Newest Review: ... final value fees to be paid when the item sells. I remember after fees and postage costs I pocketed about £300 which I was insanely happ... more
Great site to buy and sell stuff!
Member Name: minimunchkin
Advantages: Easy to use, great for having a declutter
Disadvantages: scammers, fees are quite pricey
I've been a member of ebay for 10 years this month. TEN YEARS. Wow. At the moment, I'm using it quite a lot, mainly for selling but with the occasional purchase. I go through phases with it, sometimes I don't go on there for months, sometimes every day. One thing is for sure, it can be very addictive at times.
** INTRO **
Ebay is an online auction site; you can buy and sell almost anything: clothes, games, toys, cars, stationery, food, the list goes on and on.
Ebay.com was launched in America in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar, it was launched in the UK four years later. Ebay has gone on to become the UK's largest online marketplace and is in my opinion the best.
** BUYING **
So enough with the history lesson, how about I tell you a bit more about how it works? Using the Ebay website, their mobile site or their app, you can search for products, you can refine your search to show only new items, used, manufactured refurbished, there are a few different types depending on the category you are searching in.
You can either bid on items or you can "Buy It Now" - I would say it's mainly business sellers that use the Buy It Now function as they have set prices for their products. Whereas individual sellers want to try and get the best price so will have an auction. Some people have both, an auction but also the option to Buy It Now. Some items have a Reserve Price on them; this is where the seller doesn't want to sell below a certain price. In my opinion, this can drastically reduce sales, people want a bargain and if they know there's a reserve, you're going to be paying at least £50 (minimum reserve price). There is also the Best Offer option, where you make an offer to the seller and if they think it's good enough, they can accept. It's sort of like a mix between an Auction and Buy it Now.
Ebay, in my opinion is very straight forward to use, once you type in your search terms, you will see a list of all the products that match, either in full or partly, Ebay automatically brings up the results in "best match" view, which isn't necessarily the cheapest. If I'm using the Buy It Now option, I always change this to "item and postage cheapest" or if I'm looking to buy on Auction, I would change this "item ending soonest" - there are several other options and it's very easy to change using a simple drop down menu on the top right.
Once you've found an item you wish to purchase, you either make a bid or you just buy it straight away. If making a bid, you can put in the maximum amount you are willing to pay, and Ebay will bid for you in varying increments, depending on the value of the item. It's quite fun to watch an Auction, especially near the end, you can grab some great bargains if you bid on items at the very last minute. I say it's fun, it's also really annoying when you don't win the item you wanted!
Once you've purchased your item, you now have to pay, the fastest and easiest way is with PayPal, it's free to join and it means you don't have to share any card details with strangers. Once you've paid, you wait for your item to arrive and then you leave feedback.
I recommend leaving feedback after every purchase or every sale. It's a great tool to weed out the bad sellers from the good. If nobody left feedback, how would we know who to trust?
As a seller, you can only leave positive feedback, which is a bit silly really. Buyers can leave Positive, Neutral or Negative. Think carefully before leaving Negative, it can have a very damaging effect on a seller, have you tried to resolve the issues with the seller first? I would only ever leave Negative feedback if the seller was being completely unresponsive or were refusing to help, being abusive etc.
** SELLING **
Selling on item is quite good fun, it's great seeing people watching or bidding on your items. What's one man's junk, is another man's treasure for sure! It can be very addictive though so please be careful and don't sell one of your children.
To sell a product, you first enter keywords that relate to your item, this helps you find the best category for your item. Once you've done that you have to enter all the information needed to ensure your item is found and that people buy it. Definitely always add an image, at least one. Make sure it's good quality and that people can clearly see the product. If there's anything wrong with the product, be completely upfront about it, people will still buy things that have a slight tear, or a scratch or even if it's an electrical item that won't even switch on. People are happy to spend a bit of time fixing things, if they get them at the right price.
Give a very detailed description, as much as you can. Measurements, size, weight, colours, material, anything at all you can think of. Explain a bit about what the product is or what it's used for, just so there's no confusion.
Set a starting price or buy it now price, or both. If selling on auction, I would start most items at 99p, it's usually free to list this way and it means you're more likely to get people watching and bidding. Remember, people want a bargain. So they're more likely to bid on something at 99p than something at £9.99, it doesn't mean they won't go on to actually spend £9.99 though. It's a psychological thing.
Set the postage price, some categories have a limit on the amount of postage you can charge, up until a few years ago, postage had to be FREE in some categories but luckily they've changed that now. I think it was to stop people selling things for 1p and then having postage at £10 or something ridiculous like that.
If you want to offer a returns policy, enter that but I generally don't offer returns. I list my items accurately and I package them properly, so there shouldn't be any quibbles. If somebody has bought the wrong item, well I'm sorry but that's not my problem.
Now once you've entered all the information on this page, press continue and you can see what your listing will look like, Ebay will give some suggestions to improve the listing, but mostly these include spending more money on the listing, so I usually just ignore them.
At the very bottom of this page, you can see how much it will cost you to list the item. You can then press done and there you go, your item is listed.
There are fees to selling on Ebay, aside from any fees you incur when actually listing your item, Ebay will charge you 10% (I believe this differs in certain categories) of the final sale price - known as the Final Value Fee. This can work out quite expensive if you're selling a high value item but I guess Ebay have to make their money somehow.
** SUMMARY **
Ebay is a great site, easy to buy and easy to sell. It's a great way of having a clear out and earning some extra pennies.
Always be careful on Ebay, there are some dodgy people around. When selling a high value item, always send it special delivery, so you have proof and compensation if it doesn't arrive. If selling a mobile phone or electrical item, take down the serial number. Read up about ways to protect yourself. Ebay is a great site but can be let down by these people.
I hope you've found this review helpful.
Summary: A great site, but be careful