Selling on eBay sucks!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LucasLand, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    LucasLand

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    I havent sold on ebay in a very long time i just sold some software i didn't need. check the figures below. paypal is owned by ebay

    $44.00 - final sold price
    $-3.58 - ebay commission
    $-1.58 - paypal commission
    $-2.97 - shipping costs

    $35.87 - net profit

    that means for something i sold for only $44, I lost $8.13!! What a ripoff
     
  2. Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    #2
    Thats the price of doing business. Did you honestly expect that that eBay and PayPal would provide you the means to sell your stuff for free?
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #3
    That's close to a 20% "detraction". Seems regular to me.
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    Mr. McMac

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #4
    I feel your pain my friend. I sell stuff on ebay all the time. It's like a thorn sticking in my side every time I see what ebay and paypal charge me for doing business.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
  6. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #6
    Try selling art at a gallery... they take 50%. Or take your stuff to a retail store where they double the price typically compared to what they pay for it.

    Ebay and Paypal have costs to cover too... so they take their cut.

    Sorry ... no sympathy....
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LucasLand

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    For something only $44 I think ebay commission is high. Since ebay owns paypal, there should just be one fee after receiving payment.

    Another thing that sucks is I may have to wait 2 -3 weeks to get my money. They hold it till they are ready to release it. I had to pay for tracking otherwise its easy for a buyer to screw you.

    Those other examples sound like people who make a living selling stuff. For the casual seller this blows.

    Next time I will try craigslist first.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #8
    Imagine selling a $1.5k laptop or something. What some people do are go to photo or other product related communities and post on the Buy/Sell/Trade forum. Removes ebay listing and final sales fees. Use paypal to pay and negotiate to pay all the fees, share them, or have the buyer pay the full fee/pay as a gift (no fees for gift payments).
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #9
    20% is actually a fairly good deal considering the reach eBay has.

    As has been said, you won't find a traditional auction house that takes just 20% (common is 15% + tax from both buyer AND seller), nor retail store that would sell for 20% margin.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #10
    Selling at eBay is like going into business or having a store with rent to pay. We'll need to always factor in eBay commissions as overhead expenses.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Not too bad actually, but you should have charged for shipping.
     
  12. r0k
    macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #12
    Normally when I sell on ebay, I charge a processing fee that is part of my shipping charges. For instance, I'll tell it to calculate shipping based on UPS ground, then add $3 as my handling fee on a modest priced item. This almost sort of covers ebay and paypal's fees.

    It is also common for ebay to hold your funds until you either get a delivery confirmation or positive feedback. Considering how many people forget to leave feedback, I'd make sure to use a signature delivery confirmation which of course can add up to $5 to shipping charges and this is NOT calculated by ebay's built in shipping estimator.

    I have tried and tried to make the integrated label printing work with ebay. I have created countless ups accounts, given my credit card to both ebay and ups, built an altar and sacrificed an unblemished goat using a dagger purchased on ebay on a full moon. It simply cannot be done.

    After having bought a USB memory stick that was supposed to be 4 GB only to find out it was a 256 MB stick "formatted" to look like 4 GB from a crook in Hong Kong, I understand why ebay's policies are so heavily slanted toward sellers. I have never been burned by a buyer but I've had to wait and even add funds to paypal to cover shipping costs because they wouldn't use the proceeds from the pending sale.

    As for craigslist, I've never had any luck. I tried buying a used cell phone on CL from a seller offering it for $20 less than the lowest "completed listings" price on ebay. I got in my car, went to the atm and took out the money then called the seller to confirm our meeting. It was supposed to be inside a store but no. This guy wanted to meet me in a dark parking lot and wanted to know what kind of car I drive. I told him I drive a State Police cruiser and hung up. I went back to ebay and bought the phone. About a week later, there was a news story about somebody getting killed when meeting a CL seller to buy a cell phone. It was on the opposite side of town from the guy I was on my way to meet but it was too close for comfort! If you use decide to CL, beware of buyers or sellers that want to meet outdoors in the dark (which comes early in the winter months) instead of a well lit indoor location.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    #13
    Umm, Ebay fees are clearly published. They charge 9%
    Paypal fees are published too. They charge 2.9% + 0.30.

    So roughly 12% goes to ebay/paypal.

    The fact you didn't charge shipping and you aren't using the best shipping choices is on you.

    Don't add too much of a surcharge into shipping. Its against policies and can also get you some bad feedback.

    Also, I get my money the instant it sells. I don't have to wait.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #14
    Me, too - I was wondering about this very thing.

    That being said, it is getting really hard for a small seller like me to compete. When I price my item fairly for the item AND input what shipping actually costs me, I always end up being higher than just about every "big" seller. So I usually have to either sell for less than I'd like to or take a loss on shipping.

