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Ebay holiday lets - my experiences
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stewart-sandeman



Joined: 29 Dec 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Scotland - highlands

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:09 am    Post subject: Ebay holiday lets - my experiences Reply with quote

As an enthusiastic ebay user, I thought I would share my experience in using ebay to let a property.

Firstly the house is very quirky, so this may have been an attraction for some and a big negative for others (house is only accesssible by boat and has no electricity - see www.ardnish.org). This is the first year that the house has been rented, and because it is so quirky, and finding the right market/rental site is difficult, I have only booked 6 weeks so far this year, despite being on several holiday websites since December.

I put it on ebay for a week in June (with the option to buy another week at the same price, turning it into a fortnights holiday) on a 10 day auction, with a good picture, and links to the website.

Over the 10 days had a total of 330 people view the listing, and ended up with 10 watchers. I started the auction at 450 (normal rental price is 750 a week), and it sold for 510.

Still to be paid via paypal but assuming this happens, the cost is 10% of sales so 51.

But the real winner has been the number of enquiries/interest for other weeks that it has generated. So far I have had three strong enquires for other weeks - may turn to nowt but the spin off's have been considerable for the 51 cost.

So to summarise - worked very well for me, possibly a bit pricey and lower return, but as in my first year, I am taking the longer term view. If you plan when to sell you can take advantage of the discounts (down from 10% to 6.5% commission). End the auction on Sunday evening (this means you need to start the auction on a Thursday evening - but you can set it up to by using the delayed start time option).

Will post an upate on if i get paid, if the enquiries turn to anything
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tavi



Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Posts: 2578
Location: Algarve

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks stewart, interesting stuff.

do update us sometime.

I used Gumtree to try to sell a cancelled period, didn't achieve it but I guess it's not really the right platform.

Tavi.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2773
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting. When we finally had renovated our cottage 10 years ago we had no advertising set up at all as we really weren't sure what date it would be ready. We were just done by the end of December and I put it on ebay (I was an active seller on there anyway) and got my first booking instantly for the New Year period and some very happy guests which got me off to a positive start. Many more followed (and they were all basically very nice people although one added two more children after they paid!) until I eventually, in March of that year listed on that dear old Oxford Holiday Lettings site which filled all the space until they exploded in their IT department/TA takeover. I wish we had a similar site now....

Ebay is great for getting you going. More will follow I am sure!
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stewart-sandeman



Joined: 29 Dec 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Scotland - highlands

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Ebay an update Reply with quote

I promised an update - so far even better than could be expected!

I booking for 2 weeks - now confirmed and paid in full, plus two more bookings for a week, and one more enquiry re a week.

So for the total cost of 51, I have so far got 4 weeks let and possibly more to come.

May not work for a less quirky house, bit certainly an option especially if in your first year, or you have a slot to fill at short notice.

Peter
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Cymraes



Joined: 07 Jul 2015
Posts: 301
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the update - I've been a bit leary of Ebay but I may give it a try come the autumn when I have space to fill.

I am however now seriously in love with your property!
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Ben McNevis



Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Scotland (for) The Brave

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's awesome. Well done!
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Bunny



Joined: 16 Oct 2013
Posts: 3387
Location: South of England

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: Ebay an update Reply with quote

stewart-sandeman wrote:

So for the total cost of 51, I have so far got 4 weeks let and possibly more to come.
Peter


Peter, you say for 51, but surely the true cost was 351? Have you managed to sell these subsequent weeks at full price and are they peak season dates? Otherwise your advertising cost is increasing with every let and you are selling yourself down the line. I'm not saying it's not a good way of get yourself going in the absence of any other bookings please don't panic under sell yourself to bargain hunters, who more often than not, turn out to be more troublesome. Sorry if this comes across as negative but others have had bad experiences with e-bay guests.
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PW in Polemi



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1741
Location: A village in Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bunny, I calculate the cost of that first week's booking to be 291, not 51 (being the 240 difference between the usual price per week and the actual price paid, plus the % fee of 51).

However, the subsequent bookings didn't cost anything - unless the auction booking took the offer of a second week at the same price, in which case there is another 240 cost.

The spin-off bookings and additional interest may well have proved this exercise worth while - after all, how much is the subscription for HA/OD, and how many of us are bemoaning lack of enquiries therefrom?

Peter's property, as he says, is very quirky and unusual - and may well benefit from advertising in a different manner to most FHLs. He certainly seems to be off to a good start.

Well done, Peter!
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7007
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect and would hope that Peter sold the other weeks off eBay at full price?

eBay does generate a lot of traffic, but I will say that if you sell it cheaply then they are unlikely to become returning guests as they won't want to pay the full price another year. At this stage I'd simply be advertising at your full rate rather than discounting. There's plenty of people still looking for their summer holidays. You do have a very niche property though, so it's good to try all sorts of options in year one and see what works or not.
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stewart-sandeman



Joined: 29 Dec 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Scotland - highlands

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the interesting comments - all food for thought.

Yes Nimo is correct, one week was sold via ebay and the others were sold off ebay so no cost involved.

To date - 1 week sold at full rate, plus 3 at slightly reduced rates.

The house was on 6 holiday websites, at a cost of 600 or so per annum, and for 2+ months and only 1 booking for 2 weeks , and was getting a bit despondent, so to get 4 weeks bookings for 50, even with a reduced price, both improved morale and bank balance.

So far having spoken to each enquirer, they are certainly the correct type of tenants - experience of boats and similar properties. They may come back or they may not, only time will tell.

Planning to try again over Easter with ebay and will keep you updated to see if it is a one-off or not.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5902
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just whiling away a few idle moments pondering how I'd find your place - what would I be searching for? Would it include "Off Grid"? A step further and I found the domain offgridselfcatering is available. Just a thought...
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stewart-sandeman



Joined: 29 Dec 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Scotland - highlands

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Greenbarn

thanks for this, I will have a look.

Peter
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very surprised someone would use .org for a holiday rental. I wonder how Google treats it in it's search algorithm?

"The domain was originally intended for non-profit entities, but this restriction was not enforced and has been removed. The domain is commonly used by schools, open-source projects, and communities, as well as by for-profit entities. "
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stewart-sandeman



Joined: 29 Dec 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Scotland - highlands

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Ebay - a year on Reply with quote

I promised the forum an update on ebay rentals a year on.

Last year I used ebay to sell a few weeks, and fill a few gaps - as it was the first year that I had rented the house.

The repeat booking this year from the weeks sold on ebay is good with half (2 out of 4) returning - booking 3 weeks in total (and would have taken more - but it is fully booked for 2017). This mirrors the overall repeat bookings of 60% of weeks.

The property is not a mainstream one - think no electricity, and you can only get there by boat - but it does illustrate I think that not all ebayers are just in for a cheap one-off deal, if the property fits the needs, it can lead to repeats.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2773
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very good stewart! Thanks for coming back to tell us.
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