Selling Online (Mp3)
lot of interests, I accumulate a lot of stuff. I decided to sell some
of my surplus stuff on line. I started first with eBay. Doesn't everyone?
I gathered up a collection of all kinds of things sewing patterns
and books and magazines as well as Golliwog dolls which are popular with
British ex-expatriates and Australians.
I did fairly well with the books on eBay. Then, I got more professional
and moved my book stock to an operation called AbeBooks online. They had
a wonderful down-loadable, catalogue-utility program where I could plug
in the ISBN number. That's important for selling books. Every modern book
has an ISBN number. I typed in in the other details, such as the condition
of the book, and uploaded my listing. People looking for a book can do
a search on Abebook online and, if you have the book on the topic searched
for, it will show up on the website listing showing its details, condition
and all pertinent data.
In one phase of my existence I was accumulating occult books and I had
quite a few of them. In Rosedale, which is a high income neighbourhood
in Toronto, someone put out boxes and boxes of books at the curb. One
of my relatives grabbed them for me and hauled them over to my place.
I catalogued them all.
My sister reads a lot of mysteries so I ended up with quite a mystery-novel
I was selling off parts of my own book collection because my shelves were
groaning with books. I had books I had acquired and books I no longer
needed, so I started selling them. I met a lot of interesting people.
These were simple transactions. You want it. I've got it. You buy it I
mail it. I used PayPal, of course. Credit card transactions through PayPal
are a mainstay of online selling.
I should emphasize that, in selling online, the most important thing is
honesty. You have to be scrupulously exact in describing what you are
I bought a little postal weighing machine on eBay, so I wouldn't have
to go to the Post Office. I'd just set my item on the little scale, then
calculate the postage from the Post Office tables on line.
I got a postage meter, which was a bit of overkill, but I also sell CDs
online for an entertainment group, so I needed to have the postage meter
for that. Now, I use the excellent Canada Post Internet utility called
Between eBay and AbeBooks I did about $2,000.00 worth of business one
year. A fair amount of work went into setting up listings, especially
on eBay. There, you need a picture and a description and you have to categorize
it and state the time frame of the auction and so forth. You have to decide
on a price that will attract eBay buyers, because they're all bargain
hunters on eBay. You set your initial price not too high and not too low.
Then, you wait to see if the fish will nibble at the bait.
In the beginning I was looking all the time to see who was hitting on
my auctions, not bids but traffic, which would show up in the counter
I had on my listing. Then, I found out that counters made for slower load
times. People's attention span on the web is remarkably short, so the
less load time it takes to bring up a webpage the better. You don't really
need to know who's looking. You only need to know who's bidding. If you
have a lot of listings, eBay has good software to handle and keep track
of all of them.
I had a lot of cloth-doll patterns I was no longer using. The named-designer
patterns went very well. The occult books, too, went very well. There
was reproduction item of Crowleyana that was sold to a fellow in Florida.
I think he ran a bookstore. They were having a heavy-weather event there.
This was just before Hurricane Katrina and everything was flooded and
discombobulated. I was just about to cancel that auction, because it was
taking too long for him to pay, when a desperate note came from his friend's
computer in another State saying, Hold on! As soon as the water
goes down he's going to pay you! and he did. He certainly did.
If I was going to give tips for selling on eBay I would say, have a very
clear picture of the item and work on your description and your key words.
Your title is really important because it's a grabber. Sometimes that's
all they really see. Research the pricing, so your item is placed not
too low and not too high. If someone else is selling the same thing in
the same frame of time, you might want to hold off, or you could price
your item a bit lower. Pennies count.
I learned while selling books that the most off-beat thing, like mountain
climbing in Peru, will have a niche audience. A little pamphlet about
an obscure automobile, published by the company that made it, with cartoons,
years ago, has someone wanting it because they are a collector. You can
look up prices on the Internet to get an approximate worth for your item.
The auto pamphlet went to someone in a museum in New Zealand. That's the
other thing. You are selling globally. I sold a fair amount to the Far
East, to Australia and, as mentioned, New Zealand. I sell primarily into
the United States and Canada, where I live, but I have sold to Britain
and to France, parts of Scandinavia, to Holland and so forth.
It's quite exciting when you send your parcel off into the ether. Postal
services quite wonderful. It continues to be amazing to me how a parcel
sent from my corner mailbox can safely arrive in France.
That's my story about selling on line. Basically, anyone can do it, if
you just have the patience to list stuff in the database or on eBay, each
in their own special fashion.
It was fun while it lasted but I'm burnt out now and I'm not going to
do it any more. I've got over 600 positive responses (called Feedback)
on eBay, with no negative Feedback on my record. I'm proud of that but,
like I say, Game over.
I still buy on eBay. There's stuff you can get there you can't get anyplace
© Sonia Brock 2006
I can be reached on the web at http://www.soniabrock.com