General, Tips on Selling on eBay

Back Home Again – New Videos Coming SOON! – And a Selling Tip

Another load of stuff from yardsales! Hey, if you'd like to learn from Skip McGrath, click here!Hi everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know that Kath and I are back home again after what seemed like a VERY fast 5 months in Florida… We’ve done some videos that Kath will be getting ready to post really soon (she promises!).

We’ve got a video in the works of hauling stuff off to a “country auction” that you might find interesting, as well as some real results of a typical yard sale day, and our subsequent efforts and results in reselling them.

Quick eBay and CraigsList Selling Tip

Over the winter, I sold a few items on eBay and Craigslist for some friends as well – and that’s a thought I wanted to share with you. If you know someone who would like to sell on eBay but they don’t really know how, you can certainly offer YOUR expertise and put the item up for sale on their behalf. It DOES need to be worthwhile for you though…

My general rule of thumb is that I won’t sell something for someone online if I don’t believe it can bring at least $50. I charge 50% off the hammer price (that is, the final price that the item sells for, and then I deduct my listing and final value fees from THAT). The person who is selling the item gets the whole 50%.

That’s just the way I do it personally. I’m sure other sellers have their own thoughts on that – but because I typically only sell items for family members or good friends, that’s how I do it.

But, it might be worth it to you to offer your services to others once in a while!

Skip McGrath, who has been selling on eBay as long as I have (since 1999), and is considered one of THE experts when it comes to selling on eBay, has a really good course out that receives rave reviews if you’re interested in learning a lot more about how and what to sell on eBay. I wish I had thought of making a course on selling on eBay – I actually HAVE taught some classes in a nearby town in the past – but I never put it together the way Skip has. Well, there’s certainly no point in my even attempting to reinvent the wheel here, so I’ll just give you the link to head on over and check Skip out yourself here => eBay Business System – Learn How to Sell on eBay

The Complete eBay Marketing System

Buying and Selling to Make Money, Tips on Selling on eBay

Adding Video to your eBay Listings

Using Youtube Videos for eBay listingsI just made a quick video for you regarding how powerful it can be to add video – a short YouTube video, for example to your eBay listings.

It’s difficult to say whether this is one of my all-time favorite tips on selling on eBay, but it ranks right up there! Actually, adding video to the listings was my wife’s idea (thanks Hon!).

You know the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, if that’s true, then a video is worth even more.

The video idea is really most helpful (I think) when we need to show whether or not something is working. Continue reading “Adding Video to your eBay Listings”

Buying and Selling to Make Money, Tips on Selling on eBay

What Are Some Ways You Can Improve Your eBay Sales?

We wrote a lot about this Fitz & Floyd Monkey TeapotThis post is primarily for beginners, or people who haven’t sold a lot on eBay yet. So for those of you who have been at this for a long time, bear with me.

I’m writing this because I just searched for something, and realized why I wouldn’t buy a couple of the items I saw listed in the category for the particular thing I was looking for.

Ok, new people: If you go over to eBay any time, you obviously see millions of things for sale. Check any category, or type in search term.

For example if you type in the word “teapot” and search for it, chances are you’re going to see hundreds if not thousands of them for sale. Right? Continue reading “What Are Some Ways You Can Improve Your eBay Sales?”

Selling at Auction, Tips on Selling on eBay

Despite High Fees Selling on eBay is Still the Best Game in Town

eBay goods, packaged to send to the Post OfficeThis year, eBay started adding fees to sellers’ postage charges. Now, let me go on record as saying I do NOT like this change – I’m not even sure how they were able to do this legally. But, there it is. They did it.

And I’m not stumping for eBay here, but after selling on eBay for 12+ years, and having looked around at a few other sites, for me eBay is still the best game in town.

As a seller, I have no choice but to abide by their rules. Oh, believe me, I definitely let eBay know what I think of some of their changes – for example, that whole bit about not being able to leave a buyer negative feedback. Since that particular little rule came into play, my percentage of non-paying bidders has risen considerably. Yes, I talked to eBay about it. But, we still cannot leave a buyer negative feedback.

Now, with the new fees on postage. Well… I’m still going to sell on eBay. Like I said, it’s still the best game in town – at least for me.

