eBay Tips on selling
Now we will try to summarize the recommendations, which are given to the novices in eBay selling auction by experienced Sellers, who have already achieved some success. This guide is not a dogma, and many questions are likely to be controversial among experienced users, but for beginners, it is certainly useful.
- Honesty is the key and integral part of the success.
Be honest. With Customers, intermediaries, yourself. It is clear that any fraud can bring quick success and, accordingly, sometimes, considerable profit, but this scenario is always ends too early (deplorably, sometimes). If you are interested in a stable income, their constant growth – remember that for the Seller, as well as for the field engineer, just one single serious stumble is enough to end a career. No one will condemn you if trouble was not caused by your fault (it can be mail, intermediaries, customs, etc.) and if you make every effort to rectify the situation – be sure that you will be forgiven. But if you are convicted in turpitude, you can safely put an end to your career. Of course, some people do not give up – “water” displeased customers with every imaginable accusation, but that usually does not cause any effect.
In the “reviews” of the Seller, usually, to ward off any Customer it is enough to use 2-3 serious negatives. Comments to the reviews on eBay – «Respond to Comments» – usually don`t help much. Remember that serious Seller will rather bear losses, than leave the Customer dissatisfied. And it is always better to admit to the Customer in your mistake than to blame others in it. It is appreciated.
- Remember, the tricks are drugs.
Do not abuse so-called “authorized little tricks” (for example, artificial increase in prices of delivery and insurance). We will not list them, “so as not to knock you from the true path”. But sooner or later you will get to them. It is harmless, legitimate, and it allows to increase the profit in a bit. But remember that many Sellers have not been able to stop and “tricks” escalated to “cheats”.
- Take it seriously – keep books.
Get your personal organizer, in which you can write all information. Keep your accounts. It does not matter – in electronic form or hard copy. Sooner or later your number of lots will increase. And the main concern for you is to not miss anything out of sight and randomly get a “negative”.
- Offer Customers wide range of payment methods and delivery to choose.
It is certainly very rewarding. The Customer sees product that he is interested into and must be able to pay for it on the same day. Do not forget that eBay – is a huge marketplace and your Customers will not fool themselves by using uncomfortable for them ways of payment, but simply buy product from other Sellers.
Of course, almost all acceptable methods of payment for western Customers in the CIS are not available, but in this you can get a help from firms – intermediaries. Be sure to make a template with description of possible options and payment details as well as delivery methods (and its cost). A separate item to be added as well is insurance. This template many Sellers expel as invoice, with added desired amount of payment, as well as the weight of the products (invoice – account, a standard letter, usually sent by Seller to the Customer, at the end of trading).
- Constantly keep contact with the Customer. Send out all the documents to him.
Most Cutomers do not like, when Sellers “disappear”. Try to always “be in touch”. Answer all emails (all!) quickly and politely. Remember – “the one, who pays calls the tune”. After sending products, it is very good to scan the documents received (payment receipt, dispatch, insurance) on the same day and send to the Customer.
- Do not save on delivery and insurance. Even if the Customer asks for it.
The best option is to use “registered” delivery + insurance. If the parcel is lost – you get insurance and will be able to compensate all costs to the Customer. Otherwise, in order to avoid the negative, in the sense of close to “I paid, and the product did not come” – you’ll have to do it out of your pocket. Be sure you know the maximum delivery time for each option and pre-inform the Customer about this.
If the Customer asks you to send him the products without insurance – better declare (skilled dealers do this). Even if cheap product lost, you will have to compensate the Customer delivery costs that are not cheap (and of course the cost of a product). And in this case, you will be sure to have long and unpleasant correspondence with him. Exposing lot on trade, it is better to indicate that the insurance is obligatory in the options of delivery.
- Remember that no one will mess with the Seller without rating.
