|Editor's Review Costs & Features Videos User Reviews|
We have awarded eBay UK our prestigious Gold Award in this category, having reviewed 10 UK Online Auction Sites. Read our review below to find out why...
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“Clean out that attic, go on. You’ve been promising you’d do it for months now, maybe even years. Found that old record player? How about that collection of stamps and stuffed animals? Sure, you’re going to be using them any time now. Of course, it’s always useful, never goes out of fashion.”
Whether you’ve got hoards of trinkets or a handful of treasures, everyone could do with a bit of extra cash and a bit more room in the house. Or perhaps you’re interested in setting up a business selling items online. Well, if so then Ebay is probably going to be ringing in your ears. This is one of the biggest and best known auctioning websites around, with an international market and millions of potential buyers just a click away. It’s easy to use, with settings for beginners or more advanced users, as well as several sales and purchasing options to suit most needs and products.
Registering is easy enough and the site allows you to sell almost anything. Separate rules apply for the sale of vehicles, so it’s worth taking a look around the site and reading up on this if you plan on selling your old motor. Otherwise, things are pretty straight forward and you can sell your items in a matter of minutes. At the most basic level all you need to do is write a description of your item, upload a picture (this is optional but it’s unlikely you’ll sell something without a photo) and set your price.
You can choose to sell for a fixed price, and the first person to click “buy now” will get the item, or you can choose to launch an auction. The benefit of an auction is that you can make more money, particularly if you get a few keen members bidding against each other for the same item. The potential risk, of course, is that you could get less than you hoped. As a seller you are able to set a bottom limit, closing the auction without a sale if the minimum price isn’t reached. However this may still incur a fee, so do be careful. Although listing items costs nothing, you will pay once an item is sold, which is what we’d like to discuss next...
The real power of ebay is that it’s easy to use and has so many people buying and selling on it daily.
Sure, Ebay has a huge number of users, meaning it’s probably the best place to make a sale, but you will pay for it. Whilst most sites charge around 3.5% commission on items, Ebay charges 10%, which is significantly higher. We’ve weighed this up against the probability of hitting a sale and think that it still offers good value for money. After all, it’s better to get 90% of something than 96.5% of nothing. You can also set up a shop if you have similar items (such as arts products or electronics) and want to encourage people to buy several items from you. This will allow you to run special deals such as discounts when multiple purchases are made, as well as making a saving on sending everything in one parcel. However, setting up a shop costs almost £20 per month, where other auction sites can offer this service for free.
So, assuming you’re happy paying the increased price for increased exposure, what else does this website have to offer the budding online entrepreneur? Well there are a great range of community features to help you learn your trade and communicate with other sellers. Don’t underestimate the importance of this, being able to talk with experienced sellers in your market might open business doors and windows which could help your company to expand and increase profits. The site also has some user friendly guides and the system as a whole is very intuitive.
Being such a large website with so many people using it, you might expect the customer service to be quite poor, as it would be hard to keep up with so many folks needing help. However, they do a pretty good job all things considered, and you’ll find most of the help you need in their substantial, searchable FAQ section.
Okay so you might make a little less per sale, but you’re basically selling your goods on premium retail space. The real power of ebay is that it’s easy to use and has so many people buying and selling on it daily. It’s the central market for anyone who’s looking to make a bit of cash, whether it’s from selling their unwanted DVD collections or finding a buyer for an antique pocket watch. There’s almost nothing you can’t find here, and almost nothing that won’t sell.
Click on the button below to check out eBay.co.uk for yourself...