By Peter Lankford
FVF - Final Value Fee
Bump - Bring Up My post (to move your thread to the top)
NPB - None Paying Buyer
NPS - None Performing Seller
BNWL - Brand new with labels
BNIB - As above but boxed
MIB - Mint in box
TOS - Terms of Service
Shill Bidding - Using a friends or fake account to try and bump up the final price of an item.
NR - No reserve price
LOL - Laugh Out Loud
ADD A PHOTO!
Ok it may seem obvious to some, but its a great idea to show people exactly what they are bidding on, even show multiple angles for larger or intricate pieces.
Don't have a top notch camera? Ok 3 ways are simple and easy.
First is the standard digital camera, anything from 2MP (megapixels) up will give people a decent view of he item
Second is the Ghetto Digital Cam: get a cheap disposable camera, take all the shots you want and/or need, and get it developed on a Kodak photo CD, it costs about £5 but its a good investment for how muc a picture will increase the value.
Last up: If your items flat, Use a scanner! again obvious, but sometimes only once someone points it out.
A good photo tip I read right here on ebay: Rather than get some crazy light set up for Uber pro looking photo's, if youve gt a white bath, use that! it gives great lighting, and provides the big white background you need!
DESCRIBE YOUR ITEM WELL!
Again ovious but so many people out there dont bother. If your selling a fender strat with a huge amp, dont just say electric guitar and amp, give specifics, the year, colour, condition, country of origin (in some cases) size, and any extras you might be throwing in reguardless of how small it is, hell even give some history on the piece, the more people know, the more they will want the item!
CREATE AN ABOUT ME PAGE!
You dont need any HTML skills, a degree in the inner workings of computers, or know the entire history of the common spoon. Its all laid out for you nice and simple, just fill in the form and include what you want. Its a great place to feature your TOS and tell people a bit about yourself. Its a small piece of customer care that alot of people love to see, plus it saves putting the same old stuff in every auction, just put a link to yor page!
THE RIGHT PRICE!
Believe it or not, knocking 1p off of your starting price will save you in listing fee's. Rather than sell an item for £10 set it at £9.99 and save about 10p on your listing.
LAYING IT OUT!
Another way to save money on your listing. Dont use a listing designer, just make your ad eye catching. A well Laid out advert will get you more interest than a prettey pattern arround the outside. If you asolutely cant do without the border, use turbo lister, it adds them for free, thats another 7p saved!
Ok next on the list, BE HONEST!
Ok again seems obvious, but its better to be honest and get slightly less for the item, than to lie and get a negative mark on your feedback. Even when your honest about the condition you would be suprised how well it may do, I was honest about the age, condition, and the fact that they need some repair work, but still got a good price for them (more than I expected in fact)
NOTHING IS EVER UNTESTED!
Ok most of the experianced ebayers know that untested meens knackered, some unlucky newbie buyer might not, but its true. But dont say that its knackered, because someone may be able to do sothing with it, list it as for spares or repair. Only ever say its untested if your atleast 70% certain that it will work, a happy buyers going to come back.
Ok if you look at my TOS you'll see that I say to wait for 5 days minimum for a cheque to clear. This is actualy a lie, I post most items that sell for less than £10 the same day i reieve the cheque. The reason I say wait for learence is so that the guys with badfeedback dont moan when i wait for the cheque to clear! it costs more than £10 for them to bounce the cheque so no fool is going to willingly bounce a £9 when it costs £15 when it goes wrong. This gets you really good feedback from suprised buyers who have otten the item quicker than they imagined they would. Again a happy buyer will come back!
DONT BE SCARED OF THE NEWBIES!
Ok for some reason alt of sellers have a newbie phobia (as im sure some of you noticed when you first joined) Dont worry about the newbies, 9/10 they try harder to make things go smoothly because they want teir first star, and dont want anything to go wrong with their first purchase! I have only ever had 2 none payers, both had 100 + feedback, newbies push up your prices, pay quicky, and communicate well, take advantage of that!
DONT BE INTIMIDATED BY THE VETERANS!
Ok say for instance you only accept cheques and postal orders like me, if someone with 100,000,00 feedback demans to pay be paypal, tell them no, its their own fault tey diddnt read your TOS and by bidding they agreed to do buisness the way YOU set it out. Just because they have been here longer, dosent mean their right.
DONT PAY OVER THE ODDS FOR POSTAGE!
Royal mail love to rip you of for postage, then they decide not to deliver it anyway. If your item is going to cost over £8 to deliver, go to staples, they have a next day buisness delivery service, with a flat rate of £8. So obviously if your sending a CD, DVD, or whatever else is light, like maybe feathers, you dont want to pay £8 per parcel, but for te big stuff it will save money AND when people are buying, quite often the cost of postage will tip the balance of which item they will bid on!
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE TV!
Ok sounds crazy, but the last thing you want to be doing is selling an england shirt, that finishes half way through an england mach, the last hour of your auction is the frenzy hour where bids get into silly season. Take note of whats on TV, and guess how popular it is. For instance my target audiance is aged 16 - 30. these people like big brother, sports, some soaps, and go to school/college/work So I cater may sales time arround that. Most of my suff ends either on a weekend, or at about 7:30 ish. tis way theres no sport, the 6-7 Channel 4 stuff has finised, and most people are home and often surfing out of boredom.
