They call it eBay, I call it a waste of time.
Last week I decided to give eBay a try. People had convinced me by going on about how easy it was and that people on there would buy ‘anything’. So armed with some clothes that I no longer wore that just kept mounting into a leaning pile, I decided to dive in. It was time to sell up and cash out. Or at least that was the idea.
Signing up was easy and pretty pain free. Thankfully I already had a Paypal account so did not have to go through the headache of that experience again. Photos taken I was ready to start. Listing was not as painless, the categories went on forever from material type, to neckline, length, colour, style. By the end of putting up one item my head was spinning. The real pain was setting the price. There were loads of options with price charts and strategies. After a quick read of a ‘dummies’ type guide up I opted for the auction option and put a start price of 1.49.
Then I waited…and waited. The items were up there, but nothing seemed to be happening. Not a sniff of a bid on a paltry 1.49. Then I forgot about it got on with other things. Then 10 days later two sold notifications landed in my inbox. Confusion ensued. I didn’t even know there had been interest. With some excitement I clicked on the mail. Two of the best items were gone, a DKNY top and another from G-Star. I didn’t wear them anymore so they were better off in someone else’s wardrobe rather than my own…but I didn’t intend to sell them for the starting price. Both of them were gone to new owners for a pathetic 1.49. The money paid for the postage was three times that. What the hell?
So by my calculations from a total of 5.49 this is how my ‘profit’ breaks down:
4 euro postage
25c insertion fee
10c for the envelope
2 euro at least for all the wasted time sorting it out and posting the packages, based on minimum wage payment of 8 euro per hour means that my total profit is a loss of 86 cents. Double that for the two items means that I am 1.72 out of pocket and irritated into the bargain. Not only, but the items that didn’t sell cost me money so I actually owe bloody eBay 1.40 in ‘fees’.
To add insult to injury I got an e-mail from them today which reads:
Congratulations on your first sale!
You’ve done it! You’ve sold your first item and it’s making someone happy right now – and you’ve pocketed the cash. It’s time to do it again!
The first time you sell can be the hardest but now you’ve learnt the ropes you’ll be able to do it more easily next time. If you didn’t the first time, consider using a listing upgrade, such as Gallery. You’ll stand out from the crowd and are likely to attract more bidders.
So not only have I wasted time and energy along with losing money they want me to do it again?! I especially like the line of ‘you’ve pocketed the cash’. All I have pocketed eBay is a pain in my cerebrum and a negative Paypal account.
You could say it was my own fault – for setting the price too low, not having good enough pictures, not paying attention to the listings, but seriously how do you end up owing money when selling something?!! My tryst with eBay was a failure, a promising relationship that has turned sour. All you eBay lovers can keep it, I am going back to the charity shops and wondering if the person in the queue in front of me is wearing my jumper.