Ebay Powersellers with high % of no sells: What is the average % of non selling items?

10 replies
I found 10 powersellers in various niches and studied their every move. I found their suppliers, their actual wholesale or dropshipping cost, and went all the way back to their first auctions to see how they got started.

In all my research, the one thing I couldnt understand ( from a business perspecitve), is how these pwersellers have so many non sells everyday, but have thousands of products listed.

From what I see with calculating ebay/paypal fees, these sellers that I studied seemed to be loosing money. But that cant be, can it?

Of the ten powersellers I studied, the average item sold for around $3-$4 over the wholesale or dropship cost. Add ebay fees and paypal fees to that, and it really eats those profits. I know they make a little back on the shipping, but it seems like these sellers were making about $3 total profit on the sale, after all expenses and fees.

Are there ebay powersellers here that can tell me how you make money on small markups, high fees, with so many unsold items? It's the high amount of unsold items that gets me. Two of the niches were DVD's and video games, just to give you an example.

What is the average % of non selling items?
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  • Profile picture of the author francof
    Did you take into consideration the re-list option for unsold items? They can relist it a few times I think until it actually sells and only pay fees for it once?
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  • Is that true? I thought you could relist for half of the fee or something. I didnt think you could relist free.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hasan Barbary
      This is verbatim from the eBay FAQ:

      Normally, insertion fees for listing your item are non-refundable. However, if your listing ends without a winning buyer or with an unpaid item, you can qualify for a credit if:
      • Your listing was in Auction format or eBay Motors Best Offer format
      • You relist your item within 90 days of the original listing
      • Your item sells the second time
      What is the free relist policy?

      I have also noticed PowerSellers with a large # of no-sales. However, just because you may have tracked down a particular wholesaler, doesn't mean that a specific seller is paying the wholesaler's list. They may have a deeper discount for huge volume. The few dropshippers I have tried all mention this potential. They will cut special deals for special buyers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chrissy Allen
    Hi Guys,

    I have a few well established ebay accounts over 4000 feedbeack at 99.9% I am a power seller too.
    I have to say the question you have asked is a very good question.
    Ive often thought about it myself aswell, the only answer i can really come up with is this...
    All these guys are using programs to list the products ie.. turbo lister or autiva or wotever, the time it takes to list say 60 70 items is 10-15 mins.
    The good power sellers do a lot of research prior to making there choices on what to sell & there is abit of a golden rule (APPARENTLY) which is basically you have to sell 1in20 products to break even. Which i agree sounds shocking, but the fact is if you do your homework first and check whats hot and whats not. If you sell more than 1in20 you are making money and the time it takes to list and schedule shipment and payments etc is minutes not hours.

    Im not actually a power seller in these types of terms though, i have a niche which does really well and my average sale is around £60.00 at a cost to me of around £5.00 and it is all in house no dropshippers or anything like that. I even wrap the parcels etc myself but it is decent money and i know my customers are happy.

    It is harder for me than it is for all these dropshipper type power sellers but i can see how it works for them they have much lower margins but much higher volumes.

    Warm Regards

    Chunkynuts
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    Chris Allen

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  • Profile picture of the author JayInOrlando
    Many of them are either just breaking even, or doing additional follow up marketing to those who buy. Also keep in mind power sellers do get discounts of 20% each month.
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  • Maybe I should try it out instead of spending soo much time analyzing it, huh?
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  • Profile picture of the author phoenixx9000
    A lot of this will depend on how you are researching the PowerSellers. I have found tools like Goofbay etc to be totally inaccurate as I have entered my own eBay id into them and the results were way off the mark. As the poster above mentioned, feedback really tells you nothing. Likewise a completed items search also tells you nothing because if, for example, you had 30 identical items and listed them as multiple available in one listing and had sold 29 of them, those 29 sales wont show up in eBays completed items search as (because there is still one left for sale), the listing is not yet "complete".
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  • What is a good or average pertcentage of non sells?

    If I list 100 items, how many should I expect not to sell? That is on average of course.
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  • Profile picture of the author SolomonHuey
    Back when I was an active PowerSeller I was listing 100-200 items per day with 20-50 sales each day. I'd say 25ish % of those sales were items sold for $0.01. Yes that means I was selling them at a loss.

    I made a decent amount of money from the auction sales themselves, but (and this is the key tip) I wasdramatically increasing my profits on the backend sales process. And this continued to increase every single month as my list grew.

    Long term, the sales I make on the backend would far outweight any sales I make initially as my customer base grows. Plus I would push those additional sales outside of ebay, reducing my costs.

    I'm not sure how many of the sellers you've looked at do this, but it's an easy way to significantly boost your profits while your other ebay competitors are wondering how you're making any money.

    Solomon Huey
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    Are they culling the unsold items or do they continue to list the same unsold items time and time again?

    There's a point when someone monitoring their results would know that xyz movie or game is not profitable to carry.

    I would think they would be weeding their way down to a nice profitable list of product but there's only one way to get there and that's to start throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
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