So, you’ve got your eBay seller account successfully set up, and you’ve learned the basics of listing products for sale – now, how do you make sure shoppers buy your items, and not those of your competitors?
There are a couple of things you can do to make your products the most appealing in eBay’s search results, and they hopefully won’t need to include less legitimate methods like exaggerating the quality of what you’ve got to offer.
Create an eBay Shop
A good option for the long term is to create an eBay Shop, rather than relying on shoppers to find your individual product listings through the search function alone.
This is best for experienced sellers, so spend some time getting to grips with selling individual items before you try creating an eBay store to bring them all together in one place.
If you often sell multiple related items, though – or you have a valuable collection that you’re disposing of in full – an eBay Shop is probably the single best way to show your would-be buyers that you have more than one listing that might be of interest to them.
Dominate the Search
If you’re new to eBay, or your products are very different from one another, then focusing on individual item listings might be the better option.
The eBay search results, in many senses, are just like Google, Yahoo! or Bing’s search results – people type in what they’re looking for, and only the relevant items are listed.
As such, it’s important, when writing your product descriptions, to think about how an ordinary person would describe your item.
Make sure you get all the right terms into your description at least once, and there’s more chance of appearing in the results pages – so it’s not just a ‘raincoat’, it’s also a ‘mackintosh’, a ‘waterproof’, an ‘oilskin’ or a ‘sou’wester’.
While you shouldn’t lie about your product’s features, quality or condition, that doesn’t mean you can’t be positive about it.
Items like books are often sought in pristine condition by collectors, so be honest but fair about any scuffs – if the pages are dog-eared or water-stained, you may as well admit to it upfront, but if the only damage is some slight fading of the dust jacket, say so.
Product images deserve plenty of careful thought, but in terms of how positively you paint your product, a well-lit, well-focused, high-resolution image can go a long way towards picking out any particularly appealing features that are hard to describe in words.
Pricing and Listing
Set your starting price carefully – you don’t want to price yourself out of the market, but you’ll probably get negative feedback (or at least lose a potential buyer) if you withdraw an item after bids have been made, because you didn’t get a high enough offer.
Reserve prices are a good compromise, while ‘Buy it now’ listings can set a fixed price for your product – and there are also Classified Ads on eBay, which can be good for getting larger items noticed.
Just be aware that, whichever type of listing you choose, there are usually fees to be paid for inserting your item into eBay’s database, so take these into account when working out how much profit you’re hoping to make.