Ed's Handy Dandy eBay Selling Strategies
I teach a class on selling your just on eBay at the library. In fact I am teaching it next month and I have been working on what I will use for tips at the end of the class. Here is what I have now. I've been selling on eBay since 1999 and I think this is all solid advice. The next time you sell some valuable family heirloom to a total stranger over the internet I hope you use a few of my tips.
1)Don't use a reserve. Your opening bid is your reserve. What are you afraid of? More than likely you didn't pay that much for what you are selling anyway. And if you don't want it don't be afraid to get less than you think you should. You'll get what it's worth without a reserve, believe me.
2) Set the opening bid low. I'm talking like $1.00 even if what you are selling may sell for more than $200. I have found that the lower you start the opening bid the more early bids you receive. The more early bids you receive then the more interest there will be in your item. More bids gives a potential buyer confidence in your item. If other people are interested it must be worthwhile. It's the same behavior you see at the library when someone brings a cart of books onto the floor for shelving. More interest equals more bids and more bids equals more competition. Competition means a higher selling price. It's a loop that fuels itself and it works. Don't be afraid. If it's really worth $200 then it will sell for $200 regardless of the opening bid level. The reward of a higher selling price outweighs the risk.
3) Set your shipping price low. Heck, set your shipping price less than the actual cost. A low shipping price shows your potential buyer that you are not looking to make every last cent off of him that you can. One of the biggest reasons I don't bid on an item is the shipping cost floating around ten dollars. Those people with high shipping costs are just trying to make an extra buck off their customers and, to me, that's just greedy. Just like a low starting bid a low shipping price may actually help drive the selling price of your auction higher and occasionally you make out like a bandit. Consider it a reward for not being overly greedy.
4) Avoid hyperbolic language. Don't call it rare if it's not really rare. The T206 Honus Wagner card is rare and what you are selling probably isn't. People know what they want and what you have. Getting carried away with your description causes doubt in the buyer's mind and you want them to have confidence in you. The more professional your writing the better off you will be.
5) Always, alway, always include a picture. Always. If you don't have a picture eBay now provides pictures for some items like books and DVD's.
6) Do not use the extra bells and whistles eBay offers to sell you. You don't need them. If you have something that people want it will sell without the extras.
7) Consider the timing of your auction. I like to end mine in the evening and, if I am on top of things, on Sunday evening. I know a lot of people can access the internet all day but there are some that can't. People like to bid late so why not end your auction when the highest percentage of buyers are at home, in their underwear and bidding on your stuff?