Has anyone had any luck selling on ebay?

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HERIJOBR

New User
RICK
I have been making a few small crafts, thought I would try ebay and sell a few but it seems like everybody wants everything for nothing!! Is there a trick or strategy that I don't know about?:wsmile:
 

CrealBilly

New User
Jeff
Rick, the market has seen better days and unemployment has been high for a long time. I'm pretty sure it's not that everyone wants something for nothing, it's most people can't afford much of nothing. I hope that helps some, I'm pretty sure it's not your crafts, it's just slow all over... I think most people are hoping things turn around soon.
 

MarkE

Mark
Corporate Member
Yeah, what Jeff said. I have sold a lot of miscellaneous stuff on Ebay over the years. Can't think of any trick or strategy that might help. Just give your items a good description and make sure you use pictures that show the item well.

Just remember, when you sell on Ebay you are competing with a lot of others trying to do the same thing. You could also try selling on CraigsList. Sometimes it's easier to find a local buyer,
 

AmishWarlord

New User
Mitch
Na, you wont make any money at auctions. The best thing for you would to try a ebay store and price things for want you want for them and see if you make any sells in a month.

ebay is kind of scitzo. Have an old used RC airplane engine you paid $100 for new, it will sell for $80. Have a kit you paid $65 for. It will sell for $180. Have a RC airplane that took you 80 hours to build and cost you a total of $1,200 for parts and building supplies. You'll get about $300 for it.
 

AmishWarlord

New User
Mitch
Hey one thing you might want to try is seeing if you can sell your items at Chimney Rock. My Mom painted up 50 buckets and water pails one time and sold them to a lady that had a store there.
 

DWSmith

New User
David
I started with an eBay store and did quite well, for a while. Then a seller came in and undercut everyone with a Wal-Mart type selling strategy. I fought it for a while and saw the sales go down and the fees go up so I left, cranked the web site up and never looked back. It is tough to compete with someone who makes a $10 item out of $100 worth of materials and is happy to make a sale.

BTW I don't like craft shows either. Most are overpriced garage sales or Wal-Mart juniors. Every once in a while I come across an event that is terrific. I did the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ in Cary this past weekend and sold more there than at any one day event in the past three years. Finally, one that was worth the effort and hype.
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
Handmade does not go very well on ebay in my opinion. Too much import to deal with. If you browse ebay's "handmade crafts" you can see how few items even get a bid----and how low the bids are. I tried it and did not like it. Wasted my time and money.

Jerry
 

taandctran

New User
Thanh Tran
I used to sale alot on ebay years ago. I stoped for a couple of years and since then ebay has become a buyer frendly site. I sold a chainsaw for parts, it was listed under the chainsaw for parts and repair section. I guess the guy wanted a saw that ran and filed a complaint. and even though it said multiple places on the description, they made me refund his money and pay to get it shipped back. That will be the last thing I ever sell on ebay. I have had alot more luck with craigslist, just be careful and if at all possible dont let people come to your house unless you know they are serious about the purchase.
 

Kyle

New User
Kyle Edwards
yes.. I sell quit a bit on ebay under edwa22563liz.

You have to have top notch product and stand apart from the dreck or you will sell nothing.

Etsy is better for crafts.

Ebay fees and Paypal will take a slice.


Set a min selling price you would be happy with and add in the fees. The auctions starting at .99 are for the birds.
 

ehpoole

Administrator
Ethan
I second the suggestion to use Ebay shops and other online stores. The whole point of an Ebay auction is, quite literally, to get something for as close to nothing as possible -- especially if you have to wait a week or more just to find out if your bid won.

On the other hand, when there is an item that I am more concerned about getting TODAY (rather than getting the best deal), I never hesitate to use the BUY IT NOW option, if presented.

