eBay – the World’s Online Marketplace – is the place to go when you want to buy or sell anything on the Internet. eBay lets its members sell items on the Internet via Auctions, which entails bidding, and through the Fixed Price Format, which means that there is a set price for items on sale. eBay Auction is the more popular selling method between the two.
Selling on eBay
When selling on eBay, whether it is through eBay auction or the fixed price format, a person has to first register to be a member and then create a seller’s account. Credit card details or being ID Verified is needed to create a seller account. The next requirement is a picture of the item to be sold. This is required since most buyers want to see what the item actually looks like before buying anything.
The next thing to do is to get your item listed by clicking on the Sell Your Item button. After clicking on the button, be sure to give all the necessary information such as the item category, the title, item description, and the price, payment method, shipping costs, return policy, and payment methods. For your item to have a greater chance of being viewed by more prospective buyers you can list the item under more than one relevant category. Another effective strategy would be to have a very specific title that would most probably typed by prospective buyers as their search string.
To keep track of all your listings simply go to My eBay since it keeps track of all the items you’ve sold and are currently selling along with all the bids made on them as well as all the items you have bid on and are currently bidding on. My eBay also has a summary page, a favorites page, and your accounts page. As soon as the item is sold eBay will notify both the buyer and seller through email. Make sure that you communicate well with your buyer and notify the buyer that the item is being shipped as soon as you receive the payment.
In case you plan to sell your item through eBay Auction there are three prices you need to set before putting up the item n sale. First is the Starting Price. The Starting Price is simply the price you want the bidding to start. It is also usually the lowest price you feel that you can accept as payment for your item. Next is the Reserve Price. In case your starting price is lower than the amount you are willing to accept as payment you need to set the Reserve Price. Having a reserve price means that if the bidding ends with the highest bid still lower than the reserve price then your item will remain unsold. This price is concealed from buyers.
Last is the Buy It Now Price. The Buy It Now Price is the amount a buyer has to pay to get the item you are selling without having to bid. Both the Reserve Price and Buy It Now Price are optional. The reserve price can be advantageous since it will protect you from having to sell your item at too low a price but can also be disadvantageous since it may discourage buyers from bidding. The Buy It Now Price, on the other hand, is advantageous for buyers who really want to buy the item you are selling since there is no risk that they will be outbid if they automatically buy the item. It is also advantageous for you as the seller since it can hasten the transaction since you don’t have to wait for the bidding period to end. However, it can also be disadvantageous if there is much demand for the item you are selling since having a Buy It Now price will limit the amount bid even if some buyers might actually be willing to bid beyond that set price.
eBay charges the following fees to seller. The Insertion Fee, Additional Option Fees, and Final Value Fee. The Insertion Fee is a non-refundable fee charged for each item listed on eBay Auction. Insertion Fee ranges from $0.30 to $4.80. Additional Option fees are charged if you opt for additional features like the Buy It Now and if you want your item to be a Featured Item. The Final Value fee is charged depending on the closing price your item manages to garner after a successful close at eBay Auction.
Bidding on eBay Auction
To bid on an item in eBay Auction, click on the item you wish to buy to get to the item page. You can then place a bid by simply clicking on the Place Bid Button found on the right side of the picture. In case there is no such button it means that the item can only be bought at the set price and isn’t up for auction. When you place a bid the only price you will see is the starting price since the amount bid by other people will not be visible to you. Enter the maximum amount you will be willing to pay for the item you wish to purchase the click on the Place Bid Button. eBay Auction will automatically compare your bid with others and won’t bid the maximum amount you entered. Instead it will bid only what is needed to outbid the last bid. eBay Auction will do this automatically until it reaches the maximum amount you entered or you win the bid. In case another buyer outbids you eBay Auction will send you a notification so that you can enter a larger amount or at least know that you’ve been outbid.
In case you are bidding on a Reserve Price Auction check whether the current price bid has met the reserve price. If your maximum amount has been reached but the reserve price still hasn’t been met then you know for sure that you need to increase your bid since the item won’t be sold until the reserve price is met.
