Friday, March 31, 2006

Update on Marketplace

Several pf bloggers (including mapgirl and Jane Dough) wrote recently about the results of their ebay auctions. So, I thought it would be appropriate to give an update on my experience. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been trying to sell some of my stuff (mostly paperback books, CDs and one electronic item). I haven't had much success with the CDs, but I've managed to sell a fair number of books. I have to confess that in my earlier post, I failed to take into account my expenses. At the time, they didn't amount to much because I was using recycled boxes and packing materials and had managed to consolidate some shipments. But the shipping costs are beginning to add up. I've also dropped the prices on several items, just to try to get them off my bookshelves, which means that I'm barely breaking even on those items after amazon takes their cut.

As of yesterday, I've netted a total of $159.98 (after expenses) on the sale of 32 items over the course of the past two months. Here are some relevant facts and figures. marketplace fees = $102.21

Total revenue deposited to my account = $239.45

Expenses = $79.47
- Shipping (via USPS Media Mail and UPS) = $73.03
- 8.5" x 11" Bubble Mailer Envelopes (25 pack at Sam's Club) = $6.44

All told, I must have spent at least 20 hours uploading each of the items to (i.e., writing accurate descriptions), packaging the items, and then dropping them off at the post office on the way to work. Was it worth it? Yes, in the sense that my mostly unread books found a new, more appreciative audience, and I now have more space on my bookshelves to gather more dust ;-)

As for what I would've done differently? Nothing, really. I'm glad that I resisted the temptation to sign up to become a Pro Merchant. It would have saved me $.99 in fees for each of the 32 items. But at a cost of $39.99 (or $19.99 per month) for the 2 month trial period, I would have had to have sold 40 items to have recouped the cost.

I know that a lot of folks prefer to sell things on eBay or But I think I've had decent results with


Single Ma said...

When I was in college, I sold a lot of my books on Amazon with great success. I'm considering Ebay now because I'm all out of books but I still have lots of clutter.

Congrats on your profit!

Flexo said...

I had decent results selling old textbooks on Amazon Marketplace, but there are still some sitting out there that haven't sold. For a while I had the lowest price but not any more, and it wouldn't be worth my time to pack and ship for much less than what I'm asking at this point.

IRA said...

Thanks, Singlema. I'll probably need to sell some of my other stuff on eBay (e.g., an old espresso maker that I used maybe 3 times).

And I agree with you Flexo. At a certain price point, it's just not worth it. I'll probably try to give away the rest of my books thru Craig's List or the local Freecycle user group if they don't sell within the next month or so.