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Ebay 121Tips for Success
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Ebay 121Tips for Success


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  • 1. WELCOME This guide comes to you with FULL RESALE RIGHTS so you can sell this guide on Ebay or anywhere else if you would like to. If you don’t want to sell it then please feel free to distribute this guide to your friends, relatives or colleagues so that they can. At the very least they are likely to benefit from all of these hints and tips. This guide consists of a HUGE number of hints and tips for both buyers and seller’s on Ebay. This e-book is arranged in two halves Part1: Tips for Seller’s Part2: Tips for Buyers Other than that, these hints and tips are presented in no particular order so it’s worth reading the whole guide. About Ebay Ebay is a simply wonderful world to explore and on which to trade. It presents the most amazing opportunity to buy and sell anywhere in the world. Many sellers simply enjoy auctions as a hobby. Some people enjoy poking around the flea markets and looking for saleable merchandise. For many people there is no need to make a lot of money. They just to it for fun. However many individuals now make a very good living simply from selling on Ebay. Whichever you are you should find something in this guide of interest. 1
  • 2. Part 1 - Winning strategies for seller’s 1) Seller’s Tip: What to sell When most people start on Ebay they have heard about all the people making seemingly huge amounts of cash with the stuff that they are selling. Don’t be fooled. Ebay can be a goldmine but get it wrong and it can be an expensive experience. Most of us will start as buyers looking to find a bargain. At some stage though, many users will want a slice of the action and then enter the cut- throat world of selling on Ebay. Being a successful buyer is hard enough but to be a successful seller you need to know a few things. If you’re new to selling then start by selling the possessions that you have around the house that you have finished with and do not want anymore. Always begin with low value items that are easy to post and you will get off to a good start. Remember that if you are new to Ebay and have never sold before, people are unlikely to buy that £500 laptop since they have to rely on your feedback to assess whether it will be correctly described and arrive safely. If your feedback is low and you put that valuable laptop on without a reserve you may find yourself selling it for next to nothing. You have been warned! Remember that if you make a sale you are obliged to fulfil your part of the contract so like it or not, if your item fetches next to nothing you need to supply it at that price. 2) Seller’s Tip: The usefulness of other auction sites Buy your goods online to sell online! Yes it is possible to make a profit doing this and some people make it seem very easy. If you buy goods via the Internet they arrive ready packed for you to resell. You can then charge for the packing materials as well as selling the item itself. What could be better than that? This is where other online auction sites can be great news for you. Pretty much everyone uses Ebay and far fewer people visit the other online auction websites. That sometimes translates to lower prices on those sites than on Ebay for the same goods. 2
  • 3. If you can buy low and sell high then you’re into profit and with hardly any effort because some other mug had to pack it for you. Here in the UK you could try that will search a number of auction sites at once. 3) Seller’s Tip: List stuff that people will want It goes without saying, but you must always make sure that you only list items which people will actually want to buy. If you have an Ebay login you can view completed items by looking at the search options on the left-hand side of the basic Ebay search screens. If you pick something relatively common to search for you will discover that many items are unsold. Despite not having been sold, those sellers’s will have paid Ebay to list those items. Each one of those unsold items represents a loss for the seller and profit for Ebay. So before you list your item, look to see if items like it are already selling. Your may save yourself from unwanted expense. 4) Seller’s Tip: Physical products Most people will start by selling physical products and only a few will enter the realm of selling information. Products or items that actually exist are the mainstay of Ebay and comprise the majority of sales. This is where you should start but all of them will require to be posted and that takes time, so choose items that are easy to post. 5) Seller’s Tip: Sell Your Services Remember that it’s also possible to sell or perhaps to advertise a service with Ebay and a number of seller’s do just that quite successfully. If you decide to sell a service on Ebay have a look at what other people are managing to sell before you spend your money on a listing. You are unlikely to sell your services as a hairdresser since they can pop down the street for that but if you are a portrait artist and can work from a photograph you may be onto a winner. 3
  • 4. 6) Seller’s Tip: Digital products or information The big advantage of selling digital products is that their cost is usually minimal to the seller and they usually do not require posting unless they are supplied to the buyer on a disk. Before you list any items you must be sure of copyright law and make sure that you have permission. Otherwise you could find yourself in court. Please feel free to sell this e-book. As long as this book remains in it’s original form you are granted FULL RESALE RIGHTS. – see legal stuff at the end of this e-book. 7) Seller’s Tip: Where to get stock - explore the pound shops! Pound shops - where everything is £1 can be a great source of products to sell. Most of us don’t have access to wholesale outlets and it doesn’t matter because if you can buy it for a pound and sell it for two or even more then you are into profit! You would be amazed what can be bought for a pound. Lately I saw baby manicure sets and extending dog leads at the local pound store. If you have the time to list and post such items you will almost certainly make a profit. 8) Seller’s Tip: Car boots and antique fairs Now we enter the world of the second hand. Okay you’ve sold the stuff you had cluttering up the house. Now where do we find more? Antique fairs are better than flea markets simply because the goods are of a generally higher standard but both can yield profitable treasures. If buying antiques, take the time to learn your trade. If you have been poking around antique shops for years then you will have a good idea what might sell. Ebay is awash with antiques and collectibles and these can be a highly profitable area in which to sell. Stick to the unusual and you will maximise your chance of a profit. The American Ebayers particularly, will buy goods of this type. 9) Seller’s Tip: Soft stuff is easy to pack - and no bubble wrap required! – Try clothing If antiques are not your bag then consider clothing. Remember that to a great extent people shop on Ebay for convenience and for fun. We all want to look good and clothing sells. Garments have one other huge advantage over most other items. Clothes are easy and generally cheap to pack and post. They are unlikely to break in transit. If you want easy sales and good feedback this is a great place to start. 4
