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Using Ebay’s Buy it Now Feature to Increase Sales

buy it now EbayBoost Sales and Start Selling More on Ebay with the Fixed Price Format & Buy it Now Pricing

The buy it now feature has been around on Ebay for some time, but used correctly, can tremendously increase your sales from your store. Many customers don’t want to wait for the auction to end, because let’s face it, auctions take time. If a buyer wants an item right now, you’re very likely to lose the customer to Amazon or another Ebay seller’s fixed format/buy-it-now listing.

Advertise the fact that you have an item for sale RIGHT NOW, and you’ll get buyers to visit your store. Even better, promise quick delivery, and you’ll sell even more. .

Utilize Buy it Now and Fixed Price Format Auctions to Move Inventory Fast

The argument often brought up is that you can sell yourself short with the BIN option. If the auction is cut short, you may lose extra potential bidders and higher end prices. On the other hand, you may be able to relist the same item if you have duplicates right away instead of waiting for the auction to end. Faster turnaround can mean more quantity sold and more profits, as opposed to the slower turnaround of the classic auction.

Core Listings

Auctions are an effective and necessary way for eBay store owners to advertise their eBay stores. Store listings do not show up with the “core” listings, but usually “core” listings are fixed-price and auction listings — those that show up in the regular Ebay search. In exchange for paying much less for store insertion fees, store listings’ visibility are very low. They can also literally, be low, as in you have to scroll to the bottom of the page, or to an indefinite page number.

It’s up to you, the store owner, to really generate traffic to your Ebay store.

This is where your auctions and fixed-price items come in. Place several well-placed links in all of your eBay auctions directing them to your eBay store, with messages indicating why they should visit. Unfortunately, you cannot place keywords of other brand names that you carry in your eBay search description. This is not allowed and your listing will be removed for “keyword spamming.” Don’t even try it, eBay means business and will have no problem removing your listing.

Instead, clickable store graphics can help. Link to individual store categories and pages that will direct buyers towards items that are comparable to the item they are viewing. If the buyer is only somewhat interested in your item, it’s better to direct them towards your store then to click the back button and onto another seller’s listing (or another site entirely).

How to Evaluate an Item for a Buy It Now Price

Ultimately, it depends on the individual item whether it applies that you should use the buy it now option. If you are very uncertain what your item is worth, don’t include a buy it now price, and run the item as an auction.

If you are very confident in the approximate end price, price the buy it now reasonably high. This creates a perceived value for your item and sets the precedent for bidding. For multiple items, you can try using the “fixed price” format, which is buy it now only, no bidding. Space these listings apart in time to have greater visibility on eBay, and of course, add links to your store and other items. Keep an eye on how effective your buy it now price is, and adjust accordingly if you aren’t receiving any bids.

Time your listings to when your core audience is by their computer

Think of when your typical buyer is by their computer and start the auction when it makes sense for it to end. 7 day auctions will give your auction more opportunity to be seen. Anything less, only consider if you have a high quantity of the item, or if it is time sensitive.

Tell Customers How They Can Buy it Now in your Store

Think of the auction format as the classic, traditional way for buyers to get a deal on Ebay. It’s always going to be around, and customers love to find a great deal. Many people don’t want to wait for these auctions to end, and want to get on with their lives. That’s where buy it now comes in.

An effective method to drive traffic to your store is to entice them by linking to your store (or store section/item, if you can) item. Tell them that the item can be purchased right now with free shipping in your Ebay store. Price the buy it now price higher substantially, and again, think of the auction format as an advertisement for your store. If the item is in high demand, you’ll get plenty of customers using the buy it now option/fixed price format from your store, which will save you money on fees.

Another benefit of having buyers buy the item at a fixed price is that the high price will be in the completed listings. Higher sales prices on completed listings will definitely drive up the ending price of that auction item that’s still up and running. You may want to start the item cheap to encourage bids, views, and traffic. Don’t worry, if you have enough of the same item, you’ll make the money back in all of the profits from the other buy it now sales. Think of this as an enticing billboard for buyers, which is sometimes called the loss leader method.

A healthy Ebay store will use the buy it now option as well as auctions together in a well blended strategy to entice all types of buyers. For quick sales and quick profits, you can’t beat it.

More Selling Methods and Features

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The Top Five Best Alternatives to Ebay

ebay alternativesOnline Alternatives to Ebay – Supplement or Replace Auction Sales… Can you Ditch Ebay Altogether?

Ebay got you down? While it may seem that you have no other option, that just isn’t true. Replace your current sales from the world’s biggest marketplace to other ecommerce sites using some of the suggestions on this page. Some of these are auction websites, some are classifieds, while others use completely different methods to find online traffic direct it towards your products. Take a look at these recommended alternatives to Ebay and see if one of them suits your needs!

Every so often, Ebay will make some changes in the way that they run things, prompting sellers to look for new Ebay alternatives to use instead. While there have been many, no other auction website has come close at all to being competition with the world’s biggest online marketplace (yeah, we’re talking about the big E-word). However, there are other websites that you should consider for selling your inventory as well. Some you may not have thought of, some you’ve definitely heard of, and some are like Ebay, but with lower fees. Scroll down and read about some of these alternatives and how they rate!

Amazon

Amazon.com is Ebay’s number one competitor. They have been steadily increasing the amount of sellers that offer goods in their marketplace, without having to worry about the tedious auction format.

Pros: You can sell almost anything and you’ll get the money right away. You won’t have to deal with deadbeat buyers, auctions ending, or even questions from buyers for the most part. It’s an easy way to at least supplement your Ebay earnings. Items also seem to go for a higher price here than on the bargain hunter’s website.

Cons: The fee to be a seller here is steep, at around $60 per month. That means you’ll need lots of inventory and turnover. You also can’t add to specific categories of their website, with some categories like “clothing” being off limits for sellers. You also cannot create your own listings, you can only “sell one like this,” meaning, you piggyback off an existing listing and sell one just like it. Approved merchants do have the ability to create their own listings, but it’s not as simple as Ebay.

Craigslist

While Craigslist isn’t the first place you’d consider as a competitor to Ebay, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility to make sales through their classified ads. If you have large items, lots, or high dollar value items, it’s totally worth it to list on Craigslist. Don’t underestimate the amount of people who are willing to purchase from this site. In it’s nature, it seems people expect a deal from this website, but that’s not always the case.

If you’re already well versed in selling on Ebay, Craigslist should be a snap. You’ll have the advantage, too, of providing content rich descriptions with professional photographs, which really enhance the listing and stand out from the other ho-hum Craigslist ads.

