Keep it simple!

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I have found during my years of buying and selling on Ebay that the best way to do either, is, KEEP IT SIMPLE and foremost, HONEST! 

Ebay has done all the hard work for you, by providing pretty much everything to make the input of information easy.  Some simple tips I have learned over the years of being with Ebay as a customer: 

Pictures:  as the seller, most importantly, make sure you have enough clear pictures to upload: 

  • Without them, it is hard for a bidder to know what the item is like;  I have 'passed over' an item because it has no pictures - it is almost as if the seller is 'dishonest' by not showing what they have on offer!
  • Include pictures from different angles, showing potential problems (ie. marks, wear & tear, fabric stains, holes, loose bits etc, etc).  A great incentive to bid for an item is knowing EXACTLY what the downside is, along with all the redeeming qualities.  I have bid for items that are imperfect, just because I know that that is the 'bottom line', and I won't be in for any unpleasant surprises!
  • Colour is best, but if the picture is still not quite 'true', then explain this within the body of the text ie. the colour is brighter, more faded, not as shiny etc than in the photo.
  • At least two pic's are good, but three or four is the best (especially with car sales, or furniture);
  • Provide as little background 'interference' in the picture ie. avoid other items in the picture, as it detracts from the layout eg. if a car is parked in a garage, don't have a heap of 'clutter' in  view - this just makes the seller look lazy, as items such as this have no revelance to the item on sale - keep the picture as simple and straightforward as possible.
  • A plain coloured background (a sheet of coloured cardboard, a painted wall or a plain surface, is the way to present your items to their best advantage - be imaginative, but, KEEP IT SIMPLE.  Keep the frills for the website layout, not the photos.

Presentation:  Always present items to their fullest potential:

  • Wash, iron, clean, dust, stitch, repair etc.  For just  a little time and effort, you may get a much better price (you may not either, but, you will have made the effort to be as honest, clean and tidy as possible);  and this will also help immensely if you wish to sell again, as people remember your trade name for a long time if the goods are in great shape, or, a terrible state of presentation.
  • Make sure the 'bottom line' is stated in the text - this is 'verbal' presentation.  As I mentioned above, I am more likely to bid on an item if I know where I stand.  I won't give an item a second look if there is the remotest chance I am going to be ripped off!  Ebay is a wonderful resource for the community to exchange old for new, and earn dollars from items no longer needed or wanted.  The honesty of traders keeps it a great way buy and sell.
  • Remove any items not for sale with the item eg. if it is a car for sale, then take out the 'extras' like car-seat covers, floor mats, stereo systems etc,  not going with the sale, otherwise, it is very misleading, and dissappointing for bidders.
  • Clothing should be hung as much as possible to photograph, on nice hangers ie. Wooden, or plastic, and clip (for skirts and pants and some other items),  not wire hangers as they look tacky!

Buying:

  • Ask the seller questions: by contacting the seller through Ebay, ask for as much information as needed, to ascertain the item's condition, size, shape, disrepair, faults, repairs, and any other questions pertaining to pickup, delivery, postage etc. not stated in the first advertisement.
  • Thoroughly check out the pictures, look at them a few times, then, if there is not enough information, contact the seller to send more pic's. Emails are inexpensive options, but petrol and a wasted trip isn't!
  • DON'T BID UNLESS YOU ARE GOING TO PAY!.  Nothing worse than a dishonest bidder, and, more sincere bidders are then left out... don't waste anyone's time. Ebay is a GREAT service!  Don't abuse it!

Selling:

  • DON'T SELL, unless you are willing to let it go!  Changing your mind midway through the auction is not nice for the bidder! 
  • Put the lowest price you are willing to sell it for, the rest is a bonus.  It is better to have empty space in the house, than an item you have overpriced.  Ebay is for bargains.  It is a great way to get rid of 'clutter', unused items, and unwanted but expensive products - $$$ in the bank is better than items gathering dust or being damaged due to mould, mice and wear and tear.
  • Present your items HONESTLY.  Don't try 'rip off' potential bidders through  misleading information.   Very bad Karma!!!!!!!    Keep descriptions clear, to the point, with as much information as possible: include the poorer points, along with the postive wonders, don't overprice or, underprice.  Have as many pictures as possible, and if picture is not quite 'True', then add some extra points into the description so bidder knows exactly what they are getting. 
  • Some items should just get put in the rubbish bin, so be a bit discriminative with your placings.. it is not great to find an item is not what was portrayed, and, this is really not a good conscience to put out into the wider community, especially for people who a financially struggling and cannot afford to be misled.  Families rely on Ebay to help through the tough times, growing children can be a strain on the budget, so do the right thing and be honest, please.
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