  • 5. 10) Seller’s Tip: Books You could also consider books since they are easy to post too and can often be bought cheaply and sold on at a profit. Books are simplicity itself to post. 11) Seller’s Tip: E-books and information This is a growth area on Ebay and can be profitable if you get it right. It generally requires you not to have to pack and post. Be warned, you will make no money unless you sell the right product and unless you are the author you must thoroughly check who owns the material you are selling. Failure to do this could result in litigation and legal expense. 12) Seller’s Tip: PayPal Make sure that you accept PayPal! If you do this you will greatly increase the number of prospective buyers, and people paying online will often pay more than if they can pay easily. It takes a little effort to write out a cheque and post it. For some people a cheque feels more like they are actually spending money. Conversely, many people a find it very easy to pay – a couple of clicks on the computer to pay by PayPal and they have been parted from their cash without really feeling it in the same way. Remember this, many people are more easily liberated from their cash if they can pay electronically. So, accept PayPal. 13) Seller’s Tip: Western Union Make your own decision on this one. Some seller’s find it slower and less convenient than PayPal. 14) Seller’s Tip: Don’t take personal cheques from other countries If you are in the UK and you are sent a personal cheque from overseas then consider the following: The exchange rates fluctuate all the time and the cheque is most likely to have been made out in a currency other than your own. Typically it will cost you around £8 to £10 to bank a foreign cheque in the UK and Ebay does not like you passing this cost onto the buyer. It often takes as much as 6 weeks to clear a cheque in the UK from somewhere such as America. The funds will show in your account almost immediately but the funds are not guaranteed until the cheque has been cleared. The buyer will generally not wait 6 weeks before leaving negative feedback. 5
  • 6. If you despatch goods worth hundreds of pounds and the cheque bounces you are likely never to be able to retrieve your loss. The likelihood is also that you will have left positive feedback for the buyer too! All in all this can be a nightmare. 15) Seller’s Tip: How to create e-book covers without special software If you decide to sell e-books then you will need to have e-book covers for your listings. Sites such as offer free e-book covers that can be modified or used as is. These covers can be modified using some software called compactdraw, which as far as I am aware can currently be tried for free. I believe that this download is available at Alternatively you can use Microsoft Word’s (word art facility) to add 3D titles to any blank cover that you have downloaded. You will need to combine the word art created text with your e-book cover using any graphics software of your choice. This is not particularly easy to do, but it is possible if you are on a particularly tight budget. 16) Seller’s Tip: Consider postage and whether it will be worth people’s bother Now consider what it is going to post to various locations. You can specify that you will only sell to your own country but in doing so you limit the number of potential buyers. If you decide to sell internationally this can increase your final selling price but you must carefully consider what it is going to cost to post. If postage is too high many people will simply go elsewhere to buy this kind of item. If you insist on buyer collection (sometimes the only option with heavy items) you are unlikely to have people travel more than a few miles unless it is particularly rare and sought after. If the postage costs make it uneconomic for the buyer they will simply not buy from you and worse still it may sell but at a terribly low price. 17) Seller’s Tip: Buy with resale rights! Lots of e-books are sold with resale rights and this may prove a ready source of material but once again consider copyright and check before you sell! 6
  • 7. 18) Seller’s Tip: Sell other people’s stuff for cash! This is a great way to make money from Ebay. Why bother selling your own stuff when you can sell other people’s items for them and charge them for the service? There are now a number of companies on both sides of the Atlantic offering this service and numbers are increasing so this seems to be a sound business model. 19) Seller’s Tip: Create your own unique product. Uniqueness sells! A number of Ebayers are buying items on Ebay, repackaging them in some creative way selling them on afterwards and making lots of cash doing it. If you can come up with a winning way to do this that doesn’t take too much effort to produce then you can turn a decent profit. The secret is to be creative and to create something with a market. 20) Seller’s Tip: Sell produce from the garden - e.g. seeds / cuttings Not many people have realised that their garden and particularly any seeds or even cuttings may provide an income albeit pretty minor. 21) Seller’s Tip: Nothing is junk anymore! Nothing is junk anymore! There was a time that you could sell pretty much anything on Ebay. That seems to have changed somewhat. Even so, one person’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Before you throw it away, ask yourself “would anyone want this? There are thousands of broken and incomplete items sold on Ebay. These range from mobile phones, to watches, computers and of course antiques. Check Ebay for sales of similar broken items because it may be worth listing your own broken item. 22) Seller’s Tip: Get proof of postage and a receipt if you can. I know it’s a shock but not all buyers are 100% honest. Also the post is not 100% reliable. I would advocate that you get items insured in the post unless they cost you next to nothing to replace. Always get proof of postage. If the buyer doesn’t want to pay for insurance (many don’t) you need to cover yourself, so get proof that you posted it in good faith. Always get and keep your receipt. 7
