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Old 01-06-2019, 04:55 AM   #21
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Have sold 4-5,000 items on ebay. Powerseller, have a store and everything sells buy it now. Total fees, ebay and Paypal run about 20%. But most items sold have a 400%-800% profit margin-so not a problem. Buy very low, sell high and use ebays advertising to cash in.

Fees too high? Not when you consider the downside of a brick and mortar, or antique mall presence. No shrinkage (theft) with ebay. Only had one or two crooked buyers in a decade, and ebay has backed me.

IMHO, an ebay store is the prefect hobby business. Start it up, shut it down for a few weeks or months as needed. Never a phone call from a buyer-(and most are very nice people).

Sure, I use Craigslist for a few items each year-usually large items (appliances, non-working scooter, bicycles, etc.), but ebay is easier once you learn the ropes. (And, for Craigslist, I meet in bank parking lots (lots of security cameras...).

Your ebay store can be a cash machine once you get the hang of it. I personally know of retiree sellers making $800 to $2000 a month-not a fortune, but a nice income for PT work (10 hours or so a week once you get it up and running.) Plus, it is a legit business from the view of IRS, which includes the same deductions the big boys/girls get.

Where to get inventory? Go to garage sales. Sellers routinely "give away" items for less than a buck which can sell for $15 to $20 or more. Are you an expert with a particular consumer item? (bikes, time pieces, cameras, computers, vtg. anything...) If so, you can buy broken things, fix them to sell, or sell the parts. There are people selling used motorcycle parts on ebay and netting $100k a year. Full time, obviously, but a nice gig!

Lots of people slam ebay: "high fees, crooked buyers, ebay backs buyers not sellers"....
yeah, well, keep the negative press going. It just keeps the marketplace open for people like me and you.

I also know many sellers who specialize in used designer clothing. Can you think of a more recession proof business? Gently worn clothing selling for 50%-80% off new prices?

Easy to learn. Tons of youtube videos out there. Don't spend any money on "tutors". Just learn on the fly. Look around your house and find a few "old things/collectibles" to start off with. Or hit the garage sales. For $25 you can find a dozen or more things to experiment with. If one or two sell (most likely for $15 to $25) you will get your money back, a nice profit and "free" learning.

Good luck, Imolder, hope I gave you some ideas. Your posts have always been an inspiration to me.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:17 AM   #22
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I have also sold many items on eBay. I don't buy much. When I first retired, I used eBay to help me declutter my house and wardrobe. I have also helped a few friends to do the same thing. It provides a little fun money, gets rid of my stuff, and hopefully the item goes to a new owner who really wants it. The buyer pays the postage charges. I only sell items that I know I can wrap up and mail! Especially with first class postage.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:39 AM   #23
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is tracking a must on the items you sell? I have purchased lots of items on ebay and sold some. buying is pretty much a guaranteed return if not satisfied. selling seemed expensive and kind of a hassle. where do you find items that you can mark up 400 to 800 percent?
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:54 AM   #24
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is tracking a must on the items you sell?
Yes, it's a must to ensure you are protected, and customers expect it. Good news, tracking is included in all package mail now, from the lowest first class parcel rate on up. (not sure about media mail).

To anyone selling online on any platform: You want to have your own printer, and print your own shipping:

A) it's hella cheaper as you get the online rates
B) beats standing in line at the PO - especially if your mail carrier is reliable and scans pick ups
C) usually done directly from the site you're selling on, or paypal, so the tracking number is auto-sent to your customer (vs you manually keying it later after you get back from standing in line at the PO)

Even if you don't sell online, if you have a paypal account you can do it this way by going to paypal dot com slash shipnow and creating a label to anywhere.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:51 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
I have sold big items on craigslist, like snowblowers and a car.
I only take cash as payment in full.
For the car, it was after some fellow in Canada was murdered during the test drive of a nice truck, so I was a little nervous.
However, my car was selling for $1,100 and the guy came by himself to test drive it.
Lastly for the car, I did have DW stay in the house and lock the house doors and told her to call 911 if anything bad happened outside.

