Secrets of Successful Selling
You have items to sell. You want to make sure that you actuallysell them and that you get the highest price possible. But you’re also competing with thousands of other items up for auction at the same time. How do you stand out from the crowd, attract a bunch of bidders, and goose up the high bids?
If you’re looking for juicy selling secrets, this e-BOOK is for you. Utilize these secrets and strategies to help you become a successful online auction seller!
If you’ve been paying attention, we have covered all these secrets in our e-BOOKs and Videos. In case you missed them, here they are:
Selling and Promoting Your Items
#1: Buy on eBay before you start selling on eBay
If you haven’t bought on eBay before, how do you plan to sell on eBay? You really need to understand how eBay works and what eBay looks like from the buyer’s point of view. You won’t be successful selling on eBay until you learn to first buy.
#2: Choose the Correct Category!
Search for your item. Did you find similar items? If you found your like-items easily, so will your buyers.
#3: Research Your Price
Don’t sell without doing your homework first; make sure you know the true value of an item before you put it up for auction. Before you price your item, search for similar items using eBay’s Completed Listings. What was the starting bid price? What was the final selling price?
Be informed, and you won’t set the price too high or too low; you’ll set it just right and have good expectations for what you’ll get for your item.
#4: Go Longer…
When it comes time to choose the length for your auction, go for the 7- or 10-day option. The longer your item is up for auction, the more potential bidders who will see it and the more potential bidders, the better your chances of selling the item for a higher price. Don’t cheat yourself out of potential sales by choosing a shorter auction.
#5: …Or Create a Short-Term Frenzy
On the other hand, if you have something really hot, create a bidding frenzy by choosing a very short auction length. If you do this, play it up in your item’s title: 3 Days Only! works pretty well.
#6: There’s No Reason to Reserve
Most people understand the necessity for it, but there are a large percentage of users who will simply not bid on a reserve price auction. If you know something will sell, then price it slightly lower than the minimum you will take.
#7: Start Low Bro
Do you have a good item that you KNOW will sell well? Start it off at a very low price. This will get you healthy early bidding. You want a large group around the item; some will be competitive bidders – people who will pay extra just for the thrill of winning. You’ll usually get more for your item than someone who priced their item higher, because your auction has more bidders watching.
#8: Don’t Compete Against Yourself
If five people are looking to buy barstools today, don’t give them five choices all from one person (you). If you have five barstools to sell, don’t sell them all at once. Sell one this week, one next week, and one the week after that. Spread it out to create an illusion of scarcity, and you’ll generate more total revenue.
#9: Single Items Are Best
If you’re looking for the highest total dollar, don’t group items together. Multiple-item lots seldom bring as much money as multiple items sold individually.
#10: …Although You Can Unload Some Dogs in a Pack
On the other hand, if you have a lot of things to sell, selling in lots can reduce your personal overhead, as well as help you unload some less attractive items that you probably couldn’t sell individually. (Plus, you get hit for only a single insertion fee!)
#11: Start and end your auctions at the best times
Start and end your auctions at peak traffic periods when traffic is the heaviest. End auctions on Sunday or Monday evenings between 5 and 7 PM (Pacific Time). Saturday and Sunday mornings are also good times. Remember there can sometimes be a posting delay of up to two hours on eBay during the busy times.
Remember, eBay time is Pacific Time!
Remember, though, that you’re dealing with a three-hour time-zone gap between the East and the West coasts. So, if you time your auction to end at 7:00 p.m. EST, you’re ending at 4:00 p.m. PST, when most potential bidders are still at work. Conversely, if you choose to end at 9:00 p.m. PST, you just hit midnight in New York and many potential bidders are already fast asleep.
The best times to end and thus to start your auction are between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. EST, or between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. PST. (Figure the in-between time zones yourself!) That way you’ll catch the most potential bidders online for the final minutes of your auction and possibly generate a bidding frenzy that will garner a higher price for your merchandise!
