My Tips on eBay Selling

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When we made the decision to tour almost full-time in our caravan, we got rid of most of our possessions. We sold many of them on eBay. I was new to eBay, so it was daunting at first, but there is lots of online help available on eBay.

Besides getting rid of clutter that we couldn’t store, we made a tidy sum to contribute to our travels!

Here, I have listed some of the hacks that worked for me.

  • Ask a friend who uses eBay – or ask a young person. Young people know everything about technology!
  • Start Small – Rather than listing everything at once, try just a few items a week until you get confident. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed or mixed up with having to pack up and post millions of items to the right people.
  • Pricing
    • To price things up, look at the price for which other similar items sold.
    • There is some merit in starting with a stupidly low starting price like 99p. That often gets interest because buyers think that they may bag a bargain.
    • However, remember that an eBay sale is a binding contract, so if you allow the auction to run to completion, you HAVE to sell at the agreed price.
  • Create An Eye-Catching Listing
    • Take GOOD photographs from several angles, preferably without the kitchen sink in the background.
    • Put all the relevant info in the title line, including size, colour etc. The title should contain all the relevant key words, since this is how people search the site for items that they want.
    • Be as detailed as possible and HONEST with your descriptions, it saves problems down the line and a plethora of questions. If things have slight scuffs or imperfections, say so and display a photograph showing the fault.
  • Think about Auction Timing
    • Think about the time that you want the auction to end. Buyers often wait to the last minute to bid. There will be more buyers around to bid at the last minute at 7.30pm on a Saturday night than at 4am on a Tuesday or 3pm when they’re in a daily meeting with their boss.
    • Try to run the auction over a number of days to incorporate a weekend or possibly a couple of weekends. That way, you are giving people more opportunity to find and browse your items for sale during their free time.
  • Keep Potential Buyers Happy – Offer impeccable customer service – respond to questions promptly and courteously.
  • Posting
    • At first, I didn’t know how to price up postage and sold everything on the basis of ‘Collect in Person’. This obviously limits your market to local buyers – and reduces your chance to sell.
    • I discovered the website Parcel2go, which was cheaper than Royal Mail. You can get an online quotation based on the size and weight of the item, so you know exactly how much it will cost to post. That means you can add accurate postage costs on your eBay listing. You book the package online and print your own delivery address label. Depending on which Parcel2go courier service you choose, you can have the item picked up from your home or drop it off at a collection location. I used a drop off location in my local Co-op, which was 2 minutes away and open 7-11. It couldn’t have have been more convenient! The oddest item I posted? A golf club.
    • Always ask for a signature as proof of delivery.
  • Packaging
    • Pound shops often sell packaging materials, such as brown paper, parcel tape, bubble wrap, jiffy bags and self-seal mail bags much more cheaply than the post office. Rubble bags from DIY stores are very sturdy and MUCH cheaper than plastic postal bags.
    • Supermarkets will often let you have cardboard boxes. I used to save and recycle all packaging materials that I received.
  • Costs to You
    • Make sure you are aware of all fees so that you don’t get any nasty surprises. eBay charges a listing fee, takes a commission on the final sale price and if you use Paypal (eBay’s electronic payment system, which I found the most convenient for me and the buyers) there is also a charge for that.
    • Take advantage of ‘free listing windows’ where eBay lets you list items for free. (Sales from free listings will still be subject to commission.)
    • Despite the costs, I found eBay an easy selling platform which gives you access to customers worldwide.
  • You will be surprised what sells on eBay. We made the most money from two old Sega Megadrives + games; several pairs of old, broken designer sunglasses (Ray Ban & Oakley) and a ticket and program from a 1994 Pink Floyd concert. There are collectors out there, folks and they collect just about anything

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