I noticed on craigslist, lots of lowballers will email you (I only had a throwaway email as first communication). The lowballers will send you an email , often not even asking questions and just say "will you take 50% on that item" .
Or they are in another State and want to know "Will you deliver it".
I'm not even sure they know what the item is, maybe its a software program sending the email.

If I ever sold a gun I'd do it at the police station, and I'd clear with the cops first.
We sell on Craigslist too. It seems far more open to scams. There is zero recourse, unlike eBay. We get probably 2 to 1 or 3 to 1, scam emails for every legit one. So be careful. We also NEVER have a buyer come to our house. The local Starbucks is a perfect meeting place for transactions. If we can’t get an item there, we donate it. In general Craigslist is sort of creepy.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:55 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
Have sold 4-5,000 items on ebay. Powerseller, have a store and everything sells buy it now. Total fees, ebay and Paypal run about 20%. But most items sold have a 400%-800% profit margin-so not a problem. Buy very low, sell high and use ebays advertising to cash in.

Fees too high? Not when you consider the downside of a brick and mortar, or antique mall presence. No shrinkage (theft) with ebay. Only had one or two crooked buyers in a decade, and ebay has backed me.

IMHO, an ebay store is the prefect hobby business. Start it up, shut it down for a few weeks or months as needed. Never a phone call from a buyer-(and most are very nice people).

Sure, I use Craigslist for a few items each year-usually large items (appliances, non-working scooter, bicycles, etc.), but ebay is easier once you learn the ropes. (And, for Craigslist, I meet in bank parking lots (lots of security cameras...).

Your ebay store can be a cash machine once you get the hang of it. I personally know of retiree sellers making $800 to $2000 a month-not a fortune, but a nice income for PT work (10 hours or so a week once you get it up and running.) Plus, it is a legit business from the view of IRS, which includes the same deductions the big boys/girls get.

Where to get inventory? Go to garage sales. Sellers routinely "give away" items for less than a buck which can sell for $15 to $20 or more. Are you an expert with a particular consumer item? (bikes, time pieces, cameras, computers, vtg. anything...) If so, you can buy broken things, fix them to sell, or sell the parts. There are people selling used motorcycle parts on ebay and netting $100k a year. Full time, obviously, but a nice gig!

Lots of people slam ebay: "high fees, crooked buyers, ebay backs buyers not sellers"....
yeah, well, keep the negative press going. It just keeps the marketplace open for people like me and you.

I also know many sellers who specialize in used designer clothing. Can you think of a more recession proof business? Gently worn clothing selling for 50%-80% off new prices?

Easy to learn. Tons of youtube videos out there. Don't spend any money on "tutors". Just learn on the fly. Look around your house and find a few "old things/collectibles" to start off with. Or hit the garage sales. For $25 you can find a dozen or more things to experiment with. If one or two sell (most likely for $15 to $25) you will get your money back, a nice profit and "free" learning.

Good luck, Imolder, hope I gave you some ideas. Your posts have always been an inspiration to me.
Completely agree. When I tell people how much we’ve sold on eBay, they don’t believe it, then I show them our seller page and they are shocked. A hundred grand more in anyone’s life, makes a difference. That’s a lot of vacations.
I am not sure if it’s been mentioned, but if you reach power seller status, $3000 in sales and at least 100 transactions, plus a few other things, they discount your sales costs and you show up higher in searches.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:30 AM   #27
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I love buying the super cheap stuff from China. The tech is very sketch, the instructions are in Chinglish, but if I could not get something to work, I document that in pictures and have always received a refund without even a request to send the item back. I think they'd rather eat the $5 than have a documented failure and a ding on their record.


I have ordered a few things that never shipped. Got my money back but had to order again from someone else, which is mildly annoying, but only happens rarely.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:42 AM   #28
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I love buying the super cheap stuff from China. The tech is very sketch, the instructions are in Chinglish, but if I could not get something to work, I document that in pictures and have always received a refund without even a request to send the item back. I think they'd rather eat the $5 than have a documented failure and a ding on their record.