  • 8. 23) Seller’s Tip: Pack it well If it’s badly packed and it is damaged in transit you will get justifiable complaints. Pack well to maximise the chances of a safe arrival. Large, fragile or heavy items should always be double boxed. (Packed securely inside one box and the packed inside another larger box) This helps to prevent distortion of the packaging whilst in the post. Don’t be under the impression that parcels are always carefully handled. Pack it well so that it survives the trip. 24) Seller’s Tip: Cover your expenses! At all times cover your expenses. Remember that although you get a final selling price for an item plus postage (as long as that’s what you stated), there are other costs in terms of packing materials and so on. Always, also consider your Ebay and PayPal fees since these can eat into any profit. 25) Seller’s Tip: Make best use of your time If you sell a lot of goods then consider not using the standard Ebay interface. Other ways to list items on Ebay can be quicker and easier. Consider using TurboList and Selling Manager. (turbo lister from Ebay is free to use) 26) Seller’s Tip: Maximise your profit on every item Look, you want to make money don’t you? You must do everything you can to make sure that you make as much money on each item as possible. For details on a few ways to do this, see below. 27) Seller’s Tip: Store your images elsewhere Ebay charges for every picture beyond the first for every listing. Make use of Ebay for your first picture. You may just as well because it’s included in the price of your listing. 8
  • 9. A picture is worth a thousand words and within reason, the more pictures you have with your item the better. You can use Ebay’s picture listing if you want to but perhaps the cheapest way to have additional pictures is to upload your images to some free or cheap webspace and then insert them by means of an html tag. For example: <img src=””> 28) Seller’s Tip: Be aware of the fees If you are new to selling you may not be aware of all the different fees. Ebay is a business and charge a number of different fees. In return you get access to a huge market so it really is a pretty good deal but even so, you may be able to save a little on your fees. The choice is yours of course. Here is a basic rundown but these are subject to change so you need to check Ebay’s terms. Ebay insertion fees (These are on a sliding scale and may vary - essentially the lower the start price the lower the fee.) Ebay sometimes have free listing days so make use of them! Ebay seller fees (Percentage of final valuation - if sold) These fees are unavoidable sorry. “Buy it now” fees. If you list an item as a buy it now then you will pay an additional fee. Remember that if you also list it as an auction item, the “buy it now” option will disappear if someone places a bid so your additional expense may have been completely wasted. Many sellers advise that if you want to use “buy it now” then don’t auction your item at the same time. Ebay reserve fees You can minimise your expense by not having a reserve. If it sells at a high price then you are onto a winner. If not then you can lose out big time. Check similar items to see how they have performed for other people and you may be able to take a chance on items by not setting a reserve. 9
  • 10. If you schedule auctions to start at a later date there may be a charge you for this too. These charges can be avoided or at least minimised by using 3rd parties instead. One such example is sparedollar ( who will handle scheduling and provide large amounts of image space at fees, which may be lower than Ebay. Check latest pricing! If you are accepting PayPal then you will also most likely pay a percentage of your selling price to PayPal. One of the keys to being successful on Ebay is to get the most from your listing and minimise the fees that you pay for listing each item The best way to minimise your fees is to be aware of them. Never list countless items the same unless you know that all the items are likely to sell! Ideally you could pass some of the fee onto the buyers in a way that isn’t obvious. You could for example add a little onto the postage, a little onto the price etc. Exercise caution if you do this. 29) Seller’s Tip: Non-paying bidders Remember that you might be able to recover some of your fees from Ebay if the winning bidder doesn’t pay - see Ebay’s help pages 30) Seller’s Tip: Never be tempted to leave negative feedback on a non paying bidder unless they have left their feedback first! If you do this then you will most likely get negative feedback too and you do not want it! 31) Seller’s Tip: Is it tax deductible? - Keep track of all expenses so you can deduct them at tax time 32) Seller’s Tip: Use a seller ledger such as - “The Seller Ledger” This is an organiser for seller’s and is available from Amazon. It is designed to help you keep track of sales and expenses if you sell more than a few items. 33) Seller’s Tip: Learn from other people Always check out the competition. If someone has thousands of feedbacks then check out what they’re selling and at what prices. If you can do the same then you’re likely to sell just as much as they have. If someone has a listing that you really like then do your best to learn from it. Identify what you think is good about that listing so that you can use the same principles. 10
  • 11. 34) Seller’s Tip: Make use of copyright free images If you look at the listings of many successful Ebayers then you will find that they sometimes have a few well-selected images to help sell their items and enhance their listings. Never copy images from elsewhere unless you have permission. If you don’t have permission then you are infringing on copyright. The good news is that there are thousands of images and animations to be had via the Internet, which are copyright free. There are companies, which stock images for this purpose and you need to use a Search Engine to find their websites. When you do locate a suitable source of images, carefully check the terms of use. Some sites with royalty free images have images that are only royalty free if used for non-commercial purposes. The terms and conditions on such web sites change from time to time so always check if you use such images. NEVER be tempted to do a Google image search and just use what images you find. Many photographers now embed information about the image and its source that makes it traceable using special software. 35) Seller’s Tip: Use padded envelopes because they are a great time-saver It goes without saying that the more time you spend packing items the less money you can make. Often, items will post happily in a padded envelope and some Ebayers will deliberately limit themselves to items that are simplicity itself to post. 36) Seller’s Tip: Get free packing materials Not all packing materials have to cost you money and it’s so much better for you if they don’t. Check supermarkets and local council’s for free boxes Off licenses (liquor stores) sell nothing but bottles and these often arrive in very strong boxes which they may be prepared to give away because they only clutter the place up otherwise. Remember to check skips (dumpsters) for boxes and packing materials. As long as they are clean they are useable and they will cost you nothing. Check the free ads papers for packaging and also suitable goods to sell If you buy any goods on Ebay then keep the packaging so that you can reuse it. 11
