Low Listing Prices on eBay

Low Listing Prices on eBay

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Most eBay sellers like myself prefer to make as much money as possible when selling online.  However, sometimes we have to take a loss.  

Many people who know me know how I feel about inventory. I personally hate inventory. The motto during my flea market days was, “Sell a heap, sell it cheap,” mainly because I did not want to bring all that stuff back home. Loading and unloading my “mom van” did get old every weekend. 

Thanks to eBay, there was no looking back! I preferred loading the mom van with shipping packages to drop off at the post office and never bringing those items home again.


Online pricing

While reviewing prices online, you may have noticed that some sellers have very low prices. Some prices even seem ridiculous. It makes us wonder how they can make any money, especially when they have free or low shipping fees.

There could be a few reasons.  Personally, as I hate inventory, I may run a penny or 99-cent auction now and then to move old inventory. However, when I do this, I generally charge for shipping, unless it’s a lightweight item or I am so sick of it I don’t care if I lose money. I want it gone! 

Other sellers may feel the same as I do, and list those items at very low prices. Many sellers list items low for attention.  These attention seekers hope to draw the buyers in to look at other items they may be selling in their store. 

They may also list items for cheap to gain followers or subscribers for their newsletter. When you view listings, look at the description box to see if they encourage other items or promotions. 

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Loss leaders

When I took a Salesmanship class in college “many moons” ago, I learned about the term “loss leaders.” This term is what many sellers like myself are basically doing when listing items for low prices. 

According to Investopedia.com, “A loss leader strategy involves selling a product or service at a price that is not profitable but is sold to attract new customers or to sell additional products and services to those customers. Loss leading is common practice when a business first enters a market. A loss leader introduces new customers to a service or product in hopes of building a customer base and securing future recurring revenue.”

In this day and age of online selling, we all have to stay creative with our selling strategies, trying out different selling techniques and styles. It could be taking a loss on items now and then may help more sales in the end. As they say, “Take it out for a spin,” and monitor the monthly sales. Review the bottom line at the end of the month, and don’t stress over a little loss now and then. 

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