After being a member on http://www.listia.com for some weeks now (a little over a month), I’ve accrued a significant amount of credits, received 52 feedback ratings, earned 29 badges, gotten rid of over 132 items (some were lots or groups of items, so the number is actually much larger), and won 13 auctions. This hobby has turned into a rewarding, fun but time-consuming hobby. It used to be that I was addicted to swapping online. Basically the website is like e-bay (listing items with pictures, bidding, watch list, credits instead of money, and leaving feedback) and facebook (becoming a fan- friending people) merged into one- except you don’t deal with money unless there is a shipping fee. The website’s rule is that one does not over-inflate shipping prices.
It’s not without problems though. You will get people asking you to change the auction end dates (someone asked me three times and didn’t even bid on said items!) and my favorite (not) question, is “will you do free shipping?” Some winners are really flaky and won’t respond to you (you can as a seller, relist the item if there is no response). Like I said before in past posts, communication is essential to a successful swap. Some people forget to pay for the shipping or don’t use paypal (small fee for the seller to use this method BTW). I am keeping a notebook so as to record all of these things (can still get confusing if listing multiple auctions at one time). I need to remember to not pack things up immediately as people can win more than one auction. I must also limit the “free shipping” listings to ten a month or else the shipping costs can add up (or offer free shipping after a certain credit amount has been reached). The mail clerk said that if there is a little bump in the envelope, it will be classified as a “parcel,” which will cost $1.22 each. Postal rates for first class items is going up in April BTW.
Even with the downside, it’s still a fun thing to do online. The big plus for me is downsizing. I had some things listed on the swap sites for the last few years. This way, things are moving faster out of my house. (I also donate regularly and try to hold a yard sale once every year, too.) The things that you would think wouldn’t do very well, can surprise you. Here are a few examples. My highest yielding item was an authentic small leather black coach bag- over 2100 credits. A mixed hoop lot yielded over 800 credits. A beautiful red and black plus size cheong-sam chinese dress yielded over 1200 credits. A summer floral tube top yielded over 1000 credits. And the other plus, is recycling- giving up things that other people could use. It’s a good thing we are doing, for the sake of the planet. Reusing items means less production of energy, fuel and raw materials.