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February 6, 2007

Filed under: tech

To eBay with Love

Once upon a time, I looked at eBay as a way to break even on purchases that I didn't need any more. I would look at my items carefully, check the market, and price them accordingly. Then I would hover over them, nervously wondering how high they would go.

But like my habit of buying obselete tech when I was having a rough semester in college (Apple Newton? Don't mind if I do!), that is now a thing of the past and I am much happier for it. Instead, for the last few auctions I've looked at eBay not as a commercial transaction, but basically as a form of trash disposal. People are paying me to take items off my hands instead of throwing them away. I am lucky in that I can afford to buy myself the occasional luxury. Why not pay that on to someone else?

This philosophy means that my last few auctions have been listed a bit differently. I want the whole interaction to be as quick and painless as possible, and that means encouraging Buy It Now sales. So I've been setting that price as a good selling price for similar items, minus ~15%. Then I set the starting price at the lowest I would be willing to sell--basically the reserve--and let it run from there. For video games, that means that the starting price is what EBGames offered as a trade value. For the Tascam, I went pretty bargain-basement with it at $50, because that's probably more than Guitar Center or a pawn shop would give me.

And as a result, my eBay experience has been a lot more pleasant, and the buyers are getting a great deal. I like to think that they feel warmly to me, as the guy who's basically unloading well-loved-but-unused toys. It's like a big circle of karma, concluding with the warm fuzzy feeling of "WOULD BUY AGAIN GREAT SELLER ++++++++++=+++PLUS+++++" Thus proving once again that there is no act of charity that the Internet can't find a way to misspell or mangle.

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