Do you have to pay a fee to join eBay? How do you sell products on it? Do you need a digital camera or can you describe your product?
You don't have to pay a fee to join eBay, however, for each item that you list (sell) in an auction, you will be charged a small fee. The total charge will depend on how you list your product. For example, if you want to use "extras" to make your item stand out, such as bold captions, extra photos, etc., then your listing fee will go up. Overall, it is really a very small fee, just a couple bucks for a standard listing. You will still be charged the fee regardless of whether or not someone buys your item.
You don't have to post photos with your description of the product, however, a lot of people who buy on eBay will only really look at item with photos, so I personally think it is well worth posting photos with your item. To list an item for sale, you will basically go through a series of questions and categories to decide on your item. You'll choose a title, write a description about it, choose which category it is part of (clothing, fine art, etc.), and then have the option to post photos, add extras, etc. Normally each auction is seven days long. You can choose the lowest price that you are willing to sell an item for, or offer a "buy it now" option to buyers so that if they are willing to pay x amount then they can get the item immediately, without leaving it on auction for the duration of the seven days. (12/01/2005)
I buy quite a bit on eBay. I refuse to invest in an item that does not have a photo or if the photo is poor quality. I find 99% of the people there very enjoyable to deal with. I have dealt with both private sellers and companies that sell through eBay and I have bought from the United States and UK. I would highly advise to get PayPal. Anything you buy is instantly paid for and I am finding more and more, sellers accepting "only" PayPal or an equivalent.
There are drawbacks, though. Feedback. Always check feedback. Even if it is a little low (98% or lower) check out why. Sometimes you can catch a pattern such as charging too much for postage, or doesn't send straight away, or whatever. Sometimes, someone is just vindictive and leaves a negative feedback just to lower a score. So check out why the negatives are there. Also, not being able to hold and inspect the item before investing money is a minus, but more often than not, sellers are honest enough to say in their ad if the item has any nicks, chips, dents, scratches, etc. Get insurance on your item. It costs very little if the seller is honest. I have never paid over 1.50 for insurance in the U.S. and never paid over 2.00 or so for UK. Sellers will say they are not responsible for damage done if insurance is not taken. They mean it.
If you buy worldwide, you can and sometimes will pay higher prices, and be careful buying DVDs overseas. If I am not mistaken, their DVDs will not play here in the US. Make sure that the codes are right and compatible (US and Canada are code 1 and Thailand is code 5, I think.) You may see Disney DVDs for like 3.00 or less, but S and H are like $20, and then they don't play here. Watch out.
I have never sold on eBay, but have been considering doing so. I have two kids outgrowing their clothes, toys, etc, at an alarming rate. But, as a buyer, I cannot stress enough of taking good pictures of what you want to sell. If need be, taking a couple of pictures from different angles or front and back. Be as thorough and honest about any imperfections as you can. I have had a very good time buying online with very few disappointments. Good luck.
I've been selling and buying on eBay for years. As the two previous posts stated, there is no "joining" fee, but there are fees for listing. If your item sells, eBay also takes a small percentage of your profit from the sale, but it's usually pretty small. I agree that you'll want to add photos. Most listings have a picture of the item, and when I'm buying, I like to actually see the item, even if it's a good description. Your first picture is free. You don't have to do a seven day auction you can do as little as one day, or as many as ten days, but I usually set my auctions at three or five days. Be as descriptive as you can, and as said, honest. If the item has a flaw, let buyers know.
I've seen other sellers charging some ridiculous shipping rates lately, and I automatically steer clear of those auctions. Keep shipping costs reasonable; it'll most likely draw more people to your item. eBay can be a lot of fun and addictive. It is really a great way to get rid of some of the things you don't want or need anymore and make a little money at the same time. As the adage goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure". (12/01/2005)
When I list items on ebay I only post the free picture. I always add a note that I am happy to email additional photos if needed. This saves money by not paying for a bunch of extra pictures. I agree with keeping your shipping low. The people that have very high shipping amounts and very low auction amounts are taking advantage of ebay. eEbay doesn't take commission from shipping charges. They take their commission only from the selling price. So if you sell your item for $1 and charge $20 to ship it they only get money from the $1. Before you know it we will have to start paying eBay for the total amount of the transaction instead of product cost. I normally have buyers contact me for shipping quotes. I then can charge actual charges without marking them up. You can use USPS.com to get their charges by putting in the 2 zip codes and the items weight. (12/02/2005)
The best way is to get a PayPal account. That will help you with both buying and selling. Most sellers like it because they can see the money in their account right away and they will ship quickly.
You can attach a credit card or bank account to your PayPal account and use either or both to fund your PayPal.
There are a few vendors that will take credit or debit cards, fewer that will take money orders, even fewer that will take checks, but most will take PayPal.
Hope this helps,
Susan from ThriftyFun (12/02/2005)
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