DONT USE A RESERVE!
Ok alot of people hate reserve prices, and will give up trying to guess how much you wan for it after a while. If you want atleast £10 for somthing, use it as your starting price, sure it costs more to list, but its better to get the price you want, than paying for a listing that wont sell!
Yep thats right you can have all the pictures of your item you want without paying for a single one. How? well its prettey simple, and like before, you dont need any skill with HTML although you may need to ask for some help from a nerd, but onestly its easy.
First thing you need, pictures obviously, scanned into your PC by one of the methoods I mentioned earlier, Next you'll need your own web space. alot of companies offer free web pages as part of your internet package, others will give you one for free. Personaly Ive got an old homestead one that I se from time to time.
Next you upload your pictures to your site, thats the bit you may need a NERD/10 year old for.
Now open your site up, and look for the images you want.
Position your cursor (pointy thing) over the picture and click your right mose button, a little list will drop down, select COPY.
Now go to the advert your making, and right click again, now select PASTE anywhere on your advert. AND LOOK! a picture, in your AD that you havent paid a penny to use! thats another 12p per picture saved!
RELIST YOUR ITEM!
Another that some people dont know. If your item hasnt sold first time arround, rather than making a new advert, simply relist it, so long as you only relist one, and it sells that time, its free! Just dont relist it more than once, its better to make a new AD with more pictures and posh words because your going to have to pay to relist it.
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK CAN BE A GOOD THING!
No im not senile, im not old enough. Belive it or not, alot of sellers will judge you better, by how you reply to poor feedback, than they will to 50 pages of good feedback. Just make sure your reply is factual, and not insulting, and reasonable (no lies or santa will knee-cap you)
HELP IVE SOLD EVERYTHING I OWN AND NOW IM EATING OUT OF A PAPER CUP!
Ok just because youve sold everything thats nailed down, theres no need to panic or run tot he closest wholesaler. The best places to get new stock are:
CHARITY SHOPS, your supporting others AND getting new stuff to sell, and ey maybe even replace the furniture you sold!
CAR BOOT SALES, Ok now headless barbie wont get you much outside of the fetsh comunity, but you can get some really great stuff from car booties, alot of people are clearing out teir old stuff but are scared of ebay, take advantage of it!
SCHOOL FETES: A wierd thing ive noticed about these things is that they are somehow able to sell the latest PC for 50p, and if you ask nicely, or haggle, they will throw in a new TFT monitor too. Ok maybe thats an exageration but they have great stuff, for the equvalent of a 6 year olds life savings. GO GRAB A BARGAIN AND HELP THE KIDS!
DONT BE A TIGHT SOD!
Ok this is a request rather than advice, alot of charities want your used stamps, as a seller your going to get alot of them, even the standard 1st class stamps are worth somthing to them. So fill an emvelope with them, and send them off, if you dont know who to support, email me and Ill give you the address of the one I support, and it will only cost you the price of the stamp you use to post it!
GOOD MONEY FOR OLD
Ok now that tank top you found in your grans attic might look like the worst thing youve ever seen, but some punk somewhere will give it a good home if you make a good advert, and you should be able to by the time youve made it this far down the Page! heres a true story, my brother in law came home from work one day and pulled into hs drive. He ran over an old tomato soup tin, So for a laugh he sold it as a modern art sculpture and made a quick £10. Another guy I know buys all the music mags he can, cuts out every article, and seperates it into different groups and interests and puts them in different bags. He then sell the bags (once full) to the americans for £20 a shot. Thats right he makes money on an asda bag full of old paper!
DO WHAT YOU DO BEST!
Ok I will never sell womens underwear, why? because im a man, and dont wear the stuff, except for weekends and holidays. So instead I go with what I know. I like games, gadgets, and electrical stuff. Because of that I know where to look for bargains, and collectable software for cheap. Then i list it here and make a 300% profit. I dont know much about what music is collectible, or what classic trainers are worth a mint, so i dont try to buy or sell them. If you know antiques, specialise in them. Good with pet supplies? theres a market for them too!
MAKE A NAME FOR YOURSELF!
Ok so youve been selling modern art for the past year, but your user name is somthing like "Uber CD Seller" change it! The only thing that changes is your name, everything else including feedback follows you.
NEVER CLOSE EARLY
Ok one thing that comes up on a regular basis is people asking them to sell them the item their selling for X ammount if they finish the auction early. THIS IS RARELY A GOOD IDEA. People who want you to do this usualy fall into one of 2 groups. First is someone who knows the true value of your item, and want to get it cheap before the last hour frenzy kicks in. The other is a rival seller who wants you to close the auction so tha their item will get more attention, you will never see the money from that group.
SOME COMPANY KEEPS GIVING ME FREE STUFF I DONT WANT!
