Things I have learnt over the years of selling on eBay.
IMHO in order of importance.
1) Pictures. The more the better but having said that, it is better to have 1 really good pic than 6 rubbish ones so get a good digital camera and learn how to use it.
Also always spend the money on a gallery picture.
And lastly make sure your pictures load quickly. Especially important when self hosting.
2) Price. It is not always about the price. Many buyers would prefer to pay a little more from a seller that offers GOOD terms and conditions and High street price is often but not always irrelevant. Many buyers are buying from eBay for convenience and choice. They see eBay as a one stop shop where they can get anything they want without having to trawl through loads of web sites and trips to town and it is often worth paying a little more for the convenience. After all time is money.
Lastly on Payment. I sell items that are difficult to judge the value of as they are individual and unique. It helps buyers to understand the value of the item if you have a BIN as well as an auction price.
3) GET A SHOP
The benefits are tremendous for a basic at £6 per month you can look very professional and you can organise and categorise your listings to make it much easier for buyers to find what they are looking for from you. Don't judge a shops worth by how many items you sell from it. It gives you more credibility
3) Faults. However painful it might be you should always detail any flaws, faults clearly and ensure these are shown in photo and turn it into a positive. I usually mention something like "It should be noted that there is a small scratch on the surface of the stone that is hardly visible when worn and this item should be considered as a second and this is reflected in the absolute bargain price of £x.xx". This will attract the buyers that don't care and are really happy to get a bargain and will put off the moaners that are likely to complain and give loads of hassle and grief.
a) Clearly state acceptable payment methods in your listing.
b) Alternative Payment methods really do increase the number of buyers you are likely to get. 20% of my sales are through Postal Order.
c) Block PayPal eCheques. This has been covered in one of my other guides but I'll cover it again here. Blocking eCheques is actually offering your customers a service. Every eCheque I have ever received was sent in error without the buyer even being aware of sending one at the point of making the payment. They are usually sent because of expired cards not being re-registered among other things and it highlights a problem with the buyers PayPal account which allows them to get it resolved before getting into a real fix with other sellers.
d) NEVER EVER EVER send anything till you have cleared funds. It is unprofessional and leaves you wide open to scammers in the future who may want to take advantage of your good nature.
e) Bank Transfer is a great alternative payment especially for European customers who find PayPal too restricting.
Reply promptly, politely and accurately.
6) Title - If your item is brand new then SHOUT ABOUT IT HERE. Also make sure that you understand the key words that your buyers are using to find you and use them here.
Traffic reports will help you with this.
7) Description. Clear, Concise, simple and accurate. I have noticed that a simple 3 line description is more attractive to a buyer than a complex 3 page description. Detail the item simply at the top with measurements and weight etc... then right at the bottom add all the technical info for anyone who doesn't really know what they are buying. This has been left to last as whilst it is important many buyers judge on photo's and price with a quick look at condition.
Lastly - MENTION YOUR SHOP ITEMS.
If you are interested in how to block eCheques then please see my other guide.
Also see my guide on should I start a business.
I would also be grateful to receive a vote if you found this info useful.
My Guide To Business Selling On eBay
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18 June 2008
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