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jca2's avatar

Have you ever sold anything on Ebay, and if so, do you have any advice?

Asked by jca2 (16323points) July 10th, 2021

Two people I know suggested that I sell my clothes on Ebay. They both sell things on there – one sells clothes and one sells automotive stuff. It’s nothing I ever thought of. I always just donate to charity, like Vietnam Vets.

I have a lot of new clothes that are hanging in the closet, unworn, and used clothes, in great shape. I have things like new shoes in boxes, down jackets new and used, dresses with tags on them, all from decent brands like Lands End.

I was looking last night at similar items on Ebay and I see decent prices for them.

Have you ever sold things on Ebay and if so, do you have any advice?

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7 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, several times. I’m not a big seller, but probably 3–4 times a year.

1) Start with a fair price and something you would be happy with. Don’t overprice what you have. But don’t underprice either.

2) You can use the “but it now” option. The good news is that (usually) your item will sell faster. The bad news is that Buy It Now means you may not get the best price, because you will have sold the item. It’s a tradeoff.

3) Some buyers are jerks and will return something just because they can. Even if you say All Sales Final. And the way Ebay works, you – the seller – have to reverse the transaction even if the buyer is full of crap. Be aware of that.

4) Be sure to (a) make it clear that shipping is extra, or (b) you build shipping into the price. I have had several profitable sales turn to break-even because shipping costs were higher than expected.

5) DO NOT SELL TO BUYERS OUTSIDE THE US. More hassle than it’s worth. My experience is that they are more likely to screw you on payment. And then there’s Customs and tarriffs and other fees.

6) the more pictures you can post, the better. Especially the ones with price tags.

7) remember that Ebay takes a couple percent cut out of each sale, so work that into your pricing.

Summary: Attention to detail is important.

Finally: If you don’t already have a PayPal account, open one.

Really finally: You get better postage rates by prinitng your shipping labels through Ebay,

mazingerz88's avatar

I sold collectible statues and figures on EBay on and off this past 15 years. I wish I could have sold them using local internet marketplaces where instead of shipping the items they can simply get picked up.
That saves the buyer or me from shipping fees.

I think EBay has that pick-up option as well but the main reason why I stick with selling on EBay is this…my items do sell on EBay.

Depending on the level of demand for the item I make a profit or lose money on it. Most of the time I lose money but I’m ok with that since I just want the item gone.

EBay gets a good chunk off the price I sold the item for. For example, I just sold an Iron Man statue for 300 bucks and EBay took around 50 bucks.

I also have no patience for taking returns so I choose that seller’s no returns option. It’s headache I don’t need.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have. Finding proper packaging is a pain
Getting to a mailing site to have weighed is a pain.
Just wasn’t worth it to me.
I have MUCH better luck on the Facebook Market. Buy Sell Trade.

JLeslie's avatar

My husband has used eBay to sell some things. If I’m not mistaken there is bidding or you list a price so the person can buy now.

My dad sells books on Amazon and I’ve sold a few things there too.

My advice is be really accurate in your description of the items. Yours are new so that makes it much easier, you won’t have to describe an imperfection. Put up plenty of photos showing all angles of the item. No surprises for the person buying.

Package the item well so it arrives nicely. That helps you get good reviews. Just adding some tissue so the item keeps it shape is good even if you package in a soft envelope and not a box. Or, an inner plastic bag that you can form to the size of the folded garment so it stays folded.

If someone doesn’t like the item be ready to let them keep it for free, which might mean you lose money on that deal. You don’t have to let them keep it, you can return it, but my dad and I with Amazon selling just let them keep it.

A jelly above said there is a no return option, so I guess that’s the buyer knowing they are buying as is no returns. I don’t know if that deters most buyers or not for clothing.

If I were you I’d consider doing a yard sale first. Might be easier. Especially if you have some other items around the house you want to sell. Think about asking some neighbors if they want to do it on the same day. That’s assuming you are comfortable doing a yard sale with covid still out there.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I buy and sell on eBay. In no particular order:

1) I only sell things I know, so I can write an accurate and enticing description. Mostly it has been bicycle stuff, photography stuff, and computer stuff. When a friend asked me to sell baseball cards, I declined, because I know nothing about the market.

2) I get the packaging and know the weight and shipping cost BEFORE I create the auction. I use an inexpensive electronic kitchen scale. I will not buy anything without a stated shipping charge, and I assume other people dislike uncertainty as much I do.

3) Except for unusually heavy or bulky items, I ship free – the sales price includes shipping. I like the simplicity of one number, all-inclusive when I buy things. I assume other people do, too.

4) I almost always ship USPS Priority Mail. That’s for light items costing $50 or more. Cheaper stuff I ship regular mail. Big, bulky, and heavy items I figure out the best deal among UPS, USPS, and Fed Ex. For example I found Fed Ex to be the best deal (at the time) for shipping car doors and guitars.

5) To research the market, check “Sold Items” in the eBay search. Asking prices don’t mean much, you need to see actual past selling prices.

6) Now this is the fun/scary part – it takes confidence in your knowledge of the market – I start all auctions at $0.01 with no reserve. Yes, I could possibly sell a $900 camera or $1,000 guitar for one penny! But in dozens of auctions, I have only once been disappointed at the selling price. Almost every other time I get more than I would have asked for with a set price.

The price usually stays very, very low until the last few days of the auction, making it a nail-biter. But the ridiculous low prices attract attention and bidders.

7) Good pictures earn good prices. Take care with our setup, lighting, backgrounds, etc. Copy other sellers whose auctions would make YOU buy stuff.

8) Be honest about product downsides, wear and tear, flaws, etc. If there are stains or chips or rips, show them close-up in photos. It’s better to set expectations too low than too high.

9) Ask for feedback. A few days after delivery of the product, I send an email saying something like:
“Hi, jca2. I see the widget was delivered Monday. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I did. Let me know if there are any issues with delivery or condition

“I appreciate our business, and I entered positive feedback for you on eBay. If you feel inclined, please do the same for me with this link (insert link here). Thanks!”

Lots of people will not bother giving you feedback. Don’t worry about it.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

Used to. The problem was finding items that were worth the packing and shipping and still fetched a decent profit.

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