eBay - how successful are auctions nowadays?

I searched around like a good little boy, both here and outside (someone will post something to prove otherwise, I am sure), but not finding much to my satisfaction: Being as how I have a few things I’d like to sell (mostly scale rail model kits and the ilk - nothing particularly rare or old), I’d like to know how is the ratio of buyer to seller nowadays, or (alternately) how many auctions are successfully completed (i.e. the sale made) - I’ve seen antecedotal info that its gone from 70% to well under 40% in the past few years
For those who sell via ebay, do you see this happening - how difficult is it to make a sale, particularly in regards to not very rare items.
Also, slight off-topic, but I read that eBay is comtemplating discontinuing their eBay stores - any truth to this rumour?

As a seller, I can report I sell about 95% of the stuff I list. I keep prices low and make the terms as easy as possible for the buyer. My motivation is to get rid of unwanted crap and make a few bucks. I will keep the opening bid very low (anywhere from $1 to $4, depending on item) and if there is any interest at all, the final price is driven up enough to satisfy me.

I have noticed that model RR stuff seems to move pretty well. I browse for that kind of stuff. I’m considering building a huge layout for the boy some day.

I have noticed a huge increase lately of auctions that are basicly thinly-veiled sales of swap-meet crap. They start at (for example) $7.99 with a “Buy-it-now” for $8.99 and there are dozens of the same item. Not really the idea of an auction to me, but whatever, I don’t have to buy it. I see those with pretty poor success rate, with many items not getting any bids.

To get an idea of a very successful seller, check out “one cent CDs” and look at thier “other items for sale” page. They have THOUSANDS of CD’s for sale and damn if they don’t get bids on almost all of em! They start the bid at 1 cent and go from there. Of course I’m sure they at least break even with the shipping charges on items that only sell for a penny and they suck you into buying more with reduced shipping on additonal items. I buy alot from them and I feel I get a great deal and I’m sure they are making good money also. Win-Win.

My advice to successful selling: 1. Keep the opening bid amount low. If your item is worth anything, the final price will work its way up. This also keeps your listing costs low.
2. Make it easy for the buyer. Take all forms of payment. If you’re worried about bad checks, ship when they clear.

Good luck, happy selling and have fun!

She told me she loved me like a brother. She was from Arkansas, hence the Joy!

If the sell rate has gone, it looks like it’s because of the multiple listings of the same item, like what gatopescado mentioned. If you want to see that for yourself, do a advanced search and check the “Completed Items Only” box. You can see what sold and what didn’t. Here’s an example of a “model railroad” completed sales: Completed Items
You can see most of the items sold, but a lot of the ones without bids were multiple listings.

Their stock is on many solid “Buy” lists. This wouldn’t be so if they weren’t profitable. To be profitable, people must be selling, since that is where the profit comes from.

I also have sold 99% of what I’ve listed, just not always at the price I had hoped for.