I'm considering selling stuff on ebay. Got any advice?

I recently realized I have way too may knickknacks, books I’m never gonna read again, clothes that are nice but not my style or don’t fit, etc. etc. etc.

So I made an eBay account. I already have a Paypal account. I have a nice digital camera, so taking good pictures of stuff won’t be a problem.

One thing I’m wondering is how do I know how much to ask for shipping?

I’m sure there are lots of sites with advice, but I figured I’d ask you folks as well Also, do you have any funny stories, or horror stories, about buying and selling stuff online?

I think a lot of people will only ship within their country, which means predictable postal rates and not having to deal with customs brokers. That simplifies things a lot.

My best advice:

Start your 10-day auction late on a Thursday night. Your auction will run through two weekends, concluding on Sunday evening. Lots of people home on Sunday nights.

Look for completed auctions featuring the same (or similar) item you want to sell. Cut and paste the description line from the most effective completed auction. No sense reinventing the wheel. Cut and paste descriptions willy nilly, using Amazon, other auctions, etc.

You can figure out shipping rates by looking to other auctions of the same item for guidance.

Good luck!

One good pic per item should be enough, unless it has different aspects which need to be shown.

Figure in some charges for handling, as it will cost you to buy cardboard, boxes, envelopes, tape, ink, paper, etc.
Buy a postal scales and weigh the item on it to help determine shipping charges.
There is a shipping wizard as well.
Describe items in detail and accurately. Many people will buy flawed items as long as you indicate the flaws honestly. “As is.”
Tell people buying fragile items that they should buy insurance too.
Do not accept money orders. Mostly they’re fine, but if they spell your name wrong, the bank won’t take it and it turns into a hassle for both parties. Insist on Paypal. Actually, I think eBay is phasing out money orders anyway because there have been so many problems.
I have had no problems with international orders, but I can understand people not wanting to deal with this.
Two words: Delivery confirmation. It is worth the bit of extra money.

Do you folks in the US face the same taxation scrutiny that’s coming our way?

My advice: Craig’s List. Local folks who can hand you cash no shipping required, no farting around with PayPal. I gave up on eBay years ago.

If someone wants you to ship something to Nigeria, it is a scam and the only thing you should do is report it to eBay. And of course, don’t ship anything until you actually have the payment in your bank account.

I use ebay a lot for buying and selling bike parts, it works out OK but is a lot of hassle compared to other cycling sites I use. Putting a lot of listings up at the same time makes it more bearable.

I’d recommend taking good pictures - doesn’t have to be professional quality or anything like that, just in focus, well lit and framed.

I think you might struggle to sell second hand clothes on ebay unless you have something especially interesting. Happy to be corrected, but I tried putting up a few of my wife’s endless supply of cast offs and got little interest. Clothes are so cheap nowadays that people can just buy them new. Books, cds etc will sell no bother and are a good way of building up feedback. You can search for completed listings to see what price things went for, that will let you know how the land lies for different items.

I don’t bother with a reserve price, just stick it on at 99p and see what happens. If I’m selling an item that’s actually worth a few quid I might consider a reserve. I’m about to put up a new bike frame that retails for around £700, for example, but it’s a quiet time for this sort of sale. A reserve can be useful in this sort of situation.

Always use a trackable shipping method.

Don’t let anyone hustle, bullshit, charm, or guilt you into shipping the goods before you’re absolutely sure you have the money - and use your means to check receipt of the payment - don’t, for example, rely on what appears to be an automated PayPal email notification of payment - check your actual account.

Package your sold items on the assumption that someone will drop kick the parcel.

Don’t forget to factor the reasonable cost of packing materials into your shipping costs (or consider their implications to your margin), but don’t overcharge for postage.

This looks like it might be a wise investment!

Can you buy one on Ebay.?


Package the item and weigh it. Then go to The US Postal Service website, and calculate the shipping cost from your zip code to the destination zip code. I noticed some ebay auctions allow you to enter your zip code and calculate shipping, but that’s been added since I’ve sold stuff there. I would imagine you can enter the item weight and sending zip when listing the item, and it submits this to USPS along with the buyer zip code for pricing.

