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How to profit on eBay
Old 11-24-2005   #1
Poptart
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Question How to profit on eBay

I need to know. It has become obvious to me that the post office and eBay itself are making all the money.
If anyone has worked out a profit-making formula, please post it here. My bank account is dangerously anemic.
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Old 11-24-2005   #2
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There is a E-pig book from IDG Publishing (PC World). It's either in their "Secrets" or "Idiot" line.
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Old 11-24-2005   #3
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Is that a thinly-veiled insult?
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Old 11-24-2005   #4
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I thought you knew from the lessons here. You hijack someones account. List some very expensive items and accept payment by money order or cahiers cheque and then do a runner when the money arrives. Simple really
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Old 11-24-2005   #5
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Quote:
Is that a thinly-veiled insult?
No. I suggested that book from IDG Publishing. It's an excellent book. I looked at it a few years back.
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Old 11-24-2005   #6
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Seriously, though, I think there was some discussion recently about how to increase your chances of selling on Ebay: Good detailed description that shows you know what you are talking about, many clear photos, prompt reply to questions, and, probably most importantly, ending the auction on a good day and time. Usually on weekend nights, when you will probably have most buyers online, on both east and west coasts.
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Old 11-24-2005   #7
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buy non-working cameras, repair and sell for more.
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Old 11-24-2005   #8
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Alas, I am not handy at that sort of thing.
I do the best I can with listings.* About 1/3-1/2 of them never sell. What does sell typically goes for too little; often the postage is double the value of the item.
*I haven't found that caveat about weekends to be necessarily true, either.
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Old 11-24-2005   #9
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Coincidentally, I saw today a special program on CNN (or similar) about ebay frauds. They had interviews with VP's at ebay and they showed how ebay employees work to stop fraud, amy it be rather late sometimes.
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Old 11-24-2005   #10
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Best luck I have is with clear photos, accurate descriptions, listed in the proper categories, end the auction late enough for west coast bidders, end auctions on Sunday & monday nights, have reasonable shipping charges and low or no reserve prices, ship fast, dont list the item when there are 20 others just like it on Ebay, dont end them on holidays.
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Old 11-24-2005   #11
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mmm, how bout some french toast with HCB emblazoned into the burnt eggy goodness?
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Old 11-24-2005   #12
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How does someone hijack an account?
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Old 11-24-2005   #13
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Apparently, by obtaining the password, often through a spoof e-mail response.

Last edited by Poptart : 11-24-2005 at 15:31.
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Old 11-24-2005   #14
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Oh, thanks. I get those types of e-mail almost daily. The Paypal types twice daily.
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Old 11-24-2005   #15
Kim Coxon
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This thread might prove illuminating http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=13536

Kim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Granovski
How does someone hijack an account?
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Old 11-24-2005   #16
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I don't know if I'd like to make my living off eBay sales. Most of the times I've been lucky as a buyer, but as a seller... my stuff only sold after two weeks in the listings, and this was done by opening and closing auctions on weekends (late evenings), at a low price, with low reserve, on Paypal, with abundant photos and information. Probably the fact that I was offering items that are easy to find elsewhere at sometimes lower prices had to do with it.

My first eBay sale was of old rangefinders: my Minolta G, Konica S2, Yashica GS and a Nikon case. They all sold... on the second week... after I lowered the reserve on all of them. After that, they were gone in almost no time. When later I put some Nikon gear on the block, only one lens sold through eBay; the other went to a store in FL.

In all cases, however, the killer of my profits was not the USPS, but the eBay fees.

Is that your experience too, Pop-tart?
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Old 11-24-2005   #17
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I am confident the vast majority of eBay sellers don't make any profit.
Most are cleaning out their closets and getting pennies on the dollar.
But that's better than they'd do selling their stuff at a yard sale.
Plus they don't have to miss church and Sunday dinner...

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Old 11-24-2005   #18
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Yeah, I think I have to go back to being an artist. Since I started selling on eBay I don't have any time for art anymore anyway. Why did I spend all those years in college--to hock crap on the internet?

The p/o fees are compensated by the buyers but it takes time and effort to pack and ship all this stuff.
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Old 11-24-2005   #19
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Go for the ten day auction starting at the end of a week.

That way you get *two* weekends for the 'at home' crowd plus a week in between for the 'at the office' people.

And sell before you buy. That is find an item in a shop locally, ask them to keep it for you, list it on eBay, if it sells go back and get it from the shop. Works for me.
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I agree
Old 11-25-2005   #20
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I agree

All good advice.

How much does the starting bid amount matter? I often start at $9.99, and sometimes at $1. I have a notion that if an item is likely to sell for more than, say $50, it is more likely to get there from a $9.99 start than from $24.99. I guess the idea is that low starting bids draws more bidders, some of whom might stay in when the price rises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob
Best luck I have is with clear photos, accurate descriptions, listed in the proper categories, end the auction late enough for west coast bidders, end auctions on Sunday & monday nights, have reasonable shipping charges and low or no reserve prices, ship fast, dont list the item when there are 20 others just like it on Ebay, dont end them on holidays.
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Old 11-25-2005   #21
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To make money on ebay:
#1) You have to want to. That is you must actively seek out bargains at garage sales and flea markets and then clean them up and resell them. You're not going to make money selling stuff that you have lying around which you bought retail.

