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Old 01-12-2018, 09:01 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,067 posts, read 17,198,889 times
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Today's ebay is profitable mostly for people who have hundreds of items for sale. They have large ebay stores and pay fees to have them. They sell in volume and since they are so huge, they have higher visibility than the small seller does.

For shipping, as people have said, just use the post office, mainly priority mail. Don't even get conned into offering free shipping either--shipping is not free.

If you have something very unusual and desirable, ebay is a good place for it. But for most things, do a search and you will find hundreds or thousands of the same item so there is stiff competition. For selling, use Buy it Now, not auction. With so much competition and being a small time seller, few will see your auction and you'll end up selling it for the opening bid.

People are still making money but it's the big time sellers and those who sell phones and similar items. It's a good place for buying things due to the seller competition and consequent depressed prices on many items.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
21,036 posts, read 15,345,127 times
Reputation: 23889
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Today's ebay is profitable mostly for people who have hundreds of items for sale. They have large ebay stores and pay fees to have them. They sell in volume and since they are so huge, they have higher visibility than the small seller does.

For shipping, as people have said, just use the post office, mainly priority mail. Don't even get conned into offering free shipping either--shipping is not free.

If you have something very unusual and desirable, ebay is a good place for it. But for most things, do a search and you will find hundreds or thousands of the same item so there is stiff competition. For selling, use Buy it Now, not auction. With so much competition and being a small time seller, few will see your auction and you'll end up selling it for the opening bid.

People are still making money but it's the big time sellers and those who sell phones and similar items. It's a good place for buying things due to the seller competition and consequent depressed prices on many items.
Now that you mention the selling for opening bid, I used to get a flurry of bids at the end of an auction. This time, there were no bids at all on the final day or so.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Northern California
436 posts, read 171,011 times
Reputation: 551
Even though it's illegal, remember ebay also tacks on fees to their shipping, including if the item is pick up.
And their shipping is much more expensive than Amazon shipping

There is one change regarding shipping you should know. You can send off an item via FIRST CLASS up to 16 ounces for about $4-4.50
It used to be, first class was only up to 13 ounces. This helped me out a little on smaller sized items. First class is never late and gets there faster than Priority.

I've quit selling on ebay last 4 months yet am still a top rated seller. They are "graciously" offering me 8 weeks to bring me up to speed to keep the status but it's too much work.

I sold a Green Bay Packers Leather Jacket a few weeks ago for $99 but only made about $30.

I am going to try to just sell larger, more unique items. It's nice to have some $$ in Paypal to buy what I like to buy

We'll see....
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:54 AM
 
3,293 posts, read 2,349,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist1968 View Post
Even though it's illegal, remember ebay also tacks on fees to their shipping, including if the item is pick up.
Explain this.

Why would you charge the customer for shipping if the item is picked up?
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:00 PM
 
5,460 posts, read 3,416,123 times
Reputation: 20613
Selling on eBay - how do people make any money?

I sold on eBay full-time for 10 years. I can tell you categorically that quite a few people on eBay don't make any money. They lose money, because they confuse cash flow with profit and fail to account for all of their expenses.

Every now and then I check back in the Jewelry category to see if people are still selling pieces at cost. They always are.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:09 PM
 
18,315 posts, read 11,718,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
Where did you find those high fees from UPS - $31 for a one pound package? Seems like the most it should be for UPS ground would be about $15. You can ship directly from ups.com or usps.com - is that what you're doing?

Almost all of our small items go Priority mail padded flat rate envelope for $6.50 - we get that price by shipping from the link on PayPal. Order the padded envelopes for free from usps.com. We also use the medium flat rate boxes when shipping cross country, usually comes out to $12.50 or so.

If we ship from the usps site, it's more expensive.

We ship UPS as well, but we do have an account and daily pick up. Prices are slightly lower on ground shipments, but we get the largest discounts on international and air packages.

Another tip, get the PayPal debit card and you get 1% back on all purchases. You can look at it like it's offsetting your 2.9% fees.

Thing to remember about eBay is final value fees are based upon the total sum charged to buyer. This *includes* shipping. So yes, using USPS, UPS or whatever shipper from eBay's linked system does show a discount compared to say going directly to said website, remember you also are paying FVF on a whatever is charged.


That being said, yes, it does seem eBay has negotiated discounts with USPS and other shippers, but you still have to keep in mind shipping when selling.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
21,036 posts, read 15,345,127 times
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I learned a few things from this misadventure.

Anything "small-ish" is going via USPS Priority flat rate box. I sent out the camera via a medium fixed rate box today. Bubble wrapped and packed it with supplies from Walmart. It was like $18 to CT, much larger and a bit heavier than the Apple Watch that went via UPS Ground to Nashville for $31.

