Get Cash To Buy The iPad 3 By Selling Your Old Tech Gear

In case you were living under a rock today, Apple announced the third generation iPad today, featuring HD video playback, better this and all of that.  So, for you early adopters who are dying to upgrade from what you’re currently using, eBay is offering really amazing prices via their Instant Sale option where they will buy your product outright from you.  eBay buys a plethora of products but have setup this nice landing page showing prices for the most common tablets and similar tech products like phones and e-readers. Continue reading »

eBay’s Hidden Categories: Weird Stuff, Slightly Unusual, Really Weird & Totally Bizarre

eBayI’m a huge fan of eBay, the 5th most popular post on this site was about making money with eBay auctions, so clearly everyone who reads Randomn3ss likes it too.  Last month eBay sent me a nice little email message to thank me for another year of being a member, my 11th year!  1999 I joined, seems like yesterday, time flies.  Anyway, I have a lot of issues with eBay, one of which is that they are driving users to start using Craigslist because they fees are becoming insane, more of my rants can be found here.  Anyway, I still buy stuff on a regular basis because eBay can often be cheaper than local stores and even Amazon when buying items less than $25.  Last night I found some hidden categories that have me scratching my head and subsequently consumed the following few hours of my life.

The parent category is Weird Stuff, and there is just that, a lot of weird stuff.  I did see a bunch of Nazi stuff, which I guess there’s a market for, but then you’ll find something you never knew existed but now need, an egg white separator called A Booger Boy / Snot A Mug.

Booger Boy / Snot A Mug

Within the Weird Stuff category are three more sub-categories, that get stranger. Continue reading »

Is eBay Driving Sellers To Use Craigslist?

eBay is, without a doubt, the crowned king of person to person commerce.  There are downsides to eBay though, which most regular users gripe about.  Bloated shipping prices from sellers, which eBay has tried to regulate, fraud, several hour delay until your auction is live on the site, the almost exclusive use of Paypal for payments and of course the biggest complaint, fees.

Continue reading »

eBay Coming in June: 5 Free Insertion Fees Every 30 Days

Great news for those wanting to list stuff on eBay, starting in June they will be waiving the insertion fee regardless of the starting price for 5 items.  This could save a decent amount of money if you choose to list your item at a higher start price without a reserve, since the newly revamped reserve fees now take a percentage of the final sale price.  Here’s the rundown:

eBay first 5 insertion fees free

All the info, details and fees can be found for this upcoming promotion set to start June 16th can be read here.  Take special note to the asterisks at the bottom, excluding Video Game Systems.

As always, review all of eBay’s fees before you list an item as you can typically expect an average sale to cost you at least 10% of the sale price.  I’m excited about this, it means I can try to sell something on eBay for free at the price I want to get, if it doesn’t sell I haven’t lost any money and can put it on Craigslist and deal with the low-ball offers people offer there.

eBay 15c auction style insertion fees today only

eBay is once again offering some reduced listing fees for sellers today only.  There are some qualifications though,

On April 21, 2009, sellers who list Auction-style item(s) and have a 12 month Detailed Seller Rating of 4.5 or higher on all criteria, will pay just 15¢ Insertion Fees per item listed. New sellers who don’t yet have DSR ratings are also eligible. DSR rating criteria for this promotion will be based on the previous 12 months. To see your DSR ratings, go to your Seller Dashboard within My eBay. For more information on DSRs, click here.

Starting Tuesday, April 21, 2009 between 00:00:01 PT (12:00 AM plus one second on Tuesday, April 21, 2009) and ending that same day at 23:59:59 PT (11:59 PM plus 59 seconds). * For listings on www.ebay.ca, the promotion will begin at 12:00 AM plus one second on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 ET and end at 11:59 PM plus 59 seconds ET.

This could potentially save you $3.85 per listing.  For a full list of the fee savings and what items are excluded (as it is a lengthy list), click here.

Free auction-style insertion fees on eBay

Starting Wednesday, April 1, 2009 between 00:00:01 PT (12:00 AM plus one second on Wednesday, April 1, 2009) and ending on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 23:59:59 PT (11:59 PM plus 59 seconds).

This is good for up to 10 items, potentially saving you up to $40!  There is a list of exceptions which can be read here.

eBay St. Patrick’s Day 10% off coupon code

Special 10% off off coupon code available today at eBay.  To redeem the coupon, follow these instructions:

1. Start shopping on eBay. Be sure the seller accepts PayPal.
2. Pay for your item with PayPal before the expiration date on the coupon.
3. Enter code: CSP49UNW76CP33YM

Terms and Conditions:

The offer will expire at 11:59:59 PM PT on March 17, 2009. Receive 10% off (maximum discount of $100) the purchase price (excluding shipping, handling, and taxes) of a single item on eBay.com. Recipients of the coupon must be registered eBay members and pay for the item with PayPal.

