If It's Broke Sell it on eBay
Remember the old saying, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it?” We’ve come a long way since that old saying. We are now living in a “Green” earth friendly society and now the saying is for most of us eBay sellers, “If it's broke sell it on eBay.”
Learning from the master and founder of eBay Pierre Omidyar, he started the site by selling a broken laser pointer which sold for $14.83. Pierre not only started eBay but he also started a trend that has been growing by leaps and bounds on the site since it was first launched in 1995.
Sellers are listing their broken items for a profit. These are items that may have been tossed into the trash which would have only been added to the heaping piles at garbage dumps.
Handymen are cashing in on this trend by buying up broken items on eBay and then repairing them. Once the item is repaired they will clean it up and list it back on eBay. Some members use two ID’s, one for buying and another for selling. This helps protect their identities and is not necessary but it can be a discrete way of working the system.
I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a few people that are actually making a living on eBay by doing this. The most common tip they’ve shared with me is to be accurate in your listing. They pointed out how important it is to say more in the description than just to say “it’s broken, selling as-is.” The repairmen need to know more about the broken item. If the seller is not clear about it or does not say more than “Its Broke” then they will not bid or buy the item because the risk is higher that it cannot be fixed. But, if the seller describes in detail exactly what the problem is, then they’ve opened up more opportunities to sell their broken items for higher dollars.
Detailed accurate descriptions are a must if sellers want to bring in higher dollars on broken items.
- Makes a humming noise
- Belt runs smooth but no light comes on
- The button pushes down but will not start up
- Tries to power up but shuts back down after a few seconds
- Camera turns on but takes blurry photos
- Speakers make a crackling noise
People are picky about item descriptions and the folks who buy these treasures are usually experts in their niche. Another important point is to provide good photos showing the damaged areas and pieces or lack of from every angle. Use photo editing tools to add arrows if needed. With eBays newest change about photos, keep in mind the first photo can only contain a watermark and no other inserts or designs to the first photo, also called the gallery photo. The second, third and on up to the 11th photo can have the needed markings on them if desired.
Broken items being sold, repaired and resold on eBay are not only saving the planet, they are adding more “green” to many earth friendly PayPal wallets! Keep this in mind the next time you have a small appliance or item break and remember the new saying “If it’s broke, sell it on eBay!”
Elizabeth Ball says:
Great post, Danna! And what you sell on eBay it doesn't need to be physically broken either. I've sold shoes that became inexplicably smaller after a couple of wears. Business-wise, you may want to use eBay to shift gift vouchers with nearing expiry dates, designs which have been superceded or even try it as a launch pad for prototype products to test market interest.
Danna Crawford says:
Thanks for the input Elizabeth! eBay holds a world of all kinds of opportunities, Just have to "take it out for spin" because you will never know till you try. Worse case, it may not sell but at least it's worth a try!
Awesome post, it reminded me that I have a bunch of very old video game stuff from the 80's trapped somewhere in my basement. Much of it doesn't work anymore, but it never occurred to me to try and sell it on eBay anyways. Who knows, there might be someone out there who has a hobby of fixing old video game stuff.
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