I need your help

18 posts in this topic

Well as some of you may have read my DH was in a car accident recently. Well it seems we will have to manage on 1/2 of one income. I am not sure for how long. ( with a family of six it will not be an easy thing.)

I am not trying to get sympathy ( although it is gettting a bit blue here). I am going to start listing some of my things on ebay. Mini and not. I was wondering if some of you with more experience with ebay could give me some pointers. ( this will be a first for me and I don't want to spend anymore on listing fees and such than I have too.)

I am sorry if I sound desperate and I hate to ask but I am well desperate. Thanks guys.

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Hey there. Everyone needs to let it out and I am a testiment to letting it out! (((((((Shaky)))))))))

I do ebay but I am probably not as experienced as others in here. I hope you get lots of great sales and i hope your dh will be better in a hurry! :lol:

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(((Melanie))) I hope your DH heals quickly.

When I list on ebay I use photobucket to add more images to my listing. The site is free and generates the html for you to copy and paste in to your listing. Be very clear on your shipping and handling policy. Check out some of the auctions on ebay similar to your items. Check out acutions that have ended, too. I hope this helps.

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Check completed auctions carefully. Some items simply don't sell, ever, and you don't want to waste fees on those items.

Set an opening bid that you could live with as the closing price. Most auctions close with zero, one, or two bids.

You can sometimes start a bidding war by setting a low opening bid and a high-but-plausible Buy It Now price, but you need to look at pricing very carefully before trying it.

Research your widgets thoroughly and get all the important key terms into the auction.

Don't waste title space on stuff like LOOK!! Think of the title as a list of keywords that buyers search on.

The only feature worth buying is gallery (and sometimes BIN). There are a few categories where it's not necessary because everyone knows what a widget looks like, but these are rare.

Good, clear photos are a must. Definitely use photobucket rather than eBay's photo service.

Get yourself a good shipping scale. Shipping is where you're most likely to lose money by making mistakes.

Get yourself a free/cheap source of shipping supplies. Buyers hate handling charges, so you have to keep shipping low without going broke. The only area where buyers will HAPPILY pay handling charges is Pottery & Glass, where collectors know that proper double-boxing doesn't come free.

If you're shipping a lot, look at eBay's Packing & Shipping messageboard to learn about all the ways to make it cheaper and easier.

Don't restrict your sales to your own country. The market for collectibles is much better if you'll ship to any country that allows their import. www.usps.com will tell you shipping regulations for any given country.

Keep your terms of sale simple and clear. Buyers don't read them, so there's no point in saying much. When I was selling, my terms consisted of "The sooner you pay, the sooner we ship." I never had a non-paying bidder in 200 or so transactions.

Take PayPal. Yes, you pay more fees, but it hugely increases your pool of buyers.

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You might want to check with the local state employment office whilst playing "workman's comp", the way things are now there are beaucoups of OPS positions (six months or less).

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Melanie,

I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I will keep you in my prayers for a speedy recovery for your husband.

And on to Ebay.....

The post office will give you free boxes, labels and tape for priority mail. Most people prefer their things to ship that way anyway. Flat rate boxes are awesome for heavier things because you are only charged one price for anything that will fit in the box. You may also want to print your postage online at click and ship because you can get free delivery confirmation. (Another good feature when someone says....this was never delivered)

Just make sure you CLEARLY mark that the item is being sold as is with no returns. It also helps to disclose rather than hide a small flaw in the item.

Just remember its amazing what people will buy on ebay. I sold a whole shed full of model car crap I could not give away. I ended up paying for my wedding with the "winnings"! :lol:

Good luck Sweetie!

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I am very sorry to hear about your situation. I hope that your husband fully recovers soon. I haven't sold anything on ebay so I don't have any advice to offer but it looks like several other people have given you great advice. Good luck with selling your items. One thing that i do have to say is that I buy alot of stuff on ebay and I actuallly prefer to buy things thru "buy it now" vs auctions. It's the instant gratification and no anxiety about missing out (getting outbid) on items. If i see something i like, I will try and try to find a buy it now from another seller just so that i don't have to bid on an auction. I don't know if that helps or not from the buyers prospective. also, if you can include shipping calculators in you auctions for heavier stuff, that helps as well.

