Do you want to start reselling but have no idea how to determine what something is worth on ebay? If you could develop this skill, you could declutter and sell stuff to get out of debt. You might even want to start a reselling business.
Pricing is important. If you overprice something, it’s less likely to sell. Underpricing means you leave money on the table.
How people value something is a funny thing though. Things you wouldn’t think would be worth something are. The opposite can also be true. Lots of things that were collectibles at one time are not worth much of anything now.
How do I know how to price things on ebay?
Become familiar with these 4 key terms:
Active listings: the ebay listings that are currently for sale. These are the results that you will get if you enter an item in the search bar.
Completed listings: all of the listings that have expired (both sold and unsold) in the past 90 days
Sold listings: all of the listings that have sold in the past 90 days
Sell-through rate: the number of items that have sold vs the number of items that were listed in a set period of time. For example, if 25 items sold out of 100 listed, then the sell-through rate is 25%.
For the sake of concrete examples, I am using a common item, a Nintendo 64 console, cords, a controller and Mario Kart 64 game cartridge, to show you how to research, ship and list an item on ebay from start to finish. You will see screenshots, actual photos, etc.
Here are 5 steps to determine what something is worth on ebay:
Step 1: Inspect, clean, and test your item.
Look over the item and note any condition issues. With video games, you want to check the joystick on the controller (it should be tight), and the cartridge label condition.
This game cartridge has some sharpie marker on the back, so that will affect the value somewhat. We will be sure to note any damage or condition issues in the listing.
Clean your item if it needs cleaning, and test it if at all possible.
Step 2: Search for your item in the active listings on ebay.
Type your item’s name in the search bar and click on the search button. You have just found the active listings. When I looked up this console bundle, this a screenshot of some of my results.
You will see that listing 1 and listing 3 are very similar to our example listing, and are photographed well.
Listing 4 is a great example of how not to photograph your items. The glass table top is very distracting and somewhat reflective. This photo makes it hard to see exactly what you are getting.
Step 3: Look at the completed listings. You can find these by selecting the box next to Completed Listings in the left sidebar next the bottom. It will be under Show Only.
This is part of my completed listings search.
The top two listings sold (their prices are in green), but the bottom two did not. This is important to note when trying to gauge the sell-through rate.
If only one item sells per fifteen listed, then you know that it is a slow mover. It could also mean that the market is over-saturated. The dates on the listings will help you determine that.
If there are a lot of expired listings with the same dates, then there were lots of items listed at the same time. Listing quality also has a lot to do with the price that the item sells for.
Step 4: Look for the Sold Listings. It is located the same place as the completed listings.
These are some of my results for the sold listings.
There are several things that we can observe from these search results.
- There are no unsold items like there are in the completed listings.
- All three listings contain the same items as our example listing.
- All three listings have nice photos.
- The top two listings were auctions, the bottom was buy it now (fixed price).
The auctions ended at a much lower price than the fixed price listing. The fixed price listing does include free shipping, but it is almost double the price of the fixed price item.
Shipping does not cost $44 (the difference in the bottom two listings) so the fixed price listing brought more than the auction.
You will find that historically, auctions do not bring as much as fixed price listings. Unless your item is rare or in high demand, you are almost always better off to sell the item as a fixed price item.
You can also filter the results in the left sidebar by type of listing (auction or fixed price).
Step 5: Determine your pricing strategy.
You will need to decide if you want to have a fast nickel or slow dime approach. Will you price your item at or just below the current selling price or will you price it at the top of what it has sold for in the recent past? That is something that you need to think about, especially if you want to turn this into a business.
Other factors can affect value like condition, missing pieces, etc. Be sure to look at the comparable listings carefully so that you can see how your item’s condition matches up to the past competition.
This brings up the age-old question, what should you sell on ebay to make money?
My suggestion to you if you have never sold anything on ebay or even if you have sold a few things, is to start selling things from around your house. Look everything up!
Don’t overlook the odd stuff. If you have something that is broken, look up the parts and see what they are worth. Small appliance parts and even broken electronics can be valuable.