If you are nervous about bidding on an expensive item keep in mind that eBay has measures to protect both sellers and buyers from fraud. If you are simply nervous since it is your first time try bidding on cheaper items first before going on to more expensive stuff. You can actually find items for less than $1.00 on eBay auction.
eBay isn’t just an auction and a marketplace: often it can feel quite a lot like a game. Like any game, you can get ahead if you think strategically, using your head to outwit the other buyers and get the best price. Here are a few things you can try.
Shop in the Summer.
This is simple, but effective. Summer is the quiet season on eBay – almost everything sells for less. While everyone else is out enjoying the sun, invest a little time to find some real bargains.
Beat Them by a Few Cents.
Outbid people by a few cents instead of a few dollars – if they don’t check back before the auction ends, then you will be the winner. To avoid people using this tactic on you, though, always bid strange, hard-to-guess amounts instead of round numbers.
If you know when the auction ends, you can get in there at the very last second and outbid your rivals. The chances are that they won’t have the time to sit in front of the auction waiting for it to end – as a rule, he who stays wins. If someone else does retaliate at the end of the auction, though, try not to get carried away in those last few seconds and end up paying too much!
This is a strategy for the braver eBay buyer. All of the advice you will see for eBay beginners tells you to buy items that have good pictures, clear descriptions, trustworthy sellers and all the rest. If you’re brave, why not take a risk and do the exact opposite?
Many buyers won’t want that item from the seller with a feedback rating of 5, no picture and a one-line description. If you take a calculated risk and bid anyway, you might be able to make a tiny bid and win by default. There are people on eBay who make their living from winning auctions like these, taking good pictures of the item, writing a good description and then reselling it at a huge profit. Be careful, though: do this for long enough, and you will inevitably lose your money at some point. It’s especially unwise to try it with very high-value items.
Avoid Bidding Wars.
There are few things on eBay that are so rare that you’ll only see them once and never again. There are usually quite a few sellers who have an item. What’s more, they will generally have more than one to sell, even if they haven’t listed them all at once. Always check your seller’s history to see whether they sell your item all the time – and if they do, then wait for the next one instead of bidding to the skies.
Now, there may come a time in your eBay life when you realise that you’ve screwed up your bid, and you wish there was an ‘undo’ button. Here’s the good news for you: there is! The next email will be all about withdrawing your eBay bids.
If your items aren’t selling, then you might have a bad pricing strategy. There as many pricing strategies in the world as there are buyers – if you look at two businesses selling the same thing, often the only difference you’ll be able to find between them is pricing.
The ‘Few Dollars More’ Strategy.
Here’s something you might not have thought of. If you set your auction’s starting price to what you would usually charge for Buy it Now, while setting the Buy it Now price a few dollars above, you can make a profit by setting off an interesting psychological reaction in the buyer’s mind.
Here’s what they’ll think. They want the item, but why should they bother bidding for it? After all, they could use Buy it Now for just a few dollars more, and be sure of getting it! Doing things this way makes the value of the Buy it Now option extra clear to the buyer, and makes them more willing to pay extra for the privilege.
The ‘One Dollar Less’ Strategy.
This is simple, but requires you to keep an eagle eye on your competition. As soon as they start a Buy it Now auction for an item you stock, start an auction for one of those items yourself. Match the title closely, but price your item one dollar less than theirs. This will mean that your auctions will sit together in the search results, and who’s going to see both and go for the one that’s a dollar more expensive?
The ‘Free Shipping’ Strategy.
Buyers really hate paying for shipping. With Buy it Now, you might find it easier to incorporate the shipping cost into the main price of the item, and then write “free shipping” in the auction’s title. You’d be surprised how many buyers would prefer to pay one price including shipping for the auction, instead of having shipping added on at the checkout. Again, this is psychological: they pay the same at the end, but it doesn’t feel like they’ve paid an unnecessary ‘extra’ cost for Internet shopping.
The ‘Go for It’ Strategy.
If you’d like a slightly more risky strategy, try this. List your item for the maximum duration (ten days), starting the listing on a Thursday so it goes across two weekends and finishes on a Sunday. Set the starting price to the minimum (one cent).
What you’re trying to do here is give bidders as long as possible to discover your auction, so that they push the price up themselves. Pay for a few upgrades like bold and highlight, to give them a helping hand. If you do this right, you can make a much bigger profit than you would have with any Buy it Now price, especially with a medium or high value item.