  • 12. 37) Seller’s Tip: Explore Ebay for packing materials If you do need packaging materials then check out Ebay itself. Ebay is awash with useful packing materials that can be easily ordered using PayPal. 38) Use Plastic bottles - for packing filler With a screw cap and used appropriately, plastic drinks bottles are superb for packing and padding some larger items because they will resist impacts and reduce damage as well as weighing next to nothing. 39) Seller’s Tip: Use egg boxes for packing filler Don’t throw away that egg box! It is light and strong. Use it when packing larger items. 40) Seller’s Tip: Popcorn is cheap! If you have a popcorn maker you can explode the corn and use it like polystyrene chippings. It is also environmentally friendly. Perhaps this particular tip isn’t for everyone! 41) Seller’s Tip: Double boxing for survival A reminder - Always double box heavy items. They need to be well packed to survive their arduous journey and if they are insufficiently packed and damaged as a result, it will cost you either financially or in terms of feedback. 42) Seller’s Tip: Include a return address inside It is particularly important when posting abroad, to make sure that you include a return address (senders address) so that if the outer packaging gets lost or damaged in transit it could at least be returned to you. 43) Seller’s Tip: Get rid of rattles Even the most fragile of items will post quite happily as long as they are packed so as to eliminate ALL movement between the item itself and the packaging around it. Do not wedge fragile items in tightly, or they will most likely break. Just pack them gently but securely and send in a stiff carton of some sort. 12
  • 13. 44) Seller’s Tip: Never mark as “Fragile” Some seller’s advise never to do write “Fragile” on your package. Draw your own conclusions. Make your own decision. 45) Seller’s Tip: Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer Now we get down to the actual selling of your item and the way you write your description which let’s remember is actually an advert. Consider this: Which would you respond to better? A stranger with a sales pitch or a friend who knows their stuff? 46) Seller’s Tip: Write a great title This is absolutely vital. You have 55 characters to use for a title and you need to reach as many people as possible, who might be interested. Consider everything carefully and conduct a search for similar completed items to find out what titles are being successful for other people. If you get the title wrong you could lose more than 50% of potential buyers. 47) Seller’s Tip: Don’t waste words in your title. Remember that this is not an English grammar class and you don’t need to punctuate. Pack as much information into that title as possible. 48) Seller’s Tip: Spell the title correctly! Have a look on Ebay and you will find that many items are misspelled in the title. If you need to use one then get a dictionary. Don’t just copy other people because in some sections as much as 15% have titles incorrectly spelled. If a buyer is searching for a “Teddy bear” and you have one listed as a “Teddie Bare” then far fewer people will find it. That will result in lost bidders so get it spelled correctly! 49) Seller’s Tip: What would you search for if you wanted what you’re selling? Once again, put yourself in a buyer’s shoes before you sell. What search terms would you use to find one of those? 50) Seller’s Tip: use all 55 characters available! Every available character on the title line is costing you money so use it. Any extra info may help to find a buyer since many buyers only search by title. 13
  • 14. 51) Seller’s Tip: Make sure that the title matches the goods This should be obvious, but how many people get it wrong is just amazing. 52) Seller’s Tip: Give a great description! Disclose all flaws! Many seller’s, especially new ones are reluctant to disclose flaws and imperfections but you should. Why be so honest? Well, when a buyer gets an item that is incorrectly described or does not meet their expectations they may complain to Ebay or PayPal about you for a start. Additionally you risk poor feedback and good feedback is the lifeblood of your Ebay survival. 53) Seller’s Tip: Put any flaws in the middle of your description. Here is a good tip! If you list any flaws first then many buyers will be instantly put off. If you list them at the end of your listing then that’s the final impression you will give them. By far the best place to list flaws or imperfections is in the middle of your description. Writing your description in this way you can have a positive start that keeps them reading and also leave them with some positive comment about the item at the end. 54) Seller’s Tip: Avoid music and clutter like the plague! There’s a world of difference between a slick and professional looking advert and one absolutely covered with spinning icons and distracting graphics. You may have lots of fun creating them but it will put many buyers off your listing. If you do this then you will lose money. At all times ask yourself this question: "will this help my item sell?" 55) Seller’s Tip: Be professional with your listing Look at the listings on Ebay and you will notice a world of difference between good and bad. If you want the highest prices then yours must be good and you ca learn from what you see elsewhere. 56) Seller’s Tip: Check the spelling in your description People will often search the description field too so it’s vital that any information is correctly spelled there as well. 14
