Monday, August 22, 2011

Using eBay Effectively

I spent some time trying to figure out what I need to do in order to have a chance of selling my extra books in bulk on eBay. I know that I can guarantee a sale by having a starting bid of $0.99 and free shipping. I am not willing to take that risk, since with my luck, the lot would sell at the opening bid.

I decided to view completed Nancy Drew listings, sorted by recent first, in order to see exactly what is selling. I checked through the first 800 results. 256 out of 800 items sold.

The following statements refer to the items that sold.

96 items were offered by top-rated sellers. This comprises 38% of the total. That tells me that I do not necessarily need to be a top-rated seller in order to be successful. I have been concerned as to whether I have any chance of selling my lots due to not having the top-rated seller status.

87 items were Buy It Now, and 169 were not. The Buy It Now listings comprise 34% of sold items, while auctions account for 66%.

Just 26 items had free shipping. 230 items did not have free shipping. The listings with free shipping account for only 10% of sold listings.

eBay would have us believe that buyers hate auctions and love free shipping. Strangely enough, most of the sold items were auctions, and most of them did not have free shipping.

I checked the statistics because I wanted to know if offering free shipping would give me an edge. Apparently not. Buyers purchase lots that they want at a price that they are willing to pay. They do not care if the item has free shipping or whether the item is offered in an auction.

Next, I had to decide how to proceed. Clearly, offering 30 to 40 books in a lot for a price of $50 to $100 no longer works. At least, it has not worked for me in recent months. I had a lot of 47 Nancy Drew picture cover books. The lot was originally priced at $99 and then $88 on the first relist and $95 on the second relist. The lot did not sell.

After considering the observations that I reported above and noting the content of the items that sold, I took my large lot of Nancy Drew picture cover editions and broke it apart into smaller lots. Four more books were added in when I broke up the lot.

I listed all of the lots as auctions with a Buy It Now price of just a few dollars higher than the starting bid price. I had to list some of the lots more than once, but I managed to sell all of them.

Nancy Drew Vintage Matte #1-7 Nice Starter Set at $5.99
7 Vintage Matte Nancy Drew Books #8, 9, 11-13, 15, 17 at $19.99
8 Vintage Matte Nancy Drew Books #18-25 at $14.99
6 Vintage Nancy Drew Books #29-34 All Original Text at $19.99
8 Vintage Matte Nancy Drew Books #26-28, 37-39, 41, 52 at $16.99
7 Vintage Matte Nancy Drew Books #35-39 and #42-43 at $14.99
6 Vintage Matte Nancy Drew Books #44-47 and #50-51 at $19.99

I ended up getting $112.93 for 51 books which included the 47 books I tried to sell for $88 to $99 plus four additional books. The small lots seem to work quite well. At this point, my strategy will be to list in small groups in order to dispose of my extra picture cover books.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Very good to know! I tried selling lots of 9 or 10 books before on ebay and was not successful. Next time I will try smaller lots. Thank you for the information!