eBay day

I’ve got lots of things to list and sell on eBay this weekend. I’ve been doing my best, but my friends haven’t been helping me. There’s loads of technology. All the wires have been pulled out and put in bin bags. All the screens and devices are in boxes with no wires. One box contains a dozen Google Nest smoke detectors, likely with another three years on the warranty. New they’d be over a grand worth of kit, but they no longer have the lithium rechargeable batteries. Likely they were taken out too. It leaves me with a conundrum. Second hand on eBay they still command a reasonable price, but I’ll likely have to order the batteries to get a decent price for them. And the batteries aren’t cheap. I’ve been mumbling to myself about it. There’s an incredibly involved home security kit. Motion sensing cameras and bullet cams with a central hub. And NO WIRES. Once again, new it’s about three grand, but I can’t really list it on my eBay until I know it works and I know HOW it works. I have my reputation to uphold on that site. I either fuck the listing by having to say in the description that I don’t know if it works or not and there are no wires, or I find the wires and work out how it works. I’m on the clock with this so it’s not taking the piss. But, kids – if you want to sell your tech, don’t separate all the wires from all the devices.

I’ll need my flat back before long, so I’m not gonna be too thorough with this. I’m already choosing my battles, and the IKEA bulb vases are going to the dump on Sunday evening along with loads of other things that will only sell for a quid and then have to be mailed.

The process of eBay selling is pretty methodical if you want to get more than nothing. First of all, identify the thing. Find other examples that have sold. Work out of there are lots of them going unsold. Determine if there is demand. Think about postage. How will you package it? CAN you package it? Where will you be the day after the listing ends? Can you post it on time? How much does it weigh? What should you charge for postage? Does it need to be collection only? Will you be able to supervise collection?

You know what the thing is now. How do you photograph it well? How do you check for things that might be wrong with it? How do you describe it well and thoroughly so that nobody can catch you out. Buyers have a favourite trick: “You didn’t mention X” If you don’t mention something wrong with it, the buyer holds the power on eBay. Rating is paramount. I’ve given a fair few full refunds through my teeth because I didn’t notice some damage.

Now you need to think of minimum bid. Nowadays, eBay has adverts saying “Buy gold for the price of silver”. With that culture and auction sniping apps, nothing gets bidded on until the last second as the expectation is that you’ll get a bargain. Adverts like that really suck from a seller’s point of view. When I saw that it put me off the site. If I’m selling gold, I want it to go for the price of gold.

Watchers are no indication of value, as most of them just have something like it and are curious to see how it goes. I watch things all the time when I think they are overpriced or I know I’ve got one to sell. The snipers all put in low blows and the thing that you put on for a quid thinking it’ll go for a tenner sells for a quid with twenty four watchers. Maybe 8 snipers put in minimum bid and the first one got it. And then you have to be polite to someone who fucks you around with collection time etc and then tells you that the bulb is broken or whatever and you end up logging in and authorising a one pound refund after losing hours making sure you’re at home for collection. So unless you know exactly how you’re gonna post it and have the packaging already, don’t bother with £1 starting items as you’ll end up working and losing an item for fuck all. I have some packaging boxes at home and if something crap fits in one I’ll list it low as I’ll need to get rid of them. Yeah you’ll get more interest at a low starting price, but these days nobody will bid it up and you’ll end up selling for a quid to one of the AI apps that trawl eBay for random bargains.

But yeah that’s been my day. Thinking again about the second hand market. Dispassionately evaluating someone else’s second hand stuff. Determining whether or not it’s worth buying batteries to sell smoke alarms. I think I will as they go well. The bigger stuff though – that just needs to go go go. TVs without remote or cabling. Ugh.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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