ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Is eBay dead? Or am I doing it wrong?
By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 8/21/2013
Dear eBay Queen: I read your post from last week from “Betsy.” I wanted to add my two cents.
In my opinion, eBay is almost dead! The company has done it to itself. I have sold on eBay since 1999, but it’s getting more and more difficult to want to list things.
I take the time to put items on eBay, only to have no one look at them, or very few. I do my homework before I list, so I know these items do sell. Why do mine go for a lot less than others, or not even get a bid? Very few people even look at my listings even though the others had lots looking. I think eBay is blocking sellers for other favorite sellers.
Another thing that hurts sales is the Watch List. That is what the buyers who use it do: watch. The buyers do not come back, or wait until the last minute and get a bargain. I have had items with many watchers but never a bid at the end, or if I am lucky maybe one.
Then there are the fees. It burns me to see a fee on my shipping and also to get my money from PayPal, which is the only place I can use.
I collect black Americana. While there used to be a lot of neat things on eBay I would die to have for my collection, there now are only few. Lots of the junk is reproductions, made like a Walmart item. It is getting worse each year. I think it is just a matter of time before eBay just goes away. Maybe too many sellers and not enough buyers — who knows? It is very sad.
I’ve always had great luck with Dick and Jane books that would sell for $70-plus. Now I’m lucky to get a bid. I love selling old stuff. I don’t want to sell new. What can someone like me do? — Barbara
Dear Barbara: I completely understand where you are coming from. I prefer old stuff to the new, but I also prefer to have money coming in than not. I try to sell what makes money. The best way to do that is to always be on the lookout for stuff to sell. That might in the clearance section of Walmart, a wholesaler, high-end department store sales rack or even pallets of goods you can buy online.
You can still love and collect vintage items, without selling them.
Dear eBay Queen: I read your posting last week from Betsy. Here’s my take on it.
I’ve been selling stuff that most people throw away. Here are few of the items I’m selling on eBay and Etsy:
• Rusty chain, especially small-gauge chain.
• Rusty nails, especially box nails (with heads).
• Aged/rusty/painted hinges.
• Rusty anything else!
• Glass removed from antique frames or pre-1920 house windows, even if broken in half.
I, however, personally am not willing to pay much for any of this stuff, probably not even the shipping cost. When I was in the garage sale crazy phase of my life, I could get this stuff free or for pennies, but I don’t go to the sales much anymore. My purpose in posting this is to discourage people from discarding just about anything other than spoiled food. There always is someone out there who’s looking for someone else’s “trash.” I just sold a boxful of 1940s-1970s assorted store receipts to an Etsy buyer. Not a big money-maker, but nice to know someone can use them for a crafting project.
So when you’re cleaning out someone’s house, make three piles: Keep, Donate, Trash. Then go through the Trash pile once or twice more, and think craft project? Etsy repurpose? Vintage restoration? And even if you don’t want to go to all the trouble of sorting/listing it online, you can always put it all in a couple boxes and list it on Freecycle or Craigslist. I hope this gives “Betsy” a few ideas! — Junky J.
Dear Junky: Those are some great ideas. Thank you so much for sharing some of the vintage things that are selling for you.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 321117844427. Can you really sell something everyone uses? Check out this “Empty 200 toilet paper rolls cardboard tubes.” It sold for $49.99 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/200-TOILET-PAPER-ROLLS-cardboard-tube-craft-core-CLEAN-/321117844427
Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen