Let eBay sell your stuff for you!

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eBay are running an eBay Selling Assistant trial in San Jose CA and Topeka KS in the US, where an eBay employee will come and collect your unwanted goods from your home and get them listed on eBay for you.

Once collected by eBay your goods will be handled by an experienced eBay Trading Assistant who will list them on a $0.99 start 7 day auction (and relist if there’s no bidder). Once your goods are sold you’ll receive the selling price less a 25% deduction for the service.

This is a real easy simple way for a consumer to get selling on eBay, although currently it’s only in trial until the end of January in the two US cities. eBay have a dedicated hot line (1-855-EBAY-VAN) and once you call they’ll arrange to collect your items. It’s long been known that a buyer that sells just once on eBay is a much more loyal buyer than someone who’s never sold on the site, so this is a great way for consumers not only to declutter and gain some spare cash to spend on eBay, but also to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty.

25% is a pretty low commission rate too, someone has to pay for the van and driver to make the pick up, eBay listing, final value and PayPal fees, and of course some profit in the deal for the trading assistant along with any taxes that become due. I’m not sure if I was a trading assistant I’d actually want to participate at those rates, but perhaps the influx of free stock to sell would make the economics work.

It’s a pretty innovative move on eBay’s part though, normally they are “just a venue” and steer clear of any handling of stock or management of the sale. In this pilot they actually take the first call from the potential consumer seller and to be honest, selling on eBay has become pretty complex these days. How easy would it be to make a phone call, not pay 10% eBay fees plus 3.4% to PayPal, waive just 11.6% for the service and wait for the money to roll in?

5 Responses

  1. So for just a 10% overhead ebay do all my work for me?

    Be interesting to see how the DSR’s score against these sales. And how the item not as described claims stack up also.

    If ebay was happy to collect and do all my work for me including photogrphy, description building, listing and packaging including all the packaging costs and paying me for just a 25% cut they can have my entire stock!

    Big problem is they would not know what half the stuff was!

  2. The issue with this is are they listing in such a way to get fair value for the item or are they listing to sell regardless of fair value and starting every item at 99p (or $0.99)?

    If the latter then it may not be such a good deal. There seems to be no BIN option and no scope for setting a minimum price for items that have been collected.

  3. This is a really interesting development.

    Great to see eBay experimenting with ideas to get people involved in the marketplace (I think it’s fair to assume that sellers make more loyal buyers), and as the UK’s leading Trading Assistant, I find it great to see them doing it through people like us.

    There are nuances and issues which come up with the offer which they have chosen to make. We’ve tweaked and changed the way in which we do business over the past 8 years in order to provide a great service but avoid the pitfalls of the “free collection, list it all for 99p” proposition.

    But that’s what trials are there to find out — we hope it goes well, there are lots of learnings and look forward to seeing what the results are.



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