I know eBay is supposed to be the best venue for selling and buying items online, but I’ve not had much luck as a seller there. A few years ago I decided to buy a few items from eBay and was pleased with the price I paid and the quality of merchandise. Thinking I’d now like to be a seller there, this past summer, I decided to sell some clothes and shoes on their site. Some items were new, so I thought I’d at least get a few bids. And taking the advice of others who’d sold stuff there, I started the bidding low. I was disappointed that not one single thing sold. I even relisted a few of the items, but still didn’t get any takers.
I was thinking of just putting everything in the donation box in the basement, or keeping them for a future garage sale, but then I thought, why not hold onto them and try a different venue.
So I went straight to an expert on the online auction scene and asked Ina Steiner who’s the editor of www.AuctionBytes.com to offer her advice on what sites we should try other than eBay.
Here’s what she had to say-
“Etsy is very popular to both buyers and sellers who are into the handmade movement. And it’s really fun to window shop. It’s very visually oriented. www.etsy.com. Lots of small online sellers have diversified beyond selling on eBay. Ecrater www.ecrater.com and Bonanzle www.bonanzle.com are two of the more popular sites at the moment. And then there are the auction and fixed price niche sites such as www.GoAntiques.com and www.Tias.com for antiques and collectibles.
We just launched a merchant directory called www.EveryPlaceIsell.com. Sellers can create a free listing pointing to all of the venues on which they sell. Shoppers can use it to find sellers and support independent merchants. For shoppers who come across a seller but may want to see if they list on a different venue, or check their eBay reputation, it’s a great tool.
As fees have gone up on sites like eBay, which now requires PayPal or a merchant credit card account that also take their share of the fees, shoppers should be aware that they may be able to find better pricing on the merchant’s own Web site. EveryPlaceIsell.com is one way to find out if they have their own Web site.
One thing I’d advise is to be careful of fraud, whether you’re buying or selling online. Yes, there are bad buyers who can rip off sellers. My top fraud tip: Never, ever send money via Western Union, unless it’s to your mom. It’s like sending cash to a stranger in the mail.”
If you want to learn more great tips, you can sign up for Ina’s newsletter and listen to her podcasts at her Web site. And be sure to check out my previous Girl’s Guide on buying and selling on Etsy.
And here are some other sites I found, I can’t vouch for them because I’ve not sold or bought any merchandise there.
And one place I have done business with for many years now is eBay’s partner site half.com www.half.com. There’s no charge to list books/dvds/cds/games, etc. And you can leave them on the site until they sell. They reimburse media mail rate postage and take a small commission. For awhile, I was lucky enough to be selling four or five books a month there, but recently it’s been much slower. I’m not sure if it’s the time of the year or if people are watching their pennies now.
With the holidays just around the corner, selling on some of these sites might be a good way to make some holiday cash. Or if you’re a buyer, you might pick up a bargain or two.