If you just have registered on eBay, and still do not have any comment (or have just a couple) – for the Customer you are a “dark” horse. Even if you manage to sell the cheapest lot (and it is luck), no one will buy the expensive one. Therefore, the best option is to have 10-20 positive comments (buy something), and then expose product for sale. But start with something very small! First 5-10 sales don`t work on profit, but on the rating.
- It is very useful to create a web page about you and your products.
Of course the language, in which it will be created, should be focused on your customers (English, German). On this page, you tell us about yourself, describe in detail the products, sold by you. eBay prohibits specify its address in the description of the lot, but allows to insert it into your profile at auction – “About Me”, and it is usually where Customers look. It will raise interest in your products and your credibility. But do not do it on free hosts, which without your knowledge can attach to the page advertising that are not always pleasant or just
“go to prevention”. Usually, when you buy access to the Internet, the provider gives you e-mail and a place for the page – use them too.
- Put in order your means of communication.
Create an e-mail from a respectable provider (no free hosts!), ICQ, MSN Messenger. Come up with a very good email signature; think where to insert your location and address of your page. Pages with information about you on the Internet pagers (ICQ, etc.) will also be not out of place so fill as much as possible. And remember – you are an official – no slang and “jokes”, people won`t understand.
- Create a template database.
You will certainly have to answer similar emails and messages. Create a base of answers to the same questions. This will save you many hours of extra work. But be careful with them. Ideally, the Customer should not suspect that you have sent a template. They appreciate the
- Try to avoid grammar mistakes.
Be very attentive to the description of the lots and the content of your page (if any). Some agencies use the services of translation, but in our opinion it is better to refer to the acquainted language teacher. It’s cheaper. But the best option, of course – to learn a foreign language yourself.
- Look for a niche. Sooner or later you will find it.
Do not rely on your judgment while choosing a product to trade. What you would not have bought – quite likely the rest will buy. Try, try and try – and you are sure to find your niche. The best and easiest option – is to sell a unique product, which almost no one else has.
- Accept the tons of spam.
On your e-mail will be sent huge amounts of junk mail (spam). Not out of place, of course, is to install anti-spam filters, but watch them not to filter necessary letters. Be careful with this.
- Consider pricing policy.
If you set the product with a starting price of 1 cent without “Reserve Price”, be prepared for the fact that it can be sold at a very low price. Though you will earn a positive review. If you are not willing to sell it cheap – place the normal starting price. Try to make your product be cheaper than the ones competition`s got.
- High-quality photos of the products – a mandatory element of success.
Today, by exposing products without pictures, you almost doom yourself to failure. Even the standard product you describe in detail, giving links to images on the manufacturer’s website – in most cases, will not be as popular as product with the photos in the description.
- Do not forget the comments.
Every time you receive the payment in time, do not forget to send a letter to the Customer with gratitude and a link to the positive comment. While leaving a review – do not hesitate in expressions 🙂
- The more detailed description, the better.
The more detail you write in a description of the lot, the better. Describe in detail the product itself, its completeness, year of production, history (if it is antique), damage, etc. But do not go too far, the description should be laconic. Photos in the description should ideally сconsist of no less than 3-4, and they should have a high resolution (but not more than 40-50 for each one). If you neglect it all, you will get a lot of emails with Customer`s questions.
- Secrets of the delivery.
Do not try to “weld” on the Customer, by overstating the delivery price. Customer will choose a product with cheaper delivery. Try not to use the “Free Shipping” – Customers subconsciously think it`s a trick, because we are used to pay for shipping. Try to use only those methods of delivery, in which “Tracking number” is provided – parcel number, which you will send to the Customer, and by use of which on the site operator, he will see the current status of delivery.
- Do not look for justice. There is no such thing in this business.
Remember: Seller, especially one from the CIS countries, always is the most vulnerable to the Customer in all conflicts. Negative review for you is a hundred times more sensitive. Get used to please and do everything for the sake of a Customer, even if the Customer’s whims make you nervously clench your fists. In order to avoid the negative reviews – meet halfway.