Since there really aren’t many cons to this website, we aren’t going to bother listing them. Besides, it’s free! A great way to save money on fees.

ioffer logoiOffer

iOffer isn’t an auction website, but allows people to put in their offers for the items you are selling. It’s more direct, and you can produce a big turnaround fast. This website is small, but the potential for earnings is big. The fees are also nothing compared to what you’ll pay on Ebay. They say traffic is on the rise on this website, so getting in now might be a good idea.

Pros: This site is really cheap to operate on. You can drag over your Ebay information and listings if you’d like, but it just might be easier to copy and paste it all. This is a great way to boost your income and pay less fees. It works especially well with fashion items and items you have multiple quantities of. Just relist the item and be on your way. Stores here are also free.

Cons: Obviously the exposure isn’t as great as Ebay. The site also doesn’t have as much activity or the resources of the bigger alternative, but they’re growing, give them time.

ubid logouBid

This is probably Ebay’s number one auction competitor (and we mean distant competitor). Some people do make some money on uBid to supplement their Ebay earnings, but levels of success can vary. Some might make more than they were on the other site, some might make far less. At any rate, with free listing fees, it’s worth a shot. The web traffic here seems to be stable.

Pros: Free listing fees, with a lot of promotion on other websites of uBid.

Cons: Nowhere near the traffic of Ebay, plus they hold your earnings for 15 days.

prostores logoProStores

Get away from the competition by giving more money to Ebay? Yes, exactly (ProStores is a part of Ebay). When you think you’ve had enough of their site, just remain calm for a second and think again if the best Ebay alternative is really to leave for good. There really aren’t many other places to sell with the exposure they can provide. The better option might be to supplement your own income first with outside sources, relying less on their site and more on the alternatives. There is one solution that will allow you to utilize Ebay’s exposure, plus create your own identity separate from their website.

ProStores is owned by Ebay, but allows you to host your auctions on a website outside of the Ebay Stores domain. That means you can add as much content to your own site as you’d like, add all of the customization you could possibly dream of, and start linking to your own website instead of Ebay.

Huh? Yes, you’ll still be using Ebay itself, but you’ll be increasing your sales by not relying on their storefront or auction format to propel your sales numbers. You will be in control of that, and ProStores makes it easy to drag your Ebay items over to your new website.

How does this benefit you?

  1. You create your own individualized marketing campaign, your own web presence, and create content you keep on your own website, thereby increasing your branding, findability, and authority.
  2. You provide customers with all of the information they are looking for in one static place. That means you’ll have a better chance of being found in search engines, not just on the Ebay site.
  3. It looks much, much more professional than Ebay Stores. Frankly, it doesn’t even compare, and the cost is pretty cheap. Also, they offer a free 30 day trial.
  4. Your sales will go up. Sales can only increase if you set up your own web presence. Just stay with it, keep building content, and then keep adding new merchandise to your website.
  5. You will be in control of your web presence. Ebay Stores rank horribly in search engines. The search page for that Ebay item is much more likely to rank higher than your actual store. With ProStores, it’s in your control, and you can create your own SEO campaign.

Are there are other alternatives? Yes! Depending on what you sell, Etsy is another now huge marketplace. Facebook has also grown considerably, now with their own marketplace area of the main app/site.

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When is the Best Time to Sell on Ebay?

Busy Times on Ebay, Slow Times, and When the Best Time is to Schedule an Auction

There are certain times of day that are great for listing items on Ebay. There are even certain days of the week that usually result in more traffic and bids. What days would those be?

First, you have to think like a buyer. Are buyers really going to be sitting on the computer at 4:30 am on a Tuesday morning, waiting for your item to end? Probably not. While there could be buyers at those odd hours, most people are going to be asleep. If your target market is the United States, then you should be targeting the Eastern time zone, Central, Mountain, and West Coast. That’s a difference of three hours that you have to keep into consideration if you’d like to fully tap into those west coast buyers. For example, if you end an auction at 8pm on a Thursday, you could be missing out on buyers. Why? A good portion of your buyers on the west coast will be eating dinner, stuck in rush hour traffic on their way home from work, or tending to their kids. If you bumped your auction end time to 9:45pm, you’ll still have the majority of east coast buyers, but also the west coast buyers, where it’s 6:45 (enough time for most people to get home, and hopefully eat some dinner too).

The Slowest and Busiest Days of the Week on Ebay

Generally, there are certain slow days and busy days on Ebay, except during the holiday season, when almost every day is busy. For the rest of the year, Ebay traffic levels are at their highest during Sunday night. Saturday nights and Friday nights are the least busy, because no one’s home or on the computer. Sunday night, no one has any obligations. Everyone is home, getting their last few hours of rest in before the work week begins. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights are also good nights to list items, but skip Friday and Saturday for the most part.

Photo right: watch photo by Scott Feldstein on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

There are some exceptions to the rule about Sunday being the busiest day of the week on Ebay. If Monday is a holiday, you’ll see traffic levels still stay low on Sunday night. If there’s an event on Sunday night, like the Super Bowl, then you’ll see traffic levels also be very low. Another interesting fact? Sometimes what’s on TV impacts the traffic levels of Ebay, like a major show finale, sports events, and political debates. Slow economic news, current events, or storms can also affect traffic levels immensely, so keep an eye on the news.

To take the most advantage of these peak times, experiment with what works best by scheduling Ebay auctions. Schedule some of your products to end during the peak times listed, as well as a few other key nights. Don’t be afraid to try listings during weekdays as well. Fixed price items give buyers the option to buy your item at any time of day. Over time, you’ll notice which times of day seem to be the busiest for the niche that you are selling.

You can also boost bidding activity using these other rules of thumb:

  • Longer auctions get more bids than shorter ones. Seven or ten day auctions are ideal, so consider starting them on Thursday as a ten day, or Sunday as a seven day auction.
  • Always check to see what holidays are coming up in the upcoming week. Those Monday holidays like Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Memorial Day can wreck havoc on Sunday night listings.
  • Mon-Thursday nights also tend to have high levels of bidding activity between 8pm and 10pm.
  • Friday and Saturday are the slowest nights on Ebay.
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How to Use a Facebook Page to Promote Your Ebay Items

Using Facebook to Increase Ebay Sales and Promote Your Items

Your friends are on Facebook, your family is on Facebook, and some of your potential customers are also on Facebook. Don’t think that to integrate your Ebay business with Facebook means that you are intertwining your business and personal life, because Facebook has thought of that. You can create special “fan pages” devoted to your business that are completely separate from your own personal profile, where you can broadcast updates, news, items, links, photos, sales, or whatever you think is worth announcing to your fans.

All it takes to claim a fan page is a Facebook account. Invite your friends to become fans, drive traffic to your fan page from any blogs or websites you might have, and see interest grow as you establish yourself in real time as an expert in whatever it is that you might do.

Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook Marketplace application can allow you to post items for sale in your area, Craigslist style. The marketplace is free, and has features like photos and a description area to describe the item accurately. If you have your own Ebay store or items, you can use the Facebook Marketplace to feature some of your big ticket items, or use it as a way of marketing your store. Put your store URL on the image, or leave the URL in the description body. While it may not be worth it to list every single item you have on the Facebook Marketplace, it could be a good place to drive traffic through sharing your best items.

A Few Things About Facebook

  • Fan pages (now just called “Facebook pages”) are free. They don’t cost a dime, but they do take time to operate. The time invested is minimal, and the results are optimal.
  • Try posting not only your items, sales, and things about your store, but useful information in your genre that your current fans and potential fans will enjoy.
  • Avoid getting sucked into time consuming online games. Yes, Mafia Wars is fun, but it doesn’t pay the bills.
  • For best results, you’ll want to update your fan page at least once a week, maybe even daily if you have time.

 Few Things About Facebook

  • Fan pages are free. They don’t cost a dime, but they do take time to operate. The time invested is minimal, and the results are optimal.
  • Try posting not only your items, sales, and things about your store, but useful information in your genre that your current fans and potential fans will enjoy.
  • Avoid getting sucked into time consuming online games. Yes, Mafia Wars is fun, but it doesn’t pay the bills.
  • For best results, you’ll want to update your fan page at least once a week, maybe even daily if you have time.

How Facebook Can Increase Your Ebay Sales

Facebook can drive paying customers to your website in a number of ways:

  • Through a Facebook fan page of your store, you can link to individual items, custom pages, store categories, your About ME pages, guides, and other related links.
  • Link your blog to your Facebook fan page and automatically feed blog posts to your fan page through Networked Blogs.
  • Use the Facebook Marketplace to drive local traffic.
  • Offer Facebook only discounts or offers to encourage more fans, shares, and click throughs.

What to Post on Your Facebok Page

  • Post about any sales that you are running in your store. However, keep in mind sales work best when the discount is steep, you offer free shipping, the time is limited, and the frequency of your sales is not very often.
  • Post about any pages that you’ve created to market your store. This could be your Squidoo lenses, Hubpages, your blog posts, custom store pages, or Ebay Reviews and Guides.
  • Share other recommended resources for your niche. While you may be sending traffic away today, your previous customer or potential customer will return again if they are a fan (and appreciate the resource today).
  • Share interesting new items or product lines that you’ve introduced into the store.
What You Shouldn’t Post on Your Facebook Page
Buyers don’t necessarily want to hear about the tuna sandwich you had for lunch, the great time you had at the mall with your nieces, or a political rant about the President. They’re here because they are interested in your business, your expertise, and you. You can keep them interested by sharing worthwhile information about niche, linking to content you’ve created about your niche, and offering an incentive to like your page and join. It could be a coupon, it could be a personal thank you, it could be a comment back to them. Whatever the case may be, people like attention and rewards, so be sure to let them know you appreciate them by posting only relevant content.
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How to Increase Traffic to Your Ebay Store

ebay logoGrow Your Ebay Store and Generate Traffic Through Online Content

Having the perfect inventory of items for your Ebay store is only half the battle to find sales and run a successful business. To grow your sales, you need to encourage visits from inside Ebay, and off of Ebay! Developing a web presence online can increase your store traffic considerably, boost your sales, and grow your business. You can acheive this goal by creating useful content for your potential buyers in many places on Ebay, as well as other free sites on the web. That’s another great part about generating web traffic to your store — it can be entirely free!

This page aims to help you with your Ebay marketing strategies. While marketing your auctions on the site itself is an entirely separate task, linking to your store and driving traffic is another. You’ll find that the tactics are much like any other internet marketing campaign: create a buzz, write articles, and provide useful content to potential buyers. There’s a small catch: you’ll want to make sure that you are targeting people who are interested in your products, not random readers. Read below for some ideas on getting started.

How to Get Search Engines to Notice Your Ebay Store

Before you start your traffic campaign, you should think about where traffic will be coming from. There’s an old saying that says something about putting too many eggs in one basket.. and that’s especially relevant concerning Ebay stores. Don’t put all of your marketing into the Ebay site itself. There are hundreds of other places to market your store outside of Ebay to pull in traffic and links. Links will not only bring in traffic, but will initiate search engine traffic.

Here’s how Search Engine Optimization Works, in a nutshell…

The more links that point to your Ebay store, the better your chances are for ranking on the first page for a certain term. The words that are on your Ebay store home page matter the most, along with the link text that other sites use when linking to you. Think of links like votes. The more votes for your site, the better. Quality also matters when linking. An authoritative, high profile site link matters much more than a link from a brand new, low traffic site.

So here’s your mission: Get as many high quality links to your Ebay store as possible! You may also want to consider hosting your own website outside of Ebay. Many have much better luck in terms of search engine traffic, and you won’t be limited to Ebay’s five custom pages. ProStores is a good option, which allows you to customize your store professionally and quickly.

How Buyers Find Your Ebay Store

There are a few different breadcrumb trails that buyers will follow to get to your store. The first one is through an auction. When a buyer clicks on an auction, they might click on the red door next to your User ID, then enter your store. They could also find you through an external link (a link outside of Ebay), from one of your own blogs, someone else’s blog, a website, Pinterest, Facebook, a forum, or any other web page. Buyers might also find your store through search engines. This takes some work, but once you get search engine traffic, this can be your biggest source of customers! Lastly, buyers can find your store through paid searches, or pay per click campaigns (PPC). This last option takes a large amount of research, trial, and error. If you don’t know what you’re doing with PPC, skip this one until much later. There are free sources of traffic that can provide great results.

Ebay logo photo by liewcf under Creative Commons License 2.0

Linking from Your Ebay Auctions

Setting up an Ebay store doesn’t meant that you can forego the auction format. Auctions provide huge traffic, if properly utilized. Learn how to optimize your Ebay listings to make the best of them, and then you can start including links in your auctions to drive traffic into your store.

For the best results, have plenty of well placed links within your auction. Link at the beginning of your auction, the end, and in your listing frame (an option only available to Ebay store subscribers). Use HTML do encourage clicks. Use bold tags, or even make a clickable image.

A profitable strategy to drag in buyers is to provide the same item you are selling on auction at a lower price, or lower shipping rate, in your store. Advertise that fact in your auctions. Take advantage of Auctiva’s store window, which displays your items in a self-updating window at the top or bottom of your listings. I suggest placing it at the top. Why? Completed Ebay listings still show up in Ebay search results and in search engines and can provide traffic to your store!

