Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A guide to selling postcards on eBay

eBay Powerseller and guru Skip McGrath comes out with a newsletter every month at his website. This month he talked about something that looks very appealing to me, selling vintage postcards on eBay.

Skip writes that:

Old or vintage postcards are one of the best-selling and potentially most profitable collectibles to sell on eBay. But not just any old postcard --there is just ONE postcard type that virtually anyone can sell, without experience, without prior knowledge and without risk. This one postcard type regularly breaks auction prices, rarely goes unsold, can be picked up for pennies and uploaded to eBay in three minutes flat.

They call this type of postcard 'topographical' and they depict known geographical locations, such as towns and cities, small villages and hamlets, in the US, UK and many other countries. Topographical postcards are hugely popular and highly collectible, and they can be bought for under a dollar at auctions, flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, thrift shops and even on eBay itself.

They can be resold for ten, twenty, sometimes hundreds of times the price you paid. And they are collected all over the world. You can sell cards to buyers in almost any country including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, India, Australia, Ireland, and Japan.

Skip is a great source of information, and wrote a great book about selling on eBay that I highly recommend, you can find more information about him on my sidebar link.

Anyway, back to the postcards. A book was recently written about selling them by Avril Harper. She is a triple eBay PowerSeller and author of BANK BIG PROFITS SELLING VINTAGE TOPOGRAPHICAL VIEW POSTCARDS ON EBAY. If this sounds interesting to you, you should read more about it at Avril's Website

I can't wait to get a scanner so I can start selling postcards too. It looks to be much easier and more profitable than selling jeans on eBay.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How much should I charge for shipping?

It seems like the internal struggle many eBay sellers have is deciding on how much they should charge for shipping.

The problem is that they hate to spend a lot on shipping themselves, but they also hate to lose out on potential earnings.

This is why I say, you should charge a lot for shipping. Well, not a lot, but let me give you an example.

When I first started selling pants on eBay, I would put them in a priority flat rate envelope. This cost 4.60, and I would charge 4.95 for shipping. I did not want to charge too much, and I wanted happy customers.

But then, I read an article by an economist that studied eBay buying habits, and he found that shipping price, to an extent, does not matter.

The moral of the eBay article was that people bid on your item based on how low your starting price is, not how high your shipping price is.

So, I was charging 4.95 for shipping, and then I raised my prices to 6.60. Doing this, I was making an extra 2.00 an auction. That adds up folks, and it completely covered my listing fees and cost of merchandise. This was awesome, and it did not effect my sell through rate at all.

I raised my price, and the amount of items that was being sold remained steady. So I raised my price again.

The third time I raised my price, it went up to 7.95. Doing this I was making an extra 3.35 an auction. This is completely amazing, and adds up so fast. Imagine if you were completing a hundred auctions a week. That is an extra 335.00 a week!

The best part is, that when I raised my price again, my sales did not fall. They stayed steady, and I reaped the benefits.

Now, handling fees are ok to charge, but do not go crazy. Look at what people are charging for shipping and getting away with. This is the best guide you can go by. I feel that if I continued to increase my shipping costs without lowering my initial starting prices, I would see a decline in sales.

But this is something you have to experiment with. Try to charge an extra dollar for shipping, see if it effects anything. The worst thing that could happen is people stop buying from you. Well, guess what, if this happens just change it back to the original price.

Good luck, I hope adjusting your prices makes you a lot more money.

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