Why I didn’t post my ad on eBay motors? (I’m cheap..LOL)

Well that title kind of says it all, but I am going to go into more technical details anyway 😉

We are selling our cars, namely a Nissan Altima tuner, and a smart ForTwo passion coupe (also a tuner/showcar).

The best way we thought, besides sticking a sign in the window of each vehicle and parking them somewhere eye-catching, would be to post ads online.

We used a few trusted sources for this..

#1 CraigsList.ORG (a free local classifieds site)

#2 Kijiji (another free classifieds site)

I was going to post on AutoTrader (Canada) but it seemed their primary goal is to sell vehicle history reports to perspective sellers and buyers, so I declined that, knowing full well the VIN and history are quite good for both cars. I have reports available if someone asks me anyway, so didn’t find it needed to plaster my personal data about the car’s VIN in a public way 😉

Anyway, on to the idea of eBay! Woo! I love PayPal and eBay, and always looked online to eBay for some classic cars or interesting cars, and, well, wondered what it would cost me to list my car there. Free? small fee? Nah.. guess again! Though my wife’s car is a mere $6000 built in 1997, my smart car is a 2008 model with lots of goodies and worth well over $27,000 — I am not listing it for that, of course, you make a show car and you NEVER EVER get that back.. so.. after posting it for $21k, then $18k, I am finally posting it again at the crazy discounted price of $16,000 … that doesn’t sound good when you can see lots of stock smart cars going for well under that, but for a $27,000 show car, well that’s a nice discount indeed.

Anyway, back to eBay Motors. and why I am too cheap to post my car there? One word, FEES. Granted, if they came here in person and took pictures of my car and listed the ad for me and handled it all from day one, I would probably pay a bit of a premium for that type of “turnkey” service. But I’m not talking about that, I am just going to list what it costs the average seller to sell their $16,000 car on eBay Motors, with an example of the buyer using (their) PayPal for the purchase. Yep, I would do all the photos, posting, comment replies, watching the auction, process the transaction into my account, get the car ready for shipping, all of that stuff. So, ready? Here we go..

Let’s say you live in either the US or Canada, and sell a car on eBay’s US or Canada site, for $16,000. All goes well and your car is sold, the buyer gives you the cash via PayPal, and your car is SOLD..
Here is how the fee schedule at eBay breaks down.
They take 12% off of the first $50 of your item, that comes to = $  6
Since your car sold for more than $50 but less than $1000, you fall into the next fee bracket. Oh joy, no more 12%! It is now reduced to 6%. 6% of first $1000 is = $ 60
$66 dollars so far, not bad.. now we get into the big numbers 😉 hehe..
They then take 2% of your total selling price, from $1000 up to about $100,000 or so, well, since my car falls into that bracket at $16,000, we take 2% of that and get = $320.
Total eBay fees? = $386
You just paid a website more than 2 years of hosting fees (well more than I pay for 2 years at BlueHost.com anyway!) and you got to list your one item, a car, for $386. Was it worth it? I am sure it would be for many people, but like I said, I am cheap 😉
Ok, now let’s say the person pays you through PayPal, which like CraigsList (debateable, I know), is technically owned by eBay, but PayPal has their own fees, right? Right.. So, the person paying YOU doesn’t have a fee to use PayPal, thank goodness. They do charge you their standard fee is 2.9%, since you are the person receiving money, that’s the service they provide 🙂
If it goes to a buyer outside the US/Canada, they take a bit more for “cross-border fees” but let’s keep this simple for now..
PayPal takes 2.9% of $16,000 = $464
(I hear LOL cats going NOM NOM NOM at this point)
Great, now let’s add those together. Just an example of what it costs to sell your car on eBay:
eBay fees ($386) + PayPal fees ($464) = $850
Congratulations, you just sold your $16,000 vehicle for $15,150.
Is it good business ethics to ask the buyer to give you $850 on top of that $16,000 to cover your eBay and PayPal fees? Hmm, I don’t know, I guess you need to ask eBay and PayPal what your business is worth to them. Oh no, wait, don’t ask, I already figured that part out 😉 Ah HAHAH bad rant, no more popcorn for me..
Just to be fair, let’s do a comparison how much it costs to list a car in other places..
Craigslist.org = $0 (100% free)
Kijiji = $0 (free, but has options $)
AutoTrader.ca = $0 (also free, but has options $)

If my cars don’t sell locally (and I like to do business locally anyway, for what it’s worth), then MAYBE we will take another look at the famous eBay Motors again..

For now though, I am going to stick with the free classifieds and cross my fingers the right buyer will scoop up these vehicles and they will find the good new homes that they so indeed deserve. 🙂

One Reply to “Why I didn’t post my ad on eBay motors? (I’m cheap..LOL)”

  1. Update: Soon after I posted that article, I pulled the classified ads that I posted on the smart car forums and usual free places, at the time thinking I’d keep the car awhile longer (..and so for 8 months now I have!)

    Well, I haven’t been driving it and haven’t imported it into Canada, it’s just kinda sitting around which is no fun for the car or me, so, I am again planning to sell it — for that reason, yes, as well I just need the money.

    The average value of a “stock” version 2008 smart passion coupe has dropped to around $10,000-$12,000k. That sort of devaluation in quite a contrast to the MINI Coopers I previously owned, which hold their value probably better than any other car on the market, but I won’t talk more about that, yeah yeah..

    I may just go ahead and post it on eBay motors after trying Craigslist and Kijiji again to see if I get any bites on it. We’ll see.

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