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Selling Consumer Electronics on eBay - It's All About the Accessories

Published 10/7/07 (Modified 3/22/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Selling Consumer Electronics on eBay - It's All About the Accessories

I don't do it as much as I used to but back in college and for a few years after I used to sell products on eBay as part of my experiment in running a part time online business. It was more of a hobby than anything else so I never quite grew it into something big. But I did learn a thing or two about online selling during that time.

When I was an active seller, I focused primarily on electronics and gadgets that I liked and that were must-haves at the time. One rudimentary search of eBay's auctions reveals the obvious - consumer electronics was and is still in great demand and there is fierce competition for steep discounted prices for such products. EBay consumers have grown accustomed to paying discounted prices for their electronics and this has made it more difficult for sellers today to profit from their sales.

Selling Electronics Is Tough

New eBay sellers will come to discover that consumer electronics is the toughest category to compete in. This is due to the slim margins for consumer electronics. Even Powersellers in this category often times only break even. The key to profiting from sales of consumer electronics is the bundling of products with value added accessories.

Successful eBay sellers make their money with accessories, or create packages that include items that have higher profit margins such as earphones, or padded protectors. This allows sellers to avoid competing on price alone. Profiting from the addition of accessories works because as a general psychological matter, buyers tend to be less adverse to paying for accessories and additions then they are for the primary product.

Think about when you are buying a lunch sandwich at your downtown city deli. The sandwich itself might be a good deal and reasonably priced at say, $5.00 (some might beg to differ that this price is reasonable), but with the addition of a soda or a drink, the total price has jumped to $6.50, not including taxes. The price of the drink was likely a substantial markup, but in the mind of most consumers, the focus of the meal - the sandwich itself, was a good bargain. Successful consumer electronics sellers often package their products in ways to successfully take advantage of the price increases that can they can charge due to the addition of accessories that create value in the eyes of their customers.

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2 Responses to “Selling Consumer Electronics on eBay - It's All About the Accessories” 

  1. janay says:

    on a scale of 1-10, how difficult is it to sell electronics on e-bay?

  2. Raymond says:

    Janay,

    It's hard to say...it really depends on what type of electronic products you are looking to sell. If you're talking about popular name brand merchandise like Apple iPods, iTouches, Sony notebook branded computers, or popular GPS devices like Garmin/TomTom, then it's super difficult as bigger volume sellers generally have the upper hand when it comes to bulk pricing. Many of the bigger eBay powersellers own warehouses that allows them the ability to buy in huge volume, thereby increasing the individual margins on the items they sell. However, margins tend to be much higher for the generic electronic products out there with no fancy brand names attached. That's probably the key to making money online on eBay by selling electronics - focus on no-name generics and find a way to market them to brand name seekers. One interesting, but rather sneaking tactic is to utilize an eBay auction title that pitches a brand name title indirectly. For example, if you're selling a generic looking MP3 audio player with Apple iPod knock off characteristics made in China for example...you may want to title your auction "Not an Apple iPod - But Great MP3 Player). While this strategy used to work well, I don't know if eBay currently still allows this type of sneaky auction titling practice.

    But in general, selling popular, red hot electronic products via eBay online auctions is not an easy task. Probably a 9 (with 10 being the most difficult) in terms of difficulty if you're talking about generating net profit.

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