by Phil DuBois, Basin Electric Power and Tej Kharbanda, LA Metro Transit Authority 
IR departments want the highest prices on the sale of their surplus. This is normally achieved with maximum exposure to the most people. eBay, the world’s largest Internet auction site, can reach a global marketplace and will certainly broaden the number of potential buyers beyond your own in-house marketing list.
Some of the things that are important when considering eBay are to:
  1.  Meet with other departments to discuss payment and shipping options. Accepting payment through PayPal (an eBay owned payment processing company) and other credit card options needs to be decided prior to listing items.
  2. Do market research to determine a fair market value. The Internet (of course including eBay) is an excellent resource for determining what others are asking for similar items.
  3. Seek training to improve your eBay selling skills. eBay has free online tutorials plus Education Specialists—trained by eBay—teach in-person classes using the most up-to-date and eBay-approved course materials.
Quick tips to improve your eBay Listings:
  •   Add a picture to your listing. Over half of buyers only bid on items that have a picture, which is why more than 90% of listing includes a picture.
  • Add Gallery. Items with Gallery can sell for 14% more than those without.
  • Offer a return policy. Give buyers more confidence. 70% of shoppers say a return policy is very important factor in their purchase decision.
  • Offer to ship your item worldwide. Items that sell internationally through PayPal can increase the final sale price by 16%.
In short, eBay can be a powerful asset recovery tool. In the past two years, Basin Electric Power Cooperative has recouped $750,000 using eBay for the sale of its surplus and obsolete assets.
Reprinted from ASSET 2.0, the Investment Recovery Business Journal, Vol. 3, 2008

© The Investment Recovery Association