad if there is anything wrong with it. Take a good picture, people want to see. Even if what you are selling is very rare and in high demand, you will never get top price if your picture is crap. Invest in a decent digital camera that can do macro shots, it will pay for itself.

Putting a picture in a the Gallery for the extra $0.35 is worth it most of the time. When doing a search people will notice your beautiful picture and will just want to go see your listing and they will ignore the other guy who just wrote some long small text, 'cause people don't like to read and they want it fast and now.

Put as much stuff as you can in the title, write in CAPS, it's free. List your stuff and good luck.

More later.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Finding stuff to sell on Ebay and pricing it.

Ok, so you've been through your stuff in the attic, basement or garage. You've found a whole bunch of things you don't use anymore and you might have some stuff that you think is actually worth some big bucks.

Remember the first rule from the first post, RESEARCH. Look up all that stuff in Ebay under completed auctions to find out what it's selling for. Another thing to watch for is to make sure you're not selling the same rare knicknac that 20 other people are selling at the same time. Unless this is an item that is in very high demand(Remember giggling Elmo?), wait a while until the market is not as saturated. You can be sure that if an xyz widget sells for big bucks one week, the next you'll find 20 others for sale at horrendous prices.

Pricing, let's talk about that shall we. Whatever you paid for your stuff, you must consider a few factors in before pricing. Im my book, and that's the way I usually work, I caculate that if I have owned something for more than a year and have enjoyed it for said period of time, it's paid for. Same thing for stuff lying around unused for more then two years. Price of purchase for these items most be considered as zero. That's why %99 of my auctions start at $0.99, it's a number I love to see as a buyer and I'm sure my customers love that as well. If you try to cover the purchasing price of your item, many people will shy away. This way, if more than one person wants your gizmo, the starting price will encourage more buyers to bid and bidding wars is what we are aiming for fellow future sellers.

Shipping, that cost is never calculated in the selling price. Shipping is always paid for by the buyer. Always inform buyers about your shipping rates in the description. This will give the buyer immediate information and will save you a bunch of annoying and uneccesary emails. Calculate your shipping cost ahead of time before posting your item up for auction. You don't want to lose any money on shipping. Offer to ship anywhere in the world, why limit your customer base to one country when you can have the entire planet to sell to. It's not more complicated, just take the time to find out how much it costs. I never bid on auctions that say "If from outside XYZ, email for shipping information" I don't, I WANT TO KNOW NOW and HOW MUCH, RIGHT NOW. I won't bother sending an email. I'll buy from someone else or I'll wait for another gizmo just like it to come up for auction soon enough.

Very rarely do people buy stuff from Ebay because they want it right now. They go to local stores 5 streets away from their house for that. Stuff you sell is already a pain to buy because of things like having to wait for the postman to deliver it, do not add to this by making your auction problematic in any way or demonstrate that the process might be even longer(with stuff like "we mail only once a week"). In this fast paced 21st Century, waiting is not a big seller.

Have you gotten your Paypal account yet? No! What are you waiting for. People hate to wait remember? Checks and money orders take time to get to you, delaying delivery even more. Make your stuff easy to buy with a Paypal account, easy to buy = easy to sell. It's that simple.

Man! Lots of stuff and we haven't sold a thing yet. Work on getting that feedback rating up in the meantime and research some more.

Next post, how to make your first auction.

Friday, August 25, 2006

HOW TO START SELLING ON Ebay: What to know before hand.

I've been selling and buying on and off on Ebay for 3 years now. I'm not a beanie baby millionaire, but I learned a few things. I'll share my knowledge with you and who knows, you might make a few bucks.

First of all, if you're only starting out, you won't be making a fortune in the next few weeks. It is always possible, like the lottery, but you must first developp your reputation before trying to sell some very rare trinket that is worth a fortune. Your feedback rating is very important. I would never do business with a member that had less than a %98 feedback rating. I've been burned a few times. You will too, it's part of the business and there is no way around it. The world is full of crooked morons and Ebay has them as well.

You build up your feedback by buying a few things. Don't go buy expensive stuff. Get little things that you might need or if you're lucky you could strike a bargain that you could resell later for a nice profit. When you have 5 good feedbacks under your name from winning a few auctions, you can try out your first sale. Take note that some sellers and buyers on Ebay are not too fast sometimes to leave feedback. Sometimes they just don't leave it at all. Ask for it once if you've heard nothing a week after the end of the transaction(by this I mean you got your widget by mail and the seller got his payment), if you get no reply, forget it and move on. In general, the buyer will leave feedback after receiving the item and that all is ok. This is a sort of confirmation of merchandise received for the seller who should then leave is feedback. Check for sellers who offer instant positive feedback immediatly following payment, this could help you.

Yes, payment. One of the best ways to pay for stuff on Ebay, is Paypal. Some love it, some hate it and I heard horror stories of all kinds. Paypal is not a bank account, so you do not have the same protection you would get from your local bank. However, this is a way to instantly send and receive payments over the internet. Paypal also offers a debit card free of charge that you can use where credit cards are accepted in the real world. That means you can spend whatever money you made on Ebay in the real world as well. I never leave too much money in my account, I usually spend it as fast as I make it. This way if any problem should arise, I don't lose that much.

Wow, that's a lot of stuff and we haven't sold anything yet. Before you start selling anything, go around the house and find stuff that you don't use or need. Whatever it is, put it aside. Next go do a search on Ebay for current and completed auctions on these items. This will give you a good idea on how much your stuff is worth. Browse the categories as well, you'll be surprised on what sells on Ebay. I have some images here to show how to use Ebay for free market research built right into the Ebay website. Use it and learn about your market.

Next post, we'll discuss pricing

Til then, use Ebay to do research, research and more research. Don't sell anything yet.