Many people have chosen a work-at-home career and, thanks to today’s technology, it’s easier than ever. One such opportunity for entrepreneurs is available at internet auction site, eBay. The concept seems simple enough, but having an edge over the competition is always a good idea. For those who already sell, or who are considering a new business venture, a little knowledge can go along way. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Tip 1: Many eBay sellers accept PayPal, also an eBay company, as a way for buyers to quickly pay for their auction purchase. Payments are done immediately and are deposited directly into the seller’s PayPal account. It’s very important to make sure a buyer’s address is confirmed, which is a method PayPal uses to verify the identity of the customer, before shipping an order. In addition, sellers should purchase tracking numbers whenever possible so that they may confirm delivery of an item.
Tip 2: If you have a refund policy, make certain that your terms are clearly noted in the auction description. Consider the conditions under which you will accept a return, how long the buyer has to return an item, whether or not you are willing to refund the original shipping price and who will be responsible for the return shipping. Do not leave anything open to interpretation because it’s very important to describe your refund policy in a clear and concise manner. If you do not accept returns, it’s helpful to note this in order to avoid confusion.
Tip 3: The most important part of an auction is the description. Describe your item clearly and in detail. If it’s new, let your buyers know. The description should contain everything from the condition of the item to the cost of shipping, payment methods that you accept and payment due dates.
Tip 4: When possible, include a color photo of the item you are selling. On eBay, the first photo that you include is free of charge. Buyers generally want to see the item they are considering, so avoid the ‘sight unseen’ scenario if possible. If you do not have a digital camera or scanner, purchase a disposable camera at your local supermarket.
Tip 5: Always be polite and respectful to your customers. It’s extremely important to keep the lines of communication flowing. If possible, notify your buyers immediately when they win your auction and answer any questions throughout the process.
Tip 6: Sellers should consider the best listing options for their product. Unless you are selling a very expensive item, avoid the higher priced listing upgrades. Keep in mind that, if a bidder wins and fails to follow through with payment, sellers can request a final value fee credit. However, sellers will be stuck paying for the listing fee - even if the bidder doesn’t honor their bid.
Tip 7: Show appreciation to your customers. If possible, include a free gift with every purchase. Whether it’s a small picture calendar or other gesture, buyers will love the added surprise.
Tip 8: After the transaction is complete, buyers and sellers should always exchange feedback for one another. Everyone loves to increase their reputation and build trust within the auction community.
Tip 9: If a buyer fails to follow through with payment, contact them to see what happened. It may be a simple mix-up, so be polite in your letter. After your contact, if the buyer still refuses to honor their bid, sellers should promptly send an unpaid item reminder. This option is available seven days after the auction closes. The last step, after an additional 10 days have passed, is to file a request for a final value fee credit and relist the item.
Tip 10: If an item doesn’t sell the first time around, don’t be discouraged. Through a new relist policy, eBay refunds all relisting fees if your item sells the second time. In order to qualify, you must not increase the price or change other important auction information before relisting your item.
At the end of the day, internet auctions can be a terrific way to earn extra cash or as a full-time career. Where else can you earn money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and even when you’re sleeping? Happy auctioning!