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eBay Success versus Real Success

eBay Success versus Real Success

If you sell items on eBay, maybe you’ve seen this:

Want to increase your listing’s chances of success? Use the Revise your item option to view personalized recommendations.

This message appears on your eBay items that don’t yet have bids. Ah…success. eBay’s version of “success” is simply whether the item sells or not. I don’t think this is necessarily success. If an item costs you ten dollars and it sold for 99 cents would that be success? It would be in eBay’s book (in fact, you would get a congratulatory email that said your item sold successfully), but hardly in anyone else’s book. Ok, you couldn’t look at just one item; you would have to look at all your listings overall. But if that 99 cent thing were repeated enough times, it certainly would not be ’success’.

My idea of success on eBay has to do with profitability. Profit is the amount left over from eBay sales after the costs and expenses are taken away. There are some costs that you can directly associate with eBay listings. These are things like listing fees and PayPal fees. I have a post on my other blog where I take a look at these in more detail.

There are other costs of doing business on eBay that are not directly attributable to any specific listing. These costs would be things like shipping supplies, hosting charges for your eBay store, and storage fees (if you rent storage or warehouse space to keep your eBay goods).

All that stuff has to be paid for and there should still be money left over for you. This is my idea of sustainable ’success’ on eBay. Not to be confused with eBay’s versions of ’success’. How to keep track of the dizzying array of costs associated with eBay selling? Unless you enjoy doing lots of math, you might want to use an eBay calculator like ProfitCalc.

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