Selling On Ebay

Discussion in 'Self Employment' started by Yvonne Smith, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I tried selling on eBay before, and with mixed results. Some things are just such a pain to properly wrap and ship that it just is not worth selling them, at least to me, it wasn't.
    One of the things that I had the most success with turned out to be something that I don't even like------cook books !
    Some of the older Betty Crocker , Pillsbury, and similar cookbooks are actually worth fairly good money, considering that I got the books at the thrift store for a dollar or two, and sold them for $10-15. Since I like browsing at thrift stores anyway, this seems to be something that fits my style, and I can have fun amd make some money, too.
    I discovered that some of the older sewing patterns sell for $20-$50; but it is hard to even find sewing patterns in thrift stores anymore, let alone the older ones from the 50's and 60's that people are looking for.

    The weather seems to be looking a little more like Spring; and I like driving better then, so I will probably try looking for some good possibilities of things to sell on eBay again this year.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I used to sell a lot of stuff on eBay, mostly books that I picked up for next to nothing at library or yard sales. I've sold books that I paid a nickel for sell for more than thirty dollars on eBay but when they didn't sell, the fees were a problem, plus the time involved. My wife has a store account on eBay and does a lot of selling there. Our neighbor is an auctioneer so he gives us a lot stuff that didn't sell at auction, like vinyl records and old stamped envelopes. We got a few boxes of envelopes, many of which had been mailed in the 1800s, including several that were sent during the Civil War, some with letters included. These are selling very well. Plus, she picked up a large number of cast iron pans that are selling well; one just sold for $95 today, which is more than she paid for the whole bunch. Personally, I think the vinyl records are a pain in the butt because they seem to sell slowly and they take up a lot of space.

    I also buy stuff on eBay. I have several websites on small towns in North Dakota, for example. Since I've never actually been to any of these towns, I look for out-of-print books on these towns, often published during centennials, and get the information that I need from them, as well a scanning whatever photographs I want to use, and then re-sell the books on eBay, sometimes for more than I paid for them. I'll also buy photographs or post cards from these towns, in order to add content to the sites.
     
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  3. Allie Seay

    Allie Seay Active Member
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    There are kids (teens) in the church my husband and I attend who regularly make profits on ebay. They can take twenty bucks to a yard sale and multiply it two, three and sometimes more times on ebay with such regularity that the pastor has been known to spot them a few dollars just to see how they can multiply it for the church.
    (He's big on trying to show people on small incomes how to bring money into "the storehouse".)
    Neither I nor my husband, on the other hand, seems to have the knack for knowing what sells on ebay. It could also be that neither of us knows exactly how to word our ads, though I doubt that. Ken can sell ANYTHING on craigslist.
    Me, I just can't sell and would surely starve with no roof over my head if I had to do it for a living.
    I can't even sell things that I know well and hold dear--like horses. Not that horses are selling well these days. You can hardly give one away in this economy, but I was unable to sell them while the market was still good.
    I have managed, however to bumble out a few sales on ebay. A very few and each one purely by luck, too, I would think, having nothing to do with any skill on my part. And not a single one of them made me enough to be worth the postage and handling--a dollar here or two there, though mostly less.
    I have been glad to see, though, that the fees for posting alone on ebay have been dropped, so that now if you have a no sale you don't get charged for it. I think they now charge ten percent of the total amount received per item (sale price plus shipping) on most things, which is somewhat better for me.
    So now, when I feel like a bit of punishment, I'll put something out there on ebay just to watch it being ignored; still thinking, I suppose, that even a dog has his day.
    It sounds like the two of you, though--Ken and Yvonne, have a bit of skill in selling on ebay. That's great for you both and I hope it continues for as long as you want it to.
    I am envious.:)
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Allie, there are some excellent eBay tutorials on Youtube, and they will help you get started. I am kind of haphazard with mine, and actually need to watch more of the tutorials if i am going to do ebay and make some money on a consistanct basis.
    But, here is what I have been doing, for what it is worth.
    First, I wanted to find something that is durable and easy to ship. NO china teapots for me. I love teapots, but not shipping them.
    Books, purses, and some clothes seemed like they would work, and are in good supply at thrift stores.
    I did a search on books (as an example), and ran the search by price, from high to low, to see what kind of books people were getting the most money for. Then, I did the same search; but this time , only for completed listings. This way, I could see what people actually SOLD the item for, or if it was overpriced (or simply unwanted) and didn't sell for the price they were asking.
    Once I had this information, then I was able to search productively for that item at the thrift store, have an idea what price it might bring, and how well it was likely to sell; so I knew what I could afford to spend on an item, and still make some money when I sold it.
     
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  5. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I have been selling on Ebay a few months now. During Christmas I made a little money by purchasing items locally and lisiting them online for sale. It has taken awhile to get the hang of what will sale and what will not even after I have done research for good selling items.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    My wife just made more than $200 on two cast iron skillets that she bought at a yard sale for just a few dollars.
     