- Do not forget to indicate the correspondence number of the lot.
Most Сustomers forget to indicate lot number in the correspondence. Unlike them, try not to forget it. Otherwise you risk on getting lost in the mails.
- Try to remember the time difference.
If you set the lot focused on overseas Customers – do not forget about almost 12-hour time difference. And if you expose it in the morning – the “dead season” in the course of 10-12 hours waits for you. The optimal time for the lot`s exhibition – late evening. It works with the correspondence too. Hardly Customers will be pleased to receive answers to their questions and emails with 10-15 hour delay. Think about it.
- Most Customers will find your lot through a search of the auction system.
So, if you make a mistake in the title, try to fix it as soon as possible. Also, the more grammar errors do in the description, the more likely Customers will ignore your lot.
- Cash first, goods later.
At first, Customer pays for products. Then goes everything else. No other variants. Try to always stick to this simple rule; it will save you a lot of nerves.
- The Customer is always right.
This is a rule of any trade. Remember and follow it. Even if the Customer passes all bounds and his whims defies no description.
- Emphasize the advantages of your product.
In the description, try to give the most detailed advantages of your product, even if there are few of them. Collect them in a separate paragraph, underline, and better in bold.
- The Customer may request his money back.
So don`t count on the possibility for the Customer to not notice or put up with some hidden defect of the product. This unpleasant situation is easily avoided – just be honest.
- Quality packaging is required.
Always pack the products carefully in the high-quality packages before sending. Do not save on packaging materials. Packaging should be durable. Use lots of crumpled newspapers, foam (or its crumbs). Advantageously, the packaging must take extreme test – drop it onto a concrete floor from high surface. Give a preference to the high-quality packaging materials only.
- Contact the Customer as soon as possible.
By the rules of the auction, you are given three days to contact the Customer. Good, if you do not delay, and contact with the Customer immediately after the auction is completed.
- Use a third-party experience actively.
Learn. It will help you very much. If you don`t know something – look like the others deal with a problem. See the style of the lot`s description, pricing policy, content of the reviews, the use of third-party options at the time of exhibition, etc. But there is no place for a plagiarism! It is forbidden and punishable.
- Do not rely on big immediate profits.
In any business, it is practically impossible. Prepare yourself for the hard work and slow but guaranteed “career” growth. Be persistent – and success will come by itself.
- Losses are inevitable in any business.
Be ready for it. Although you can protect yourself by the serious approach to any sale. Write accurate, complete, and honest description of the lot, lead a friendly chat with the Customer, use a quality packaging, insurance, etc. But Customers sometimes can appear to be dishonest and may require you to return the money for normal product. And we have to do it. However, in this case, they will cover the cost of shipping in both ways.
- Don`t get lost in banknotes.
Try not to get lost in the abundance of dollars: American, Canadian, Australian. Note down the current exchange rates in relation to each other. Learn how much US dollars today is given for one euro, and how much euro should be given for the one dollar.
- Find a good bank.
There are certainly more than one bank department in your city. Take the time to raise rates and reviews about each and choose the best. But keep in mind that cheap is not always good.
- Use the About Me page as much as possible.
Try to give maximum information about yourself on this page. Try to win over Customer`s attention to it, “make friends” with them. Let this information be humane, funny, and witty. It`s useful to give a link to a page about yourself and your products.
- Some Customers love romance.
And if you, while exposing antique product, write a small history of it – it can provoke some customers to buy it. Try to keep the story breathtaking. For example, the story of commander`s clock included the following fragment “inherited from his grandfather-submariner, who in such and such years sailed on the first combat nuclear submarines of this type (link to description) and this (link to description)”. Be creative!
- Participate in public life.
User`s communications forum on the auction site – “eBay Community”, for example, or this forum – www.auctionwatch.com/mesg/ – can do you a good service. You will learn about local customs, will be able to make friends (including the influential ones among the employees of the auction). In any case – it is not out of place to visit forums.