The coupon is non-transferable, void where prohibited, not redeemable for cash, for one-time use only, and has no face value. The coupon is subject to U.S. laws and cannot be combined with any other coupon. eBay reserves the right to cancel, amend, or revoke the coupon at any time. Use of automated devices or programs to redeem the coupon is prohibited.

Purchases made through customized checkout systems which do not accept coupons are excluded.

eBay terms of service change, no more checks or money orders; Maximum shipping charges added

Starting sometime later this month, eBay has decided to do away with allowing sellers the option to accept checks and money orders totally.  From the official announcement page,

all items listed on eBay.com must be paid for using one of the following approved payment options:

  • Direct credit or debit card payment via a merchant credit card account
  • PayPal
  • ProPay
  • Payment on pick-up

Paper payment methods such as checks and money orders will no longer be accepted on eBay.com.

By January 2009, all approved electronic payment methods will be integrated into eBay checkout. For example, buyers will be able to enter their credit card number directly into eBay checkout, and the payment will be routed to the seller’s Internet merchant account or to their PayPal account.

As a buyer, I’m really excited about this.  There have been a few times in the last year or so where I’ve purchased small items, under $20, and then realized the buyer didn’t accept Paypal and only accepted a check or money order.  My guess is because the Paypal fees would seriously cut into the profit, but it adds so much time into getting me the item I just won.

As a seller, I’m 100% OK with this.  It’s one less chance that I have for being scammed with a fake money order or have to deal with the possibility of a bounced check, which results in a fee from my bank.

My only concern at this point is that even though the basic fee charges were lowered for insertions, they were raised on final value fees.  Since eBay owns Paypal, they have the ability to start messing around more with the Paypal fees and it could very much be a reality that 15-20% or even more of the final value of an auction listing could go to pay fees to eBay and Paypal for transactions.  For some smaller items that sell for $25 or less, it’s almost not worth listing on eBay for the hassle of the fees, unless it’s a highly profitable margin.  This is clearly where Craigslist will start to dominate the individual sellers market and we could see less great deals on eBay and be forced to scour Craigslist instead.

eBay has also made a change that was bound to happen which will seriously impact some sellers profits.  Shipping charges have often been a sore subject for me and many other people who buy items from eBay.  Often times great deals can be found on small items, until you realize the seller wants an unrealistic amount of money to ship it.  Let’s say you collect antique keys for example.  The reality is a small padded envelope costs about 80 cents, gas to get you to the Post office maybe costs $1 round trip and the shipping charge, even with insurance and delivery confirmation costs maybe $1.70.  The seller wants $16 to ship it.  Why?  Because the seller will often try to sell items at a lower cost to feel less impact on the final value fee and recoup some of the money that way, in addition to padding the costs of packing materials and my favorite handling charge for actually packing your newly won item and mailing it out.  I’m fine with paying a dollar or three over the cost of the actual shipping and packaging cost, but 500% over that is a bit much, and that’s what some sellers want.

The reality is that many of these items that sell for under $1 will soon disapear from eBay because of these newly added maximum shipping charges.  They only apply to certain items so far, but don’t be surprised to see a lot more added to this list.  I’m also curious to see how fast eBay will be amending the price structure as the USPS, UPS and FedEx are always adjusting their shipping charges.  See the full list of items affected by the Maximum Shipping Fees here.

EBay v. Craigslist – where to sell your stuff and why

I’ve already guided you through how to list an item on eBay for maximum profit, but there are reasons why eBay isn’t the best choice, Craigslist may be a better option. Here’s an outline of basic practices to help you list your items online, in the right place for the most profitable outcome.

Many of the items I covered in the previous eBay article will already help you list on Craigslist, such as knowing your product, searching ended auctions to see what a realistic price is to ask, taking quality photos and so on. But choosing eBay or Craigslist can prove to be a split in the road that not every seller considers.

Positives for listing on eBay:

  • Global marketplace that serves millions of people daily
  • Advanced searching features
  • People are now comfortable buying on eBay
  • Auction environments often lead to last minute higher bids due to excitement

Positives for listing on Craigslist:

  • Local or regional listings mean shipping an item is rarely needed, meet in person and exchange money for item.
  • No need to process a Paypal payment and wait for it to transfer to your bank account
  • Regional, sometimes items sell in less than a day
  • Free

Winner: Both offer features and benefits that are useful to sellers, no clear winner.

