Before becoming a member of the eBay Parent Panel I hadn’t had much experience buying and/or selling on eBay. Since partnering with eBay I have definitely had some success selling nearly $800 worth of product. Not bad for things that were literally sitting around the house, right?
Selling on eBay can be a great experience and it’s relatively easy. However, there are some things you want to make sure you’re aware of before you start your selling experience. Today I’m going to cover two mistakes I made that would have yielded me more money and I wound up learning the hard way. Looking back what I’m about to talk about might seem like common sense but I got wrapped up in the excitement of selling.
Confirm Your Shipping Fees!
Now this isn’t really such a big deal with smaller items since you’re going to have minimal variance (generally speaking) with lighter/smaller items. However, when you’re shipping larger items things can have quite a bit more variance. I was selling my stroller with accessories. This was a relatively large item and with all the accessories certainly weighed a bit. To be honest I suppose I just felt lazy at the time so I used the tools eBay has to estimate shipping costs. Now you can use the tools they have online to calculate costs but like I said, larger items deserve more research. After I sold my stroller I took it down to my local UPS store to ship it out. I was expecting some slight variance perhaps. When all was said and done I was a good $60 off though! Yikes! It would have taken 30 minutes out of my day to have taken the stroller down to UPS FIRST! Had I done that, I would have saved quite a bit of money and frustration. To make matters worse, I actually left a vital part of the stroller in my car and had to ship that separately! That added another $20 loss to my shipping saga.
So, if you’re shipping a large item on eBay go to your local shipping company FIRST. Also, take the time to make sure you have ALL the parts of the item you’re selling together before shipping. Again, these things seem like common sense and in a way they are. However, sometimes you just want to get rid of whatever you have and/or you’re just wanting to get that extra cash in your pocket. Take a few more minutes to make sure you have solid ship numbers and I guarantee you’ll end the transaction with the most money in your pocket.
Test Before You Sell!
This was another lesson I had to learn the hard way. I was selling an older Wii System I had. I hadn’t used it in over a year and thought I could use the money instead of something else to collect dust. I placed the Wii for sale with all the accessories and someone won the bid. Just before I sent it out I decided to make sure everything worked. Everything worked the last time I used it but that was a year ago. As it turns out my kids (2 and 3) had gotten into some of the game disks and they were scratched beyond operation. I also found out that one of the controllers didn’t work. It turns out that the batteries that were in there leaked after being in there so long and destroyed it. I felt so horrible that I had already sold what was advertised as a perfectly working Wii only to find these problems. I emailed the winner and explained what I found. She was pretty disappointed and I actually wound up giving her back $50.00 as a gesture on my part to make amends.
So, even if you “know” something works make sure you test it out BEFORE you post your item for bid. My other advice has to do with accessories like the games I included. I would offer those for free in your listing. If an accessory doesn’t work great or is not in great condition it’s much easier to deal with it if it’s advertised as free. Had I advertised my games as free it would have been easier to claim that a refund wouldn’t be in the works. Of course, your integrity is the most important thing and going back to my original point as long as you’ve honestly tested everything and advertised the item as it is you’re in a good place. I made the mistake of not testing first and I was honest at the end and then made amends. Unfortunately, my amends cost me $50.00 extra bucks I would have kept had I done my due diligence.
Selling on eBay is fun and can yield you some great extra cash for items that might be just sitting around your house. However, as easy as it is to sell online it’s also easy to make costly mistakes. You may feel anxious to get the show on the road and get that product sold. That’s completely understandable and taking just a few extra minutes before and during the transaction will certainly pay off.
I am a member of the eBay Parent Panel which is a paid sponsorship between eBay and DadStreet. The views and opinions expressed on this site are mine and cannot be bought. However, I may want to buy yours if I run out of my own.