Keep these eBay selling tips close at hand when you go online to sell!
eBay selling made easy!
Going the auction route for stuff you no longer need at home is something anyone can do. We’ve been using eBay lately to sell some new items we don’t need and we found it to be a convenient way to let go of the smaller items we had lying around and gathering dust that could be better appreciated elsewhere, such as board games, toys, bric-a-bracs and collectibles. To me, anything that isn’t used after 2-3 years is considered clutter just taking valuable space in our limited surroundings, so with minimal fanfare, off they go to eBay or our trusty consignment shop. These are just some of many ways to cash in on clutter.
Unless you’re a big eBay junkie, you might have the same opinion as I do, which is that the interface isn’t that intuitive or user-friendly. But a few tries on the auction block, I was able to compile a few pointers on putting up my items for bidding on eBay. I concentrated on making the experience as easy and convenient for myself as possible with hopefully generating the best prices possible for my items.
- List your item at a reserve of $1.
This way I attract the best possible market price to my item without fussing about how much it should really be valued. After all, your perception of value for your item may be very different from what the market thinks so it would be just a waste of time to guess what that price is. The market should take care of the pricing for you: note that buyers compete to bid on items that are under valued, pushing the price up to the market value.
Apply a shipping fee that is twice the real shipping cost.
The shipping fee is to cover the actual money and effort you put in when packaging your item. Setting your shipping and handling fee to twice the real cost, seems like a reasonable amount. A university study showed that buyers were irrationally insensitive to shipping and handling charges (ie, if S&H went up by a dollar they would not reduce their bids by a full dollar). So take advantage of this without going overboard.
Have the auction expire in the early morning hours.
As in buying, timing can be important in sales as well. The assumption is that you are targeting most of your buyers from the same time zone as you are, and if so, set the auction to end during the hours when nobody’s around. People who are highly interested in your item will put in their best bids much earlier before they go to bed and this will encourage your item to most likely be priced at its true value. If you set your auction to end during the day instead, most buyers will hang around to wait till the last minute to offer their bids and this causes auction sniping. Through sniping, your item will end up being priced lower than it actually should.
Shorten the length of your auction.
I think 3 days is a good length. Sure, you may possibly increase your buying audience by allowing viewability of your item for longer. But I’ve observed that the serious bids won’t be placed until very close to the end. Theoretically, you may be able to snag a casual buyer during a longer auction but I did not see much difference in price when I set the auction for a shorter time.
Don’t feel obligated to do special shipments.
For the easiest turnaround, I set my terms clearly during the auctions and never swayed from those terms. I got contacted for various offers that involved special considerations such as discounts and insurance but I quickly declined all such requests. I did not think it was worth the trouble to bother with offers that departed from my usual terms.
If your item does not sell, re-list it again. But only one more time.
I figured that if an item does not sell beyond 2 attempts at auction, it’s time to find some other way to deal with it. Perhaps it is destined for the donation heap, the consignment shop (if they will accept it) or just the plain old recycling/trash bin.
If you are selling items with bar codes, don’t worry about listing your item, eBay makes it easy for you.
Selling on eBay is really easy with their feature that handles listing an item with a bar code. You simply log into eBay and follow the steps that lead you to enter bar code information. Once done, eBay prefills everything about the item based on the code and also displays the appropriate photo for it. All you have to do now is set the price and terms.
For non-commodity items, use a good photo.
If you’re planning to sell an item that does not have a bar code, then you would need to provide your own information. Make sure your photo of the item plus anything else you list with it is as attractive as you can make it.
Check out other auctions for ideas.
Why bother with reinventing the wheel? I’ve checked out other auctions to see how they lay things out to get ideas for creating my own auction. But be very careful that you do not use others’ materials when creating your auction, or you may get banned or penalized by eBay.
This analysis of buyer behavior is also worth reading. By doing as above, I felt that I was able to make the process as painless as possible for myself.
Good luck with your own sales!
Copyright © 2006 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.