I don’t know about you, but I found that sort of interesting, so I stopped in to check it out. I talked with Jill Fain of iSell Drop-Off to see if was true. (It is.)
Although Jill has had an established on-line business since 2006, she recently saw the open store-front at 176 Main Street, and decided “It’s now or never”. She has only been there since November of last year, but she’s quickly building her clientele.
Essentially, Jill sells your stuff for you on eBay. She takes care of everything. The first thing she does is research the last three months of e-bay sales for the same (or similar item) to determine it’s value. Once you and her agree, she really gets busy.
Did you know that eBay allows you to design your own ad? (I didn’t). That’s where Jill’s degree from Rhode Island College comes in handy. For example, if you’re selling an old Barbie doll, the ad could have a sparkly background with pink lettering. If you’re selling an old fishing reel, it’s going to have an outdoor theme with brown or green lettering. As they say in the advertising game, “you’re selling the sizzle not the steak.”
When your item sells, Jill does the packaging and the shipping, and you get a check. Now, if you are like me, you have probably scanned this article looking for numbers to see just what does all this cost. Jill works on a 60/40 split, with you getting 60% and iSell Drop-Off getting 40%. I did some exhaustive research (checked four websites) and found that, typically, consignment shops charge between 35% and 50% (less expensive items, say under $20 are usually subjected to the 50% split).
The great thing about iSell Drop-Off is that, for the 40%, you get your items posted on a World-Wide Marketplace, get an ad designed for your item, and packaging and shipping costs. I know what you’re thinking “well, I can do that myself”. Sure you can – but will you?
Since eBay is a World-Wide Marketplace, I asked Jill about international sales. Over the years, about 15% of the items she has sold have been shipped internationally. Belgium, China, Australia, even Croatia! She has seen a large increase in sales to countries throughout Asia. (Designer purses sell extremely well.)
There’s even a trick to making your item more valuable! Be sure, if you can, to tell Jill the “story” behind the item. Just like a high-end auction house, if Jill can include the “provenance” of the piece (the “sizzle”), she may be able to sell it for more.
She gave me an example of some wool sweaters. Okay, I need a sweater, which one do I buy? Well, how about one of those from a church mission in Bolivia, made of 100% alpaca wool? Yes please.
I wanted to know what were some of the strangest items she has sold. The two that immediately came to mind were a half-bottle of Chanel that sold for $187 and a pair of used Ugg slippers that someone purchased for $75.
Finally, I had to ask her how she got started. Getting started (or getting “hooked” was easy). While in college, she found an old pill bottle in (where else), a consignment shop and bought it for $.25. Then she sold it on e-bay for $87. If my math is correct, that’s a 34,800% profit. I don’t think Jill can guarantee that, but you never know.
If Jill can ship it, she can probably sell it. At this time she doesn’t handle big items like furniture, but if you have a house full of stuff you don’t know what to do with, why not visit the store on Main Street that pays you?!