Is this piece of junk worth the time and effort it takes to sell it on Ebay? This is a typical question asked by many people considering going into the Ebay business. Here are the questions you should ask yourself when you are considering whether or not to sell an item on Ebay.
How much do I expect to make on the item?
You can use my other Ebay guides to help you determine how much money you will make in profit on any given Ebay item. After you have calculated this amount, you can use this amount of information to determine whether or not to sell the item on Ebay.
How much profit do I want to make per item?
How much profit per item do you want to make in order to feel it is worth your time to list an item. This will depend on your unique circumstance. Some people will consider $5 per each item they list worth their time if they assume it takes 30 minutes to an hour to list and pack the item. Others will not want to sell anything unless they make $50. This depends on a lot of factors like if you have a job, the amount of money per hour you are used to making at your job, if you are running “practice” auctions or serious auctions, if you are doing ebay for a job or a hobby, if you have multiple similar items to sell or only one, or if you are using an item to help promote an online business.
For this article, we will assume you want to make at least $15 per auction.
What Items Should I list to profit $15?
If you wish to make $15 in profit per item, you should not list anything on Ebay that you don’t expect to have an ending auction price of $25 or more. (This is assuming you are listing the item with free shipping as I recommended in an earlier article, and the item is inexpensive to ship.) Ebay will take 15 % of the amount you receive. Paypal will also take a small percentage unless you have a personal paypal account (instead of a premier account) and if you list at free shipping you will need to pay those expenses out of pocket. When all is said and done a $25 may cost you $4.95 in shipping = $20.50 and (15% of $25) $3.75 in Ebay fees = $16.75 and additional Paypal fees (3% of $25) 75 cents = $16. Therefore an item listed at $25 will allow you to profit $16. This is assuming you did not pay any money for the item in order to sell.
Using this scenario, it is safe to say you would not likely want to list any items which you did not expect to have an ending bid of $25 or more because you want to make at least $16 in profit per item you list on Ebay.
Determine the Popularity of an Item
You can determine the popularity of an item by looking at completed listings. Read my Ebay guide: How to Set a Starting Bid on Ebay for more information on how to find completed listings on Ebay. If an item is not popular, you may consider not selling it because it likely will not sell.
Determine the Effort Involved to Sell an Item
If the item is a handicraft or item which involves additional effort after the sale is complete, you will want to calculate this information into whether or not to sell on Ebay.
Determine Whether You Will Make A Fair Price Using An Ebay Auction
Most Ebay auctions will offer you a fair going price for an item. However, sometimes you might find you would make more money if you sold the item at an Antique store, local auction, Craigslist (if an item is a popular item that will cost a lot of money to ship), Half.com or Amazon Associates. Be sure to check around to find out the going rate and determine whether or not this is a good item to sell on Ebay.
Determine Whether Ebay Allows You to Sell the Item at Auction
It is important to read the Ebay Guidelines to determine whether or not an item may be sold at an Ebay auction.
Determine Whether the Item is in a Condition Others will Want to Buy it In
Unless the item is an antique, some items will not sell well on Ebay. Clothing with stains or rips doesn’t sell well nor do musty books or items which have been sitting in a smokers home. It is important to accurately describe the condition of your item to avoid negative feedback. Therefore, if the item is in poor condition (with the exception of antiques and hard to find items) you are best to donate the items to Goodwill rather than sell them on Ebay.
Determine Whether Now is the Best Season to Sell Your Item On Ebay
Some items sell better in different seasons. Craft items sell well in September through November and January through March. Seasonal items sell better before the holiday for which it is intended. Textbooks sell best at the beginning of a semester August through October and December through February.
The General Rule of Thumb for whether or not to sell an item on Ebay is: If others want to buy it, list the item on Ebay.