A friend of mine recently mentioned that he's been selling some older gadgets on eBay and making a killing. He immediately thought of the collection in my basement, since I've been a reviewer of gadgets since 1996. In my case, I don't want to go through the hassle of taking nice pictures, writing up descriptions, etc., even if it would net a college down payment.
Now eBay has come out with an easier way. Instead of having to list your items in an auction, you can go to eBay's Instant Sale site, enter a product name, choose what condition it's in (functional, scratched, etc.) and then click calculate. If you like the offer, another click later and you can ship the item to eBay, for free, and then when it's received, enjoy money instantly deposited in your PayPal account.
I figured I'd give the above a test drive so I selected an Apple iPhone 3G 8GB, said it was functional, told the system I wouldn't be trading in the charger, and then selected that it was in FAIR condition. The company offered me $62. If only I had taken better care of my iPhone, I could have fetched $88 by calling it GOOD.
Services like Instant Sale have been around a while, with the most talked about one being Gazelle.com. The business model of Gazelle is almost identical to eBay's, and Gazelle probably uses eBay as a primary source for reselling devices. This makes me wonder if eBay is now going to take a significant dent out of the bottom line of companies like Gazelle.
The big question is how many people will choose Instant Sale over putting some pictures and a description up, and playing the waiting game. I'm sure eBay will be posting some press releases soon enough. From the early reports I've read, you can get a lot more for your gadget if you play the waiting game, but there's something to be said for nearly instant gratification.