E-BAY 101: So what can you tell me about E-bay?

First, I know there must be FAQs and what not at the site, but I’m asking this much as a friend may ask another bout a subject where the friend is“In the know”. What to look out for, how it works, how does e-bay get it’s slice ect. The reason being, I have access to some wonderful hand made Brazilian works of art as well as exotic coffees that never make it to export because it is consumed here (among other things). I’m thinking of this in small quantities not big time – I already have a job, and I have no idea what the restrictions are/would be. As far as money changing hands, that would happen in the states. I think because of the value difference between Brazilian money and US money, small time sales of a few things (even with shipping) could be worth while. So what do you know? I can’t be the first person who ever wanted to sell stuff internationally on E-bay. Can I? If so how?



I’m not sure consummables can be sold on eBay, so the coffee idea is out. I’m very unfamiliar with foreign trade practices on eBay, but I have seen several UK offerings. PayPal may be the best way to go on that, so there isn’t a conversion charge for each transaction. All in all, I know there are many other very knowledgeable eBay traders on the SDMB, who will surely be checking in sometime soon.

Good luck, whatever you end up doing.

Of course, there will be ramifications if you are selling professionally. There are many who actually run small businesses on eBay. Where I, as a hobbyist selling my own personal used goods, do not have to charge taxes nor pay taxes on the money I make, you will want to make sure that you are in compliance of tax laws in your own jurisdiction.

Now then, the very, very basics, as I see them:

You put something on eBay for sale. You pay eBay a fee (“listing fee”) for doing so. If that item sells, you will also pay a back end fee (“final value fee” I think it’s called).

So far I’ve had reasonably good luck on eBay. I’ve had only one deadbeat winning bidder out of maybe a dozen sales. All of the purchases I’ve made so far were great, though I was surprised a couple of times by customs brokerage fees upon delivery of the product (which came from U.S.A. to me in Canada).

I don’t know how well eBay works as a business model, but I sure do like selling my own private stuff and buying things there. I’ve gotten some great deals, and made some good cash for stuff I didn’t want anymore.

Thanks Munch!

Bummer about the consummables.

A quick search on eBay turned up this link that talks about selling food on eBay.

** Morkfromork ** wrote:

I thought that may be the case, just thinking it may all be based on volume of sales. The idea is keep it small and low profile, not a real businesss.

So, does this mean you need to send the product before they make payment?

Some times this happens to me if the athorities open the package.

I’m sure it’s not the ideal business model, but really, I was thinking along the lines of helping some local artist buddies and maybe pick some extra cash. American money is a good thing to have as the exchange rate today is 3.56 Brazilian to 1 American. Imagine how far a hundred bucks would go at this rate.


Typically the buyer sends payment and then the seller sends the item. I think Mork probably meant a person who bids on an item, wins the auction, and then refuses to go through with the transaction. Under U.S. law, the seller could probably sue under these circumstances for breach of contract, but the costs of maintaining such a lawsuit would far outweigh the benefits for any but the most expensive items.



No, never send an item until you have the payment. But if you get a deadbeat bidder, that means the high bidder didn’t pay. So you lose a sale. You still have to pay listing fees to eBay (you can file for a refund on your Final Value Fees, ) and list it again - basically, deadbeats are a big hassle. Especially the people who insist that payment will be sent tomorrow, and it never comes. You are stuck holding something you could have sold, and the waiting game is no fun.

Selling on eBay is easy, make sure you have good pictures of the items you want to sell.

Here’s a good book to check on on the topic:

Starting an eBay Business for Dummies–ISBN 0764515470

The woman who wrote it has a very successful ebay business and lots of good tips for those looking to try their hand at it.

You can take foreign payments with Paypal.com with their international payment arrangement, if they still have it.

I used it once but when I got my bank statement, there were two other charges for currency conversion for some odd reason. Only about $4.50