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Selling on Ebay


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Auburnseeker is the expert in this.  I have sold quite a bit (usually have 30 or so items listed at a time).  I price stuff sorta high with the buy it now or make offer option.  I find it weeds out a lot of the people just bidding for the sake of bidding, many of whom don’t really intend to actually buy.  It also takes longer to sell this way, but I am in no rush.

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8 minutes ago, 1950panhead said:

Take good photos, start auction at reasonable price.

Agree.

 

Ebay has done a great job at driving "daily searchers" away for good.  I used to be able to type in "1932 Nash" but also had add the minus sign -  to eliminate a bunch of crap that had nothing to do with my Nash.... so my search was :
"1932 Nash  -fits  - car cover  -antenna"

 

But that simply does not work anymore to eliminate crap spamming.  I now get at least 85% of things that don't even have "Nash" or "1932" in their listings titles, and I don't know why.  So, I gave up wasting my time on Ebay after 2 decades of once being able to  find good things..

 

The reason I wrote all of that, is that you need to know that you will have far fewer lookers on there than 5-10 years ago, so you simply cannot list high starting prices or high reserve prices like what had worked OK in past years.  Add to that, many collectors of everything are downsizing all at once.

 

However, if you have premium, VERY desirable things like rare signs, disregard what I wrote.  Some few things remain very strong.

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Take good photos and use maximum number.  Write a good description.  If you action then set a reserve if you think it is important - I have had stuff I thought would go high go for low and stuff I thought would go low then go high , as well as everywhere in between.  If you sell with a buy it now, then consider adding in "or offer".  Sometimes you run into people that are nuts - I had the same fellow (and his wife) buy the same part 3 times and "did not like it" and whined up a storm wanting to return it and of course nothing I could do about it as when I blocked him each time and ....

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I always start with my local Craigslist because it’s free, and end up meeting locals that are in the hobby.  I don’t list my phone number or address until I know it’s a real buyer.  I understand not everyone like to use CL, but I do.
 

Also try Hemmings on line, parts ads are cheap ($5) and they don’t take a cut like EBay.  Good luck!

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3 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

I gave up selling on eBay.  If you do not have a recent history of selling, they do not release funds until the buyer leaves feedback. 

Not all buyers leave feedback!

 

I don't understand that at all,  Ebay does not control the payment paypal does, something is not right. I find only about 20% of the buyers leave feedback which is rather rude of them considering many of them have very high feedback numbers themselves but don't bother to reciprocate. 

Ebay should start a reverse feedback number for those who don't leave it.

 

1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

By the way - the parts for sale page here on AACA Forum is good too.  If you have a wild cannon, then just start high and accept offers, but most parts have pretty defined price ranges. 

 

Yes it can be, I just sold a few things on the site last week

 

1 hour ago, Robert G. Smits said:

Thanks for all the replies.  I was plannng on bringing a trailer load to both Pate and Hershey.  That didn't work out too well

 

Robert, I understand your situation. I too am trying to thin things out, because I know it will get tossed in a dumpster when I pass away.

I have been selling at Hershey for years, I love it but it is more for the social experience, seeing old friends and hanging out, and my goal is to break even at the end of the week, and remember  you are a couple of grand in the red before you even sell anything and mother nature has something to say every year. This year as well.

 

Ebay can be very strange, sometimes I sell something that is junk for big money and sometimes I sell a prime part for half of what it is worth.  If you don't have one already you will need to get a paypal account, you will need it for ebay.

 

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You asked about listing times - keep in mind Eastern and Pacific time and you do not want things closing too late at night on Pacific (a lot of people do bid live), but other than that no problem.  Personally, I never live bid on an item - I put the price I want to pay into my bidding program and if I win I get an email to complete deal. 

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6 hours ago, F&J said:

 

Ebay has done a great job at driving "daily searchers" away for good. 

To add to this; when a lot of former daily searchers and the ones that bid very high if needed, are driven away...then the sellers who used to find local parts at swaps and tag sales to flip on Ebay are no longer going to do that.  They just don't see much profit, or get stuck with parts that used to sell well.

 

So now you might never find the odd part that you once could on ebay.

 

It was all a food chain that worked very well, and once one part of the system gets ruined, then the whole thing goes to $hit.

