Saturday, January 11, 2020

How to Price Items on eBay -- a 20+ year seller shares her secrets

This post contains affiliate links.

I've been selling items on eBay since 1998.  My current account was created in 2003 and merged into my first one, but I still have over 21 years of experience selling.

What are my best tips and secrets for pricing an item?

First, check eBay for completed listings of the item you would like to sell.   This will give you a good idea on what people have been asking for their items.  Second, click the box for "sold items".  This will tell you what people have been asking for their items.  Look at the top priciest items -- are they auction or fixed price?  I tend to list fixed price because I feel that I can ask higher prices and always add best offers and run sales.  When did the item sell?  Christmas sells all year long, but if you are selling in August, you might see lower prices on items than you would after Thanksgiving, so this is another reason I like fixed price listings -- I charge Christmas prices in January.  In fact, January is a huge time for crafters to buy Christmas patterns as they are planning for next year.

It is at this step I decide if I can make enough to make listing worth my time.  eBay fees are not exactly cheap, but they do allow for a world wide audience.  If I can't make about $10 profit, I won't list an item.

I generally price my items a bit above what the highest has sold for on eBay.  I have these things going for my sales:
  • I am an experienced seller (20+ years of experience)
  • Great feedback
  • I ship worldwide (many people don't)
  • I am willing to wait for the right buyer.
  • I give 10% of all my sales to charity.  This helps sales.  You can read why here.
For items I can't find the exact item, I will search comparable listings.  Say I have a collectible for Florida State University, but I can find something similar for Vanderbilt.  Because Florida State has a bigger fan base due to Football, I would charge more than the item for Vanderbilt.  Items for schools that have die hard fans often will sell better than a school with no football team, such as New York University.  

I found what I could tell was a vintage drinking glass for the Nebraska Cornhuskers one time.  I couldn't find anything like it online.  So I decided to list it on auction, and listed it at the lowest I was willing to take.  From my research I figured I could get at least $30 for it.  Some of the people who collect Nebraska items want everything, and after searching eBay, Pinterest, and Google, I couldn't find any drinking glasses just like this.  So I listed it with good photos.  Seven days later, it sold for over $50.  The buyer sent me several photos of his Cornhusker room with hundreds if not thousands of items licensed by the University of Nebraska.  I could have easily thought, "It's just an old drinking glass" and put a $9.99 buy it now on it.  But I decided to research and it paid off -- it sold for about 53 times what I paid for it.

I also consider cross collectors when I find something that I don't know how to price.  There are people who collect cat items.  There are people who collect figurines made by a certain company.  If I had an item that would appeal to two or more different types of collectors, I would charge quite a bit more if I could find nothing to base my pricing on -- I figure 

I'll admit, sometimes I do make mistakes and wish I had sold things for more than what I listed them for.  But it's much rarer these days after I do research.  I started using fixed priced listings in 2014.  I had bought a Christmas Cross Stitch Stocking Kit for $1 and it sold for $28.  I was happy until I saw some of the prices Christmas Cross Stitch Stocking Kits can bring.  Had I waited I could have sold my kit for over $60.  (If you follow the link, you will see I didn't have nearly the expensive lesson as I could have.)  
I started pricing my items high after that.  My mother loved to watch my listings and she told me I was listing things for more than they were worth and I was expecting too much from them.  Well, I have sold consistently since then -- and I will run sales from time to time to get stuff that has sat around for a while to move.
As Jay and Rayne say at Scavenger Life, I "list it and forget it".  Yes, I'll run sales, I'll see what best offers come in, etc. But sometimes I list as high as I possibly think someone will pay for an item.  I had an item sell last year for $60 that I had originally listed at $325.  It was a glass item marketed to kids in the 1980s and I had hoped to get more for it because I expected collectors would really want it.  But after a year on eBay I took a decent best offer, the item is now out of my storage and I don't have to worry about breaking it.  I paid 25 cents for it, so I still made a great profit, just not as much as I had hoped, but I'm still happy about it.  
In the end, pricing kind of depends if you want the "fast nickel or slow dime".  I prefer more money, and I have enough listings up that I daily make a "slow dime" sale.  Each person has to decide exactly how they want to list.  I have enough listings that I make lots of sales, but I remember the times when I needed money so desperately, I priced lower than I should have because I wanted to ensure things would sell.

Finally, I want to share with you my favorite tape dispenser.  This has a place for regular transparent tape, packing tape, as well as a pencil holder where I store my Sharpies for shipping.  Other than my scale, I consider this tape dispenser to be the single best item I ever bought to invest in my eBay business.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Gift Ideas for Dialysis Patients / those with renal and kidney disease

FTC disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.


I know this is a narrow field, but I wanted to include gift ideas for those on dialysis and with kidney disease.  My mother was on dialysis and people often didn't know what to get her, and often bought her gifts that weren't really the best for her when a small change would have made a gift so much better and useful with the dietary restrictions on those with kidney failure.  Here are some ideas my mother would have liked.  These might vary from gifts that are GOOD for dialysis patients such as a water bottle that lets you know how much you have drunk, because my mother wouldn't have liked that.  But hopefully these ideas can give you ideas for gifts you may not have thought of but will be well loved.

Here are some ideas:

1.  Long sleeved sweatshirts, sweaters, dress shirts, and blouses.   Most dialysis patients have very bruised arms and they like to keep them covered.  Don't overlook shops that cater to Jewish and Muslim women.  They may have some very lightweight long sleeved shirts that are great for summer as the average American doesn't wear long sleeves in summer, finding something appropriate for hot weather can be difficult to find.  Kosher Casual makes "sleevies" (sleeve extensions) which can turn a favorite short sleeved shirt into a long sleeved one.