#12: Don’t End on a Friday or Saturday Night
If Sunday is normally the best night of the week to end your auction, what’s the worst night? Friday and Saturday are probably the worst nights to end most auctions, because a lot of eBay users are out on these non-school nights. End an auction for any item (especially youth-oriented items) on a Friday or Saturday night, and you eliminate a large number of potential buyers.
#13: Ditch Deadbeats
You don’t have to sell to just anybody. You can stipulate that you won’t sell to bidders with negative feedback or with feedback ratings below a certain level. If you receive bids from these potential deadbeats, cancel them. If the deadbeats continue to bid (after being warned off via email by you), block their bids. You want to sell to someone who will actually consummate the transaction and send you payment; bidders with negative feedback are more likely to leave you high and dry.
#14: PayPal to the Rescue
One of the easiest ways to increase the number of bids in your auction is to accept payment via credit card. Unless you’re a real business with a merchant bank account, this means signing up for PayPal, which is extremely easy to do.
#15: Summer Slow Down
For whatever reason, eBay traffic slows way down in the summertime. (Lots of potential buyers are on vacation, and even more are outside enjoying the sunshine.) If you want to maximize your bids, you’ll get a higher price when fall and winter come along.
#16: Build credibility
Be trustworthy. Remove every doubt about your credibility. You can do this through presenting yourself positively through your feedback, being passionately devoted to your business and by being an expert. Using eBay’s “About Me” page is the perfect way to provide more background information about you as a seller, and to drive potential bidders to your other live auctions. Be sure to create an “About Me” page and use it to help “sell” yourself and your other items. Be sure to include photo of yourself as it will humanize the online experience and can bring amazing results.
#17: Maximize Your Title
65% of eBay bidders find an item by searching. Make sure the item you are selling is described in the headline using a term someone would search for. Be sure to spell the name correctly! Make sure you have the right words and phrases in the Title of your item listing. Use all possible words (up to your auction’s character limit) to hit all possible keywords your potential bidders might be searching for even if some of the words are redundant. USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IN YOUR TITLE TO MAKE IT STAND OUT.
#18: Be Descriptive
Make your item description as complete as possible. Include all relevant details: condition, size, weight, age, collectability, any short-comings or defects, etc. What you think is not important – may be very important to someone else. Describe your item’s condition, talk about its benefits and uses and keep writing until you run out of things to say.
#19: Promote Your Auctions
Let people outside eBay know about your auction. Mention your auction in relevant forums, newsgroups and mailing lists, feature it on your personal website, and send emails about it to all your friends. Include your item listing’s URL in everything you do so that anyone interested can click the link to view your auction. Do anything you can think of to draw traffic to your listing and thus increase your chances of selling it. If you have your own website, link to your eBay auctions to drive traffic to your items!
#20: Reuse What Works
Use eBay’s “Completed Listings” tool to see what similar items have sold. Copy what works! Once you find a winning formula, reuse it! This is especially so if you sell a lot of similar items. Cut and Paste descriptive text from your successful listings into additional listings, or use eBay’s “Relist Similar Item” function so you’re not always starting from scratch.
#21: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Nothing increases your chances of selling an item like including a picture of it in your listing. Take a photo of your item, scan it in, upload it, and include it with your listing even if it’s just a plain text listing.
#22: Use Good Photos in Your Auctions
Keys to making good pictures include: use a backdrop, use atripod, use good lighting, ensure the item fills the frame, usemore than one photo and use different angles. Include photos of any damages to your item too.
#23: Lay it All Out
Protect yourself and avoid misunderstandings by having a written sales, payment and delivery policy. Spell out everything you do. How much do you charge for shipping? How will you ship the item? What is your policy on insurance? When do you post feedback? Do you hold checks until they clear?
The more information you give a buyer, the better the buying and selling experience will be for both parties.
#24: Cover Your Costs but Don’t Overcharge for Shipping
Overcharging for shipping is one of the leading causes ofnegative feedback. You should only charge what it normally costs you to pack and ship. Buyers are sensitive in this area.They know when you are making a profit on shipping. You can charge a small premium to cover your cost of handling and shipping materials, but it should be reasonable. Always offer to combine shipping costs if a person buys more than one item. Outline your shipping policy in the item description.
