In addition to my 3 tips for selling on eBay below, some of the most common, basic things new sellers should do when selling on eBay are well known like before you start selling, make a few small purchases so you can show you have completed sales and attract feedback. Feedback is important so be sure to give it and act appropriately so you get positive feedback. This makes potential buyers feel comfortable with your online business practices. This helps tremendously and is very necessary when selling on eBay.
Another aspect of eBay selling that trips up a lot of new sellers is shipping. People get hung up when they have to decide how to ship and how this impacts the bottom line when selling on eBay. First of all, when considering shipping costs, eBay makes first class shipping and priority shipping the easiest choices for most sellers. You can get free priority mail materials like boxes and envelopes from the US postal service and other businesses. Consider online shipping aids and look into other shipping services like UPS, FedEx, and Stamps.com. Before you list your item for sale, weigh it. Buy a postal scale and weigh your item in the package that you will ship it in. This way you will get an accurate weight and related cost for shipping your item. Then, you can select first class or priority mail depending on your needs.
In addition to attracting eBay feedback and learning about the ways to ship smart, 3 tips for selling on eBay that you need to know are all about timing of your auction or buy it now listings, how to write interesting item descriptions with key words and other attractive elements for your listings, and how to take photographs that help your item sell.
Knowing when to post your listing and start your eBay auction or buy it now sale is important, crucial even. It is best to do your eBay posting on Sunday evenings when most of the people in the US are online. If the audience for your item is a US audience, then get ready to post your items for sale between 6 pm and 10 pm on Sundays. Why? Most people are online at that time of the day/week. Statistically, you will get the most viewers, bidders, auction watchers, and potential bidders/buyers at this time. And, when your 7 day auction ends, it will end on Sunday around 6 pm to 10 pm which is again, the most active time online. This may mean that you will prompt a bidding war and you’ll known when your auction is set to end.
It is a good idea to start an auction with a $1 no reserve to get the ball rolling as long as you have done your research and you know what your piece is worth. Some sellers feel that if an item isn’t worth listing for sale if the item is worth less than $30 considering the fees charged by eBay to list an item. Do your research, get appraisals if necessary, so you know how much your item is worth before you list it. I had one client who listed an antique quilt for $200, he saw so much activity on his listing that he realized he had listed it too low, so he took the listing down. He got an online appraisal from me and I told him the accurate value and he relisted the quilt on eBay and was shocked when it sold for $1,500 using my tips. He sold it on a Sunday night after a 7 day auction. Keep reading for two more of my 3 tips for selling on eBay.
2. Listing your Item
This is where you tell your item’s story. The listing title is the first thing a potential buyers sees so make sure it is clear, accurate, pertinent. All the pertinent information should be in the title so people know right off the bat what they are getting before they click to learn more about your item on eBay. So, if you are selling costume jewelry, pottery, paintings, or collectibles, give the 411 right at the top. List in the title that you have a particular object and that it is this big, this color, this type. Be specific. Don’t get involved in all the condition specifics in the title, save that information for the listing details. Tell the truth –this goes a long way if you plan to sell online for the long run. Don’t mask anything in your listing. You don’t want your buyer to get any surprises. That just gives you more headaches.
Once you have a clear, accurate title for your listing that will make people click to learn more about it, consider your detailed listing. Report on the specifics of your item, its condition, anything that you’d want to know about the item if you were considering to buy it. Put yourself in the buyer’s position and think of the questions you’d ask about the item. Is it used? Where did it come from? How old is it? What material is it made of? What items or related items will come to me if I buy the item? What can I expect if I buy it? Again, tell the truth. It helps get your item sold. If you are grouping or batch selling items, think about the type of items that would benefit from this type of selling instead of a single item sale.
It’s true that a picture speaks a thousand words. Make sure your photos of your items that you want to sell on eBay are on a pure, not textured, all white background. Use a piece of white foam core, a photo box, and remember that simple is best. Do not have your hands in the shot. Do not have a distracting background in the shot. Do not have your pets, cute as they are, in the shot. The photograph for your item to be sold on eBay should be on a basic all white background with enough light so potential buyers and auction bidders can see the item clearly.
You don’t want anything in the photo that will distract the viewer from the item. If you put your cat in the video thinking that people like to see cat videos online then you might just end up with your potential buyer leaving your auction to go and watch YouTube cat videos. No distractions. Photos should highlight the item only. On TV sets, we’d call these photos hero shots. They are the shots where the item is highlighted like it is the best thing since sliced bread. Read my 3 Tips to Sell Antiques Online for more details.
Crop the photograph tightly or close to the item itself so the largest part of the image shows the item itself and not an abundance of the background. Show at least three photos in your listing of your item that you are trying to sell: a photo of the entire front, a photo of the entire back, and a close up photo of an important detail like a mark or signature or an area of damage. Look at your photos before your post them. Most people don’t do this even though it is obvious that they should. Make sure your photo is not blurry or cropped off oddly, etc. Don’t have anything else in the photo except the item and the white background. Less is more. Photos are part of the listing that promotes honesty to your potential buyers.
When you are selling, consider these 3 tips for selling on eBay and make sure you have done your research and have a good idea of the market for the item that you are selling. Remember when marketing a work of art, antique or collectible, that is very different than selling a pair of new shoelaces or a new stapler. Learn what you’ve got and use my tips to understand how to sell for top dollar. Watch videos on Dr. Lori’s YouTube channel with more tips to selling. Send photos of your eBay items for Dr. Lori to value before you sell.