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eBay is an online auction site so it stands to reason that most users will tend to auction off their items aiming to get a high price.
The problem with auctioning items is that eBay can be a very fickle place, one week an item may sell for hundreds of pounds but the next week the same item may sell for pennies.
Your success rate on eBay is affected by the number of people who are willing, and able, to bid large amounts on your items. If the buyers can't, for some reason, bid high amounts on one particular auction, you run the risk of losing money.
There is no way of telling when an item will sell for a high amount. If there was, there would be many more very successful eBayers out there.
One way you can almost guarantee you will sell an item for a good price is to use a Buy It Now (BIN) listing.
In order to use BINs successfully, you have to get the price right. Too high and it will not sell. Too low and it will be bought almost immediately, probably by a competitor who will relist it to try and profit from your mistake.
So, how can you use a BIN listing to profit?
If you've got a good idea how much the item is worth, list it for that price as a BIN. If you don't know how much it is worth, try searching for it in the Completed Listings searches.
In my case, I was quite successful selling DVDs with BIN listings. I simply searched for the DVD I was selling in the completed listings section, sorted by Highest Price and then listed my item at the highest price I could find which had sold.
At times, I also added a little more to the price. Why? Because the great benefit of BIN listings is that impatient buyers can get them almost immediately without having to wait for an auction to end and without running the risk of losing out to another bidder.
If you cannot find the item in the completed listings section or it is very rare and you are unsure of the value, list the item with a very high (almost ridiculous) price. Any potential buyers will find the item, provided you have listed it correctly.
Let the listing run for the full 10 days; it is a very good idea to always use 10 day BIN listings as you pay the same price as a 1, 3, 5 or 7 day listing and get more coverage.
If the item doesn't sell, don't be tempted to drop the price or auction it off. Too many people do this and lose money. Remember, patience is a virtue.
Instead, list it again but this time add more text to the description telling viewers that you are open to offers. You may well find that someone will contact you through the "Ask Seller a Question" link offering you a quick payment if you are prepared to sell for £x.
If the offer is not good enough, reply to the sender and politely refuse but suggest a price you would be willing to sell for.
On the other hand, if you are holding out for the maximum you have already specified, tell them why and justify your answer. You may well find that they relent.
At the end of the day, if you do have a high value item then it will cost you a maximum of £2 per listing. Each time you place it on eBay you are attracting more potential buyers. This means that you can have your item available to billions of potential bidders for 100 days for a reasonable £20.
And, when a buyer finally comes and offers the correct asking price, you will not have lost much whatsoever if it is a high value item.
One point to remember; if you give up and auction the item off or sell at a lower price, you may well find you sell it to someone who will actually do the above and profit from your mistake.
Ben Catt is an active eBay buyer and seller and runs an eBay Tips and Tricks website found at http://www.BenCatt.com. He also runs a business opportunity information site - http://www.BizOppsUK.com