I have ordered a few things that never shipped. Got my money back but had to order again from someone else, which is mildly annoying, but only happens rarely.
I bought a red flashing clip on beacon for when I walk in the dark in the morning. It was $2.50 shipping included from China. It took about 3 weeks to get it. It works great. We were at REI recently and I saw the exact same beacon for $17.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:43 AM   #29
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I sold a couple thousand dollars of vintage items from my parents' estate. I had 1 or 2 bad transactions out of say 150. Dealers were mostly buying the items. I did not ship out of the country.

It was a lot of work for the payout by the time you price to make it attractive to a dealer, and take out ebay and paypal fees. Then, starting last year, PayPal was required to report the sales to certain states including mine. The state never followed up, but that was the final shoe for me.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:51 AM   #30
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Great information in this thread and I appreciate everyone's willingness to share their experiences. I've been selling/buying off and on on eBay for 15+ years and never really had a truly bad experience. Now that I'm nearing my FREEDOM day (possibly June 2019), I am looking to get back into the eBay business (which I have always thoroughly enjoyed) as a PT hobby.

To that end, one of the hassles I've always experienced as a seller is the process of taking, uploading, editing, and posting photos of each item. I've searched and searched for what equipment people use and how people set up and take/process their pictures and never really found a solution that was streamlined and efficient. The items I'm hoping to sell would be both clothing and non-clothing.

What do you eBay sellers use for taking and processing/editing your item photos? What type of home office setup do you have for your eBay 'business'?

Btw, our local Goodwill is next door to our new Planet Fitness. What could be better than an early a.m. workout followed by some browsing for potential eBay items at the GW!
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:15 AM   #31
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I find it easier to sell on Nextdoor, offer up and Craigslist than Ebay. I have people come to my house but I meet them outside. That way if they fail to show up it doesn’t matter.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:24 AM   #32
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Great information in this thread and I appreciate everyone's willingness to share their experiences. I've been selling/buying off and on on eBay for 15+ years and never really had a truly bad experience. Now that I'm nearing my FREEDOM day (possibly June 2019), I am looking to get back into the eBay business (which I have always thoroughly enjoyed) as a PT hobby.

To that end, one of the hassles I've always experienced as a seller is the process of taking, uploading, editing, and posting photos of each item. I've searched and searched for what equipment people use and how people set up and take/process their pictures and never really found a solution that was streamlined and efficient. The items I'm hoping to sell would be both clothing and non-clothing.

What do you eBay sellers use for taking and processing/editing your item photos? What type of home office setup do you have for your eBay 'business'?

Btw, our local Goodwill is next door to our new Planet Fitness. What could be better than an early a.m. workout followed by some browsing for potential eBay items at the GW!
I use my phone for pictures and use the editor on the phone or occasionally the editor built into the eBay app. It has gotten to be super easy to handle the photos. One photo tip. The order in which you click on them to load is the order they will appear in your listing. So click on the best overall photo first, then add all the detail photos.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:06 PM   #33
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I find it easier to sell on Nextdoor, offer up and Craigslist than Ebay. I have people come to my house but I meet them outside. That way if they fail to show up it doesn’t matter.
Agree that Nextdoor is great for some things, but for an expensive item with a limited appeal, you want thousands of eyes if you want to get its full value.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:34 PM   #34
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I find it easier to sell on Nextdoor, offer up and Craigslist than Ebay. I have people come to my house but I meet them outside. That way if they fail to show up it doesn’t matter.
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Agree that Nextdoor is great for some things, but for an expensive item with a limited appeal, you want thousands of eyes if you want to get its full value.
It probably depends on your neighborhood(s). I don't doubt it's great some places.

