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eBay Tests More Inclusive Consignment Selling Program

eBay is testing a new program in the UK to make it easier for people to sell unwanted goods on its marketplace. While many are familiar with eBay’s well publicized efforts to bring structured data to its site, another key strategy is to bring “consumer sellers” on board.

The new pilot program called eBay Neighbourhood appears to be a UK version of eBay Valet in the US, which replaced the more democratic “Trading Assistant” program – there are only two companies that are approved “valets” in the US.

However, the UK program appears to be more inclusive. The website explains to sellers: “eBay Neighbourhood is a pilot programme that connects you with people in your local area who need help selling on eBay. In return for helping them, you receive a commission based on the final sale price.”

Since it’s different from the traditional Trading Assistant program and the eBay Valet program, we’re providing an excerpt from the site about how it works for sellers:

The first thing to do is register at the Neighbourhood Hub.

Once you’ve registered you will be able to create a profile, including your location, your eBay experience and the kinds of items you tend to sell. You’ll also receive a free welcome pack with tools to help you market yourself as an experienced eBay Neighbourhood seller in your community.

Item owners will be able to get in touch and ask you to sell for them. They should include specific information on the item(s) they would like you to sell, including photos for your reference.

If you think you can help, you can reply to them to make arrangements for exchanging the item(s).

Once you’ve checked the item over to make sure it’s something you’re happy to sell, it’s time to take some photos and create a listing – just as you would if you were selling your own item. From here, you’re responsible for every part of the sale, including communicating with buyers, receiving payment, posting the item to the buyer, leaving Feedback and handling any buyer issues after the sale.

Once the listing is live, you should assign it to its owner in the Neighbourhood Hub. This makes it easier for them to keep track of the listing, and for you to send them payment once the sale is complete.

Once the sale is complete, log on to the Neighbourhood Hub where you can send the item owner the funds from the final sale via PayPal, minus your 40% commission. All of the calculations will be done automatically in Neighbourhood Hub.

The website for eBay Neighbourhood (note the British spelling) greets visitors with the message, “We’re currently in the process of recruiting sellers, but we’ll let you know as soon as everything is up and running.” It entices people to use the service to sell their items with the following four benefits:

  • Declutter your home and life.
  • Make money. You can even give part of your profit to charity.
  • Work with experienced eBay sellers
  • Make selling so much easier

Youtube video uploaded in June makes a compelling case for the program: “The average UK household has over 4,000 pounds of unwanted goods just sitting around, unused” (the currency, not the weight). “It could all be worth a lot of money, but you might not have the time or know how to go about selling them,” it continues.

“It’s a new service, which connects you with trusted eBay sellers in your local area, who’ll sell your items on your behalf.” According to the video, “Once your item is sold you get 60% of the sale price.”

eBay explains in a seller FAQ, “You are responsible for eBay and PayPal fees accrued by selling in the eBay Neighbourhood programme. These expenses are covered by the 40% of the final sale price you receive as commission. By taking part in the neighbourhood programme, you will benefit from free insertion and 20% off final value fees for your first 200 listings per day on eBay.co.uk – even those that are not part of the eBay Neighbourhood programme.”

The tagline for eBay Neighbourhood is, “Sit back. Sell easy.” You can find more information on the eBay UK website.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.