Monday, January 13, 2020

Inflating prices on eBay surprisingly works

I've had several items on eBay for months. These have been either lots of well-loved clothing or barely-worn clothing, some individual clothing items, and some random household goods. A lot of these are items I would be just fine donating, but have put up on eBay first to see what happens.

A few days ago I started messing around and experimenting with prices and shipping. I switched several things to free shipping, which does tend to make them sell better, but then I need to make sure the price is high enough to cover the shipping in case the purchaser lives on the west coast.

One of my items was a pair of kids' shoes from Primark, worn once. If you're familiar with Primark, you know it's like a cheap version of H&M. The selection is completely random and it's not the place to go if you're looking for a specific item, but it's a good place to stock up, especially for growing kids or if you have relatives who move here from a climate that means they don't own anything for weather below 60 degrees.

I bought the shoes for I think $2.99. I had them priced on eBay for $1.99 with calculated first-class shipping. They had a number of views and watchers, but no buyers. I saw the "send offer to buyers" suggestion, and decided to have some fun.

I set the price to $22.99 with free shipping. (They should cost a maximum of about $5 to ship.) I then sent out an offer to the four watchers, offering them the shoes for $15.99 with free shipping.

Within five minutes, someone bought the shoes for $15.99. Which they had been watching at $2.99. Amazing.

I then tried this with another item, a board game that had been used a couple times and was in good condition. I had it listed at $4.99 plus calculated shipping ($7-10 depending on zone). It retails for $25. I jacked it up to $55 and free shipping. I then sent offers for $50. Again, someone bought it within minutes, for nearly twice the retail price.

I'm not gonna even feel bad about it.

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