Now for the part you’ve been waiting for, how to begin making money by selling on eBay. We begin with just the basic steps, and will continue in the following sections with key tips & strategies for finding the right products and selling successfully
Unless you’ve already got a killer idea, the simplest place to start is to use synthetic imagination. That is, take a successful idea and try to do it better, or at least add some kind of extra perceived value [lower cost, uniqueness, free shipping, free bonus gift, etc]. Thus the first real step for most of us is to research items to sell.
A few ideas include:
Search your home for unwanted items
Stick to things that are easy to ship. The beauty of this is that as long as you can sell it for more than your selling costs [eBay fees, shipping costs, PayPal fees, etc] anything above that is essentially found money. Don’t factor in your time or capital invested [like for a digital camera or other needed equipment] at this stage, since these are investments in learning the trade. Once your initial self training is complete, you should certainly consider the cost of your time to complete the transaction as should any businessperson.
Research what’s hot.
Then see if you can buy them low enough to profit while selling them at a competitive price.
On eBay itself, start with:
-eBay deal finder
EBay pulse: You'll see popular searches, stores, products, and most
watched items. You can filter the lists to show content for specific
categories on eBay.
To access eBay Pulse, follow these steps:
1. Click "Buy" at the top of most eBay pages.
2. Scroll down to the "Other Ways to Browse" section. In this section
you'll see a link for eBay Pulse.
3. Click the "eBay Pulse" link to find the top ten popular searches and
the top five largest stores on eBay.
You can also access eBay Pulse by going to: http://pulse.ebay.com/
EBay deal finder:
1. Click the "Site Map" link at the top of most eBay pages.
2. Click the "eBay Deal Finder" link in the right column, under "More
Ways to Find Items."
3. You will reach the eBay Deal Finder page where you will be able to
select the most sought after items.
Analyze EBay Market Data with terapeak:
Use this site for more advanced research, as noted in the below section of the homepage.
See Appendix 1: MORE ON MARKET RESEARCH for more on these.
AFTER YOU’VE REGISTERED and SET UP W/ PAYPAL: HERE ARE THE STEPS
SELECT THE RIGHT CATEGORY IN WHICH TO SELL YOUR ITEM
Sometimes this is obvious, sometimes not. You can search categories by entering item name and search category that is most appropriate.
NOT SURE IF A CATEGORY IS RIGHT FOR YOUR ITEM? CLICK ON SAMPLE LISTING OF WHAT’S IN THE CATEGORY TO SEE THE TYPE OF ITEMS IN THAT CATEGORY. You’ll get option of selling in separate category IF there are distinctly separate audiences.
(Explore the more complex one later; it has options that may be useful, like…?)
1. FIRST, FILL IN ITEM NAME. GET TO PUT IN 1 FREE PICTURE, CAN PUT OTHER PICTURES ON YOUR WEBSITE 2 OR MORE PICTURES ON EBAY WILL COST
2. PUT IN PICTURE USE PHOTOSHOP OR OTHER PROGRAM TO REDUCE FILE SIZE IF NEEDED
3. FILL IN DESCRIPTION: Consider writing and saving it in Word and then cut/paste the text into the description. Not only do you get the full word features like the spell checker to review your work (always use this before submitting); you also can save the description on your computer for future reference or reuse.
4. RECORD A STARTING BID, SHIPPING DETAILS AND NUMBER OF DAYS TO DELIVER.
5. DECIDE HOW YOU’D LIKE TO BE PAID – BEGINNERS SHOULD STICK WITH PAYPAL for simplicity and security of payment. Warning, unless your initial signup goes smoothly, getting setup with them can be a time consuming headache.”PayPal customer service” can be one of the great oxymorons. If one or two email correspondences don’t solve the problem, abandon email correspondence. My personal experience suggests that reading comprehension is not a major hiring criterion at customer “service”, so call them and don’t be shy about asking for a supervisor.
