Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lesson learned: If selling stuff on e-bay - sell it yourself.

OK the title may seem self-evident and obvious but, I was confused and to be honest, scared of the daunting E-bay business model. I didn't know how I was supposed to advertise, what kind of pictures I should post up, if I needed a certain kind if 'rating' to sell anything, how hard it might be to find someones address and package my stuff.

Well now, I honestly wish I had just asked my co-worker who is a semi-pro (hundreds-to-thousands-sold-a-month) on E-bay for help.

A few weeks ago I sold my childhood playthings, a huge set of G.I. Joe's, through a 'brick& mortar' e-bay re-sale store. They did all of the marketing, photography, packaging, exchange of 33% of the profit ( or so I thought) from an eventual sale. Now I at first thought 'hey 33% is not that bad of a surcharge for ignorance'.

So I waited, and then I waited and then I waited some more, all the time figuring 33% is an OK bullet to bite - but not much more than that.

When I got tired of waiting, and had time to complain, I went into the store which I dropped my childhood playthings off at and asked what was taking so long.

The guy at the counter - the same fidgety, gloomy guy who I dropped the things off with initially - stood there and said "well your 4 weeks of waiting is about average, your check for 55% of the value has been issued"

THAT's right after looking down at the even smaller print it appears there are 5-12% of additional fees on top of the stores cut.

So not only did i have to wait 4 weeks to get my money, I paid about 45% of my profit for the privilege of being ignorant.

That's why next time I sell something online I'll be selling it myself. Sometimes ignorance can be blissful but, in this instance it just kept getting more and more expensive.

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