Saturday, May 27, 2017


The last step is to ship the item. If you use PayPal, you will get an email confirming that the winner has paid, or if you are getting paid another method, you might get a check in the mail. Make sure you package your item well, after all, you might not make any money if the item gets broken on the way. You might want to consider tracking. If you have a tracking number, either through UPS or Federal Express of USPS, then you can provide that the other party received the item, otherwise you will not be able to. If you are selling a cheap item, it might not be worth it. USPS media mail is a cheap way to ship books or DVDs and similar items; it comes with tracking information, although first class mail, which is more expensive doesn't. Ultimately, it is up to you. If you don't use tracking, then ship very quickly. One time I got busy and it took a few days to ship an item. The customer emailed me and asked where the item was. I sent an email back and shipped the item. He submitted a claim against me on PayPal because I didn't have a tracking number, he got his money back and the item. He later claimed that he didn't get the email because he forgot which one he had signed on. He refused to pay for the item and felt justified because I was late in shipping the item. I could do nothing, even though he sent an email through EBay that he received the item.

People are jerks, and that is why I am going to give you a piece of advice which might be a little controversial. Customarily, once a person has paid and you ship the item, you give feedback to the buyer. I would wait until they have given you feedback or they have had their item for a few weeks. The reason is, well, people are jerks, not everyone, but anyone who has worked in retail can tell you, there are enough of them it makes it seem like a lot of people are jerks. Your only defense if the feedback. If you have honestly described your product and have taken accurate pictures, then there is no reason anyone would complain about you. Yet they will, and they will leave you bad feedback unless you haven't given them feedback and they are afraid to leave you bad feedback and give retaliation. When you do give feedback, only give positive feedback unless there is a very serious reason not to.

Care of antiques and books

This is going to be a short section, but I wanted to include this. Metal antiques should be cleaned with at most a mild detergent and water. Coins should also not be washed, but if you have to, again, mild detergent and water are the most you want to expose coins to. If you have a used stamp, it will be worth the most if you leave it attached to the envelope it was mailed with. If stamps are attached to a book with glue, don't do anything to remove them until you have done research. Of course, there are many types of things I haven't covered, but if you have to clear or alter something, do research before doing it. Cleaning a piece of silver with silver cleaner could cause the piece to be worth half of what it was before, or less, even if it was tarnished. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Price and Format

When you list an item, most of the time I would recommend an auction. This way, you know you will be getting top dollar for what you are selling. The only way I would recommend selling at a fixed price, is if you are selling a new item and you know what everyone sells them for, or if you are selling more than one thing and are pretty sure what it will sell for. Most of the time I would still recommend an auction, because when I have sold new books, my Val Kilmer biography, and even though I am selling it for the same price on an auction or a fixed price, it seems like I sell more at auction. I don't know if people like the idea of winning an item or what, this doesn't make any sense to me because as a buyer you don't have to wait if you have a buy it now, while if you are bidding on an item you would have to wait until the auction is over and you might get outbid. The only exception is when the free listings are only in a fixed format, and even then I would consider waiting for an auction. EBay usually will give you 50 free listing a month, sometimes it is for an auction and sometimes it is a fixed price listing. Currently, it is for either an auction for fixed price listings. Don't pay for listings.

Some people like to start an auction with a dollar bid, or even a penny bid. This can come back to bite you if the item isn't very popular. You can generate a lot of excitement if you start bidding at a dollar, but if you are selling something which will probably sell for $500, then the person who bids a dollar for an item isn't going to be the person who will pay $600 for your item, which is what you are trying to do when starting the bidding low. I recommend doing research to find out if your item will be popular first. Let's say that you are selling face value five dollars in junk U. S. 90% silver coins (Which are dimes, quarters, half-dollars minted 1964 and before which don't have coin collector value). That is the type of thing that will sell in a very close range and you could start a penny auction and not have the risk of selling below what the coins were worth. An 1850 Liberty Head gold coin; however, is not a good type of item to start at a dollar auction because there might not be as many bids on it. They may seem similar, but one is a commodity, the other is a specialty item. If something isn't popular, but a specialty item, list it for what you want to sell it for. If an item is a more popular item, I would recommend starting the bidding out a 60% of the value. This will create excitement but from people who might actually be willing to pay what your item is worth, or a little more. I usually do the seven-day auction. I don't think there is much difference with a ten-day auction, but it might be worth it. People who seem to be using the three or one-day auctions are selling a lot of things and are probably listing full time and can relist very easily. Every day that your item is on Ebay, it can attract attention and get a bid or have someone add it to their watchlist. Sometimes people will add items to their watchlist so that they can bid right before the auction ends.

