Thursday, November 15, 2012

eBay Mobile App: Selling Made Easy

I love eBay.  I remember when I first learned about it, back when I had dial up Internet, and I was fascinated by the things I have found.  Over the years, I've found replacements for my cell phones that have died unexpectedly, brand new toys for the wee ones, jewelry, and more.  And I've sold my fair share of items, too.  I love that there is always a market for products, especially since I tend to be a bit fanatic about keeping things in good shape at my house!

eBay now has a mobile app, and I had never used it before today.  It is easy to download from the eBay mobile site, whether you have an iPad, an iPhone, Windows, Blackberry, or Android device.  Apps are available for free, regardless of which device you use regularly.

Image of ebay home screen on my iPad

Once it's installed, you simply need to accept the terms and sign in.  This is my only real annoyance with the app.  The button you press to sign in is at the top of the popup box instead of below it, where I'm used to having it.  It's possible I accidentally pressed "Create Account" or "Forgot?" more than once instead of the "Sign In" button at the top.

Sign In screen for eBay

Once logged in, using the app is beyond easy.  You can quickly set up your favorite items that you want to keep an eye out for (hello, lenses for my Sony A33 DSLR), as well as showing popular categories people search, which you can customize for yourself.

Today, I was all about selling.  I have a Rothschild winter coat that is absolutely gorgeous.  And it's unworn.  In a size 4T.  Little Miss refused to ever wear it for because it was too girly, and this $150 coat is sitting in my closet, mocking me every time I open that door.  It needs to go to a new home where it will be properly appreciated.

Selling was easy.  I pressed the "selling" box first, thinking that would automatically give me the option to list something, but that shares what items I already have for sale without a link to list an item (which would be a helpful feature in future releases).  Oops.  I figured out quickly that I needed to swipe the green button at the top, and a menu of options opened up, including "Sell an Item."  From there, it was a piece of cake.  I simply had to follow the prompts to add information about my listing.

If it is an item with a barcode, you can scan the item to populate the relevant information, which is pretty cool.  Since I'm listing a coat, that didn't apply, but creating a title, determining the category of the item, adding photos and a description, and setting the pricing and payments was quick and simple.  I liked that to take the photos, I simple had to press the photo box, and I was then able to either choose an image from my gallery or take a photo immediately and resize it as needed.

My biggest challenge was on shipping.  You select what type(s) of shipping you're interested in from USPS parcel post to FedEx and everything in between.  However, it doesn't calculate the shipping cost for you.  I had to make my best guesstimate of what it will cost me to put the coat into a box and send it.  The web version will calculate shipping for you, and I may go revise my listing to ensure I have an accurate price listed.

Screenshot showing the categories for listing items on eBay

Once I had finished the information, I previewed the listing and then uploaded it.  All in all, it took me under five minutes.  If I had more experience with the mobile app, I can see it taking even less time.  I liked being able to preview my listing and ensure that I had put all the information in correctly - and verified the type of charges I would (or wouldn't) have prior to submitting it.

Preview of my Rothschild coat listing on eBay

The fees charged for the mobile app are the same as that for eBay usually - a listing like this is free for seven days, with a Buy It Now price and an auction listing, and up to 12 photos to make it more attractive.  I will pay 9% of the total amount of the sale once the item has sold, but my first 50 items listed each calendar month are free.  Exceptions are for "value add" items like subtitles ($0.50) or scheduling the listings ($0.10) or reserve price ($2) and the like.

Other things that I like about the mobile app are the ease to check on what I'm selling to see where the bidding it and whether or not there are any questions for me to answer.  It's also easy to revise my listing if I realize that I want to add anything (like confirmation that I will ship the item quickly and how I work with any disputes/questions over the item once it's sold).  On the flip side, it's pretty neat, too.  I can easily watch items, put out alerts, have favorite categories of items that I choose, and - most importantly - have notifications pushed to me on any or all of these so that I can take action as necessary.

So eBay?  Consider me sold.  Now let's cross our fingers and hope my beautiful Rothschild coat that Little Miss never wore sells.  Go ahead... bid on it!

So what are you going to sell using the eBay mobile app?

In the interest of full disclosure, I am compensated as part of this campaign by Splash Creative Media on behalf of eBay.  As always, all opinions expressed remain my own.

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