Have you ever bought or sold anything on eBay? Are you a serial seller with an eBay shop? Is eBay your life?
Or like me, are you totally surprised when someone actually wants to buy the item you had for sale, or astonished when you actually end up as the highest bidder for an article you’ve been watching for days?
I’ve been a fan of eBay for about ten years, on and off. I remember that one the first things I bought was a ladies’ watch. I also remember how excited my son was, when I bought a bundle of Gameboy games for him. Remember Gameboy? How retro they seem now!
I really got excited about eBay when we renovated our yacht Fandancer in 2010. We completely stripped the boat of everything, and rather than take it to the rubbish dump or throw it in the skip, I decided to see if we could sell some of it on eBay. My husband also had a small lock-up store filled with nautical ‘junk’ he had collected over the years, and I persuaded him to have a clear out.
The hardest thing about being an eBay seller is taking good photos, writing a description of each article and actually putting your things for sale on your eBay page. But it’s not that difficult, if I can do it, then anyone can. You can easily change the appearance, delete or add things before your item goes ‘live’. You just need to give yourself enough time to get used to how it works.
I was completely surprised when every single boat-related item I put on eBay, sold. We removed the huge saloon table from Fandancer as we didn’t need such a big table. Someone with a much smaller boat bought it! We sold an ancient noisy petrol generator and someone drove all the way from east London to Gosport to collect it. We sold an old propeller, a hand-operated windlass, ancient navigation lamps, pieces of wood, and a roll of canvas. My best sale was an old GPS navigation set, which sold for slightly more money than it cost to replace it with a more up to date model!
Every time I move house, I have a big clear out and sell shoes and clothes on eBay. 90% of stuff will sell. I don’t understand why people just take bags of stuff to a charity shop when with a little effort it could sell on eBay. I’ve sold cheap jewellery, books, kitchen items, even toiletries. I once listed an unused, new box of hair colour which I wasn’t going to use, and someone bought it!
What I often fall down on, is estimating the postage for items. The buyer will pay the postage on top of the item price. More than once I underestimated how much it would cost to post the item and ended up just breaking even once I’d paid more to post it than I thought it would cost. Professionals weigh every item before selling it, and work out the correct postage costs before advertising. If you have to use special packaging, you can include this too.
This week I came back to England for a few weeks to see friends and family. I own a property which I lived in for just over a year, then was rented to various tenants for about eight years, but has just recently become empty. I’ve moved back in for a short while, but it is largely unfurnished. So this week I’ve had fun scouring eBay for furniture bargains. If you have to collect a big item, you can search eBay for items within a certain radius from your postcode, which is great if you don’t want to drive hundreds of miles to pick it up.
So now I’m the new owner of two new sofas, and this afternoon I’m picking up a coffee table! I’ll be on EBay again soon, to look for a nice dining room table and chairs…….