- Follow up with demand.
Many products can be exposed on certain holidays. For example, in the Day of Independence of Ukraine you can set the blue and yellow flag, be sure someone from the Diaspora will buy them. For the day of the Navy of the Russian Federation, you can also put the relevant products. It is good to mention holiday`s date in the description of the lot. Remember that there are Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, US, etc. holidays.
- Actively use Relist Item function.
If the lot was not sold or you want to put up for auction lot similar to the sold one – do not waste time re-drawing the lot, use the reinstall function – «Relist Item».
- Experiment with the description.
eBay auction allows the use the HTML tags in the description of the lot. You can impose them in any HTML editor (FrontPage, DreamWeaver, etc.), and then copy the code in the description of the lot box. Remember that you can highlight your lot. For example the title: *** GREAT RUSSIAN CAMERA *** – will certainly attract attention, but you need to use it with great care and if you are new in sales, then this trick is definitely not for you. In order to gain experience – look through the lots of competitors.
- Send products in time.
If you, while contacting the Customer, ask about their delivery address, it will let you after getting a payment send product.
- No large images.
The primary size of the products` photos is 30-50 KB. Customers do not like to wait for a huge image to boot and can simply close the window.
- Make personal contacts, look for wholesale buyers.
It`s very good to make a personal touch with the Customer. Mention that with buying more than 3 products, Customers get a discount of 10 percent etc. Create your discount coupon and put it in the parcels with the products. Send to the Customers links to your new lots, but do not offer them anything outside of eBay (it is strictly forbidden).
- Offer an extra bonus.
For example, in the description of the lot with big font you write “this antique candlestick goes with free 10 original wax candles from the monastery (a link to the description)”. Or in communication with the Customer, you can write this: “if you`d like, I can add to this candlestick original candle wax from the monastery (link to description), for $ 5 per unit., or from the cathedral (link) for $ 2 a piece”.
- Give bonuses to the bona fide Customers.
It is useful to add to the description of the lot the following line: “If you pay for the products within 3 days, I will add to this rarity camera a great case for free”.
- Rhetoric in the description of the lot helps sometimes.
Slogans like “Do you want to make your friends envy?”, “Do you want to please your wife?”, “Do you want your gift to be the best?”, “Do you want to make a feast for children?” – “Then you need to buy this …” ,“you definitely need to pay attention to this …”.
- Remember about the back guarantee.
In the description of the lot it is desirable to specify that you support the generally accepted rule that says that the Customer may, within 30 days after purchase, make the return of the products and get money back.
If your product, its components, or accessories are handmade – be sure to mention about this in the description of the lot. Many people are convinced that the handicraft is a guarantee of quality.
- Automate everything possible.
You really must get an answering machine, which can take calls during your extended absence. Get a software package for working with images, make templates for not to fret every time with sizes. Use the e-mail message templates.
- Emphasize the uniqueness of the product.
Mention in the description that this product is unique in its kind, and describe why. Tell, why Customers have to buy it from your page rather than your competitors`.
- Pay special attention to the first sentence.
Typically, in the description of the lot, as well as in the newspapers editorials, people read only the first 3-4 rows. And only if they are interested, they continue reading. It is necessary to work on these first rows. Future journalists are taught to: “Imagine an article, like ice cream with berry. First, eat a berry (everybody eats it) – if you liked it, try the ice cream, and if it is delicious – eat all through. Berry – is editorial. Ice cream – an article”.
- Always work on your mistakes.
The surest way not to make mistakes – analyze them. Learn from the mistakes. Yours and others’ ones. Read forums that are dedicated to the auction site eBay. Start a diary; write down the most important moments.
- Look for your Customer.
Let’s say you sell crystal figurines. Look at the competitors` sites coordinates of the Customers, who bought this product before. Contact them directly through eBay. Send links to your items.
- Do not break the rules.
