Selling on Ebay - Is It Even Worth It Anymore?

A few weeks ago I posted about some of the amazing bargains I've managed to pick up recently on Ebay. I mentioned that for buyers, Ebay is great right now. This week, for example, I've seen two Reiss winter coats (brand new with tags) go for less that 30 quid each. (Not my size unfortunately). I also mentioned that for sellers - private sellers, anyway - things really aren't so good anymore. In fact, I've gotten to the point where I'm wondering if selling on Ebay is worth the effort at all.

I've been buying and selling the odd thing on Ebay since 2002 and have over 1k feedback. I'm a private seller so everything I sell is basically stuff I've tired of or never worn. Selling on Ebay has become a habit for me. If I buy an item of clothing, and I'm not sure about it, I always think to myself, 'well, if I decide I don't want it, I'll Ebay it'. And a lot of the time, I do. I'll even use Ebay to negotiate with myself over whether I should buy something - if I see a pair of shoes I love for £50, I'll make a deal with myself to list items on Ebay that could potentially make me the £50 back. So, the shoes are technically free! (I won't mention that a lot of the time, I just buy the shoes, then completely forget to list any of the other stuff on Ebay).

Recently though, being a private seller on Ebay has become more and more of a pain.

Image from Google
Postage costs have risen so much that sometimes, it actually costs more to post something than Ebay will allow you to charge. And even then, Ebay take a 10% cut of your postage costs in fees, so you're out of pocket straight away.

Then, some buyers seem to make it their mission to get whatever they can from you, and it doesn't seem like Ebay do anything to stop them. I recently sold a brand new with tags dress. The buyer received it and messaged me to say it didn't fit. I politely explained that I am private seller and my listings state no refunds (not to mention the fact that all measurements were listed) however I would refund the cost of the dress (but not postage) if the buyer returned the dress to me, also at her own cost, to which the buyer raised an Ebay claim stating the item was 'significantly not as described' as it had been worn, which was totally untrue. Who do you think Ebay sided with? Suffice to say I was left out of pocket for postage costs. I've had this happen a few times now.

So I'm starting to feel a little cynical about Ebay nowadays. The rising fees and lack of seller protection mean that sometimes, it's not even worth listing stuff (I don't bother trying to sell anything that I think is worth less than a tenner).

On the other hand, the market reach of Ebay is unrivalled. Where else can you effectively promote your items to millions of people? And I can't deny that the sales I've made on Ebay over the
years have kept me in shoes and handbags without getting into too much trouble from the Husband.

Do you sell on Ebay? What do you think about it?

xx


9 comments:

  1. That's shocking! I can't believe they did that, rude! I haven't sold anything for a long time, I don't think I've ever sold clothes, mostly because I'm too lazy to photograph them and sort it all out, the only thing I ever sell is concert tickets if I can't make a show or have a spare ticket. I know some people who make fortunes on ebay! x

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    1. Yeah you can make good money from it, but there are so many hoops to jump through as a private seller that it's not always worth it :( I have noticed a definite change in how people trade...and buyers in particular...over the last couple of years snd it annoys me that sellers don't have more protection. This was a bit of a rant, really!!! :) x

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  2. As a seller on ebay with over 1500 items on there at the moment, you have to bite the bite with the refunds and just know you might be out of pocket, it's rare that I have issues like that and I just lump it into my expenses. You can play around with the shipping costs if you work between fixed shipping and actual shipping to reflect the postage costs you need. Ebay is tough, but if you want it to work out, you can.

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    1. Hi Rachael, wow 1500 items! So I'm guessing you're a business seller? I can see how as a business you would factor refunds etc in due to the sheer volume of sales. For me as a private seller, it's an inconvenience I see a lot more of now than I used to which sometimes makes me wonder if it's even worth it! X

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  3. I've been a private ebay seller for a similar amount of time and have the same opinion as you on listing clothes to make back money etc..
    I recently stepped away from selling on ebay, 3 months now, as, I was just tired of being out of pocket and not making any money. Ebay want you to offer free delivery, hence adding their 10% postage costs.. but people want stuff for nothing these days.
    Plus, like your awful dress situation, I've been there, people can say anything and ebay was always side with the buyer.
    I tried to sign up to Depop on my phone, but it wouldn't let me register. It seems to be the new place people are selling stuff. Or ASOS Marketplace.

    Caroline.x
    notesfromcaroline.com

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    1. Glad it's not just me then! :) Ooh I've not heard of that one, I will take a look. Although I have tried selling stuff elsewhere before and it just doesn't get a fraction of the interest that things on ebay do. I totally agree with you that some people want things for nothing, and think nothing of trying to scam private sellers (as ultimately that is what it is) to get what they want. Since Ebay's whole philosophy has always been built on trust, it ruins it for me. Unfortunately there's just no viable alternative right now :( xx

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  4. I think for the amount of things listed on ebay the price they charge you is extortinate, they must make millions! Being that greedy puts me off! I want to sell my items and make money, not have them take a massive chunk :(

    xx

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    1. I know the feeling! A lot of the time it's not even worth selling stuff :( x

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  5. I know this post is a bit older but I thought I write anyway. I think what you are saying is true. I sometimes list designer items and I am unable to even recoup as much as a used h and M dress. Let alone cover the time it costs me to list of go to the post to queue. Then I even have lost money as a buyer when one seller decided not to.posr an item. Unfortunately I trusted his promise to post the item. Closed the case and couldn't reopen so lost item and money it's a rather frustrating place! Mrsinlondon.co.uk

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