Selling your stuff in an online auction
C. Fleitas Bankrate.com
So, you want to auction off your garage-sale leftovers
online but you don't know how? Selling online is a good idea. One
person's garbage is another's collectible resin figurine. It's pretty
simple, too. All you need is Internet access, a digital camera or
scanner and stuff to sell.
Finding treasure at Mom's
Let's say you were cleaning out your mom's garage and found your
old Incredible Hulk lunchbox from third grade. You have no sentimental
attachment to it -- other than a fond memory of whacking your best
friend, Chris, on the head with it during a recess brawl.
You have two problems. Problem No. 1: If you keep
the lunchbox for yourself and Chris sees it, he might run from your
apartment, clutching his forehead in painful memory, never to return.
Problem No. 2: Your girlfriend wants you to take her to a movie,
and you spent all your cash on dog bones for your basset hound.
Problem solved: Sell the lunchbox in an online auction, and use
the profits to take your girlfriend to the flick.
Here's how you're going to do it.
Case the joint
Pick an auction site. You will probably do best using a well-known
site because the more people who see it, the better chance you have
of someone bidding on it. Go through the site's policies for buyers
and sellers, so you know what is expected of you and your bidders.
You choose eBay, which charges two set fees, insertion and final
value, and an optional fee for setting a reserve price.
The reserve price is the lowest price the seller will
accept for the item. The bid may start at $1, but if the reserve
price is $20 and no one meets it, the auction will end without a
winner. If your item sells, the reserve fee is refunded.
Reserve fees for eBay are between 50 cents and $2.
- $1 to set between $0.01 and $49.99
- $2 to set between $50 and $199.99
- 1 percent reserve price (with a maximum of $100.00)
to set at $200 and up
The insertion fee is based on the starting price.
If you set a reserve price, it is set on that instead. Insertion
fees on eBay are between 30 cents and $3.30.
- 25 cents for items up to $0.99
- 35 cents for $1 to $9.99
- 60 cents for $10 to $24.99
- $1.20 for $25 to $49.99
- $2.40 for $50 to $199.99
- $3.60 for $200 to $499.00
- $4.80 for $500 and up
The final value fee is 5.25 percent of the closing
value, if the bids end no more than $25. If the bids end between
$25 and $1,000, the fee is $1.31 plus 2.75 percent of the remaining
closing value balance over $25 ($25.01 to $1,000).
Basically, you will pay fees that total about 5 percent
of the winning bid plus some change.
Name your price
Search for the lunchbox or an item similar on the auction site.
See what other items in like condition are selling for, and scope
out the key details in their descriptions. Also notice the starting
bids, winning bids and reserve prices. Reserve prices are not stated,
but if you watch the auction, you can see when the reserve is met.