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eBay vs. Amazon Trade-in: Duel!

28 Sep 2011  |  Tags: , , , , ,

So, recently I traded a few things into GameStop (mostly old cables and accessories) and used the rewards to buy L.A. Noire for PlayStation 3, which was just under $40 USD and a phenomenal value to the casual gamer. I applaud both Rockstar and Bondi for this title.

I’d planned on trading it into Amazon Trade-In for $15 (they buy used books and video games), but figured I’d try my luck at eBay, one last time. I’d posted about eBay’s new, outrageous fee-struture (~9%) before, and vowed to not use the service anymore unless absolutely necessary. — But, after all, the game was selling for at least $20 on eBay! My copy ended up selling for $21, plus $4 shipping and handling. Great, right?

Well, it didn’t actually end up being much better. Between all of the extra time I had to spend creating my listing, photographing the item, walking to the post office and mailing/addressing the package, chance of a buyer not paying or filing a claim, (etc.) … I only netted an extra $2 from a $21 sale versus a $15 sale. 

How is this possible? Amazon pays shipping and insures the package for $100, because all UPS shipments are automatically insured for that much. You print a label, and all you need otherwise is an old Amazon box, and some tape.

By comparison, the eBay auction ended up like this: $21 sale price + $4 shipping = $25.00 net income, - $1.03 in PayPal fees, - $2.25 in eBay Fees, - $2.22 in Shipping (USPS, Slowest speed), - $0.80 Delivery confirmation (required), - $1.80 Insurance (optional, but recommended) … = $16.90 total.

So, after all the extra hassle, I made an extra $2 using eBay. eBay/PayPal made $3, or so. And, instead of the package getting to Amazon next day, it’ll get to the buyer in just under a week. — The choice is yours. Good luck, all! I hope you’ll consider the new fees before selling.

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