6. Put in at least one picture in the picture gallery. Currently, (12/08) eBay offers 1 free picture, additional categories ALWAYS USE THE GALLERY PICTURE – normally worth the 35 cents extra,
a. Much better chance to sell. also this picture shows up in search results,
b. eBay asks you to install some free software to upload image
c. can avoid eBay’s fee for extra pictures by self hosting more pictures i.e. putting in a link to a website or blog with more pictures and thus avoid eBay fees for extra pictures, thus allowing the buyer to see more pictures
d. If you don’t put in that link, then let the buyer know that buy right clicking on the picture and selecting the properties option, the URL [website address of the picture] will be visible
e. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE IMAGE, often you can go to another site that has a picture of the item, [like the site of the manufacturer or of a major seller]. For example, if selling a Gateway laptop, go to gateway site, right click select properties and link that picture to your auction of that gateway computer
7. Select the FREE VISITOR COUNTER to appear on your page since it shows others how many have come and helps generate excitement by showing its popularity
8. SET UP SELLING FORMAT IF SELLING BY AUCTION SELL ONE ITEM AT A TIME [AVOID DUTCH AUCTION – a separate topic ] i.e. if have 3 chairs, then have 3 separate listings of one chair each. If you sell by the buy it now option then can sell all at once NB look over more complex form has some extra options like Skype contact, mission fish to donate from sale, etc.
9. AGAIN, BE SURE TO SELECT PMT METHODS MUST DO PAYPAL, AMONG OTHERS
10. GIVE BUYERS SHIPPING DETAILS & FILL IT IN. Try to do free shipping and just price it into the item. But if low priced item can’t do so try either flat price or by region, country, etc. give handling time, places you’ll ship to, international options, insurance.
11. OFFER SHIPPING INSURANCE i.e. if item breaks you’ll send another or reimburse. This is an easy way to make another $5. i.e. don’t actually set up insurance co just say you insure [stamp “insured” somewhere. and charge extra. If shipping properly, few claims good way to make extra $.
12. 9TH. OTHER STUFF TO KNOW: blocking certain types buyers i.e. those w/ bad ratings, buyer requirements, return policy, etc.
13. 10TH; PUT IN ADDTL CHECKOUT INSTRUCTIONS, THANKS, ETC
How to save $ on eBay – what eBay extras are worthwhile and not
MOST AREN’T WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY. An item in demand, with a low price, good description and picture are the keys to success. Avoid borders, highlight, subtitle, featured seller, and all other featured stuff.
RETURN POLICY: site credit, 30 days to return, etc.
Total cost per items: insertion fee, buy now fee, gallery, scheduled start time
OFFER FREE SHIPPING ALA [AS LONG AS] BUILD SHIPPING PRICE INTO ITEM PRICE, or can have diff shipping charges for different areas or as a marketing trick sell low but have high shipping cost and make some $ that way.
B. My eBay
MY EBAY IS YOUR ADMIN AREA, WHERE YOU MANAGE YOUR AC, SEND INVOICES, PAY SELLERS, SEND MESSAGES, SEE HOW MANY WERE WATCHING YOUR AUCTION
See what sold, who didn’t pay, so can send invoice
SEND INVOICE, and perform other follow up with buyers. If selling well, line up supply for next auction.
SECOND CHANCE OFFER: item had multiple bidders and you have other items, can also take second bid. Can set # days for someone to buy your second chance offers. BEWARE MUST CONTACT PEOPLE THROUGH EBAY OR IF CAUGHT EBAY CAN EJECT YOU
CHECK AUCTION RESULTS AS SOON AS AUCTION END
Miscellaneous Notes for Sellers:
· In general, set as low price a price as possible in order to generate more bids and make the auction look successful – also saves money on the listing price, which is based on the opening price you set.
· RESERVE AUCTIONS – NOT RECOMMENDED AND EBAY CHARGES YOU MORE, but consider for very high priced items
· Reserve auctions allow you to set a low initial bid to attract buyers but “reserve” the right to refuse to sell to the highest bidder if that bid is below your reserve price. Reserve prices are not shown to buyers, who thus often find them frustrating and unless very motivated they go away.
· Thus sellers should generally avoid reserve auctions unless selling high price items to avoid a big loss on the sale. BEGINNERS SHOULD THUS START OUT SELLING CHEAPER ITEMS THAT CAN VERY LIKELY BE SOLD AT A PROFIT AND STILL BE A GOOD DEAL. FINDING THESE ITEMS AT THE RIGHT PRICE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS.
· We will discuss how to do this in the coming blogs.
Next, Selling tips, strategies, and ideas of what to sell and how to find items to sell.