Monday, August 13, 2007

eBay Notes

So I've been listing on eBay again for two weeks now, and there's a couple of interesting observations.

One's that the alternative process prints have been selling OK, especially if you include some off-eBay deals (more on that later). But the cyanotypes are almost all leaving the country - France, Canada, Barbados. That's actually been the trend and I don't know why - I have some theories but I don't really know.

The shocker part of this is that under the new system Priority Mail International is $20 for a 15 ounce package. The envelopes didn't go up that much - I've sent several of those since the increase - and I didn't realize the lighter packages were so bad. I actually only charge $15 on the website, and it will probably work out OK because anything so big I can't ship it in an envelope tends to be pretty expensive but I really have to watch it on eBay since I'm usually not making so much, especially when you consider fees. So for anybody selling International - you can't just kind of take the average increase, there are categories that went up by huge percentages.

And don't forget - it's not just postage, it's packing supplies. A 16x20 pretty much needs to go in a tube, and quality tubes are another couple of bucks.

The other thing is that as usual I get a ton of website business I can directly attribute to people buying on eBay - they get one and like it and check out the website for more. eBay has all kinds of weird rules about what you can and can't list so the selection over there is relatively conservative. But it's especially apparent because with listing all of the cyanotypes I'm getting a lot of "I love the cyanotypes but can you print this other picture in a cyanotype". I always encourage photographers to try eBay, but for best effect it helps if you a) try to show some flexibility when people ask for stuff and b) have direct sales off of your website so you can get some real benefit from eBay as a marketing tool.

My other bit of advice for sellers is do not under any circumstances buy on your selling account. You want to keep your 100% feedback, and if you buy something from somebody that doesn't come through you want to be able to give them negative feedback without worrying about BS retaliation. eBay lets you have one account per email address, so when you start selling rename your buying account to something sensible and start selling on it so you'll be using an account with some feedback already. But then create a fresh account next time you buy - there's no real harm in being 0 feedback if you're a buyer, and it lets you do what you want without worrying about your selling account.

Anyway, the big purge is almost done - two papyrus prints to go, and then that's it for everything that was listed (except a couple of tea toned cyanotypes that I'm leaving alone). Next step is to start listing some of my newer prints - first at auction, and anything that doesn't sell goes into the store. I'll keep doing that until I'm done with the prints I have on hand, then we'll see where we're at.


Blogger cosfrog said...

Learned the hard way about BS retaliation on feedback. Tried to get ebay to look at the situation and remove them but they wont. Hopefully people will look at that seller and see the recent stream of negative and take that in consideration.

7:58 AM  

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