One man's junk is another man's treasure. It's an idiom that's kept auction specialist eBay in business for more than two decades but as competition in the secondhand market heats up from newcomers like Wallapop and letgo (in addition to continued pressure from familiar foes such as Craigslist), the iconic site is turning to an established player in a different industry in hopes of attracting new users.
For those not familiar, eBay's Valet service makes selling items on the pioneering auction site a breeze. Rather than having to snap photos of each item, create an auction page, research the average selling price of an item, receive payment and ultimately shipping an item to its new owner, all one needs to do is drop off the item they wish to sell at one of the participating FedEx Office stores.
FedEx will then package and ship the product to eBay's Valet processing center where it'll be sold and shipped on your behalf. Sellers will receive updates throughout the process and once it's all said and done, payment will be sent over via PayPal.
eBay says the top selling categories include electronics, high-end clothing and shoes, sporting goods, musical instruments, small appliances and antiques. A full list of items that eBay doesn't accept for the service can be found here.
A recent market test in Atlanta and Los Angeles found that the majority of participants were new to eBay, no doubt great news to both executives and shareholders.
As you might expect, such a service isn't free. In its Valet FAQ, eBay says fees are deducted from the sale price of your item(s). For items that sell for less than $50, expect to receive 60 percent of the proceeds. Items sold for between $50 and $200 will net you 70 percent of the sale price while items that go for more than $200 will result in an 80 percent return.
Should you choose to sell something on your own, eBay typically takes a 10 percent cut of the sale value as well as 10 percent of what you charged for shipping.
What's more, with the Valet service, buyers pay shipping on items they purchase so that's one less expense to consider. If something doesn't sell, it'll be relisted at a lower price. Should it still not sell, the item in question will be returned to you free of charge.
If you have some big-ticket items that would likely bring over $200 and time is a valuable commodity (or you're worried about the safety of selling on Craigslist), it may very well make a lot of sense to try eBay's Valet service.