When you start your auction, starting price does matter. Ebay is the place where everyone is looking for a deal, and buyers know how to find them. If you price your auctions too cheaply, the buyer will not only not bid, but maybe even stick around and see if they can snag that item up at that low starting bid.
So is it worth it to start an item so cheap? Sometimes, Ebay isn’t the answer to everything. There are different avenues to sell your item, so it might be better off going back into your store inventory awaiting a buyer that’s willing to pay more for it.
There are ways that you can prevent your item from ending at a cheap price, and not surprisingly, one of the best ways to do so is to conduct some prior research through completed items. Second, you’ll want to avoid that temptation of starting the auction cheap just to make a sale! If you’ve had the inventory lying around for 6 months or so, it might be time to dump the item cheap, but if it’s new… this could be a big mistake. I’ve had many, many auctions end at 99 cents that I’ve lost money on. However, these were items that I just wanted to get rid of so it was no big loss (like the picture of the track jacket in the intro, bombed out at under a buck and it was brand new!). Also keep in mind the PayPal fees and Ebay fees, these add up quick.
You can also use some of your items that aren’t selling as loss leaders to bring buyers to your store. If the item simply won’t sell, start it at the cheapest possible price and chalk it up to advertising for your store. You can always right the losses off on your tax return at the end of the year.
Photo right by adifanset on Flickr.