auctions are hot! Today the concept of buying and selling is changing the whole
way. There are many online e-commerce enabled websites that buy and sell
online. These websites offer selling mainly in two ways.
Fix Priced Listings
you're looking to get your baby necessities at a discount, and you don't have
time to browse endless yard sales, online auctions may just be the answer for
you! eBay is the largest online auction site, currently controlling 85% of the
market. Amazon.com just started running their own auctions, and there are
several other sites which function in much the same manner.
Does It Work?
-- people just like you and me -- place items up for bid online. They provide a
description, a photo, a starting bid, and an end time/date for the auction of
that item to close. Sellers may also set a "reserve price" on their auctions --
the lowest price at which a seller is willing to sell an item. This price is
not disclosed to bidders and is at the discretion of the owner. However, if
your bid does not both exceed the reserve price and is not the high bid, you
will not get your item. Much more information is provided on the sites -- check
out their online FAQs and help sections.
Overbid -- Or Underbid
San Francisco Chronicle published an article about the popularity of online
auctions -- and how they're very profitable for sellers. They wrote,
"...traders say they get higher prices at auctions than at swap meets or
collectibles shows because bidding generates excitement." So while you're
gaining access to a huge variety of goods, keep in mind that sometimes
old-fashioned yard sales, secondhand stores and swap meets may save you more
your research beforehand -- including prices for what you want to buy new --
and don't overbid, or else you defeat the purpose of buying used (particularly
when you factor in shipping costs). Set a limit on how much you're willing to
spend before you get carried away.
a side note, keep in mind that these products are coming from households across
the country, so there may be some products you can't find in local stores. One
mom I know picked up a gorgeous French stroller online -- something she
couldn't have obtained almost any other way. She was one of the few bidders,
because not many people had heard of the brand. (She made sure her bids were
fair, however, because she knew the owners had paid several hundred dollars for
Not To Buy -- Or To Be Wary Of
you're buying any sort of baby equipment or clothing, check the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission Web site for any recall information before you buy.
As a rule of thumb, don't buy baby items more than ten years old -- many new
safety standards have been implemented in the past few years. The Danny
Foundation recommends carefully evaluating a crib more than two years old --
and on any crib you buy, make sure all the parts are there and nothing has worn
out. (See a list of Crib Dangers here.)
buy a car seat secondhand, unless you're certain it has never been in an
accident. A crash weakens the structure of a seat, making it unsafe for your
child -- and useless in the event of another crash.
can also market your own used items (or anything else!) online! Commissions
range from 1.25 to 5 percent, depending on the company you use and the sales
price -- check out the competition and then go test the waters!
a fun way to clean out your house or to get something for old baby clothes,
maternity wear, toys and other household knicknacks you no longer need.