Since running your auction for longer means that more people see it, you should always take the longest duration of ten days, right? Not always. In the next email, we’ll talk about how long your eBay auction should run for.
It’s usually when auctions are about to end that they get half their bids – sometimes they even get their only bids. If you want your item to sell for a good price, then, it makes no sense to let it finish on a day and time when no-one’s going to be around to care.
Selling to Business.
If you’re selling business equipment and have mostly business customers, you should really aim to have your auctions finishing between 9am and 5pm on weekdays. It is worth, however, trying to avoid mornings and avoiding the ‘lead-in’ and ‘lead-out’ that takes place on Monday and Friday themselves.
Selling to Home.
If most of your sales are to private customers having it shipped to their own home, then you want your auctions to finish when these kind of customers will be around. Unfortunately, these times are the opposite of what they are for the business customers. The ideal time to catch a home customer is on a Sunday evening.
List for Durations.
In order to get your listings to end on a particular day, you can simply change the duration of your auctions depending on what day it is. For example, if you mostly sell to home customers and the day today is Thursday, then your auction needs to run for either 3 or 10 days to hit a Sunday. If you sell more to business and the day today is Friday, then:
a 1 day auction would be bad (finishing on Saturday),
3 days would be alright (Monday),
5 days would be good (Wednesday),
7 days would be good (another Friday),
and 10 days would be alright (Monday again).
You could draw up a little timetable of when you should and shouldn’t be listing depending on the days of the week – make it red, amber and green, traffic light style, and stick it on your wall.
Of course, if that all sounds like too much trouble then there is an easier – if more expensive – way of doing things. Simply use any of the many tools that let you schedule listings (almost all listing programs and sites do) – you can set the start date for any day and time you feel like.
Be aware that you might have to pay a few cents per listing for this if you do it through eBay. With some software, you may also need to leave your computer on all the time, so the software can start the auctions when it’s supposed to. The advantage of this method, however, is that there will be no per-listing fee, since the auctions were scheduled through your computer and not through eBay.
If it’s the home market you’re after, then you might not have realised what one of the most powerful things to sell on eBay is. I’ll give you a clue: it’s not consumer electronics, or media products. It’s what eBay is famous for. Check out the next email for more.
Tips for Selling Collectibles on eBay.
Yes, collectibles! Collectibles are where eBay started, and they’re still one of its biggest areas – however much they might want you to believe they’re not. eBay’s most hardcore and long-time users are almost all collectors of something or other – it is quite common to post what you think is a mundane item, only to have collectors suddenly go to war over it because it is somehow linked to something they collect.
Collectors are the people on eBay who really do pay top-dollar for things that seem like junk to you and I – not to mention to the people you’ll be getting your stock from! That’s why you can make so much profit on collectibles. Here are a few tips.
Go to people’s homes. People’s homes are full of things that someone out there collects – they are the best and cheapest source of collectibles out there. Sure, you might find something if you hang around at enough garage sales, but you’d have competition. Getting invited to people’s homes to look around should be a dream for you, and one you’re doing your best to make a reality.
Buy on other auction sites. You’ll be surprised how much money you can make if you buy the collectibles that people sell on smaller auction sites like Yahoo Auctions, and then list it on eBay. These sellers will often be perfectly knowledgeable about their item, but simply getting a lower price because they serve a smaller marketplace. Sometimes you can almost double your money.
List in non-collectible categories. If your collectible doesn’t have a category of its own under ‘collectibles’, you might prefer to list it in a category that has something to do with the item but nothing to do with collecting. What you will often find is that people browsing a category for their favourite thing will pay more for your collectible than actual collectors would.
Do lots of research. Never list something you think might be valuable without searching and searching to dig up every piece of information you can on it. Everything you find out is likely to be useful when you come to list it.
List every tiny, tiny detail. Remember that collectors really care about the most seemingly insignificant things. An item from one year can be worth thousands while the one from the year before is near-worthless, or an item that is one shade of a colour can be worth far more than one of a subtly different shade. It’s not worth puzzling over and it’s not worth trying to pass your items off as something they’re not – just make sure you put absolutely everything you know in the description.
