Steps to profitable eBay auctions
Whether you’re looking for a venue to sell your handmade earrings or you just need to get rid of some of those miscellaneous objects laying around the house, eBay may be of some assistance. eBay, a website that allows others to either list items to sell or buy other people’s items, can help you make a profit off essentially anything you’re looking to get rid of.
However, selling an item on eBay is not artless. With any type of moneymaking outlet, there are a set of rules you must consider to make a decent profit. Follow these steps when listing items on eBay:
Take good pictures – and plenty of them. The photo is what the buyer sees first, so naturally, that’s what ultimately makes them take a closer look at the item. Take as many detailed photos as possible from all different angles to be sure the buyer knows precisely what it looks like. Some photo-taking tips include taking it on a digital camera (instead of your phone), take it against a clean backdrop and avoiding using a stock photo.
“Buyers want to see the actual item you are selling,” says Justin Hartenstein, founder of Advanced Automotive Concepts in Metairie, LA.
Write detailed descriptions. Once you draw them in with the photo, they’ll want to make sure they know for sure what they’re purchasing. Make sure the listing is as accurate as possible, especially its condition. For example, if it’s a book you’re selling, be sure to note its tear on the cover or if it’s a shirt, discuss its loose thread on the upper right shoulder. These are things that sellers often overlook or opt not to share with buyers, which can cause issues later on, like the buyer wanting a refund or leaving negative feedback.
Build your reputation. When you sell an item, the buyer has the option to give you positive or negative feedback regarding their experience with you. Make sure that you have a few positive feedbacks before you start selling seriously.
“If you’re new to eBay, trust is everything,” explains Jody Rogers, president of Beachcombers in Altamonte Springs, Florida. If that’s the case, you might want to perform some small purchases before diving into the big ones. People may automatically write you off if you have no feedbacks, especially if someone else (with many positive feedbacks) is selling the same item you are.
Check completed listings. When determining how much to list your item for, always check completed listings for the actual selling price, as well as the listings that are current. You’ll often hear, “Wow, this item is listed for hundreds or thousands of dollars!” People can list their items for any price they pull out of the sky, but it’s the price that it actually sells for that counts. Checking these listings will help you establish a reasonable price. Note that if your prices are too high, buyers may choose to buy from someone else.
Keep a trend. It’s best to sell items that are similar and within the same niche.
“If you make it easy for people to buy something, they will want to buy more from you — and you have to have related merchandise in stock,” says Angie Cash, a stay-at-home mom who’s been selling on eBay for years. “So, for example, if you’re selling collectibles, you should also carry the display racks, books and other accessories those particular collectors will want to have.”
Pay attention to postage. Investing in a good postage scale is one way to do this. Weigh your item with all shipping materials and add enough for handling to pay eBay’s commission, plus the cost of the shipping materials. That way, you’re not incurring any undue fees. Also, purchasing postage through eBay or PayPal is less expensive than the post office. In addition, you should use priority mail when possible as this allows you to get free shipping materials and carrier pickups.
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