Another method to attract traffic to your store is through a loss leader item. This works best if your store has a niche, selling one specific type of item. This “loss leader” is not meant to be profitable, but to pull in traffic from Ebay to your store. Many sellers start a high priced item at a very low price, encouraging traffic, watchers, bids and excitement .. and hopefully traffic to your store! Try this technique when you can afford to do it, and start off small.

Other Places to Get Links on Ebay

Ebay auctions aren’t the only place to pull traffic and gain a link. There are other areas of the website, listed below, which will assist you in getting valuable, traffic funneling links throughout the site.

Link from your Ebay Guides and Reviews

Another effective traffic source Ebay provides is the Ebay Guides and Reviews section. Do you sell one brand of product on a consistent basis? Or a certain book or movie? Review it using these quick guides, and you’ll have the benefit of having a link to your profile and store right next to it! Even better than the reviews are the guides. These are the perfect way to advertise your store in a subtle way. You can link in your guide to anywhere on Ebay. Take advantage and link to your store, your other guides, and sections of your store!

Here are some ideas for guides to create:

  • A resource for your buyers on clothing sizes
  • Authenticity guide for items that you sell
  • A history on the background of a company (best if you sell their products!)
  • Get very specific and target a deep niche, such as “buying high quality kids football equipment on Ebay.”

There’s an endless amount of topics that you could cover. Try to work your Ebay store and items into your guide. Also, use the “headings” Ebay provides you with for the best search engine optimization.

Linking from your About ME Page

Your About ME Page is like one big advertisment for your store. Really sell yourself, provide details about your expertise, your policies, pictures of the items you sell, and links to specific pages within your store. Also, link to your guides, will help showcase your expertise in your niche.

Why Niches are Important for Ebay Stores

What are you good at? Where does your expertise lie, and what do you love doing? This might be a goodfocal point for your Ebay store. If you love the items you are selling, you can provide lots of facts, and properly advertise and educate the buyers about the product. When you’re passionate about your items, it comes across to the buyers. Buyers love information, and if you can provide that, you might have just gained a repeat buyer. If you sell random stuff all the time, you’re chances of newsletter signups, repeat buyers, and word of mouth marketing decreases (never understimate the power of word of mouth marketing!).

niche theme in your Ebay store will also attract more attention from search engines, and will be easier to advertise. Here are some good examples of niche stores:

  • Vintage cameras
  • Pre-owned computers
  • Handmade clothing and crafts
  • Antique magazines
  • New authentic handbags
  • Framed posters
  • Seeds for gardens
  • Kids sports equipment

Linking from Ebay Forums

Links from Ebay forums might be nofollow, but they do provide some traffic. Post in forums that buyers frequently visit (think buyers, not sellers!), and provide buyers with help in categories that you sell in. Observe Ebay’s policies on signature linking, don’t spam, and be helpful without being overly promotional, and you’ll have a small flow of traffic to your store. Be persuasive in your signature, and use an image that’s captivating to buyers (like a medley of your Ebay items, along with an attractive tagline) that’s clickable.

Blog Outside of Ebay

Starting your own blog outside of Ebay couldn’t be easier. Blogs are quickly indexed by search engines, and provide a great way to showcase all of your unique Ebay items. Blogging works best if you keep the blog updated often, and have lengthy, informative posts with catchy, keyword rich titles. To gain even more traffic to your blog, network out and leave useful comments on other bloggers’ blogs, and add them to your own blogroll if they’re relevant to your own. There are many free blog services, but you’ll need to read their terms of service to see if they allow self promotion. Many do not, and can remove your blog without warning if you have violated their TOS. For only around $100 year, you can host your own blog without worrying about having it ripped down, and you’ll have complete creative control over your content.

 

Utilizing Ebay’s Custom Store Pages

You’ve probably heard the expression “content is king” before. With your custom pages, this is just the case. If you sell clothing, good ideas for one of your Custom Pages would be “womens clothing,” “mens clothing,” “kids clothing,” or “baby clothing.” Keep in mind you can use your own HTML to make these pages look more interesting and attractive! Ebay continues to increase the number of custom pages allowed in stores, so do take advantage.

Use Social Networking Sites to Increase Ebay Traffic

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are great ways to increase your online presence and to make your Ebay brand more recognizable throughout the web. Consider setting up a fan page on Facebook for your store, and a customized Facebook page. These sites work best if you can can keep self promotion to a minimum, while placing your link on your own bio.

Twitter just might be the perfect place to market your Ebay items. Network with Twitter users that are interested in your niche, and follow them (hopefully they will follow you back!). Tweet once or twice daily, and participate in conversations with others in your field. When it’s time for them to buy, they just might remember you!

There’s also YouTubeLinkedIn, and a host of other networking sites that you can work your way into. Concentrate on a small handful and spread out your presence and you’ll be rewarded with a steady flow of traffic, as long as you stay active in these communities.

Email Links and Newsletter Marketing

Ebay provides you with a certain number of free email newsletters for your subscribers. This is free advertising (or at least it is included with your subscription fee), so take advantage! Build your newsletter list by placing links in all of your auctions to sign up, and remind your buyers with a customized message upon checkout. To encourage buyers to click through your email, offer an incentive to visit, and a reason to read your newsletter. Try offering tips, information, and occasionally hold a contest to hold their attention. Another hint: the title of your email is the the most important part of your email. Create an appealing title that isn’t deceptive, yet makes them want to open the email for the best open rate.  Here are some ideas for useful newsletter content, inside of your email:

  • Advertise your clearance sales
  • Provide a downloadable calendar for the upcoming year with your own URL on the calender
  • Offer a seasonal recipe in your newsletter
  • Hold an interactive promotion that gets your readers interested, and encourages them to visit your store
  • Provide email only content, that they can only find in your emails. You can always publish that content a month or so down the line on your blog, website, or elsewhere.
  • Champion a charity cause, and donate a percentage of your Ebay items that week to a charity

Where to NOT Get Links

You’ll want to avoid linking to certain places, and avoid having your link placed on certain sites. Any site that involves traffic exchanges stay far away from. Google penalizes many sites that participate in these. Avoid X-Rated site links, as well as any site that offers downloads to music. Use your common sense with these sites and trust your gut on where your links are appropriate! Forum spamming is another thing you’ll want to stay away from. Your reputation is important, keep it looking good.

