One of the bigger venues for selling your garage sale finds is about to get a lot more costly.
Starting May 1st, eBay has decided to change their fee structure, effectively raising prices for a good chunk of their sellers. My response to eBay, “What are you thinking?”
Believe it or not, sales on eBay have actually been going down recently, in part because eBay keeps getting more expensive. Sellers are now searching out other more affordable or
even free venues in which to sell their products (ie Tag Sell It!). As affordable as these other options may be, what if you just aren’t yet ready to give up your eBay store? What is a seller to do?
First, you need to understand where you fall in the new fee structure. The number of items in your store is going to play a big part in this distinction. Essentially there are a few different types of “stores” you can join that will cost you a monthly fee and allow you to list “x” number of items in your store per month for free. You’ll be paying for each listing beyond that “x” number, so if you have a large number of items in your store – around 500 or more, you’re going to need to get smart about selling. Each month you will be charged for the number of active listings you have, so you want to move your items as quickly as possible while still getting maximum profit from the sale. So how do you do this?
Make sure you’re basing your pricing off of the real market value of your items. If you’re pulling a price out of the sky, you could be way too high. If this is the case, your item won’t sell quickly, or possibly at all. You should take the time to check the completed sales section of ebay and find a good average sale price. If the item sold for $100, and you have the exact same thing, you will probably only be able to sell it for around $100. You may think that your item is worth more, but unless it’s in better condition or has more features, it most likely will not. Even if the value really is a lot higher, the market is going to dictate how much buyers will pay. If it’s available for less, no one is going to opt to pay more. If you need to get the full value for the item, you might want to consider waiting to list it until the market settles down. You don’t want to be paying a fee every month to maintain a listing that will most likely not sell for your asking price.
My next point is one that I stress all the time: to make sure you take good pictures, and not just one; you need lots of pictures. Depending on what store you have, you should be able to list up to 12 pictures per item. If that’s not the case for your store, try to limit yourself to two or three high quality photos. Buyers will feel more comfortable purchasing when they have a better sense of what they’ll be getting.
Third, when calculating how much it will cost to ship your item to a buyer, know that if you charge too much money, you’ll wind up in trouble. If someone buys the item, they will have the option to rate your shipping fees, and you can bet their rating won’t be positive. Worse yet, buyers could choose to avoid your listing all together. USPS has pretty affordable rates, and you can easily get a quote from their website if you have the weight and dimensions of your item. Stick to this cost, maybe adding a few extra dollars to cover packaging materials and the time involved in boxing the item.
Last but not least, buyers will more than likely have questions regarding your listings. You need to be sure you’re answering them in a timely manner. Online shoppers are savvy and will most likely be able to find the same item elsewhere if they don’t hear back from you. Try setting up your account to send messages directly to your cell phone so you can easily respond back as soon as the question is asked. The faster you respond, the faster you sell.
Finally, I would like to say to the executives at eBay, “You’re charging sellers too much.” If you keep it up, you will continue to lose more and more business to other venues that are either free or less expensive. Sellers are savvy and will find a way to sell without the help of your site if you don’t remain competitive. Venues like Tag Sell It are completely free and are quickly gaining users as buyers become fed up with higher costs from eBay.
If you’re a seller and you haven’t started shopping around yet, you might consider perusing your options before May 1st arrives.
Good luck, and happy hunting!
To learn more about Aaron LaPedis, visit www.thegaragesalemillionaire.com or contact him at [email protected].
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