Do not put things that are forbidden to sell, even if you see that someone has put it already and this lot has a high demand. Sooner or later the sanction to such Seller will be applied. Do not offer products to the Customers outside of eBay – sooner or later it will be discovered.
- Do not forget about the instructions.
If a product requires manual or description, be sure to attach it. Any other documents that you have won`t be out of place.
- Do not focus on a single product category.
Try to put items in different categories. Continuously expand the range of products, offered by you. Try different options, experiment, find products, sell of which will be the most profitable for you.
- Praise yourself.
Be sure to specify in the description of the lot that your prices are much lower than those competitors have, and by buying products you offer, Customers get not only the lowest price but the best quality.
- Forget the phrase “do not know”.
While answering questions about your products never use expression “do not know”. Customers avoid betting on products, information about which is unknown for the Sellers.
- Take care of your rating.
Never get involved in bickering and squabbling, which sooner or later all the same impact on your rating. You, as a seller, are the most vulnerable of all.
- Take the time to decor the lot.
The more decorated is lot, the higher the probability of its successful sale. Do not spare this time and effort on this. Avoid bright colors and huge fonts. Find design templates, which are in abundance in the Internet.
- Advertise your lot.
You can place a link to your item anywhere. Forums, message boards, e-mail messages, blogs, etc. But do not overdo it. Spam and flooding are unacceptable.
- Do not hesitate to ask.
If you are asked a question about your product – it shall be described in all the colors of the rainbow, you can promise a discount and, still, ask to buy anything.
- Do not expose similar products at the same time.
It is a bad idea. Do not make yourself a competitive. Even if a competitor at this time puts a dozen lots with goods similar to yours – wait a little to expose your lot. Let the bids of a competitor to run out – then expose.
- Study the reviews with great accuracy.
Study the reviews about the Customer attentively. See who wrote what and when. Study sold and purchased goods. Do not be lazy, explore the “biography” of reviewers.
- The key word in the title.
This is the key to success. Most Customers will find your item by finding keywords. Do not be lazy to think about the title.
- Use the special paid services.
You will learn to make up the title, make ad units and slogans. But no one forbids you from free learning from more experienced colleagues. It is always a good idea to carefully study lots of competitors.
- eBay ToolBar – helps you to travel conveniently on the auction site.
eBay ToolBar is a free service that provides a set of buttons built into the browser. This will save you from having to overload the “Favorites” link on eBay. You will be warned about the end of trading on one or the other lot.
- Use eBay Turbo Lister.
eBay Turbo Lister is very convenient free service that allows you to fully prepare the lots on your computer (offline), and then place them on the auction site. It saves time and bandwidth.
- Place the product photos on a third-party hosting.
You can find free or a very cheap paid hosting and post photos of your products there. And in the description of the lot put a link to this photo. EBay rules do not prohibit it. So you will save a lot of money that would have to be paid to the auction for the placement of the photos on its website.
- Time passes and the lot is still not sold – then experiment.
You can manually change everything in the lot and paste another lot in this place. Time-consuming, but sometimes it justifies itself.
- Monitor bargaining on your products.
Do not forget that you have the right to cancel any bet of any Customer, if it is necessary to separate them from the auction or to put in a “block” – and they will not be able to share any rate on your lots.
- If you do not get back review.
Calculate the maximum amount of time, necessary to deliver the lot by the sending way, you chose. Add 10 days and then contact the Customer. Remind about yourself. Ask whether the products have been delivered, if Customer is satisfied with the quality and ask them to leave a review.
- Do not sell products, banned for sale and shipping.
Sooner or later it would cause problems. Before you put up for sale new product, it is not out of place to check whether it is allowed to sell in the auction rules and whether the customs legislation of your country allows to deliver this product.
- Take all possible payment methods.
Note that if there is no possibility of the Customer to pay for the goods in convenient way, they won`t think over it, and just buy the goods elsewhere. Most of the Sellers accept payment via:
- credit card;
- Wire Transfer (bank transfer);