1) Low starting Price
Before you list your auction, ask yourself what's the lowest amount you'd be prepared to accept for your item. A low starting price will attract more bids and at a quicker pace - usually within the first day of the listings. Research shows that a 99¢ starting price will get you bidders within a few hours. Many vehicles and high value items are sold with a low starting price especially by established Power Sellers - because unless it's an extremely poor week the item will normally end up with heaps of bids and at a cost that's acceptable to the seller.
Additionally users are more likely to view auctions which already have a successful bid as it generates interest in your item. It's like if you see a market stall with hundreds of people standing around it - your curiosity would tell you to stop and see what's generating interest. Use curiosity to your advantage.
To list an auction items with a starting price between 1¢ - 99¢, it will cost you 30¢, then it’s 50¢ for items over $1, then 75¢ for items starting over $20 etc. Check out the exact sellers fees on eBay.
2) No Reserve
Many sellers still place reserve prices on their item. A reserve price is one which unless it is met by your sellers you are not obliged to sell the item. An example would be if you have a reserve of $10, and your item sells for $9.00 you do not have to complete the sale & release the item. Reserve items, although very occasionally may be necessary in the case of extremely high value items or businesses for sale are off putting to bidders. Why would you bid on an item with a reserve price on, unless you already knew what the reserve was. Personally I'd look for alternative items without a reserve price.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Take photos of your item to clearly show the condition of it, and any damage or unusual aspects of it. eBay allows you to include one photo free of charge and if you use your own image hosting service you can easily include as many photos as necessary to show your item in a detailed manner. In auctions, consider using the gallery option so the image will appear within the search listings. This costs an extra 59¢, and 25¢ for extra photos. Store listing gallery photos are only 1¢, then 5¢ for extra photos.
You've worked hard to get users to view your listing, so while they’re viewing it also include a link to any other items you've available. This is allowed in addition to the already provided link to "View other sellers’ items". You can use commercial services (such as Anadale) to include images and descriptions of your other items.
5) About Me Page
Sell yourself on your About Me Page. This is your chance to establish some credibility for yourself. The biggest reason people will not buy from you online is because you have failed to establish any credibility for yourself. So include details about you and your business. Where are you situated? How long have
you been registered on eBay?, What do you specialize in? If you’re a high volume seller you may also want to include a photo of yourself. Have a look at other About Me pages to see what works and what doesn't.
6) Return Policy
Nothing gives buyers greater confidence than knowing that they can return the product if it's not for them. So consider drafting yourself a returns policy. Will you accept returns? What if the item arrives faulty? How long is the policy valid for? Personally, I have a return policy, but only if the item is not as described, so make sure your descriptions are accurate.
Leave feedback for the winning bidder as soon as the item is paid for – the buyer has completed their side of the transaction. Some sellers like to protect themselves by only returning feedback when it is left for them. I consider this unprofessional and your bidders will most likely think the same. Don't be scared of getting a negative or neutral comment on your feedback record. The majority of users will consider all of you feedback before bidding, not just looking at one or two comments. Additionally if you deserve any feedback left for you such as if you were late shipping, accept it was you fault. Don't be too worried about admitting it with an apology in response to your feedback. You may also want to compensate your winning bidder with reduced postage or a bonus item to show it was a genuine error on your part.
8) Instant attention
Give immediate attention to your bidders and prospective bidders. Don't leave a delay of days before responding to any emails or phone calls. And following a successful transaction you may want to email your bidder to tell them when the item has been shipped and when it will be expected to arrive.
Some sellers take days to respond to a simple email. If you don't have time to respond immediately consider getting an auto responder, which sends out an immediate e-mail letting the buyer know you will respond within 24 hours etc. Never give any bidder reason to doubt whether you’re a genuine seller or not.
9) eBay Store
Opening an eBay Store is a necessary step for any medium sized seller. Not only do you benefit from cheaper and longer listings within your shop, but you can also cross-promote your products easily, send out newsletters and e-mails, and establish a trusted brand for your listings easier. Also you'll gain more coverage (and hopefully bids) for your listings by appearing in the eBay store directory. The minimum monthly charge is $14.95, and the final value fees are 10%. Check with eBay as to their current fees.
Don't be tempted to over price your shipping costs and try to make a small profit on this. Firstly you can be found out to easily, and it's one of the most unforgiving things for a seller to do. More importantly over pricing your shipping costs is against eBay policy. If you’re offering digital goods such as an eBook or special report, you may consider a small handling fee to cover your time and administration costs. If
you do, make sure it's fair and clearly highlighted within the item listing. The last thing a bidder wants to do is find out there are unexpected costs associated with a purchase they've made.
10 Steps for Successful Selling on eBay
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14 March 2007
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