I just got a comment in reference to a Belleek tea set we sold on eBay and shipped: "WOW. I am completely blown away by the packing job you guys did on this purchase. EBay does not have a rating system high enough to describe the service you provided. This was a score of 12 out of a possible 5 stars." If you've ever handled Belleek, it is about the thinnest and finest china ever made. When I initially saw the message I was dreading that some of it had been broken in shipping but to my pleasant surprise it was merely a compliment.
One of the biggest reasons private parties are reluctant to sell their own items on eBay is because of the packing and shipping aspect of making the sale. How much do you charge? Where do you get boxes? When will you have time to go to the post office or how do you use UPS or FedEx? How do you insure items and what happens if something breaks in transit? Obviously as an eBay drop off store, these are things we already have figured out and the answers to all these questions could comprise an entire college thesis.
For the majority of the items we broker, we use a seven or ten day auction format. With over two hundred million users on eBay, there are almost always two or more people interested in and willing to fight over your item. In most cases, our strategy is to take an item that we know is worth - let's say $100 - and start the bidding at $10. I'll create a random example: let's say you have a 'gently used' Coach handbag. Let's say that this purse cost $200 new and it's still in nearly perfect condition. The question is; what is it worth now?
It never ceases to amaze me the broad spectrum of value people can place on any given item. Some people feel that an item they paid $100 for 10 year ago is still worth $95. Others are happy to get $100 for something they paid $1,000 for just last year. Just when I think I have it figured out - what income level or class of people are going to feel which way - I experience a total flip flop. In any case, most people don't want to pay 'top dollar' for anything. When you give us something that is truly rare or hard-to-find, we will try to capitalize on this by fishing.
For those with way too much free time, here we will discuss and trade comments on buying and selling. Our goal is to share interesting tidbits about our business, the items we come across, and sometimes simply vent about the frustrations of being the 'middle-man'. We will try to keep the tone professional, but forgive us if we occasionally digress. Feel free to leave comments - praise or even constructive criticism is welcome!