Dear eBay Queen
I’ve been using eBay picture services since I started. They are a good service, but the fees really add up. It was my New Year’s resolution to find a cheaper way to host my photos. Do you have any ideas? What do you use?
eBay Picture Services are so easy to use. I can completely understand why you have continued to use them. The downside is after the first photo they cost you .15 cents. That can really add up.
Sometimes your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will have free web space for you to host your photos. There are also quite a few free and low cost photo-hosting services. I have not tried these out, but I do have some friends that use them and are quite happy.
1. Photo Bucket www.photobucket.com is free of charge. They will host video and photos of your items for free. Photo Bucket boasts you can store up to 10,000 photos and even order prints from their website.
2. Ink Frog www.inkfrog.com has not only photo hosting, but they are also an eBay listing tool. Ink Frog does charge and their fees start at 6.95 per month.
4. Vendio www.vendio.com does a little of everything to help out an eBay seller. Their pricing starts at$2.95.
Back in 1998, I sold my first 3 items on eBay without photos. I would say today in 2007, a seller wouldn’t sell anything without photos in their auction. I host my eBay photos on my own website. I have the option to pay a monthly or yearly fee with my hosting provider.
Dear eBay Queen;
We have been taking in consignment mostly from friends and word of mouth. I have started running into situations I wasn’t altogether prepared for. One problem is over-inflated expectations. I explained reserves and my fees for them, and the standard listing strategy with 9.99 starting bid no reserve.
I have a customer who thinks that just because her elderly mother owned it forever, that it should be worth more money. This consigner has asked me to remove items after they had bids because she was unhappy with the bids she has received. She did this with several items, and kept trying to inform me of how I should start the bids higher. I let her know that most of her items that sold actually sold higher than 75% of other similar auctions, and that some were at the highest price sold in the past 30 days. She was still unhappy. Today I received 2 neutrals from someone who bought 2 of the items I sold for her. The person hasn’t even received the items yet! I just shipped yesterday afternoon! Turns out, it was her cousin who bought them! She left neutral with “great buy” as a comment. I haven’t made a profit on this consigner, and I am really upset at the attitude and now this neutral feedback!
Most of the people we are dealing with don’t have a computer, or don’t really know how to use it, so trying to explain eBay is difficult. Any advice?
It is hard to overcome people’s expectations of the value of their item. I believe your consigner is still attached to the items she is giving you to sell. No matter what kind of bids the item receives, it will never be enough for the item that has sentimental value to someone.
Maybe the next time your consigner drops off a few items, you can show her the eBay “completed listings,” of the items she drops off. That way she will have an idea of what the market will bear for her items. Then she can make up her mind if she wants to put them up for bid.
I am very concerned about your consigner having her cousin bid on the items you have put on for her. If the cousin really wants the items, that is ok. But if the cousin is just bidding to raise the price, that could be considered shill bidding by eBay. Shill bidding is a serious offense, and can even get you suspended.
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Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained Education Specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Do you have a question for the eBay Queen? E-mail: email@example.com .