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Home > Garage Sales General > Selling On Ebay Is Easy - Think Again, Maybe Not!

Selling On Ebay Is Easy - Think Again, Maybe Not!
By John Romaine
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Viewed : 8977 time(s)
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About the Author

John Romaine

John is the founder and creator of egaragesales. He takes care of everything, right through from developing the site, to writing articles, assisting members and sitting up til 3am sending out garage sale signs and answering emails. His interests include bodybuilding and e-commerce.

John Romaine has written 59 article(s) for egaragesales.

Garage sales are easier than ebay! If youre an avid ebayer, you may not want to read this. 

Lets face it, ebay is the king of online classifieds. It seems every time you ask someone “where did you get it..?” they respond with “Oh I got it on ebay, it was a bargain”

Ebay for shoppers is great, but have you ever been in the position of trying to sell a garage full of crap, one item at a time? Its an absolute nightmare!

Recently my housemate and I decided to give the whole ebay thing a whirl. We're by no means ebay gurus, but we figured, "how hard can it be...?" We had a bunch of stuff laying around the house, that seemed to accumulate from no where. Books, some baby stuff, small furniture items, clothing, handbags, sporting goods, and other miscellaneous odds and ends.

At first the excitement of selling on ebay became overwhelming, and as we gathered more and more items in the middle of the lounge room floor, we began estimating in our minds roughly how much money we were going to make. Put simply we thought a small fortune. Wrong!

Anyway, as the pile grew bigger and bigger, we realised the amount of actual crap that we had laying around the house. I mean, some of this stuff, we probably should’ve gotten rid of ages ago. But oh well, its here, we may as well make a few bucks off it, right?

Okay so where to start? Hmmm, taking photos I guess.

We began organising things into piles and soon we realised that some items needed to be cleaned up a little for better presentation. The juicer that we had, although new, had been stored in the garage for months, and was covered in dust. Its always best to ensure you present your items as best as possible in order to attract the highest bids. Or so we thought. 

So out comes the cleaning products and we began meticulously cleaning, dusting and organising everything for visual appeal. Our dining table once covered in a white bed sheet became our photography studio, with a piece of white cardboard acting as our neutral background. Nice. We were also sure to turn all of the lights on to provide adequate lighting.

5 ½ hours later….

Five and a half hours pass and we have finally finished taking all of our photos, on our digital camera that had to be charged, for the first half hour before we could even get started. We were buggered. Time for a cup of tea and a whinge.

By this stage we’d had enough. We decided at this point, that we’d begin uploading the photos to ebay the next day. So upon a simple grumble, we left it at that. Bedsheet still on the dining table, odds and ends strewn everywhere through out the house. A serious workplace health and safety issue.

The next day we began uploading our pics to ebay. Sounds like a no brainer. But oh man, how long does it take!!!??? Each item had about 4 or 5 photos with there being around 60 items! Thats roughly 300 photos to upload! And in addition to this, we had to “retake” some photos because they didn’t turn out so well. The whole process of placing an auction takes roughly 5-10 minutes depending upon how fancy you want to get with your description and wording. Do the maths!


Eventually after some swearing, finger pointing and general sarcastic comments passed between the two of us, we were done. All in all, another few hours of painstaking uploading, waiting, more photos, and a house in total disarray. Thank god we had no visitors during this time.

Two days later and finally we have all of our items uploaded to ebay. By this stage, we’re thinking, “right, its all downhill from here…”


What happened next was totally unforseen. We began receiving questions via email from potential buyers, asking us all sorts of questions.

“what length is it..?”
“is it brand new or second hand..?”
“will you deliver to Sydney…”
“can I come over now and pay cash for it…” (11pm at night)
“can you tell me if its compatible with my xbox 360? Does it have the necessary connections …?”


The list of questions never seemed to end.

We began to spend more time again answering what seemed to be a never ending stream of questions, some of which were totally ridiculous. All of our time was spent sitting at our computers watching auctions and answering silly emails!

By this stage we had realised that if we had held a simple garage sale that we would have eliminated all of these issues, and would have probably sold everything and it would have been over with in a few hours - cash in hand!

But anyway, we continued on, answering questions and monitoring the auctions.

Little to our knowledge the worst was yet to come!

As the auctions ended, we then had to begin the painstaking process of having to post items all over the country side via regular mail. This meant having to organise a complete listing of which person won what bid, with which item and their postal address, along with how to best wrap each item. Bubble wrap, brown paper? Cardboard or a box???. We ended up putting a list together, buying sticky tape, some felt pens, bubble wrap, boxes, and wrapping paper. 

Numerous trips back and forth to the post office, checking orders, seeing who has paid, following up with those who hadnt!

As you can imagine that again took forever and we were TOTALLY OVER IT! Especially given that some items had sold for as little as $3!!!!!!!!!

Here we were busting our behinds organising items to be wrapped, marked and posted for a lousy $3!

Can you see why Im so frustrated here?

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the whole process took a few weeks and really seemed to put a strain on our household. What’s been sent? Was it marked off? Did the person receive it? Someone has posted a negative comment about us on ebay? Someone’s item has come back? What to do now?

If ever again, I have the choice of either having a garage sale or selling items on ebay, I know what Ill be doing.

Ebay, no thanks, not for me.

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