So here are my thoughts on this. I take a “non-resistance” approach to things (my wife and I are students of self development and growth, and we find a path of non-resistance to be the way to go). Sometimes, you really are better off just going with the flow. Don’t get all cranked up about it – it won’t do any good, and you’ll just be spending your valuable energy fighting something you can’t change anyway. Let your voice be heard, and then get back to work.

Before eBay added those fees, I rarely included shipping in my price. Primarily because I didn’t want to see additional fees. Now it doesn’t matter, and I’m tending to include shipping more often. But, I think about the price and cost first, and make sure I take the new fees into consideration before setting the cost.

I have never, ever inflated my shipping charges. I’m known for fair shipping prices, and I intend to keep it that way. I have never wanted to or attempted to make money on shipping, and I’m not going to start now. I’ll just make sure that I don’t take a loss.

Let’s say I have an item that I’m willing to earn only $5.00 on, and let’s say I can send that item for $3 or $4. If I start the bidding – or Buy it Now price at $9.95, I’ll still only be charged the minimal fees, be able to include the shipping, and still make the $5.00 on the item anyway. The buyer gets a good deal, the shipping’s included (which, psychologically, people seem to like), and everyone is happy.

Obviously, that’s a very simplistic example. But, what if you’re thinking, “Why go to all that trouble for 5 measely dollars?”

Don’t forget about live auctions! The old fashioned live country auction is alive and well! If you have a bunch of $5 items that you don’t really want to spend the time or effort for eBay given the low return, load up the truck and haul it off to auction and be done with it.

Just my 2 cents on this whole thing. Thanks for reading!

Buying and Selling to Make Money, General, Tips on Selling on eBay

Tools You Need for Selling – Part 1: Counterfeit Bill Tester

A Counterfeit Testing Pen is a MUST if you are selling at yardsales or on Craigslist!
Buy a Counterfeit Testing Pen – Click the image to see a similar one on Amazon

Tools. Yes, there are definitely tools that are required for successful buying and selling. And not just for eBay. Even if you are buying to sell at live auction houses or on CraigsList or your own yardsale – or even in your neighborhood newspaper, there are a few things that I personally feel you should have.

In my experience, you don’t need a ton of things, but there are a few things I feel you will find very handy to have!

For example, if you are selling on eBay, you need certain tools in order to process payments (for example, PayPal). Actually, sellers are now required to take PayPal, so if you are considering selling on eBay at all, just go ahead and get yourself set up with an account.

But, there are other, physical tools that are handy. I’ll talk about some of these in other posts in detail, but let’s look at a yard sale or CraigsList transaction.

Suppose you’re selling your piano (which, incidentally, we are doing right now). Now, a piano can be a fairly good sized transaction – anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple thousand.

So… for example:

If you put your ad on CraigsList, you will be saying something like, “Spinet piano – good shape… First $600 in cash takes it!” So, let’s say someone comes over with $600 in cash (by the way, you should ALWAYS insist on cash – NEVER agree to a “Western Union” or “3rd party pick up” situation… It will likely be a scam. More on this in another post).Photo of our Piano for our CraigsList Ad

So, you have someone at your door with 6 100-dollar bills. Nice! Before you shake hands on the transaction, you will take out your trusty Counterfeit Testing Pen and mark each bill to ensure that you aren’t getting a counterfeit bill.

This is NOT being paranoid. This is being a smart business person.
If you present anything larger than a $20 bill at a supermarket, see if the cashier doesn’t test the bill with a pen first. That’s not a reflection on your character at all!

I did a short video about this, which you can watch below this post – below the Amazon examples.

So, this is a VERY simple tool. It’s inexpensive. Yes, you can step up a level and buy a bill scanner that is a little more high tech, but at very least, you want a counterfeit bill tester. There are a few on Amazon (below) that are extremely affordable – Just click the image, and you’ll go to a page where you can choose from any number of them. It’s one of the tools I feel is very important.

Buying and Selling to Make Money, Tips on Selling on eBay

Selling Shoes and Odd Lots on eBay

You can never go wrong with Converse shoes!Hi everyone! I realize I haven’t posted in a while… My apologies! I wanted to share a video we made a few months ago about selling shoes and odd lots on eBay. It’s only about 2 minutes long, but hopefully it will give you a little insight on what we typically look for when buying used footwear.

