09/27/2019 at 1:11 pm #68306
I’ve secured a contract with my town to manage the auction of 1200 retired street signs. It’s an exciting project and I’m looking forward to interacting with my community, because the whole town is so excited to bid on them. We have some substantial technical problems, and I wonder if I could solicit advice from anyone with experience dealing with larger projects like this.
1. It has always been my understanding that new eBay accounts will always have strong selling limits until they show some history. The town has called eBay 5 times now, and each time the rep confirmed to them that they won’t have an issued listing 1200 listings with their new account. I called my own anchor-level support rep, and she was under the same impression as I was, that we can’t raise limits to accommodate a 1200-listing sale during the first month of the account’s existence. I’m concerned that they are just reaching call-center reps who are giving them false information.
Can anyone weigh in on this? We want to create a premium level store, and set it to a business account. The town’s Paypal won’t be ready until Monday, at which point I am hoping we will see the Seller Dashboard, and with it the selling limits – rep said they wouldn’t be able to raise them until the account is Paypal-linked. Is it possible that eBay grants organizations and businesses exceptions to the selling restrictions that the rest of us had to deal with?
2. Supposing eBay works, I’m concerned about how to start so many auction listings in an orderly fashion. If at all possible, I would like to create drafts for each one and then start them all at the same time.
I’ve never used Scheduled Listings before. Would you recommend using that, or using a service like Crazy Lister or Ink Frog?
3. These are going to be 1200 of the same listing, different only by title and image. Would something like Crazy Lister or Ink Frog give me a semi-automated solution for getting these up faster?
Thank you guys so much for any advice in advance. I’ve had remarkably helpful advice from this forum in the past.0
09/27/2019 at 1:58 pm #68309
- Location: Virginia
1. Once the account and is set up and some items are listed, eBay is pretty good about raising your limits. There doesnt seem to be a set limit. They are basically just making sure you’re a real person who is listing authentic items. No idea if they treat a town differently.
2. Third party eBay apps do have good templates you could use. But I dont see why you couldnt also use ebay’s Sell Similar feature. Honestly nothing is going to take away the crazy amount of work you have ahead of you. Are you going to photograph and list all 1200 items? What kind of time frame are you thinking that could happen?
3. why would you want all 1200 to start and end at the same time. This means you could have 1200 items to pack and ship, or arrange local pickup. Even for a big auction company, that would be a lot of work. Keep it simple and do 100 a week. It’ll be a sane three month job.0
09/27/2019 at 2:57 pm #68311
This is a one-time, pickup-only auction – I don’t have flexibility on that. I’m going to be managing a team over a 2-day pickup interval. I have a few weeks to work with, and yes I need to photograph and list 1200 items (but it’s 1200 versions of the same item). 2 images per sign, and apart from the title it’s going to be the same listing, again and again. I’m going to be looking for a software to create a template with, and then apply to it to the photo set. I think it could save me some hours of work if the process was a little more automated than the ‘Sell Similar’ process.
I really hope you’re right about the selling limits. In my experience, they only raised them after time passed and positive feedback.0
09/27/2019 at 3:04 pm #68313
- Location: Virginia
Ah, so local pickup only. Glad you got the job, but it’d be easier if they just hired an auctioneer if they planned to just sell locally.
Good luck! Sounds exciting!
So 2400 photos need to be taken.
1200 listings created.
How long do you think that’ll take you if you have a simple template?0
09/28/2019 at 8:19 am #68345
- Location: Missouri
eBay File Exchange is free but there is a learning curve. It’s all done as a csv file, no user interface at all, but if all listings are the same except for title and photos it should be a snap once you get the first row the way it needs to be.
Its going to be a lot of work, answering questions, managing invoicing and likely some non-paying bidders, etc. I doubt that all will sell and might require more rounds of auctions.0
09/27/2019 at 3:10 pm #68314
They were always going to do it through eBay auctions. We’re talking about a town with 50,000 people, with quite a lot of enthusiasm before we have even announced the auction. An auction house would never work for this project.
