The 1-Cent Seller


More eBay Tips Found Online Plus Some Truly-Useful-for-a-Change Seller Suggestions

SOLD for $1.99

SOLD for $1.99

From a blog post called “A Quick Guide to eBay” —

Starting something out at $.01 is a must, unless this item of yours holds any value to you whatsoever. It’s all in their heads; people see 1 cent, they think it’s a bargain.

As for shipping fees, mark those suckers up as much as you can, I’m talking like 300% (make it reasonable). I usually go double and then some; say it costs me $6 to ship an item, I’ll say something like $12.99 shipping.

As for the auction title: put as many words [as] you can think of to describe the item without making it look saturated and phony. So for example, if your selling a Gucci handbag, it will look something like this: “AUTHENTIC Gucci women’s handbag black brown” etc. You can also add other manufacturers, but this tends to make the title a little sketchy “AUTHENTIC Gucci women’s signature handbag black fendi prada armani” etc.


Like-new Eddie Bauer men's shirt SOLD for $11.79 including shipping

Like-new Eddie Bauer men's shirt SOLD for $11.79 including shipping

Bad advice. Apart from the perplexing bit about adding other manufacturers to your item’s title — and why would you want to slip the name Armani into a listing for a Gucci bag? (The practice is called  keyword spamming and is not allowed)…

  1. There’s the question of perceived value. The more something costs, the greater its perceived value to the buyer — to a point. Pricing is a matter of calculating an amount that’s high enough to suggest quality and low enough to be considered a bargain.
  2. It just seems so odd to me that anyone would offer something for a penny that I always think there’s a catch — maybe fine print somewhere subscribing me to Popular Mechanics for ten years at $17.95 per issue.
  3. If I’m selling an item via eBay auction, I might very well start it at 99 cents. If, however, I’m selling it out of my eBay store, I’ll price it at what I hope to earn plus a dollar or so. The extra dollar gives me a cushion if I want to have a storewide sale, plus I give buyers the “best offer” option so that they can try to get the item at a lower price. Usually, their offers are reasonable and the buyer and I are both happy. But the “best offer” option means I have to check my eBay messages daily, because offers expire after 24 hours.

    Available in my eBay store for $2.99 plus $4.21 shipping

    Available in my eBay store for $2.99 plus $4.21 shipping

  4. eBay buyers often sort items by “price + shipping — lowest first.” For example, I just searched eBay for “clarks shoes size 6,” and then narrowed my search to “Women’s Shoes.” My search turned up 147 items ranging in price from 99 cents (plus $7 shipping) to $64 (plus $7.95 shipping).  With 6 days left on the 99-cent pair, there’s likely to be plenty of bidding to drive the price up. So I scan the list for an item that’s ending soon, and I find a pair of Clark’s brown mules in my size, with two hours left and, astonishingly, zero bids, priced at $6.99 plus $6.44 shipping. If I had the money right now, I’d bid $10.01 for the shoes in a heartbeat. But I’m not going to muck around in the shoe listings with a total price of more than $20, regardless of the item price/shipping ratio.
  5. I notice that shipping for Clark’s shoes runs at $7 to $9, depending on whether they’re sandals or regular shoes. I happen to own a pair of Clark’s sandals, so I weighed them in a box with packing material, and $7 is about what I would charge to ship them. On the items I sell, I calculate the shipping cost and add a dollar for domestic handling, $2 for international — unless the item is fragile, in which case I might add a little more to compensate myself for the extra care required. If I’m the buyer, I’m going to be very leery of a seller who charges, say, $15 for shipping a pair of Clark’s sandals.

    Infant girl's knit jacket w/ hand embroidery, about $10 incl. shipping

    Infant girl's knit jacket w/ hand embroidery, about $10 incl. shipping

  6. Have you ever worn Clark’s shoes? The leather is so soft it just hugs your foot like it’s in love with it and wants to marry it. Nothing rubs. Nothing chafes. I’m not exaggerating when I say that wearing Clark’s shoes is more comfortable than going barefoot. Clark’s shoes spoil your feet; they’ll balk at lesser brands forever after.
  7. This is important! I almost always offer buyers two shipping options: (a) the cheapest available (USPS media mail, first class, or parcel post), and (b) USPS Priority Mail. The option you choose first is going to be the default shipping rate shown for your item. I was horrified to find, when I was checking on one of my own listings, that the shipping rate shown was over $18. I had mistakenly placed Express Mail ABOVE parcel post when I created the listing.

About eBay referral credit 

FOR SALE... The Tailchaser's Song — $1 plus $3.23 shipping

FOR SALE... Tailchaser's Song (hardcover) — $1 plus $3.23 shipping

I have long been aware that sellers who drive traffic to their own eBay stores from external sites could qualify for a 75-percent referral credit on final-value fees for items sold from such referrals. What I did not know until recently is that you have to add a code to the end of your store’s URL at the referring site. My store’s URL is

but to get the referral credit, I have to add
?refid=store to the link, so it looks like this:

This code will take you to my store’s home page. The referral codes are slightly different if you want to direct potential buyers to specific store categories or items. The skinny on eBay store referral credit is here.


May Whoever Is On Duty bless you and your endeavors….  Mary

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