Lastly, never, never, never, do a dollar auction with multiple items. The way that bidding works, is the lowest bid that outbids anyone else will win. So if you list twenty items at a dollar, more than twenty people would have to bid on the item before you would get more than a dollar, unless they are buying more than one item at a time.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sign up for an eBay account and write a description

Now that you have some pictures and have an idea of what you will have to charge for shipping, the next thing to do is to create an eBay (and possibly PayPal) account and write a description. You will want to register for a personal eBay account unless you are going to be selling a large quantity of items on a regular basis. I would also recommend applying for a PayPal account; this will allow you to allow people to use credit cards or transfer funds from a bank account rather than pay you directly. It does cost 30 cents plus 2.9% to accept PayPal transactions, but in my experience, 95+ percent of people using eBay will pay with PayPal, you will in most cases be better off

If you are knowledgeable about what you are selling, you might be able to write a description, with little or no research. If not, you will have to do some searches. It is the Internet and no one will care if you "Borrow" another person's description, just be extra careful if you do, that everything that is said applies to what you are selling. 90% of the time I have found that I don't have to do any research outside of eBay, but you should be prepared to, especially if it is a rare item. Be very descriptive, but if you are selling an Xbox One, well everyone knows what that is, don't they?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What do You Need to Sell on eBay?

2. What do You Need?

To sell on eBay, you need a few items. You will need to have a picture of your item, you will need to be able to ship your item (unless it is in the rare circumstance that you will allow people to pick up the item), and you will need a computer or smartphone.

A picture. Most of the time, you will need to take a picture of the item. The one exception is if you are selling something in a new, never opened box and the box is in good condition, then you can use a stock photo. If there is any kind of defect at all in the box, take a picture of the box, it doesn't pay to take chances. If you are taking a picture of your item, you can use a digital camera, a camera built into a phone, or a scanner. Scanners work well for printed materials, and for coins. You can have up to 12 pictures for free, and for most things, you should try and get pictures from all angles. Avoid images in the background, unless they add to the feel of the item. When I was doing research for a toy truck, I saw one Ebayer who had put his truck against a background of a beach and a setting sun. You need a really good picture, and if you can get twelve of them, so much the better.

Shipping. Don't wait until you have sold an item to think about shipping. Before you list it, do you have access to a box or envelope that it will fit in. If you have to buy a container, you will have to think about that expense when pricing shipping and/or the item. Sometimes you can find a similar item and see what they are charging, but don't make a bet that this is an accurate shipping cost. Even when I am charging actual cost (which is an option when you go to list, you need the package's measurements and weight) I have never ended up with the same amount that I am charging, it is always off by a few cents. When pricing your item/and or shipping, keep in mind that Ebay charges 10% of the final selling price for both the item and shipping charges.


Sometimes people ask me to sell things for them on Ebay. Right now I am selling my stepdad's antique car and truck collection. I get to keep half, so this is a good deal for the both of us. I also have sold collectible pins for other people. I think that people assume that it is hard to sell on Ebay and that is why they ask me to help them, but it is actually very easy.

I have also sold coins, stamps, books (books I have written and antique books), and movies for myself. Because I have had a lot of experience, I think that I might be able to help someone who is not sure if they sell a few extra things on Ebay to make some money. If there is some other auction site you want to sell on, most of the things I am talking about will also apply, or even on Craigslist.