So you want to sell an item on eBay? Coming from someone who has been an eBay Power-seller and performed thousands of transactions through the website, let me tell you a little secret. There are certain decisions you make on listing your item which can directly influence how much money your items sell for at the end of the auction. Don't believe me? Check out five proven tips for getting more money selling your items below and try them out for yourself!
#1 – Take Quality Pictures & Choose The Right Default Photo
If there is one factor that could influence your eBay listing's outcome the most, it is the photos you upload and include with your listing. These photos are the core of the buyer's decision to choose your product over the others so it is important to impress them and win them over. If you supply them with mediocre photos, chances are they aren't going to want you item as badly and their lack of interest will mean less buyers competing for your item.
Buying on eBay is an interesting experience as you're taking a stranger's word (whose obviously biased as they are trying to get rid of their item) without ever getting to actually touch or view the product in person until AFTER you have paid for it. This makes a lot of buyers uneasy (myself included) so providing quality images which clearly portray your item in the best way possible is a must to get the most money for your item.
It is also important you choose a strong photo as the default photo for your listing. This default photo is what is going to lure in prospective buyers who see your listing among many in the search results. By providing a unique or well-taken photo, you'll tend to peek interest from buyers causing them to take the time to click-through to your listing. If you're unsure of what type of photo I'm referring to, perform an eBay search for whatever item your selling and look at what your competitors are doing. It should be easy to pick out which photos are more appealing than others.
Do you sell a lot of items on eBay? If so and your serious about getting the most money out of your auctions, I highly suggest investing in entry-level DSLR camera (or renting) as well as buying a lightbox setup. These items do require an investment, but after purchasing them I have been able to get significantly more money for my listings, received a boost in credibility to my buyers, and an overall improvement in my business that has more than paid for the investment over time.
Example: Which of these auctions is more appealing to you?
If you're like me and virtually every other eBay shopper, it is a no-brainer that the 2nd listing is a much more appealing even though they are the same product (excluding color and carrier). The second one provides a more professional and reputable impression therefore I would be willing to spend more money to win this one than the previous listing. The photo is depicted in a way that looks “cool” and expensive, where the first listing's photos are weak, dull, and unprofessional.
The default photo on the first listing is off center, shows an odd angle, and doesn't give you a good idea of what the phone's condition is. This hurt the chances of this item selling, likely resulting in many prospective buyers continuing to scroll past it and spend their time focusing on more appealing listings like the 2nd one.
#2 – Describe Your Item Appropriately & Document Any Flaws
Like I said earlier, many buyers are very hesitant to do business on eBay as they cannot verify the condition of an item for themselves. To combat this issue, you need to include an in-depth and accurate description of your item. A mistake I see often is uneducated sellers copying other similar listings. I would highly suggest you stay away from this practice as you can easily mix up a similar product description that differs in terms the item's specifications or details which are not the same as your item. If this is the case, you can unknowingly include deceiving description which will likely cause the winning bidder to be very upset.
As for the condition, make note of any defects or issues no matter how small they may be. Along with a text description of any damage, you should include clear images (if they are cosmetic) showing the each trouble spot exactly as you described them. Buyer's understand used items found on eBay are subject to typical wear and tear from earlier use so don't think a photo of the scratch, ding, or blemish on your item will cause people not to buy it.
You are MUCH better off making note of any issues or damage in your listing description and photos than keeping them to yourself which often results in an upset buyer who may file a complaint or leave you negative feedback. By providing enough evidence of the condition and details of your item, the buyer will feel more at ease purchasing your item through eBay and if you did your job well enough they will know exactly what they are going to be receiving after purchasing your item.
#3 – Include The Original Packaging
If you are selling an electronic or collectable item, it is ideal for you to include the original packaging if you still have it. This makes the buyer feel like the item was more “new” and gives them a buyer experience that feels less like a used item. It is also easier on you as the seller because often times you can ship the item easier by utilizing the original packaging.
Here are some items that buyer typically pay more for with the original packaging:
- Smartphones (especially iPhones)
- Tablets (especially iPads)
- Game Consoles
- Video Games
- Action Figures
If you don't have the original packaging, don't sweat it! This factor has one of the most minimal outcomes when it comes to getting more money for your items, but it is still something you should focus on if you have the original packaging at your disposal.
#4 – Start The Auction Low, Include A Reserve
An element that I have found to be proven true in terms of the success of my listing is the starting price that you choose. Through experimenting with different starting prices and reserve amounts, I've come to the conclusion that setting a very low price to begin at and setting a suitable reserve (to be sure your item doesn't sell for too cheap) is the best strategy that will maximum your potential sale.
I like to start all my auctions at $0.99 and set the reserve according to whatever I think the item is worth. By pricing it so low initially, you will get more interest as buyers will me more likely to place bids, watch your items, and see your items in the search results as it is very common for buyers to sort their search results from low to high in terms of pricing.
#5 – Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping has become a huge hit on eBay as of the past few years. When I started selling on the platform, it was not a common practice to offer free shipping, but as of lately it seems to become a rather normal practice especially with power-sellers.
By offering free shipping, your customers will be more likely to buy your item as many believe they are getting a better deal without having to deal with any shipping fees.From the seller standpoint, it makes more sense that the trend of free shipping is increasing as shipping rates have dropped dramatically thanks to USPS's flat rate shipping offers. To learn more about the flat rate shipping prices visit this link.