Why eBay Is Still The Premier Way To Sell Online

One of the first things most people do when they need to make a little extra cash is sell their stuff. This is a great idea and can be really helpful in hard times. And for those of us that live in the digital age, the preferred way to sell things is doing it online.

More specifically, those in the know sell things on eBay. eBay has been around for ages now and although there are so many other auction or online classified sites of all sorts such as UPillar or Craig’s list, none of them have taken off or taken hold quite like eBay did.

I have some things to sell at home, and have been trying to essentially clean house for over a year now. I haven’t yet listed my goods on eBay because the fee structure as well as their regulations over the payment systems you can use really turned me off after selling on eBay as a side business a couple years back, but after trying out some of the alternatives out there, and having nothing sell, I realized a few things about eBay…

Here is why eBay is still the premier way to sell goods online:

eBay is extremely targeted. There isn’t much window shopping going on on eBay. You are going to eBay to buy because you know what you are looking for and you know you can probably find it cheaper on eBay. eBay’s system is also set up well, to be very specific. They categorize each and every item on the site so that it can be found with the greatest of ease. The eBay search engine is pretty powerful and gets you into listings, as well as suggesting listings if too few results are found from your search. 90% of the time when you search on eBay, you will find what you are looking for.

eBay has a huge reputation and even bigger customer base. They have a very wide, even international if you so choose, audience and people using it are there to buy. The first thing people do when buying online in my experience is check eBay to see what prices look like. Because eBay has very cheap prices, there is no reason for people to go elsewhere and they end up buying your item. Not only are there thousands upon thousands of members of eBay that are there to buy, eBay has created a competition out of their system so people actually enjoy the thrill of buying there.

Regardless of fees, you will take home a profit using eBay. Compared to other auction sites, that have no regulation on how long a listing can be live, your listings on eBay aren’t allowed to go stale. This means that by putting a deadline on the auction, eBay creates a sense of scarcity around your item which pushes people to bid early and often. Every Listing has a live running counter of how long until the listing ends which pushes buyers into action. Listings also have a high turnover because of the limited listing length, and this insures that listings are always fresh. Buyers like fresh, and this helps continually build eBay’s reputation of always having what buyers need.

eBay is safer than other online sales site. Online sales sites regulations are varied, unspecific and dangerous. If you have used other listing sites, you know there are plenty of fake listings meant to scam you. You won’t find those kinds of scams floating around eBay because they actually patrol listings and cancel those that are deemed untrustworthy. eBay has done a great job making their marketplace safe for buyers and sellers. Their preferred payment system, PayPal, has very strict rules and tools to safeguard against fraud on either side of the transaction. eBay also provides a plethora of information meant to educate you on what to do and what not to do. There are still ways you can be taken advantage of on eBay including phishing scams but eBay provides the tools necessary to arm yourself against these attacks, and their customer service is very quick to reverse charges or cancel fraudulent listings from your account if you do happen to get compromised.

If you have had good luck with other listing sites, more power to you, but for me I have had the greatest luck selling on eBay because of these reasons.

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9 People have left comments on this post

» Redeeming RichesNo Gravatar said: { Aug 9, 2010 - 01:08:13 }

I loved selling on ebay, but I finally ran out of junk! =)
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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

That's the goal my friend! Good for you!! I still have at least a full room of junk to sell..

» Ulf WolfNo Gravatar said: { Aug 9, 2010 - 04:08:01 }

Great post.

Perhaps I can just add to this that the best way to guard against being ripped off by online sales or auctions of any kind, Craigslist and eBay included—and whether seller or buyer—is to use a *bona fide* online escrow company. Especially for pricier items like antiques, jewelry and autos. Although it does add some cost, it takes the uncertainty out of the transaction, and that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

For my money, the best bona fide online escrow (and there seems to be ten fraudulent escrow sites for every bona fide one) is probably Escrow.com (http://escrow.com). In fact, it’s the only one that eBay recommends, and is the only online escrow company that is licensed to provide escrow services all across the United States.

Take care,

Ulf Wolf

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Thank you Ulf. I have heard great things about Escrow.com but have never sold anything of enough worth to warrant the fees associated. Thanks for reminding me of the service though.

» Mike PanicNo Gravatar said: { Aug 10, 2010 - 06:08:38 }

eBay is also far less of a hassle compared to Craigslist or a yard sale, and you know within a week if your stuff is going to sell or not. No hauling it in or out of the garage and dealing with strangers in yard sales and no endless emails or phone calls from Craigslist buyers low-balling you to death.

eBay does fail for sellers who want to move bulky, heavy or expensive items though. I think it's fair to say that you'll have better luck selling a dresser at a yard sale or Craigslist over eBay because no one wants to pay shipping on it. Likewise, you're more likely to buy / sell a Rolex or expensive piece of jewelery locally where you can take it to a store and have the authenticity verified.
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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

The hassles, the low balls, the yard sale ins and outs..all fantastic points! My wife still lists things she is selling on Craigslist as she doesn't want to wait for me to put them on ebay and we just got lowballed on a $10 item, worth well over $50…gimmy a break people!

As for shipping, absolutely. Unless you have connections or do a TON of shipping, it can be expensive but if you need it sold now and the shipping is honest (not gouging) it's not that big of a deal. Also, with higher priced items, you can get an official appraisal certificate and include it with the item if necessary. I've done that before and it worked out fine.

Thanks for your comments Mike!

» Robert LabonteNo Gravatar said: { Oct 12, 2010 - 08:10:07 }

eBay is very convenient for selling and less of a hassle, by far, than craigslist. The lowballers on craigslist can drive you absolutely batty and take up more time than the hassle of making an eBay listing.
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