I started to use Ebay in 2001 by chance - I was trying to find out a price guide for some collectable items my friends had, and I saw a bargain cd with rare tracks on it! I just had to bid and that's what got me hooked!
At first, I was wary of selling on Ebay, as it looked so complicated to set up and put items on sale; but with my various collections piling up around my ears (I had just moved to a smaller flat!) and with a read of the various tips and hints, I found it so much easier than I first expected!
So, here is a quick guide to evaluating what items you put up for sale on Ebay!
You've cleared out your loft or cupboards and you are surrounded by all those old records or cd's from when you were a teenager, books from when you had time to read, or clothes that have somehow 'shrunk'!
Look at the items you want to sell and check for any wear & tear. Are the clothes in perfect condition? No tears or buttons missing? No fraying hems? No pilling or bobbles on those tops and jumpers? If not, chances are they will probably sell! Look for scratches on cd's and records ( I play all mine to check they do not jump!) If you think they look bad, discard them - chances are they will not sell. Again, with books, be aware that they are not too tatty and faded by the sunlight (unless of course it's that elusive First Edition!)
If you have the time, try to research your items by looking for the same items on ebay! I find this saves you money in the long run, for if an item is not popular or you price it too high it isn't going to sell! You could have used the money listing that one to list an item that could've made you a mint!
For instance, say I have a collectable record that is worth £35.00 in MINT condition. After researching it I find there are 3 copies exactly the same priced at 99p £3.00 and £8.00 and they have no bids on them and very little bidding time left. I would not list my own item as the chances are that I'm not going to get a fair price for it.On the other hand, say I have a record by a popular artist and I do a search to see how their other songs are selling, and there are lots that are doing well, but the one I have isn't listed for sale,I would put this item on at 99p start. The chances are, if someone is interested in that artiste, then they might just buy your elusive album!
If you are selling lots of items that are similar, for instance records from the 60's & 70's including pop & rock; collate the similar items together, ie all the 60's pop and then all the 60's rock etc. You'll find it much easier to list these items as you won't have to keep changing the heading catagories every time you list an item! Once you've listed everything, sit back, relax and watch with awe as people bid on that old Bros LP!
Try to be fair with your postage rates! I have seen many an item on here with extremely high postage for such a small item. For instance £8.00 P&P for a PS2 game - it's more likely to cost around £2.00 to send! Get a price guidebook from the post office (these should be free) - it'll tell you all the postage rates for every item sent, wherever in the world. Weigh your items on the kitchen scales and allow 50-100 grammes extra for packing depending on what the item is, check the guide, find the rough price and hey presto! You can also round the price up or down as you see fit, ie if the postage is 96p, call it a £1, or £2.03 = £2.00.
END OF SALE & PACKING
You've sold lots of items and you need to pack them to send out - where do you start?!
Records can be sandwiched between two pieces of corrugated cardboard and the edges sealed with brown tape This ensures that they are less likely to be bent in the post. Use Jiffy bags (padded envelopes) for most other small items and don't forget to state if the item is fragile,ie a cd. In the case of breakable items, pack in a box, remembering to fill any gaps, so items do not rattle around in transit!
Also, try to re-use envelopes from items that have been sent to you, thus recycling and saving the planet!
Terry Hogan (vah!vah!disco)