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Selling Stuff on Ebay VS Craigslist
Old 05-02-2013, 01:02 AM   #1
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Selling Stuff on Ebay VS Craigslist

I used to sell stuff I no longer wanted on ebay quite frequently 10 or so years ago. I remember the fees being around 3 or 4% then you could chose to accept or not accept paypal. Seemed like a pretty good deal.

I think the last thing I sold was about 5 years ago and remember thinking the fees had gone up a lot. Maybe it was 5% and they now all but FORCED you to accept paypal as the method of payment. Then, anything over $200 they could hold onto your money until the person left you positive feedback. One item I sold the person never left feedback and I didn't get my money for 30 days! I decided at the time that I wasn't going to use them anymore. I was living in a large city and CL was beginning to take off there and I bought and sold stuff on there with pretty good success. With CL you might have to wait awhile for the right person to come along but when they did the brought you cash and you kept all of it.

Now I have an item which is very specialized I want to sell and it has sat on CL for months without selling so I went over to Ebay to check on selling it there. I read over the terms and they now want 10% of what I sell it for plus various insertion fees! Plus, 3% for paypal

Does anyone here sell on Ebay anymore? When did the fees get so dang high?
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:57 AM   #2
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I've done about 65 sell transactions on eBay, and I have been 100% pleased with every transaction. And I consider PayPal to be convenient. I have noticed that their cut has increased, but I didn't care about getting top dollar for the items I sold. I was motivated by not throwing away perfectly usable items at least as much as recouping any money. The idea of just throwing away nearly new items goes against my grain, so I donate anything I don't want to bother selling (clothes and other items).

I have not used CL, out of concern with meeting face to face with an unknown buyer. You could meet at an agreed location (instead of your home) for small items, but for large items (where eBay may not be convenient) you're almost forced to take your chances with having a stranger in your home. I don't know how widespread it is, but we've all read horror stories about people robbing (or worse) CL sellers. Maybe my fears are overblown, but not worth the risk since I don't care about top dollar.

The eBay charges are worth it to ensure and an arms length transaction IMO.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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Back in the day, I put my kids through private school and most of college through eBay in addition to my real life j*b. Yes, the fees are astronomical compared to ~15 years ago.

I think you can attribute it to corporate greed. It's a captive audience. Where else do you get so much exposure for so little work and $$?

I sell very little now, and am glad I was on the bandwagon early when the pickins' were good and plentiful.

I like Craigslist much less than I used to. Midpack is right, it's gotten a little smarmy. Our last few transactions have been far less smooth than the earlier ones.
Nothing alarming, just enough to cause a state of heightened alert during the whole process.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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No Ebay experience as the fees and payment hassles are a turn off. I have never listed anything on CL that did not sell in a reasonable amount of time even though I live in a rural area. I have often had folks drive 40+ miles from the closest large city to purchase items. A few specialized items have taken a bit longer to sell and usually sold to someone out of state so I had to ship them (at their cost) - once sold a kevlar kayak to a guy in Vancouver, WA, who paid $400 for shipping (from Alabama). I think the key is pricing as it is surprising how much exposure you get on CL as people search online for specific items.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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I advertise rental vacancies on CL ... saves me hundreds compared to the news paper. Not to mention the value of computer literate tenants.

Also unloaded a bunch of junktiques via CL with the strict rule - via DW - that the transaction take place in the barn.

A few years ago I Spoke to a guy who had a FL vacation rental (condo) near Disney. He did his advertising exclusively thru EBay ... that one surprised me since Homeaway and VRBO really have that market cornered. But apparently what he would do is take the leads from EBAY then close them from a separate site to avoid the EBAY charges. Not sure if that would work today.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I've done about 65 sell transactions on eBay, and I have been 100% pleased with every transaction. And I consider PayPal to be convenient. I have noticed that their cut has increased, but I didn't care about getting top dollar for the items I sold. I was motivated by not throwing away perfectly usable items at least as much as recouping any money. The idea of just throwing away nearly new items goes against my grain, so I donate anything I don't want to bother selling (clothes and other items).