    What I DON'T think is fair is the way that eBay discounts fees and shipping for big Power Sellers; I understand rewarding loyalty, but this makes it near impossible for non-store sellers. :(
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    SuperMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    #15
    Selling on Craigslist locally is free, and you usually get cash. Plus, the buyer gets to physically see the product.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #16
    Can't speak for the OP, but I live in a small town in a rural area where Craiglist is all but nonexistent. Oh, we have CL page - "Eastern Kentucky." It covers a 2-3 hour drive area. I live in the eastern most part of Kentucky and the only bite I got on a set of tires I wanted to sell was from Lexington, 2.5 hours/130 miles away. Needless to say, they didn't want to drive that far to get them. :(
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #17
    You knew, or should have known, what those charges would be up front. Nobody forced you to sell on eBay. If you chose to sell that way despite the charges, it's because either (a) you're stupid or (b) you couldn't find a better way. Let's assume it's (b). That means nobody else has figured out how to do it cheaper, because if they had, they'd undercut eBay and take a lot of its business away. That's the basic message: given what they do, and what it costs to do that, their cut is reasonable.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    #18
    I live in a hot craigslist area, but recently no one has been buying or even nbbling. Also the spam on craigslist has really hurt the market. There are hundreds of iphones for sale below value. If you contact them to buy it, they say they just sold it but they tell me I can get them cheap on this secret website. blah.

    Its very hard to report these spam ads because you don't know they are spam unless you respond. After all it really could be a stupid person selling it cheap or it could be a hot item going cheap.

    No matter if it is spam, now all the potential buyers see your item at a reasonable price and they don't even bother responding because they are busy hunting the cheaper spam items.

    Long story short, craiglist went from selling an item in 2 days to getting no hits at all after 2 weeks. So I can sit on my item for 2 weeks, or I can put it on ebay and guarantee the sale and money in my hand in 7 days.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    #19
    alot of people are unaware of the ebay mobile app promotions they are having. they just had a "sell from feb 12-14 and sell (1) item FREE", in other words, no final value fee which is F#(*#$ awesome. However, paypal is excluded from the promo and they take their standard cut. still an awesome deal.
     
  20. macrumors 603

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Location:
    PR
    #20
    So you sold something you didn't need for $35.87 w/out marketing, getting out of your house and millions could search for it, promoting, calling/answering by phone, gas, driving, time and are complaining that you lost ~$8 :confused:

    Anyways, if you do want to sell something much pricier on eBay you can wait for one of their promotions that try to get you to sell an item and they will not charge you final fees or sometimes no fees at all.

    ----------

    Next time you can run either the F3 test on your mac or in windows H2testw to check if it is its real capacity.



    ---
    Also guys/gals that get their $ stat is because you have sold a good amount of items in eBay, first timers or infrequent sellers have to wait until a + feedback or the allotted time after item has been proven to be shipped & delivered.
     
  21. r0k
    macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #21
    There is no way I would agree with calling the OP stupid. Nor would I agree that the charges are easy to figure out up front.

    Ebay does not make it obvious what their charges are. For instance, they tell you about charges based on selling price and listing charges if you have a reserve price but they don't warn you up front that their online shipping charge calculator does not include signature delivery. They don't tell you until after your item sells that for users below a certain feedback level selling certain gadget items you will not get paid until you can show delivery proof or until they have received positive feedback. Showing proof of delivery is best done with signature required which is not the default shipping method ebay calculates.

    In my earlier post I mentioned that it caused me to have to transfer money in to paypal to cover shipping costs and further I found that transferring money in incurs a delay. So basically they want me to carry a paypal balance to pay for shipping before my item "clears". I have over 100 feedback so I'm sure most non-powerseller users will face what I faced. This only affects items like phones so perhaps that's why so many in this thread say they get paid right away.

    I seem to recall that I can list items without paying. This means I can put something up on ebay and if it doesn't sell I don't spend a cent. This makes the fees when an item sells a lot easier to accept. I just wish ebay/paypal would make it a bit simpler overall. There are so many tricks and traps in the selling process that I cannot recommend ebay as the best way to sell an item these days whether their charges are reasonable or not. Their policies border on unreasonable.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    LucasLand

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Location:
    New England
    #22
    i didnt charge shipping because i noticed most of the other sellers werent charging it. Those same sellers with free shipping were also selling the same product for much lower than i wanted. I figured if i want to attract a buyer I needed to offer free shipping like them and undercut their price.

    So be it life goes on.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    #23
    I think 20% is actually very fair too, sometimes it really goes worst! It's still quite fair from a company like ebay...!
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #24
    I've left selling on eBay. I use Craigslist and meet everyone during the day outside of my work building across the street from the federal reserve bank. There are cops everywhere. :D

    Cash only, no shipping, no tracking, no ******** ... It takes a little bit longer, but it's worth it to me. **** eBay .
     
  25. r0k
    macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #25
    Before I list an item, I calculate what it's worth to me including shipping. I might list it starting at 99 cents but if I offer free shipping, I'll put a reserve price on it that includes everything I require.

    No need to worry about undercutting power sellers from Hong Kong. I know there's no way for me to compete with those guys so I simply ignore them. I set my price based on actual sales including shipping of similar items in "completed listings." I never go below the lowest and I avoid being in the top 10 percent. My items almost always sell.

    I know ebay can sometimes be a pain in the butt, but for small items that cost little to ship I prefer ebay to CL. Who knows, maybe someday my feedback will get high enough to get out of "feedback first" payment quarantine. Who knows how long it will take when I sell an average 1 or 2 items a year!

    Glad you found a location that works for you. I've actually used ebay like CL a few times. I've found sellers that are in the Detroit area and asked if I could use local pickup. I would then meet them to get my item. There was no handling cash as the money was already transferred via paypal. All that was required was for me to pick up my item, test it and leave feedback.

    I'll have to give CL another try one of these days. Maybe I can figure out a way to make it work for me.
     

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