I’m trying to make a few bucks selling stuff on eBay. I’ve been doing this off and on for several years. I’ve narrowed my eBay focus down to mostly Hawaiian Shirts and the odd book and antique.
I’m not selling rare and expensive stuff, a great sale for me is about $50 and an average sale is around $10. But I do make a bit of money doing this, which is more than can be said for my other online attempts at making money.
But the world of eBay is an odd one. People who buy stuff on eBay seem to think that the future has finally arrived and everyone has a Star Trek Style Transporter close to hand-a lot of people don’t want to pay for shipping.
I sell physical products, for the most part, which means I have to ship them from HERE to THERE. This is a concept that completely baffles many eBay users. They want free shipping on anvils, mountain bikes, and small houses.
I use the price calculator that eBay supplies. I’m not setting the shipping cost, the Post Office or FedEx or UPS is setting the shipping cost. If you happen to live next door, than yeah, I can hand it over with no problem. Otherwise, it costs money to mail something.
Ebay has made it pretty easy to use Priority Mail, it’s one of the standard shipping options and they give you free boxes. Part of the overhead of doing business on eBay is that you have buy shipping supplies. For my Hawaiian Shirt Empire this means I need to have a Tape Dispenser, a pair of scissors, and free Priority Mail Boxes. My regular eBay business supplies include the computer, printer, internet connection, and a supply of Hawaiian Shirts-none of which are free.
When I tell my friends about this problem of people not wanting to pay for shipping, they suggest that I just offer free shipping and set an opening price high enough to cover the shipping costs. I might try that one of these days.