The wonder of eBay

My eBay auctions are now over and of 36 items, 27 sold. I’m constantly amazed by how much you can achieve for the things you no longer want. Highlights included:

  • A six year old amplifier which sold for £30 less than I paid for it new, and only £56 less than you can buy the brand new better version.
  • An Apple iSight webcam which previously featured on my list of 5 worst gadgets. It turns out that Apple don’t sell them anymore so it went for pretty much what I paid for it new 18 months ago.
  • My two year old Flexifoil power kite which again sold for £30 less than the best online price of the newer 2005 version.
  • A Miglia TV-Mini USB digital TV tuner for Apple Macs which actually went for more than you can now buy it new!!

Of course, one or two items went for less than I was hoping. Most notable being a Pure DAB tuner which completed listings suggested could have gone for about £120.

I’m by no means an expert eBay seller, but I do seem to get good prices. My top tips are:

  • Always, always do 99p starting price no reserve auctions. It draws people in and gets more watching your item. They think they will be in with a good chance of getting a bargain.
  • Always do a 7 day auction.
  • Schedule the start time for a Sunday late afternoon, so it ends at the same time the following week. That way potential bidders can make sure they will be online at home and are less likely to be distracted by work and the like.
  • Common sense, but provide good photos and a clear and accurate description. Be honest with any faults/blemishes.
  • Answer questions quickly and accurately. Post them to the listing to avoid having to answer them multiple times.
  • Don’t be tempted to only sell to the UK. You’ll probably have to post the item anyway so it doesn’t cause any more hassle to list across Europe as well and you open yourself up to new bidders.
  • Be accurate with your postage costs and provide a range of options.

This is also common sense and always stated by eBay themselves, but never, ever be tempted to sell off eBay if somebody asks. They are asking you as you will probably give them a price less than you’ll end up receiving by letting the auction run its course. You’ll get no protection and may end up being scammed.

One final thing. eBay isn’t the best place to sell goods of a particularly specialist nature as you are less likely to realise the best price for them. Along with my recent auctions I also wanted to sell a particularly good dry suit for scuba diving which I’ve owned for 18 months but only used a handful of times. eBay showed only one sold in previous completed listings, and not for a price I’d be happy with. However, placing a personal ad on a well known scuba diving forum came up trumps for me.

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