How to create successful eBay listings - Beginners Guide

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I wanted to share with you my experience on how to get the best out of your eBay listings and ultimately your eBay sales success. Sometimes just making a small change can make all the difference to your listings.

Take a good photo.....

The first thing you are going to need to do is take a photo of the item. I think this is one of the most important things you can do to have a successful listing. Just remember, when people are searching through 100's and 100's of listings the small gallery picture is the first port of call for your items. If your picture is not very good the chances are a potential buyer may miss it completely and they won't click on your item to see more. The picture is the window dressing to your shop.

You don't need an expensive camera to take good photos but I do recommend good lighting. Depending on your item, a plain background, usually white is best as to not distract from what is the focal point of your picture. I have taken 100's and 100's of photos over the years playing around with different colored backgrounds, lighting and positions. If you are photographing jewelry or smaller items you could use a piece of white cardboard to create a photo light box or for larger items a white sheet as the background. It may take some trial and error at first but over time you will hit on a winning formula that works for you.

Once you have the photos, download them to the computer. Most photo software has the ability to make some minor adjustments to brightness and contrast, cropping and basic photo editing. If you wanted to get a little more technical you could upload your photo to a free photo editing service.

Let's start listing....

So you have taken a fabulous photo of your item and you are ready to begin....

Once you are signed into your eBay account you can click on the drop down menu "sell" at the top right hand side of the page and then click on "start selling now". You will then be taken to the "welcome sellers" page where you can type in 3-5 words describing what you are selling. EBay is very clever and will make suggestions of the category you should list your item under to best maximize exposure for your listing. You can also have a look at similar items on ebay to yours and see which categories they have listed their items under (there's that research again).

I mentioned previously that taking a good picture is one of the most important things you can do for your listing, well, writing a good title would have to be the number one thing you can do to promote your item and get seen in the relevant searches. Once again I would recommend that you have a look at what other people have written in their description. Now, write down all the words that best describe what you are selling and try to think like a buyer looking for your item and typing in keywords they would use to search. Remember, you only have 55 characters including spaces to use. Please don't use words like beautiful, gorgeous, stunning in your title. Nobody is going to search "gorgeous dress" when searching on eBay but they might type in the color of the dress or the size. Is what you are selling a brand name, you could use that but only if what you are selling is a genuine product from that brand name. EBay is very strict about this, don't even use the words like or for or fits a "brand name" as this is a big no no and your listing can be removed without notice. You can also add information into the sub-category at an additional cost but in most cases eBay searches will not pick up on these words unless the searcher has specifically asked for the sub-categories to be included.

Another bit of advice I can give you is never use capital letters when typing in your title. In the texting world capital letters means yelling or screaming and we don't want to put potential buyers off before they even click on your item to find out more.

The next section is entering in item specifics like is the item new with tags or pre-owned, color, material, size, brand etc. You can also enter your own item specifics. This is something you should do as ebay lists all the item specifics in the left hand column so if someone wants to look for a particular colour or size as an example, they can click on the link to these items. If you haven't taken the time to list these you may once again miss out on sales.

Now we need to upload that fabulous picture you spent ages on to eBay. Just click on add pictures and you will be taken to a new window where you have the opportunity to browse your computer, find the photo you want and upload it. EBay will do the rest.

Remember when I said the photo and the title of your listing are one of the most important aspects, writing a detailed and informed description of what you are selling is also very important. You need to tell your buyers everything about your item, the color, the dimensions, uses and the materials used. If you are selling a garment the material and garment care, the size and measurements. The more accurate information you can give the better as buyers can rate their experience with you in feedback.

You can keep your description plain and just using the editing options provided where you can enlarge, underline, bold and change color or you could combine this with one of the many "Listing Designer" Templates ebay have provided. There is a small charge to use this service but well worth it to jazz up your listing and make it look professional and stand out from the crowd.

Now down to the nitty gritty of price. You have a few options available to you on how you sell your item.

You can either choose to sell your item as an auction listing where buyers bid on your item with other interested buyers hopefully creating a buzz which drives the price of your item higher. You can also add an option of buy it now to your auction listing which gives the opportunity for a buyer to buy the item now, usually at a higher price than the auction start price. A few things you should know, if someone buys the item now the auction is effectively ended and if someone places a bid on your item the buy it now option is no longer available.

A fixed price/buy it now listing is a listing that is available for purchase at a fixed price for a set number of nominated days. With a fixed price listing you can also check the best offer box so buyers can send you there best offer for your consideration. You can choose to either accept or decline their offer. At the end of day, the format you choose is up to you. Generally an auction listing is started at a lower price which attracts more interest and hopefully more bids and increases your end result.

Enter the quantity you are selling. In Australia, if you have less than a 5 feedback ranking you will only be able to list 1 item at a time and for a maximum of 10 days. Once you have achieved more than 5 feedback rankings you have a lot more options.

The next section is selecting how you would like to be paid. If you are a casual seller you would be advised to select the PayPal and direct bank deposit options. If you don't have a PayPal account it is very quick and easy to set up. Just go to the PayPal website and you can set up an account in minutes Once you have done this people can pay into your PayPal account and you can use your account to buy things online as well. Paypal is a good option for payment as it is a secure and trusted form of payment where the details of your buyer and you remain hidden and protected.

Time to add your postage charges. The first thing you should do is find out how heavy your item is and either go to your local post office to get a price or visit the Australia Post website which has a great new parcel calculator. EBay also has postage options that you can nominate, create postage rules and eBay will calculate this for you. When working out your postage charge please take into account where your parcel may be posted to. As an example, if you are in Sydney and have to post the parcel to Western Australia it will be a lot more than if you posted the item to Melbourne. A really good product you could use to avoid this happening is the pre-paid post satchel available in different weights and is the same price to post anywhere in Australia.

The last section on the first page of the listing form is information on return policies and additional information you would like buyers to know like letting people know you require their eBay user ID when they make a bank deposit, you can send the item express post if required etc.

At the top of the second page you have some options to make your listing stand out like making your listing bold, highlighted, a border, a larger picture etc. These options are a good way of drawing attention to your item but can eat away at your end profit if your item is an inexpensive item. If you were selling a unique top end item this would work far better for you. I would same the same for the options of of maximizing your listings visibility.

We are almost there. You now get to see how your listing will appear in search results. You can also preview your listing at this stage which I highly recommend just to see how it looks and check over the information you have entered.

And finally you get to see the listing fee costs and in a fixed price/buy it now format how much ebay will charge you as a final value fee if your item sells. All your need to do now is make sure you are happy with your listing and click submit.

If you discover you need to make an adjustment or change to your lisitng you can revise your listing at any time up until 12 hours before your listing ends. You also can't make any revisions to your listing once you have received bids on an item.

Now all you need to do is wait for a sale.

Good luck.



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