• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

07 January 2010

on raping people's wallets

Yesterday, I sold a purse on eBay. I'd bought it a few weeks prior (on eBay), but ended up not liking it. It was a pretty nice purse, retails for $140, and I had bought it for $50. "New with tags."

Anyway, I used the purse a few times and had cut the tags off. It was still like new, but no tags. I looked at the similar items that had recently sold on eBay, and they were selling between $60 and $85 plus shipping (with or without tags). I looked around online and found that eBags had the purse on sale for $110. I priced mine at $79 (Buy It Now) and a woman bought it within 2 hours of my listing. Instead of being thrilled at the $30 profit I'd just made, I was left sitting there thinking "Hmm, should I have listed it at $89 instead?"

Today, I listed a 2nd generation iPod Shuffle on eBay. I bought it (also on eBay) for a friend for Christmas: he had lost his at the gym. But then, it turns out he found it (in his laundry), so he didn't need the new gift. I had bought it for $56, the week before Christmas. Looking at similar recently-sold Shuffles on eBay, they were now selling for around $30-$40. Damn. Understandable though, I guess, because it is now after Christmas. So this morning I listed mine with a Buy It Now price of $49. I figured people would bid it up to $30 or $40... but I almost always set a 'buy it now' price for any item because I figure that, well, someone might want it right now (not in 5 days when the auction ends). So anyway, I set it at $49. Wishful thinking, right?

Within an hour, it had sold. And instead of relishing in getting $10 more than I had expected, I wondered if I should have listed at $59.

Same goes for many other aspects of life I guess. Any service or item you sell. If it sells so quickly for the price you set, what if you were to tack on a few extra bucks? Would it still sell? I like profits, do you? Ahh, capitalism.

I'm sure this is a question for many of us. I'm not in eBay to make a name for myself (so I'm not looking for recommendations from happy buyers). I just sell stuff I don't want, maybe a half-dozen times a year. The more I can sell something for, the better. Meanwhile, I guess I'll be happy that my stuff sold so well, and additionally hope the buyers think they got a good deal too.