Friday, July 26, 2013

Pricing of Swap Cards - what Swap Cards are worth Part II

This is a follow up to a post I made in May about valuing and pricing of swap cards.  If you haven't already read it here is the link:  http://swapcardsandmore.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/what-are-swap-cards-worth.html  or look to the right and find it via archive.

When we sell swap cards online the biggest venue is obviously ebay.  Just wanted to point out just exactly how much this costs and how this reflects in the price of the cards.  As I mentioned in my last post on the topic most swap cards start their life as packs of playing cards and these are split up and sold as singles.

Sounds profitable right?  Wrong.  Most average decks of cards go for at least $20.  They then have to be posted to Australia at a cost of $20.00.  So that is approximately $40.00 just to get the deck landed.  In those decks there are some that can't be sold because they are damaged.  Maybe you can sell 50 pairs.   You decide to sell for $2.00 a pair because you have to be competitive and there are many other sellers with same or similar cards to yours..... 

So you scan it and list on ebay.  If you have a store on ebay you pay $20 per month for a basic store and $50 per month for a bigger one.  Each listing in the basic store is $0.50c and each listing in the bigger store is $.20c.  Then you sell an item, ebay takes 10-12% of what you sold it for.  

If you auctioned it, it costs $1.50 just to list it, then you still pay another 10-12% to ebay in final value fees.  The buyer will pay via PayPal because that is how it is done on ebay - there are more fees with each payment.  Getting the picture now?

$2.00 your start price
- .50c to list it
- .20c minimum final value fee
- .20c to get the paypal payment

Leaves you the grand total of $1.10 "profit"  So even if you sold all 50 pairs in that pack (unlikely as 50 buyers all must want the same design and then you have other sellers selling same design) - but in the rare occasion that this happens you make $15.00 total profit IF you managed to sell the whole lot and within the 30 days that your listing costs - otherwise it recycles and you pay fees again.  And don't forget it COST you $20 or $50 per month to have the store.  If you auctioned it, well, forget it you made a loss!

Why am I telling you this?  Because as a seller on ebay I would like to point out to buyers that swap cards are such low profit items and for sellers to remain viable they need buyers to understand how difficult it is to remain viable.  If you want to have cards to choose from to add to your collection then think about the effort tsellers are going to - most sellers sell because they love collecting and want to share their passion.

The rating and ***** system on ebay.  This is my pet peeve.  Buyers can "anonymously" rate sellers on their postage time, postage cost, communication and item as described.  If you rate sellers less than 5***** in each category their listings get dropped down lower and lower.  It is almost impossible for new sellers to get their listings seen and infrequent sellers the same.  It is almost anti-competitive.  This isn't sour grapes, I have high feedback so this system doesn't affect me.  But it peeves me because I like to see new and different cards for MY collection and I feel sellers are slowly being squeezed out of ebay.

I will include some screenshots of recent card decks and what they sold for.