It’s come to that point in the minimalism process where I need to get selling. I have given a ton of stuff to charity, like literally heaps, all great stuff that I just couldn’t be bothered to sell. But there are some things just too valuable to give away. I really hate selling on eBay, or selling anything in general and this post is all the reasons that were putting me off. I will also give you some tips on how to get through it all. Relax. I got you.
It sounds easy enough right? It is SO tedious. I am currently selling some games consoles and some books. Books are a pain because you have to thoroughly check for imperfections and then declare any scribbles or library stamps and that’s before you’ve even opened a few pages and snapped pics of the spine. It just takes time. Especially if you want a nice photograph and your camera sucks. The games consoles were even worse! I had to get all the wires and bits and bobs out and arrange them all as neatly as I could and let me tell you how hard it is to make a jumble of wires look decent in a photo.
Postage is a rip off, simple as. Especially if you’re sending anything heavy or larger than a hamster. My top tips for sending small packages would be to buy the postage bags because they make life a lot easier, then squeeze all the air you can out of them when they are sealed shut. Once you have squeezed them seal it tighter with sellotape to stop it blowing up again. Then when you are at the PO there is no shame in asking them if they will try to pop your package through the large letter frame. This will save you and your buyer money.
For larger packages only use Royal Mail if you have to because they use Parcel Force who are the biggest rip of merchants in the logistics world. Try to get online quotes from other couriers like Yodel or Hermes. Hermes are usually cheaper however you must have a printer to be able to use them! They are also handy because they will pick up your parcel for you.
Taking the trip to the post office isn’t so bad if it is in walking distance. My local PO is not. In this instance I would recommend that you list everything you have all on the same day. It may take a few hours but it will be worth it to only make one trip.
This brings me onto my next woe. People who take days to pay! So then you simply can’t avoid making more than one trip. OH how those people frustrate me! Usually there is always one, I will sell 5 things and ONE person will not pay, it is very frustrating.
In order to avoid complaints and cases always be vigilant with your packaging. If something needs to be well packed like a glass item then don’t be sparing just to save money because it will cost you in the end if the item is damaged. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS write fragile on the parcel! I usually write it on paper and sellotape it on all over the package, you would be shocked at how the mail companies treat your packages…
My next tip is to ask for photographs when an item is damaged. There are a lot of con artists out there, no one is going to be offended when you ask for proof, and if they are you can be sure you’re dealing with a scammer. Do not think you have no leg to stand on, the eBay system automatically will favour the buyer in any case, you just have to phone them up and explain the situation and then they will sort it out for you. Their customer service is pretty good and you shouldn’t be on hold for too long.
When selling valuable items always try to get tracked or signed delivery. You never know what might happen.
If in the case you do get negative or neutral feedback you can ask the customer to consider revising it however i’d expect hostility. Try not to let it bother you however some of the biggest sellers on eBay have heaps of negative feedback. As long as you are friendly and try your best with packaging you should be okay.
These will trip you up. I often forget and at the end of the month end up giving ebay 25% of my profits. If you calculate postage, bartered prices and the time and effort you soon realise you didn’t make as much as you’d hoped. Try to keep an eye on fees, don’t splash out on themes and subtitles for your listing, they are not worth it, no matter how many percent better eBay say your listing will be.
Try to take advantage of promotional selling offers, these come round every month or so and they can be good if you plan on selling a few things at once. You can always put the item price up a little to compensate for this.
Writing a listing
This one really sucks. I used to spend a very long time writing my listings and making them look pretty and then when my item didn’t sell i’d have to do it all over again next month. Listing items is time consuming at best and in my experience of years of eBay selling i’ve realised it doesn’t really matter. People just want the facts, it doesn’t need to look jazzy, it doesn’t even need to look good or be grammatically correct just get the facts in and encourage questions. Also make sure to answer questions promptly in order to encourage a sale, if you get the eBay app for your phone you will get a notification when someone messages you.
Here is my list of do’s and don’ts
- Add lots of decent quality pictures
- Get in all the facts about the item
- Encourage questions
- Take advantage of seller promotions
- Squeeze air out of small packages like t-shirts
- Hold onto your proof of postage
- Use Royal Mail for medium/ large parcels
- Send valuable items without tracking
- Be rude to your customers no matter how annoying they are
- Be afraid to contact eBay and fight your corner
- Give a refund without proof of a problem
In my opinion eBay is the easiest selling platform, that is why I use it. You can sell all sorts of rubbish on eBay and it’s an open market of millions of potential buyers. I have seen people bid on everything from used a4 paper to broken toasters, if you have the patience you can sell anything. Despite all of the obstacles and annoyances i’d still recommend eBay, however as a marketplace it could do with a competitor.
If you are having any eBay troubles i’d be happy to try and help! 🙂