One final note: This is a marketing campaign, so it’s going to take some effort on your part. It’s going to involve a lot of writing, maybe even on a daily basis. While it won’t pay off immediately, it should see results if you continue to blog and link to your store. Also, Ebay Partner Network is a little bit picky about who it selects for its program. Your best chance for getting approved is to have your own website on its own domain (don’t use Blogger or Hubpages as the domain you provide in your account information). It seems they are looking for original content, not random articles on web 2.0 websites, though once approved you can add your EPN affiliate account to Hubpages so you can start earning. Start blogging once you have your domain set up and it has some content, then apply. You’ll have a much better chance of getting approved this way. The more content, the better off you’ll be, and the more search engine traffic you’ll draw to your website. This in turn will increase your sales, and the online marketing itself, through Ebay affiliate links, could turn into an additional form of income for you.

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How to Make More Money on Ebay

Grow Your Ebay Sales: Make More Money Through Marketing, Keywords, and Photography

Wondering how to make more money on Ebay? The answer may be just under your nose. Ebay is one of the best places to make a living online, but the site isn’t static. The marketplace shifts not monthly, weekly, or hourly, but by the minute. Growing your Ebay business can be a challenge. There’s marketing, keywords, photography, and maintaining a feedback score all to take into consideration, not to mention costs, fees, and competitors. This means that you have to have a presence in as many places as possible, and raise your profile as high as you can. This process will involve utilizing keywords correctly, taking more professional photos, and claiming your own piece of the web outside of Ebay to promote your business.

Once you’ve passed the newbie stage of a seller on Ebay, you may decide that you want to sell on ebay more seriously.  To make things clear from the beginning, you cannot rely on ebay to promote your store. There is little exposure for your store, and it’s up to you to get your business seen, just like any other type of business. There are a few things to think about when opening your store:

  • Where will you be getting your inventory? Can you get the same items over and over, and how much competition do you have?
  • Have you calculated how much the listing fees will be for your store, including feature fees and subscriptions?
  • Ebay stores do not circumvent auctions. Stores supplement auctions, not the other way around. Ebay has and always will be an auction site (we hope!)
  • Do you have a plan in place to advertise your store?
  • Are you ready to commit your valuable time towards this venture? It’s very time consuming, but can be very rewarding.

Choosing the Best Keywords to Improve your Ebay Sales

eBay’s keyword title is the most important part of your auction being found online, on ebay or off ebay. You have 80 characters to use for each auction in the title, so choose them wisely (previously it was 55, so it’s a little less hard now).

And that subtitle box? Well, that costs an extra 50 cents, but if you have a high priced item, it might be worth it. However, the subtitle has nothing to do with buyers finding your item through the ebay search.Great titles simply lead to better ending prices.

Before you list any item, check the completed listings of similar items. What keyword titles are they using for their auctions? If the seller is using certain words to attract attention to an item and is having great success, maybe you should give it a try. You need to get very specific with your title, and you may even want to lose the abbreviations. Abbreviations on ebay are often overused. What’s “NIB” mean anyway? That means “new in box,” but how would a new customer know that? The word “new” would be a much more universal and searched word to use.

Choose the Right Items to Sell on Ebay

There are millions of ebay sellers that you will be competing with, and perhaps befriending along the way. But let’s face it — you’re not in it to make friends, you’re in this to make money! That being said, you really need to focus on where you will be getting your inventory and what you’ll be selling.

So…where do Ebay sellers find their inventory?

They find their inventory in a number of places. They’ll find them in their local Wal-Mart. They’ll find them from a liquidation company. They might even get them at yard sales or boutiques, depending on what your niche is. Have you considered any of these options?

  • Thrift stores like Salvation Army
  • Wholesalers (be careful about this! Many people claim to be wholesalers and are not)
  • Garage sales
  • Church sales
  • Craigslist
  • ebay (yup, ebay!)
  • Manufacturers (go straight to the root!)
  • Outlet and discount stores
  • Or, you can make items yourself!

Sellers find their inventory everywhere, you just need to know the type of buyer that is interested in your product. Then, think about where you might be able to find these items, whether those are collectibles or gently used clothing. Think about all the possible places that these items might end up after manufacturing.

Ebay Photography

Making your ebay items stand out from the crowd

When a buyer searches for an item on ebay, the first thing they see is the gallery photo of the items. Item upon item, they can all look the same. What is setting your photo apart from the millions of others out there? Your gallery photo should be pleasing to look at, and just what the buyer is looking for. This means you’ll need to take your own photos, and take good photos of your Ebay products. Avoid stock photos like the plague and take your own. You can get more recognition and traffic if you use your own photos.

To take a great photo, you need the right equipment. A camera with a manual focus lens (or one that has automatic and manual lens focus options) is a must. You also will be rarely using your flash, so you need some good lighting. Add a large clean white sheet to your list, as well as a photo editing program. You can use GIMP if you don’t feel like paying for Photoshop or Paint Shop.

Taking Pictures of your Ebay Items at Home

I sold many items on ebay and never had a real “studio” area set up, and the pictures managed to come out very well. This technique is perfect if you have limited space to work with, as the setup can be put away quickly.

  1. Find a large white bedsheet that is wrinkle free, along with a couch or wide chair.
  2. Spread the sheet over the chair/couch and smooth it out completely, hanging the sheet over the backside of the couch/chair.
  3. If you have overhead lighting, turn it on. This will work best right underneath the light.
  4. Any lamps in your house can be used to light the peripherals of the object on the left and right. Take off the lampshade, or use desklamps and point them towards the object.
  5. Position the item on the sheet in a flattering manner. Usually, items taken at an angle while holding the camera at the same level as the object looks desirable.
  6. Focus in on the object, take pictures of all aspects, inside, outside, tags, defects, details, labels, warranties, everything.
  7. Upload your photos to your computer.

Save Money on your Ebay Listings by Uploading your Own Photos

Next, you’ll want to upload your photos. There are hundreds of free photo hosting websites. I used Photobucket since they provide you with an easy to use HTML code to add to your auctions. You will definitely want to host your own photos. Using ebay’s photo hosting can get very expensive, and the size of the pictures is not big enough, so you should definitely host your own. There’s also the added benefit of getting your photos off of your computer and storing them online forever, to use down the line, organize, tag and share. Before you upload, you can edit your photos to make sure the least amount of negative space is showing in the photo as possible.

Shoppers Search by Category

Your item is listed by category on ebay for buyers to more easily search throughout the site. While with most items it is common sense which category your item will be in, some items are split down the middle in various categories. Find out what the competion is using for categories and make sure you are in there as well. Listing in the wrong category can be a costly mistake.

Should you list in two categories?

99% of the time, no. This is a costly extra feature that can double your listing fee! Only use this option if your item is very high worth, and if you are confident that your item will receive plenty of additional exposure in another category.

