My guide to successfully selling items

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Hey, welcome to my guide to selling items on eBay. I'll leave the obvious stuff up to you (listing, taking pictures etc) but here are some tips that I always use to guarantee a successful sale:
  • ALWAYS include a clear picture of your item. If it's something small without a lot of detail, like a t-shirt with one print on the front, you should only include one picture. If it's something complex, like a CD box set with multiple discs and a booklet, include one picture of the whole set and then other pictures showing detail.
  • ALWAYS be as honest as you possibly can about an item. If it's brand new with not a mark on it, tell your bidders. If it's in good condition but there are obvious marks or blemishes, always tell people about them. DON'T portray an item more positively than it deserves or you will lose confidence from your buyer when they receive it.
  • ALWAYS put your starting bid as low as possible. People are more likely to go after an item that looks to be cheaper at first glance even if yours is advertised or described better. I always start mine at 99p and get a huge surge of bids on the last day
  • ALWAYS tell your buyer if any problems arise with getting the item to them - postal delays, personal problems or any conditions affecting the item.
  • ALWAYS try to fit as much relevant information into the title of the item and leave enough room to describe its condition. For example, you wouldn't need (and wouldn't fit) 'Official Nintendo Wii Nunchuk Controller - as new, still in box' when 'Official Nintendo Nunchuk - mint condition' would surfice and give just as much information. Casual buyers don't tend to look at the title of the item, they instead search through the categories, which leads me to...
  • ALWAYS make sure you advertise your item in the correct category, and if necessary use more than one. For example, I recently sold a Nintendo GameCube controller that can be used on a Nintendo Wii also, so I promoted it in both GameCube and Wii categories.
  • ALWAYS make sure you stay in control of who buys your item. If you aren't comfortable with zero feedback bidders getting your item, don't be afraid of retracting their bid. Make sure you make buyers aware of any stipulations you set on bids though to avoid any unnecessary aggro.
  • ALWAYS make sure you include the cost of the packaging when you set a postage price. Make the postage higher if necessary and use the Royal Mail / USPS etc website to calculate a rough price (it's harder with international items). With heavier items, you can get away with using bathroom scales to get an approximate weight. I've lost count of the number of times I've underestimated the postage costs and lost money in the process.
  • NEVER put a reserve on an item. If you're not happy at letting an item go for less than you want for it, maybe you should reconsider putting it on eBay in the first place! It can be very offputting to a buyer to see an item going for their budget and the reserve still hasn't been met, even if it's only a few pounds away. If you want a minimum for an item, advertise it elsewhere and state that on your item, so if you don't get a good price for it, you can remove the item without upsetting buyers
  • NEVER, EVER, EVER fall into the trap of letting people buy your item away from eBay. Not only will you receive absolutely no support from eBay, you're running the risk of letting all kinds of scammers getting your personal information. (Google 'P-P-P-Powerbook' :P )
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