Negatives for listing on eBay:

  • It costs money; even if your item doesn’t sell you still have to pay
  • Not everyone is comfortable listing items for sale
  • Unless you have some positive feedback built up, you may not get as much for an item because buyers may be wary of purchasing from a new or unknown seller
  • Low starting prices with no reserves often backfire and you get much less than you anticipated
  • Items can get lost in the mail, making buyers very angry

Negatives for listing on Craigslist:

  • Regional, if you aren’t in a large city, chances are your ad won’t be seen by a lot of buyers
  • You may not have a regional Craigslist in your area yet
  • It’s still not nearly as popular as eBay, so again, less potential buyers may see your ad
  • Lowball offers are often made, the exact opposite of how eBay works where buyers outbid each other.

Winner: Craigslist, only because it’s 100% free regardless if you sell your item or not.

So which site should you sell your stuff on? Well it really depends on what you are selling, how fast you want to get rid of it and what kind of effort you want to put into it. As mentioned, Craigslist is free, so the only think you will be investing is time, however Craigslist is better suited for certain items that have never done well on eBay. Here is a list of items that I would list on Craigslist and more than likely never list on eBay:

  • Furniture / beds / carpets / large objects – shipping is a pain and in most cases, too expensive
  • Automobiles / motorcycles – again shipping isn’t much of an option and titles need to be transferred at a notary for most states
  • Expensive jewelry / watches – it’s best to meet a potential buyer at a jewelry store so they can get an appraisal on the item and you don’t have to worry about that $10,000 Rolex getting lost in the mail
  • Larger sporting goods items, such as bicycles, snowboards, surfboards, etc.
  • Guns – they simply aren’t allowed to be sold on eBay
  • Any item you need cash for fast – eBay is great, but even with Buy It Now or 3 day auctions, until money clears Paypal it could be a week or 10 days before you get cash in hand.

Previously I listed one negative for listing an item on Craigslist being low-balling. Low-balling is making an outrageously low offer on something, this is very common with Craigslist and you should be ready to barter. As someone who has bought off Craigslist, I can pretty much tell you that if your asking price is $225, I’m going to offer $200 and chances are, you will accept it. A low ball offer is me offering $125, hoping that I don’t offend you too much and you counter at $200 and I counter again at $175, but that’s just crap for both people. Be prepared though, this will happen. If you’ve done the research on what you are selling, list it for about 10% more than that (provided it’s competitively priced with other sellers, retail stores and recently ended eBay auctions) and be willing to give a little when an offer comes in.

Common Craigslist tactics for a fast sale.

  • Be descriptive. List out everything you can and know about the item you are putting up
  • Use photos. It’s free to host up to 4 photos with Craigslist, use all 4 slots
  • Respond in timely manor. This is a no brainer
  • Remove your listing when the item has sold. This is one of my biggest pet peeves, sellers who don’t remove their item or won’t reply an email to let me know it’s sold.
  • Offer to deliver the item within X miles. Gas is expensive, offer the buyer a reason he should spend his money on your item.
  • If the item is large, offer to help load it into the buyers car / truck.

Craigslist is a wonderful, free resource for all to use that has a simple, clean interface. It’s worth looking into if you have an item you don’t want to ship or would prefer to have properly appraised with the buyer. If you think a bidding war may break out over your super rare and pristine original collector’s item The Monkeys lunch box, put it on eBay.

Detailed info about the eBay changes

Late last night eBay sent me an email officially announcing all their changes, some good, most not. Here’s a breakdown and what it means to you.

Reduced listing fees. You’re not going to hear me complain about this one. 2008 guidelines:

Reward for great sellers. OK, this is pretty much bullshit if you ask me. You get better ranking in search’s based on how detailed the person who bought your item was when they left you feedback. I’d safely say that one out of every three transactions I do on eBay, buying or selling, the other party never leaves feedback. Even after I’ve sent them a message to make them aware that I did indeed leave positive feedback and would appreciate if they did the same when they had a moment. How it affects you as a seller:

Feedback changes. For me, feedback is the only way that buyers and sellers can keep each other honest. These, are not in the best interest of the users of eBay in my honest opinion.

I want to know who thought it would be a good idea to stop sellers from leaving negative feedback for buyers who don’t pay? Why is negative feedback going to be removed if the seller is suspended?