 

I was thrilled that there were so many pickers out there flipping parts. I never complained, rather I was grateful to get that one rare thing that I could not make .....that was sitting at a tag sale for a dollar the week before, in Rural Kansas!

 

Ruined by Greed ....by the educated "experts" they hired.

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1 hour ago, F&J said:

To add to this; when a lot of former daily searchers and the ones that bid very high if needed, are driven away...then the sellers who used to find local parts at swaps and tag sales to flip on Ebay are no longer going to do that.  They just don't see much profit, or get stuck with parts that used to sell well.

 

Hello F&J,

I am not sure what you mean by "daily searchers."  Local swap meets with parts have been gone for 20-25 years, mostly due to Ebay.

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I joined eBay in 1999 and became a full time seller in 2002. I sold over 30,000 old car brochures, old shop manuals, old owner's manuals, old license plates, etc. to people in over 30 countries. The most auctions I had going at one time was 877 and the most things I mailed in one day was 47 but I wouldn't recommend that to anyone because that was a LOT of work. I started losing interest in eBay when they changed their feedback system to allow sellers to leave only positive feedback for buyers while buyers could still leave neutral and negative feedback for sellers. Is that fair? Hell no! There is no listing fee anymore which is cool. When I had something to sell that I knew would get a big response I would list it in a 10 day auction and have it end on a Sunday night at 9 eastern time. Things started going downhill for me several years ago when Hemmings stopped listing their "wanted" ads in the online version of their publication because I had had VERY good success buying large collections of old brochures and manuals for several years. Then in 2012 my dad died and left me some money so I don't care what eBay does anymore since I only have 4 auctions going for old license plates. Good luck with your sales....

Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, John348 said:

I am not sure what you mean by "daily searchers."

Talking about people like me, whom back in the better days of ebay, would run a simple saved search at least once a day for a particular car.

 

Then just search by "items newly listed" each day in case somebody put up a part with a buy it now, and you did not want to miss out.  I only looked at the newly listed items, saving me from looking at the entire listings for 7 full days.

 

I know what  you are saying about swap meet declines, but I'm saying 10 years ago or less, I could find great items I needed on ebay.  Now, it's far less, very far less. 

 

Less sellers less flippers, due to the negatives of selling there these days, that's all.

 

.

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I used to try to gross $1,000 per month on Ebay, but hardly do that per year anymore.

I used fixed price because I know what I want and don't expect surprises. I add in estimated shipping to California and roll it into the total.

Here is how I track the income and expenses.

322941708_EbaySample.thumb.JPG.6bead6050644740ae5cf356502e49026.JPG

This is all I have done this year. The columns total below the capture view.

It costs about 40%.

When I make a sale I immediately pay the Ebay fee with a "one time payment" keeping the balance zero.

 

If you would like a blank copy of the spreadsheet email me. It is not a hard one but easy to share.

Bernie

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Good luck, it isn't 2005, and Meg Whitman sadly isn't the CEO of eBay. They just finished dumping PayPal for some eBay Managed Payment deal. Find 6 items you plan to list. Do a SOLD search of similar items so you know what they bring. FREE postage works well for me, so do Flat Rate boxes from the Post Office. You will misjudge on shipping costs once in a while, I eat the loss rather than argue with buyers. The goal should be to get rid of the stuff, if you make a buck that is OK too. Bob 

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Thanks again to everyone who responded.  I am 80 years old and need to get rid of this "stuff"  For my top quality advertising I am working with Showtime to do a onsite auction in the spring or summer of 2021

1 hour ago, 1937hd45 said:

if you make a buck that is OK too. Bob

I like your philosophy!!!

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I just finished my nightly listing.  Low opening bids (read crazy cheap) As low as you dare sell it and not cry when there is only one bidder ,  but low enough so anyone that has any remote interest in the item,  will put it on their watch and bid. 

I try not to use reserves.  It discourages bidders.  I rarely bid or even watch anything with a reserve.  

As mentioned you will have to join managed payments either when you start selling or shortly there after.  A wonderful new bondoogle that was poorly rolled out and has just a few ebay cheerleaders promoting it.  If you do join payments,  be advised ebay will now have access directly to your checking account you link to it as well as you need to give them your social security number.  Also ebay will now appoint an arbirtrator? if there are any disputes and when you wade through the fine print ,  they appoint it,  make the judgment and you suck it up and take it.  You have no say in it.   You also forfit your right to sue them for any reason.  Lots of good details buried deep in the contract.  But it's their ball so they take it when you don't want to play by their new and improved rules.  They are also now collecting a percentage on not only shipping but on sales tax collected,  but remember it's going to cost you less to sell. ????  The new rates are also kind of screwy in that large dollar items will cost you less proportionally to sell than cheaper items.  You can search videos on you tube that explain these better. 

