I don't have any advice on ebay--though If you *do* hire movers then you might find that high-quality items make great motivators/tips for the moving folks.
When I move (and I've done it a grand total of 50 times) I look to have everything that does not see everyday use boxed at least 3 days before moving day. I've found that this reduces moving stress a lot, especially if you start packing at leisurely pace a month or two ahead. Also, I plan and pack a suitcase with my wardrobe/bathroom essentials one week in advance. It's so much easier to work out of a suitcase then to try and pack two closets full at the last minute. Husbands TV, current books and telephone are packed on moving day.
In-town moves I do a little differently than out-of-town. Mainly, I try to have the old house kitchen items packed up a few days in advance and move those over to the new place to be set up before any of the other stuff arrives. Then I get the furniture moved over and set up. Boxes come last.
Hiring a moving company I've done this a couple of different ways:
1.) We've hired moving companies for two separate, cross-country moves, both using the guidlines outlined by movingscam.com. Both experiences I would rate as good. The come in and do the work without needing much direction. We paid to have them pack our last move as well, and that was really nice (had only 3 weeks notice to relocate 2000!). You have to be VERY careful when using moving companies. It pays to check references.
2.) The other way we've hired movers is through Labor Ready. Now you really, REALLY have to be super careful when doing this. Labor Ready is a temp agency for manual laborers and you can end up with really good folks or really bad folks.
When I hire from a labor agency I tell them what the job includes and that I need strong, motivated men. When they arrive I tell them that if all gets done in the alotted time and nothing get's broken, we will give them a bonus worth X amount. Then I offer them drinks and tell them that pizza will arrive in two hours and that there will be two, ten minute breaks in between lunch. Ten I ask if there are any questions and after that I show them the stuff to be moved, and in what order it needs to go in.
It is really important to be organized and fully packed because they are not trained movers and must be guided. They are also not insured so if your stuff get's broken there's no recourse. Do not leave out any valuables.
We usually spend about $300 (fee, tips & food) hiring through Labor Ready where it would cost between $1200-$1800 to hire professionally--and that does not include packing.
I know this is long--sorry--guess I got on a role!