1. People can’t find your item
When it comes to eBay, sell to the lowest common denominator of people you can think of. By that, I mean make it completely obvious what you are selling and why anyone should buy from you. You need to get the title right, make sure the item description is clear and that you have placed the product in the right category.
Rather than have a title that says something like ‘Multi-coloured iPad cover’ be more specific. Try ‘Protective silicone cover iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 Purple Blue Pink Colour’ instead. This way your item will turn up in a dozen different searches, such as a Purple iPad 3 cover or Blue iPad 4 protective cover. The more specific you are the more likely your item will turn up in searches nearer the top and 6-8 times more people will see it.
With the description you should aim to cover everything. Don’t write great long paragraphs but do include as much detail as possible. Describe all the features, the size, what it is made of, how washable, durable, and useful it is. Let the buyer know how quickly you can send it out. If it is brand new and unused say so. If it has flaws describe them. The more honest you are the more likely you are not to get lumbered with returns.
Do your research and find out what other people charge for items similar to yours. Deduct fees and see what profit they are making. Can you compete? Don’t sell at a loss. Better to just sit on the products for a time.
4. Hidden charges
Factor in everything that you need to charge and include that in the asking price if it’s a ‘Buy it Now’ product, or the reserve if it’s an auction. If you are charging for petrol, packaging, parking, handling etc. – that all needs to go into the asking price and not into the postage. Buyers will be put off by excess postage. Don’t forget to work out how much eBay will take in terms of commission via final valuation fees and PayPal fees.
Royal Mail has just changed their pricing strategy and some of their charges have doubled for large light packages, which will affect you if you sell clothes, soft toys and textiles. Shop around. You can get some great deals from private delivery companies. Ebay is very keen on ‘free shipping’ which we all know is not free for anyone. You still have to pay postage and you will obviously recoup that from your buyer, so eBay isn’t kidding anyone on that! You will have to make that money somewhere. If you are offering shipping and hiding the price within the cost of your product, don’t forget that eBay will take final valuation fees on that also.
Do some research and offer a number of options to your buyers. Don’t add on loads of cost to the buyer as they will get fed up and shop elsewhere. Finally, make it clear you ship in X amount of days.
Make them look good! Include a number of good images and highlight any flaws.
Leave it immediately. It’s like saying a big ‘Thanks for your business!’8. Your policies and procedures
Being clear and transparent about your terms and conditions is one thing, but being assertive to the point of dictatorship is just a no-no! You don’t need to say ‘All non-paying buyers will be reported!’ as that will just make you sound like a petulant teenager. Of course you want to hire a dalek and exterminate non-payers, but you’re a grown up and a professional, so let’s just take that as read, shall we? Common courtesy costs nothing and you’re running a business.
You cannot say that you don’t accept returns or that you accept no responsibility for lost or damaged goods, because unfortunately, you do. You don’t have a legal leg to stand on if something goes missing or gets damaged in the post. You are legally obligated to supply the buyer with the goods described.
9. Ignorance is not bliss
Always answer any questions you are asked, speedily and honestly. Never leave a potential buyer in the lurch. Answer politely, however blunt and rude the buyer may seem.
If you spell an item incorrectly in your title it will be unlikely to turn up in a search. I’ve just seen a listing for a dinning table. It may or may not be related to a dining table, but whatever you do, spellcheck!
Do you have any other tips? Let us know!