Saturday, January 28, 2012

Is eBay Selling Worth Your Time Anymore?

While I wait on tax documents to get here so I can power through the taxes, and the much dreaded FAFSA(yes, I said that word!), I've been going through and calculating my eBay numbers.

Yes, if you sell stuff on eBay it's income and you had better report it.
I'm just sayin'.....

Even with just selling stuff for 2 months last year, the amount of paperwork and numbers I have to wade through is mind numbing.  It took me three solid HOURS to get through it tonight!

After deducting all the fees, supplies and the costs of the goods I sold, I netted a'd better sit down for this!......$1710.10.

And that's not deducting for the portion of the storage unit fees I incurred to store the things I sold.  I "could" deduct that IF I could come up with an acceptable formula to divide the storage unit fees between the square footage the eBay stuff occupied and the square footage where all the non-eBayed stuff sat.  I could also try deducting lots of other things part of my internet connection cost, part of the cost of my computer/printer/paper/ink/etc.  But all that takes documentation and effort and sends up audit flags.   I'll just take that hit and not even bother.  I am beyond caring to go

So in the end all the fees I paid to sell this stuff?
It almost cost me as much as I netted!

I will not depress myself by figuring what my hourly wage was to make that $1710.10.
But I suspect I'd be better off wearing a paper hat and asking if you want fries with that! lol

This all just confirms my belief that selling on eBay as an income stream is so not worth it.  Might have been years ago but now?.....nah!

It's a great way to get rid of things you have laying around the house and such.  Or selling off things you don't want anymore.
But as a sustainable fulltime job?  Not so much.

I'll stick to Focus Groups and some Survey work.....though my patience for that stuff is wearing thin too lately.  ;-)

I need to find someone who wants to pay me to sit around and drink adult beverages!
Yah, now THAT'S the kind of work I could so get into!!  8-)



  1. I couldn't agree more - when you take into account the ebay fees, paypal fees, and dishonest, cheating buyers who just want something for nothing, it's just not worth it.
    Ebays new motto : THE BUYER IS ALWAYS RIGHT- even when they're wrong !!
    as you can tell, I've been on the receiving end of bad practice by ebay and even worse buyers !

  2. It's a great way to get rid of things you have laying around the house and such.

  3. I tried eBay once long ago. It was so not worth it for me. I made five sales, selling all I listed. However, one woman made me never want to go back. And, tales I hear keep me away now.

  4. As a sustainable fulltime job? Not for the Average Joe. I think you'd have to have access to a lot of product at a cheap price (much like the freight salvage stores around here do). Then it might be.

    I never went into it looking at as a source of substantial income. It was a good way to make a little money and to find new homes for things that might otherwise end up in a landfill. It was just part of bigger scenario of holding garage sales, renting flea market booths and using craigslist. Really, there's a veritable fortune in reselling used stuff, IF you have the right venues at your disposal. Some things just aren't suitable for eBay, but are great for garage sales or flea market booths. And vice-versa.

    I don't sell nearly as much on eBay as I used to. I've made fewer than 1,000 transactions as both a seller and a buyer. I am wary, and I do think eBay is buyer-focused, but at the same time, I have a 100% rating and have never had any problems with any buyers or sellers. The problems I've had have been with eBay themselves. Like Facebook, they have a fondness for fixin' things that ain't broke.

  5. I'm so glad for this post. Every time I go into a thrift shop and see a killer deal, I consider buying it and selling it on ebay. Thanks for reminding me what I haven't. What about Craigslist though? I know it's probably harder to do with just the local audience who reads the section.

  6. eBay is still decent for buying (if you can find listings that provide actual details about the products in question), but boy is it lousy for selling. I fled to Amazon Marketplace years ago, since I mostly get rid of old books and DVDs, and don't regret it. The process is much more streamlined and there aren't nasty fee surprises.

  7. That's also why I don't do adsense. I don't want to have to declare a tiny bit of income that just might nudge me up into a higher tax bracket! Ughh! Once I retire however, that would be different as my income will be...well...MUCH lower than it is now.

  8. Hubby and I had this discussion on Saturday. He agrees that ebay is just not as fun or as lucrative as it used to be. I told him he could stop and I would just give him some money. Like I would be giving it to's OUR money. Truthfully, I think he lost money on ebay last year.

  9. Ebay lets buyers like antiquesplus997 manipulate sellers and does nothing about it. Look at her old feedback history

  10. There is not other site better than eBay . If you think there is one, let me know.

    1. Anon-There is Etsy. I haven't sold there but I hear some folks have success with it. Most any of the other online auction sites just don't have enough of a customer base to get you the prices for your stuff that you want/need IMHO.

      I guess it all depends on WHAT you are selling what would be the best way to do that....whether online, locally or through a big name auction house globally.
      Though it's time consuming and would take real work there is always making your own website to sell through. This requires money and effort and having the ability to take credit payments usually though AND you have to know how to affiliate and drive viewers to your site to actually make sales.
      Good luck finding what works best for you!

  11. As a online business owner, I can tell you this

    And yes! It's not worth it. But for every person that realizes it, another person tries to jump on that broken bandwagon!

  12. waste of money and time for many sellers, including me,
    no matter if we become top rated sellers or/and power sellers, ebay hide our lists and we can not sell anymore.
    It doesn't matter if some buyers cheat, it doesn't matter if we lose some money from them if we sell normal and win money we can cover lost money and still win.
    But only to lose time and money does not worth.
    What ebay win by this way? I'll tell you, the owners of ebay or sell on ebay and they do not want others to sell them items (so they keep the prices high) or/and they take lost money (somehow) from vero or not items/sellers or other uknown reasons.
    The results is, for example, if you buy an item on ebay you can not sell it again on ebay, especialy if reporters watch you what you try sell. SO EBAY IS NOT FAIR PLACE TO SELL. plus, why to buy on ebay if they do not allow us to sell?

  13. I absolutely respect and appreciate your point on each and every object.Home Buyer Houston Sell House


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