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Topic: Selling crafts on e-bay...  (Read 34750 times)
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« on: February 20, 2004 02:27:34 PM »

I have a few simple little bags and other crafts I've made that I'd like to sell and I'm thinking of going through e-bay. Do you all think that e-bay is a good place to sell things like shoulder bags and other msc handmade stuff or would I be better off to try to sell them this summer at my garage sales?

Does anyone have experience selling their wares on e-bay? Pros? Cons?

(P.S. I'm not thinking of doing this as a business or anything at this point - just looking to unload some of the stuff I've made but don't use and get a little cash to support my wicked craft addiction.)

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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2004 04:50:17 PM »

I have tried to sell things on e-bay to no avail.  It seems like the big sellers on ebay are designer things that people try to get for cheaper than a store.  It might be that I didn't list my items in a good way, and other people have probably had better experiences than I had, so don't just give up on ebay.  At the same time, I am not sure ebay is a good place to sell unique handmade crafts and make a very good profit.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2004 08:20:11 PM »

I sell quite a bit on ebay and I have pretty good luck. The main thing to concentrate on is having the right keywords. Sucha s "DIY" or "handmade", etc.....
I sell hippie patchwork stuff, and usually people search for that stuff under "hippie patchwork". So be sure to use the right categories and the right keywords. I think its a great place to start out. What i have found about garage sales is that people are usually looking for bargains, not to spend alot of $$. So just make sure you are getting paid what your products are worth.


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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2004 04:42:46 AM »

I've sold handmade bags and jewelry on ebay and its been really well recieved. Also, through ebay I got a request to sell my stuff wholesale! Obviously somebody liked what they saw! So I'd say, if you market your handmade wares correctly, people like something a little different, you'll be onto a winner.
Who Gives A Shirt?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2004 02:28:35 PM »

My experience with eBay is that it is primarily a search-based tool.  By that, I mean people typing in keywords that will get them more precise results than the category lists do.  It's also  - unfortunately - a brand-name kind of environment.

As another member suggested, good keywords will definitely help.  Do yourself a favour - browse the completed items (link about halfway down the left hand side of the page) for items like yours that have sold for good or high prices.  Analyse what keywords they used, as well as what categories they were in.  This is, IMO, the best way to maximize your selling potential.  Don't be afraid to use some brand-names that match to what you're selling.  If you're selling really fancy purses, use high-end brand names (Prada, Hermes - I'm guessing, here!  Not a purse kinda gal!)  If you're selling quirkier things, find some brand names that would fit.  This kind of tactic will draw people in, and using a gallery picture might further lure them into your listing.  Just be sure to make clear in your description (which should be very detailed - another selling help!) that it is not, in fact, a brand-name item!

Lastly, as I mentioned, a good description and flattering pictures will go a long way to converting people to your handiwork.  Be as detailed as possible, but write your info in a pyramid-style like journalists do.  Give all the important information in the first few lines, then progress to the finer details.  That way, those who only scan a listing have a good sense of the item.

My suggestion to you is, if you cannot make a go of eBay, try setting up your own website.  Hosting is very cheap these days.  I use - and highly recommend - Pair Networks (http://www.pair.com).  Putting together a decent site with copious metatags will bring people in even without advertising.  I used eBay to find my business feet and earn a few regular customers, then progressed to a website.  

Who Gives A Shirt?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2004 02:43:36 PM »

Hi, I'm brand new to craftster.org. Actually, I've been lurking for awhile, and absolutely love what I see that goes on here! So many good ideas!

I do a lot of selling on ebay, and I find that I have the best luck with raw materials, rather than completed projects. I've sold empty altoid tins, fabrics, threads, and that sort of thing, and often, I've done a lot better than I thought I would! I even have a couple of auctions going now for craft supplies, fabrics, sewing supplies, and that sort of thing, and so far, I've gotten a decent amount of bids.

Thanks, and I hope to post some of my recently completed craftster-inspired projects soon!

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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2004 03:11:07 PM »

We've had pretty good luck with ebay, and it seems to be building over time.  We post our shirts, which we also sell on our website.  I've found that doing a featured listing, if you don't mind the fee, is a great tool.  We only do that if we're listing a bunch of tees, that way we kind of make up for the listing cost of the one featured auction.  The featured listing helps drive traffic to our other shirts.
One of the bad things about ebay is that if people see a low starting bid, and happen to be lucky enough to get your item for a low price, they might be less inclined to buy from your website for your preferred retail price.  We get a lot of emails that say 'hey, I got a shirt on ebay for $6 and want another one for the same price'.  Good for the bargain hunters, bad for us!!
On the good side, we have gotten wholesale inquiries from people who see the auctions.
So I'd say it's mostly about your keywords, description, and taking a few chances now and then--like plopping down $20 for the featured auctions occasionally, and having a great item!  But one word of caution--using brand names in your title like "prada-esque purse" can get you busted for key word spamming and they can yank your auction.  They go over all that stuff in the rules section...
Good Luck!

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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2004 06:06:51 PM »

This is my first post on here, though I've been lurking for ages.  What a great, great site.
I've been selling handmade handbags / purses on ebay (australian) for over a year now.  It works for me.  I have good exposure and complete control over my sales. 
I definitely agree with what other posters have said about ebay being keyword-oriented.  To make it work you really need to tap into keyword searches.  Ebay do have very strict rules about keyword spamming / search manipulation, for good reason, so it's no good to just plunk some keywords (brand names) into your listing title or your listing might get pulled.  (this seems to happen more in non-us ebay environments ??)
I get hits by using designer fabrics in my designs and saying so in the title.  It's a bit demoralising, but this is what you have to do to get yourself noticed. :-) The main designer whose fabrics I use is a local Australian called Alannah Hill.  She has a lot of fans in this country.  I also use Marimekko fabrics from time to time.  That kind of thing. 
I have a Store subscription on ebay and I usually list one or two things for auction, then mention in big letters in my listing that i have more things for sale elsewhere.  This seems to work too.

cheers and good luck, ebay needs more crafty sellers

« Last Edit: June 06, 2004 04:25:18 PM by laurajean » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2004 08:55:36 AM »

Okay - so I've been thinking about ebay myself...and I think I'm going to jump in as a result of what's been said in this thread - thanks for the information!

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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2004 09:52:39 PM »

I too am ebay-curious...
For those of you who enjoy selling on ebay, how many aucttions do you usually have going on at once? And how do you figure out shipping?


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