You Sold That for How Much!?

Money PileI sold something last night that I’ve been thinking about all day, knowing I would post about it here to teach a few things. First, I bought these lights at Wal-Mart after Christmas. They sold for $24.99 and were 75% off, so my purchase price was $6.25 each. I wasn’t sure about them, but I bought 15 because for $6 how could I go wrong!? 🙂 They may end up being a long tail item (one that sits for awhile before it sells), but I was willing to take the gamble on these since I wasn’t doing my typical after Christmas sale shopping.
Lights - Listing

I listed them on Jan 14th for $59.99 with free shipping. SIXTY DOLLARS for lights Wal-Mart was selling for $25? Yes. I do this all the time. And I sold three sets to a buyer (with just 7 feedback) that lives a few towns over from me and put $180 in my pocket.

There is much discussion and ‘friendly debate’ about free shipping. To free ship or not to free ship, that is the question! I say this all the time….I have 3500+ listings in my store and has free shipping. Of course we all know that free shipping isn’t even close to free (and one of the reasons I priced these lights so high; each reel weighs about 4 pounds). BUT, eBay has said that offering free shipping, returns and one day shipping time will yield you better search results. They don’t give away too many ‘trade secrets’ but they tell us these three things will get us higher in search rankings, so I do all three on every.single.listing.

Lights - All saleI wanted to see if there were other listings today that were priced cheaper and put my theory to test on this sale. So I searched “400 Holiday Time Heavy Duty Clear Mini Lights” and yielded 6 returns. I sorted highest first and was surprised that my listing wasn’t at the top! The one above my listing was for 2 spools (there’s a key word I hadn’t thought of..spools!) at $50 with BO and $22 shipping. I quickly calculated that to $36 each before any BO negotiating. That’s nearly HALF of my asking price. The listing right below mine was for $32 with BO and FS….why didn’t the buyer pick that one!? Or the one below that which is on sale and priced out at $17.50 with $11.21 shipping? Or the two below that, both with BO options and free shipping?

Lights - Free ShippingHere’s my thought….buyers just shop. Many don’t price compare or look at all the options and details that sellers do. What do I think caused this buyer to purchase these ‘overpriced’ lights from me and not another seller? Free shipping. If you click on the ‘free shipping’ filter, there are two listings. BUT STILL, the other one is priced at $32 with a BO and free shipping. My first thought was perhaps that seller didn’t have three, but they do, they have 10 available. So the only other reason I can think of that this particular buyer bought these lights from me at double the cost because they needed them quickly and was looking for a quick delivery. I shipped today and they could arrive tomorrow….no extra cost to the buyer.

There are lots of ways to look at this sale and my reason for posting it here today is to show sellers that price is not always the determining factor for all buyers. That free shipping doesn’t mean you lose money on a sale. Good pics and great titles will always help, (and I’m the first to admit that not all my listings have GREAT pics, sometimes I’m just too lazy to reshoot them). Watchers and page views are just information and don’t mean anything when it comes to a sale. At the time of this post, this listing as 143 page views and 1 watcher….but I still sold three to one buyer.

Lights - SoldsAlso, if I had looked at the solds and listed my item just from the prices there, I would have left some good money on the table. A listing for a set of 2 sold for $47.99 plus $12 shipping on Feb 15. Another set of two sold for $40 with free shipping on March 21st and one sold for $23 (I assume with free shipping since it was a BO and when I researched the price in, it gives that price. Since the original listing was $18 plus $8.25 shipping, a sale price of $23 would have me conclude the price included shipping, even though the listing did not), sold on Mar 5th. Which brings up another point, if you’re going to ultimately offer an item with free shipping, why not list it that way and take advantage of all the buyers to click on the ‘free shipping’ filter.

What about this post surprises you? What do you agree with and practice with your listings? What have you sold that you priced high and have found other listings that are cheaper?