We also sell shoes at our favorite consignment store as well – and we’ll have an article and video about that as well pretty soon. Now that the carpentry season is starting to wind down, I’ll hopefully be updating the blog here more often.

Anyway, we actually made this video back in April when we were still down in South Carolina – and even though it’s a few months old, the concepts are the same no matter what time of year.

For example, during the spring, while we may be more inclined to sell sandals and running shoes, the way we choose which types of shoes to buy in the first place are the exact same criteria we use when buying snow boots and other cold weather gear to sell in the fall. Here is the short video that explains this criteria. I hope you like it and find it helpful!

Buying and Selling to Make Money, General, Tips on Selling on eBay

How to Sell on eBay Questions from a Reader

A Reader Writes with How to Sell on eBay QuestionsI really enjoy receiving letters from readers, and especially enjoy helping others learn how to sell on eBay. I recently received a very nice note from someone who is not only a reader of our “Buying and Selling to Make Money” blog, but also a viewer on my “John’s Yard Sale Finds” channel at YouTube.

This reader had some terrific questions about how to sell on eBay, and she explained to me that as a beginner, there were several things that were confusing to her, particularly around timing the end of auctions, determining postage costs, using PayPal – and just a few other things.

Posting her questions and my responses would take quite a bit of room here at the blog, so I devoted an entire article to the topic, which you can find here => How to Sell on eBay – A Reader’s Questions

It seems that a lot of people have wondered how much extra – if any – to charge on postage for sending items to their buyers. I have some pretty strong feelings about this topic, and I do address it in the article. Please head on over to it here => How to Sell on eBay – A Reader’s Questions 

Thanks for visiting!

Buying and Selling Identical Items on eBay
Buying and Selling to Make Money, Tips on Selling on eBay

New Tips on Selling on eBay Featured Article

Buying and Selling Identical Items on eBayKath and I were talking about some tips on selling on eBay today, and we realized that we often purchase lots of “identical” items – that is, a lot or pallet of numerous items that are all the same.

We thought you might find the idea appealing, especially since buying and selling on eBay this way can really be a time saver. Of course, there are a few things that are important to keep in mind when looking at buying a large lot like this. You definitely want to be sure that more than one person actually wants these things!

We’ve bought and sold some interesting things this way – “Vision Board Kits,” pewter cups, abacus (abaci?), die-cast cars…

Last year, I came across a large lot of centrifuge tubes for example. Now, those things can be expensive in a science catalog. But I bought the lot for about $15 – and over the course of the year, sold them all for about $400. Yes, it took some time for me to realise that profit – but as you’ll see from the article (which you can read here => Benefits of Buying and Selling Identical Items on eBay)  – it isn’t really all that difficult to do.

Have a look at our strategy, and let me know what you think!


One of this week's Buying and Selling to Make Money on eBay Winners!
Buying and Selling to Make Money, Tips on Selling on eBay

Buying and Selling on eBay – 4/11/11 Results

One of this week's Buying and Selling to Make Money on eBay Winners!

Hello again! Time for this week’s “Buying and Selling on eBay” results. Today’s video shows you our results from our auctions that closed Sunday night, April 10, 2011.

I worked on the format of the video, and made it a little shorter and “lighter” so that it doesn’t take long to load. You’ll get an idea of some of this last week’s buying and selling to make money realities.

Recognizing that you may want to also see some of the “duds” instead of seeing just “the studs,” I promise that in an upcoming video, I’ll show you some of our less spectacular buys – the kinds of things that we wind up sending off to the local Salvation Army or off to auction.

One of our better finds over the course of this last week was a lot of spray guns by Binks – the kind of spray guns used in painting. Kathy spotted them, and we got all 3 for $20. As you’ll see in the video, they sold for a nice profit. (Big pat on the back to my lovely wife! Good job hon!) 🙂

You’ll also see a few places where we bought something for $1.00 and only sold it for $5.00. Oh well, the person who bought it was happy with it – and that carries some weight of its own! It’s nice that someone got a good deal. We all like good deals, so as sellers, we need to be prepared to share that good feeling with others.

Enjoy the video, and we’ll see you again soon! (PS: If you like the video and my blog, would you be so kind as to let your Facebook friends know about it? Simply comment on our “Facebook Comment” section below! Thanks so much! Enjoy!)