eBay debuts new app to sell your items for you

Valet, the mobile version of eBay's Sell For Me service, will take a 30% cut

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
June 17, 2014
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(Updated with comment from eBay)

For some, posting on eBay is a full time job. I actually know someone who made upwards of $30,000 by buying used parts at garage sales, fixing them and then reselling them. For most of us, though, selling on eBay is we do every once in a while. And, honestly, its kind of a pain.

You have to try to figure out how much to charge, how much you should include for shipping, etc. That's why eBay set up its Sell for Me valet service, so that someone else would take care of it for you and make the process more convenient. 

Now, finally, that service is coming to mobile.

On Tuesday, eBay announced a new mobile app called Valet which will allow uers to find how much their items are worth, send them in and then let valets take care of selling them on eBay.

All the user has to do is take a picture on their phone of the item that they to sell, and then use the app to send the photo to a valet.  That valet will then respond within a half an hour with a valuation range for the item. The user will then be asked if they want to sell it for that price.

The user then sends the item over to the valet in a free prepaid box.

In turn, the valets will be responsible for taking photos, writing listings, answering questions from buyers, shipping the item and sending payment via PayPal.

The catch is that this thing ain't free: the Valet app takes a 30% cut off the sale price. That, combined with the usual fees taken by eBay and PayPal means a large percentage of the price is going to be taken out for the convenience.

The company calls the service "a new and simple way to sell your stuff on eBay."

“This is a chance to pull in people who have never sold on eBay, period, and who maybe are not even eBayers,” Steve Yankovich, eBay’s vice president of Innovation and New Ventures, said in a statement. “It’s for people who think selling currently has too much friction. Why wouldn’t you do this?”

With Sell For Me there are a number of restrictions on which items can be sold through the service, including items valued less than $40 by the valet, any that are heavier than 25 pounds, items that are "in poor condition," fragile items and, of course, items prohibited for sale on eBay, such as weapons, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

There is also a careful screening process for valets. They have to be able to list 100,000 listings each month, have storage capacity sufficient to hold and manage items received for at least 21 days, the ability to list items across all eBay categories, a physical presence in all major metropolitan hubs in the U.S. and the ability to reach Top Rated Seller status on eBay within 90 days of starting valet services. 

An eBay spokesperson has confirmed that Valet will have the same restrictions, and screening process as Sell For Me.

"eBay Valet is a mobile app available for iPhone that lets sellers mail in their items, while Sell For Me is a desktop selling experience that picks up items from sellers nearby and at designated drop-off locations," the spokesperson told me. "Both eBay Valet and Sell For Me deliver a white glove selling service for eBay customers looking to sell on the world’s largest marketplace."

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