Using Ebay Listing Features

Ebay is well aware that buyers want to promote their items desperately, and they too, want to make as much money from buyers and sellers. Don’t be duped by some of the features that ebay has for sellers, some are downright useless and wasteful. For example, the featured listing costs $20 for your category. This is hardly ever worth the cost of the feature. You are much better off investing your $20 into your own web domain or blog.

Listing Features that are Worth the Money

Some of the features provided are genuinely helpful and can provide you with more traffic and sales. The subtitle feature is a good example. At 50 cents per item, this feature will help tell buyers more about your item right in the search results. The gallery photo should be used for every single item you sell, and is currently free.

When Are Your Buyers Buying?

When is the best time to start an Ebay auction? This is the trickiest part to making your auction work, but once you figure it out, it can yield profitable results and save you money in relisting fees. First off, know that ebay’s highest traffic night has always been Sunday night between 6pm-10pm, except on event nights like the Super Bowl, long weekends, any sporting event, or the season finale of Game of Thrones.

There are some exceptions. If you sell mostly to places internationally, consider what timezone they are in and when their prime time might be. If you sell products to a certain type of people (like stay at home mothers), these buyers may be more apt to be by the computer during the middle of the day. Plan your listings according to your buyer! Experiment and you’ll find the perfect nights to list.

Keep in mind also that Friday and Saturday nights are the slowest traffic nights on ebay.

Buying naturally slows down in most categories in the summer months as people head out to enjoy the outdoors and don’t stay on their computers as much. As fall approaches, so does the influx of ebay visitors once again.

Advertise Your Ebay Items

I can’t stress enough how you cannot rely on ebay to advertise for you. Your store receives little promotion, you need to pick up the slack yourself. If you sell only part time on ebay, promotion may only need to be links strategically placed throughout your auctions heading to your store. However, if you sell on ebay as a full time income or business, you’ll need outside advertisment.

Host your Own Store Outside of eBay

Some sellers use Adwords, but this can be costly. One of the biggest advertisments you can create is by creating your own website, seperate from your ebay store. This will provide you with more creative freedom, and won’t have restrictions or the stigma of being “just an ebay store.” You can brand your business and store better, and create as many customized pages as you would like. Prostores can allow you to do this quickly and professionally.

Advertise through Blogs

Another good way to advertise your ebay store is through blogs. While ebay has their own blogs offered to you, you can also set up your own, or use one of the free blogging services like WordPress or Blogger. Make interesting posts linking to your store and items and you will attract valuable search engine traffic.

Ebay’s Guides and Reviews section has heavy search engine weight as well. These often are lifted to the top of search results in Google, and can be written in a matter of minutes. Best of all, you can link directly to your store. Show off your expertise in your genre and bring in some traffic, and some much needed backlinks.

Keep Paying Customers Happy

Customer service is what Ebay is all about! A seller with stellar feedback scores and high DSRs will receive better exposure and a better sense of trust from new and old buyers. By keeping your paying customers happy and potential customers happy, you’ll generate more sales in the long run. Sure, taking the occasional return can be tedious, but it’s worth the hassle. It’s your reputation that’s at stake here!

Still not sure where to start in order to make more money on Ebay? These other tutorials on this blog might be of some help to you. They’re free, and they’ll help you to boost profits in no time.

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Find Your Niche & Find Out What You Should Be Selling

Find the Right Fit for Your and Your Business – And How Writing Fits Into It

Ebay is a huge marketplace attracting millions of buyers on a weekly basis, internationally. The potential for income is only limited to your imagination, and how passionate you are about your niche business. In creating an online business, like an Ebay store, customers want to know your expertise, and they want information. The actual Ebay site is just one way that people can find you. They could potentially find you through blogs, articles, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or your own personal website. If your passionate about niche, and you can convey that through writing, you’ll be able to succeed much faster (and further) than someone who can’t write.

How to Pick Your Niche

Picking a niche is easy. What do you love doing? That’s what you should be selling. If you don’t have a love for something, to be honest, that’s going to make it a lot tougher on you. The 2nd choice would be to pick an area that you have much expertise (loving it is great, but expertise counts for plenty).

If you were in the army for 12 years, maybe you should consider selling army t-shirts or army themed equipment. If you can write about some of your experiences, give some first-hand stories about how you used something and know it’s great quality (and point out everything about the item), then you’ll gain some trust. If you make handmade crafts, Ebay stores can help you out there as well. The niche stores are what keep people coming back again and again. Repeat customers drive traffic, referrals, incoming links, and growth (so keep it niche!).

Choosing a Product Line Based on Your Inventory

Inventory can be found anywhere for your Ebay store. Some people shop at outlet malls, some shop right on Ebay. Others rummage through thrift stores and yard sales, while others find items directly from the manufacturer (which can be tricky) or liquidators. The key to finding your inventory is to keep looking, even when you think you’ve found the ultimate source. Supplement your inventory with items from all of the previously mentioned sources, and you’ll boost the number of auctions and items in your store, and increase the chances of being found.

Base your Niche on Passion

Without a passion for what you sell, you’re more likely to give up. Ebay does take constant promotion, and without growth, the store can easily fall flat or be left in the dust by the competition. Like I mentioned earlier, if you can write about what you sell, this puts you at a huge advantage. Passion is important! Show your love for your business and niche by customizing your about me page, Facebook, custom store pages, and other social media pages. If you can educate the buyer further about the product, how to shop for the product, what to look for, what makes the items authentic, what to avoid, and link to your store, you’re sure to get traffic flowing.

Building Your Store Takes Time

Once you’ve decided on your niche, you have to build your store and your following. Without a following, you can still survive, but it’s growth might be stunted.

Upon opening your store, here are a few tips to take into consideration:

  • Don’t stop running auctions. These are the lifeblood of the site, and will still be one of your biggest traffic draws.
  • Don’t hold onto inventory for too long. It’s better to dump inventory occasionally at a loss than to hold onto it and keep your store stale.
  • Keep posting new items, and post them as quick as you can. Post them before the competition, and post them as often as possible. You want to keep the excitement up and going!
  • Keep looking for new ways to promote your store.
  • Analyze the Ebay traffic reports to see what’s working and where your traffic is coming from.
  • Keep learning. Learn more about your niche, learn more about selling on Ebay. Just never stop learning.
  • Be patient. Gaining search engine traffic can take time… a long time! The age of your site matters, and so does the age of the links heading into your site. In th meantime, just keep working on building more links and pages headed into your site.
 Photo by Kathy Kimpel.
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What Customers Want from an Ebay Seller

The customer is 100% essential to your success. Without focusing on the customer’s needs, you’re doomed to fail on Ebay. Is there really any excuse to not be catering to buyer’s needs? With everything you do on Ebay, ask yourself how it will help the customer. It it doesn’t help, but actually might make their experience with you worse, then do I even need to tell you what to do?

