BAM eBay Buyer Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

What Woman-Owned Business Deserves Your Vote for the eBay Shine Awards?

What Woman-Owned Business Deserves Your Vote for the eBay Shine Awards?

eBay is having a contest for members to vote for the best small businesses nominated for the "Shine Awards." I took a look at the nominated businesses, separated into categories, and here is a summary of the woman-nominated businesses. I will cover the other business categories in a separate blog. Read their stories and see which one would get your vote!

- Woman-Owned Businesses

- Tanya Crew, Motorcycle Works

Tanya sells motorcycle accessories on eBay, starting out just to make some extra spending money. She was trying to finish college, but her eBay business was so good that she decided to go full-time on eBay. Now she has been able to buy a house and put her son through college.

- Eloise Holbrook, abstractelle

Eloise is an artist who makes abtract art, and had her own brick-and-mortar store, but "wasn’t getting the foot traffic she needed to make ends meet. So she changed her business plan, gave herself a crash-course in shipping, opened up an eBay store, and the rest is history." Her gallery used to get around 50 visitors a week, "but her eBay store sees thousands per day."

- Sophia Stevens, sweetpeaspice

Sophia started on eBay small, "listing a few of her own products to see if they would sell. She slowly added more products and now has her own line of bulk spices, herbs, chilies, nuts, and dried fruits—available exclusively on eBay." Her customers include personal chefs, restaurants, holistic healers, caterers, and spas, according to eBay. 

Sophia also regularly attends monthly meet-ups, "where she shares strategies and best-practices with other eBay retailers." Running an eBay business helps Sophia support her family and gives her the flexibility to be around for all of life’s important moments.

One of the more interesting tidbits in Sophia's story, I thought, was that the first thing she sold was "21 pounds of Cinnamon Sticks, which sold overnight." She said she was "so happy when I got the notification that my item was sold. That was also my first time shipping anything."

Which woman-owned business would get your vote? Which would you be most likely to buy from? Post a comment here! 

eBay May Reside in Social Networks, Says CEO Wenig

eBay May Reside in Social Networks, Says CEO Wenig 

Could we be shopping from eBay from within Facebook Messenger soon, or Facebook itself?

At a recent re/code conference, eBay CEO Devin Wenig said eBay may change in that it will be wherever people spend their time outside of eBay.  "So we may reside in big social networks.  We may reside in big social messaging networks." And, he added, it may be conversational; "it may take various forms.  Go to a site, go to a domain."

"I want to see eBay ubiquitous where people spend their time," he said.

Wenig also spoke about how eBay users are starting to see content curation on the site. "The home page of eBay is now curated; there's something called 'eBay Today.'  It's interesting collections of items.  We tell stories about those items."  And what one person sees won't be the same thing another person sees, or any of the other 160 million or so people on eBay.  "And if you start shopping and browsing, you'll see recommendations that I would call pretty good," he added.

"To me, that's part of the big platform revolution that's not often spoken about," said Wenig.  "The Internet of Things" ends up being about pictures and devices.  He says he thinks of it differently.  "I think of it as an Internet that comes to you, rather than an Internet that you go to."

What do you think of the idea of shopping on eBay from within, say, a Facebook or Facebook Messenger? Post a comment here! 

New USPS First-Class Rates in Effect in August

New USPS First-Class Rates in Effect in August

According to an eBay Announcement, The United States Postal Service has proposed a rate increase on First-Class Mail Parcels (FCMP) weighing between 1-3 ounces. "These new rates have been approved, and will go into effect on August 28, 2016," says the announcement.

The new USPS rates are:

1-3 oz First Class Mail Parcel Retail:

Currently $2.45

Proposed $2.62

1-3 oz First Class Package Service via eBay labels:

Currently $2.45

Proposed $2.60

Do such small increases affect your eBay buying? One thing I have been wondering, as a seller, if the overall increase of USPS rates, more on heavy items that need to be shipped Priority Mail, have affected buyers' habits.  For one reason, heavier items such as serving platters can sometimes cost as much in postage as they do in their purchase price. 

One seller on an eBay discussion board wrote, "I'm losing ton of money on shipping!?! HELP!!"

"So I put a bunch of stuff on sale, using the 'Ebay' calculator for shipping. I ended up paying around $2-5 more for nearly reach item. One item I sold for$.99 and I paid $2 more than buyer paid to ship. So basically I paid someone to take my item! So next time around, I said everything weighed am extra pound trying to see if that would work...nope!!

"When I did this before you could add things for handling costs to cover anything like that, and packing materials. I get that Ebay was losing out when people would put $19.99 for shipping and sell item for a penny, but I just want to add $2 handling fee for things like shipping cost error and tape and such.

