Selling items on eBay is a great way of making extra money in Australia as well as most parts of the world. The old addage does apply here though: 20% of the sellers are making 80% of the profits. In order to ensure that you are making the most money from eBay you need to know how to sell effectively. Selling effectively versus just selling on eBay can make a lot of difference. By implementing the below tips I would constantly make at least 25-50% more than other people selling the exact same items on eBay. Sometimes I found that I would make more than 100% more! Firstly, I’m assuming you already know how to list an item to sell on eBay. If you don’t eBay itself has a great step-by-step tutorial how to do this, just visit their site. Now here are the must do things in order to ensure that you are getting the best price you can when selling items on eBay: 1. Make sure you put a very detailed item description on your auction listing. Google the model/brand name & number of the item you are selling & get all the details including technical specifications (if you are selling electronic items), or any specifications available for this item. Check as many pages as you can & if selling in Australia, make sure you check the Australian sites as a priority as the item you are selling may have slightly different specifications in other countries. If there are product reviews about the item, its a good idea to copy these as well (just make sure you reference back to the site – don’t do this if the review is copyrighted) or you can just add the URL with the words “for a full review of this product, click here”. Never just list the model/brand name & model number as the chances of getting a good final bid price is lower. Bidders like to see all the details of the item they are bidding on. Yes, its true that there are some bidders out there that will already know all about the item you are selling & thus will bid on the item regardless of whether you have the details there or not, but there is also a big group of potential bidders who are just looking for a similar item – e.g. they might just be looking for a video camera but aren’t set on one particular brand or model, so they browse the different options available. If you have everything they want to know about on your auction description, then they are much more likely to bid compared to if you just had the name of the item. 2. Use an HTML editor like Microsoft Frontpage or Dreamweaver to create your auction listings. This way you can make the listing look professional & attractive to potential bidders. You could use the HTML editor on eBay but I always found this to be a little restrictive in its use. Its a good idea to create a template that you can use again & again for different listings. Have a look at what other sellers are doing (those that have fancy auction listings) & see if you can do something similar. Then copy the code from the HTML editor into the “Enter Your Own HTML” box on the sell page of eBay. 3. Take lots of quality pictures of the item & include them in the auction listing. Make sure you take good close ups of the item from many different angles so that bidders know exactly what they are bidding on. I have always found that my listings with good quality photos did so much better than other sellers listings with no or few or bad quality photos. Using a digital camera with 3.2Mp & up is good enough. If you can, avoid using the camera on your mobile phone as most camera phones take bad quality pictures. Take at least 6 good quality photos. 4. Following on from the above point, do not use the upload photo feature of eBay because not only does this add to the cost of your listing, it also resizes your photos reducing the quality & visibility of your item. Instead, go out & get a web hosting account – there are many cheap options available. Upload your photos (you may have to do some resizing of the photos using whatever photo editor you have – do not resize them to too small – I usually make the photos no more than 800 pixels wide & whatever height), & upload them to your web hosting account. Then, copy the link locations into your HTML editor. The easy way is to browse to the actual photos on your website & then right click to copy image & then paste onto your auction description in your HTML editor. 5. Make sure you include detailed information on the condition of the item. If its brand new, write that its brand new, unopened & make sure you put this in the title of the listing. If its used, describe the condition in as much detail as possible. 6. Spend some time on the title of the listing. Don’t just list the name of the item, include some of its key features, as many that will fit. Once again, not everyone knows about an item just by its name or model number. If you specify key features in the title they are more likely going to view your auction. 7. Avoid using reserve prices and high starting bids. If you are really afraid that you will be forced to sell the item for much lower than what you require for it, then a higher starting bid is the better of the two evils. Reserved prices put people off as they do not know what your reserve is. They think it might be high & thus do not bother bidding. But if they know upfront what the start price is, then they are more likely to bid if they are comfortable with that start price. At least they know they have a chance of getting the item at that price versus having a reserve price. To be honest, 90% of the time I have always found that having a start price of 0.99c achieves a much higher final bid amount than having a higher start price. This is because people get involved with the auction and the innate competitiveness built in many of us, causes us to push the bid higher if we are competing with other people for the item. Also once someone bids at any price, they watch that item over & above other items listed. If they are outbid, they generally think “what’s another $1 or $5.. I can afford that to get this item” & so the price goes up. Make sure you do the top points though, as these will help you get informed buyers who are keen to get your product. There are many more things that you can do to ensure that you get the best price for your listings. The ones I have described above I believe are the key ones but there are others that definitely help. You can find many guides to selling more effectively on eBay. In any case, selling on eBay can generate you a great deal of extra income if you sell effectively and this can definitely done by all Australians regardless of whether you have initial startup capital or not.
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