When you are listing items that require close research and description down to the tiniest detail, however, don’t be tempted to steal someone else’s work! Whatever you do, don’t take another seller’s description and try to pass it off as your own, as this could have all sorts of consequences for you. Our next email gives you a guide to eBay’s policy on ‘description theft’.
Buying things in an auction is the most affordable way to obtain the item a person wishes to have. That is why even the Internet had provided such sites like eBay in order to provide more affordable items than what the typical market has to offer.
Best of all, net auctions sites like eBay can provide a number of potential profits for the small time entrepreneurs who want to, in some or way or another, earn extra income.
Through eBay, sellers do not have to build a site just to sell. In fact, there’s no investment capital needed in order to start the business.
There just simple things a seller has to do in order to come up with a good sale. Here are some things the seller has to know before putting up a sale:
1. The Market Value
It’s a must for every seller to do some homework first regarding the price of the item in the market. This is to enable the seller to come up with a price that is reasonable enough to compensate the purchasing power of the buyer and the much-needed profit of the seller as well.
The seller may also look for the other sites that offer the same item so as to give him or her an insight on how he or she should stipulate the price.
2. The item description.
It is important for a seller to come up with a detailed description of the item. That is, the seller should be honest enough to put everything that depicts the items actual state and appearance. It should be based more on information and not just propaganda.
3. The photograph.
Pictures are enough to sell the item. But it takes skill to get the right angle and the perfect aura of the item so as to illustrate the best point of view. If the item is clear enough for the buyer to see its specifications, chances are, the buyer will purchase it.
4. The seller’s requirements.
It is an essential thing for the seller to state his or her payment requirements. It’s best for the sellers to include everything especially the additional charges that will apply like shipping fees.
5. The customer service.
In order for the seller to close a sale, he or she must be well adept on customer service. That is, the seller should know that it is important to reply on a buyer’s inquiry, to answer whenever there is confusion, and to do some follow-ups even if the transaction is finished.
As they say, a happy buyer makes a happy seller.
eBay has become the hotspot for people to sell strange items. Over the past few years, where eBay has grown from a virtually unknown web site to the leading online auction marketplace in the world, some very odd items and services have been offered up for auction on the site. Strangely enough, many of these strange items have sold for thousands even tens of thousands dollars. A few of these items have sold for six or seven figures as well. eBay does have a policy that it takes down any auctions that it sees as not legitimate, but still, it allows many of these strange auctions to take place. In fact, these strange auctions have become part of the culture in America as they appear in Late Night Television shows, comedic sketches, and in thousands of websites and Internet blogs.
The most recent strange auction that was covered on a National scale and fetched a very high price was when a mother found an old lunch box with a cheese sandwich more than a decade old on which mold had formed in the shape of the face of Virgin Mary. The item was put on eBay and sold for $28,000. That’s right, an old moldy sandwich with the shape of a religious figure fetched $28,000 on eBay. Many people have offered other strange services like becoming a fan of a certain team, while others have sold themselves for a week or attempted to sell their families (I am not making any of this up. Some people really do go to far lengths to make some money.)
I always find it very interesting when some item that many would disregard as worthless fetches thousands of dollars. It is truly mind boggling. Each day, tens of thousands of items are placed on eBay and as of late, it is a growing trend to try and sell all the worthless junk you can imagine on the web site, buy spinning the sales pitch to make the item sound one of a kind or very rare and valuable.
Some of the more recent items that were placed on the web site include a x-ray of the stomach of a duck which seems to have an alien inside (sold for the whopping price of $9,600), a French fry in the shape of the Nike logo, and a guy willing to bang his head on a door until he was unconscious for a certain sum of money.
Just note, if you are planning on selling a strange item on eBay, it will not automatically make you thousands, the market is now becoming saturated and many auctions do not sell. The more strange and shocking your auction is, the better chance it has of being sold on eBay.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of other very, very strange eBay auctions going on right now and hundreds more are added daily. Use our eBay product search engine to find some of the strangest items ever sold on eBay. Just type in the term for an item you wouldn’t expect to be sold over the Internet, like “hot dog”, and see what you get.