NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
E-Bay? I Love It!
by Becky White, Pasadena IBM Users Group, April 2001

I have been using ebay to sell our antiques for about a month now. And I LOVE IT!

With ebay, you are using them as a vehicle to sell or buy stuff, but the deals are worked out between the seller and the buyer directly. Ebay charges a very moderate listing fee for each item listed and a moderate percentage of the item sold, ONLY IF IT SELLS. If an item does not sell, you are only responsible for the listing fee, which is from $0.25 to $2.00, based on your starting value or your reserve price.

Did Your Item Sell Quickly?
Ebay asks you to set a specified period of time for each item listed.

The choices are 3 days, 5 days, or 7 days. You may be able to ask for a few more days, but most people go with the 3, 5, or 7-day scenario. So, if you get any bids, items will sell as quickly as you choose.

Did it Sell for the Amount Asked?
When listing an item, you (the seller) defines the opening bid required, so that no one can bid below your requested opening price. In addition, there is an option to set a "reserve" price for each item, which sets a minimum bid that you are willing to accept. Unless an item is especially valuable, most people do not use the reserve option. For some reason, it turns people off!?

Do You Get Paid Right Away?
Since ebay is only a conduit, the money changes hands directly between the seller and the buyer. When an auction closes, the buyer and seller have three days to Email each other. Email addresses are supplied by ebay. The seller tells the buyer how much shipping and insurance will be and what the total due is. In most transactions, the buyer pays shipping and insurance up front.

When the seller receives the check, then the item can be shipped, however, most sellers wait 10 days or so until the checks clear the bank. A seller can request specific types of payments, like only money orders (safe to ship next day) or visa or checks or COD or whatever works for the seller. The seller then packs and ships the item.

Any Hassles...Or was it Fun?
I have had a blast selling and buying stuff this way! I have made many Email friends and even have an Email pal in England, because of some of the deals I have made. Many of the people are incredibly friendly and personable! All, so far, have been good about paying on time and pretty good about communicating through Email. A few times, I have had dealings with people who are not accustomed to using Email and they "forget" to check their mail. When they realize that they need to read their mail, then the money comes quickly.

Over all, I have LOVED every part of my ebay experience with the possible exception of having to pack the darn stuff and take it to the post office! Stan helps out in that area a lot.

Becky White is known as "whitebear" on ebay.

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