Ok Guiness keeps sending me stuff, and as you know guiness stuff is pretty collectable. So what I do is I save it for a few months so that most people who have recieved one have either sold or lost theirs. Then I list it and make a fortune from both the british and american collectors! If you get free stuff, make the most of it! Ive seen people selling the free pens that the makers of viagra send out sell them for up to £5, thats pure profit!
NEVER TRADE ANYTHING IN!
Ok alot of companies now offer trade ins on loads of stuff like Games, DVD's, Videos, and old people. They will never offer you as much as you'll get if you sell it on here, seriously, go ask blockbuster how much they will give you on your DVD, then sell it on here, and see how big the difference is, sure it means waiting for the money, but its going to be more.
DONT PAY OVER THE ODDS FOR YOUR ADVERT
Ok Ive already said how to save money on photo's and listing designer, but there are other ways too. Think about how often a bold listing title will catch your eye compared to one thats all in capital letters, sure it annoys some people if you use all caps, but its free! Another is that little coloured band they charge you to have, I never pay attention to them, Using a gallery listing is money better spent! Just lay it out well, abuse the free photo idea, and make your description stand out, give good rates of P&P and gallery listing. The only thing in that list youve paid for is the gallery.
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!
Ok as much as you want to make a million before your X years old, dont try and get it all at once. Before you try to sell your item at what YOU think its worth, look at who else is selling it. If yours is in better condition, start yours higher, if not, use the smae or less. It might mean a lower profit margin, but atleast it will sell!
ITS WORTH THE WAIT!
Ok this is one that not everyone wil agree with, but If I have an item that I know will sell well on a saturday, I list it on thursday, and let it run for 10 days. This lets the people who are searching for that item a better chance of seeing your listing, but it means you'll have two weekends for people to find it, and there are more buyers out here on a weekend!
DONT FLOOD THE MARKET!
Ok this is just good buisness sense. If youve got 10 of the same thing to sell, dont list them all at once! If people have the chice of 5 identical items, they will go for the cheapest, which means less overall profit. Theres ways arround this. Only list one. THEN once the auction is over, if the bids are high, issue second chance offers to the best 2 - 3 bidders. Then list your next one, and keep doing this till their all gone.
HELP IVE GOT A NONE PAYER!
Well this happens to the best of us, dont panic or jump in and neg them right away! Instead send a payment reminder, if that dosent work, send a mail remnding them that they have entered into a legaly binding contract by bidding on your item. If these fail, phone them! get their phone number here http://cgi3.ebay.co.uk/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?MemberSearchShow and give them a call, you will be suprised how often this scares them into paying!
SAVE YOURSELF SOME HASTLE
For some reason, Ive noticed that some sellers dont list their full address. If you want people to mail you payment, they need to know where to send it, so rather than waiting for them to email you to ask where to send it, make sure your address is already there in your profile, this will also cut down on the number of none paying bidders!
OTHER WAYS OF GETTING PAID!
Ok not everyone trusts paypal (myself included) so we dont accept it. Some buyers may want to pay by bank transfer. DONT PANIC, they are not trying to rip you off, they dont need any more info from you, than is on any cheque you send out. All they need is you bank name, your account number, and sort code, look at your cheque book, this info is on every single cheque!
DONT BE RIPPED OFF!
Ok so someone has asked to pay through some third party, and for the itm to be sent to their freind/relative/company/poodle who just happen to live abroad. This is always a con! It happens ALOT on high value items like laptops. Dont even trust western union. Only accept traditional means like paypal, cheque, cash, postal order, and DIRECT bank transfers. Anything else is probably going to end badly!
BAD DAYS HAPPEN!
One day, and one morning every week is a bad day to sell! All Day Sunday for some mystery reason Ebay is full of bugs and glitches, nobody is quite sure why this happens, maybe is gods wrath for listing on a holy day, im not sure, but sudays can be touchy, the best day on a weekend to sell is a Saturday.
The morning thats bad is friday, this is when Ebay gets its updates and repairs done, it gerealy starts on the morning and ends at about 2pm ish, sometimes earlier.
HELP IVE LOST HIS ADDRESS!
Ok this annoys the out of me, and im ure im not the only one, a seller sends an email to let me know that my iem will be delayed because they have lost my address, and need to email me for it a second time round (this works when your buying too!) Where it says stuff like mark paid, and leave feedback e.c.t. theres a little arrow, click on this and a small drop down box will appear. Now select "View Payment Status"
This will take you to a page that shows both yours and their address' for you to use.
(from Paul1973)POST ABROAD!!!
If you're selling light stuff like CDs, records, books, clothes, etc, you will get at least 25% more bids - and therefore more money - if you are willing to send stuff overseas. So many items that I see have 'Post to UK only' on and I can't understand why!
Obviously if you're selling a telly or a car this isn't a good idea, but for the little things it makes a big difference!
One point - if you are selling videos or DVDs and are willing to post overseas, make sure you write, in big letters...
THIS IS A UK PAL VIDEO / DVD AND WILL NOT PLAY ON AMERICAN PLAYERS!!!
It might seem obvious to you or me but, without wanting to generalise, Americans are sometimes...erm, how can I put it... stupid!