 

Anyways if you still want to sell.  Much above that has been mentioned is all good advice. Describe condition as well as show it.  

 

Finally if it's literature you could save yourself the hassle and expense and just sell it to me.  One quick easy deal and you get your payment.  

 

Good luck in whatever you decide. 

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i join ebay as a buyer in 1999, in 21 years i have bought over 1,000 items, and have sold maybe less than 25, ebay used to be fun searching for needed or wanted parts, accessories, or options for my 1953 Pontiac Chieftain Custom Catalina, but not anymore,  i'll never sell on ebay again, too many fees involved, where as in the beginning there was just a listing fee.  

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99.9% of eBay buyers are fine, don't let the .1% IDIOT FACTOR bother you. You have the option as a seller to choose the time it will take to mail or ship something. If you relist something for over a year there is a chance it got misplaced in 12 months. Let the buyer know if you can't find it in 2 to 3 days of searching, I don't need the $5.00 that badly and a FULL Refund is in order, not that it prevents them posting a negative feedback because they were "Upset"( that really happened!). FAR more good stories than bad, but the IDIOTS make a lasting memory. Bob 

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50 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

I just finished my nightly listing.  Low opening bids (read crazy cheap) As low as you dare sell it and not cry when there is only one bidder ,  but low enough so anyone that has any remote interest in the item,  will put it on their watch and bid

 

51 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

it's literature

I'm fairly convinced I recently bought a sales brochure from you.  I had passed on that exact one years ago on several occasions, but as you just said "so low, that they will bid".  I did.  LOL

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 I have had good success on ebay in the past and continue to do so. I like to start my listings at a reasonable price that is typically the lowest price I'd be happy to sell at. Sometimes I get multiple bidders and the price goes up. Yay! Many times I only get one bidder and the part sells for my starting price and that's ok. If the part fails to sell after several runs then I lower the start price until it sells. Ebay charges roughly 10% of sales and Paypal gets another 3% or so. Some people think that's a lot but it's less expensive percentage-wise than doing a swap meet. By the time you pay for gas, hotel, spaces, food, etc your swap meet expenses will typically be MUCH more than 13%. I still like to do Hershey but that's about it.

 If you are selling adverting pieces join the "oldgas" forum. Listings there are free.

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10 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

 

Finally if it's literature you could save yourself the hassle and expense and just sell it to me

Thanks for the advice.  I am primarily selling excess small advertising signs, clocks and misc.  What kind of photography set up do you use

 

1 hour ago, pkhammer said:

.

 If you are selling adverting pieces join the "oldgas" forum. Listings there are free.

I will check it out, Thanks

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14 hours ago, John348 said:

 

Hello F&J,

I am not sure what you mean by "daily searchers."  Local swap meets with parts have been gone for 20-25 years, mostly due to Ebay.

 

F&J,

I understand now, I only have used to look for parts and over time I pretty much found everything I needed, I did buy one car from Ebay, but that is because a friend of mine told me about it. I never looked at from a car shopper's perspective. It seems to be a huge fishing pier and everyone selling is hoping for the big one in the car market. (not as bad as craigslist....yet) I can see now why the daily searchers have been driven off.

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49 minutes ago, Robert G. Smits said:

Thanks for the advice.  I am primarily selling excess small advertising signs, clocks and misc.  What kind of photography set up do you use

 

I use just a Canon camera I have had for atleast 10 years and must have logged well over a million photos by now averaging about 200-250 a night probably 360 days a year.

For a back ground I use a red sheet of material.  Two reasons behind that.   I always thought the red presented better and made the stuff look richer or more valuable than say sterile white based on all the listings I had looked at as a buyer before I became a seller.  I later found out they did a study and red invites competition and a bit of aggression,  which is good when it comes to bidding.  

Whatever you use for a background make it as clean as possible if it's not solid color.  It's best to only show the item and nothing else in a picture.  Some moron will undoubtably say they thought they were getting everything in the picture. 