  • 15. 57) Seller’s Tip: No reserve! This will save you money in reserve fees as long as your item sells for a decent price. Putting “NO RESERVE” on your title may entice a few buyers to look at your item instead of someone else’s. Remember that this is a risky strategy but it can save you money and may also increase your sale price if your item is desirable. 58) Seller’s Tip: RARE! If your item is unusual or rare in some way then say so in your title. This can considerably increase sales especially if you imply that this is the best opportunity they will ever get to purchase such an item. Remember that not every collector in any particular field will have much idea what is and isn'scarce. These newbie collectors will often like the idea of owning t a rarity. If it is rare then let them know by saying so and this is best done in both title and description. 59) Seller’s Tip: Use the power of psychology to good use Use the principles of NLP and hypnosis to sell your item. This is possible to do if you know how. 60) Seller’s Tip: Put the pressure on with buy it now! “Buy it now” is great if you have a rare or unusual item to sell. Many buyers will make a hasty and perhaps overly expensive purchase if they think that someone else may get this desirable item at any time. Make sure to add into your description something that reminds them of this. 61) Seller’s Tip: The importance of feedback Always get a positive feedback response! Never get a negative one. If you are a seller it is your feedback that sells as much as anything else. Always protect your feedback. The best way to get good feedback is to keep your buyers happy. If you are unlucky enough to get negative feedback then do whatever you can to get it removed. 15
  • 16. 62) Seller’s Tip: Honesty Be honest in all your dealings. A dishonest Ebayer may make some quick cash but they will lose out in the long haul because nobody will want to trade with them. 63) Seller’s Tip: Customer relations Always be pleasant and civil in your dealings with buyers - yes, even the difficult ones. Remember always that they have more power than you do when it comes to feedback and the effect that it can have on your future sales. 64) Seller’s Tip: As a seller - never post feedback first! Never post your feedback first if you are selling. It is your one weapon against a troublesome buyer. 65) Seller’s Tip: Tell them about your other items If you have similar items then tell them, you may get more sales and could even post two items together. Don’t miss an opportunity to sell. 66) Seller’s Tip: Make it easy to buy from you Do whatever you can to make it easy for them to buy from you especially if you are selling consumables or items that they may want more of. A customer who has bought from you once is more likely to do it again if the transaction went well for them. 67) Seller’s Tip: Would you like to supersize that? Is there a way to boost the sale by selling an add-on of some kind? If you can sell another item to go with it then do so. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Is it possible to sell them an adapter or something that would make the product even better? Remember that having made the decision to buy, they are past any sales resistance that they may have had and you are onto a winner. They are already paying postage so you can put it to them that they may as well make use of it and save postage later. It may be against Ebay' rules to sell them s your item outside of Ebay but you can sell them any other items you have quite happily once you are in contact with your buyer. 16
  • 17. 68) Seller’s Tip: Let people know about your website if you have one There are a number of things to consider here. If you have a website you can use Ebay to generate hits and traffic for your website, perhaps even to get it picked up by the search engines. You can put links to your own site in your item listings. You can also use feedback from buyers on Ebay as product endorsements. 69) Seller’s Tip: Say thank you! Always thank your buyers for purchasing from you. Why? Because it gives you an excuse to contact your customer and it will encourage good feelings for you as a seller. You can use the opportunity to subtly (or not) remind them of any other items that you may have for sale - even if it' only a link to your website if s you have one. Remember that a buyer is more likely to buy off someone that they have had a good experience with before. That person MUST be you! 70) Seller’s Tip: Use the Ebay counters Counters are an excellent idea since they give you the opportunity to monitor visitors to you items on Ebay. If you have lots of similar items to sell then this is well worth doing. You can use them to monitor the respective effectiveness of different titles or category listings and hone your listing to perfection. 71) Seller’s Tip: Always use HIDDEN counters! Always hide your counters. If there are only a couple of people looking at your item then why on earth would you want them to know that? Keep them in the dark about the popularity of an item. If they are interested then it they will assume other people are too and that may translate to a higher bid. 72) Seller’s Tip: Ask them if you can keep in touch or have a sign up for my mailing list link If you have a web shop and regularly sell items of a particular type then ask if it' s okay to keep in touch with your buyers. Remember that in Europe at least spamming (sending unsolicited email) is illegal but if they have previously said it’s okay for you to do so then you can, and it may help to increase your income with subsequent sales. (Note: Here in the UK if you do this then you should register for data protection. Other countries may have similar laws regarding storage of personal details on computer or electronic storage devices) 17
  • 18. 73) Seller’s Tip: Make a friend If you often sell items of this type then make a friend by being pleasant and helpful in all of your dealings. . 74) Seller’s Tip: Publish a newsletter If you have a mailing list then publish a newsletter and sell, sell sell! Remember that Ebay can be used just to make an initial contact from which you may generate subsequent sales 75) Seller’s Tip: Give people freebies - especially if it costs you nothing This will make them feel all warm and fuzzy about you and you know what that means. It will be good for your feedback and you are more likely to get an ongoing buyer. 76) Seller’s Tip: Give them a reason to buy more than one! Why sell one when you can sell two. Perhaps the second could be at a discount. As long as you get more profit this is worth doing. 77) Seller’s Tip: Raise your prices! By doing this over a period of time or on different sites you can find out what people will pay This is research well worth doing. It' worth experimenting because buyers will factor in your personal feedback as s well before deciding what to pay. 78) Seller’s Tip: Choose an auction category. - Experiment to find the best - adding a second is cheaper than having two in different ones As well as searching by title and description, many buyers will simply search the contents of a category. Therefore your item needs to be in the right category. If you sell many items of the same or similar types, then experiment with different categories. The more bidders that manage to find your item then potentially the higher the quantity of the sales. 79) Seller’s Tip: Do your research! Check out the competition Check out all of the following: 1) What are others doing? 2) What is selling well? 3) What kinds of titles attract the most attention? A little time spent researching the results of others items and sales will pay off. 18
