Not only I am obsessed with computers, the internet and components, now I absolutely love Ebay as well.
Ebay. Who would have ever thought it would grow to these astronomical proportions! Once you’ve completed a few transactions without being burned, it becomes a comfortable place to both buy and sell products.
So simple but so attractive. Most people start off as a browser, and then become a user, and finally they join the addiction or love club.
It is crazy to think that we are on the way to living in a world of buying online. I wonder what will happen to the humble shop keeper?
Here are some of my tips for buying and selling on Ebay
Ebay Buying Tips
- Check the seller’s feedback and other items that they may be selling. Talk to your friends. People that have had good or bad experiences are always happy to share and spread the word.
- Always be sure of postage costs or any added postal insurance before you bid. Some people sell items for .99cents but the postage may be $35.00.
- Pay with Paypal because if the transaction does not work out it is covered by insurance. They will refund your money and then recoup the funds from the seller. Not guaranteed but just a safer option.
- Read the item description thoroughly. If there is information missing, ask the seller a question to find out more. Do not presume you know or guess an answer to a question, make sure you actually ask the seller. If you are a last minute buyer, do not expect the seller to reply to your questions when there is only minutes left before the ending time. Some tricks in the naming of the item may mislead you. For example the words antique or rustic may not mean the item is old. Or an ad for wholesale plasmas could just be a wholesale list. Buyers beware.
- Buy at the right time. Try buying what you want really early in the morning or late at night when there is less competition in the bidding. Or try during the day when most people are working.
- Add items into your watch list because you will kick yourself if it goes really cheap and you miss it. This is also a great research tool. You can see how much the item you want to buy goes for so when you do buy it you do not overpay.
- Stick to your limit. When you view the item decide what your limit is before you bid. Just because you want it doesn’t mean you should bid until you win.
Search for items with incorrect spelling. They always end up with fewer bids. To search for a Marilyn Munroe type: marilyn mun* -munroe This will search for anything starting with marilyn mun but not munroe. Some results come up with munroe spelt like munro. Or you can have Mar* munroe – marilyn. The * sign is a “wildcard sign”.
- Take advantage of other peoples lack of experience. Things such as a poorly written ad, bad title, no photo, incorrect spelling, lack of description, offering no postage, and more, kill an auction dead. By studying and comparing different ads, you will soon notice the bad ones stand out.
- Stay ahead. If you are buying something expensive, then get the contact information of the seller before you commit to buy. Speak to them on the phone if possible and ask a lot of questions. If they get annoyed then you know there will be no after sales service from this seller.
- Who is your seller? You must be in a transaction with the seller to access this. You enter an Ebay user ID and it gives you their name, address, and phone number. SEE Sellers details on Ebay USA, Get the sellers details on Ebay Australia
Ebay Selling Tips
- Be honest with your description of your item.
- Learn how to write great ads by looking at other successful sellers ads. A well organised, well written sales pitch makes a huge difference. But do not go overboard! Everyone hates the obvious sales person that will not let up. You must include a picture in your add.
- Overcharging on postage costs kills bids!!! If something is going to cost a bit to ship, explain why in detail. Offer local pick up, unless you have something to hide. I have built a great business outside of Ebay from word of mouth around my local area. People come and see me in person and I look after them, then they tell everyone…
- Build a good feedback rating. Beware of leaving bad feedback because the other person will do the same. Try sorting it out first. For example I made a mistake with my listing saying a particular motherboard took sd ram when it didn’t. Therefore a customer complained that their ram they had didn’t go with the motherboard they had purchased from me. Instead of offering a refund (which would cost me return postage etc) I sent the customer a bonus stick of ram that did match. It cost me about $20 but I got great feedback. If I hadn’t sorted it out and got bad feedback it would have cost me a lot more, over and over.
- When you get paid for an item send it ASAP. Don’t let a good buyer wait. If you don’t like posting items then don’t sell on Ebay.
- Multiple user ID’s. According to Ebay, as long as all your user id names refer to the same e-mail address, you can have more than one. The benefits of this are that you can have a seller id and a buyer id. This seems a bit sneaky, but I am sure you can see the benefits.
- Do a search in Ebay for similar items you are about to list. When the results come up, go to the left column and choose completed. This will show you how much that item recently sold for….Pretty handy trick. You can also compare the ads and see how to write your listing to gain the best selling price. Why does one seller get up to $100 more than the other? Well now you can see. You will be amazed when you see the results for a certain seller. Here you were thinking that they are raking in the bucks. Well I don’t think so. A lot of things do not even sell. The unsold items show up red and the sold show up green. At the moment I am selling 100% of the items I list on Ebay. (It will vary, but will still be a very high percentage) Which is almost unheard of. Go and check other peoples completed listings and see how much they are selling.
- Start selling items you do not need around the house until you get to know what you are doing. It’s all about trial and error. I started selling music cd’s I wasn’t using anymore. Also old software, books, toys, and clothes are good to start with.
- I recommend a Paypal account because the buyer can pay instantly, which makes the transaction run fast and smooth. They also provide insurance of up to $3,000.00 on certain items and even more when buying a car. I hate having to pay by direct deposit. This sounds silly, but you have to go to your banks site and sign in, copy all their details in, and then the money doesn’t go in immediately anyway. It takes 24 to 48 hours to clear.
- Offer a refund if the goods you have supplied become damaged, are faulty, or are not as described. If you do not, why bother being a seller. You will not last long on Ebay.
- Offerwarranty or a guarantee.This will improve the customer’s confidence in you. Again, you do not want to sell dodgy products so making a guarantee should not affect you.
- Sell items at the right time and day. For example I like ending my auction on Saturday or Sunday, later in the day, because some people sleep in on weekends. Or on a weekday, between 5pm and 9pm when people are home from work. Wednesday night is a great time also. If you have a shop, Ebay has a traffic report located in the area called “manage my store”. This is where I found out that Wednesday sometimes attracts three times the visitors Saturday and Sunday have. Trial and error and research will show you the best times for your auctions.
- Use keywords in your item title with the correct spelling. For example to sell an ipod, some keywords would be: ipod, mp3 player, 512mb(size), and the brand. If the auction didn’t go well try changing your title next time. What would you type in to search to find this
item? This is an example of what I put for a title: Dell Desktop Computer 2.8ghz/1024mb/120gbSATA Pentium 4. I try to fit as many keywords as possible into the space allowed. Desktop, computer, Pentium, etc…
- Get Real Wholesale goods This is the only real way to make a good income on Ebay. Of course you should ignore this if you are just selling on Ebay as a hobby. But if you would like to work from home, source out wholesale products so you can compete with all the fantastic prices on Ebay.
- For the serious sellers there are more tips are available at Help with selling on Ebay USA, Help with Ebay Australia selling tips