I'm not sure what you use for a Camera,  but I think alot of people even use their I-phones now.  If you are all apple,  you can then air drop the pictures to your regular computer, or you can take the pictures with your tablet if you use that device.  I'm still old fashioned.  I like my small well worn camera.

If you aren't selling alot, the 10 day is a good idea and yeas I always though prime stuff should end on Sunday nights at the time mentioned above.  That's when I had cars end especially because on a 10 day auction,  potential bidders had 2 weekends to come look at a car. 

I don't tout the free shipping,  I honestly just make every one pay the bill to where it goes. I would hate to buy something really heavy with free shipping that was only 100 miles from me,  knowing darn well the free shipping covered the cost up to 2500 miles away or further if going to Alaska or Hawaii from the East coast.  Especially since I do so much combined shipping,  (I run several tabs for people at a time) they all like paying the minimum amount possible and know they aren't paying for unneeded shipping cost that are rolled in the price.  I thinks it's especially important on low dollar items that a guy might buy multiple items.   Some people do fall for the "deal" of free shipping though. Until I get Amazon's shipping rates I won't be offering free shipping.   

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions. 

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11 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

I try not to use reserves.  It discourages bidders.  I rarely bid or even watch anything with a reserve.

 

I have learned on Ebay "reserve" and "reserve not met" mean the same thing. I don't even bother looking.

 

Here's a good one. The number of watchers has a negative impact on your search engine positioning on Buy It Now items. The algorithm sees watchers as a poor conversion to sales rate. Meaning a poor presentation. You take a back seat.

Generally I see watchers as those with a similar item looking for your outcome. Few are buyers.

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22 hours ago, John348 said:

more for the social experience, seeing old friends and hanging out, and my goal is to break even at the end of the week, and remember  you are a couple of grand in the red before you even sell anything

 

Seems the pile doesn't get any smaller.

I have a stash where I put stuff that someone might want.

It will be somewhat larger pile next year unless we get shut down again.

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Robert, Ebay is a great place to sell just about anything, I have bought and sold there since 1999 and there is still NO other site that can beat it for reaching a very large pool of potential buyers. You have already heard from the usual Ebay haters, if you are serious about selling ignore most of the negative comments. The main thing is to get serious about it and treat it as a business, which is what it is. Yes, you will have to release personal information, pay all of their fees and follow all of their rules, that is the cost of doing business anywhere. Get serious and read all of their tutorials about selling. Get serious and take many high quality photos for each item and craft a detailed description. Get serious and research your items so you can accurately describe them. Pricing will have to be your call but the biggest problem I see all the time with automobilia items is listing everything with a fixed price or an opening bid price that is ridiculously high and then leaving it sit there forever unsold. I would be glad to discuss this in more detail, send me a PM.

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Auction or Fixed Price with the Accept Offer option, that is a hard call, most of my stuff is listed at Fixed with the Offer option, rarely is an offer refused these days. I'll list things at an an auction if I've found that others  sold for way more than I thought the item was worth, I'm all out of oil cans now. I wonder if the listing fees differ on the two? Start out with 25-50 dollar items that are easy to mail, build up your feedback rating, and future bidder confidence. Bob 

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1 hour ago, TexRiv_63 said:

Robert, Ebay is a great place to sell just about anything, I have bought and sold there since 1999 and there is still NO other site that can beat it for reaching a very large pool of potential buyers. You have already heard from the usual Ebay haters, if you are serious about selling ignore most of the negative comments. The main thing is to get serious about it and treat it as a business, which is what it is. Yes, you will have to release personal information, pay all of their fees and follow all of their rules, that is the cost of doing business anywhere. Get serious and read all of their tutorials about selling. Get serious and take many high quality photos for each item and craft a detailed description. Get serious and research your items so you can accurately describe them. Pricing will have to be your call but the biggest problem I see all the time with automobilia items is listing everything with a fixed price or an opening bid price that is ridiculously high and then leaving it sit there forever unsold. I would be glad to discuss this in more detail, send me a PM.

It's hard to develop a warm fuzzy relationship with a company that constantly makes changes,  often no more than for the sake of change and forces it's sellers to learn a new system every so often or tack on a new fee without any say or feedback knowing they have the monopoly.  

