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Listing your items on eBay can be very confusing if you don't know where to start. Here are a few tips on getting your items listed so that they sell.
When you list your items on eBay, write an accurate description. You do not have to write long paragraphs of rambling information but provide exact measurements, colors, condition, etc. Be extremely precise when it comes to your description.
Just as using a strong title for a book, your eBay auction title needs to captivate buyers. You are allowed 45 characters for your title and you need to use common words that will draw attention. Use this space carefully and to your advantage. Think of words that will be easily found when people conduct a search. For example, if you are selling six yards of fabric you could say something like, "Stunning material - Don't miss this great bargain." If you are selling fishing poles, try something like, "Love to fish? GREAT buy on fishing poles!"
Since the search option on eBay looks for specific characters, you should try to list the item both singular and plural. As an example, for the fishing poles, you could list the auction as, "Fishing Poles - Get your fishing pole now!" Avoid wasted words such as WOW or Look Here. Buyers are looking so there is no need to tell them to look. Again, as buyers looking through the listings, the titles are what will capture their attention. Make your impression a strong one!
Saving space in titles can be important if you have a longer description. Look at other auctions selling the same type of merchandise to get an idea of the types of abbreviations that will work. As an example, you could write, "Do U love to fish?" or "Gorgeous material 4 sale."
When you write your description try to think of questions buyers may have so your description will answer as many possible questions as possible. This will save time in relaying messages back and forth. This would include the manufacturers' name, condition of the items, special features, warranties, color, defects, etc.
When you choose which category to list your items, choose wisely. You will find some categories that are similar yet just enough different that it could make a big difference in how your items is sold. Look at other items listed and choose appropriately.
In your description, provide accurate details regarding shipment. Make sure the items are sent within the time you stated. In many cases, people purchase something for a specific purpose and if you do not ship it when stated, not only do you mess up their schedule for the item but you have probably lost a customer and opened the door for a negative feedback.
Advise potential buyers of any flaws in your products. If you are selling a plate that has a small chip, mention this in the description. If you are selling fabric and it has a small tear, disclose this information. The majority of eBay buyers are looking for bargains, which means minor defects can often be overlooked. The worse possible scenario would be to keep a flaw hidden and then have to deal with handling returns as well as losing a buyer.
Set your auctions low, which will help encourage more bidding. The more bidding you have, the higher the price will ultimately go. In addition, if you add a "Buy Now" option for your auction, keep this set at a reasonable rate as well.
The more options you can provide potential buyers, the better your chances of making the sale. Your options include PayPal, which is an online payment service, Billpoint, eBay's payment system, personal checks, money orders, or cash. Remember that you will have buyers from around the world so an online payment service is extremely helpful.
Shipping / Handling
You should always charge actual shipping costs. Several options can be added to your account that provides the actual costs. Another option is to state that you will provide actual shipping at the end of the auction, based on the destination zip code. Overcharging customers for shipping and handling is frowned upon and will result is unhappy customers.
Sell by Lots
If you have two or more of one item, you can list it as a "lot." For example, if you had five bottles of suntan lotion purchased from a salvage store for .50 each, and you decided to list them on eBay for $1.00 each, rather than list each one separately, another option is to sell them as a lot. Often times, people perform their search based on lots. However, if you had one bottle of suntan lotion, one bottle of regular lotion, and one bottle of aloe vera, you would want to list them as their own item.
While auctions without photographs can and do sell, auctions with photographs sell much better. People like visualizations and want to see what their money is getting them. Make sure your photograph is clear, focused, and depending on the item (such as rings, shoes, etc.), offers more than just a straight view.
Size and Weight
If possible, stay with items that are smaller and lightweight. Remember that whatever you sell, you have to ship. Items such as furniture, lawnmowers, etc. are generally sold through a manufacturer or wholesaler. As an independent seller, you want to sell items that are easy to manage.
Set up accounts with several overnight couriers such as Federal Express and UPS. Once again, the more options offered, the better your auction will be received.
It is important to list the city and state where you are located. Not only does this help the buyer determine shipping to make sure you are not overcharging them but if you are selling larger items such as furniture, automobiles, or appliances where the buyer would have to pick the items up, it would let them know if they want to bid based on location. As an example, if you have a refrigerator for sale and you live in New York, someone from California is not going to drive clear across the country just to pick up the appliance whereas on the East Coast might.
Some people fail to include information about accessories. This is very important since many times people are looking specifically for the accessories/attachments that go along with the items. What if you were buying a weed eater but had a bad back? You need one that has a good shoulder strap. If the buyer visits your auction and finds the weed eater, you are selling to be exactly what they are looking for and the price is right but there is no strap, you have lost a sale. Include all accessory/attachment information even if you think it has no value.
When selling antiques or collectibles, you should provide a history of the items. If you have artwork for sale in your auction, provide the buyer with its origin. People love to have history, especially when it comes to collectibles, which is part of what adds to its value. Without embellishing, make the story a good one.
Keeping Good Records
You need to establish a sound recording system. This system would consist of the item name, any associated reserve price (although not recommended for your auction), description, flaws, buyer's name, price sold for, payment received date, etc. This helps to ensure the entire transaction for that item is complete from beginning to end and provides you with information should you need to list that same item or a similar item. Additionally, the record will help you know what your income was, based solely on your specific auctions.
If you choose to use eBay's checkout system, make sure every box is checked when you list your items. This option can be helpful when used correctly, but can also be confusing.
Lewis Leake helps people get started in a Work From Home business. His website at GrowNetProfits.com contains tools, resources, articles, newsletters, product reviews and traffic builders to help you make money from your home based business. Click here to read additional Online Auction articles.
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