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Listia – Starting off the Right Way
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Listia, it is an auction- style website similar to ebay, but everything is "bought" or "sold" using credits instead of cash.
I've been with Listia for a few years now, and one thing I've been noticing lately is that a lot of newbies start off on the wrong foot, getting negative feedback and a bad reputation right from the very start. While a few of these people are probably scam artists, looking to prey on the Listia community, most of them probably just don't know how Listia works. Here are some tips to help you get off to a good start.( Please note-I use the terms "buyers" and "sellers" loosely in this article, since transactions are not made with cash but with credits.)
First of all, understand what Listia is and isn't. It isn't a money-making site or a get-rich-quick scheme. Listia is a platform for people to trade stuff they don't need or want for stuff they do. So while you can easily get a lot of neat things for free, there is some effort needed. You get credits to use for buying things by auctioning off your own things.
While it is simple to list an auction on Listia, you do have to take it seriously. Once the auction ends, you need to mail the item to the buyer promptly. Listia rules state that you have 7 days to send the item, but if you want a satisfied customer (and a positive feedback) it is a good idea to plan on sending it within a day or two of getting the buyer's address. Check your schedule for the next couple of weeks when you go to list an auction, (most auctions end after 7 days), to avoid surprises. While unexpected emergencies do arise, that isn't usually the reason for late shipments, and the 7-day leeway should cover that.
Realize that you have a responsibility to get the item out on time. It only takes a couple of minutes to mail a package, and that needs to be your priority. you can make your job easier by getting the item ready to ship when you list it, after taking photos, so that all you have to do afterwards is address and mail it.
Good communication is the key. If you can 't ship an item right away, at least send a quick note to the buyer letting them know you'll send it as soon as possible. and always answer promptly any emails the buyer sends you. Probably more disputes are filed for "Seller never responded" than anything else.
Unreliable internet is no excuse, barring any unforeseen storms or other events, of course. don't list an auction if you won't have internet access when it ends. If your internet unexpectedly goes out, there are other options, such as public libraries.
What To List
There's a market for almost anything on Listia. But when you are just starting out, it is best to list items that are small and light, to save on postage costs. As a new seller it is almost imperative that you offer free shipping. Buyers don't mind risking points on an unproven seller, but they certainly don't want to risk money. if you really need to charge for shipping, make sure the price is reasonable. I saw an auction once for a $1.00 Amazon card that had over two bucks for shipping! Needless to say, it didn't sell.
Look around your house for small items that can be mailed in an envelope for one stamp. If you get snail mail with interesting stamps on the envelopes, you can tear off the corner of the envelope with the stamp, and save up a few of them to list. Unused stamps for postage is another good-selling item. Baseball cards, small notepads (thinner than 1/4"), odds and ends of craft supply such as ribbon and felt, refrigerator magnets, coins, unwanted gift cards, are just some of the possibilities. Digital items that don't have to mailed are also a great idea, such as e-gift cards, My Coke Rewards codes, point or credit codes for different sites, etc. Be sure to read Listia's rules for what can and can't be listed. And if you can't think of anything, browse Listia yourself and see what other people are selling.
Setting a proper starting bid is important to getting a good number of credits for your auction. Some people are afraid they won't get enough for what the item is worth, so they set a high starting bid, but then the item doesn't sell. If you start really low, you attract the attention of many more bidders, and usually the bids go much higher than what you expect. It is very rare to see an item not get what it's worth on Listia.
Go For It!
Becoming an established Listia seller (and buyer) isn't hard. Your first goals should be to get past the early stage, where Listia holds your credits as pending for a week or so, or until the buyer marks the item received. So list as many auctions as you can, and strive for positive feedback by shipping promptly and communicating well. Some people have the attitude that buyers are out to scam them. This is very,very rare, and in such cases Listia would side with you in the dispute, as long as you did everything right on your end.
A positive attitude, organization, and good communication will help you quickly graduate from the newbie stage. Look around your house, get together everything you need, and start listing! Soon you'll be a Listia pro!