One way feedback,

 Final value fees on shipping,

final value fees on sales tax,  

cheaper fees that are going to cost you more in the end,

Changing search results,

Changing selling formats (that's happened a couple of times so you have a whole new system to learn)

Customer is always right (period)

Non Paying bidders and the magic strike against them that really doesn't do a darn thing. I had one customer who stuck me for over 400 items and over $2000.  That was alot of unpaid item, cases. You think after I filed the first 100,  they would have gotten the clue and just marked all the rest the same as there was no payment shown from the customer.  Nope took over 2 hours to open cases ,  which you had to do one at a time even though there were 40 items on each invoice.

Oh the stories I could tell and that's just selling parts and literature , which most customers are pretty good.  Some abuse my invoicing time frames and really drag things out,  but when you run an auction,  each bidder you block is like cutting off an arm especially if they bid on alot of items.  Without them. it's like blue light special over at randyshotrods.   Takes 2 to make an auction,  one to turn it into the clearance bin. 

That and I'm only scratching the surface with changes they have made since I signed on.  Every new year roll out is like opening your results of test from the doctor.  You know it's not going to be good but you are hoping it's just not going to be too bad.

Go to ebay community and see what the sellers post about the changes.  

Yeah we are suppose to embrace change,  but alot of change seems to be like changing the route you are allowed to go to work each day and forgetting to give you a map on how to get there.

Right now they are still trying to verify my internet only checking account I was forced to set up or surrender access to my regular account to them.  Problem is they want to see a paper statement.  Well it's an internet only account with no paper statements.  

Seems they forget to make the linking your bank account an easy process like pay pal did.   They keep pinching for a little more pie.  Often tripping over $100 bills to pick up dimes on the sidewalk. 

They have been chasing Amazon for years and until they realize they are not Amazon, they are going to work on driving away sellers. 

Paid them over $10,000 in fees last year and list probably 360 nights a year.  Around 30 items a night.  With that comes my right to give an opinion of selling on there.  

 

Yup,  like others I put up with it,  because we don't have a choice,  especially in the new strange world where the only way to shop for old stuff is internet since everything else is banned.

 

A little competition would be nice especially in an auction format.

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Twenty two years ago eBay made you feel like you were a welcomed member of a club, now they just add unwanted features and accounting bells & whistles. Try doing "eBay Math", there total of your sales vs. reality. Seller Rating is some system nobody there can explain every sale is valued the same and effects your rating. That $7.00 LP record the buyer found fault with and got a FULL refund on  is no different than a $40,000. automobile sale. I don't view things that way. Only show in town, wonder if I'll ever collect on sales with the new payment system somebodies kid in need of something to do setup. Bob 

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I don’t see any difference in how it works now vs. years ago.  I sold my first item in 1998.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have an eBay store.  Do you guys?   Everything I list, I list for free.  eBay takes 10%, so I price accordingly.  It all goes through PayPal, who takes another small %.  

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 39BuickEight said:

I don’t see any difference in how it works now vs. years ago.  I sold my first item in 1998.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have an eBay store.  Do you guys?   Everything I list, I list for free.  eBay takes 10%, so I price accordingly.  It all goes through PayPal, who takes another small %.  

Ebay takes 10% on the item,  10% on the shipping , and now 10% on the sales tax from what used to be just 10% on the item.   So yeah alot has changed since 1998 and that's just the fees.   

My selling pages have all changed twice that I can remember,  payment is now being forced into managed payments,  The search engine has changed atleast once,  but I actually think a few times.  Remember all the fits crap? 

Do we need to go on?  I've forgotten more changes I'm sure than I remember.   Still trying to remember which one was a good one that made life better.  

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7 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

Ebay takes 10% on the item,  10% on the shipping , and now 10% on the sales tax from what used to be just 10% on the item.   So yeah alot has changed since 1998 and that's just the fees.   

My selling pages have all changed twice that I can remember,  payment is now being forced into managed payments,  The search engine has changed atleast once,  but I actually think a few times.  Remember all the fits crap? 

Do we need to go on?  I've forgotten more changes I'm sure than I remember.   Still trying to remember which one was a good one that made life better.  

I do free shipping and 10% on tax isn’t much, so that’s probably why I don’t see a difference.  I sold 2 items last week and have no idea what the “managed payments” thing is you are talking about.  They went just like every other sale I’ve ever done.  I also don’t see a difference in searching.  I have my reminder set and they work just like they always have.

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