Just realize that when you do auctions and shop sales prompt communication is a must. I can't even begin to count the number of times when I needed a specific item NOW (particularly legacy computer parts) I would send 6 or 8 inquiries to verify the description and request alternative shipping options. Often times only 1 of those 6 or 8 sellers will bother to get back to me within a reasonable time (say, within a few business hours) and promise to also ship the item same day. GUESS WHICH of those 6-8 sellers got my business? Even if the prompt seller wanted twice as much for the item, if I needed it now and they were they only one truly hungry for my business, THEY GOT THE SALE ANYHOW! All because the seller was prompt and eager to serve me.

Nonetheless, I wish you the best of luck in your craft sales.
 

CatButler

New User
Bryan
I started with an eBay store and did quite well, for a while. Then a seller came in and undercut everyone with a Wal-Mart type selling strategy. I fought it for a while and saw the sales go down and the fees go up so I left, cranked the web site up and never looked back. It is tough to compete with someone who makes a $10 item out of $100 worth of materials and is happy to make a sale.

BTW I don't like craft shows either. Most are overpriced garage sales or Wal-Mart juniors. Every once in a while I come across an event that is terrific. I did the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ in Cary this past weekend and sold more there than at any one day event in the past three years. Finally, one that was worth the effort and hype.

There is a show in early December inc Cary at a private school called Cary Academy. They take quite a cut, but my wife gets far more sales than any other show. Right before Christmas, so people are looking for stuff and are the right clients for high end stuff. Depends, a buddy of mine who makes flutes says he gets so many phone/web orders @ Christmas that it's not worth his time at shows.
 

Marlin

New User
Marlin
Not for woodworking but I gave up selling on eBay a while back. The fees really started adding up and now they force you to take CC so theres extra fees on that.
And as someone said you can list something as needs work, slight scratch, etc... but if they complain you lose and have to pay for it and maybe have your paypal account locked.

I sell my stuff on craigslist. If it does not sell then I lowwer my price or donate it/give it away. Life is to short and my time is not free.
 

sawduster

New User
Robert
I have found that folks just do not appreciate hand made anymore . They want a Wal Mart price on everything and all it takes is for one crafter to stoop to that and yer outta luck :wsad:
i've been doing the local craft show scene for about 4 years now and i have never made a profit. it is fun ( for awhile ) and I've met nice people and made good contacts that have served me well but rarely do I make money on the day of the sale . Even at Christmas everyone seems to be looking for cheap prices. Some even come at the end of the show to see fi I have discounted things so i don't have to take them home . I politely tell them that the price is the price and will never be any lower. I will give them away before I lower myself to that . Strangely I find that higher prices often sell better . It's like if it is so valuable to me than it must be really good :icon_scra I've never been able to figure it out :dontknow:
I rely now on repeat business and word-of-mouth. I have more than enough orders at Christmas now so I do not even really do shows any more .
A consignment shop can be a good gig if you can find the right one . 25% is the most I will pay a storefront though and many want much more than that. I just can't see it so I don't participate. Etsy is OK but if you look you will see many items that are there for days and days and even months without selling . There is shipping and monetary transactions involved over a long distance and just too much a PITA for me
Actually I don't want this to be a business anyway so I am not too jaded. I do it because I want to and if I had to do it I would not enjoy it nearly as much. I will never be able to quit my day job so I just accept that and let it continue to be fun
spread things around a bit locally . give away a few things or make really good deals to people who will showcase or brag about you. It takes awhile but you just may find yourself selling on reputation alone and that tends to weed out the bargain hunters right out of the gate
hope this helps some ......good luck :icon_thum
 

jerrye

Jerry
Corporate Member
Strangely I find that higher prices often sell better . It's like if it is so valuable to me than it must be really good :icon_scra I've never been able to figure it out :dontknow:

Perception. Not yours; the buyer's.

A friend used to hang wallpaper on the side. He was never able to penetrate the upscale market. He knew he had fair labor costs, so this confused him. He ran into a fellow paper hanger who he knew had this market and asked his advice. The reply? "You are not charging enough for your labor. Up your labor costs 50% and you'll start getting jobs."

