Monday, March 06, 2006

Getting started on Ebay

I've been spending the last few days cruising around Ebay, getting comparison prices for things similar to what I want to sell. I've got some old CDs, a few of them quite rare, that might fetch a good price. As a matter a fact, I saw listed a CD sampler that I got free with a purchase about 9 years ago and today that sampler is going for $60! Wow! However, there are no bids on it and it's 28 days before the auction ends. Should I price my same sampler similarily? My gut tells me to price it lower and see what kind of bidding I get. Afterall, I am also brand new at Ebay and have no customer feedback. Any Ebay sellers reading that can give me tips?

I also have a business idea to sell some things on Ebay and this week I would like to price the materials needed to construct the items I'd put up for sale. It's a side income that I'm exploring and could have some potential.

3 comments:

Mel said...

Aim, I remember Daryll telling me that bids don't really start coming in on items until the very last minute. People lurk to see how it's doing, and then when no one is bidding, they'll throw up a bid for it, and before you know it there are competing bids for an item. I guess it's sort of "safer" for them to buy using this method. So, you may check back on that item much closer to it's expiration date. It's quite fascinating, the psychology of bidding/auctioning. :)

Anonymous said...

I've sold a few things on Ebay over the last 2-3 months and I agree with mel, the majority of your bidding will happen in the last day or so. When I was evaluating whether or not to list an item I would see if others are listing a similar item and if they were receiving bids... no bids on their items then I generally wouldn't bother listing mine. Don't underestimate the time it takes to take a picture, write a blurb, estimate shipping, etc... you definately want that effort to produce a sale! My starting price was always the minimum I wanted to get for the item, that way if there was a single bid I didn't feel I was wasting my time, and the price is low enough to encourage a sale. Ebay offers a 'estimate shipping' button. Don't use it, I found their estimate was MUCH lower than what shipping actually costs and the 1 time I did use it I ended up paying the difference. If you're selling books, CDs, video games or movies then also consider half.com. They are affiliated with Ebay but the effort to list an item is much much lower.. all you do is type in the ISBN number and give a 1 sentence description of the condition of the item. I also like that half.com doesn't charge you a listing fee, only a fee when you sell the item. Finally, a couple thoughts on shipping. USPS is the cheapest. If you're shipping books, CDs, movies or video games within the US you can use "media mail" shipping which is much cheaper. If you're shipping something heavy internationally then an "M-bag" is the cheapest. I have yet to see either of these shipping options advertised in the post office but they do exist!

Amy said...

Anonymous -- this is all very good advice, and I will heed it. The part where if there is no bidding on the same item you would like to sell is also some valuable advice for it will take a bunch of time creating each auction item. With a baby to care for, I'm in a severe time crunch and there is never enough time in the day to do what I need to.