#25: Be Honest
Be honest in your description of the item. If the item has a few flaws, mention them. If there’s damage or the item is otherwise imperfect, make note of it. Misleading a buyer will only cause you grief. Include good pictures of your items and if there is a problem area, include a picture of that too.
Managing Your Auctions
Use these secrets to take some of the pain out of your day-to-day auction management.
#26: Use My eBay to Track Your Auctions
Don’t let your auction activity get away from you. Use “My eBay” to look at all your auctions daily, or use auction management software to track your auctions automatically.
You can also use “My eBay” to track your favorite auction categories, as well as your feedback ratings and account status. Personalize your “My eBay” page the way you like and then bookmark it. “My eBay” gives you everything you need right at your fingertips!
#27: Turbo Lister 2!
If you list a lot of items for auction, take advantage of eBay’s free bulk-listing tool. Turbo Lister 2 is a great tool for listing multiple items at one time, and it also makes it easier to create great-looking listings for just an item or two. Besides, there’s no reason not to use it because it’s free! Click here to download!
#28: If You Sell a Lot, Use eBay “Selling Manager”
“Selling Manager” is an online tool designed for medium-volume sellers to help manage and track listings on eBay. “Selling Manager” is conveniently located in “My eBay.” This sales management tool will let you quickly view which post-auction activities you’ve completed with helpful status columns, use customized email templates and stored feedback, and automatically relist items. It also has bulk features including, relisting multiple sold and unsold listings at once, sending feedback to multiple buyers all at once and you can file, track and manage multiple unpaid items and final value fee requests. And it’s Free for all eBay users !
Post Auction Secrets
Once the auction is concluded, the real work begins – sending emails, packing and shipping, leaving feedback, and so forth. Try these to make the post-auction process quicker and easier.
#29: Communicate Quickly ( and Clearly )
When your auction ends, get in touch with the high bidderimmediately. Don’t wait until the next day; send your post-auction email within minutes of the auction close . Remember, the faster you notify the high bidder, the faster you’ll get paid.
And here’s trick that top sellers do, email the buyer again when you receive payment and once more when you’re ready to ship the item. The more everyone knows, the fewer surprises there are. Exceeding your customer’s expectations will always be to your benefit!
Remember: Customers want three things: instant gratification, clear, fast communications, and to get what they were promised.
#30: Use an email signature
One great free way to promote your business is by using asignature. Signatures are six to eight line inserts at the end of your email messages. All email programs support them. You signature should include a description of what you sell and a hyper-link to your eBay store or your about me page.
#31: Always include the auction number in your emails
Always include the auction number with the end of auction notice and any request for payment. Place the number in the subject line so you can easily track emails. People often bid on several items and can easily get confused.
#32: Wait for the Check to Clear
The reality is that some buyers prefer to pay by check. That’s okay, but you had better wait a good 10 business days for the check to clear. Don’t be stupid and ship an item before the check proves good – you’re bound to get burned! List in your auction terms that payment by check will have to wait “X” amount of time before the item will be shipped.
#33: Free shipping supplies
If you send your items via USPS Priority Mail, the post office will give you free envelopes, tape, and boxes. Think this through. Another source for free shipping supplies is your local gift shop or kitchen shop. These merchants receive merchandise in good boxes everyday with plenty of bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts that they simply throw away or pay to have recycled. Get friendly with your local gift shop and you can have access to tons of free shipping suppliers.
#34: Always Ship Promptly
Ship once after you’ve received payment (and after the check has cleared). Nobody likes to wait too long for something they’ve paid for and you don’t want to gain a reputation as a slow shipper. Remember, most feedback tends to deal with how long the shipping took.
#35: Package Your Shipments Professionally
No one likes to receive his or her item in a battered shoe box or an old cereal box. Take the time to pack your sales carefully. Invest in bubble wrap, peanuts, tissue paper and so on. A crummy packing job will be reflected in your feedback.