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Melanie, listen to Lony & Calamari--they are right on the ball. Be quite specific in your return, and payment policies--I only accept paypal, and I only use USPS flat rate for this very reason. Best thing about the flat rate envelopes and boxes, they free, easy to get, and you can go up to four lbs for $4.50, $8.10 is up to 70 lbs. This allows you to combine shipping on multiple auctions, which I do. Don't fall into the trap of trying to make money off of your postage like those 1 cent wonders, ebay is cracking down, just got the low down on one of my ebay groups.

Definitely the way you make your money is RESEARCH. go into completed listings, and research your item. Be creative with your title--I sometimes use subtitles, but very rarely and then I usually just combine it w/ gallery & designer.

You can go to my blog--ebay has become quite the hobby for me. I love it, it allows me to pay for extra expenses, and I look at ebay as a great resource. Ebay also has blogs, go to community. You can use these blogs to talk to other ebayers, or advertise what's in your listings. Take advantage of turbo lister, and your About Me! page--this really allows free word of mouth advertisement--buyers like to know who they are buying from, makes it personal.

:) My special blogspot: http://yardsaleebaysellerjunkie.blogspot.com I started this little blog with tips I have found that worked for me on yard sales, and ebay.

Most of all, have patience. Don't pay for a 10 day auction--seven days gets you the same amount of traffic as ten--just time your listings. Ebay is on pacific time, I highly recommend Marcia Collier's book, Starting an ebay business for dummies---(the title is weird, I know, but hey, the book is gold in advice.) I have a few books on ebay that are really great, and I now shop for my hard to find items that are just really expensive in a brick and mortar store.

Don't despair--it is very possible to make a living off of ebay--I know people who do it, and ebay for me is a great hobby that turned into another sideline business.

** think outside the box when dealing with ebay, and don't get caught up in the discussion board retoric--because what would go in a brick and mortar, does not always work well on ebay--that's the beauty of it.! :p **

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Melanie: I'm so sorry to hear about your DH. I can't help with your ebay questions, I've never sold anything just bought from ebay. I can sympathize though and keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I'm not sure about your state wc laws, but here in GA you can also get reimbursed for any mileage to and from doctor's appointments--just keep a mileage log. May have to ask the company for a form. (DH & I went throught something similiar last year) We were fortunate and also had a disability policy that kicked in and helped with our expenses and it was just the two of us at home.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you on your new venture and hope your dh recovers soon.

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Another thing you might want to try is Craigs List. My sister in law always sells stuff through them.

As regards to ebay, the only thing I want to say again is PICTURES are VERY important. They need to be clear and good shots.

Be sure your discription is clear and decribes anything that the picture does not show well.

I am sorry to hear about hubby and this whole situation!! Know that after the rain there is a rainbow and you will find it soon dear.

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Hi Melanie,

So sorry to hear about your situation. Wish I had something new to add to this thread but I think everything about Ebay has been pretty much covered. Just going to add my repetition of the stuff I do. Good photos a must. One good picture is worth 5 bad ones and usually one photo is enough (plus I don't know how to do the html stuff with photo bucket so I just use the one free pic ebay gives you.. they still do that right? <it's been a while since i listed anything>) I also pay for the gallery photo - sis does art work her sales went WAY up with that little thumbprint photo in the list. And again like everyone else said - state your shipping and return policies very clearly - some won't read them but I always do and if the purchaser doesn't read them you can restate them and there they are right on the page, cuts down on hastles. Paypal is great to have. I hate the paypal charges but the service is worth it (at least in my opinion).

Also - if you're going to be selling minis don't forget to boost your views by advertising on what ever list will allow advertising. I think small stuff digest has "flipped fridays" where you can say what you have for sale. There is the sale and trade area here and there is a mini list just for listing things you have for sale - you could even put up a link to your mini store (or ebay sale list) it's called Dollhouse-Miniatures-For-Sale, it's a Yahoo group. Quite a few folks on that list sell on ebay and when ever they add new auctions they post what they have on the group.

-David

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Melanie,

Sorry to hear about DH. My prayers are with you both. I can't offer any advise about ebay because I have never sold or bought anything from there. All the advise you've been given sounds good. The best of luck with this endeavor.

lyn

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Melanie -

How is your husband doing? Is he home with you or still in the hospital.

A week after my husband and I were married, he was in a dreadful car accident, and I spent the first few months of our marriage sitting just outside the Intensive Care Unit waiting for my 5/10 minute visit every couple of hours. It's a very difficult time. I hope you have lots of family support.

