eBay is an online consumer-to-consumer website founded in 1995. The primary function of the site is to act as an auction and shopping website, allowing people and businesses to buy, sell and ship a broad range of products and services worldwide.
Selling on eBay has become one of the most popular online ventures for people looking to have a clear out of their personal possessions, and for those budding entrepreneurs looking to start a selling business online. The online auction site has blossomed in popularity since its beginning and offers cheaper alternatives to consumers for goods and products that might cost more elsewhere.
The way the website works is that people search for an item that they wish to purchase, e.g. a book or DVD, once they have found the product there is a price listed. This price usually begins as the start price listed by the seller. Prospective buyers enter a price they wish to pay for the item and then an online auction begins, where bidders can bid any amount (providing it exceeds the previous) within the timeframe given. Whoever has the highest bid at the end of the timeframe wins the item. The winner must then make the payment, usually via Paypal, and the item will then be mailed to them.
In addition to the auction capabilities the site also offers a ‘Buy Now’ option, standard shopping where consumers can purchase items without having to enter into an auction by using the ‘Buy It Now’ button and paying a set price for the product. This can work out cheaper than an auction, or more expensive, it can depend on the item. Generally the ‘Buy It Now’ option is used by people who want to guarantee that they will get the specific item.
Due to the nature of how eBay works many sellers feel more comfortable sending their products as recorded deliveries or tracked deliveries. This enables them to track the progress of the parcel(s) in question and ensures there are no disputes about when the buyer receives the item(s).
Most post offices offer a tracked parcel service, but there are also websites that do the same such as www.myparceldelivery.com, which offer deals from private courier firms with free tools for eBay sellers to work out the shipping costs of their auctions, whilst also offering competitive quotes for business.
Using eBay to sell items is a good way to have a much needed clear out whilst also earning some extra cash on the side. Of course it costs money to send the items out, but sellers can include postage costs within the listing and so can ensure that they still make a profit. It is amazing how much stuff people can sell by auctioning it off on eBay, as the saying goes ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.’