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Earning on Ebay #1: 10 Reasons I Love/Hate Selling on Ebay

Updated on March 5, 2013

Essential info on the pros and cons of Ebay

What is the answer to the age old question of how to make money online? The thought of bringing in a extra cash each month to supplement what may be a starving bank account can prove to be a very alluring idea. Over the years, I have found that there are numerous ways to generate extra cash. One of the largest and most popular is of course the auction giant, Ebay. Selling on Ebay is very easy to start, but it can be difficult to master. Since any opportunity has some good and bad sides, I am going to give you some reasons why I love Ebay, and some reasons why I would rather get teeth pulled than figure out how to become a Powerseller.

5 Seasons to Sell on Ebay

Selling on Ebay can be a great money maker
Selling on Ebay can be a great money maker | Source
  1. Millions of Ebay buyers - It is very difficult for me to convince my next door neighbors to start a bidding war over my antique toaster. Luckily for me, there are millions of people that bid online every day, and at least a few of them are interested in some very off-the-wall items. Because of that, I have a much easier time selling online. A much better offer than keeping an albatross around my neck if I tried selling on Craigslist or in a yard sale.
  2. Ebay is a known platform - If I were to try to start my own website and sell used items online, I would have a very difficult time convincing both buyers and sellers to participate. What guarantees could I offer? Would there be any buyer protection or selling guarantees? Would enough people use the service? Ebay is internationally known for providing a selling and buying hub for millions. They have spent years and millions of dollars creating their own Ebay brand, which makes them trusted and preferred for many auction lovers.
  3. Multiple services - I remember the days when selling an item required waiting for a money order to come in the mail, packaging the item, taking it to the post office, posting tracking information, and then waiting to see if it arrived. Now many of these services have become automated. Services like Paypal and prepaid shipping labels have taken a lot of the leg work out of getting items from my place to the buyer's.
  4. Going global - Sometimes a seller needs to be a buyer. If I am looking to sell an electronic or a set of books, but a piece or volume is missing, I could be forced to sell it as an incomplete item. That or I have to hold off until the needed component comes in. Thanks to Ebay, I can spend money to make money if needed. The best part is that I have the option to buy from someone in the next town, or in another country depending on what I need. The option to go global is also very helpful in both wholesale and resale situations.
  5. Its easy! - When the only thing required to make money is a computer, a bank account, and inventory, it takes a bunch of the overhead out of selling. Rather than pay for marketing, you can sell in a premier marketplace. Instead of putting up a storefront, you can let people window shop through their computer screens. All of this makes it much easier to get into the business of selling.

Sometimes Ebay is great! I am able to bring in some extra money with relatively little effort. However, there are other times when Ebay selling problems can become a real headache. Here are five reasons why I would bid to not have to sell on Ebay.

5 Reasons I Give Ebay Negative Feedback

It isn't all roses when selling on Ebay
It isn't all roses when selling on Ebay | Source
  1. Seller fees - When I am having a garage sale or I sell something to a friend, almost 100% of the time I collect all of the revenue. Since Ebay is providing a service, they are not going to stay in business for very long if they do it for free. Ebay takes a percentage (Around 9%, 7% if you are top rated), and then Paypal takes a cut of every transaction (A little under 3%). This really eats into the bottom line, and I have found that there are some product categories which are really not worth my time because of fees. Not only that, but extras like a buy it now, reserve price, or extra exposure drive up the fees you pay. In a later hub I will break down how some of these additional fees can affect your buying experience.
  2. Shipping - This is another fee of online selling, but it comes from the post office, not Ebay. Sometimes the shipping for items can eat into your profit even more than seller fees. Weighty items, fragile items, and items which require insurance can prove to be very expensive. Worse yet, an item lost in transit is the seller's responsibility, which means a post office problem can prove to be very costly.
  3. Unneeded competition - When it comes to sales, the lowest price will usually win. The problem is that amateur or impatient sellers will look to sell quick, and sometimes at a much lower price than they could have gotten if they would have sold at the same price level as other sellers. I have seen it more times than I can count. A seller will list something at 10% less than the next closest seller, then someone else knocks off another 10%, and another, until the price is so low that no profit can be made. Seller price undercutting is one of the biggest issues with selling online.
  4. Buyer issues - It can be anything from an unpaid item to a cranky consumer, but there are numerous issues that can arise between Ebay sellers and Ebay buyers. I have ended up losing money because buyers did not ask questions before bidding, or they decided to change their mind after the fact. The hardest part about interfacing with buyers is that they can determine your reputation on Ebay. Ebay feedback rating is the way that you are viewed as a good or bad seller, and it contains two parts. Because of this, you have to give a lot of control up to someone who could be unreasonable, or out to scam you for a cheap or even free item.
  5. Time - Selling on Ebay can be a very quick process, you can list an item in a one-day auction, or have a buy it now listing that is purchased almost instantly, but that does not mean you have the cash right away. A buyer can wait to pay for four days before they are flagged. Even after they pay, you have to ship the item and wait for the post office. Then you get to wait for a Paypal funds transfer into your bank account. Even after the money is in your account, you are really only "safe" after the item is delivered and you receive positive feedback. This means that you could be waiting for weeks before you are actually able to get your hands on the money from a sale. Not exactly my idea of a quick turn around.

There are many more issues than this when it comes to the positive and negatives of selling online, this was just a sample of my own feedback on Ebay. Perhaps you have a few more that you would like to share? Feel free to leave leave a comment about a good or bad Ebay experience you have had!


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