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eBay Encourages Shoppers to Sell in Email Push

eBay added a new component to the emails it sends to users, urging recipients not only to save by buying on the site, but to sell as well. The subject line in an email sent Tuesday read, “Here to help you save – and sell!” and proclaimed inside, “Let eBay Valet take the wheel. Experts will sell for you!”

The email takes recipients to the page on the eBay website devoted to the eBay Valet program. “Valets do the selling. You get paid.”

The landing page provided real-life examples in a section called “Recently sold by Valets” that included a woman’s top that sold on June 6 for $40.99, a men’s hat that sold on May 3 for $58, and a pair of men’s sneakers that sold on May 17 for $52.99.

The landing page also offered a search box for visitors to “See how much your stuff could be worth.” We tried it out by entering the term “tennis racquet.” eBay came back with a selling range of between $25 and $47 and said, “Yes, Valet accepts this. Please ensure it is fully functional, undamaged and clean.” It also provided a link to 10 recently sold tennis racquets.

However, don’t try to sell your ping pong paddles – they have a selling price of between $8.99 and $18.00, according to eBay’s lookup-tool, and valets only sell items that are worth more than $25.

While serious sellers aren’t generally enthusiastic about eBay bringing on board more sellers (they view it as more competition), many also realize that shoppers who sell a few things here and there can use the proceeds to fund future purchases. That’s a lesson that many sellers believed eBay management had ignored during the Donahoe regime.

Last month, eBay partnered with FedEx Office to let people drop items off at over 1,600 FedEx Office stores.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.