You’ve got a basement full of old stuff that you don’t use anymore, vinyl records but no record player, some old comic books and just a whole lot of… junk. Now before you “store” those items on the curb, you should do a bit of searching on eBay to find out if any of it is actually worth anything. One man’s trash, as they say, is another man’s treasure.
After you sign up to use eBay, which basically requires a credit card to confirm your age, identity and to pay the various sellers’ fees, you’re pretty much ready to get going. Don’t be too wary if people actually avoid your first auctions – this happens for a few reasons. The first is that eBay uses a feedback system, where you get positive feedback for successful transactions where everyone is happy, neutral feedback (which doesn’t really help or hinder you too much) for those auctions were things could have gone better, and negative feedback for those downright problem times. Your rating is based on the various positive and negative feedback; and the higher your rating the more positive transactions you’ve had.
Under eBay’s new policy only buyers can leave neutral or negative feedback, but sellers can choose not to leave feedback at all. Likewise the overall rating is only based on the last 12 months of transactions. For buyers this means they can be honest without fear of reprisal, while for sellers it means only the very best will likely have a 100% positive.
But of course some people are never satisfied, but you should try to do your best to keep your overall average up is important in the long run. The point also remains that buyers may be less likely to shop from you if your feedback is low. This is because many “fly-by-night” scammers run and auction or two, take the money and disappear without bothering to send the goods. So to get your numbers up consider doing a little shopping first.
Once you are ready to sell, remember that you’re paying a listing fee, which can range from about $.20 or more these days to as much as $5 or more. On top of that there is a percentage fee of the closing price. You need to factor these numbers in, because if an item closes for $100, your cut is actually closer to $93, and that’s not even factoring in PayPal fees if you accept that as a form of payment. This is important if you have tight margins when you’re reselling bulk items, and obviously less important if you’re just selling those old clocks that your grandmother left in the attic.
There are additional features that eBay offers to help sellers, but these cost additional fees, and not everyone is convinced the money is well spent. “As a rule I’m not a big fan of eBay’s listing upgrades such as bold titles or listing in two categories because I just don’t think they’re worth the extra money,” says veteran eBay user Shauna Wright, co-founder of the popular web site WhoWouldBuyThat.com, and author of Don’t Get Burned on eBay. She adds that one feature that is worth it is the gallery. “It puts a small photo of your item on the search results page. People are much more likely to click on an auction if they see a preview picture first.”