How to Sell Refurbished Items on eBay

Most of the popular retail sites sell items that are refurbished. People usually talk of refurbished items when they are referring to electronics such as television sets, smartphones, and computers. Large stores like Walmart, Office Depot, and Best Buy sell refurbished electronics—consumers do not mind paying a discounted price for a product that is not exactly brand new.

But can you take this risk on eBay? You cannot physically see or test the item to see that it works. A seller refurbished item is one that is not brand new. The product may have sustained damages either during shipping or the manufacturing process.

A refurbished item works just as well as a brand new one. Nonetheless, it is sold at a much lower price. This is what is called factory refurbished. Seller refurbished, on the other hand, is when a seller takes an item with non-functioning parts or a totally broken item and repairs it.

The result is a properly functioning item. Think of computer repair shops that buy broken, junk or non-working computers from their customers. They repair these computers then resell them. Now, a technician with one of these shops may decide to list them on eBay. Alternatively, he can conduct his business online, with no brick-and-mortar store.

You can compare seller refurbished electronics with used cars. A car dealer may purchase a car that has several problems. He then repairs and resells it. The final product has no problems; it works just fine. The only issue is that it is not brand new. It may be a little old, but it will work like a new one. People also refer to refurbished items as reconditioned.

The most obvious advantage of reconditioned items is, of course, the price. If the refurbished item you are buying is a popular brand (such as Apple), you will pay a lower price for a leading brand. This is a good way to get more for less.

As a matter of fact, the Apple Store itself sells refurbished electronics. It is their way of trying to appeal to a market segment that cannot afford their products. Refurbished electronics, just like brand new ones, come with a warranty. The warranty may range anywhere from one year to around three years. These warranties, in most cases, cover parts as well as maintenance and labor.

However, understand that purchasing an electronic device from a physical store is not the same as buying from eBay. Avoid getting scammed on eBay while buying electronics. Online venues are known for scams. The best way to avoid being scammed on eBay is to take precautionary measures.

Check the account history of the eBay seller: when did that seller open their account? Do not buy from brand new sellers. Look for an account that is at least a year old. Check the feedback: what are buyers saying about the sellers?

What kind of products have they sold? Check the kind of items that the seller is selling: do they sell random items, or they specialize in refurbished electronics? The latter is preferred. Check the DSR rating: The Detailed Seller Rating is a combination of factors. It shows the seller’s track record. 

Many eBay sellers start by selling some of the things they do not use around their home—and not without a good reason. These items are usually in perfect condition and they are more likely to bring in more money if you sell them on eBay compared to a garage sale.

Almost everyone has items around the house that they do not need—all they do is eat up space and gather dust. Selling them on eBay is a great way to test the waters. If you do not have items lying around your home to sell, start with something that you know well. Look for items that have demand; something that people are buying.

Avoid selling only what you like or the coolest, trendiest things you can find. You need to sell what the buyers want so you can make a profit. For any item you consider selling, do an eBay search to see how many people are selling the same and whether it is on sale.

If there are too many sellers, maybe reconsider. If there is no seller offering what you want to sell, do a little research and see if it because nobody wants to buy it, or it is just because no other seller has thought of selling it. When too many sellers are offering a product, check the biddings to find out how strong the market is. 

Issues to Consider

Cost: cost does not just mean the price of the item. Factor in additional expenses like how much it will cost to ship the item to you. 

Storage: is there room around your home to store the item safely as you wait for a buyer? Shipping: after a customer buys your item, how will you ship it to the buyer? Factor in the cost and labor issues. Extremely heavy, usually shaped or fragile items can be challenging to ship.

Product life cycle: for how long will your item be in demand? Some items may be in high demand today but become very hard to sell the next day. Season: before you start selling an item, consider what time of the year it is. You cannot sell sweaters and heavy coats during summer, for instance. 

Where to Find What to Sell

Your home: search thoroughly around your home for things you no longer use. Check the garage, attic and closet. Flea markets: these can be an awesome source of items that will sell very well on eBay. Yard and garage sales: spend some time every week buying merchandise from garage sales.

You will find many items that will sell on eBay for way more than you paid for them. Estate sales: you may not have much luck if a professional is handling the sale. However, you can purchase entire estates then pick and choose what to sell on eBay.

Established retailers: find a store that needs to move products that are not selling. Discount stores: this will be very profitable especially if you buy out of season and wait until the items are in demand.

Friends and family: ask the people you know if they have things that they would like to give away.  When you become a seasoned eBay seller, you can start buying your merchandise from wholesalers. 

Selling things online is way easier than doing a yard sale. However, you still have a decision to make between Amazon and eBay. Everyone seemed to use this company about 10 years ago, but it has since kind of lost its flavor. Over the recent past, it seems to be making a few improvements and snapping up reputable companies. How does it make money?

PayPal must be the first answer here. It is profitable for eBay and contributed to almost half of their revenue in 2014. Back to comparing it with Amazon. When eBay was the deal years ago, they charged an insertion fee and when the item sold, a value fee. Currently, eBay gives every seller not less than 20 free listings. The final value fee is still there, though.

They have tried to simplify their final value fee calculations; so, they only charge 10% of the sale price as the final value fee.  Subscription packages are available for power sellers. For a monthly fee, they get 150 to 2500 free listings, lower final value fees and a lower insertion fee (conditional). 

Sellers can also list their items or upgrade existing listings at a fixed price. Fixed price listings and auction listings attract the same fees and they both take advantage of customers who need to buy an item urgently. The fee structure for Amazon is more complex than eBay’s. Amazon sellers have two options: either list as Professionals or as an Individual. Individuals attract a $0.99 listing fee per item and a referral fee (6% to 45% depending on category).

In addition, you are charged a variable closing fee (not variable for video, DVD, books and media, you will pay $1.35 per item). A seller can list their products in 20 to 30 different categories. Amazon sets and collects the shipping rates for BMDV (books, media, DVD, video). Buyers love BMDV categories because the total fee is easily calculated without checking the shipping rates of the seller.

Payment is done via bank transfers and the Amazon’s Fraud Protection service offers protection to sellers. eBay’s selling fees used to be expensive and complicated but ever since they streamlined their fees on May 1st, the structure is easy and looks simple.

Amazon, on the other hand, can be frustrating and confusing. It would be easy to show this using sample calculations but for both sites, structures and fees vary by category, payment option, and item weight. Choosing Amazon over eBay has some advantages. First, the site makes the buyer feel as if he is buying from Amazon directly.

There is the “1-click buying” option and you can complete a transaction without leaving the site. A seller can also choose to have his products stored and shipped from Amazon’s warehouses. A seller may choose eBay over Amazon because, then, he or she can personalize and customize listings. Also make listings more appealing and attract potential buyers.

eBay has a new Valet service that gives sellers the option to have their products listed and even sold by eBay. The two companies have seller protection services and a way to contact the buyer should an issue arise. Setting up a seller’s account on eBay is easier than it is on Amazon while the payment process is better on Amazon. 

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