I have not used CL, out of concern with meeting face to face with an unknown buyer. You could meet at an agreed location (instead of your home) for small items, but for large items (where eBay may not be convenient) you're almost forced to take your chances with having a stranger in your home. I don't know how widespread it is, but we've all read horror stories about people robbing (or worse) CL sellers. Maybe my fears are overblown, but not worth the risk since I don't care about top dollar.

The eBay charges are worth it to ensure and an arms length transaction IMO.
I'm working a case right now where a guy has robbed 9 different people while meeting them to buy their iPhone which was listed for sale on CL. I'm sure there are 1000s of CL transactions that go perfectly smoothly, but I would be very careful. If it were me, I would insist on meeting in a police station parking lot if I was going to buy or sell anything on CL.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:38 AM   #7
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I'm sure there are 1000s of CL transactions that go perfectly smoothly, but I would be very careful.
Precisely why I haven't sold anything (and won't) on CL. I don't want random people driving up my fairly isolated driveway.

OTOH, I have bought a few things through CL with no problems at all.

Most of my surplus items go via eBay, and I've rarely had a problem. For example, electronics, cameras, and things of that nature are a natural. When I replace something, the old one is usually perfectly serviceable so it goes on eBay. I hope for something close to half my original cost, but the point is to give it a good home.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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I've sold on Ebay, CL, and Amazon to a decent extent. It seems like I get the best rates on Amazon, since bids on Ebay never really go higher than Amazon prices, and Craigslisters are often looking to Amazon first.

When using Craigslist, I usually meet in a local library. I remember once meeting someone in my dorm's parking garage when buying a rare video game off of him, which seems dumb looking back on it, but there was always pretty high foot traffic there.

Amazon seems to be the most worth it for me. It can take a bit longer, but I can sell for 20-30% higher. I mostly sell old video games and guitars, for reference.

My stepdad had much more luck trading fishing gear and our old furniture through Craigslist. He is a great haggler and the personal interaction seems to work in his favor. For people like that, it's the main benefit of Craigslist.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:58 AM   #9
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Precisely why I haven't sold anything (and won't) on CL. I don't want random people driving up my fairly isolated driveway.
Me either, although my driveway is not so isolated. New Orleans has a well known crime problem, though, and I am a woman living alone so I just can't chance it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister
OTOH, I have bought a few things through CL with no problems at all.
I have tried to get Frank to go with me to buy things from CL, but he doesn't want to and I am not brave enough to do this myself. So, we just don't use CL. Even if I arranged a meeting in a mall parking lot or some such thing, I would wonder if I was buying stolen items or not.

Most of the time I just give unwanted things to friends if they want them, or donate to GoodWill or the Salvation Army. Usually by the time I am done with stuff, it isn't worth much anyway.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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I've sold on Ebay, CL, and Amazon to a decent extent. It seems like I get the best rates on Amazon, since bids on Ebay never really go higher than Amazon prices, and Craigslisters are often looking to Amazon first.
Maybe things have changed, but when I was very active on eBay (auction only) I was often surprised at the outcomes. Some items did sell for less than they might have been worth, but some others sold for considerably more than I would have asked on CL or eBay "but it now." So we did very well on $ overall. There seems to be a market for 'retro' items in excellent condition...
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:29 AM   #11
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I use Craigslist for items too big to ship, EBay for everything else. I resent their fee increases, but they are the best game in town, in my experience.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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Naive question: if one has never done an Ebay buy/sell, how much time is involved in setting up to sell one's first item?
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:46 AM   #13
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Naive question: if one has never done an Ebay buy/sell, how much time is involved in setting up to sell one's first item?
EDIT: Just re-read your post that says that you have never done an ebay transaction. Your first sell would likely take more time than my description below ;-(
-------------------
I'd say less than an hour. Especially if it is a common item

Maybe 2 if your are picky about the photos that you use.

This assumes that you already have an Ebay buyer account setup and a PayPal account. I believe you will need to add "seller" privileges to your account but I think this was fairly easy.