When buyers come to Ebay, they want to buy the item they are looking for at the price they want to pay for it. And they want it quick. They don’t want to have to fight through hard to read blocks of text, ask you how much your combined shipping rates are, or contact you to get their tracking information. The more you can do to help them out, the better their experience will be, and the more likely they are to return to your store.

Here are some of things that customers really want when they buy on Ebay:

People like free shipping, and it’s encouraged by Ebay to offer it. Try to incorporate it into your auctions when it makes sense. You may profit less per item, but the number of items you sell and the exposure you receive will most likely go up.

Buyers like tracking. Sending delivery confirmation or a tracking number is not only nice, but often expected. If you use Click N Ship online ordering from USPS, you can have the delivery confirmation number automatically sent to the buyer. You’re also more likely to receive a high rating in your DSR’s from this happy buyer for communication. Buying shipping labels through Ebay or Paypal also offers tracking, and will send correspondence to the buyer letting them know the item has shipped, along with the tracking.

Strongly consider requiring insurance on items worth over $25. All it takes is one expensive item to be lost in the mail, and you could be out a week’s pay. Play it smart, especially with more expensive items, and purchase insurance. Make sure to keep the receipt to file a claim should anything happen!

Items still do best in groups. If you have a lot of 40 items and you sell 10 items per week, you may have been better off selling all of those 40 items in the same week long period, provided they are different items. Traffic doesn’t just flow from the Ebay search, it flows from one of your auctions to your next auction, increasing the chance of interested buyers, bids, and overall sales numbers.

People trust sellers with high feedback. Start building your feedback as soon as possible by purchasing items on Ebay and selling smaller, lower priced items. Cheaper items in higher quantity can boost your feedback fast.

Open another Ebay account if you plan on buying and reselling. This way, buyers can’t search through your past transactions and see how much you’ve paid for a certain item.

The new DSR (detailed seller ratings) do have some benefits. If you hit a certain sales number and have a high DSR, you can qualify for a Powerseller discount on listing fees and final value fees. To maintain high DSR ratings, ship quickly, answer questions quickly, and describe the item accurately.

People want their stuff fast. Priority USPS mail still seems to be the best shipping service for Ebay. It’s reasonably priced, and it ships fast all over the country.

Enhance the look of your auction with a template. Templates can easily be purchased through Ebay itself, or if you’re a web design pro, you can make one yourself to suit your Ebay store.

A high buy it now price on auction format listings will help to establish a perceived value of an item. If the starting bid is $99.99, but the buy it now is $199.99, there’s a perception of a deal already just by being the first person to bid at $99.99 (even if it’s unrealistic that someone will purchase it for $199.99 – you never know!).

Buyers love combined shipping. Advertise that you offer combined shipping rates for multiple purchases in several spots throughout your auction, where they can definitely see it. Some sellers have had luck offering free shipping if they spend a certain amount of money (like free shipping on orders over $100).

Until the next post, maybe you should think about exactly what your buyers want, and how you can give it to them?

 Intro photo by Didriks.
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How to Sell on Collectibles on Ebay

vintage Spider-man comic bookSell Your Collectible Merchandise and Make a Sizable Profit

Collectibles are one of the most profitable categories on Ebay. By selling off your old collectibles or someone else’s, you can stand to make a good profit. This page will help you step by step with the selling process, even if you have no experience in selling them in the first place.

Action figures, antiques, dolls, baseball cards, stamps, coins, vintage lunchboxes, comic books, and postcards all qualify as collectibles. No matter what the condition, they have a value, and they can be sold. This category can really be a wildcard, and can be one of the most exciting! This is what Ebay was made for.

Taking Inventory of Collectibles & Merchandise

When you have many items from a particular niche to sell on Ebay, you’re at an advantage. The more people see one particular auction, the better chances are that they might also click to the next auction of yours, thereby increasing your chances for additional bids. If you have a whole lot of collectible merchandise to sell off, this means you’re in luck.

The first thing you’ll want to do is take an inventory of what you have that you’re ready to sell. Before you go too crazy, you may want to research completed items first to see how this particular type of item sells. To research, you’ll first need an Ebay account. Once you’re set up and ready to go, it’s time to see the completed listings.

Simply search for the item in question on Ebay. If you might be selling collectible troll dolls, then search “troll dolls.” Check off the box on the left side of the screen marked “completed listings,” then hit enter. This will pull up all of the ended auctions in the past 14 days for this particular search term. Item in red have not sold, items in green have sold.

As you scroll down, see what ratio of items sell in that niche, and what the selling prices are. Is it worth it for you to sell? If not, it could be the time of year (summers tend to be slow), a bad economy, a holiday week, or, it could be that the item itself is not in demand.

Sometimes items sell – sometimes they don’t. These are often cycles, so don’t get discouraged. Try again, and you’ll find a price you are happy with eventually. If not, here are some additional tips.

What If the Collectibles Aren’t Selling on Ebay?

All collectibles are cyclical in nature. They’re in favor, then they fall out of favor, only to come back in favor again down the road. This goes for a lot of certain niches like antiques, and even seasonal items like swimsuits or sweaters. Just because the prices aren’t high now, doesn’t mean they won’t be down the road.

Then again, some niches never fully recover due to oversaturation of the market. If you have collectibles you’d still like to sell even though they aren’t selling well, then you’ll have to consider doing a few things:

  • Pricing the items to sell. This may mean starting the items at a low, low price to encourage bids.
  • Grouping items together to save buyers on shipping costs. If you have a large lot of troll dolls, maybe grouping them together will increase your chances for a sale.
  • Keeping the shipping costs low. Buyers never want to pay high shipping prices, so keep them low while you can to encourage bids. If the item is high priced, offering free shipping might not be out of the question.

These are great strategies for those just looking to sell now instead of waiting around for items to appreciate in value.

Taking Photos of Collectibles

A picture is worth a thousand words at least on Ebay. If you aren’t taking great photos, you simply are losing money. There are a lot of things that can sabotage the success of an Ebay auction, and the photos are one of them. I’ve gone over Ebay photos in great detail on my Ebay photo tips page, if you’d like more advice on pictures.

  • More photos is better than less. Take many photos to give buyers the chance to feel comfortable with your product.
  • Make sure photos aren’t blurry, and that the product takes up most of the space on the image.
  • Natural light works best. Position your photo station near a window if possible, or even outside during the day. Avoid using a flash.
  • Take pictures of all details, including tags and included accessories, guides, or instructions.

A great photo can really make your auction sing. The gallery photo is the most important photo of all.

