Monday, May 17, 2010

Ebay Store

Karen asked about my Ebay store and how that was working out. It has it’s pro’s and con’s. I have sold probably 300 items over the last 5 years since Ebay came to be. Just recently I made the jump to having a Store. What do I sell? The answer to that is as varied as the stuff in my life. I’ve sold books, used clothes, crafted items, model rail road parts, car parts, motorcycle parts, antiques, collectable coins, electronic items, old magazine collections, lumber, tools and much more I’ve long forgotten about. At one time I was hitting small town auctions and garage sales specifically to find things to sell on EBay. Have I gotten rich, no, but I have had a few exciting finds and sales. I bought a silver serving tray for $20 once and sold it for $200 to a buyer in Singapore. I found a set of 4 8x10 prints from the 1960’s of Mexican dancers at a garage sale, gave $2 for them, an individual opening a Mexican restaurant bought them for $40 for wall decorations. You just never know.  I always offer to do business overseas. I do use Turbo Lister, the free store management software. It may take several hours to photograph, type copy and upload a batch of items, but with 4 day weekends, I have time on my hands. Having the store has been a good thing, I do not have to monitor and relist every 7 days so once an item is listed, its hands off until it sells by setting the time to “Good Til Cancelled”. I use Photobucket to host my ad photos, which works good. I always use large photos, photos sell items. And I’ll be honest, I charge about $1-3 packaging and handling fee to cover costs like bubble envelopes, boxes, tape, paper, batteries for the camera, store fee, eBay's cut and gas to drive to the post office. Depends on the item and packing requirements. I charge a few dollars for overseas shipping because I must do the special customs paperwork and beef up the packaging. I print my shipping labels online through EBay. Am I getting rich, no… am I cleaning out my house, yes, and I am building a nice little savings account at PayPal that I don’t touch.

How can I make this work on the road, don’t know yet. It will have to be something small, some ideas we have are, quilting patterns, coins, small collectables, fishing lures, pens, watches, fabric, pet rocks… people will buy anything. Used children's clothes is a big market. Space is really the defining issue, hence we may tow a 10-12 foot trailer to haul the stuff in. There is always the drop ship scenario which is widely used, just have to figure out how all that works and decide what to specialize in. If anyone does eBay with drop ship let me know.

If anyone else eBay's give me a shout we can compare notes.

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