Selling goods on eBay can provide you with a nice regular income, or just get you out of a tight financial spot from time to time. However much you hope to earn, there are plenty of ways to optimise your sales and boost your profits.
If you’re new to selling on eBay, remember there’s a lot of competition on the site so you need to make your stuff stand out. Here’s how.
Increasing traffic to your items
The more people who look at your items, the more things you are likely to sell. You might even end up with a bidding war on your hands, if you’re lucky. Make it as easy as possible for buyers to find your wares by thinking about how people search for goods on the site.
Start by putting your item into the correct eBay classification category and sub-category. You would be amazed at how many sellers fail to do this, and miss out on sales as a result. Most eBay buyers are looking for something fairly specific, and don’t have time to browse the wider site.
Use keywords in your title/header, check your spelling, and avoid using extra non-specific words. This will then bring up whatever you’re selling in even the most simple of searches. For example, ‘WOW lovely party dress just like Kate never worn’ is pretty useless compared to ‘New black lace cocktail dress size 12 by Kate Moss.’
Also remember to fill in the full listing. Again, many sellers don’t bother with this, but they miss out on adding even more useful keywords and other important information. Colours, brands, measurements, styles and materials are all things that people are looking for. It only takes a couple of minutes and is worth spending your time on.
You can also use the full listing description box to add a note inviting buyers to look at your other listings. This may make you some useful extra cross-sales.
Not only do the listings tips above improve your visibility on the eBay site, they also attract the attention of search engines, which should further increase your volume of sales and number of bids per item.
Making eBay listings look good
Never, ever list an item on eBay without including a picture – it’s a rookie mistake. Buyers want a close look at whatever they’re buying so they can see it’s suitable, and can make sure it isn’t damaged.
Present everything in excellent condition wherever possible. Wipe dust and dirt off surfaces, including ornaments and the soles of shoes, and straighten bent packaging. Give clothes a quick iron and a sweep of the lint roller and hang them properly for the camera. The nicer it looks, the more people tend to pay.
If possible, take a few photos for each item. If you’re selling something rare, unique or very valuable then this is an essential way to gain interest and trust. Include close ups and any special detailing, including labels or hallmarks. For second hand items, be upfront about slightly worn or damaged areas and show photos of these too, so your buyers don’t get any nasty surprises.
Make sure your pictures are in focus, and think about the lighting so that you get true colours and detail. I do my eBay photos in a big batch once a month, using a white table with a white sheet hung up behind it as a fast-assembly, free mini photo studio. Natural daylight is best, but if needed a desk lamp can be used for clearer pictures.
When you upload these pictures, the eBay charges for adding extra photos will be shown to you as you go along. For most categories you can add several pictures per item without being charged.
Use realistic pricing
Most people use eBay either to save money, or to hunt down unusual or hard to find items. If you’re selling things that are fairly common and easy to get hold of, see what other people charge for them and price them competitively for auction-style sales. You can charge a little more for ‘Buy it now’ listings as buyers are often prepared to pay extra for convenience and faster delivery.
Postage and packaging prices are important as well. If you set them too high then some customers will leave you poor feedback, or simply not buy from you at all. However, if you set them too low you can actually end up losing money on your sales.
Postal charges have gone up recently, and you should consider insuring more expensive items when posting them. Don’t forget to factor in printing, labels, envelopes and boxes, sticky tape and transportation to the post office when you are working out how much to charge too, or you could end up out of pocket.
Do you have any tips of your own to make a bigger profit on eBay sales?