My sons and I sell stuff on eBay from time to time-- comics, artwork, pop collectibles, that kind of stuff. We used to sell a LOT but we've scaled way back. Too many bad buyers and people who are just difficult to deal with.
Plus when you add in the Paypal fees, the eBay fees and then the taxes you have to pay on the income it just gets to the point that it's not worth it.
What we do sell ALWAYS starts at either 99c, 1.99, 4.99 or 9.99 with NO RESERVE. Ever. I don't care if we're selling a vintage Mustang it starts no higher than $9.99. Why? Because that generates the most bids and the market will dictate the final selling price be damned.
We've gotten burnt once or twice-- something I'd expect to sell for $200 goes for $15 or some other crazy price but 1. It all evens out in the end and 2. We don't really need the money so badly that we're going to let that ruin our days.
This year we decided we're no longer shipping overseas. The post office raised the rates and that means that every single overseas buyer opts for the cheapest possible shipping rate which means either it won't make it or it will arrive late or damaged or some combination of the three. Meanwhile they'll email us everyday looking for the item despite the fact that we include tracking so they can look it up just as easily as we can.
Not every overseas bidder we've ever dealt with was bad, but EVERY bad transaction we've ever had was from someone overseas, so we dropped it and only sell to US Buyers. Does that hurt us? Probably. But the stress it eliminates is well worth the lost revenue.
Still, we've been on there since 1998-- the very beginning, so every Spring we do a cleaning of some of the extra stuff we acquire. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want our eBay ID or a link to our auctions.
A recent exchange with an eBay'er sums up the silliness on there;
Remember our auctions say USA buyers only. They also generally say if you want to know the shipping click on the little calculator button to get a quote from the post office. It amazes me how many people won't do it and just ask us anyway. The epitome of laziness.
Here's a recent exchange, and keep in mind each interaction requires logging in again:
I'm in Milan, Italy. What's the cheapest you can ship (X item) to me?
Sorry, per the auction, we only ship within the USA.
Hi, I'm in Milan, Italy. What's the cheapest you can ship (x item) to me?
As we said in our previous reply, per the auction we only ship within the USA. Last time I checked, Milan Italy was outside the USA. Thanks!
Hi. I would like to bid on (x item), why won't you let me?
Too much trouble dealing with overseas shipping, sorry.
But you are losing money by not shipping overseas.
No I'm saving money because we've had a lot of bad experiences with items getting lost, buyers not wanting to pay for anything more than surface shipping and then complaining about the speed time and then the package is lost or destroyed and we are out the purchase price because we have to refund the buyer. So I think we're good with our decision. Thanks!
I will not bid on your auctions ever again!!
No, no you won't. Not unless Milan becomes the 51st state, and I don't think it will because we have enough problems already. Thanks!
You will lose money. You are making a bad decision.
See our answer two messages ago. Thanks!
Don't you realize by not letting me bid you lose out on bids?
Yup, we do. We sit up at night and weigh these things very heavily. We drink a lot of red wine to drown our sorrows. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing if Milan became a state after all. Thanks!