I will not be eBaying any large/bulky items from now on. I sold the case for $20, plus $40 for shipping. The shipping and packing of this enormous case was estimated at a bit over $100. The buyer sent a hateful message this morning from me canceling the order. I told him I'd be willing to send it for $20 + whatever my actual/shipping packing costs were. I'd sebd a photo of the receipt from the shipping service. He wouldn't do it. I'm not willing to take a $40-$50 loss to get the case out the door. I want $20 + my transaction costs.

I'm really skeptical about selling again. I probably won't do it unless it's a fairly valuable item I can't sell locally that isn't large.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:52 PM
 
18,315 posts, read 11,718,581 times
Reputation: 11957
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I learned a few things from this misadventure.

Anything "small-ish" is going via USPS Priority flat rate box. I sent out the camera via a medium fixed rate box today. Bubble wrapped and packed it with supplies from Walmart. It was like $18 to CT, much larger and a bit heavier than the Apple Watch that went via UPS Ground to Nashville for $31.

I will not be eBaying any large/bulky items from now on. I sold the case for $20, plus $40 for shipping. The shipping and packing of this enormous case was estimated at a bit over $100. The buyer sent a hateful message this morning from me canceling the order. I told him I'd be willing to send it for $20 + whatever my actual/shipping packing costs were. I'd sebd a photo of the receipt from the shipping service. He wouldn't do it. I'm not willing to take a $40-$50 loss to get the case out the door. I want $20 + my transaction costs.


I'm really skeptical about selling again. I probably won't do it unless it's a fairly valuable item I can't sell locally that isn't large.


Yes, now that UPS, FedEx have moved onto DIM and in certain instances USPS uses it as well, unless things can fit into flat rate PM box, I tend to forget it as well.


You *can* send things via cheaper parcel post rates, but USPS does not make it easy and it can take a *VERY* long time for a package to arrive. Just received a package that was shipped from out west on 12 December *yesterday*. Could have easily put in a claim for "not received" long ago, but gave seller some slack.


If you notice now you see more and more "local pick-up only" listings on eBay.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:26 PM
 
Location: USA
270 posts, read 359,961 times
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I, too, am a LONG time eBay seller (and occasional buyer), and I feel the fees have gotten out of control in recent years. The shipping is costly on anything that's not going to fit into a small box or padded mailer, but I try to charge the actual shipping on anything I sell there these days.

It's pretty consistent that I can ship something out via the US Post Office cheaper than via FedEx or UPS. That wasn't true several years ago. If it's a larger item, I sometimes just ship "parcel post". That's the Post Office's equivalent to UPS or FedEx Ground delivery. They estimate a somewhat disturbingly long delivery time, but I find they're usually faster than they estimate unless you're trying to ship to Hawaii or Alaska, or completely across the country. (I just shipped a package that way from Maryland to Texas and in 3 days, it was at the sorting facility in TX, preparing to go out for delivery.)

I highly recommend using eBay's option to print your postage online and pay for it via PayPal, in any case. If you do it that way, you can print up a label on your inkjet or laser printer, tape it to the box with some clear packing tape, and just drop it off at your local post office's counter. You also receive whatever discount on postage eBay gives (which can shave a few bucks off what you'll pay otherwise).

I keep telling myself I'm going to stop using eBay due to all the fees and hassles, but there just aren't enough other options out there with that kind of audience shopping for your products. (I used to sell on Amazon Marketplace but that's FAR worse! They have all of these "metrics" they enforce, where essentially, you can be blocked from selling there again if you can't get enough of your buyers to leave you excellent feedback on each purchase. And most Amazon shoppers can't be bothered to leave feedback. Nothing in it for them.)

My strategy is to use Craigslist and Facebook's marketplace to try to sell anything I think may sell locally, first. Advertising on either of those sites costs you nothing. Unfortunately, those transactions are much more time-consuming to complete because practically everyone wants to haggle on your asking price, asks for the same information you already put in the original listing (because so often, they're contacting you second-hand and don't have access to what you posted), and they often make arrangements to meet up and then flake out.

On the other hand? I've had my share of hassles with eBay buyers, including the people who insist you shipped them a broken product when it's simply user-error. (I sell a lot of computer gear, where this is a real problem.) As someone else mentioned, eBay simply won't "have your back" in these situations. If the buyer simply files a complaint that the product was "not as described", eBay will kick off a pretty much automated process that makes you refund them (losing your money spent on the shipping) and then you have to just hope they actually return your product in the condition it was shipped in.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
21,036 posts, read 15,345,127 times
Reputation: 23889
^tw71

That was my experience. Ten years ago, UPS had a hassle-free tracking system. USPS didn't then. It seemed to get larger items to their destination better. That is why I chose UPS. Obviously it's different math today.

Agreed that I am going to try and do all business locally, and in cash.
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