I am by no mean a seller on eBay. But as a buyer, I certainly do know what I want to see on a listing before I commit myself in the bidding process. This guide is specifically aimed at the home / private sellers, those who want to sell some of their stuff around the house. I'm not here to tell you how to run a business on eBay, no doubt you can get that advice from someone else.
Some of the points are specifically aimed at people selling their Anime DVDs, but a lot of them also apply to any listings on eBay.
The difference between a home seller and an eBay store
I love to buy DVDs from home sellers. I define a home seller as someone who is selling DVDs from their private collection (as compared to a store selling their stocks). Most home sellers don't sell for profits. Some do, but an average home seller doesn't. They are selling because they don't want to watch the anime again, or because they need more space on their bookshelf. Whatever the reason, they just want to get rid of the DVDs.
The starting price of the items are often relatively cheap (a lot of them starts at $0.99!), and the winning bids usually don't exceed the RRP in stores. So straight away, there are savings to be made.
Having said that, I'm not saying eBay stores are bad. They are by no mean bad. I'm just saying that on average, I save more by buying from a home seller than from an eBay store.
Pictures say a 1000 words (or more)
The first thing I look at in a listing is the picture. Why? Because the picture tells me what it is that you're selling (besides the description) and the general status of the DVD (or DVD cover). So if you are a seller, include at least one picture in your listing. The more, the better.
One thing to note about the picture is that make sure that it is a picture of the actual DVD, not just some image of a DVD cover that you download somewhere (like the Madman website). They are as good as no picture at all, and I usually don't bother with it.
Having a picture of the actual DVD gives me confidence in bidding for the item.
Description is the next important thing. What should you put in the description? Well, tell the potential buyers something about the DVD.
What available audio tracks are there? What subtitles are available? Is it in Dolby Digital 5.1? DD 2.0? DTS? Do I need special equipment to play the DVD (for example, DTS soundtrack needs a DVD player that can handle DTS)? What region is the DVD? This is very important especially if the DVD is not region 4.
Some people might also want to know what the anime is about, so a blurb might be helpful as well.
Be honest about the description. If there is a scratch on the disc, don't say that it's in perfect condition. There is nothing a buyer hates more than being deceived. It's a sure way to get negative feedbacks and losing customers.
The more information you provide, the less questions you will need to answer.
Another thing you should put in your description is postage cost. Sometimes it's hard to give a true postage cost, especially for overseas destinations. But at least give some indication as to how much the postage would likely to be. If you don't, you might lose some customers who cannot ask you about the postage because the auction is about to end.
Do not use bright green bold Arial size 36 font on the page (or something like that). The customers are already in your listing. That means they are interested. They don't need an 'in your face' approach. It makes the page really hard to read, especially on a small screen. More often than not, they will skip to the next item. I know I would.
Communications, people! 'Talk' to the buyers. Answer their questions. Send an email to inform them that the item has been sent. This is the most basic thing that you should do as a seller. I feel a lot more comfortable dealing with sellers who communicate than those who don't. It boosts my confidence to deal with them again. And that, my friend, is how you keep repeated customers.
Everything written in this guide is of my own opinion. These are the things that I look for when shopping for anime on eBay. How you conduct your business is, of course, none of my business (no pun intended). But if you follow at least some of the things suggested in this guide, your DVD will no doubt gain more audience, and hopefully a higher selling price as well.
Just remember, "the customer is always right" :p