  • 19. 80) Seller’s Tip: Make sure that you use the re-listing option it saves time and prevents mistakes If you have similar items to sell then make use of the re-listing option to "sell a similar item" it will save you a great deal of time and will prevent you from making mistakes. It’s useful once you have a listing pretty much perfected. Check a listing once and then reuse as much of it as possible, even if it is only your postal terms that gets reused you will save yourself time and effort. 81) Seller’s Tip: Keep up to date Ebay is a fast moving environment so you need to keep a permanent eye on what others are doing and notice any trends that you can. Any information that you can gather for free may be very useful to you with your own listings. 82) Seller’s Tip: Check out the cost of postage Have the facts about postage on your listing. This is vital for maximum sales. A buyer may only look at your item once. That’s ONCE! If they have to email you to ask about postage and wait for your reply then they may buy elsewhere in the meantime. 83) Seller’s Tip: Make a small profit on the postage. If you make an additional 10% or so on postage nobody is likely to complain and it' money in your pocket. If you go over the top you will simply put buyers off. s The formula is simple here. A little over and over again amounts to a lot. 84) Seller’s Tip: Call it "postage" or "shipping". Never call it "PACKING" Everyone understands that they will have to pay postage but many buyers resent paying for packing. Do not describe it as such. 85) Seller’s Tip: Offer shipping/postal insurance Here is an opportunity to make some more money. You can charge a little bit extra - again another 10% or so will go unnoticed and even better, if you are selling countless items the same some sellers will take a chance and not insure any of them at all. They are simply paying the seller for insurance instead of the post office. This is a risky strategy because you’d have to replace the occasional item but you could turn a tidy additional profit in the meantime. This is about percentages and whilst this can be a profitable strategy it is also a risky one. 19
  • 20. 86) Seller’s Tip: Consider trackable services If selling high value items make sure that they are trackable. Some "buyers" will deny that an item ever arrived and seek to recover their money so be warned in advance - this does happen and you need to guard yourself against it. 87) Seller’s Tip: Have a returns policy Many buyers like to see a returns policy but it should not be prominent in your listing. The last thing that you want to indicate is that they are likely to want to return the item. 20
  • 21. Winning strategies for buyers 88) Buyer’s Tip: The usefulness of other auction sites Other auction sites are great! Far fewer buyers use them and although there may be less choice in terms of items for sale, this does mean that there is less in the way of competition too. Less competition means lower prices and for you this may well mean an absolute bargain. Here in the UK you could try which searches a number of online auction sites or for a more detailed search you could visit the sites themselves. This will take you more time than just scanning Ebay but you may well save some of your hard-earned cash. 89) Buyer’s Tip: PayPal Make sure that you get a PayPal account because some buyers will only accept it. PayPal offers you some purchase protection, more at least than you will get if you pay by cash or cheque. 90) Buyer’s Tip: Sniping If you are relatively new to Ebay you will not know what sniping is so here is a brief explanation. Many buyers operate on the assumption that it is better to bid only at the last second. The thinking behind this is that if there is little apparent interest in an item then many potential competing buyers will assume that there is no competition. This may mean that they bid too low or too early. Sniping is the art of biding at the last possible second and there are several ways to accomplish this. If you are on a dial up connection to the internet then sniping is a high risk strategy since you may not be able to update your web browser' screen fast s enough to put in a bid during the last few seconds of the sale. With a high-speed connection such a broadband you can do this much more easily. If this all sounds too stressful or you cannot be around to actually watch the end 21
  • 22. of the auction then use a sniping service, which will do all of the hard work for you. There are a number of companies that offer tools to do this. Ebay sniper software “buyertools”- is available as a freeware download. Alternatively visit Google and search for sniping tools. Not everyone believes that sniping works but most Ebayers would agree that it does. Sniping definitely does add to the excitement of online auctions. 91) Buyer’s Tip: The importance of feedback As a buyer it' important to look after your feedback but to be honest much more s important is that of the seller you are considering buying from. ALWAYS CHECK A SELLER' FEEDBACK BEFORE MAKING A PURCHASE! S At the top right of every auction listing is information about the seller. When you examine this you will find that there is a number representing the total number of items they have either bought or sold on Ebay. There is also a percentage figure. This indicates the percentage of people who have been happy with the transactions that they have had with this person. There is a link called "view seller’s’ feedback". And you MUST check this! Generally you should look for a 100% or 99% positive feedback so as to be sure that you are dealing with a reputable seller. After following the link to check the seller' feedback, look at the screen to make s sure that they have attained this rating from selling and not buying. Remember that it is possible for the seller to have attained lots of positive feedback by buying lots of Ebay items at only a penny or two. Feedback attained in this way will do nothing to prove that they are good sellers. Ideally, make sure that they have sold lots and lots of items and that their buyers have been happy. On the feedback screen the list of comments from buyers will be displayed. To the far right are click-able links to the items themselves (this applies only to recent items). Check some of these to see what sort of items the seller has been selling. 22