NextDoor Classifieds are mostly a waste of time where I am. For my largish neighborhood group (over 1300 households), it seems like the only things that sell are at really ridiculously low prices, or free. Even asking half what you'd get on eBay (just looking at sold listings), we've only sold about 1 of 4 items we've listed on NextDoor. And we insist on meeting the buyer at a nearby public location. We've only use NextDoor for things that are so large we couldn't possibly ship them, and even then we've had more success selling on eBay using local ship only. I just sold my ShopSmith and a bunch of accessories for $675 on eBay local only, NextDoor was a total waste of time for that. Listed a BowFlex and treadmill on NextDoor - zero, zip, nada at prices even a little below eBay...
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:08 PM   #35
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To that end, one of the hassles I've always experienced as a seller is the process of taking, uploading, editing, and posting photos of each item. I've searched and searched for what equipment people use and how people set up and take/process their pictures and never really found a solution that was streamlined and efficient. The items I'm hoping to sell would be both clothing and non-clothing.
Never underestimate the importance of the photos. A hobby for me is photography and one of the books I read had a section relating to eBay and other auction sites. One lady had a business buying stuff off of eBay with crappy photos, rephotographing the same item in much more flattering light, and reselling it for several times her purchase price. That worked for her jewelry items, I doubt it would work for cars.

She was reselling jewelry items so all that is needed is a small light box, but even with clothing items it wouldn't be that hard to do. Here's a couple of links:

https://digital-photography-school.c...t-photography/

https://www.shopify.com/blog/5589261...ct-photography

https://www.pixelz.com/blog/warning-...l-photography/

A couple comments on cameras. I'd go better than a cell phone camera. Even a cheap point-and-shoot camera on a cheap tripod will yield better results, and do just fine for that purpose. (Both can be found, of course, on eBay.) Since you'll have a tripod, and clothing (at least on a mannequin) will not move, you can take longer exposures and use cheap reflectors instead of expensive strobes to get better lighting. "Cheap reflectors" can be and often are just white foam board from Walmart, Target, or an art store. No one will know or care if the exposure was 1/800 second or 8 seconds. But the long exposure with a small aperture (lens opening) will give you great depth of field.

Search on "light box" "light tent" "product photography" and the like and you can spend days reading about it. But the photos make a difference, that's why advertisements in magazines and the like look so good. Marketers know it makes a difference and they're willing to spend big bucks on it. You don't have to spend a lot but you do have to spend some time thinking about the final product photo.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:34 PM   #36
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I think it also depends on what you are selling - for example, if you have a crafty bent, Etsy works well. If you are selling yarn or yarn books, Ravelry has several ways to do that through making your 'stash' available for sale or your books. I've gotten rid of some of my stashes that way and you have a captured audience who knows the value of what you are selling. Sometimes you can make some money.

Craigslist - yes there are Craigslist 'creeps', but if you are careful you can sell and buy stuff there. My issue with Craigslist is more people are looking for something for free and want you to put effort into giving it to them. Can be difficult to sell there.

I have purchased from eBay once - it was a slow boat from China item, but it was exactly what I needed at the price I wanted to pay.

The different market places serve different needs. YMMV.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:39 PM   #37
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I buy on E Bay, do not sell...

My favorite hair conditioner of all time (used to buy very expensive hair conditioner) comes in the L'Oreal hair color boxes. L'Oreal does not sell it otherwise, you have to buy the color. I went on E Bay and bought 20 tubes from people with short hair (I guess). When I discovered that, I was thrilled.

Also bought DANSK dish replacements. Came in excellent condition and seller paid shipping.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:11 PM   #38
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I've been selling on eBay since 1998. I remember when you could leave feedback for someone even if you didn't participate in the auction (LOL).

I sold rare coins, antique model airplane kits (my collection of 1950s & 1960s unbuilt R/C and control line kits), old camera equipment, auto parts, etc, etc. I've had over 1,000 sales.

I also buy on eBay and really don't sell anymore as I sold off my collectables and really don't have the time and energy to sell again.

It was fun!
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:17 PM   #39
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I have sold lots of furniture we no longer wanted as well as dog items. Recently I was sick of my good dishes so sold them. Many items to big or bulky/heavy to ship.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:51 PM   #40
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One other issue, that hasn’t been mentioned, is the Chinese sellers crowding out good US sellers. You cannot list the same item multiple times. But, it seems the Chinese sellers can. You can list multiple items but only in one listing.
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