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KELLI9001's Photo KELLI9001 SparkPoints: (31,106)
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9/4/09 4:14 A

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Let me start by saying...Ebay is not a get rich quick money maker even though it is advertised as such. The ads you see on tv are just that...ads and the person selling their book, CD or whatever to tell you about selling on ebay are getting rich off said items. It's called advertising and right now, it's going great while people are looking for alternative ways to make money when jobs are scarce.

You must have patience and be very customer oriented. Some people have a warehouse of items to sell and are super-sellers. That is not the norm OR those stores have been up and running for quite some time. With the increase of job loss, more people have started selling on Ebay, thus driving the prices down and availability of items up.

That said, I am on Ebay. My numbers have been down but I have always made my "rent". Promote your store, have sales, offer discounts for additional purchases, send out newsletters to previous customers, review what items have sold and look for more of those. Use your facebook, twitter or other social media accounts to advertise your store. This is the most popular and current way of doing business right now so USE it as it is free. There are millions of sellers on Ebay...stand out and let people know why they should buy from you. What do you offer that they can't get anywhere else?

I sell from inventory, not auctions so the fees are lower. My listings don't use templates or the decorative "store fronts" in order to keep fees down. Typically, my listing fees are someplace between 3-5 cents each. Obviously the "end fees" are relative to the price sold and that can't be changed, but is a part of doing business. List when ebay is having special listing prices or "free" subtitles or gallery pics.

Offer free shipping...that one usually gets more people interested but then I just increase the price by that much in order to not loose money. Offer several different ways to ship, priority, parcel post, first class...that way people who want it in a hurry can pay for shipping and those that can wait and want to pay less can pick which way.

Your other option is to sell on other websites where fees are not as much, although the website isn't as popular. For this, you will need to do more leg work in promoting your store. I have been on Amazon and done pretty well there, it was just a hassle to have 2 stores going at the same time. There are several other sites out there, I just haven't checked them out lately.

Hope these help...let me know if you have further or specific questions.

Edited by: KELLI9001 at: 9/4/2009 (04:17)
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TMC1063's Photo TMC1063 Posts: 67
9/3/09 10:22 A

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I recently opened an eBay store for some extra cash and plan on selling some of my household items (clutter)there as well. Does anyone make more money than they pay in fees and if so, how? The more items I list, the more fees I pay for listing. The higher the starting price, the more I pay etc. So far, eBay is making money off me and I am losing it! What am I doing wrong or how do I avoid this?
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KELLI9001's Photo KELLI9001 SparkPoints: (31,106)
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7/28/09 12:51 P

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I have had an Ebay store for several years. Would recommend it if you have the time and want to take the effort in setting things up to do them the right way AND have the desire to satisfy your customers.

Sales have actually dropped lately, although I still make money each month.

Feel free to ask any specific questions you might have.

Costs involved are your listing fees, final selling fee, packing material for shipping and I would recommend the small expense of a scale (you can find these at Walmart or on Ebay). This will allow you to do the postage from your house and post office pick up from your front door...saves gas!

I could go on forever but will wait to see what specific questions you might have.

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,566
7/28/09 9:42 A

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Another idea shared by Kim Komando ( www.komando.com ) It's suggested for retirees, however I have known non-retirees who have benefitted greatly from starting up their own business on eBay!

How about it...anyone on the Team have eBay experiences to share with others here?

Don
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Retired? Use eBay for extra cash
www.komando.com/columns/index.aspx?i
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Are you retired, and need a new hobby that includes making money? eBay is a great place to sell goods or crafts. But it's not as easy as it looks. An auction business takes time, research and know-how.

Many retirees have written me about their eBay experiences. They claim several advantages over younger sellers. Retirees can go to the shipping offices when lines are short. They can hit yard sales any day of the week to find hidden gems. And they have more time to address customer questions.
Sound interesting?

Before you begin, here are five things you should know about eBay:

1. There are fees

You must register and create a seller's account. Credit or debit card information is required to confirm your identity. Or, you can use the ID Verify program. This service verifies your name, home address and phone number for $5.

When you list an item, eBay will charge a fee. This runs from 25 cents to $4.80, depending on the starting or reserve price.

If the item sells, you also pay a final value fee. This starts at 5.25 percent for items $25 or less. The fee rises with the price. You pay nothing if your item doesn't sell.

2. Research what sells

People will buy nearly anything. Your junk is their treasure. Bidding wars have started over vintage clothing, out-of-print books, music records, promotional cups from fast food joints and more.
Before posting an item, search eBay for the same item to find the going rate. If you think the market is saturated, hold off selling it.

3. Describe it well

When listing an item, the title should be exact. Avoid generalities such as "teddy bear." "Vintage 1950s Steiff Teddy Bear" will attract more attention.
The description should include the item's condition. Describe other relevant information, such as size and weight. Be honest about defects. Buyers will rate you. You don't want to be accused of misrepresenting goods.

Finally, check your spelling. A search for "teddy bear" will miss your listing for "teddie bear." Also, proper grammar and correct spelling will garner greater trust.

4. Photograph it

Shoppers are less likely to purchase something sight unseen. So you'll want to display the item in the best possible light. Don't use your cell phone's camera or a Webcam. Use a digital camera. Purchase one, if necessary.

Take several pictures from different angles and choose your best shot.

5. Set the price

You can start the bidding as low as a penny.

However, you run the risk of selling a $500 item for a buck. If you set the starting bid too high, you may discourage bidding.

There are two ways around this. You can set a reserve price. If bidding doesn't meet your reserve, you can refuse to sell.

You can also set a Buy It Now price. A purchaser can buy the item without bidding. Set the Buy It Now price slightly above your hoped-for auction price.

6. Payment and shipping

PayPal is the common way of transacting payment. PayPal guarantees payment if you follow its rules. Read this agreement carefully.

When shipping the item, ensure that it can be tracked. For added protection, make the bidder sign for the package. This will protect you against claims that the package failed to arrive.

Edited by: DDOORN at: 7/28/2009 (09:44)
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