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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-08-08, 14:55

So how do you guys sell things on eBay? I have heard arguements from several camps:

The one that makes the least sense to me but its one of the most common is start ridiculously low to attract bidders, list for 7 days and cash in. But this one makes no sense to me because the bulk of the bids come in during the final hour, and most eBay users use the default search function - search by time ending, not lowest price. Even the saavy buyers tend to search by ending soonest because searching for lowest price only means you find the lowest CURRENT price - the item will likely skyrocket in the last hour.

I used to work at an eBay consignment shop and the manager swore by this one. But more than once, the item sold for way less than the prediction and the customer was not happy.

The strategy I am leaning towards at the moment is high list, short auction. Like 3 days. And high list means like, just below your target. I think this one makes the most sense because you get to that final hour quicker without excluding the early birds. You also make it impossible to really sell for less than you want. I also think its a good idea to throw in a buy-it-now, a little higher than your prediction, because some buyers (myself included) have no qualms paying an extra 5% to a) get it immediately and b) not have to screw around with bidding. Given that they are buying used, they are already getting a bargain.

If you've been paying attention, you know this is regarding my Alienware. I am thinking about a $1800 list and a $2100 buy it now, as I estimate the computer to be worth about $2000. (You could buy a new Alienware with very similar specs for $2300-ish.)

So, how do you sell on eBay?

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2006-08-08, 15:03

I do: low starting price, 7 day auction. The rationale being that although no-one bids for the first few days, they do notice it and watch it. I still can't decide about Buy It Nows.

The other key factors are:

A good, slightly chatty description. Not a copy and paste of the manufacturers site info. People like to think they're buying from a human being.
Finish the auction on a Saturday or Sunday evening, either at 7pm or 11.30pm if it's technology.
A real photo of the real thing. Not a lift from the manufacturers site.
Offer to do cash on collection. Hardly anyone will take you up on it, but it makes you look trustworthy.

Back when I was not entirely employed, I made a fair bit of money buying laptops that had not followed the above advice for cheap (mainly ones that finished in the middle of the night) and then reselling them according to the above. I was making a good 20-40% on them.


HTH
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torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2006-08-08, 15:45

Yeah, it's important to make sure the auction ends at a high trafficked hour. But, unlike Bryson, I've been leaning toward the high initial bid + buy it now + 3 day + no reserve auction.

Reasons:
- Doing a low initial bid + buy it now makes no sense because the BIN option disappears once there's a bid.
- A high initial bid gives you time to tweak the description, pull the auction, etc. with the least amount of fuss.
- A 3-day auction will likely get the bidders excited.
- No reserve also makes bidders more likely to bid. And it costs less for you in the end.

In your description, like Bryson says, be chatty. I also like to point out the "competition" and say something like "I don't charge $50 for shipping" etc, because I'm sure that the same thing that frustrates me about ebay frustrates others.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2006-08-08, 15:50

This thread couldn't have come at a better time. I'm about to eBay my iMac.

Question: My dad has an eBay account with a little bit of feedback (all positive). Would you guys shy away from bidding on an auction like that? I know some people don't buy stuff (especially computers) from people with no feedback, but he does have some...just not much.

Do you think I should go to CompUSA or something and have them eBay it for me? I'm not sure if I'd have control over what the auction said, then...

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2006-08-08, 15:54

It depends on how much they charge. I really dislike ebay. It's a hassle and expensive. If I can, I prefer craigslist.

That said, an account that's been around for a while but with only a few feedback doesn't give me much pause. It's the new ones with little feedback that I watch out for. If you're worried, just say in your description that you don't ebay much but you've been a member for x years. Get it out in the open.
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kretara
Cynical Old Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Hot, Hazey, Humid South
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2006-08-08, 16:31

I used to supplement my income by selling Thinkpads on ebay when I lived in Boston -- I could buy in bulk from a 'person' down the street.

I still sell the occasional Mac stuff that I bought in bulk (currently have iBook x 2, 1.42 MDD x3 for sale) and what I have found to help the selling price the most is lots of pics and really descriptive text. I also charge a reasonable amount for shipping. Be sure to really clean up the item before taking a pic, also get a good digital camera because those cell phone pics suck. Something that has also made me a bit is to sell complementary items. Ex. one auction is for a laptop and another is for a wireless card -- if they buy both then only charge shipping for the laptop and install the wireless card for free. I've seen the complementary item go for way over what it is worth because I have offered to install it for free if you buy the 'laptop' (or whatever) from me).

Depending on the item I will use either .99 listing/no reserve (for stuff under $50) or higher listing/no reserve/BIN (stuff over $400) or a combo of the 2 for prices in between.
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-08-08, 17:06

Thanks for the advice guys. I decided on a 5 day list, ending Sunday at 8:30 PM EST.