Selling Collectibles on Ebay – Setting Up the Auction

Once you’ve taken photos and you have your inventory squared away, you’re ready to list your items. First, you’ll want to make sure you have the right packing supplies on hand for when the items needs to be shipped.

Next, you’ll log into your Ebay account. Again, search for completed items before you list any particular item. This should give you an idea of the keywords that seem to be generating more sales, and what trends you’ve noticed that seem to lead to less sales.

With that information, you’ll begin setting up your very first collectibles auction. Here, the keyword title will be the most important text aspect of your auction. This is the piece of text at the top of the page, not including the subtitle. These words are the words that allow your auction to be found in the Ebay search engine. Color, size, make, model, condition, item number, and brand name are all attributes worth putting in the title.

Now you’ll add your photos and fill out the description. Your main gallery photo should be your best photo, and one that people will recognize instantly. Don’t try to get too creative, just take a nice photo and upload it. You’ll also want to include more photos in each auction. It’s recommended that you host your own photos to give buyers better detail, and also to save money on fees.

The Description: Describe Your Collectibles

Descriptions work best using bullet points. This makes it easy to read, and easy to scan. Big blocks of text tend to scare away readers, so keep it organized. Some things buyers will want to know about are:

  • The condition – Be truthful, but be careful of your wording. The word “used” is undesirable, however “pre-owned” and
    gently used” have much better connotations.
  • The brand name, make, or model – Tell them what the brand is, and tell them about the brand. Copy and paste this blurb into each auction you write to give them a background on the brand, make, or model.
  • Where it’s coming from – Is this a pet free, smoke free home? Has it been in outside storage, or inside storage? Buyers want to know where this item has been.
  • Special Features – Is this a limited release, making it even more collectible? Is it signed? Is it a retired piece? Is there something that sets it apart from other items on Ebay?

Shipping Collectibles: Avoid Breakages and Pack it Right

Once you get the hang of shipping, it can be very easy and quick. The most time consuming part will actually be going to the post office to drop them off (though carrier pickup is available for items using the Click N Ship program in some areas).

You can never overpack an item, but you can underpack it. Keep plenty of the following on hand to ensure you won’t have any breakages:

Now that you’ve shipped the item, it’s time to find more inventory and start the process all over again! Read other posts on this blog to find out where you can find products to sell, listing tips, and other Ebay auction recommendations.
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The Top Ten Things to Include in Every Ebay Auction

booksEbay Essentials That Will Improve the Clarity of Your Auctions to Potential Customers

One of the top reasons auctions perform poorly is that there is a lack of information in the auction. Providing all of the information that your customers will need to make an educated purchase will help them with the buying process, address any questions, concerns and fears that they may have. That information should be communicated in a well organized, attractive, and clear way that your buyer can easily read, scan, and view.

Here are 10 things to make sure you include in every one of your Ebay auctions to help out your buyers, and ensure a higher sale price:

1. At least 4 photos of the item, no matter how small the item is. Buyers can’t see your item in person, so they need to see the bottom, top, side angles, front angles, back angles, and any details like tags, inside tags, accessories, and close-ups to give them a good idea of what exactly your item looks like. Photos are free to add to your auction , up to twelve, so there’s no reason to not add them.

2. The condition of the item.Honesty is key here to a successful auction. As long as you are up front and document any flaws in your item (and photograph them), buyers will still show interest and bid on your item in most cases. Dishonesty will only result in buyer returns and possibly a negative feedback.

3. Your shipping policy and rates. Do you ship today, the next day, or next Friday if I pay today? Customers want to know when they can expect to receive their item, and how much it’s going to cost them before they bid.

4. Your return policy. Returns are a big issue with Ebay. Some sellers do allow returns, while others flat our refuse returns all together. Neither side is right or wrong, and both have their benefits. Decide which policy you want to adopt and stick to it (but realize customers are still going to want to return items once in a while – so be prepared for them to contact you sooner or later).

5. The retail price of the item. Include the full retail price to give buyers an idea of what the item is normally worth, even if the item is pre-owned.

6. Use bold, italics, underlining, and different colors in your text. Limit the underlining and various colors to the things you really need to stick out, instead of overusing it. Sticking with no more than 3 different colors in the text is more visually appealing and effective.

7. Use bulleted lists to make the item details easier to scan through and read. It adds organization to your listing that looks professional, and the buyer will appreciate.

8. Provide an FAQ area at the bottom of your page. Frequently asked questions are going to be “when do you ship?” “what shipping service do you use?” and “do you combine shipping?”.

9. Answer the question whether you ship internationally or not. With more expensive items, it can be worth it to ship internationally. However, shipping insurance is not always available to some countries.

10. Provide a link to your About me page, which should state more about you, and your business.

More Ebay Auction Essentials

When you give the buyer a more complete story, they’ll feel like they can actually touch, see, and experience everything about the item as if they had seen it in person. Utilizing the above techniques are some good ways to give the buyer that experience in a clear, easy to read manner.

Besides the must haves listed above, it’s important to never stop trying to improve your auctions. A few things can save you a lot of time, and create a much more organized place for buyers to browse, click, read, and buy.

  • Templates. Auction templates are readily available for free or for purchase on Ebay itself. These are usually priced very modestly, and can even be customized to your liking. Creating a uniform look throughout your store, auction, and About Me page will create a more “branded” look that buyers will feel comfortable with. You can also use these graphics, colors schemes, and layouts on your blogs and marketing materials. Contact the seller or artist directly to see what else is available for customization. These are often easy copy and paste solutions.
  • Link to your other auctions and store. Link directly to certain sections of your store, or certain complimenting items.
  • Store window. Vendio and Auctiva are the leading sources for creating a store window to showcase your other Ebay items. By directing traffic to your other listings, you are creating cross traffic that can lead to multiple sales from a single buyer. However, these days might be coming to a close as Ebay no longer supports third party scrolling windows (bummer). Hopefully we will have an update for you once we see the viable replacement.
  • Your store logo in every auction. After some time of selling on Ebay, buyers can come to know and trust your logo. Having yours prominently displayed in each auction can give that vote of confidence that the buyer is dealing with someone who really cares about their reputation. This works especially well if you sell in a particular niche on Ebay, where repeat customers will be coming back to you again and again.
  • ISBN or product model number. Ebay now allows extra specifics to be added to the top of every listing beneath the bid information and price. Take advantage of this organized way of communicating important data by listing important specifics like model numbers, ISBN numbers, color, size, and any included materials.

Photo by Hung Thai.

Once you’re done listing all of your important data, implementing a template, writing an FAQ, or placing links to your store pages, remember to save the auction as a listing template. This is on the submission page to finalize the auction before it goes live, and can save a lot of wording down the road.
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