Also, if you’re sending books or cd’s, the Post Office has a “media mail” shipping, which is pretty cheap. I usually used Priority Mail though, and always charged people cost for shipping. Some people charge $7.00 to ship something, and when it gets to you, the shipping label says “$2.00”. :mad:

Almost no one sells enough to be worried about that.

OP- start by selling only domestically.
Leave POS Feedback upon recieving payment.
Charge exact postage, Priority, then round up to the nearest dollar.
Use DC. Unless it’s under $5, even then consider it.
Only insure for items that are expensive and fragile.
Do not use reserve prices.

Craigslist works well for some things. But there’s a high fraud %. And most dudes want to pick it up or have you deliver, that limits your sales to fairly expensive items in a local area.

Insured or not, be very clear that once the item leaves your possession, i.e., is in the hands of the postal service, it is no longer your responsibility. If the item is lost or stolen in the mail, it is not up to you to chase the insurance, nor are you obligated to refund the money.

I have a lot of expensive work and dressy clothes that I have no use for now that I’ve retired. I’ve already donated 7 boxes to the homeless shelter so what’s left is mostly the very high end stuff and I was thinking about putting them on Craig’s List since it’s so easy. Have you had good luck with selling things that way?

Totally and utterly wrong. The buyer is 100% responsible for getting the pyament to the seller, the seller is 100% responsible for getting the paid for goods to the buyer. If the goods are lost or stolen in the mail the seller must either refund are ship new stuff.

There is an exception, if you are shipping Freight, where you use FOB. There you sign an involved contract with the Freight company, where they take responsbility. eBay sellers do not use Frieght for hardly anything. You could also use FOB if the buyer selected and directly paid for the delivery and they picked up from you.

In either case, the point is moot- if you sell through eBay and Paypal, they will refund the buyers $$ if the buyer claims the goods were not rcvd and you can not prove delivery (by DC or USP signature or whatever. Prove of mailing is not enough). The refund will come from the sellers Paypal account.

I know we’ve disagreed on certain eBay matters before (and likely still do), but I agree with this completely.

Not only is it the seller’s responsibility to get the item there safe and sound. Not only is it eBay’s frequently-exercised policy to enforce refunds in the case of non-delivery…

But also: declaring “I’m not responsible once I’ve posted the item” in your listings will cause you all kinds of hassle, including:

–Lost sales - I know I just skip over listings that include a bunch of angsty T&Cs, and I know I’m not alone in this.

–Fraudulent buyers - if you’re saying that it’s not your responsibility once the item has left your hands, there’s a fair chance you’re not sending by a trackable method, which makes you a target for false claims of non-receipt.

–Nuisance bidders and auction interference - there are people on eBay whose annoyance with things like unreasonable T&Cs translates into vigilante flake bidding.

I personally really don’t like ebay for selling things like books and electronics. There is too much hassle involved.

However, I do sell everything through Amazon. You don’t need to take you’re own picture and there are set shipping rates, and you often make more money than you would on Ebay. It is generally a lot quicker and easier-give it a go!

Use this calculator to calculate what your eBay and PayPal costs will be. Take into account that you may have to list the item several times or more to sell it, and each time costs you to relist (although less then the original listing cost.)

Pay special attention to the PayPal fees, that’s another 2.9% plus .30 in addition to the eBay fees. PayPal can fuck with your money too for no good reason, see below.

Keep in mind that if you set a reserve price that makes the auction much more expensive. You’re better off just setting a starting price to the minimum you would sell it for, and be prepared to sell it for exactly that price too, because someone will get it!

Honestly I just listed some items on eBay and it’s a PITA. They are really buyer-oriented now. PayPal decided to put “on hold” a $290 payment but still expected me to ship the item, because I had less than 100(!) feedback. I have a 6-year history with 100% good feedback, but only 65 feedbacks. :frowning: What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Bastards. My bill is due for the items I bought to resell on eBay, but I might not get paid for 3 weeks, assuming the package gets to the buyer and they’re happy.