If your curious (or in the market for an Alienware )

Tips on how to improve would be appreciated. The more I sell for, the less comes out of my pocket for the Mac Pro.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2006-08-08, 17:07

Listing removed?
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-08-08, 17:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson
Listing removed?
I can see it... it doesn't start until 8:30 so maybe ONLY I can see it.
  quote
torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2006-08-08, 22:52

Looks good but your starting bid it too high. You want to draw people who are on the fence in, so start it lower. That's the key. You want them to think they have a chance to get a great deal by bidding and then they get caught up in the excitement. Drop it to like $1500 or $1300 if you can stomach it.
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-08-08, 23:07

$1,700. I don't trust putting it any lower than that.

By the time this hits the first page of results, that will be a pretty normal price anyway.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
  quote
macleod
Now in lower-case™!
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
 
2006-08-08, 23:14

I would have to agree that 1700 seems reasonable. Good luck with the sale of it! I am also selling my PC to pay for a Mac Pro! Lets hope I too can get that much!
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-08-08, 23:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by macleod
I would have to agree that 1700 seems reasonable. Good luck with the sale of it! I am also selling my PC to pay for a Mac Pro! Lets hope I too can get that much!
Looks like I'm goin for the same Mac Pro you are, except I am goin to do 1 GB RAM, and then Radeon X1900 XT. The Alienware is a gaming rig, after all

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
  quote
macleod
Now in lower-case™!
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
 
2006-08-08, 23:34

Yeah I just don't game enough to warrant the purchase of that video card and thanks to you I realize I don't need a high end video card for most stuff so I opted for the extra RAM!
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-08-09, 01:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by macleod
Yeah I just don't game enough to warrant the purchase of that video card and thanks to you I realize I don't need a high end video card for most stuff so I opted for the extra RAM!
RAM is sweet. I love RAM.

My uncle is actually a RAM-o-phile. Seriously. He has 4 GB RAM in his ALX so he can run his fancy programs - basically eTrade on steroids. Does he need 4 GB RAM? No, but he claims everything is faster with it.

Hes a RAM-o-phile.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2006-08-09, 02:24

How high do you people think I should start the bidding on my iMac G5 (1.9 GHz/17"/iSight/wireless keyboard and mouse/over two years of AppleCare left)? I don't want to start it too high, but I'm nervous about not getting much money, too. Oh, and Buy it Now?

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
MagSafe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
 
2006-08-09, 02:55

I've sold quite a few things on eBay, including my old iBook G4 (for which I got a massive amount for) and the strategy i've always used is to start at 99p with no reserve, no buy it now and list for 7 to 10 days.

For the first 3 days you'll get no bids but a few watchers, then from then on you'll recieve bid after bid with the price getting increasingly higher as the days go by whilst the number of people watching the auctions mounts up.

In the last few hours all the watchers will keep on pushing the price up and if all goes well, which is more often than not you'll get an experienced buyer with a high feedback rating that wins your auction for a very nice price.

Thats the risky way of doing it I guess, but if your wanting to do it in a more calm, less riskier manner then simply list at an average Buy It Now price going by what similar auction prices are ending at.

I usually find though that whenever i've used a Buy It Now price people usually see the reality of things more instead of seeing an extremely cheap price which they then get sucked into a bidding war for.

Find me on Twitter: @StevenMcLintock
  quote
torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2006-08-09, 07:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman
How high do you people think I should start the bidding on my iMac G5 (1.9 GHz/17"/iSight/wireless keyboard and mouse/over two years of AppleCare left)? I don't want to start it too high, but I'm nervous about not getting much money, too. Oh, and Buy it Now?
Dunno about the price you'll get but definitely do it BIN. There's no harm in doing it and there may be someone who comes along and really wants it right now.
  quote
adamb
Formerly “adambrennan”
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
 
2006-08-09, 10:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by eBay Listing
It is also completely "Vista ready" for when MS finally ships it.


We even have to get our digs at Microsoft in on eBay listings. Nice.
  quote
kretara
Cynical Old Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Hot, Hazey, Humid South
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2006-08-09, 11:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos
Thanks for the advice guys. I decided on a 5 day list, ending Sunday at 8:30 PM EST.

