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Biggest auction site on the web
Member Name: marcfoto
Advantages: Such a large customer base, lots of products
Disadvantages: Difficult fee system which makes it hard to make money on small items
Pretty much everyone has heard about eBay? So what's all the fuss over?
eBay is the main online auction site of the internet. It has a massive amount of viewers and this gives it the edge over many other competitors.
Items on eBay can be sold as an auction, as an immediate 'buy it now' or a best offer. The site also has a massive amount of categories so you can sell pretty much anything.
eBay makes its money by charging a placement fee and an ending fee on the auction (amongst other additional fees). The placement fee is around 10p-15p per auction and the ending fee is 10% of the selling price. My main issue with eBay is that these fees are very high. While it's possible to catch special offers for no placement fee, eBay takes such a cut that it can be difficult to make profit from items through the auction system.
Since there's no telling how much an item will go for and with the free placements only available for low (under a pound) starting fees it's easy for the item to go for less than the fees (including those of PayPal) thus you lose money!
Additionally for many categories such as books, dvds and other media the postage costs are limited to free only. eBay justify this as competing against other suppliers who also offer free delivery. The frustrating thing about this is that the personal cost to deliver an item is much more than large distributors competing with eBay so while eBay is more competitive it means that you either have to incorporate the postage into the starting bid or risk losing even more money on items.
Of course eBay is still worth a look due to it's sheer size and I would expect to find it more difficult to sell on most other websites. Two other competitors are worth a look, Play.com and Amazon provide systems to sell your items and the format is slightly different to that of eBay. From what I have seen they also take a greater percentage - but the listing isn't time limited.
Summary: Definitely worth a look but fees system can be confusing for new sellers
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