I put it off for one reason or another but took the plunge recently.I had everything in place to accept money through Paypal. Nothing was holding me back so I decided to give it a go. It made sense to sell very small items to keep delivery costs right down. Being a little computer savvy I had been experimenting with creating Linux Multi-Boot USB Drives. I had the drives exactly how I wanted them so it was time to sell. First of all though I needed to present and pack them correctly, as professionally as I could manage. For this I purchased small plastic wallets, some photo paper and the appropriate size padded envelopes, oh, and let's not forget, stamps (a mistake).
Signing up at Ebay to sell stuff.
Wasn't particularly complicated. In no-time at all I was up and running. To add a product though wasn't as easy. I found the interface clunky and seemingly a little outdated. To get the best out of it you need to have a fair amount of html knowledge behind you. Seems to me it pays to keep things as simple as possible. For instance, I only sold the one version, which meant there wasn't any thinking on the part of the buyer - take it or leave it kind of thing. I sold a few like this. I then upgraded my listing and offered a choice - one cheaper than the other. No more sales. Of course, it could be something to do with the change of price, but then again, the cheaper option was less than the original price for the one choice item. Price is everything on Ebay as the competition is so fierce. Anyway, I preferred to sell just the one every so often so as to learn the ropes at a slow pace. I am glad I did. The cost of selling stuff is much more than I bargained for. I had to consider these costs before adding a profit margin on top ...
1: USB purchase
2: Printing Cost
3: Package Cost (incl wallet)
4: Delivery Cost
5: Ebay Fees
6: Paypal Fees
With regards to Delivery. Best bet is to carry this out through Ebay itself. When you sell something they provide a delivery option plus the choice to go with The Royal Mail should you wish. They make it a breeze to use, with easy to use payment, printable labels, tracking etc. Pay the delivery charge, print the label off and run to the post office with it, where it will be stamped and you will receive the all important proof of postage (receipt). You are covered for losses of up to £20 for first class, which is ideal in my situation. On top of this the buyer is notified automatically that the goods are in transit along with the tracking number they need to keep tabs on it. This is of enormous help. I simply stuck a first class stamp on the first order and shoved it in the nearest post box. I still have no idea if the damn thing arrived at the proposed destination. I did the same with an envelope to a friend of mine soon after and it never arrived at all! A bit of a worry.
As you can see, these costs can add up. When you consider how cheap stuff can be on Ebay it is really a wonder how people make any money at all! Still, having cut my teeth with my USB Drives I feel far more confident now. I am able to cost my products and add sufficient profit (a lot less than I hoped) to make the process worthwhile, hence my flogging of torches. Slowly but surely is my motto, though I might be taking it to extreme at the moment. I probably need to step up a gear. Amazon UK? Maybe