Auction Stores Do EBay Selling for You

Testing, Testing

Best face forward: One of a team of photographers at AuctionDrop captures your items to enhance their sale on EBay.
Photograph: Robert Holmgren
We were impressed with our experiences at all three. Not counting drive time, we spent less than 15 minutes at each store. We lugged in our booty, and filled out a short form after staffers explained the process. That was it.

The stores showed us online how comparable items had sold recently on EBay. Along with commission, our stores also charged up-front fees per item: nothing to $8 for basic service, and up to $20 for premium service if we wanted control over the starting price of our goods (the default is $1 minimum). We chose premium service at AuctionDrop ($20) and PostNet ($15)--but at the latter, it backfired when we priced the player at $75 and the item became the only one that didn't sell. EBay analysts and users later told us that bidders hate auctions with high starting prices.

Our auctions began about a week after we delivered the items; two stores e-mailed us when the items went up and again when the auctions concluded successfully. But for Sellers' Market, we had to regularly check the site to know our auctions' status; we had to follow up with PostNet regarding our unsold item, too.

We found AuctionDrop, the big kahuna in this arena, to be the most efficient store. At its new warehouse in Fremont, California, people's precious ex-possessions--from PCs to china to items as unusual as mounted deer heads--move on a giant conveyor system. They're scanned and tracked as they're checked in, tested (electrical goods only), photographed, evaluated by a lister who writes up auction text, and boxed for final shipment.

However, AuctionDrop asks that your goods be expected to sell for at least $75, and it has size limits. The people at Sellers' Market who left a full-size glass-walled phone booth and a porcelain piggy bank as big as a real pig likely would have been rejected at AuctionDrop. Both Sellers' Market, founded as a drop-off store, and PostNet, for which auctions are a side business that's funneled through its Nevada headquarters, ask only that items be in good, salable condition.

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