2014/07/18 Leave a comment
Having 200M + members selling and buying stuff online with an auction business model puts eBay in a spot many have tried to copy. The increasing number of businesses having an eBay Store makes it even more compelling to log in and validate the real time “offer vs. demand” market price .
I have been an eBay user since March 2004 in Canada and ten years later this is my preferred online place to check
1) Small (read light) items that eliminates a trip to your Wal-Mart or shopping mall which can be ordered directly from Asia saving you time, taxes and 50% of the cost. Examples: batteries for my Swatch or smartphone, bike parts, small gifts for birthdays, DVD’s that friends recommend and are not on Netflix etc.
2) Pricing compared to national retailers: if you can get a Google Nexus 7 tablet for $100 shipped to a hotel in the US during your next vacation why pay $220 + tax at a local electronics retailer? It’s the BOGO solution to many annual upgrades in our household.
3) Marketing research for Entrepreneurs: many have a great idea about a product they want to sell as a Start Up. Well, go on eBay and see what’s already out there at what price, because that is eventually going to be your competition especially in the 20-30 age group. Testing your idea on eBay is even more fun!
I have even tried to be an eBay seller for 12 months and learned the hard way that Canadian shipping costs bring margins down to 5-10% unless you sell diamonds since the optimal eBay product has to have a HIGH density value: expensive, small, on demand and low cost shipping & handling. So this experience can teach you very fast which items to search for online and which to buy locally unless you live in the US where ground shipping still is a bargain.
Cost: $0 and whilst you are at it may as well open a PayPal account so that check out process is a click away.
Time to make decision and execute: 2-3 days with PayPal validation of your credit/debit card(s).
Benefit: It’s the only market place that really makes buying “glocally” easy at the right price. My young children have learned that if something isn’t available in Montreal all one has to do is look on eBay and wait for the Postman to deliver it. From California, Hong Kong, Toronto…they really don’t care as long as the price is right!
WARNING: eBay can be like a dating site where you think the next deal will be cheaper, better and delivered faster. Amateurs spend hours searching an iPhone Hello Kitty case to save $0,25 on shipping. Professionals know exactly what it should cost and what the initial budget was and BUY NOW only. Use filters to speed up the process and if there are zero results then eBay was not the right channel to get what you wanted with the budget you had available.