Archive for Work from Home

Amazon Vs eBay (4) Shipping Charges

This is a short series of posts comparing selling successfully on eBay and on Amazon from the seller’s perspective. This time I am looking at the payments methods and costs.

Question: How much does shipping cost on eBay? 

Answer: As much as the seller thinks he can get away with!

Question: How much shipping cost on Amazon?

Answer: As much as Amazon thinks is reasonable!


Which do you prefer as a seller?  Some eBay sellers use a lower price for their items and charge high shipping fees to boost their profits.  I am against this practice but it goes on and some buyers seem to be taken in by it. 

 With Amazon the shipping costs are constant between sellers and so it is easier for the buyers to make comparisons.  Usually, the Amazon shipping fees are reasonable for the seller.  If they are too high then you can reduce the price of the item.  If they are too low then the price must reflect that. Either way it does mean that the seller has to know the true cost of shipping.

Advantage;  Amazon


Amazon       3

eBay            0


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A Murder Is Announced!

A couple of days ago Jane and I hosted a murder party.  You know the kind of thing.  You invite 6 friends and everyone takes a role in a whodunit.  One of them is the murderer and the others have to work out who it is.  It is great fun!  It includes lots of laughter, story telling, guessing, and dressing up in 1920’s clothes (that is when it is set).

As everyone has to dress in character and I was a photographer I obviously wanted and old camera to wear around my neck.  I bought one from a rummage sell for 50p an old Zenit EM an SLR made in the USSR.

Guess what? They are selling on eBay for £8! and the lens is selling for £12!  That is a heck of a mark up. While I am not saying that anyone can make a fortune through buying and selling old cameras, you would need to know what you were doing, it is certainly possible to make some money.  As I said before One Man’s Rubbish……

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Grading System, What Grading System?

Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

In a previous life, about 15 years ago, I bought and sold vinyl records through the post.  I advertised in Record Collector Magazine.  I had a list of about 250 collectors who would buy from me every couple of months.  All in all I was selling successfully, and happy with my customer base and their response.  I put that down to selling good items and describing them honestly.

When I moved house that enterprise (more of a hobby really) was put on hold and I never got round to starting up again.  I still buy RC and take a bit of interest in the vinyl listings on eBay.

I have one gripe about some of those eBay listings.  Just because record (or anything else) is old does not mean it is valuable.  What really counts is the condition.

There is a recognised grading systemfor vinyl (and books, stamps etc.) but some sellers either do not know that or ignore the system.  To be successful on eBay you must know what you are selling, and the relevant grading system.  How else can customers really know what they are buying if they do not understand your personal definition of ‘very good’ or ‘mint’?   If someone says that their album is mint then I expect it to be just that, mint.  I do not expect the cover to be creased but otherwise mint.

Like most buyers I will buy from someone once but if I am not happy about the description I will not buy from them again.

Always be honest in your descriptions and use any grading system.  In fact, make a point of saying that you are using this or that grading system and explain how it works.  It will make you appear to be honest (which you must be), competent (which you should be), and an expert (which you might be).  It builds confidence.  It enhances your reputation and will help build your business.

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One Man’s Rubbish

Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

I was rummaging through boxes of books at an auction the other day and I started chatting to a fellow rummager.

Tom was looking for royal memorabilia which he then sells on eBay in the States. Royal memorabilia is very cheap in the UK and few people collect it. However, it is sought after by many Americans and Tom has made a living of selling it in a market that is thriving.

There are other examples of items that are cheap and plentiful in one country but expensive and sought after in another.  When traveling in India a couple of years ago I met a couple who were financing their trip by buying Indian jewelery and selling it in the UK.  They were selling the goods successfully online because they ahd the imagination to see their opportunity, and take it.

Keep your eyes open, all it takes is an open mind and some imagination.

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Amazon Vs eBay (3) – Payment Methods

Sell successfully online

Sell successfully online

This is a short series of posts comparing selling successfully on eBay and on Amazon from the seller’s perspective. This time I am looking at the payments methods and costs.

Ebay has its own proprietary payment system PayPal. It is quick and fits seamlessly into the auction process. You may also accept alternative methods of payment up to set limits (£500 in the UK). For all payments collected via PayPal there is a charge (1.4% to 3.4% + £0.20 GBP). Sellers send invoices, track whether payment has been made and chase non payers. Funds are released to the seller on request to Paypal.

Amazon collects the payments for sellers. There is no alternative, and no charge for using the service. Amazon invoices and collects payment and chases non payers. Payment is not realeased into the seller’s account until it is cleared by Amazon. The seller does not become involved in payment tracking or chasing non payers. Payments are made to the seller’s bank account every 2 weeks for the total of all sales made in that period.  There are no charges for Amazon collecting the payment.  However, for a true comparison of overall charges I will be posting another piece in a few days (when I have done the maths…..)

The Winner is: Amazon

Aggregate Score

Amazon 2

eBay 0

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Amazon Vs eBay (2) Sale Prices

Let’s face it, when we think about selling something our first question is always “how much will I get for it?” We tend to worry about our costs later.

So when comparing selling on eBay and Amazon the average sales price seems to be a good place to start.

The buyers on Amazon seem to be more affluent than those on eBay.  eBay is seen by many as a place to go for cheap goods, for bargains.  Amazon is seen to be more up-market.  I know people who will buy from Amazon but not even consider eBay. This attitude means that the average price of goods on Amazon is higher than on eBay.  I can, and do, charge 20% more for my items on Amazon than I do on eBay and still make good sales.  In fact it is very possible to buy on eBay and resell on Amazon at a profit.  (Remember to research the market first though).

On the basis of sale price alone, without considering anything else, the advantage has to be to selling on Amazon.


Amazon 1

eBay       0

Comments (1)

Amazon Vs eBay (1)

Over the next few days and weeks I will be comparing selling on Amazon and eBay.  I will be looking at the pros and cons of selling on both sites.

A lot of people have not considered selling on Amazon for a number of reasons.  Some people simply do not realise that individuals can sell on Amazon.  Others have heard stories of a bureaucratic morass enveloping Amazon, others that Amazon simply makes life for sellers too difficult.  Are either of these true?  I will try to cut my way through the chaff to bring you the wheat (I must be feeling quite poetic this morning :-) )

As you will know, if you have read some of the past posts, I have been selling books and CDs on Amazon for some time now and find it a worthwhile source of income.  I am not unique.

Many people dabble with Amazon.  If you look at the listings for text books you will see new sellers at the end of the scholastic year listing their old text books for unfeasibly low prices.  The trouble is they tend to talk up the condition of their books.  Often they do not mention the highlighted texts the inscriptions and annotations in the margins etc.  I have bought text books for 1p (plus £2.75 postage) and resold them but they have been far from perfect in spite of how they were described.  Once they have sold their text books these people then tend to disappear from Amazon.  However, as with selling on eBay, I believe that if you approach it properly and professionally selling on Amazon is a worthwhile proposition.

I hope that as I compare Amazon and eBay you will be able to make a judgement as to whether selling on Amazon is really for you.

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