The eBay Sell For Me service sells items items for you. Instead of having to write a listing and then ship your item you can simply have and “eBay Valet” do it for a small fee. It does cost more than listing it yourself, but you don’t have to do any of the work and you can still make a profit. The service even has its own Iphone app. Sounds good right? Well lets review the details and see how well this consignment program really works.
The first thing you’re probably wondering is how much do you get charged for the service? It’s 30% of the sale price if your item sells. If you listed it yourself instead you’d pay roughly 10% in fees. So on a $100 item the eBay valet would keep $30 and send you $70 whereas you’d get $90 for selling it yourself. That’s a $20 difference!
If that’s a fee you can live with, the next thing you’ll want to know is how you get your item to the Valet. According to eBay’s website you can either drop off your item or mail it in. They have a handy website for looking up drop off locations here which claims “We’ll help you find a convenient eBay Drop Off Center near your home”.
I tried it and I wasn’t able to find a location near me. Which made me wonder how many there were. I spent some time researching the locations and I could not find a list anywhere online. So I used their look-up tool to see if there were any in major cities. I found out that there don’t seem to be any even though they claim that there are. I looked up the 10 largest cities in the US including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, and eBay’s own headquarters location, San Jose. Nothing within a 50 mile radius of any of them.
Maybe they plan on adding more drop off centers the future. For now, looks like you’ll have mail your item to a Valet. Fortunately, eBay will send you a convenient 12 x 12 x 12 prepaid box. All you have to do is request it. If your item doesn’t fit in a box that small you can still use the pre-paid postage label and your own box (up to 25 lbs).
The prepaid part is convenient, but I think half the point of using the eBay Sell for Me Service was so people could avoid packaging and shipping things themselves. eBay will have to get to work on a large network of drop off centers if this service is really going to take off.
If you’re OK with the fees and having to package things up yourself, the next thing you’ll need to be aware of is the list of items they do not accept. The list includes: items valued less than $40, items heavier than 25lbs, items in poor condition, fragile items, clothing, autographs, books, software, DVDs and CDS, used toys, things made from animals, cosmetics, currency, coins, stamps, vehicles, child car seats, coupons, tickets, weapons, artifacts, plants, seeds, and adult items.
That’s a pretty big list. So what are do they want? Some of the things they encourage you to send in include: electronics, antiques and collectibles, musical instruments, new designer shoes and handbags, sporting goods, and high end kitchen appliances.
If you’re still interested, then here’s the last thing to consider. Who sets the asking price? Well to quote their site: “valets determine how to best list your items, including how to price them”. So there’s no guarantee you’ll make the amount you expect. You just have to accept whatever starting price they think is best and whatever amount your listing is bid up to.
If your item does sell you will receive your payment about 3 -4 weeks after the sale. In the event that your item is rejected or does not sell it will be returned to you so at least you’re guaranteed not to be out any money for trying the service.
For more personal reviews and comments directly from people who have tried the Sell for Me service check out its eBay community forum. There’s a whopping 115 pages of posts at the moment.