If your curious (or in the market for an Alienware )

Tips on how to improve would be appreciated. The more I sell for, the less comes out of my pocket for the Mac Pro.
WOW!!!!
$150 to ship via UPS Ground? Seems like a tad much to me. This would certainly make me pass on your computer.
  quote
torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2006-08-09, 11:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by kretara
WOW!!!!
$150 to ship via UPS Ground? Seems like a tad much to me. This would certainly make me pass on your computer.
Yeah, Kraetos, what are you thinking? Even if I got could get a good deal on the computer, I'd pass because I'd be pissed at the seller for obviously playing me to get out of really paying ebay fees. The costs of the auction the SELLER should pay for, not the buyer. You really ought to fix that.
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-08-09, 12:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile
Yeah, Kraetos, what are you thinking? Even if I got could get a good deal on the computer, I'd pass because I'd be pissed at the seller for obviously playing me to get out of really paying ebay fees. The costs of the auction the SELLER should pay for, not the buyer. You really ought to fix that.
Except the shipping + insurance really DOES cost $150.

The thing weights 55 pounds and ships in a 30"x34"x16" box. Not cheap. It was like $117 + $30 for insurance.

'Cept you have reminded me that this is to California - I will change the shipping to variable. Thanks for spotting that.

[EDIT] Done. And it calculates shipping to 90001 as $150.66, but to 22101 (VA) as only $138.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope

Last edited by Kraetos : 2006-08-09 at 12:17.
  quote
torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2006-08-09, 14:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos
Except the shipping + insurance really DOES cost $150.

The thing weights 55 pounds and ships in a 30"x34"x16" box. Not cheap. It was like $117 + $30 for insurance.

'Cept you have reminded me that this is to California - I will change the shipping to variable. Thanks for spotting that.

[EDIT] Done. And it calculates shipping to 90001 as $150.66, but to 22101 (VA) as only $138.
Wow. Then you may want to say that in your auction (you probably do, but I haven't looked). Highlight it in bold and invite them to do the calculations themselves, etc. I know I wouldn't think twice about an auction, even for a computer, that had that amount of shipping. If I knew it was actual shipping costs, it'd be a different story.
  quote
kretara
Cynical Old Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Hot, Hazey, Humid South
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2006-08-09, 14:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos
Except the shipping + insurance really DOES cost $150.

The thing weights 55 pounds and ships in a 30"x34"x16" box. Not cheap. It was like $117 + $30 for insurance.

'Cept you have reminded me that this is to California - I will change the shipping to variable. Thanks for spotting that.

[EDIT] Done. And it calculates shipping to 90001 as $150.66, but to 22101 (VA) as only $138.
Wow!!! again.

I can ship a 45lb PowerMac (in a big 19" CRT box) across the country for $55 (with ins.) via UPS Ground.

Definately do what Torifile says. Maybe even put it in a large font or something.
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2006-08-09, 15:03

One suggestion for making shipping cheaper:

If you're using a unmarked box, use USPS as your carrier. Tell USPS this is "Media" mail. They'll cut the price in half. Strictly speaking, it is only for boxes full of books or videotapes (hence the Media), but they won't check it.

I mailed half of my boxes that way, saving a lot of money.
  quote
Dave
Ninja Editor
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
2006-08-09, 16:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana
One suggestion for making shipping cheaper:

If you're using a unmarked box, use USPS as your carrier. Tell USPS this is "Media" mail. They'll cut the price in half. Strictly speaking, it is only for boxes full of books or videotapes (hence the Media), but they won't check it.
According to the friendly mailman down at the local main office, this is mail fraud and invites the attention of the FBI if they catch you.
  quote
Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2006-08-09, 16:19



Holy shit!

Those boxes I sent *did* have books and movies inside them; just not exclusively books/movies, as required.

Guess I won't do it again.
  quote
Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2006-08-09, 23:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by kretara
I can ship a 45lb PowerMac (in a big 19" CRT box) across the country for $55 (with ins.) via UPS Ground.
Yeah? Well whats your secret? 55 pounds, insurance, original 30x34x16 box - and mine costs nearly 3 times that with the same service.

I explained the calculations near the end: using original box, so no packing fee, and added $30 for insurance up to $2,100.

I have looked at other Alienware desktop auctions, and for some reason, it is usually around $60, or $150. I wonder what the guys shipping for $60 are doing differently than the guys shipping for $150...

On the other hand, I have 3 watchers

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2006-08-15, 23:38

How's the auction going, Kraetos? (Or, how did it go?)

I'm probably going to put my iMac up tomorrow for a three-day auction (so it ends on Saturday night). Or do you think that's too short?

I think I'm going to start the bidding at $800, with the BIN at $999. What do you guys think? Too low, too high? I'm so nervous that my price is too...anything.

(1.9 GHz 17" iMac G5/wireless keyboard and mouse/AppleCare)

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
adamb
Formerly “adambrennan”
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Northern Ireland
 
2006-08-16, 06:44

No bids

Unlucky. Probably the postage that did it, but I've no idea how you could go about fixing that other than subsidising the cost.
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