Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some eBay Observations Part II

A little over a week ago, I made some observations about my experiences of the previous week on eBay. During that week, I had far more buyer questions than usual. Prospective buyers wanted me to break up sets and sell them just one or two books cheaply, and a buyer told me that I should reconsider my price for the complete set of Nancy Drew books because it was overpriced.

Another buyer asked me whether I would be willing to sell the complete set of Nancy Drew books privately, so I asked her for clarification. She never responded. I was looking at closed listings this weekend and noticed that she had won an auction for a complete set of Nancy Drew books for around $100 several days after she contacted me. I think I can conclude that she was wanting me to sell my complete set to her for far less than $295, which would not have been in my best interest. I never can understand why people think that I would cancel a listing before it ends in order to sell it for below the opening bid. I always let auctions run to completion before I even think about lowering the price. Anybody could be waiting until the last few seconds to place a bid.

I relisted some of the lots that did not sell, and those lots have now closed. The ones that I relisted were the ones for which I had many questions during the previous week. This time I had no questions about my listings. Nobody wanted me to break up the lots, and nobody wanted me to sell the books at a lower price. This time all of my lots sold.

The supposedly overpriced complete set of Nancy Drew books sold, as I knew it would eventually. I only had to relist it once! The books are worth at least $5 each rather than the $1-2 each suggested by that one person.

It may just be coincidence that all of my listings sold this week. Some weeks are better than others, and it all depends upon who is looking. Rather than lowering any of my prices, I relisted the lots at the same prices but with free shipping. Free shipping gives listings a rather large boost in eBay's Best Match search. What I need to do is list a bunch of Nancy Drew books with dust jackets and list some with free shipping and others without free shipping. That is the only way I'll know for certain whether there is a correlation between free shipping and the sell-through rate.

Of the four items I sold this week, two of them had multiple bids. For those two lots, the final price was slightly above what the total cost would have been for those lots during the previous week with the shipping factored in. The first lot was originally priced at $34.99 plus $7.78 shipping for a total of $42.77. The relisted lot closed at $48.77 with free shipping. The second lot was originally priced at $34.99 plus $8.48 shipping for a total of $43.47. The relisted lot closed at $50.99 with free shipping.

Even though I had to pay eBay fees on the shipping amount since it was figured into the item price, I still did better with both lots than I would have during the previous week if they had sold at the opening bids.

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