It’s going to be a doozy. My time to do the work was just cut in half. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opinions over it is finished.0
09/27/2019 at 3:18 pm #68315
I once saw signs for sale in an online auctions through the website GovDeals.com. I think it was for one of the NJ shore towns. GovDeals is specifically for government institutions like schools, townships, fire departments, etc. I don’t know anything about how those auctions are created, but I’d expect you wouldn’t have limits. Perhaps eBay has a wider audience, but, if you are going to advertise and have a local pickup, it shouldn’t matter.
Ooh, another thought, you are in NJ as well, right? Try MaxSold.com. Their mobile app interface is a little clunky, but not too difficult once you get used to it. You can duplicate listings pretty easily, then modify them quickly.
I agree with Jay on breaking up the auctions. If anything, many of the auctions won’t get bid up because you probably aren’t going to get that many people who all want a street sign at once. It’s like the auction I went to yesterday. They had someone’s collection of bar items including thousands of advertising pitchers. At first, some groups of them were selling for up to $100. Then, they got to the box lots, and they were selling a box for $10. Then 3 or 4 boxes for $10. Then 7 or 8 box lots for $10 (this was when I jumped in).
You risk not selling many of the signs or just selling at the lowest bid. Maybe if you chunked it out into 300 at a time for four weeks in a row. It would also give a chance for word of mouth advertising.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Sharyn.
09/27/2019 at 3:24 pm #68317
How about doing a Maxsold auction that you manage?0
09/27/2019 at 3:24 pm #68318
Just saw someone else also suggested Maxsold. Oops!0
09/27/2019 at 3:25 pm #68319
I was just going to say – jinx!0
09/27/2019 at 5:37 pm #68328
I tried to get my limits raised when I first started. They upped the limit on the total amount I could list, but wouldn’t remove category restrictions, so I could only have X amount listed in a category for something like a month. eBay said this was non-negotiable.
Maybe it’s different now? Or maybe if you open a store they’ll lift it automatically? It’s unfortunate that the reps just fed you false information.
I would also go with GovDeals or something else. They allow payment via PayPal. No idea what the backend looks like.0
10/10/2019 at 1:25 pm #68863
Hello from the brinks of hell! I tried to convince the town to use GovDeals or MaxSold before I even took on the project because the fees are so much more reasonable; they had already decided on eBay and wouldn’t rethink their position.
To my big surprise, we did manage to get the new account started with a 10,000 item selling limit. It seems they treat business accounts differently.
To Jay’s earlier question – It took me 5 days to photograph and organize 1200 signs, or 2400 photos. I’m spending this week creating and distributing advertising, planning with the administration, and using InkFrog to create scheduled listings for just south of 1200 listings. Wish me luck!
We are already getting media attention. I am the referenced “local eBay proprietor.”1+
10/10/2019 at 9:24 pm #68876
Sounds like you did a bang up job! With enough advertising, they should do well enough. Neat thing to get your name in the news. Does this mean that we all are eBay proprietors?
Do you know why they were set on using eBay? Just curious. eBay is OK for what they are doing, but not the best venue IMHO.0
10/10/2019 at 10:53 pm #68877
I would be happy to chat with you about beurocracy after this is over 🙂 I told them that many times.
If you’re in Central NJ, you should bid on our signs. Bloomfield is Parkway exit 148.0
10/11/2019 at 3:35 pm #68913
I was in Bloomfield a few weeks ago. My parents were in town, and my mom wanted to go to an auction. However, they happened to visit during a week where there were no auctions that I wanted to go to, so I took them to a very upscale one in Bloomfield. I forget the name of the company, but it was an interesting thing to do. Maybe someday they will visit when one of my “lowscale” auctions are happening.
I’ll take a look at the signs, but it isn’t something I’m really interested in. I buy things to sell, but I am downsizing my own stuff.0
10/10/2019 at 11:09 pm #68879
- Location: Missouri
Just a random thought, does the city collect sales tax for selling those signs to NJ residents?0
10/11/2019 at 8:43 am #68899
Isn’t eBay doing that on everyone’s behalf now?0
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