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I've got two Ebay IDs, and have sold some items for other people - family, friends, etc.

But...they often don't tell me much about the items, and I'm not an expert in some of the stuff. So there have been a few problems. Other issues is keeping the money straight, its difficult to sort through Ebays billing lists to figure out what it has cost to sell an item.

So I'm wondering what you have done in these circumstances?

So far I've set up a new ID and have bought a few items to build up some feedback.

Here are some of my direct questions:

Should I charge a fixed percentage?

Should I open a new Paypal and bank account to keep the financials separate and simple?

Should I rent a PO box to keep my personel address out of the mix?

What do you think about listing an item for friends, but letting them ship it?

Not expecting to list a lot of items, but have to do something to keep this stuff separate from my auctions.

Thanks in advance, Jett.
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I use to work at an Ebay drop off shop that my friend owned (a couple of us were partners) and so I can give some info on what we did there.

Yes, many things came through the door that we knew nothing about (pipe organs, depression glass, car parts) and sometimes people could tell us about their items and others could not give much info. We used a lot of resources on the web to help identify things and when/why they were made/used. They are also a lot of good research tools to search closed listings to find out if the items would hopefully bring more than $50 (that was our criteria, to accept items that we thought would sell for at least that much and usually more)

We did use a fixed percentage on a sliding scale (the higher the price went, the lower the percentage). The commission was separate from fees. We paid the listing fees and then deducted final value and paypal fees from the clients profits as well. Fixed percentage seemed to work well and we had a nifty calculator that helped us to figure out what everyone gets if say their items sells for $100 (something like could be probably set up in excel)

Obviously our shop had its own paypal and bank account and boy did it make things easier! Believe me.

It is up to you to get a po box or not. We used the owners address until we got the storefront. I think she preferred to have money orders go there and in case any packages needed to be returned. That is up to you.

My opinion about the shipping thing is that I think you should do it. If your friends do not ship on time, not ship the item safely or well packed, then it is your feedback that is at risk. I liked having control over the process since it was our feedback at stake, not the clients.

Hope that helps, if I can help to answer anything else give a holler or you can reach me at my store.

I don't like doing this so I make it worth my time and effort. And it's only friends that ask me to sell for them or friends of friends.

I charge a flat fee of 50% of the total ending price. The shipping cost and all fee's (ebay, Paypal etc) comes out of their percentage also.

I handle it from start to finish. If they don't know anything about the item, I research it for them. I've had several persons bring me items with the pics already done...I'm happy with that. <smile> I pack it and ship it.

We use my Paypal and all the verified information on my eBay account.

Also I always make it clear that my own items for sale went up first, when and if I had time, I would get to their items for sale.

More often than not, most ask me and then when they hear my charge...They'll ask if I'll assist them the ins and outs of how to sell it themselves...which makes me ecstatic!

Once they decide to go it on their own without my doing an offical "consignment selling" they're actually happier.

I always advise Auctiva, Mpire for research and we use my 8 plus years of selling experience to get the best bang for their own eBay fee.

I always get taken out to lunch or dinner as a thanks for helping them to learn, rather than myself doing the whole kit and kaboodle.

I don't sell for others often on eBay as most balk at my 50% charge (which is why I made it high enough to cover my time, my eBay account and more)

I've not run into a single problem since I made the 50% rule and the percentage cuts of how everything works out.

It's best to have that upfront.

Luckily I haven't run into any problems with selling for my friends, but it's because I learned early on to be upfront bout all the charges and to tell them, it's you sell by my rules or I don't do it at all.

My Best,
As far as figuring out how much it costs to list and sell an individual item...

I made my own Excel Spreadsheet to do just that.

I simply enter about six pieces of information for each item, like the Listing Price, Upgrades (Gallery, etc), Sale Price, Shipping Charge & Cost and Payment Method (PayPal, Personal Check, ect).

Once I have entered all of that stuff the Spreadsheet automatically tells me all the fees that were associated with that particular item. If I know the item cost I can enter that and I'll know the profit on the item as well.

It didn't take too long to setup the Spreadsheet and its much easier for me to keep track of things now that I am using it full time.

Selling for others is very time consuming, and can be very stressful if isn't done right.

When I first started selling for others, I charged a flat rate fee of %35 per listing. I took out my fee and deducted the eBay fees from that.

I noticed that I wasn't selling many of my own items, and I was only making $2-3 per listing. I knew than that things had to change.

So now I also charge a flat rate fee of 50% per listing, all items are stored at our store and we shipped all the items.

Once people hear how much we charge to sell for them, they also prefer to do it on their own. We help them get started on eBay and it makes our life much easier.

Because we have a storefront, we try to stick with our local merchants. We make more money from them, then let say our friends. Selling for "friends" can be sticky sometimes.

We do have a different addy for money orders, cashier checks and such. This keeps our items apart from others.

Hope this info is helpful

and remember
Well, this has been excellent advice and very concise. Thanks.

As a test, I did let one of my friends ship his own item. After he ran around and found a box, packed and shipped it, he told me that he never knew it was so much work. During this process he called me about every two hours with an update on his shipping progress.

I have tried to school some folks in Ebaying their own items. But unfortunately there are lots of people who have never logged on a computer and have no interest in doing so, and there are quite a few who simply can't figure the danged thing out. I spend three afternoons with one woman, and she was just not in a state of mind to be able to list things herself. To several of these folks I recommended that they should use a professional trading assistant.

One thing I have done is tell them I will sell their items, but as an offset if they could find me boxes and packing materials that would be great. This has worked well in several instances.

So far, anything under $50 has been split 50/50 and over that my fee percentage goes down depending on how difficult I think it will be to sell and ship the item.

I do not want to make a business of listing stuff for others. Though the several local Ebay assistants with storefronts seem to be doing very well. It has just seemed to me to take alot of time and had very little financial return for the effort.

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