Forgive me for stating the obvious but eBay is massive. No really, it is! I only started to appreciate the fact the other day when I decided to get rid of some old junk. I had an old digital camera and some books I'd already read. A week later I've made some much needed cash from items that were just lying around unused. Plus, if you're selling things you don't want any more, it's all clear profit.
Once you get the hang of it, selling on eBay is quicker and easier than I ever imagined. A little research will pay off in the long run though. Take a look at the simple steps on eBay first. Next check out other tips and tricks oneBay forums, and in newspaper articles and online guides. Here's my guide to how it works...
- If you haven't already done so, register yourself on eBay and then register for a sellers account.
- Now find the things you want to sell and take some time to establish their market value. Compare prices on eBay and other sites such as Amazon for items in similar condition. This is important so you don't ask too much or too little for what you're offering. Be honest with yourself about the condition of your items. If you want a quick sale, perhaps go in lower than other sellers, but have faith, you'll be surprised at what goes for a realistic price.
- Decide whether you're going to auction your item, offer it as "Buy It Now", or do both. If you feel your item might entice bidders to fight it out and drive up the price, perhaps veer away from "Buy It Now", but if there's a price you'd be happy to accept for something a little less desirable, set that price and people can snap it up directly. Also set the duration for an auction, depending on whether you want a quick sale or can afford to wait. The longer you wait, the more viewers and the more potential interest you'll receive.
- Set the payment options correctly. If you don't have one, consider a PayPal account. PayPal offer seller protection from phoney buyers, and it’s the fastest, easiest, most trusted payment method for auction websites.
- It’s important to factor in postage costs for auctions. Estimate how much it will cost you depending on the weight of your goods (a pair of scales can be useful) and inform buyers clearly in the description where you're willing to dispatch to.
- Arguably the most crucial factor in making a good sale is the item description. First off, particularly for higher value items, include as many good quality pictures as possible. Buyers always examine images scrupulously. Then format the item's page clearly, and describe it in detail: how old is it? How much use has it had? What condition is it in? Is there any obvious wear and tear? eBay's listing interface can sometimes seem a little bit basic, but it is editable so get creative. Any experience you have with Microsoft` Word, Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator can be put to good use to make your item stand out from the competition.
- Finally, once you've made a sale, its important to maintain your eBay reputation by providing excellent customer service. Communicate effectively, post the item promptly and well packaged, and leave honest feedback about the buyer. That way, they'll leave you good feedback too, and people will be encouraged to buy from you in the future.
James Christie writes for Thomson Local Directory