Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ebay and Me

I do not often purchase things, either in person or on the internet. I have used ebay a few times to make some purchases, for example it is where I acquired the Ranma 1/2 manga in Japanese. It was a very good deal, go the entire set in one purchase. I have been purchasing things on ebay for awhile now, but had never tried to sell stuff on e-bay. I recently sold some items on ebay. I do not own a scale so I decided to use the post offices Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes, I'm not sure if that was a good idea or not.

Other than the few items I sold on ebay recently, selling things online is something I've never done before and don't really know much about. I've traded and still do trade stuff. I used to trade anime fansubs via the mail (had too slow an internet to download them -still do), I've traded games, and I am actively trading books on a few sites listed in another post, but never sold anything.

My experience of selling things did not work out so well. I must have done something wrong since the way I figure it I lost money. I hear of people making a lot of money from ebay but I have no idea as to how they do it. I was not expecting a lot of money but I expected to get more than I did.

I put new items up for sale. Stuff still in their original boxes. I had good feed back from purchases I had made in the past. I did not get any bids until the last day of the auction. One bid per item. The items ended up selling for .99 cents a piece. After the listing fee, ebay's percent from the price and Paypals fee, I got around 40 cents per item. It definitely was not worth the trouble of doing. I had to spend time making the listing, taking pictures of the items, uploading the pictures, package the items, and shipping the items. I suppose I should have put a reserve price or maybe a buy it now thing, but I figure it would not have sold at all had I done that.

I was recently reading on another blog about how a person purchases books new, reads them as fast as possible, than sells them on ebay. Somehow making a profit. How? New books are sold at suggested retail price at most places and books are extremely easy to find online (just check a site like abebooks or dealoz). To make a profit, he'd have to sell the books for more than retail price, who would buy them for more than retail when many places online would sell them at retail. Even if he bought the books at discount, why would the ebay price approach the retail price? and would the discount he got the books at cover the various ebay/paypal fee's?

If you have any pointers for selling stuff online, I'd appreciate them being left in the comments. I'm not even sure if Ebay is the best place to sell things but it's big and everyone has heard about it but there are other services online that maybe better.

How do you get people to bid higher than the minimum when you have little feedback and only want to sell the occasional thing (sometimes with months between sales)?

What is the best way to list the item?

Reserve prices and buy it now, good ideas? or not?

What is the best way to ship the items, assuming you do not have a scale?

How do people make a profit?

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