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The Problem With Selling Cheap Games on eBay


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#1 nosweargamer

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 02:30 PM

So recently I had a revelation when I sold a common 2600 game, Target Fun, on eBay.

The cheapest games on eBay for almost any system, usually start at about $4 including shipping.

For my commons, I have listed them for $3.94 for quite a while. My goal was to earn $1 after expenses for common games, and it used to be that I did. But when I rechecked how much money I cleared on Target Fun, I was in for a surprise.

 

Allow me to break it down:

Sale Price: $3.94

Money after PayPal fees of $0.30+ 2.9% of sale: $3.53

Money after cost of First Class Shipping (-$2.61): $0.92

Money after eBay Final Value Fee (10% of total sale including shipping):$0.53

Money after cost of bubble mailer (bought it bulk at $0.27 each):$0.26

 

So there you go. When all is said and done, I make about a quarter. Thankfully, I used a free listing, otherwise that would've cost another 30 cents just to list it, at which point the sale would lose me money. The total also doesn't count my time, or materials to clean the games or paper/toner/tape for shipping. And, if I ever had to take a return on a game, I'd need to sell about 16 games at the same price to break even. I believe the big problem is that shipping costs have rose. It was not too long ago that shipping one game cost less than $2. 

 

So what does that all mean? If I raise my prices, I most likely won't sell the game since everyone else is selling it for $4. That means it's time to either bundle the games in lots where I hope to make more per game or send them to AA for store credit.

 

A quarter just isn't worth the time or effort. 

 

 


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#2 Rowsdower70

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 02:38 PM

I often wonder how some people make any money off of selling single commons like that.   It never seemed worth the effort to me, but I figured you had a system.

What I do with Atari is bundle up the games and keep them where I can still ship First Class, so usually 4 game lots.   I try to put in one uncommon or at least highly desired common in each lot.   My starting price is generally the price of the most expensive game in the lot's normal ebay sold listing price.   (So if its Pitfall II, starting bid $15)

I have moved several lots like this, but I usually don't get lots of bids.  

The same would apply for me selling PS2, XBox360, Wii, or any type other than Nintendo when I get overloaded with commons.


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#3 RickR

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 02:54 PM

Shipping prices have gone way up as you mention.  It's even worse on bigger/heavier items. 

 

We've got to figure out how to attract more people to buy/sell/trade here on the forums.  No fees.  Some pretty good self-policing. 


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#4 Rowsdower70

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 02:57 PM

Your other option is, of course, make the customer pay shipping.   But for common games, I'm sure they are hard to move like that.


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#5 Rowsdower70

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 02:58 PM

Shipping prices have gone way up as you mention.  It's even worse on bigger/heavier items. 

 

We've got to figure out how to attract more people to buy/sell/trade here on the forums.  No fees.  Some pretty good self-policing. 

Attracting more forum members in general would be key.   Now that I have our new art, it can't hurt for us to set up something however!  It's a matter of cataloging our stock.


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#6 nosweargamer

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 03:40 PM

I often wonder how some people make any money off of selling single commons like that.   It never seemed worth the effort to me, but I figured you had a system.

What I do with Atari is bundle up the games and keep them where I can still ship First Class, so usually 4 game lots.   I try to put in one uncommon or at least highly desired common in each lot.   My starting price is generally the price of the most expensive game in the lot's normal ebay sold listing price.   (So if its Pitfall II, starting bid $15)

I have moved several lots like this, but I usually don't get lots of bids.  

The same would apply for me selling PS2, XBox360, Wii, or any type other than Nintendo when I get overloaded with commons.

 

Yeah. Like I said a buck was worth it to me, since I usually would post the games in batches. Sometimes I posted 20, 30, 40 or even 50 games at a single time, so that's up to $50. Right now, I think I'm going to try making a massive lot of common games using a regional rate A box, which is usually not too bad for shipping. I know I've done it once or twice before. I may not make a ton of money, but at least I will get rid of a bunch of games at once.


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#7 Atari Today

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 06:37 AM

It can be hard to make a profit on smaller items on ebay for sure!  Thanks for the expense breakdown as it really spells it out better than I could ever explain it.  :thumb:

 

I'm under the impression that a lot of sellers on ebay will sell items at little to no profit just to raise their stats (such as amount of items sold, and potentially their satisfied customer rating) so that when they do sell higher ticket items they have a better chance of moving it.  I know i'm personally one for checking a sellers rating when i'm placing a bid on something, especially when it is expensive.


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#8 TrekMD

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:24 AM

This is true with any times that you sell that are under $5.  By the time you're done with all the fees you either make almost nothing or end up losing money!  So it doesn't seem to be worthwhile selling these items on Ebay.  With games I suppose a bundle works out best but I think you can get more credit from Albert on AA.


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#9 jmjustin6

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 06:20 PM

This is why i tell people as much as i can when i deal with local people. Ebay is a good way to base your games value, but you need to take some off because of all the fees.
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#10 StormSurge

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:01 AM

One side benefit to unloading all of your games to deserving forum members.  :)


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#11 nosweargamer

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 10:17 AM

One side benefit to unloading all of your games to deserving forum members.  :)

:thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:  :thumb:


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Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube





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