eBay Reselling Review

I’ve reached my target of listing one hundred items on eBay. Whoopee! Most of the items have been sourced from local charity shops or eBay itself. As I’ve said before, limiting the stock that I’m selling stops the house becoming cluttered. That’s very important to me. But sales are slow. Even though I only need a part time income and want to keep things small I’d like to see a bit more of a reward for my efforts. It’s time for an eBay selling review.

I’ve written about adopting an experimental approach to life in a previous post. And this is what I’ve been doing. I’m still trying to work out what sells and makes a reasonable profit so I’ve spread my net quite wide. I’m developing a niche for sourcing unusual vintage items, books and pieces of jewellery. And I’ve realised that this is one reason why I might be hitting problems. People aren’t using the search terms that makes my stock visible. How does a psychiatrist know that they absolutely need a vintage mug for their coffee at work for example? How do I reach out to a keen needleworker who might love a sewing box brooch? The number of views per item is very low when they are unusual. I can pay to boost their prominence but this is expensive. Would this increase my overall profit and be worth it? Maybe this is one more experiment that I need to do.

I need extra money to plug the gap between my semi and state retirement years. But I’m lucky enough not to be in any desperate rush to fill the coffers I am so grateful to have a little nest egg that keeps the wolf from the door while I have a play. I can tweak what I’m doing and take a wee hit if I need to. It’s like changing the mixture in a test tube and seeing what happens. And after all, don’t most businesses have set up costs? Mine are relatively small in the scheme of things.

So I’m going to change what I do. Over the next week or so I’ve decided to take everything that I’m selling off eBay as auctions end. I’m going to spend two or three weeks reviewing what I’ve done already, what has worked and what hasn’t. I’ll look at how to improve the way that I list items, what I’m selling, how I photograph my stock, pricing, who I sell to and the approach that I take to doing this.

For example I’d always limited my market to UK buyers. But recently I’ve found out that it isn’t half as difficult as I thought to send items abroad. Ebay does all the form filling and tax calculations for you. Could exposing myself to a wider international market be a way of improving sales? I also wonder whether a ‘buy it now’ rather than an auction format might be better. Maybe people would prefer to purchase something immediately after seeing it rather than waiting a few days for an auction to end and seeing if they’ve won.

I’m loving the learning that I’m doing in setting up this enterprise. It’s like being a trainee in a new job all over again. There are so many skills to acquire. And it’s not all doom and gloom. I’ve made some hefty profits on a few items and had great feedback from the sales I’ve made. I’m excited to see whether the tweaks that I make will help me get a good return in the run up to Christmas when I reopen my ‘store’ again.

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4 Comments

  1. I prefer buy it now. I don’t like to wait and get involved in bidding. I have bought on the bidding system but don’t like that disappointed feeling one gets when your bid fails. buy it now is more straightforward. See it. buy it, wait for it to arrive.

  2. I’m new on both ends. Is there both auction and buy it now, on same listing. Then those that want to bid, can, but if you can get a quick sale that would be good too.

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