2.  A blanket with sleeves (such as a Snuggie)   I would suggest this in black because it could get blood stained during dialysis.  Or go with a fun design such as this Superman blanket with sleeves.

Monday, September 23, 2019

How to Find Your eBay Shipping Supplies Coupon

*this post contains affiliate links*
Every three months, I have difficulty finding my coupon for the free eBay shipping supplies I get because I have a store on eBay.  I decided to write about how to find it.

First, you will need to have a store that is eligible for the coupon.  If you do, it's not that difficult to find.

First go to the SUBSCRIBER DISCOUNTS page

Then click here: 

Your coupon for use at the eBay Shipping Supplies Store will be there once you click on "see details"

I actually write in my calendar to use the coupon so I don't forget!

Friday, September 6, 2019

My First Two Months with PowerSheets

FTC disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

I have wanted a PowerSheets Goal Setting book for a long time.  When I was able to find a brand new one for 2019 at a Goodwill Outlet, I didn't care that I was several months into the year.  After all, my birthday is in July, and I always feel like July is another good time to make changes in my life.  (I feel like I get three "new starts" a year -- January, of course, July, and September.  I haven't been in school for over 20 years and don't have kids, so I don't know why I still see September as a new start, but I do.

The first 67 pages of Cultivate what Matters is all about where you want to go in live.  It was a lot of FUN work to get it all written out so I could condense it into my goals for this year of my life.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

How to Get Free Bic Pens through September 2019

Right now there is a refund offer out for Bic Gel-o-city pens where you can get the purchase price back to $16.00.  It is limit two offers per household, so all you need to do is purchase a package of Bic Gelocity pens in TWO DIFFERENT TRANSACTIONS and mail the receipt, UPC and this completed form to the address stated on the refund form and you'll get your money back (minus tax and any coupons used.)

This post contains affiliate links.

You can also purchase Bic Gel-O-City pens at Amazon.

Again, the links you need are
The refund form:
While you can purchase the pens anywhere, you can also purchase them at this link on Amazon:

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Help! I Think My Guinea Pig Has Mites!

Do you think your guinea pig has mites?  Well, I have news for you. . . the answer is YES!  All guinea pigs are carriers of mites.  However, most of the time they lay dormant, and don't cause any problems.  

My guinea pig started having seizures and I thought it was due to high blood pressure or something related to old age.  When I took Lucky to the vet, I commented about the seizures.  The vet tickled him on the back, and said, "Seizures like this?"  Sure enough, Lucky had a seizure.  Usually you don't want to let a guinea pig have a seizure, they can hurt themselves, or hurt a human.  (I will likely have a small scar where Lucky's jaw clamped onto my wrist while I was trying to support him and keep him safe during a seizure.).  So, you don't want to do anything to CAUSE a seizure.  (In the vet's case, he did it to see if it was mites.)

Another sign a guinea pig has a mite flare up is if they have scabs on them from biting at themselves or scratching.  Mite flare ups can be caused by being around other guinea pigs with active mites, a guinea pig who hasn't been feeling well, stress, or even old age.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Three Types Of Sweepstakes That Are Easiest To win

When I was growing up, I often hear, "Nobody ever wins those things" in regards to sweepstakes and contests.  I jokingly tell people these days I am "Nobody".  I am a consumer first, and I enter sweepstakes and contests second.  I tailor part of my shopping around promotions.  To me it only makes sense.  It started when I learned about coupons and refunding.  People often would say back then, "Buy generic, it saves money."  By combining coupons and refunds, I would often get products for pennies and I would think, "I don't have the money to spend on generics.  I have to buy name brands!"  It's funny, but it's true.

The same goes for sweepstakes.  I love ramen.  I don't eat it as often as I would like, because while it's inexpensive, it's not one of the more healthy meals.  I was recently in Weis, and I saw a cup of ramen with information about a sweepstakes on it.  I purchased that package because I was going to buy some ramen, and I wanted to learn more about this giveaway.

So what sweepstakes are easiest to win?  There are three that stand out to me:

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Doing Family Research on eBay

It might sound like it's crazy to go to eBay and expect to find anything that helps you with your genealogy research, but it happened to me.  I'm going to show you the tips and tricks that I use to keep an eye on items that get posted on eBay, receive alerts to new items that might have gotten out of our family, and how I was able to purchase my great-great-Grandfather's Civil War medal after it was posted for sale by a non-family member on eBay.

This post contains affiliate links.

I have been amateur genealogist since I was a child.  I was fascinated with one branch of my mother's side of the family, but as I aged and things like DNA testing became available, I realized I was more than just one branch of our family tree.  I started to want to learn everything about all eight of my great-grandparents and the generations their lives.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Best Books about Contests and Sweepstakes

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I love to read, and for the past twenty years I have enjoyed entering contests and sweepstakes.  Here is a list of some of my favorite books about contests and sweepstakes and why I have enjoyed them.

Some of these aren't exactly about contests and sweepstakes but also cover luck, positive thinking, and books written by winners themselves.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Book review: Life in Spite of Me Living After a Suicide Attempt

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of the book from the publisher for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.  This post may contain affiliate links.

In the book Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice, Kristen Anderson was depressed. Not really any one thing contributed to this depression, but she'd been fighting with her parents, three friends had died as well as her grandmother, she had been raped, and the previous night she'd been out until ten in the morning with friends. She was grounded until further notice. She sneaked out to be with friends, left a note saying she was going to take a walk, and later was in a park. She decided to sit on a train car and think. As she heard a train approach, she decided she would end her life. She planned for the train to hit her and she assumed death would come instantly. Instead, she survived, but her legs were cut from her body.