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  7. Harrison Greenberg

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    I have given eBay a few tries and I have made a few extra bucks for my wallet. Especially with staying at home most of the time, I really like the thought of walking to garage sales, or op shops to buy things for a couple bucks and selling it on eBay for a nice little profit. Usually my profits are mostly donated to my church, and I'd keep some for myself for whenever I go for walks with my grandchildren to buy them an ice cream.
     
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  8. Richard Lee

    Richard Lee Member
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    EBay is a learning experience - the best sellers learn what does and doesn't sell. Records and books only sell selectively, are heavy and bulky to store/send - they can be very hit and miss. Pottery/crockery/etc is bad - it is difficult to pack and store and sells poorly. Electronic stuff can be difficult too - hard to compete with the bulk of stuff shipped direct from China for pennies - also get a lot of returns. Strangely enough clothes can sell well - and old shoes (in good condition) - tools and parts too, especially for older/rarer cars/bikes. I used to buy job lots of car and bike parts and sell them as individual parts. Buying old bike wrecks can be good too if you have the garage space - I once bought a wrecked bike for a few hundred - it had a Harley King/Queen seat which made half the money back on its own! Pipes, carbs and tank put it in profit - and sold the rest as scrap/rebuild project :). Fun if you enjoy tinkering with old bikes.
     
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  9. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    One lady that I know of seems to do really well just by going to yard sales and thrift stores and picking up things and then re-selling them on ebay.
    She was telling me about an old doll that she found at a yard sale for $10 and it sold for over $2500 when the bidding had stopped. She ended up delivering the doll halfway, and the buyers drove the other half to meet her, and I think also gave her extra money for gas to meet them. That kind of thing probably does not happen very often; but it does happen.
    I found a set of Franciscan Red Apple dishes at a thrift store, and they were only asking $5 for the whole set of dishes. When I priced them out online; I had over $500 worth of dishes !
    I love Franciscan ware, and I have an old , old set of the Desert Rose pattern. Some of it I collected at thrift shops over the years, and some my mother bought back in the 1920's when she lived in southern California, and Franciscan was actually made there.
    The set of Red Apple Franciscan, I gave to my daughter, Robin, and she likes it better than the Desert Rose pattern.
     
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  10. Harrison Greenberg

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    Oh man, who wouldn't want that to happen. That's a huge payday for something that was bought for such a low price. I really depends on the type of things you buy in thrift shops now. If it looks vintage and you pay a low price you could expect a pretty good payout on eBay. But that woman who had to travel halfway seemed a little risky though, should've just sent it by mail. (But free money is free money).
     
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  11. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I had gotten away from selling on Ebay and thinking about starting back up since I got laid off last year. I've been hearing a lot about how bad the fees are charged by Ebay which makes me hesitate. I guess I'll only know if it's bad or really bad is if I go ahead a list a couple of items.
     
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  12. Herbert Jennings

    Herbert Jennings New Member
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    I have read multiple times that the worst part about ebay seems to be paypal. Apparently, the buyers can get away with anything like saying that the item wasn't shipped or damaged and they get their money back. Paypal is also notorious for freezing people's accounts without any warning. Is there a way to use ebay as a seller without having to use paypal?
     
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  13. Dave David

    Dave David New Member
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    the worst thing about eBay and Paypal (actually one and the same, now adays) is that a buyer, can come back to the seller for a full refund for up to 180 days AFTER the sale. The seller doesn't even get a say so. Paypal takes the money back and you, the seller are now out the item, its' shipping and are expected to "reship or replace".

    Read the fine print. I used to sell tons on eBay and did quite well, but the scam buyers who tell you to ship one place, and then place a claim because you shipped it there, are out of control and have ALL the power.
     
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  14. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    If that would be the case, then I would pay extra to have the buyer actually sign for receiving the item especially if they paid a decent amount of money for it.. That would be my verification that they actually received it should a request be filed for a refund.

    In any case I wouldn't feel comfortable knowing that PayPal could freeze my account when I have other funds being deposited. Definitely something to think about. I'm beginning to lean more and more towards setting up a booth at a flea market this year.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I won't deny anyone else's experiences but, other than one or two people who insisted that the item had arrived damaged, I've never had that kind of problem, nor has my wife, and we've been selling on eBay for quite some time now. Maybe we've been fortunate.

    Then again, since we earn our living online, most of our money is in our PayPal accounts. I've even taken out and repaid a couple of loans from PayPal.
     
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  16. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    I decided against selling, too much bother to get things to the post office for me, most times I can't park close enough to walk to it let alone carry parcels there. But it does seem stacked against the seller
    .
    It's gotten more so in the last few years. Feedback worked both ways when I first started buying there and I don't see why that was stopped except it must have interfered with their profit margin to have customers 'not being always right.'

