Friday, October 4, 2013

Lindsay's Top 5 Tips for Selling on eBay

I've had several people ask me questions about my experiences selling on eBay lately, so I thought I might share a few pointers and hopefully, get a few back from you!

So here they are....

Lindsay's Top 5 Tips For SELLING on eBay:

1. Buy something off eBay before you start selling on eBay. If you're going to be successful selling anything on eBay, you need to understand the process from the buyer's perspective. Every item I choose to sell from our home is evaluated based on whether or not I would purchase it as a buyer. To evaluate the item, I ask these two questions: What kind of condition is this item in? Will it ship easily? As a buyer, answers to both of these questions take top priority before cost is even considered. (Don't understand my point? Then you probably have never bought anything off eBay. So go buy something, and you'll see what I mean!)

2. A picture's worth a thousand words .... So make the most of your free 12! eBay allows sellers to upload up to 12 pictures per listing for free to help showcase their item. Use your photo opportunities to show off everything there is about your item, including it's faults. It's a lot easier for your buyer to understand what any flaws are if there's a good picture of them rather than trying to decipher through your description. If there are no flaws, be sure to take pictures showing off your item's excellent condition. Take those pictures from every angle with good lighting in front of a neutral back drop.

3. Understand your personal settings. If you don't want to ship an item out of the country, don't get caught off guard when someone from Indonesia is the winning bidder. You can adjust your seller preferences as to where you'll ship items to AND who can see your listing. I have all of my listings set to "buyer restrictions." This means no one who lives in a country I don't ship to can bid on my listed item. This saves me the headache of going through the translation service to explain to my buyer that they violated the terms of the listing, attempting to reach a resolution, usually failing at reaching a resolution, and then terminating the sale. (Can you tell I've done this before?)

4. Save on shipping! Shipping can make or break your sale AND profit. I've gone negative on sales because I wasn't smart about how I shipped the item. When listing your item, consider shipping from the get-go. Do you want to offer free shipping to attract more buyers? Will you still make a profit? If you elect for the buyer to pay for shipping, which shipping service are you going to use? Do you have boxes/padded envelopes/packing supplies already, or will you need to buy them? eBay has a handy calculator that makes it easier to figure out how much your item will cost to ship. You can also print a shipping label right off of your computer. This tool usually saves me money if I already have all of my shipping supplies at home. Don't loose your profit because you spent it on shipping!

5. Re-list! If an item you listed doesn't sell, re-list it! However, you might want to consider a few factors before you republish the listing. Is your starting bid to high? Do you need to upload better pictures? Is this a seasonal item? It never hurts to re-list, and you never know, this might be the week your buyer gets on eBay looking for your item. I re-listed a broken iPod stereo (for parts) five times. The fifth time I re-listed it, I lowered the price by a dollar. It ended up going for MORE than I had originally listed it in the weeks prior after all of the bidding was over!

If you have any tips to selling on eBay, please share them below! Happy eBaying!