#36: No Sale? Relist With a Different Description
If you didn’t sell your item the first time, try it again. eBay lets you relist unsold items for free (though listing it a third and subsequent times will result in additional listing fees); even if you have to pay again, you still want to sell the item, right? But remember that if it didn’t sell the first time, there was probably a reason why. Was the item over-priced? Was it in the correct category? Do you need a better headline or description? Is there any demand for the product you are selling? Should you have included a picture or added additional pictures? Whatever you decide to change, make sure it is something to increase your chances of selling your item. Don’t forget to use eBay’s “Completed Listings” tool to see what did sell and compare those auctions to yours.
#37: If You Get Stiffed
First send an email requesting payment and warning the buyer you will file a non-payment complaint to eBay if they don’t pay within a specified time. If they still don’t pay, go to your My eBay Page and find the link to the dispute resolution center.
Follow the instructions there to make a claim and file a final value fee credit (to refund your fees). eBay will contact the buyer and give them a warning (this often gets the buyer to pay). Any bidder that receives a third warning will be indefinitely suspended from eBay.
#38: Don’t Forget About Number Two
If you run come across a non-paying bidder, you can try to sell your now-unsold item to the next highest bidder. Use eBay’s
“Second Chance Offer” feature and see whether the bidder bites. This can also be very profitable to those who are selling multiple items of identical merchandise.
Secrets for All eBay Sellers
#39: Your Papers Please
In case things go south, it helps to have good documentation
of all aspects of your transaction. Print copies of the confirmation email, plus all email between you and the buyer. Be sure to write down the buyer’s user ID, email address, and physical address. If the transaction is ever disputed, you’ll have all the backup you need to plead your case.
#40: Learn the right way to drop ship
Let’s face it –many of the drop shipping companies who advertise on the web are scams –or if not scams they often don’t work. The best way to drop ship profitably is to work with a direct source such as a manufacturer or master distributor. Use our free PRODUCT SOURCING DIRECTORY: Dropshippers & Wholesalers to get started on the right track!
#41: The Customer Is Always Right…
Although many sellers take a hardball attitude and refuse any discussion of refunds, I recommend a more customer-friendly approach. When I have a dissatisfied buyer, I offer a full refund. Yeah, some buyers might try to take advantage of you, but most are honest. So if you have a buyer with a complaint, you can generally assume that it’s a legitimate beef. You’ll get better feedback – and sleep easier at night – if you have the customer return the item and refund the purchase price. It’s the right thing to do!
#42: …Or All Sales Are Final
If you choose not to offer a “satisfaction guaranteed” policy, be sure to state that “all sales are final” in your item listing. (Alternatively, you can say that your item is “sold as-is” or that there are “no returns.”) Just make sure your policy is in plain site for the customer to see!
#43: Pay Your Taxes
This e-book isn’t meant to offer tax advice ( always ask your Tax consultant in any matter concerning taxes ), but eBay sellers need to be aware of the tax issue. In general, if you’re an individual who classifies as a casual eBay seller, you probably
don’t have to worry about collecting sales taxes or reporting taxable income. However, if you’re a business or an individual at the power seller level, the Internal Revenue Service will want their share. The best advice for you is that no matter what level your eBay sales, you should consult your accountant or a similar tax expert.
#44: Follow The Golden Rule
Whenever you’re communicating with a buyer, remember that you’re dealing with another human being, someone who has feelings that can be hurt. A little bit of common courtesy goes a long way. Using simple manners, being understanding and tolerant, and treating your customers in the same way you’d like to be treated, goes a long way towards being successful both, as a seller and a person.
- Research your listing beforehand!
- Don’t skip or rush creating an attractive and descriptive auction listing.
- Time your auction to end on a Sunday evening in prime time, remembering the eBay auctions are on west coast time!
- Try to avoid ending an auction on a Friday or Saturday night, or on a holiday.
- As soon as the auction is over, communicate with the buyer and again before shipping.
- Treat your auction sales as a business, and your buyers as customers; and remember, the customer is always right!
- Remember, Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Profits!
- Customers want three things: instant gratification, clear, fast communications and to get what they were promised.