SELLING ON EBAY - TIPS AND HINTS
2009 is here and with all this talk of CREDIT CRUNCH, negative equity, redudnacies and the like, quite a few of you are probably thinking about selling your wares on ebay.
It is usally quite a pleasurable experience, but this pleasure can be enhanced by observing some fairly simple "Do's and Don't" of ebay.
As an ebayer for more than 5 years, I thought I would provide a few tips that I tend to follow in order to provide for a seamless sale, both for you AND the seller.
LISTING AN ITEMBE HONEST
- ENSURE THE TITLE IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS
- Ensure their are no spelling mistakes
- Ensure any special characteristics of the items are listed in the Title. These can include abbreviations such as:
- BNIB - Brand New In Box
- BNWL - Brand New with Labels
- FE - First Edition
- If it is a well known manufacturer, ensure the name appears in the title.
An example of my footer on all my auctions.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.
Item will be well packed, and I will get proof of posting for added security.
Have confidence in my 100% positive feedback rating. Have been part of the Ebay community for almost 5 years........
When selling certain items, mainly mobile phones, and some other technology items, you can be inidiated with queries from certain countries. When you start on ebay, it is probably best NOT to sell overseas.
Even now I can be caught. A few months ago for example, I was selling a TENS machine, and EBAY we're having an offer where you could list worldwide for an extra 5p. The item started getting loads of bids from the USA. I was delighted. A friend who was selling the same item was bemused. It turned out that you cannot sell a TENS machine to the USA without a perscription. Bear in mind, that certain countries have different rules to what items can be legally sold.
Also when selling, state in your advert that you only post to registered paypal addresses. This way, you do not have to post to a shipping address in 'another country'.
- Include a picture of the item YOU are selling. Not someone else's photo, or a manufacturers picture.
- If possible, take a picture of the item OUT of the box.
- Try to ensure that the item takes up MOST of the picture and gives a clear indication of what you are selling. For example,
- Having an item on the same BUY-IT-NOW and starting price.
- Don't use the listing designer
- Don't use a subtitle or any enhanced features (especially if you are NEW to ebay)
- Don't add more than 1 picture in the listing. You can easily add external links to pictures for nothing if more images are required.
When an item has sold, I always look at the customers feedback to get a feeling of the nature of the transaction. More on feelings later. Unless they pay very quickly, I always send an invoice and attach a generic invoice text to clarify payment and delivery terms. Something like:
Pack the item well
Post the item promptly
There is nothing MORE annoying when I buy something from ebay to have to wait 7-10 days before receieving an item. I nearly always try and post the item to the buyer the next business day after payment (if paying by paypal or postal order), or the next business day after cleared funds (if paying by cheque). If for whatever reason, there is a delay in posting the item, then a quick email explaining the reason can go a long way to iroining out any problems. Most buyers will understand.
Be Aware of the post office charges
- You still have to queue in the post office
- The Post Office will still need to weigh the item.
Proof of Posting
Post an item when the 1st bid is placed on the item.
Sending items abroad
When sending items abroad, use the Royal Mail web site again to estimate the cost to ship to their country. I mainly use Airmail, as the item will usually get around the world wihin 5-7 days. And bizarrly, for most items shipping using Airmail is pennies more than shipping by surface mail. The problem with surface mail, is that it can take 5-7 WEEKS to get to the other side of the World.
FOLLOW UP SERVICE
Thank you for your order and prompt payment.
I hope you enjoy using the item.
This small step can be a nice little personal touch that can make the difference between a great and merely ok transaction.
- How Promptly did they pay?
- Was their any prior communication with the customer?
- Have they bought from you before?
- What is their current feedback rating?
ALWAYS LEAVE FEEDBACK
When an auction has finished, and the buyer has paid for the item, always leave them accurate feedback. This way, they are more likely to leave feedback for you.
The Painful part
"Just bit the bullet"
Obviously, I take some preacutions (pack the item well, get proof of posatge (sometimes even send the item recorded delivery if i have a feeling), take serial numbers of the items I have sold etc), but as a general rule, i live by the addage "the customer is always right".
If the item is lost, offer the buyer a full refund and inform them that I will attempt to recoup my losses with the Post Office. Some people undoubtedly "try it on", but I normally state that "as I got proof of posting when the item was shipped the Post office manages to find more than 75% of the items that are lost (which is perfectly true). If the item is a big ticket item, I normally ask the buyer to send the item back to me so that I can quantify the damage.
A look at their feedback, can help, as well if you suspect the buyer is a "dodgy character"