    I feel sorry for many sellers. I always check out a new one's feed back records but only the negatives and some of the stupid reasons buyers give them negatives for just make your jaw drop. So unfair.

    I've made just under 700 purchases and only 2 items didn't arrive. That is an impressive record, especially as the majority came from mainland China. Both were only small cost items one wasn't even worth claiming on, the other only about 5 bucks. I left neutral feedback as I had no idea if the seller hadn't sent them or if they'd gone astray on a slow boat from China.

    I got a lovely thank you message from one of them for not leaving a negative. I thought that was really nice. I continued to buy from the seller and never had any other problems. Probably the mail at fault.
     
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  17. Dave David

    Dave David New Member
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    That is exactly what the buyer does, receives the item, someone at his place of business or in some cases someone signs the delivery notice on his behalf. "HE" then says that "HE" never got the items and eBay goes after the seller, who MAY have recourse through the shipper. The seller is then obligated to "prove" that the signatures were the buyers, which we can not.

    Next the transaction is reversed, you the seller have to refund the sales price and shipping, or reship - at your expense. And now YOU have to locate the item, prove ownership and attempt to get it back, long distance.

    The other worrisome piece is that the buyer has up to 180 days to dispute this, along with any other complaint - not as shown, used, damaged, etc. And you, the seller, will be out the money - long after the transaction has been complete, apparently to EVERYONE'S satisfaction.
     
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  18. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    Well, there goes that idea:(. I'm not one to take with a grain of salt and move on. It hasn't even happened to me and already I feel like I've been treated unfairly.

    Still the freezing on someone's account sounds illegal to me the more I think about but it is probably in their policy that it can be done.:(
     
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  19. Richard Lee

    Richard Lee Member
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    Never had these scams - had the obvious attempts, like "I'll send a cheque for 5000 [for a 100 dollar item!] and you send back with change please" - so obviously a scam, so tell them to take a long walk along a short pier!

    Always ship to the PayPal address and always use a courier service with insurance or pickup with cash. Pick up can help actually - I once had a guy turn up to pick up a large fridge he bought from me, on seeing some other things I had for sale (and the fact he had a box van) he bought more in cash without EBay/PayPal charges!

    There are other sites too which are not so linked with PayPal - like Preloved.
     
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  20. John Stone

    John Stone Member
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    I've heard so many bad things about eBay lately. The place seems rife with scammers now that they've changed their policies. Most of the small sellers seem to feel they are being pushed out in favor of big corporations. Essentially, eBay is trying to imitate Amazon. Ironically, I've also heard that Amazon is now getting more small seller friendly, so they may be a better alternative to eBay.
     
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  21. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I received an email today from Ebay regarding the Seller Protection Policy. I did read over it and now I'm wavering again. It didn't say that there was anything new or different but did note how the buyer would be affected for unpaid items and closely monitored should it happen more than once even with different sellers.

    Anyway after reading it I did feel better about listing again.
     
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  22. Helene Lawson

    Helene Lawson Active Member
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    Ebay is really black magic for me personally, I wouldn't even know how to buy a product on that website, I'm quite ashamed...
     
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  23. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Mostly, it's an auction, although some products include a "buy it now" price. I think you need a PayPal account, although you might be able to pay with a card; I'm not sure since I use PayPal. When you see something you like, the page will tell you how much time is left on the auction, so it's a good idea not to bid right away, as early bids only drive the prices up. I wait until the last minute to make a bid, and you can get some pretty good deals.
     
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  24. Michelle Keiser

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    I have been selling on EBay off and on for over 10 years. I have had mostly good experiences but I have had bad experiences as well. I love selling on EBay. It is fun to watch your item go up in price when you only paid a dollar or less for it! The one item that I remember to be my biggest sale was an old wooden duck that my son gave me. My son use to clean out houses that were foreclosed on. His boss told him to do with whatever he wanted with any items that were left in the house. So, he usually would box them up and bring them to me to see if any of the items could be sold on EBay. Back to the wooden duck, or decoy. The duck was old, you could tell that right away by it's appearance, it had glass eyes, another plus, there was no makers mark on the duck, or any that I could see, so I thought what the heck, put it on there and see what happens. That duck sold for $460 dollars! I boxed up the duck, and thought surely the guy would get it and give me bad feedback because to me, it was a wooden duck decoy and it wasn't worth that kind of money or at least I wouldn't have paid that kind of money for it. The man gave me outstanding feedback and I was like "really?" So it just goes to show that you can take an old wooden duck decoy, that you paid zero dollars for, and make a huge profit....that keeps me looking for others trust me!! I love EBay...I really do.
     
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  25. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I have enjoyed the experience of selling on ebay. I am still looking a few items that sell good so that I do not have to have hundreds of listings to get one or two sales.
     
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