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Should you use eBay’s Valet service to sell items?

When eBay started out I was a regular on the auction site selling items that I no longer needed and buying others that I liked. This changed quite a bit in recent time with eBay's focus on turning the auction site into a marketplace.

While you still find private auctions on the site, the vast majority of items sold on eBay seem to come from businesses.

That does not mean that you cannot be successful selling items on the site, but since competition is fierce, you may need to spend time making sure your items are presented in a favorable way.

There are businesses out there that sell your items for you for a fee. Up until now you had to communicate with them directly, for instance by dropping of your items during business hours.

The advantage of this approach is that experts are creating the auctions for you on eBay and that you save time in the process as you do not have to do so or communicate with interested users on the platform.


Ebay Valet provides access to select services on eBay's website directly. The service is currently only available in the United States and works in the following way:

  1. You find items that you want to sell on eBay. The list of items that you cannot sell this way is large. Requirements are for instance that you cannot sell items valued less than $40, heavier than 25lbps, fragile, or in poor conditions. The complete list of what is allowed and what is not is available here.
  2. Once you have a list of items you can either drop it off at a nearby location if available, or use a postage-paid shipping label to ship the items to one instead. To find out if a valet is located near you use the zip code search form on the website.
  3. Once the items arrive they will be processed and then added to eBay. Processing includes appraising, taking photos and writing the auction text.
  4. If items get sold, shipping is handled by the Valets and you will receive 70% of the item's sale price.
  5. If items are not sold, you may either have them recycled or send back to you for a fee.

The ebay Valet iOS application can be used to get estimates for items that you consider selling. You simply take a photo of the item and according to eBay, you will get an evaluation of the item.

What you need to consider

The appeal of the valet service is that you will save time selling items and depending on the service, have experts appraise and create the sales pages for you.

One issue is that you have no control over pricing, photos or descriptions. You cannot set a starting price nor add a reserve price for some items. Some users had a bad experience using the Valet service especially for that reason claiming that the valet service used inaccurate descriptions, lumped items together and used low starting prices.

If you are an expert when it comes to these items, say designer handbags and the Valet service is not, you may have been better suited to write the item's description as you can provide potential buyers with information that the Valet service may not be able to provide.

Last but not least, you are also receiving only 70% of the sales price. While that can be acceptable to some as you save time in the process, you may be better of selling the items directly.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News


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