Price variation in eBay sales of similar items can be as wide as 85% of the top sales price. Stuff U Sell tracks its performance across a range of categories and consistently achieves higher-than-average prices in the marketplace. In many cases the increase in price more than offsets the commission rate.
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How much is all the extra work of doing it well worth?
There are many articles which will tell you “top tips” for getting better prices on eBay – although it’s surprising how many sellers still don’t get the basics right: good photography, descriptive listings, searchable titles and prompt replies to questions. Beyond this there are the more advanced disciplines of reputation management, buyer community building, pricing strategies and game theory.
Very few people, however, ask how much all this work is worth. So we were delighted to speak last week with Genevieve Roberts of The Independent who asked us exactly this question. You can read her article – How to make eBay pay, where she discusses the listing advice we gave her and the research we’ve conducted.
We regularly monitor prices across the marketplace for commonly sold items, using tools such as Terapeak – which gives us trading data across all eBay going back over the past year – as well as our own trading data from over 120,000 transactions. The results are interesting.
How wide is the gap between best and worst prices?
Handbags are a popular item at this time of year with London Fashion Week heralding the arrival of a new season, and we examined prices for the Jimmy Choo Hobo bag over the past 90 days. A lot of similar items had been sold, but the range in prices was huge – from £68 to £500, with an average price of £239.83. A glance through the actual listings showed a huge variety of quality of photographs, listing descriptions and strategies — as well as a mix of smaller personal sellers with no feedback as well as established professional sellers.
Stuff U Sell was the seller of the top-priced bag at £500, a whopping 208% of the average price. Falling into our 20% commission bracket, our client netted £323.75 — a full 62% more than if she had sold it herself at the average price and paid the eBay & Paypal fees (approx 17%).
The story is similar for other categories or products. In men’s fashion, non-vintage Hermes ties show a huge variety in sales values – ranging from just £3 up to £97, with an average of £33.20. Again, Stuff U Sell sold a tie for a client at over 2.5 times the average price, giving them 50% more after commission than doing it themselves.
Outside of fashion, the high-end Concept 2D Rowing Machine saw prices vary between £450 and £870. This is a smaller variation – in part driven by the lower volume for this product – but still a huge 48% of the top price. Stuff U Sell achieved £815 – 17% over the average price of £695 – and still a better deal for the client with all the hassle taken out of transaction. Truly a win-win service.
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The research shows that there is a lot to be gained from getting the best prices — whether you do it yourself or consign them to a seller like us — the extra work you put into your eBay sales pays back in significantly higher prices.