Tuesday, 8 April 2014




Ebay can be a great website for finding cheap and discounted items, quickly auctioning your un-wanted items and banking money easily without much fuss. I have been a huge fan of eBay for about 4 years now and have had many successes through both selling items and buying. However, I have also had many negative experiences through using eBay which has quite frankly driven me to near insanity. This is mainly due to the surprisingly high charges I receive at the end of the month through using eBay as well as bidders not paying for my items they have bidded for leaving me with an even higher charge from eBay (even though I have received no money from the bidder! Argh. Ebay woes..). 

This week, my sister received a re-dic-u-lous fine from eBay, charging her £70 for selling two items which left her feeling (as you can imagine being a student) rather sick. She has been an eBay user for only about a year and has been majorly out of luck with unfaithful bidders and avoiding high eBay charges. Many of my friends also find that their items never seem to sell on eBay and have asked me how I have had success in the past on selling on eBay. Although I am no eBay guru, I thought it could be a good idea to share some of my experiences as well as some tips on how to get the best out of eBay. These are just a few of the things I do when selling and what I look out for to avoid being over charged:

  • Do research- When selling an item on eBay, you want to give your item the best opportunity to sell as well as making as much money as possible. Make sure you type your item you want to sell in the search bar on eBay (e.g Zara High Pointed Heels) to see how much other people are selling that item for so you have the best chance at selling it. (You don't want to put your item for a Buy It Now at £20 when someone else is selling it for £10!)
  • Do upload as many pictures as possible- Honesty is policy on eBay. If your item is 'scratched' or 'damaged' in anyway, make sure you upload pictures of where it is. This will gain trust with your buyers and your feedback will be good.
  • Always leave feedback- Again, this gains trust with your buyers. The buyers will leave feedback in return and if it is all positive feedback, you will be trusted by other bidders in the future and you will more likely sell your items. Good feedback is key (I would never buy from someone who has less than 95% positive feedback).
  • Don't bother selling all your unwanted items- Just think to yourself, 'would I buy this?' If the answer is no, don't bother selling it. Chances are your item won't sell or you will get hardly any money for it so it wouldn't even be worth it.
  • Download the eBay app- This will let you have constant and efficient contact with potential bidders should they want to ask you questions about your item, making you an even more appealing seller. 
  • Ebay fines// if the final bidder doesn't pay- (as previously discussed above) The reason my sister face a hefty £70 fine from eBay this month, is because she sold two items (laptop and an Iphone) which both sold but then both buyers backed out. She then re-listed these items. Even though she did not receive any money for these items, eBay still charged her for the 'insertion fee' and 'final value fee' (see here for more detail) as she effectively 'sold' these items. If your items 'sell' but the buyer does not want to pay for it, contact eBay who will contact them and request the payment. You must do this within 36 days of the item ending to not be charged the final value fee.
  • Don't be overcharged on shipping fee- you can find out through the Royal Mail website how much it will cost for the item to be shipped to you.
  • The more you sell, the more you will be charged- This might be obvious, but if you sell your item for a lot, eBay will charge you a lot. Ebay take 10% of each final fee.
Although eBay has many positive attributes, I feel as if I am being robbed of my money a lot of the time, rather than actually making it! I have relied on eBay for a bit of an income whilst at uni but I find I am gradually using it for buying things rather than selling. I am on the search for finding an alternative way of selling my unwanted items. I have so far found the Depop app a great way of selling old clothes and potentially a great alternative to eBay. Could this be a ta-rah to eBay?

I hope this has been useful to any of you who have had similar issues to me on eBay!