Things to consider when contemplating selling on eBay

Like if this guide is helpful
eBay is one of the UKs biggest marketplaces and is the UKs biggest online auction site by some distance. There are a number of reasons that you may wish to sell on eBay, whether its just to make some extra money, to professionally as a business and eBay can be an attractive proposition. However there are a number of things that often get overlooked by people considering selling on eBay.  This guide is aimed at highlighting some of those issues so you can make a better more informed decision.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

THE MONEY MOTIVE

Its always nice to make some extra cash but you have to consider how much are you actually making and what you have to do to earn it. A lot of people when selling "as a hobby" on eBay do not appreciate the time, effort and little returns that they are actually receiving. Because its not a 9-5 situation, its often easy to not realise the amount of time that you have put into things.  Secondly, most people don't know how much they are actually making. People often only see - I bought an item for x and sold it for y, so I made z but don't take into consideration the costs, such as eBay fees, Paypal Fees, Postage costs, packing costs, stationary and even hidden costs like taking your parcels to be dropped off, cost of fuel, wear and tear to vehicles etc. These are all costs you would not have incurred had it not been for the selling process.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

How much are you making?

Just as a simple example consider buying  a DVD for £1 and selling it for £2.

100% return, sounds great, Dragons Den on line 1.

But actually, by the time you take out the eBay fees (20p), Paypal Fees (standard 27p), Postage (£1.19 2nd, class large letter 250g), Cost of envelope (10p), you are actually making a loss of 76p and if you take into consideration other costs you are making an even bigger loss. Sometimes you are doing all the work and other people are making all the money. Using the example of buying a DVD for £1 and selling it for £3. As a percentage of the hammer price, eBay/Paypal will receive 20%, Royal Mail will receive 40%, and your profit will be a miniscule 3%, that's if you manage to sell it for 3 times as much as you purchased the item for.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

Just getting rid of some stuff

You have to ask yourself is the time that you are going to spend worth the return? If you are just getting rid of some cheap, unwanted items then perhaps you would be better off just donating it to charity. You have to picture it, list it, answer questions, package it, take it to the post office and post it, deal with returns, disputes, problems and so on, and if disputes / returns are found against you, you might even be out of pocket. A lot of people forget this when selling on eBay, your time is probably the most precious commodity that you have so it is something that you should be spending the most wisely. Would your time be better spent both in terms of quality of life (and even financially) doing something else.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

For Business

If you plan on selling on eBay as a business, you are putting all your eggs into the eBay basket. You are not working for yourself, you are working for eBay. You will abide by their rules, their terms, their conditions and yours will count for nothing. Furthermore, you will now be subject to their policies which  in most cases are detrimental to sellers and you are at the mercy of their discretion, even when you are in the right it is unlikely that you will be treated fairly. Your business, your livelihood and your life is now in their hands. Ask yourself, is that the position you want to be in and is that the position that you want your business to be in - having it held to ransom by someone else who is judge, jury and executioner.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

CONCLUSION

There is no doubt that eBay is one of the biggest marketplaces in the UK for online selling. It offers the opportunity to connect sellers and buyers not just from the UK but from around the world, but it is not without its failings and risks. eBay policies decide what level of customer support you will offer, what is deemed appropriate and what is not, when you will issue a refund. how you will issue a refund, how you will receive your money, how and when your money is dispersed, whether or not an item is as described (usually with no adherence to any legitimate or transparent process) just to name a few, and you will have little or no power over any of these decisions. Of course there are steps that eBay could take to address and mitigate sellers exposure to often unfair and at times fraudulent activities that risk businesses and reputations but despite opportunities it has not even addressed these issues, let alone worked to rectify them. As a potential seller, like with any opportunity it is necessary to weigh the benefits and risks before making a decision. 
Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides