eBay is great. I’ve bought designer ties, electronics, gifts, and a wide variety of other things from there. I’ve also sold a few things through the years.
If you listen to Dave Ramsey, you know he talks about “gazelle intensity” as you start working his baby steps. So I decided to sell a few things in order to get his baby step 1 out of the way.
While I’ve used eBay before, it’s been a while since I’ve sold anything. All of my items ending their bidding last week, and I learned a few things I wish I had already known. So let my experience be your teacher for a minute:
No International Bidders Be sure to state this in the description of your item. I did for only 1 of the 3 items I sold, and that was the only one that didn’t have an international winner. One was in Indonesia, the other in Puerto Rico. Since I didn’t account for international shipping, I got burned on the Indonesia purchase. I paid more in shipping than the entire amount the buyer paid. Also, the auctions ended last week, and the Puerto Rican buyer has yet to pay or respond to any messages. This is what we call “frustrating.”
Good Description eBay has some item templates already for electronics. One of my items (the one purchased by the Indonesian) was the Verizon MiFi mobile internet hotspot. I used the description template in the item listing, which had a terrible title. People probably didn’t see my item because the default title was incomplete and not search-friendly. That’s why the auction winner paid $5.54 without shipping. Again, frustrating.
Pack and Ship On Your Own I live near a UPS store, so I decided to ship it from there. After every auction I seem to forget that the UPS store overcharges for shipping and packing your items. Do yourself a favor: buy packing supplies at Wal-Mart and print the UPS label yourself. You’ll save a little money, which is always good.
Double Insurance If you’re sending something through UPS or FedEx, the default damage insurance is $100. You can add more if you like. One of the items I shipped this week was my old MacBook Pro. Nothing has happened to it in shipping (to my knowledge), but I wish I had doubled the insurance on it. Why? In case something did happen, I could give the buyer his money back, and I’d still get something out of it. Because if the computer is damaged in shipping, I’d be out a computer and the money. Again, that would be frustrating.
PayPal Only This didn’t happen to me, but I wanted to add it. Make sure you state “PayPal Only” in your item description. It’s the easiest way to get paid.
So there you have it. Learn from my mistakes, and be a smart eBayer than me.