"I was also on receiving end of issue. The seller printed the label ebay said was right, and when package got here, mailman made me pay another $3.54 that had been under paid by seller. Seller said there had been issues with ebay postage calculator. Even my post office said they rarely get ebay stuff anymore since the change went into effect. Come on ebay fix this please!!

Other sellers counseled that he add shipping costs into his item price, doing research on sold items to make sure his shipping price wasn't out of line with other items in the same category.

Another said he used eBay's shipping calculator with no problem.

What about you? Have you decided against buying an item ever because the shipping price was too high? What do you think of the new USPS first-class rates, or will they not make a difference to you in your buying? Post a comment here!

What Might Be the Impact of the Brexit on eBay Buyers?

What Might Be the Impact of the Brexit on eBay Buyers?

Both eBay buyers and sellers are likely wondering what any impact of the "Brexit," the British vote to leave the European Union, might have on commerce on the site.

EBay was cautious, stating in an announcement on the UK site simply that, "As a global business enabling cross-border trade for SMBs worldwide, eBay has been a consistent supporter of the EU Single Market and the creation of a true EU Digital Single Market.  We believe there are advantages for both sellers and buyers to be part of large open trade blocks. But our business is a global one and our sellers are successful within and outside the European Union. British voters have decided that their interests are best represented outside of the EU and so we will continue to put the best interests of British SMBs and customers at the heart of what we do.

"We will continue to work with the UK Government and at a European level to ensure we are close to any discussions/changes resulting from this vote, which may affect our customers.

"The eBay-Team"

Meanwhile, one eBayer on a US discussion board wrote on June 24, "GB Pound down: buy British antiques!"

"If the Pound stays down, now could be the best time for years for eBay $US buyers to buy £GB Antiques listings," they wrote.

Another responded, "Thanks for the heads up, I have a couple of items in my watch list from the UK."

But one eBayer wrote, "Note that the OP is from the UK. Self-promotion!? And now that the UK has voted to leave the EU who known what the Pound is going to do."

My take on it is it probably is too early to tell, but it couldn't hurt to look at eBay UK listings to see if there are bargains to be had.

What do you think the impact of the Brexit will be on eBay buying or selling? Let me know in the comments section!

Are You the Typical eBay Buyer?

Are You the Typical eBay Buyer?

eBay has announced a "Summer of Choice" promotion, and with it comes some interesting stats about eBay buyers.  EBay now has 162 million active buyers, according to the press announcement, and I was surprised to read that 79% of merchandise sold on eBay is new. (I guess I still think of eBay is the big "yard sale in the sky," though I certainly do look for new as well as pre-owned items on the site).

What does America want, according to eBay, and do you match up with that profile?

Clearly, one thing a lot of Americans want is to shop from their smartphone or tablet; the eBay stats say more than 85% of U.S. residents do.  With that, eBay tells us that of its U.S. app users, approximately 42% use Android, 50% use iOS and 8% use both apps. (Both apps? OK).

Personally, I'm an iPhone user, so in that respect I match up as a rather typical user.

What do Android vs. iPhone and other iOS users buy the most?  Android users spend the most on the P & A, Fashion and Electronics categories; iOS users spend more on Fashion and Electronics categories.  So actually, Android and iOS users aren't that different.

What else do buyers want?  Judging by the percentage of eBay listings, 63%, that ship for free,  eBay buyers would rather not pay for their postage (big surprise!).  Plus, Amazon has made free shipping the gold standard of online shopping with its Prime program, so it may be that folks' expectations are skewing toward free shipping.

But I thought that the stats about some individual U.S. states were the most interesting.  Pennsylvania and New Hampshire have the most residents who make purchases on their laptop or desktop (91%), but Pennsylvanians are more likely to be inspired to buy while sitting on a couch watching a tv show.

Ohio and Georgia residents are the clothes horses of the group; 81% "are most likely to purchase fashion apparel on their smartphone or tablet."  Meanwhile, 22% of Californians, New Yorkers and Virginians are more likely inspired to buy when commuting to or from work.  (As a Virginia resident in the DC metro area, which has some of the worst traffic in the country, I can say that makes sense!).

But back to the "Summer of Choice" promotion.  If you want to participate in that, eBay invites people to go to to vote on dueling mobile deals.  The first contest begins on June 24, and is between a "Char-Broil Classic Grill at 70 percent off versus a Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Blender at 50 percent off."  (That grill better come with free shipping!).

"The polls will be open for three days, and the winning item will featured within the eBay app for iOS and Android for 48-hours for purchase."

Every time I hear "Summer of Choice," it reminds me of the "Summer of George" from the tv show "Seinfeld," in which George Costanza was all geared up to have the best summer ever.  Here's wishing you the best summer ever, and asking for your you think you're a typical eBay buyer, according to these stats, or otherwise? Why or why not?