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ebay - a world of possibilities
Member Name: londongirl
Date: 02/09/02, updated on 23/01/05 (275 review reads)
Advantages: easy to input selling information
Disadvantages: giving over credit card and bank details
I have to admit i was very daunted at first when considering signing up for an auction site. I had debated over the merits and possible things that could go wrong for a good few months. Finally I decided I had to sign up as I had a mountain of books to sell and it was going to be free listing day in the next few days!
I was hoping to get away with giving as few personal details as possible as my main conern was security and would buyers be able to see your home address for example, and did ebay really need to know my bank details. I'm still not convinced that they absolutely needed my bank details when signing up but for some reason my credit card wasn't accepted, however it was accepted in the section of details which is used to verify you are an actual person and are over 18. The sign up process was a bit of a nightmare for me, although i don't think most people have a problem. I decided I didn't want my ISP e-mail address on the site because it is relatively spam free, so i put my hotmail address. This was why they needed so many other details from me to verify who i was. So they have ended up with my bank details, credit card details AND debit card details. Hmmmm.
Still i kept reminding myself it was free listing day soon and so i signed up anyway. Listing normally is quite cheap at about 15p per insertion but every so often they have a day which they advertise a couple of days before hand when it is free to list. I decided i had to wait until this day because i had no idea how well my stuff would sell and didn't want to pay to list everything and then get nothing in return
I listed about 30 items I think ranging from my uni textbooks to fiction books (nearly all unread or hardly touched) and some cd's. It was incredibly easy to list things. It even has an html section which gives you the basic commands so you can make your adverts look pretty!!
It takes you through everything step by step which was a
huge relief to me as I had wondered how i was going to decide everything and what information i needed to put down. It takes you through a lot of boxes to click about what payments you will accept and whether buyer pays postage etc so it takes most of the difficulty out of listing.
The main difficulty i had was decided how much to price things at. Obviously a high starting price is going to put people off bidding, yet it costs extra to start low but have a reserve price that you are not willing to sell for less than. I put a reserve on a couple of items and then thought forget it, and started putting random prices in based on pure guesswork as to what people would pay.
I had previously had a look at the books pages to see what prices were listed but it was difficult to judge as some had no bids, a lot of the books were not in as good condition as mine (but is that what people want or do people just want "cheap" from auction sites)
I also had no idea about how long to set the auctions for, you have options of 3, 7 and 10 days. I set 1 at 3 (as they were tickets and needed to get them out quickly) a couple at 7 and most at 10 since I figured that would get most exposure.
However its 4 days since i listed everything and I have only got 3 bids for 3 different items (funnily enough the two are the most expensive text books i had listed so so much for people not being willing to pay - having said that they are ridicuolous prices £3.50 and £4 for texbooks which are as good as new and hardly been touched and are worth £15/£16)
It is quite exciting putting your stuff on ebay , i have been addicted to checking back to see if i have anymore bids! I think since this is my first auction i don't really know what to expect but i am hoping that people leave it till the last minute to bid, otherwise i have wasted a lot of time and effort for not much money.
Ebay also have a good system which allows the potential buyer to e-m
ail you with questions about the product before bidding. I have already had one e-mail asking the postage costs for a particular item , this is good as it saves people bidding and then being disappointed with their purchase or shocked at how much it is going to cost to post. All very well buying a book for 50p but then having to pay £5 for postage is going to take the shine of that bargain a bit isn't it?
I will update my opinion once my first auction has closed and see how my thoughts and experiences have changed but for now i will say one more thing about ebay which is fantastic and not so fantastic - there is such a range of items to buy that you can almost convince yourself you desperately need such things and run the risk of bidding for things you would never consider buying otherwise.
The thing i was most deligthed to find on ebay was that there are alot of second hand fruit machines being sold - you can pick one up for as little as £80!! i have wanted my own fruit machine since i was about 10 - i never realised you could actually buy them second hand for home use! Havn't got anywhere to put it so it really isn't feasible at the moment, but for my own sake (and my family's!) i hope i don't come across a fruit machine on offer for £20 or something with only a few mins left to bid as I know I won't be able to resist.
My ID on ebay is londongirl78 in case anyone is interested.
Will update this opinion next week hopefully once i have had the full ebay experience!
Right here is the update. It has been more successful than I hoped and I have sold all but two of my textbooks. Some were sold for the starting price which was quite low but i was just glad to get rid of them some had two or three bids and so doubled the starting price which was good.
Since having such success I have put on a few other things such as some airmiles I found that mum was going to chuck away (£20 for them i got!)
plus some make-up type things that I hadn't touched and were brand new and have sold them too.
The main thing I have learnt is that you might as well put the auction on for as long as possible so as many people can see it as possible and also do not worry if you don't seem to have bids early on a lot of people bid in the last couple of hours of the auction. In fact I have had 3 bids in the last 30 seconds which I actually think is a little mean on the other people who had bid and don't get a chance to bid again but for the seller it is good.
Feedback ratings are important on ebay and i think you should try and complete the transaction as quickly as possible and package the goods nicely and send them out promptly. I have tried to send the items out the day I recieve the cheque and people have been pleased with the quick turnaround so far.
I think I have sold about 12 seperate items now and have had no problems so far and have made about £65 in the process.
The only slight problem with this is it is very tempting to keep putting stuff on ebay and sooner or later i'm going to have no possessions left!!!