After realizing that I couldn’t use the 4 GB memory card I had bought for my Palm and figuring nobody else would need it either, I decided to try selling it on eBay. I have shopped for electronics on eBay before and have generally been disappointed that the winning bids are usually higher than what you can get the same item for by shopping around. Plus most eBay sellers have ridiculous shipping rates that inflate the price further. Well, when you have something to sell, that all works to your advantage.
I have bought 5 things from eBay in 5 years and have never sold anything. But I figured it must be pretty easy. So Friday night I had about a half hour before picking up Susan for dinner and decided to try eBay out. I had already checked out similar items which were asking $20 plus $10 shipping for cards that were new in the box (about what mine had cost before the $25 rebate). First I took a picture of the memory card in the packaging. Then I signed in to my account and said I had something to sell. This started a wizard that steps you through the process. Based on my item description, eBay figured that the category for the item would be digital camera accessories, so that was fine. Then I uploaded the picture, which was free (additional pictures were 15 cents each). I set the list price at the default of 99 cents. Given the choice of Used and New, I chose Used (though it is really almost new). For payment options, I restricted payment to PayPal only. I typed in a longer description that said the packaging was opened and why I was selling it.
For shipping I figured I would need to buy a padded envelope which would cost about $1.00 and shipping would be about $1.50. So I entered $2.50 as the shipping price. It has always bugged me that people on eBay charge so much for shipping. This amount was rejected however and eBay said I had to enter a valid shipping rate. For priority mail and the lowest weight package (1 lb) the shipping would be $4.60. I figured it would really be cheaper than that so I didn’t add in the $1.00 for the envelope. This was allowed. I don’t understand that. The cost to run the auction was 20 cents. eBay then walked me through a system where the fees would be deducted at the end of the month automatically. I would also have to pay 5.25% of the winning price if the item sold.
Later on I told Jeb about the listing and he questioned my high shipping price. I explained and then went pack to see if I could come up with a lower rate by using first class shipping. Checking the Post Office website it turns out that $4.60 really is the minimum price for shipping anything by Priority Mail (not Express Mail which is even more). The price for shipping an “envelope containing a rigid object” that weighed 2 oz by First Class was only 75 cents. However, the only thing I could find on eBay that was cheaper than $4.60 was for parcel post and it was still over $3 so while I changed the shipping method to First Class, I left the shipping rate at $4.60. I think people will know to factor that into the bid. It also guarantees I’ll get a little closer to what I wound up paying for the card which was $7 after sales taxes and the rebate.
On further thought I also changed the item description from “4GB SDHC Memory Card” to “4GB SD SDHC Memory Card (4 GB)” which should give better search results since people aren’t likely to search for SDHC cards and could type in the capacity as “4 GB” or “4GB”. I also changed the description a little and told people they should make sure their device is compatible with SDHC cards before bidding.
So it was probably good that I picked a 7-day bidding period because I may need the time to go back and tweak things further.
Here’s the listing