Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

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Nearly A Moose
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Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:11 pm

Has anyone used Ebay Valet recently? If so, how was the experience?
Here's a link to what I'm referring to: http://www.ebay.com/s/valet#questions

Basically you ship your stuff to Ebay, they try to sell it, and if they do, they take their cut and send you the balance. And you can just drop your stuff off at FedEx and it gets shipped in. That sounds great to me, as I don't have a lot of patience or free time for listing, packing, and shipping individual items. But their cuts seem completely ridiculous. From their website:

Item Selling Price You earn
>=$500.00 80%
$250.00 - $499.99 70%
$100.00 - $249.99 60%
$50.00 - $99.99 50%
$25.00 - $49.99 40%
<$25.00 25%

I'm willing to pay a convenience fee for stuff I'd otherwise donate, but this seems like a lot. On the other hand, if they're really good at pricing and promoting and the stuff is selling for considerably more than I'd be able to value it via a thrift store donation (my next most likely alternative), perhaps it still makes sense. But I'm guessing most of my stuff would fall in the $35-100 range.

So, has anyone tried this lately, and if so, did it seem worth it? Were they able to sell it for a reasonable price?
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

ArmchairArchitect
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by ArmchairArchitect » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:54 am

Their commission was MUCH more reasonable about a year or two ago; then they changed it to increase the commission by a huge percentage. I was looking forward to using the service, now it's out of the question. I'd rather donate the items.

runner3081
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by runner3081 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:52 pm

That is very high. Find a friend or neighbor who sells on eBay and see if they will list for a smaller cut. I have done that for friends/family in the past.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by pennstater2005 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:59 pm

With a smartphone posting on Ebay is ridiculously easy. If it's nothing with a high value a couple pics, quick description, shipping price and list. You have to ship to the Ebay Valet which is more work than actually listing it anyway. Those are crazy high percentages!
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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El Greco
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by El Greco » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:12 pm

Actually, the 80% takeaway for the >$500 selling price doesn't sound that bad at all. If you sell the item yourself, eBay will ding you for between 12-15% in eBay commission and Paypal fees and that includes the money you collect for shipping costs which you make no profit on. To sell a high dollar item usually requires a good deal of work in taking high-quality, well-lit photos, writing accurate, clear and persuasive description copy, then uploading your listing, answering inquiries from prospective bidders and packing your item to survive a nuclear blast (UPS, USPS and FEDEX are absolute brutes when it comes to package handling). If your item is large and heavy, add more expense for packing materials. If you don't think that sturdy boxes, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, etc are expensive, just go ahead and price them. I sell a fair amount of rare collectibles on eBay and do well with it, but it's by no means "easy money".

runner3081
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by runner3081 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:36 pm

After reading the FAQ's, I am even more down on this service.

They give the item 60 days to sell before returning it. It is absolutely in their best interest to sell it within those 60 days to incur more costs with no return.

This leads me to believe that they are pricing items on the bottom of the range of what they could sell for in order to produce a sale and commission.

brokendirtdart
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by brokendirtdart » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:33 pm

runner3081 wrote:After reading the FAQ's, I am even more down on this service.

They give the item 60 days to sell before returning it. It is absolutely in their best interest to sell it within those 60 days to incur more costs with no return.

This leads me to believe that they are pricing items on the bottom of the range of what they could sell for in order to produce a sale and commission.
Regarding the bold, it depends on how they sell the item. If they set a "Buy it Now" price, it is entirely possible they set it low as you mention.

Auctions tend to be unpredictable and it is not unusual to see that $50 item start at $9.99 and end at $75.

Regarding the valet service, it is too expensive. Ebay already takes 10% from regular sellers, the high commissions for the valet service are too much for me unless I had a large unusual item to sell.

OP, shipping isn't that much effort. With a full time job that often involves moving, I am constantly culling my herd of stuff on Ebay or other venues. Cheap postal scale, tape, and labels from Amazon or Walmart, free priority mail boxes from USPS. All delivered to your door. Either have USPS pick up the package with your outgoing mail or drop it as the post office on your way to/from work. Any post office that has self service kiosk can take boxes 24 hours a day. Time your auctions to end where it is convenient to you. Most folks will pay the same day of the auction, so you can box it up, print postage at home, and drop it in the mail the next day. If you set your selling preferences to avoid shipping anywhere that requires a customs form, you never have to wait in line at the post office.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:07 pm

Thanks, everyone, this is helpful and confirms my gut reaction - that it's just too big of a cut.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

ArmchairArchitect
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by ArmchairArchitect » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:02 am

I would recommend creating a post in the craigslist "labor gigs" section, for someone to post your items and you pay them. I did this once and had a college kid help me sell items, and I gave him a commission from each sale.

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Pajamas
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by Pajamas » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:15 am

Those commissions seem very high. For items under $25 you might even do better donating them and taking a tax deduction. However, I also think that selling something on eBay is more trouble than you might think and that is one reason they are charging so much. It takes a while to set up the listing and choose all the options on the long form and take and upload photos. They nickel and dime you on silly things like formatting the title and then take a big cut and PayPal does, too. There are also a lot of scammers both buying and selling on eBay, although more and more are showing up on Amazon. PayPal can also try hold your money if you are a seller until the customer is happy even though they are supposed to be a separate company now. Both companies have terrible customer service and the problems with PayPal freezing accounts inappropriately are practically legendary.

If the items you are selling are not unique or antique and are already sold on Amazon, you might do better there. It only takes a minute to set up a listing on Amazon if you have to describe the used condition and less than that if an item is new. You don't get nickel & dimed (except that they keep a percentage of the shipping charges) and you don't have to deal with PayPal. You also get good customer service IF you call.

One thing you can do on eBay that you can't on Amazon is sell mixed lots of similar items. Amazon also has certain categories that are off-limits to casual sellers.

Another suggestion someone else has already made is to find a friend or relative who is willing to take the task on for a cut. At least that way someone you know is benefiting from the commissions.

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lthenderson
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Re: Ebay Valet - Thoughts?

Post by lthenderson » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:36 am

I highly recommend neighborhood multiparty garage sales. I sort through and haul all my stuff once a year to a house down the street that plays host. I volunteer for half a day working the cash register out of the five days the sale goes on. After the sale is over, everyone's items sold are totaled up and I get 100% of my share back. Best of all, I don't have to answer hundreds of phone calls and emails or spend hours waiting for someone to show up who never does.

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