Today we’re going to address a couple of myths surrounding eBay that, strangely enough, seem to be prevalent amongst the auction hunting population. eBay remains one of the easiest to use and most effective outlet for converting the spoils of a recent storage auction into profitable resales. However, whether it’s because of a certain generation gap, a general distrust of online commerce, or a plain lack of experience with this site, many auction buyers I speak with have not only never used eBay to make a sale, but they also won’t.
This puzzles me, given the long success I’ve had reselling the belongings I’d outgrown on eBay, along with the fact that I once worked for an electronics refurbishing company whose entire revenue stream was eBay. I have seen first hand how powerful this auction site can be, but for those who have less experience with online sales, the proposition of making an account and somehow listing their items for the general internet buying market to see, is daunting enough to keep them from even trying.
This simply won’t do. If you have already successfully bought up some repossessed storage lockers, but you’ve struggled with selling certain kinds of inventory or more unique items like specific electronics, accessories, strange tools, small parts, etc, then eBay is your answer. You can get your hard-to-move items online, out of your basement and into your pocket.
Here are some of the major myths I most commonly come across when discussing re-sales with self storage auction buyers:
eBay Myth #1 – It’s Difficult
Keeping in mind that everything you don’t try is actually impossible, working with eBay is no more complex in its basic operations than sending and receiving e-mails. If you don’t have any trouble loading up your e-mail in a browser, addressing it properly, writing the body of your letter and sending it off, then you can use eBay successfully. If you already know how to attach a file or picture to an e-mail, then you’re already in the advanced class.
eBay does not demand any advanced programming, coding, html, or design skills. Period. Some of the most effective sales listings include ONE picture and two to three sentences description of the item being sold.
eBay Myth #2 – It’s Unsafe
Internet commerce markets, and, for that matter, any site that has ever tried to sell things and allow their visitors to pay by credit card, have fought a long uphill battle in order to gain the confidence of the general online community. The good news is that they’ve succeeded. They’ve succeeded in making online purchases safe, routine and infinitely traceable (and reversible).
I guarantee you that before you become nervous over eBay’s lack of security, you will become frustrated with the lengths it and its partner companies go to in order to ensure secure transactions. This is to say that they do such a good job of making paying online secure that they are total pains in the ass.
Are there ways to get screwed on eBay or by using Paypal? Sure. There are ways to get screwed by walking down the street in your own neighborhood, too. The point is that saying “it’s unsafe” does not accurately reflect the real state of eBay and Paypal. Obnoxious at times, yes. Unsafe, no.
eBay Myth #3 – It Doesn’t Work
This one is probably the most ridiculous of all. Way back when, before my brother and I were even teenagers, we decided to round up all of our old electronics, video games and some old sports cards. In a couple of days we had several hundred dollars sitting in our account. As kids.
When I was working for the electronics refurbisher, as a startup company where the only other worker besides myself was the owner, we posted an average of $30K in sales per month. The two of us.
Imagine what you and your auction buddies or family members could set up with a little exploration and some persistence. Is one of your kids the master typist? Put them in the drivers seat. You can focus on researching the appropriate pricing for each item while someone else works on testing and cleaning up everything you are going to sell. Someone else can be on pictures and labeling. Heck, you can even have one crew out buying storage auction lockers and dragging the goods back home while the home base staff sells on eBay all day. Voila, instant family business.