#2)You have to really want to sell the item. Which means, low opening bid, and no reserve unless it's an oddball item. All the reserve fees you pay to ebay will add up to more than the occasional money loser.

#3)Good description with photos hosted on ebay with supersizing. It's amazing how many vendors try to save a buck by using slow, offsite photo hosting. And answer your emails promptly.

#4)Unless you're selling rare artwork and exect people to fly to your home to inspect it, use seven day auctions. A ten day auction just gives people time to find another one to buy.
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Old 11-25-2005   #22
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Just like gambling, if you don't bid, you win already!

But you are on the selling side..

Good luck!

hahahahaha...


On the serious side, most post services and express mail services have a price book/table that send out free, read that if you are a volumn seller.

Cheers





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Seven or ten days?
Old 11-25-2005   #23
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Seven or ten days?

I've tended to favor ten day auctions, on the basis that more time means more people have the opportunity to find the listing and either bid or put it on their watch list. The point that another member made, that it helps to cover two weekends, also makes sense to me. It wouldn't occur to me that a longer time "just gives people time to find another one to buy", as my own bidding pattern is such that bidding on one item, or even winning it, does not make me less likely to bid on another.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick R.
To make money on ebay:
#4)Unless you're selling rare artwork and exect people to fly to your home to inspect it, use seven day auctions. A ten day auction just gives people time to find another one to buy.
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Old 11-25-2005   #24
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Ill try the two weekends idea--that's intriguing.
I do actually have some rare artwork but in the past, only the common artists have sold for me--like I have a Wallace Nutting that would probably fetch $25-75 because everyone knows the name. Then I have a Gus Baker that's a fine print and very rare and I doubt that anyone would even bid close to what it's worth so I doubt I'll ever list it. I actually sold a big pristine art litho to someone in Amsterdam after the end of the listing that he failed to meet the reserve on.
And the other stuff that was mentioned--buy low, sell low and good descriptions, I think I already try to do. People just seem to be really cheap on most items. They wait until the last minute to bid so they can get it at the opening bid price.
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Old 11-25-2005   #25
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Quote:
The p/o fees are compensated by the buyers but it takes time and effort to pack and ship all this stuff.
I've eliminated a lot of that hassle by only using USPS Priority Mail and only shipping in the US. I use their free boxes, print out a shipping label on my laser printer, and drop the packages in the night box at my local PO.
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Old 11-26-2005   #26
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<--New listings now up for critique--click on my homepage link in my profile. Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 11-30-2005   #27
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Hey, Poptart, I've seen some of your listings and they have been way better than this one:"MUST SEE CAMERA"????? .
I know low expenses are important in any profit making enterprise and time has to be considered an expense but this is too minimalist(I think).
Infrequently my browser does odd things and I thought this was happening again when I looked at this sale...
Rob
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Old 11-30-2005   #28
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Yeah, I have a question. What the blazes is it?

"Must see".

I would like to see it!
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Old 11-30-2005   #29
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I thought the secret was buy it at a yard sale for .50 cents and then sell it for 50 bucks on ebay. sell 10 items a day 7 days a week and your making money it's that simple right?
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Old 11-30-2005   #30
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I actually use/test the equipment being sold. Even if I bought it just to sell it. Too many "I have no clue if this camera works" selling a busted something or another. My cameras typically get a roll of film through them, or at least inspected/tested. That includes the $0.50 Diana that went for almost $100.
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Old 11-30-2005   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I actually use/test the equipment being sold. Even if I bought it just to sell it. Too many "I have no clue if this camera works" selling a busted something or another. My cameras typically get a roll of film through them, or at least inspected/tested. That includes the $0.50 Diana that went for almost $100.
An important ethic, I think. I've seen listings that say similar things and then go look at the "other items" and find that most of the sellers items are cameras/lenses/etc.
Those kind of disclaimers are a deal breaker for me.
Rob
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Old 11-30-2005   #32
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I have learned the hard way if the deal looks to go to be true then it often is. I always figue about 20% of what I bid on it miss discribed or incorrectly listed. So I limit my bids and don't get caught up in the fever.
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Old 11-30-2005   #33
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Well I have done so well on ebay that I had to start a little business.

The rules I adhere to are:
- start on tuesday night around 10pm EST
- end on sunday night around 10pm EST
- never longer than 5 days
- show good pictures
- declare shipping cost in writing without a calculator
- declare return policy (I do not accept returns)
- a description that is short and sweet (I hate gigantic descriptions that are more about payment and shipping than the item)
- do the research on the item for sale
- know what you are selling
- keep it simple stupid

I am sure there is more but that's it for now. I've done well with buying on ebay and then reselling the same item on ebay. For example, I just bought a hasselblad flexbody for $1400 and then resold it ON EBAY for $2400. I do this often. Just know the item you are bidding on and ask the right questions. Good luck.
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