As far as ebay is concerned, I'm a buyer, not a seller. What attracts me to listings:

I love buy it now, prefer it to auctions because when I'm "shopping" I want my items now. It takes a few weeks for the packages to be delivered (to Canada), so I don't very often like to wait for an auction to close. Usually I'll only bid on OAK items.

Auctions items must have photographs. When I'm browsing through the thousands of items, I'll only stop if there's a photo.

Paypal is also a must. Once again, it takes too long by the time I have to go to the Bank/Post Office for an International Money Order, and then wait for my money order to clear. This adds at least another week to my delivery time, and it's inconvenient for me. I love paypal --- it's right now. I'd much rather click on the keyboard then get into my car and drive to a bank or post office.

Best of luck on your auctions, and please let us know how your husband is doing.

-Susanne

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Thanks Guys! Dh is doing alot better. I don't think he had to take the pain meds last night so that is good. I will hopefully know more today when he goes to the doctor. I am just praying things go quickly with workmans comp. They still have not told us how much of a percentage of his check we will be getting. ( at least then we plan!) I am hopeing to start getting pics taken today and fiddling with ebay alittle today. I'll let you guys know how it goes. I do have two kits I am going to list. They are the hickory Rgide cabin by Dura Craft and a sweetheart by Dura Craft.

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Glad to hear that he is not using much of the pain meds they are prescribing. That's a good sign!!

As for eBay I'll put my 2 cents in as well. I ended up witha collection of stuff (many boxes) that I kept saying "I'll sell this on eBay!" thinking I was going to make tons of money. I started and realized that at this point where my life is I just can't do it. I work full time and have a 3 (almost 4) year old son. By the time my husband and I put him to bed I still have dishes or some other cleaning to do. The research and listing all that stuff on eBay took a long time, even with the "listing program". I was up to all hours of the night!!

One hint with some the listing program: if you can teach yourself a bit of HTML, already know some it can be very helpful! Or even better find one that does it all for you! :)

Definately ONLY take PayPal. Don't waste your time with having to go to the banks waiting for checks to clear or cash money orders and such!

If you are confident in your photos and your items that youa re selling make a blanket statement in your auction listing abotu no returns and insurance stuff. I sold 2 beautiful japanese plates to a guy in chicago who ran a resturant. I over did it with the bubble wrap and I packed the heck out of them to ship to him. I brough the package to the post office, paid the extra for the insurance even though the buyer hadn't opted for it, and watched as the postman stamped the box "fragile" ALL OVER. Unfortunatley the buyer swore that the packaging was faulty and one of the plates was broken. I explained about the insurance and my pacakging and watching the postman stamp the box, but he swore. When I asked for a picture he hemmed and hawed about it, so I gave up and sent him the link for the USPS.com about how to make an insurance claim. never heard back about it, but he sure did leave me negative feedback. Loser!

Ok, off that rant. I hope you do very well. I don't have the time to devote to it as much as needed. Also make sure you aren't so tired when you are posting that you are faling asleep when you upload your listings. You can make some bad mistakes like that!!

Good luck with EVERYTHING, hubby & eBay!

HUGZ!

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Got to talk to the workmans comp guys today. It is 2/3 of your pay except in FL where there is a cap of 680 a week! I told Dh to stay as long as he had to at the dr. today to get an idea of what he thought. I also have a few things in my webshots if you want to look before I start listing things. ( If you find something make me an offer so I don't have to list it.) I will be adding things too.

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I third it on the Paypal but I also will take a bank check. I will post on my page that I will take a bank/cashiers check if the item is small and not worth alot of money. I still wait for it to clear but those are directly taken out of the buyers account and it is cash on paper basically. If I have a more expensive item, paypal only!

I give the option for insurance. I also list everything! Then i say as is no returns. They have insurance, I pack so a earthquake couldnt break it, and I was honest and showed a pic if there is a damaged area. It is up to the buyer to decide if they want it or not. I dont want to mess with returns, etc.

Good luck on your ebay quest.. it is fun watching how many watchers you get!

You might have a goodie too.

My neighbor was cleaning out her basement and she threw an old childs singer sewing machine in the trashbag. She then asked me did i want it. If not she was tossing it. I had that machine sitting on bookshelf forever (3yrs). One day I was just curious and did a price check. Long story short...I got $125 for that piece of garbage!

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Dh talked to the dr Yesterday and it looks like some torn ligaments and alinment issues. ( his spine is bent) Things look good it be released soon. :D ( I won't comment on workmans comp. Did not like them before really don't like them now!)

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