The online marketplace eBay set out to make buying and selling simpler and for years, for lots of it, it certainly did – I used to use it frequently to sell our unwanted items, especially when the kids were younger and were growing out of things so quickly.
Even now, I still sometimes use eBay to sell clothes that the kids have grown out of because I know I’ll get a better price on there than in the local selling groups on Facebook, even taking into account the postage I have to charge. But when it comes to large and bulky items, it often feels like it’s not worth the effort anymore which is unfortunate because, whether you are a buyer or a seller, the sale of large items on eBay really is easier than you think.
Trust me, I recently sold a table on there for £40 that had been sat in my garage as no one wanted it for £30 on the local Facebook groups. I wasn’t planning on using eBay but I’m really pleased I did because there was no haggling over price, payment was easy and the item was collected on time by someone who was really pleased with their bargain.
So if you have an old grand piano that is gathering dust in your living room, or a grand piano-shaped hole in your home, read on for a guide to selling large items on eBay.
Don’t let the ‘fuss’ put you off
There is a common perception that the larger an item is, the more difficult it will be to buy or sell. Granted, putting a CD in a jiffy bag and slipping it into a postbox is probably more straightforward than arranging for delivery of a larger item, but you could be losing out on untold profits or products if you decide not to sell something just because you think it won’t be easy. More people are doing this than ever, with some lucky (or hardworking) eBay sellers earning over £1 million per year through their eBay sales.
Be accurate with how you list your item
Larger items are often more expensive or damage-prone. Because of this, it is even more important to ensure, as a seller, that you provide as much detailed information as you possibly can. Take clear photos from various angles—far away and close up—and focus in on any flaws with the product so that any potential buyers know exactly what they’re getting. In my experience, the flaws I’ve listed have never but a buyer off and I’ve never had someone disappointed when they’ve collected an item which is always my fear.
eBay themselves have this guide to product photos, though it mostly focuses on making your images appealing to the buyer. The ‘for Dummies’ website also has a photo guide which I really like. Follow these tips, and don’t hide any problems with the item, otherwise you may face bad feedback from the buyer, or even have to organise its return. To further protect against bad feedback, make sure you mention any defections clearly in the product description as well as highlighting them in photos – basically be as clear as you can.
A quick tip for buyers, too: if the large item you are thinking of buying does not have several clear photos from multiple angles, consider shopping around, or contacting the seller to ask for more specific images before you bid. Someone asked me for a couple of extra photos of my table and I didn’t mind at all showing them how it looked when it was extended as I’d completely not even thought of photographing that. I even updated the listing to show the extra so it helped me as well as the lady who asked for the extra photos.
You can always get around the dreaded ‘collection only’
As this eBay seller’s guide says, selling an item as ‘collection only’ is an instant turnoff for countless buyers, but it doesn’t have to be. As a seller, you can avoid collection-only altogether by including an estimate of the potential courier charges which reassures buyers that they can afford delivery of an item should they win. As a buyer, you can organise a courier yourself in order to make the pickup and it’s not difficult at all to do – someone once bought a cast iron fireplace from me and arranged for it to be couriered to the other end of the country for not that much. Just make sure you shop around as there’s a vast difference in charges from one company to the next. One way to do this is to use a courier comparison service like AnyVan, who list eBay couriers by customer rating, not unlike eBay itself. If either party does this, ‘collection only’ never has to stop the purchase or sale of any item ever again, no matter how large.
What was the last thing you sold on eBay?
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