Tips & Tweaks: All About eBay
My garage is a mess. We moved into the house almost 20 years ago, and after the first couple of weeks my wife wasn't able to park her car in the garage. She's still complaining about this arrangement, so I recently cleaned out half the garage, just enough for her Subaru. Lots of the stuff is heading for eBay.
This is a huge undertaking, folks, and I just can't do it alone. So I went in search of tools to help me unload or replace my old stuff, and this week I'm sharing what I learned with you.
No Fuss, Great-Looking Ads
One thing that's always stymied me is creating a good-looking eBay ad. I know, eBay has a wizard. But I wanted something with a little more pizzazz, something with pictures.
I tried AlienFiles 2.0, a terrific program that does all the heavy lifting. Besides using wizards to create my ads, it gives me a way to add up to 30 images (a total of 2MB) to my ad without paying eBay's fees. One buyer told me that what sold him was being able to zoom in and out of my images, thanks to AlienFiles. That's a very cool feature.
The lite version of AlienFiles costs about $25 a year and does everything I need--and there's no limit to the number of listings I can create. For $55, I'd get more storage and the ability to upload videos, Word docs, and PDFs, as well as to add music or audio files.
AlienFiles has a free trial that lets you create three free listings to post on eBay.
Selling on eBay the Easy Way
Some of you may not want to go through the hassle of selling on eBay. The truth is that creating the ad is only one part of the process. You still have to deal with the buyer--collecting the money, packing and shipping the item, and hoping for good feedback.
You can have someone else do all this for you--like ISold It, for instance. The company has about 140 franchises in major cities. There's one here in Pasadena. I haven't tried it yet, but I will; I'll let you know how it goes.
The company's pitch is straightforward: Bring in your item and walk away. ISold It takes the photos, creates the listings, packs and ships the item, and sends you a check. If your offering sells, that's it--and you get roughly 60 percent of the purchase price. Not everything sells, and you have the option of picking up the item or letting the store donate it to a local charity.
In addition to eBay's fees, ISold It charges a flat $5 per item plus 30 percent of the first $500 you sell and 20 percent over $500. You can view the current auctions on the company's site.
Dig This: I enjoy watching street magic--and this guy has a couple of nifty illusions. The video is in Japanese; but it doesn't matter, you'll quickly figure out what's cooking. Turn your sound down a tad because the video gets loud.
Buying Tips and Tools
If you're on the buying end, you're probably aware that you can get amazing bargains if an item is misspelled on eBay. That's because you might be the only buyer using the same misspelling. To find all the misspellings, you just have to use Fat Fingers. Play around with it. Some searches come up empty-handed; others, such as the one I did for a Nikon camera, came up with some good hits.
And once you've found your heart's desire, I've got two helpful tools for you: Buyertools Reminder and HarvEX. Buyertools Reminder is a free download that helps you bid automatically just before an auction's about to end. HarvEX is similar to Buyertools, but does more. For instance, it does bulk searches and it has a macro tool to automate many eBay tasks, such as leaving feedback and responding to e-mail. It costs $20, and you can download a 14-day trial version from us.
Quick Aside: eBay's now offering RSS feeds, making it easier for buyers to find out about items for sale.
Dig This: This auction is closed. That's too bad; I'm sure some of you have a strong desire to own the Classic Vintage PC Collection. You would have needed over $45,000, though.