October 31, 2014

Don’t Want to Sell Your Own Stuff? eBay Valet Will Do It!

ebay valet

It’s finally happened! If you’re an eBay seller but no longer want to deal with the…uh, selling part…now you can outsource that too.

A new app, eBay Valet, and the service it supports, are kind of like an online version of an eBay consignment store.

You download the app and take a photo of the item or items you want to sell. Send the photos and you’ll be given an estimated selling price. The eBay Valet service then sends you a box with prepaid shipping label, if you decide to proceed with the sale. This is what you use to pack and mail your item to eBay Valet.

From here on in the service, which is actually run by eBay, takes over.

Basically eBay Valet handles all the aspects involved in actually selling your product. The services takes care of taking the photos, writing the descriptions and then ships out the purchased item to your customer. Oh, and you even get to keep 70 percent of the sale price. Ebay Valet keeps the other 30 percent as their share for providing the service.

But it doesn’t really seem like such a bad deal considering all you’ve done is snap a few photos and mail in a product or two.

The service is an expansion of the earlier eBay Sell for Me program. And it’s another one of these services that seems poised to transform eBay selling into a much more exact and potentially scalable business model.

In some ways, it reminds us of a service like Terapeak, which gives you eBay analytics to take the guess work out of pricing. Though not owned by eBay, Terapeak has a special relationship  that gives the company access to  some deep selling data. But it can do some very similar pricing estimates on Amazon too.

This gives the eBay seller a much better way of choosing inventory too. Because you can make an estimate of how much a particular item or product might make before you even buy it.

But eBay Valet adds to this a way to remove some of the potentially tedious aspects of an eBay selling operation — listing, packaging and shipping orders — leaving the seller to focus almost exclusively on refining product selection.

There are, of course, caveats.

For one thing, there’s a long list of items the service won’t handle. Some of those include bulky items over 25 pounds, including some furniture. The service also won’t handle, CDs, DVDs, items that aren’t in good condition or basically anything that would sell for less than $40.

This is a partial list suggested by TechCrunch, but it would be best to do your own analysis of the service to figure out whether it would work for the kinds of products you want to sell.

For another thing, the app appears only to be available on iPhone thus far, and it’s a pilot program, so we’ll see how it fairs.

Still, it would seem likely other similar services would eventually jump into the niches eBay Valet doesn’t cover and that the space for outsourcing some aspects of e-selling should heat up over time.

Image: eBay

8 Comments ▼

Shawn Hessinger - Editor


Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Editor for Small Business Trends. He is a journalist and social media networker with more than a decade of experience in the traditional newspaper business before moving to the digital world. He was the former community manager of BizSugar and the former community editor at AllAnalytics, a site dedicated to professionals in the business intelligence and analytics community.

8 Reactions

  1. Great idea! There is a lot of things I have not sold on ebay purely because of the hassle it can be with listing descriptions and getting packaging etc so this may convince me to finally shift some that rubbish!

    • Does this work on infectious diseases as well? I’ve colon cancer and I was wondering if someone with “buy colon cancer now” for me for super low price. You’ll also get diarrhea and Flatulence along with your purchase. I’ll send you colon cancer along with tracking information. If you don’t receive colon cancer, you’re protect by paypal buyer protection or your money back guarantee.

  2. While I know that this has a target audience, I find this somewhat wasteful. After all, it is just about taking a few pictures and writing a short description. Why outsource that when it is not even tedious? Even non-marketers can come up with a good description if their goal is to sell their item. Isn’t this a bit too much?

    • Aira, for you, it might not seem like much of an effort, and that’s cool. For others, it can feel like it (and that’s cool too), and it becomes more of that the more items they’re looking to sell – more items, more pics to take (some from more than one angle), more descriptions.

    • Have to disagree, Aira. Growth is the key factor here. Because you’re literally constrained by the number of products you can physically post, and this is taking time away from product research and sourcing, which is what you really need to be concentrating on to grow the business.

  3. The valet is absolutely the worst service ever. It has been in business for WELL over a year now and is completely dysfunctional at best.

    Go to the ebay community board and look at the 115 post thread regarding the valet service from people who have actually used it. People are losing their asses from it.

    Most recently a former valet employee posted a behind the scenes prospective of what is really going on there. Employees freezing in an unheated warehouse, pallets of merchandise that has been sitting for months and has yet to be listed, custom operating system full of bugs and constantly crashing, oh and the so called “professionals” that are evaluating your items? Temps from a staffing agency. And according to the employee, half of them could not even read.

    • Isn’t the idea of selling on ebay to make money, not pay money? Once again this sounds like another way ebay can get their greedy little fingers on a piece of the pie! It appears that ebay is constantly coming up with new angles to capture a larger audience & keep more money/fees.

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