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Mistakes Beginners Make When Trying to Earn Money on eBay

Updated on February 17, 2013

Common Mistakes New eBay Sellers Make

The thing is, many people jump on the eBay bandwagon only to fail because they don't do certain things right or because they do a variety of other things wrong.

There is a lot of room for mistakes in the world of eBay that you can make.

They don't always cost you directly but they will cost you through lack of profits.

The types of mistakes made by beginners have to do with the product postings themselves and the ways they go about dealing with the operation of their business—even if you are only planning on ever selling a couple things, you should still consider yourself as being in business while being on eBay.

Failing To Have A Complete Understanding About How eBay Works

When it comes to the postings themselves, the worst thing you can do is not read about the inner workings of the eBay site itself. You should know about and thoroughly understand what goes on behind the scenes because that information will directly affect your sales potential. It's like everything else in life really in that what you don't know can truly hurt you.

Using The Wrong Keywords

One of the most common things that beginners who are trying to make a buck on eBay don't understand is the concept of keywords. Keywords are words that people search for like "camera" or "movie paraphernalia."

What happens is that a visitor to the site will type in the keyword they are looking for into the search box and then the website will then bring up listings that best represent those words. In order for your listing to appear, it will have to contain those keywords in the right places—namely, the heading!

If the keyword isn't there, or if it's spelled incorrectly, your listing is a lot less likely to be found.

Trying To Mimic A Larger Corporate Image

Another mistake beginners make is to try to pretend they are something they aren't. Ever since eBay got inundated with brick and mortar stores that want to represent themselves on the site, smaller start up business have been trying to mimic those stores.

To do this they create logos and different ways of branding themselves all so they can appear to be big and successful. When starting out though, this can and will work against you. The key for a beginner is to compete with others on your playing field. You'll be surprised at how many people are willing to give their trust to the little guy and buy their products.

Trying To Go To Big To Soon

Starting out too big in other ways hurts beginners too. The beauty of eBay is that you can get in on the game with almost no start up costs. If you decide to go big though, you need to acquire a lot of inventory that you can sell but then you risk being stuck with those things if the sales don't come quickly.

This may sound like more work than just posting a description and a picture and hoping for the best, and it is. It's a lot more work. The results though will pay off big time in the long run, so if you want to make some good money do your best to avoid those common errors.


Things That Will Make Your eBay Auction Fail

While the Buy it Now option is getting very popular on eBay, there is still a lot of money to be made off of the traditional auctions.

If you try to make money that way, be sure to avoid any of the following mistakes.

They will hurt you from the start.

Minimum Amount Is Too High

When you sell an item on eBay via the auction service, you are allowed to set minimum prices for bidders to follow. If this amount is too high it will work against you and hurt the number of bids you get.

It scares people off and tells them not to take your listing seriously. It also suggests that you are inexperienced and that leads people to figure the item being sold isn't necessarily up to par. The bottom line is you want a realistic minimum price in order to attract more bids. The more bids you have the more the price will go up on its own.

Shipping Costs Are Too Much

One of the first things people look at is the shipping price. No matter how great a deal they think they can get on the item itself, when the shipping cost is too high people decide that there is no reason to bid.

If you are planning on selling more than one item over the next while, which you obviously are as you're showing interest in making money on eBay, then take the time to explore actual shipping costs and post them accurately.

Also consider stocking up on shipping supplies so you can get them cheaper, and don't try to profit off of the shipping by overcharging.

Your Terms Of Service Are Unfair Or Too Harsh

Have you noticed a product listing on eBay or anywhere else that included things like "No returns unless item is in perfect condition"?

These sorts of things pop up a lot, and even if they make sense to you, they shouldn't be worded so harshly! It not only looks unprofessional but it leads buyers to take a step back because you put some negative ideas in their heads. Avoid this whenever possible in your auction listings.

Reserve Prices Scare People Away

eBay give you access to all kinds of cool tools such as setting reserve prices. These are basically minimum bids, but they aren't visible to buyers. Simply seeing that there is a reserve price though tends to scare people away from bidding.

Again, remember that you want to attract as many bidders as you can get. A lot of bids will result in higher bids, and therefore reserve prices really aren't necessary.

Besides, if you're smart and sneaky, you'll think of a way around any underbidding issues that may arise.

Not Accepting PayPal

One of the easiest ways to scare away bidders and ruin your auction's chances is to avoid PayPal payments. Setting up an eBay account to accept payments that way is definitely in your best interest because there's no downside to that system for buyers and it is therefore more likely that they'll bid.

It also keeps you from getting bids that users can't follow through on.


5 Common Mistakes When Trying to Make Money on eBay

Making money on eBay isn't all that hard but it also isn't easy.

People are always making mistakes when starting out that can cost them big in the long run.

The following five examples are amongst the biggest mistakes made by sellers on eBay.

1. Not Positing A Clear Picture Of The Product

People online are suspicious enough about internet purchases as it is. When you post an item for sale on eBay but don't have a picture of that item people simply won't want to trust the description.

Even if they do take a leap and trust what you say, it's not always clear to them what's being sold unless they can actually see it. Incidentally, with few exceptions, it's pretty much necessary to use original photographs as well, and not just those taken from official product ads elsewhere.

2. Focusing On Undercutting The Rest Of The Market

If your goal is to make money then the object is to charge enough money so that you can make a profit. Many novice eBay sellers get the idea that if they simply undercut everyone else they will make more sales and that will translate into more money over time.

Unfortunately that isn't a practical strategy. People really will be more willing to trust your product if the price looks respectable and the service you give is up to par.

3. Not Responding To Product Queries

No matter how well you do with your description and photographs there will be questions about the things you are selling. Some of the questions will be dumb… okay, a lot of the questions will be dumb, but you really do need to reply anyway.

You will also, therefore, need to know a lot about the products you are selling. If you don't have time to acquire the needed information or to reply to the queries you get, don't count on making money and especially don't count on getting good feedback.

4. Not Accepting PayPal

The beauty of eBay inc is the way they make shopping so easy for people who aren't used to shopping online. Then there are things like their PayPal service that make it easy for people to give money to those they'd otherwise not trust.

PayPal is not only a cost effective way of accepting credit cards but it's a way of accepting them without needing to first gain anyone's trust. The fact that you never actually have access to people's credit information means you won't have to worry about brand name and therefore more trustworthy stores from getting the upper hand.

5. Putting Short Or Inadequate Descriptions

A short product description not only reeks of how unprofessional you are, but it won't likely do your product any justice. People won't be willing to give their money for something they don't fully understand, and there's little motivation to write in with questions if you've already made it clear you aren't up for writing much!

You'll make more money on eBay if your product descriptions are clear, well worded, and long enough to get the job done.

Resources To Help You Start Selling On eBay And Avoiding The Mistakes

Arer You Using eBay To Make Money, If So We Would Like To Hear Any Comments Or Suggestions You Have

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