The next time my friend had a quote for an upscale job, he was afraid so he only went up 25%. He never forgot the customer's response. "Your labor sounds awfully low but you come recommended so I'll take a chance on you." From then on he quoted 50% above his former labor costs and landed many more upscale jobs.

The lesson I guess is know the market you want to appeal to but do not devalue your work, especially when you're being told it is of utmost quality. I know how difficult this is for us because we know where all of the flaws are. Unless flaws are very evident most customers won't notice them. If you are revealing the flaws to customers? :stop: :crossedlips: :slap: :gar-Bi
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I have been a little hesitant to post this, but I will fess up. I have sold several things I made that were of questionable quality for low prices. When I first learned to make string instruments, I made stick dulcimers that were quite playable but sounded rather dull and quiet. I couldn't bring myself to throw them out, so I sold them cheap on eBay with fairly accurate descriptions. You may have seen one screwed to the wall in a fern bar. :rolf: I have done the same with some scroll work and a couple of carvings.

I have also sold a couple of things that did turn out well for more, but with a much lower success rate.
 

Dean Maiorano

New User
Dino
+1 Ebay store, not auctions. However, the store option is really only good if you're going to sell quantity. For small lot sales I use the 'make an offer' option with 'buy it now'. It's like an auction in reverse, the customer names the price they're willing to pay. There is something weird that happens with the buyers, they appear to be more willing to buy when they think they're saving money through a negotiated discount. I always overprice a wee bit and then reel in the person that offers approximately what I really need/want.

+1 on Etsy for handcrafted items. Check that site out, it is designed for the purpose of selling handcrafted products and the clientèle goes there looking for arts/crafts.

+1 local sales. I'm gearing up to produce items for the Christmas season and I'm going to focus on offering large quantities of like items to local galleries, with a 25-50% commission rate. There are plenty in the area that will work with you if you're offering something unique and well crafted. There is also the flea market, the individual booths aren't that expensive and if you throw in a mix of antiques you can rent a booth by the 'front' (near the Blue Ridge Road entrance). Also, consider starting a Facebook page for your crafts and get all your friends to 'like' it or become a fan. Do that instead of starting a webpage which can wait until you're big enough to justify the work and costs involved. You can advertise your FB presence like you would a webpage, through coffee shop business card walls, ads in a local paper like The Independent, at any sales point, on your product, etc. Use the FB page to link all your sales sites and venues (stores, flea market dates, Etsy/Ebay accounts, etc.).

I have 2,000+ sales on Ebay, mostly in salvaged materials (though I've sold anything from tools to antiques to appliances as well). It is right that you have to offer quality, have to be complete with descriptions, need pictures, be fast on communicating and even faster on shipping (within one week and preferably less). I sell under the name 'reuserecycler'. Some of my feedback is from my own purchasing but most of it is from being a seller. Of the sales feedback, only about half of the sales ever receive feedback, as most customers just don't bother or they have bought multiple items within a single week (a lot of return customers). My experience may not be completely applicable to your product type but Ebay customer expectations appear to be somewhat universal.

I just thrown you more ideas and really no solutions...hope I've added something to the dialog.

Dean
 

AmishWarlord

New User
Mitch
Case in point.

This is a nice looking giant scale plane 80" wing span. His starting bid was only $60. The kit for this plane was $130, the covering was $80, the paint job was $100, I'd guess. It probably took him 50 hours of work to build this plane. Not to mention all the glues, sand paper, and tools needed.
And after all that no one would give him $60 for the thing.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110569223044&ssPageName=ADME:B:WNA:US:1123

Ebay.jpg
 

Tiffany

New User
Tiffany
If you are willing to put some time into it, I would look into Etsy. I have some friends who have done quite well, but you need to put the time into finding a niche and building up a following. Also my guess is that you would be marketing mostly to women who are shopping for themselves, their family, or for gifts for others. If I'm right about that, then you'll need to market your stuff accordingly...
 
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