eBay Tips & Tutorials
Useful tips by an eBay PowerSeller
I made my first eBay sale 10 years ago ! I still remember the amazing feeling of excitement when I first saw a bid on one of my items ! So many years later eBay has evolved into a big part of my life. I am not a full-time eBay seller but during my full decade of dealing on eBay I was lucky to acquire many useful experiences and valuable knowledge. This lens is a highlight of the most important things I think I have learned.
How to Start selling on eBay
Tips for beginners
Became a buyer first: give yourself time to explore the eBay marketplace before selling anything. Bid on a few items and see how other sellers list their items and how they communicate with you. Take note of what you like about their selling style and keep it in mind for when you start selling your items. I also suggest adding them to you favorite sellers list for future reference.
Build your feedback - first as a buyer and then as a seller. After you receive a few positive feedback (10+) as a buyer you can consider listing your first item. At this point don't try to sell anything valuable as your feedback is still low and you may loose potential buyers. Start with something you already own and don't really care how much it gets you when it sells. In addition, try to list something that is easy to ship - i.e a postcard, a coin etc.
Low Starting Price - start your auctions at low prices - that way you are encouraging bidders, selling your items fast and building a good reputation for your future sales.
Keep you item description simple. In this case less is more. Avoid flashy content,too much color and multimedia. Simply state what you are selling and the item's condition.
Take good pictures of your items - it's the first thing a potential bidder will look for in your description. Take several pictures of an item and choose the best ones. Remember that some items are easier to shoot that others. I will soon post a guide for how to take pictures for eBay listings.
Charge reasonable or no shipping fees at all - that way you are increasing your chances of getting more bids at your items. From my experience,this is an important issue for more ebayers. Most buyers will let's say happily bid up to 800 dollars for a valuable coin but will take notice if you charge them $5 more on shipping.
Take full responsibility for your items and their shipping. Do not fill your description with NO's (i.e I Do not take responsibility for items lost in the mail / Do not bid if you don't intent to pay etc). Remember your goal is to attract people not drive them away !
Ship worldwide, do not block bidders from specific countries from bidding on your items unless you have valid reasons. As an ebayer who lives outside the US and other major countries myself I find it very offensive and frustrating when trying to place a bid in an item only to find out my country is blocked !
Create an AboutMe Page. It doesn't have to be anything special, simply write a few things about yourself and your interests. In addition you can highlight your current items for sale and feedback there !
Finally an important thing to remember: SET REALISTIC GOALS AND BE PATIENT AND PERSISTENT. Do not start selling on eBay thinking that you will get rich overnight. Work hard, learn from your mistakes and RESPECT your buyers.
A selection of great eBay guides from amazon
Usually buying big lots of items is a good resale opportunity. But do your research first ! Use the "completed items" option on eBay and make sure the item you are planning to invest to is really selling.
Buy to Re-Sell Opportunities - 5 Money-making Ideas !
- Buy a huge coin lot (just search for “huge coin lot” or “5kg coins”), you’ll be surprised on how cheap you can get some of them. Then break the lot into smaller lots by Country of origin and sell them for profit !
- You can do the same thing with stamps ! Buy a really big lot of stamps, break it up into themes and list your auctions !
- What about postcards and antique photos ? Same rule applies here !
- Try to spot items with generic titles or items that the seller seems to not know much about them, buy them, do your research and sell for more. Let me give you an example: You just found an item listed as “Strategy PC Game - Brand New” , this generic title will not attract a lot bidders. Click on it and you may discover that the seller is offering a brand new copy of Civilization V or Rome ! You just got yourself a bargain !
- Find items with bad quality pictures or even no pictures at all ! Those items are bound to get very few bids - if you know the market for the specific item well, do not hesitate to take the risk. A blurry, out-of focus picture of a coin might bring you an excellent resale opportunity !
SET REALISTIC GOALS BE PATIENT AND PERSISTENT
Successful RE-Listing - What you should change to make a sale the second time !
- First thing to consider is your price. Is it set too high ? Check similar items on eBay. If your asking price is higher that the competition you should consider lowering it. Otherwise you may end up with re listing the item continuously with eBay fees building up.
- Are you using the correct keywords for the item you are selling ? Consider the following examples: Which of the the two item titles will have more chances of selling:
1. Old photo taken in Europe 1940’s
2. Original World War II Photo 5x7 - French soldiers on the front - Rare
The second title is more descriptive and specific. It describes the item perfectly and makes use of key words. If your item title is short and general you should change it before re listing.
- Make sure you use clear, attractive photographs in your item description. It’s the first thing that a potential bidder will look for.
- Lower your shipping fees or if possible offer free shipping with your item. This will attract more bidders, remember that most people go to eBay looking for bargains !
Before relisting an unsold item ask yourself an important question:
WHY did it not sell ?
Where did you go wrong?
What can you change to make it more attractive ?
How to deal with non-paying bidders
The correct way
This can be one of the more difficult situations you will have to deal with when selling on eBay: You sold an item, contacted the winning bidder, send them an invoice, days are passing by, no payment no contact. What are your options ?
In this case, communication and patience in the key. Keep your anger under control when sending messages to the non-paying bidder. The way I deal with those situations is the following:
1. I send an invoice after the auctions end.
2. I wait for 4 days for payment or contact.
3. If no payment is recorder I send another invoice and wait 2 more days.
4. If the buyer is still not responding I send them the following message:
“Hi, Thank you for bidding on my item. I would like to know if you are still interested in this, otherwise I would like to re-list it in the following days. Also, we can cancel the transaction through eBay and exchange positive feedback. I will appreciate your fast response.”
5. Most of the times buyers respond to this. If they don’t then and only then proceed with opening a case on eBay.
Keep in mind that a buyer can post negative feedback for you but you as a seller cannot. Although this can be unfair, especially in the case of a non-paying bidder that’s why you should be very careful when dealing with them.
How to take great photos for your eBay Items - An excellent video tutorial by mahalo.com
A great step-by-step video tutorial by mahalo.com on how to take great eBay photos for your items !
eBay Tips with Greg Kusch
Planning your auctions ending time - The importance of WHEN
- Remember that the most crucial time during an auction are the final few hours. That’s when most of the bids are placed. So, the TIME that an auction finishes is extremely important.
- Avoid having items ending on major holidays - Xmas, New Years’ s eve or on the day of any major event like a sports final.
- Arrange your auctions so that they are ending on nights, my personal favorite is Sunday night. Fridays and Saturdays are not wise choices. People tend to go out on those days.
- Consider the time-zone of your target market before listing an item. For example, If I am planning on selling a Victorian collectible British Coin, my main target market is the UK, so I will arrange my items ending time accordingly to achieve best visibility on that market. I will obviously have better chances of getting a high final price if the coin ends on a Sunday night at 22:00 instead of a Tuesday morning at 05:30 in the UK !