I plan to teach someone to do this for the first time by walking through it with her. I could log the time and report back maybe 2 weeks from now if there is interest.

-gauss
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:02 AM   #14
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Thanks Gauss, I don't have either accounts set up. Mostly I've ignored Ebay but every once in awhile I wonder if I should try to sell something. Usually we just give the stuff to a charity.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Naive question: if one has never done an Ebay buy/sell, how much time is involved in setting up to sell one's first item?

The first time will take longer, I'd say 30-45 minutes depending on the item. The more expensive, the more pictures and info a buyer might reasonably expect. eBay offers a lot of help and the listing page format user friendly IMO, if you haven't looked at it, you can play with it all you want without publishing a listing. But I just looked at other peoples listings and copied the best of several, that was helpful.
  • You'll want pictures of the actual item (vs catalog pics), hard to have too many.
  • You want a good description, using text from manufacturers sites is often done.
  • You want to accurately describe the item. If there are any defects or issues, you want to be completely upfront. I had an item with a scratch, so I took a closeup of the scratch and explained in the description. The last thing you want is an angry buyer who can trash your rep, not worth it for a few dollars IMO.
The one thing I quickly learned is to add "sorry, no international shipping, US and Canada only." Shipping elsewhere is usually very expensive (even if the buyer pays) and many countries don't offer tracking/return receipt, so a buyer could claim they never got the item and you have no recourse.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:20 AM   #16
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I love the idea utrecht had for meeting in a police station parking lot!
We've only done buying, on CL and on eBay, so I can't speak to the selling experience.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:44 AM   #17
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Have used CL many times both buying and selling. Never a problem with people coming to our house - maybe we are just more trusting here in MN. Lots of the things we've bought and sold are furniture so the size almost demands that the buyer come to you.

eBay is convenient and easy but the fees are quite high these days. I'm really not sure how the guys selling $4 car chargers make any money even with the volume.

I still do love my original eBay story though - was selling a lighted Apple Mac sign that I had taken from retail store I was at that went out of business in the 80's. I was hoping to get $50. Price kept climbing and it sold for $880 (love Apple fanatics). If only I could have manufactured more of those darn things.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:07 PM   #18
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Bought and sold on EBAY 10 years ago. Lots of fun, got good deals, sold off some old collector type stuff for decent money. Got ripped off for $8 once on Ebay : never received item, seller cashed check. Ebay didn't care.

Used CL "Free Stuff" to get rid of some unwanted old privacy fence sections. Loads of responses right away. Very easy. No weirdness.

Using CL now to try to sell some used auto parts. Offering low, low prices. No one's interested!!! Not enough exposure, maybe.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:13 PM   #19
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I buy alot of stuff off ebay. It's amazing how good the prices are and often with free shipping. I have a 1952 Ford 8N tractoer that I have been restoring....everything I have needed is on ebay! A good example is a full exhaust/muffler system for the tractor for$65.00 shipped - good quality.
I have found vehicles on CL in the past with good results.
I have never sold on either but plan to sell some stuff on ebay this summer - I had no idea they want 10% and then 3% for PP.......won't stop me because it is really to just clear out my garage - but it makes me wonder how so many good deals on new stuff are available with fees like ebay has.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:41 PM   #20
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CL free stuff is great for getting free labor.

Dropped a tree that was damaged in an ice storm. Normally I would burn it (as I burn 4 cords/yr between the lake and home) but when I tried burning a small branch it STUNK worst than a SKUNK ... can't even be in the room! Sooo I drop the tree, take pictures and post them on CL "free stuff" ... "Come n'get it; When this post is gone ... so is the wood". 30 calls/emails within 48 hrs. Problem solved. Asked my cord wood guy to look at the stump and tell me what it is ... "Locus tree".

Next year I drop the one next to it. Same post ... same result. GOOD RIDANCE!

But the comical thing is that I have 4+ cords stacked within site of the Locus tree ... nobody thought to ask "Why isn't he burning it". They were too busy lifting 2 foot diameter logs into their pickup trucks.
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