Search This Blog

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ebay Pricing

Lately I've had a few people ask about pricing their ebay items so I thought I'd do a post explaining the method I use. I'm not generally a .99 cent type of girl- I like to use nice round numbers, mostly: 7.00, 8.00 and 9.00. If you like the .99 cent thing- great, either way I don't think it will make or break a sale. So here's my method.

1. For brands I'm familiar with: Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Gap, Old Navy, etc. I start pants, skirts and sweaters at 7.00-8.00, Jeans 8.00-9.00, Overalls 9.99 (here's where the .99 cent rule changes) and jackets and suit coats 8.00-9.00. What determines if it's a 7.00 or 8.00 or 8.00 or 9.00- Maybe it's new with tags, or it's amazingly cute- then it earns the higher price.

2. If I find a brand that I'm unfamiliar with, but feels like good quality, and is cute, I purchase the item, come home and type the brand name into the ebay search box. This will tell me all the auctions that are listed with that brand. I then check the completed listings box on the left side of the screen to find out how much this particular brand SELLS for. When looking at the completed listing, note whether the item received mulitple bids, was a buy it now, or received 1 bid.

3. If the item generally sells in the 10-15 dollar range with mulitiple bids, I'll start the item at $9.99- Why? Because that's the most I can list the item for at the .25 insertion fee.

4. If the item generally sells with 1 bid or a buy it now, I try to price it closer to those winning bids- $14.99 or $24.99 (maybe I am a .99 cent type of girl?)

5. Once I get all of my items listed, I monitor how well they sell. After the first week, if the item hasn't sold, I will again relist at the full price. After 2 weeks, if the item hasn't sold, I lower the price to $5.50. After 3 weeks, if the item hasn't sold, I lower the price to $2.99. If the item doesn't sell at $2.99 it either gets sold at my next garage sale or donated. Because I deduct the cost of the clothes I'm listing each week, the numbers I report are profit- It accounts for all of the clothes- So, if an item hasn't sold after those 4 weeks, it's okay to let it go.

6. I usually have between 225-250 items for sale. I only list 70-100 new items a week, but with my relist system, it keeps my inventory full.

7. When pulling non-selling items from the rack I'm usually able to see some commonalities. Petite size pants don't sell well for me- now I avoid petites. Even if an item is New With Tags- if it's a no name brand, it usually doesn't sell. I was quickly able to see when Linen stopped selling and wool and tweed became the hot item. Each week my non-sellers teach me little bits of information that help me be a wiser shopper.

8. I know several sellers that start all of their items at .99, or 1.99- I would really discourage anyone from doing that. Ebay is so unpredictable- They've had new ipads sell for less than $5.00. Start your items at a price you would be happy with if you only received 1 bid. In the past month, 75% of my items only received 1 bid. If those items were listed at .99 I would not be making very much money.

I'm sure there's so many other questions I'm forgetting to answer- please leave a comment if you think of one. I will respond to all questions in the comments section, with a comment. Before I go, however, I will tell you what I think are my two biggest tips for ebay success:

1. Do not allow yourself to shop for new items if you haven't listed the previous weeks items. We all know shopping is one of the best things about selling on ebay, however, if you're not listing those items in a timely manner, it can quickly go from fun, to expensive, to overwhelming to borderline "Hoarder" I discipline myself by not allowing any shopping until all items are listed. So far I've been able to shop each week. This will also cause you to be a pickier shopper. If you know everything you buy has to be listed in the next 6 days- you don't buy as much.

2. Give back: I'm a firm believer in Karma and in serving others. Laura and I both will pass along items we find to those we know are in need. We also pay tithing to our Church. Find an organization or individual that you feel passionate about and give back.

Hope these suggestions help. If you have any tips or questions be sure to leave a comment. Love, Kelly


  1. I listed a few things last week (it had been at lease a year) and it was fun. I think I'm back in!

  2. Hey Kelly:

    I don't sell on ebay or buy to re-sell anything, but I really enjoy reading your posts on ebay anyway. They are so interesting!

    Anyway, I'm actually writing with a non-ebay question. I purchased an old dutch oven metal tray around the size of a large pizza at a garage sale yesterday for a dollar. I want to use it as a tray on my ottoman.

    But it's rusty. I don't mind the rusty and like the funky metal look, so I don't plan to prime and spray paint it another color. How would you treat it? Would you spray it with some kind of sealer of some type? Would you work on it first with steel wool or something?

    Just wondered your thoughts. You seem like you know everything (seriously)!


  3. Good tips - I need to integrate more ebay selling back into my routine.

  4. i was wondering how you keep track of all your sales? i just got an email from ebay about a subscription for a free sales report. i have an excell spread sheet that i made and use - gets the job done .. but didn't know what you find most effective and if you use this free report from ebay??

    p.s. i finally took everyone's advice and bought mailers and labels to start printing at home - have you started yet?

  5. Edie,
    Sounds like a great find. If you like the rusty look (I know I do) then just wipe it off to remove any loose particals then use a spray on polyurethane. This will protect your ottoman from getting any rust on it. What a great repurpose- I'd love to see pics when you're done.

    I keep track of my sales the old fashioned way. Each Wednesday I sit down, pull up my ebay "Sold" items and add them up with a calculator- I know it's so primitive! and YES, I have started printing my own labels- I only do it for my priority envelopes because I like the 15 cent discount and the free delivery confirmation. I still do the first class envelopes the old fashioned way- but it seems so much quicker to me and cheaper (no delivery confirmation)

  6. Hi there - thanks for the great selling info. I was wondering how you ship your clothes. Do you use envelopes or boxes? Priority mail? From your house? You may already have addressed this in a post, but I've just started reading and haven't seen anything about this. I'm interested in starting to sell online, but wasn't sure about all the "little things". Thanks!

  7. Anonymous,
    I've got a detailed post about shipping if you go here
    Hope this helps.

  8. Hi Kelly-I usually ship small clothing items in a plastic "peel-n-stick" package (about .08 cents a piece). I know the manilla envelopes you mentioned are cheaper, but I worry about them getting wet from rain/snow. What is your opinion on using the manilla envelopes vs. plastic? Thank you.

  9. Anonymous,
    I've had several readers share that they prefer the waterproof envelops- because I live in Arizona, I guess I've never thought about that- I haven't had anyone complain about water damage or anything, but I just started selling last February- I may need to think about changing. Thanks for the thoughts.