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How does someone make money selling on ebay?

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  • Dec 20th, 2015 4:06 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2014
4454 posts
2085 upvotes

How does someone make money selling on ebay?

I got a brand new item that has $65 retail price but I don't need it, so I tried to put it on ebay. First listing has no bid, didn't know it cost me $1.20, second listing also no bid, another $1.20. 3rd time decided to put it up for sale $12 + $12 shipping (thinking that would covers the cost of shipping in Canada) and someone bought it. So it cost me $1.00 from ebay for selling. When I shipped, didn't realize the person is way off the main city, so it cost me $19.10 to ship through Canada Post. At the end, $24 - $3.40 - $19.10 = $1.50 :( left for me, for an item that has retail price of $65. I was obviously doing something wrong, first time selling something on ebay. I probably go back to kijiji for local pick up from now on
28 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 16, 2007
3907 posts
1019 upvotes
Toronto
shipping blunder was your own fault. always make sure the buyer covers the shipping charge.
i usually only list when there are Free insertion fees, and when i know it will sell for more than what i could get on Kijiji.
its not usually worth it these days unless youre selling volume. Its definitely a buyer market on Ebay, its very tough on sellers, there are too many ways the buyer can screw you
Deal Addict
Sep 19, 2015
1910 posts
504 upvotes
Kleinburg, ON.
Welcome to e-commerce 101!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 7, 2007
3029 posts
708 upvotes
Northern Hemisphere
You were very unorganized to begin with. Should have checked out how much shipping cost and then go from there. eBay selling can be profitable only if you know what to sell and how much you sell it for.
For wars they come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal.- Tupac
Deal Addict
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Nov 25, 2004
1027 posts
62 upvotes
Toronto
Sometimes eBay has promotions for free listings.
Make sure of shipping charges before you post. It's been a long time since I've sold anything on eBay, but I think I remember there being some kind of automatic shipping calculator.
Instead of posting with the price you want, have a very low starting bid, like 99 cents, and if it's an item that people actually want, they will bid it up.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 7, 2014
2064 posts
1136 upvotes
Related fees:

Ebay 10%
Paypal fee
Shipping fee
And your time
Deal Addict
Apr 23, 2007
4814 posts
977 upvotes
London
What was the item? Just because it retails for $65, doesn't mean someone is going to go on eBay and pay that much for it.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
25229 posts
5487 upvotes
Sooo... $65 + tax equals I dunno what tax is like in your province but let's just go with ON which is 13%...$73.50. And you sold it for a net of $1.50, lol. So in other words you lost $72 or somewhere around there.

Now given you paid full retail for the item and you were reselling it and it's obviously not rare or in high demand or anything like that we can't expected you be selling it for more than you paid. So obviously you're not going to be making a profit, we all know that already. Fair enough.

However, this thread could easily have been titled "How does someone make money selling items" and the marketplace could be eBay, the flea market, at a lemonade stand, or on the street outside the retailer you bought it from LOL. That's a question you should probably figure out the answer to before getting into selling things. The good news is that you at least started out small, instead of you know starting up a whole store or something and losing your shirt, house, wife, etc. in a month or two :lol:
Sr. Member
May 29, 2008
740 posts
271 upvotes
Hamilton
ES_Revenge wrote: Sooo... $65 + tax equals I dunno what tax is like in your province but let's just go with ON which is 13%...$73.50. And you sold it for a net of $1.50, lol. So in other words you lost $72 or somewhere around there.
I didn't see him mention anything about paying full retail price... He could have gotten it as a gift, etc.

But OP... You didn't mention anything about the eBay final value fee. And what about Paypal's cut? You may not even be up that $1.50. I suggest you double check.
Member
Nov 28, 2007
422 posts
142 upvotes
Etobicoke
I also learned the hard way last year. One friend from the group had to bail on going to PAX East so as the one who bought the extra ticket I went to sell it on Ebay. Saw many listings for ridiculous amounts for the set of 3 badges, and so I put it up at cost + $20 for the courier fee that pax charges to send tickets to Canada + $15 to send it Xpresspost + signature. Everything went fine until BAM all the fees. Paypal fees...Ebay 10% fees...I ended up losing money so definitely not doing that again.
Sr. Member
Nov 9, 2013
701 posts
776 upvotes
Barrie
First and foremost, know your fees! There are certain things in the listing that you may have to pay for, such as a 1 day duration, subtitle in your heading, etc.

Make sure not to check free shipping. Use fixed or calculated shipping.

Weigh and measure your package ahead of time.

If you have an uncommon item, you may want to list at a fixed price.

There is money to be made from selling internationally, but be careful. The cheapest option is without tracking, which could bite you later.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 3, 2014
2594 posts
1667 upvotes
Vancouver(ish)
mkl38s wrote: I was obviously doing something wrong, first time selling something on ebay. I probably go back to kijiji for local pick up from now on
You're supposed to do your research before you sell.

As others have mentioned...
How much does it cost to list the item?
How much does it cost as a commission when I sell the item?
How much does it cost to receive money through Paypal?
How much does it cost to ship the item, based on various locations across Canada or the US (depending on where you are targeting)?
How much do I want to make as a profit?
Add 'em all up and that's your target selling price.

Just because something has a retail price of $65 doesn't - as has already been stated - mean someone's going to pay $65 for the item.

Basically your near-loss is your own fault for not doing your own prep work or enquiries before you went the eBay route. The 3rd time isn't always charm. You don't say what your first two listing prices were but I'm suspecting they were waaaaay too high if you didn't get any bids.
Proud RFD member since January 31, 2007. Feel free to add 3,034 to my post count.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2014
4454 posts
2085 upvotes
I didn't know there is paypal fee. I guess I will see how much of it left or I have to pay. I didn't lose out at the end anyway because Ebay sent me a promotion if I sell anything (1st time) on Ebay, they will give me $50 coupon which they had and I already used it (for gas cards). The item was this one http://accessories.dell.com/sna/product ... u=332-1826. It often goes on sale for $24.99 (free shipping) so I figured it would be a tough sell if I wanted anything more than $25 in total. I got it free anyway so it's like exchange for $50 and some lessons on selling on Ebay

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