Spoiler Alert – it’s NOT that simple. But before I really get into the reasons as to what exactly can make one’s life selling their unwanted belongings via world known amazing/inviting/colorful creation that goes by the name EBAY, so miserable, I must warn you – I’m about to get real sexist up in this bitch.
However, it’s not all about how much women suck as consumers when it comes to shopping on eBay. It’s a big part, which I intend to elaborate on later, but there’s certainly more to it than that. Also before you get all judgy on me for the sexist talk, you should know that I’m going full force against my own kind here, which is painful enough already so cut me some slack.
First and foremost let’s get China out of the way. They somehow manage to sell stuff across the globe for .99 cents with free shipping and they’re still in business. Perhaps their sweatshops are doing wonders, I don’t really know. I’d like to focus on sales within the US with normal shipping costs, human interaction that doesn’t involve jumbled google translator and delivery time frames that fall somewhere within the month.
So let’s take a look at what you’ll be dealing with, shall we?
- FINDING A STEAL – This guy I met once told me he bought a pair of glasses on eBay for just $2, and he was so excited about it like he screwed the system or something. But then he goes like “Plus $15 shipping”…. Ummmmm.. Really.. So then you didn’t buy the glasses for $2, you bought them for $17!.. That’s literally one in a million though. Most humans with a brain and possession of The Logic incorporate the shipping cost into their final price, making that the seller’s number 1 obstacle in obtaining a profit from the items for sale.
- FEES AND SUCH – The buyer is looking at the price of the item & the shipping cost. That’s how much they’re paying for whatever used/unused item they think they want. That’s all they see and that’s all they care about, justifiably so. The seller however doesn’t have a magical Chinese fairy that ships everything for free, so that shipping cost actually goes toward the cost of shipping the item. Now PayPal, eBay’s estranged cousin takes a share because they’re the reason you were able to exchange money with a stranger via the internet, safely. And let’s not forget about the mastermind behind the operation – eBay – that inevitably takes a cut because the entire transaction wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for their existence. After all the fees, what are you left with? Not much.
- ACTUAL SHIPPING COSTS – As you can imagine, boxes, packages and packing tape don’t appear out of thin air. Time spent on trips to the post office and standing in line to ship packages isn’t free either because as I’m sure you’re well aware of – time is money. So is gas by the way. It’s very common to hear from an eBay buyer that they’re not in a rush for something and they just want to pay for First class shipping instead of priority. That’s great. You’re not in a rush, you don’t want to spend the extra couple of bucks for priority shipping that I can master from my home because the USPS is kind enough to provide me with free packaging materials when expedited shipping is involved. But no no, you’re in no rush.. So I’ll just go ahead and take my ass to the post office then, stop by the gas station -$5, then CVS to pick up some packing tape -$3, pay for the actual packaging-another $2, and ship your $10 dress for $3 instead of $6 that I could have done from home. Yeah, I’ll get right on that! I live and breathe to waste my time and money so you could have your dress that you’re in no rush for.
- TIME IS MONEY – This alone needs a slight elaboration. Aside from spending the time to ship the item once it’s actually purchased, let’s not forget how much time it takes to actually list said item for sale. Sure you can snap one picture and say two words about it, but let’s face it; that only works for something along the lines of an Xbox or something. More often than not, especially with clothing, all kinds of shit is involved – measurements, details, caring instructions, angles, you name it. Taking all those pictures, uploading them, measuring all that shit and writing a detailed description for each and every one of those items to avoid any and all possible annoying questions (an area that I still very much plan to enlighten you about) is ultimately not worth the effort.
- THE HAGGLERS – This is where I get sexist. Men just don’t do that! They don’t do it in person and they don’t do it online. Period. They see something, they like it/want it/must have it – they get it. They don’t care for it – they move on. Women on the other hand…. No matter how little in the case of usual eBay circumstances you price an item for – not because it’s not worth MUCH more than that mind you, but because you just want to get rid of it at that point – there will always be that one person that will private message you with requests to buy it for less. Bitch! This ain’t a flea market! You didn’t just stumble upon a garage sale! I mean seriously, what is with these people? It seems as though they’re not after saving money merely because they can’t afford it. If they couldn’t afford it, they wouldn’t be “shopping” in the first place. It’s more about the thrill – the idea that they’ve pulled a fast one on somebody.
- THE CREEPERS – These go hand in hand with the hagglers. I have yet to decipher a distinct line between where one ends and the other begins. On one hand, it is almost always the hagglers, aka the women who also happen to ask way too many questions. You can include anything and everything in the listing – the material breakdown, the inseam measurements, the rise measurements, the measurements lying down flat along with the actual size of the item – and they’d still be like “what’s the depth of the pocket on the left thigh? How many inches deep?… Come on. Are you TRYING to annoy me or are you just naturally good at it? You’re looking to buy a pair of jeans for less than twenty dollars (shipping included!). You’re not buying a house. You’re not buying a car. You’re not buying a baby. Relax thyself…. Oh but it gets worse.. And quite frankly this is where the line gets really blurry. I literally had a person ask to me to send them additional pictures of 1) me wearing a skirt that was for sale, 2) occasions said skirt was worn at and 3) why I’ve decided to sell the skirt. At first I was like alright, you’re just another annoying bitch that has nothing to do but request the entire family tree of a skirt and all of its ancestors. Then a friend of mine pointed out that it could very well be a dude with a sick fetish for silk skirts by Marciano that scopes the internet in hopes of finding gullible yuppies that would send them weird descriptive info… and pictures and stuff.. Yuck!
- THE AFTERMATH – Last but not least there’s the question of your eBay member good standing which is broken down to feedback and rating – The two things you have least control of. People who buy your stuff can either be honest, generous, silent, or malicious and negative for no reason whatsoever. On one hand, even if they give you a negative feedback which you can’t dispute – who cares – it’s just a website where you sell unwanted stuff. On the other hand it hurts your chances of other people buying your unwanted stuff. Not to mention, customer service tends to be on the consumer’s side rather than the seller’s, so there’s that. Welcome to corporate America!
All in all, selling shit on eBay is a pain in the ass. My only advice is stop buying so much shit. Then you won’t feel the need to get rid of it. And knowing human nature, not wanting to give it away for free, therefore feeling the need to sell it instead of donating it, therefore turning to eBay, you won’t have to cause yourself the stress which is sure to be accumulated due to the reasons mentioned above. You’re welcome.