eBay Selling Tips

I’ve sold quite a bit of ‘stuff’ on eBay and my listings generally attract higher than average prices.

For the benefit of all, listed below are my golden rules for a successful eBay listing:

  • Use an established eBay account with a good feedback history (preferably 100% positive) to list your item. There is nothing that puts a buyer off more than a new seller with no history.
  • Choose a sensible end time for your auction. My personal favourite is Sunday evening when people are more likely to be at home and able to bid in real time. Don’t underestimate how much the frenzy of a live auction with active bidders can push the price up ūüôā
  • Include a decent photo set:
    • Avoid using stock images
    • If it’s something technical then include a shot of the thing working
    • If there is a settings or status screen then include a photo of that
    • If there is any damage to the item then include a photo of that too
    • If you still have the original box and packaging then mention this in the description and show these in the photos
  • Provide pertinent technical details – include the model number, version and firmware revision. If there it’s an updated firmware available then upgrade to the latest version.
  • Make your item description clear and concise. There is no need to include superfluous blurb. If the manufacturer has a decent online spec sheet than provide a link to that instead. Avoid confusion by listing exactly what is included – and what isn’t included.
  • If the same item is sold for a lot more by an online retailer then link to their page and show how much the item sells for new. It doesn’t harm to point out what a bargain the prospective buyer will be getting.
  • Give realistic postage costs. Check the size and weight of the packaged item and find out exactly what it will cost to send (use Royal Mail’s Price Finder). Don’t inflate the postage costs in an attempt to boost your profits.
  • Finally – package the item well, send it quickly and keep the buyer informed. That way you’ll get good feedback.


The 2012 Global Online Shopper Report confirms that 8.05pm is the most common time for UK consumers to make Internet purchases, so having your auction end just after 8pm is a good idea!

Global e-shoppers spend on average 22% (UK average: 25%) of their annual outgoings on goods and services online, shop for 5 hours a month (UK average: 6), watch TV whilst shopping online (global: 46%, UK: 51%) and make the majority of their purchases at 20:40 (UK: 20:05), according to the Global Online Shopper Report commissioned by WorldPay.

Power to the people

After reading about Centrica (the parent company of ye olde British Gas) reporting profits of £1.3 billion while at the same time raising retail energy prices by 18%, I got to wondering Рis there another way?

As the power generators offer wholesale prices to larger customers (including the utility companies themselves), would it be possible to start a new not-for-profit energy provider which would benefit from the cheaper wholesale rates and pass these prices on directly to its members? It would be like an energy co-operative scheme if you like.

I’m thinking of doing some further research into this concept. Before I waste time on this, does anyone have any good reasons why this wouldn’t work?

Squeezebox Receiver without a controller

It is indeed possible to setup a standalone Logitech Squeezebox (Duet) media receiver without needing to fork out for the controller. To be frank there are much better (and cheaper) controller software solutions out there for iOS and Android, but an extra Squeezebox receiver can be very handy.

The Squeezebox receiver can currently be picked up for just shy of £80 from Superfi Рinclusive of VAT and delivery!

Once you’ve got your receiver you’ll need to configure it with an IP address and server information. Usually this would be done via the controller, but thanks to Robin Bowes you can use his¬†Net::UDAP Perl module to do it all from a PC or Mac.

As long as you’re comfortable using the command line and Perl, you will find the udap_shell.pl script very simple to use and be up and running within minutes.

FedEx Furniture

Jose Avila recently moved to a new apartment in Arizona, but he couldn’t afford to furnish it. He discovered that he could order packing material from the FedEx web site and used his design skills to craft a sofa, dining table, chairs, desks and bed all from FedEx boxes.

¬Ľ Blog: FedEx Furniture

Jose has published his marvelous handywork as a personal Blog but unfortunately those miserable people at FedEx are using legal force in an attempt to shut it down. They claim that he is infringing both the copyright and trademarks of FedEx and have invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

¬Ľ Stanford Law School: Latest News in FedExFurniture Case

… and there was me thinking that FedEx had a sense of humour?

¬Ľ CNN Money: FedEx parody commercial