8 Years Sober

Growing Up in Maine

Why do humans engage more with negativity?

Tour of the Pleasant Hill Boat Launch

Driving Down a Mississippi Country Road with Music

The Bee Gees on 8-track – How I Discovered Music

First Rehearsal in 16 Months

Why I’m meeting with the Mayor of Hernando, MS

I’m joining a band and will be playing live music again!

Why I List Penny Auctions on eBay

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What is a penny auction?

A penny auction is an item that you list on ebay with a starting bid of just one penny.  A true penny auction will also offer free shipping.  If someone wins the auction for a penny, that’s all they pay. One penny!

Why list a penny auction?

Penny auctions are a great way to advertise your ebay stuff. People are curious to see what you are offering for one penny.  New customers will quickly bid with the hopes of winning for a penny. Your regular customers, who realize the price will go higher than a penny, are at least excited about maybe getting the item for a very low winning bid. And it does happen!  I just had someone win this quilt block for only 56¢.

Should I list everything for a penny?

No!  Use penny auctions as attention-getters.   When curious potential customers come in to see what you have that starts at one penny, they will most likely check out your other listings.  Always have some Buy It Now items for them to buy right away. You can also list higher priced auctions too.

What if everything sells for pennies?

In the beginning, if you don’t have established customers and no way to promote your stuff, you will for sure be giving your stuff away. Not only will you be giving it away, but after your ebay fees, paypal fees, postage and the cost of your supplies, you will most likely be paying out of pocket to sell those items. Think of it as investing in your business. You are paying for a very unique and targeted form of advertising.

What do I list for a penny?

Since you will probably start out by giving stuff away, list stuff you already have on hand and that you would be willing to donate or toss out. Make sure it’s cheap to ship!  Look up shipping costs on USPS. If you are confused by all the options, package one of your items and take it to the post office to find out how much it would cost to send.  If it’s too much, don’t list it. Aim for light weight, flat, not rigid and not breakable. I mostly list fabric but I do list other stuff too, like my plus size tunics, quilt tops and whatever else I come up with. You can see my current penny auctions here.

Keep listing!

List on a regular basis.  Make a schedule that works for you and stick with it.  Make sure your listings overlap so that if a batch of listings end, there are still other listings up and running. Never let your listings dry out unless you are forced to take a vacation (lol) or you are sick.

Promote your stuff!

Post your new listings on whatever social media you use.  Ask your friends to share your posts. Make some simple business cards with your youtube name to hand out to people.  Include an insert in every package you send asking your buyers to join your facebook group or inviting them to visit your auctions again. You can also shout it from the roof top. That might work. Might not.

Give it time!

Nothing happens over night! You need to be patient.  All you need are a few bites to know that you are on your way.  But don’t become overly enthusiastic and quit you day job simply because you got a good winning bid on one item.  Be happy. Not stupid.

Once you are on a roll…

If you are successful with your penny auctions, you will quickly discover that you will get decent bids on most of your stuff.  Some items might go higher than expected while other items might end with a very low bid.  Look at the over all picture.  If you listed two items that you hoped would sell for $5.00 each, but one sold for $12 and the other sold for only 50¢, you are still ahead of the game!

I love when one of my penny actions ends with a low bid (like the quilt block that I mentioned) because I want my customers to see that there is an actual chance to get something for next to nothing!  And I always make up for it in other ways.

One important thing you must know!

Do not put the term “Penny Auction” in your ebay title.  Ebay put a stop to that long ago because there are people out there looking to bid on actual pennies, as in coin collectors.  Putting “penny auction” in the title is misleading. Ebay will take down your listing. Using that term in your description, like saying “I list penny auctions every few days” is allowed.

I have been selling on ebay since Jan of 2000. Please visit my ebay store to see what I’m currently up to!


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