  • 23. This is especially important if you are going to bid for a high value item because if all they have sold has been cheap trinkets then you may want to be careful before you send enough money to buy that something such as a computer or plasma television. 92) Buyer’s Tip: First time seller’s are great! Often, first time seller’s will make the mistake of putting high value items on Ebay before they have built up their feedback rating. Because they have little in the way of feedback many buyers will ignore these seller’s altogether. This is an opportunity for you! Because of the lack of competition you are likely to be able to buy those items for less than you would otherwise have been able to otherwise. This is considered unsafe by many but if the item is geographically close to you, you can collect it in person. If it’s not as described you simply don'pay. t 93) Buyer’s Tip: Dare you risk it? Alternatively you can buy several items from new sellers and spread the risk. Some items will most likely be okay and others may not, but if you can save enough over all, then the risk may well be worth it. The highest risk strategy is to buy off seller’s with poor feedback ratings but if you can afford to take the risk you could be in for a great deal. 94) Buyer’s Tip: Keywords and beautiful misspellings You can do very well if you can exploit the inability of many sellers’ to spell. By searching more carefully and even typing words that are commonly misspelled incorrectly then you can find items that most people will not. Remember that if the item is hard to find there are going to be fewer prospective buyers and that puts you in the best possible position to obtain a bargain. 95) Buyer’s Tip: Look for items that have been misidentified or incorrectly described Almost as good as sellers who cannot spell are seller’s who list their items in the wrong category or who completely misidentify them. This applies particularly to antiques and collectibles and if you are knowledgeable about a particular area of collecting then you can find these items and pick them up often getting an absolute bargain. 23
  • 24. 96) Buyer’s Tip: Search by title and description The easiest way to find listings that are poorly described is to check both the title and the description as well A search by category can be well worth the effort too even though you will doubtless have to trawl through page after page of items that you do not want. 97) Buyer’s Tip: Try other countries If you don'want to bother with non-English speaking Ebay sites then you can t restrict yourself to the likes of (America) (UK). Remember that Ebay has sites all over the world. Here in the UK postage seems to be high when compared to the rest of Europe. The USA is much cheaper too. Buying from abroad you can take advantage of differences in exchange rates and lower postage costs. Too few buyers take the time to look at non-English speaking Ebay sites and these can be absolutely awash with bargains. If you look at or you' see what I mean. By doing this ll you can exploit the fact that items may be much cheaper or less desirable in another country. What if you don'speak French or German? Well that' not a problem because t s you can use translation tools. 98) Buyer’s Tip: Use AltaVista' babel fish to translate the name of what s you’re looking for into another language. You can also use the free translation service offered by Google. These translation tools can also be use to communicate with foreign seller’s. Write out your question in English and then translate it before sending. Never assume that they will speak English even though many foreign sellers will. 99) Buyer’s Tip: Ask whether they will post abroad Very often a seller will indicate that they will only sell within their own country when they create their listing. If you buy an item in another country and you forget to check the seller’s willingness to post abroad you will still have to pay for the item. Fortunately most seller’s are intelligent enough to realise that they will get a higher price if there are more buyers bidding and will often agree to post it to you but do check first. 24
  • 25. 100) Buyer’s Tip: When buying from abroad consider the extra expenses. Now a warning about customs charges. Whenever an item comes from abroad it will go through customs as it enters the country. Every country has their own laws and regulations, which may add significantly to the cost of buying from abroad. Lets suppose that you’re in the UK and you buy from the USA. For most items you will pay 17.5% Value Added Tax on any purchase over about £30. This is collected by The Post Office who also charge for collecting the VAT. There are some exclusions (such as educational items) which will not attract VAT and you can check what these are on the Customs and Excise website. For readers outside the UK you need to carefully check the legislation for your particular country. Despite the potential additional costs you can still save a great deal on some items by making an international purchase. 101) Buyer’s Tip: Postage is cheaper in the USA and on mainland Europe Generally postage is high in the UK when compared to other countries. International post from Australia seems to be especially cheap especially when one considers the distances that items bought by international bidders may have to travel. Combined with preferential exchange rates Australia can be an attractive source of goods. 102) Buyer’s Tip: Do your research As with selling on Ebay, the better your research the more chance you have of a bargain. This is why people who specialise in certain types of item will surf Ebay for hours. There are plenty of bargains to be had if you know exactly what you re looking for and you have some sort of specialist knowledge. If you are a collector of some kind then you can also learn a great deal simply from looking at photographs and reading descriptions on Ebay. 103) Buyer’s Tip: Can you get it for less or even nothing elsewhere? This is vitally important! It' all too easy to get carried away and to limit your s search to Ebay. Remember that Ebay is just one website and that often a Google search will produce better results. Many people are making a living selling items that you could legitimately download for nothing elsewhere! 25
  • 26. 104) Buyer’s Tip: Look at completed sales Always look at completed items before bidding so that you get an idea of what you are likely to have to pay. If there have been ten identical pairs of binoculars sold over the last few weeks at various prices then you will see how low you can bid and still expect to get a purchase. Taking this approach, you may have to bid low on one item after another for a couple of weeks but eventually you are likely to get it at the lowest possible price. Patience is a virtue and it will save you money. 105) Buyer’s Tip: Take your time and get Ebay to do the work. If you are not in a rush to buy an item of a particular type then why not search for the item in "Advanced Search". Then in the results page select "Add to Favourites" which is located at the top right. You can indicate whether you want Ebay to email you for a specific time period whenever items are listed which match the your search. 106) Buyer’s Tip: Buyer beware - fraudsters operate on Ebay! Ebay has had more than one fraudulent seller and you need to avoid them. Check the feedback and check the listings carefully. Often the title will say one thing but the description when carefully read will be quite different. 107) Buyer’s Tip: Never buy from someone who does not accept PayPal or personal cheques This is a simple rule. Don'do it and never ever send cash! t 108) Buyer’s Tip: Read the description CAREFULLY! I hope this is obvious to anyone reading this. You must check descriptions very carefully or you will eventually get stung. Look for what' been omitted as well as s written. If you buy a laptop for example then it might be a good idea to check that it comes with a power lead or adapter. This may sound stupid but often we make assumptions that turn out not to be correct and if you have to go out and buy an adapter or power lead then it adds to your expense. This is not necessarily seller’s being dishonest, it is more a case of us assuming things where we should have asked questions before bidding or buying. 26
  • 27. 109) Buyer’s Tip: Look closely at the photos A picture really does tell a thousand words. Often a seller may be selling something about which they have little idea so you need to be a detective and look carefully at any photographs. Some sellers always have dark and grainy images of their items and short descriptions. They expect the buyer to ask about condition etc. There is a reason for this. 110) Buyer’s Tip: Eliminate the buy it now option with a bid If something is listed as both an auction and a buy it now you can prevent a “Buy it Now” sale from happening buy making a bid. When you do this, the buy it now option disappears and it reverts to being a straightforward auction. This may save you a bundle. 111) Buyer’s Tip: Make your maximum bid an irregular amount e.g. £50.13 This is often advised and makes a lot of sense. I myself have been outbid on a £300 item by only two pence! 112) Buyer’s Tip: Decide on your maximum and stick to it As with all auctions it' very easy to get carried away and you need to guard s against this by deciding how much you are prepared to pay and then stick to it! 113) Buyer’s Tip: If this is likely to be the only chance you ever get to buy such an item then go the whole hog! If you are a collector and the item is particularly rare you may wish to bid high in order to get the item of your desire. Nothing is worse than thinking afterwards “I wish I’d bid more”. 114) Buyer’s Tip: Bidding high early may put off other buyers but is a risky strategy and often fails Bidding high early may put off other buyers but is a risky strategy. The thinking here is that people will not bid if they think they are unlikely to win and that by bidding high early on in the auction you may put other buyers off. In my experience this tactic simply doesn'work because there is always t someone with more money to spend than you do and it just seems to drive the price up. 27
  • 28. 115) Buyer’s Tip: Buy local heavy items on Ebay! Furniture and other heavy items that are difficult or impossible to post can make superb Ebay buys. To find them, select "items near me" on the left-hand side and click the “search” button in the left-hand navigator to find the items, which are near to you. Often these items will "bomb" and you can get some great stuff this way at almost give- away prices. Okay, you' have to collect it but it will be well worth it for the saving ll you make. 116) Buyer’s Tip: Remember that if you make a winning bid you are legally committed to pay for the item! Sometimes it' tempting to bid on items that we don'really want or need. Only s t bid for what you want because if you win you will be paying for it! 117) Buyer’s Tip: Some items are cheaper in bits or broken If you can get what you want with a scratch or some other damage that does not affect the way it functions and it saves you money, then would it be a good buy? To save money and get a bargain, then buy an imperfect item that works. If you have the means and the knowledge to repair an item or to combine two to make one then you can do extremely well buying items that are broken or incomplete and I advise all Ebayers to consider whether this is an option. 118) Buyer’s Tip: Never try to buy an Ebay item outside of Ebay by contacting the seller directly - you may get your Ebay account suspended If you get suspended that’s really going to hamper your Ebaying. Don’t do it! 119) Buyer’s Tip: Check shipping / postage charges carefully. Always check postage before buying. I hope this goes without saying but not all sellers will advertise this in advance. Ask them how much it is first! 120) Buyer’s Tip: Get good feedback by sending payment as soon as possible Even as a buyer you want good feedback. You may decide to sell at some point and you will find it hard if your feedback is poor. 28
  • 29. 121) Buyer’s Tip: If at all possible avoid posting negative feedback. If at all possible avoid disputes. You can best guard against them by sticking to people with excellent feedback. If you do post negative feedback and you’re the first to post, then the likelihood is that the seller will just give you negative feedback too. Better not to post feedback at all. Lick your wounds and learn from the lesson. Legal Stuff This e-book is provided on an “as is” basis and is not warranted in any way. You should check current terms and conditions of any third party website mentioned in this guide This guide represents only one opinion and should not be taken as fact. The writer accepts no liability for any errors or omissions. Use of this information is entirely at your own risk and you should seek independent confirmation before embarking on any business enterprise. You are granted FULL RESALE RIGHTS. You may either resell or distribute this guide freely BUT you may not change or alter it in any way. It may only be redistributed if it retains its original page headers with the Richimajin logo and URL. Distribution in any other form is expressly against the author’s permission. 29