Wednesday, October 17

HOW-TO...Ebay...How To Sell Stuff & Make Money

This little tutorial is specially for my dear lovely La Dama...but hopefully a few of you will find something useful you didn't already know.

I won't go through every tiny little detail or you'll be here all day. Rather, I'll just cover a few of the most basic and important points and if you want any more info you're welcome to email me.

First things first. Ebay is not the same in every country.

Each has its own icons, layout, rules, and regulations. As far as selling goes, I am only speaking about Australian ebay, which is 98% the one I use.

You WILL need to check and confirm the rules (and fees!) in your own country before you start.

Before you list an item, spend a little time researching its value. You can visit local antique or vintage shops, but if you're going to sell on ebay it's obviously a good idea to check on ebay to see what price the same or similar items have been selling for.

You do this by checking completed listings. Below is a screencap of the left hand sidebar on any ebay gallery listings page. All you need to do is search on your item, scroll about half way down the page, then click on 'completed listings'.

A quick scan of the completed listings will give you some idea of what price you may expect, so choose a start price accordingly. But beware, this is one of the hardest parts! Start too low and you may lose out, start too high, and you'll fail to attract bidders.

Take the best possible photographs. This may sound obvious, but the amount of terrible photos on ebay is...still pretty huge! Remember, photos are the only thing upon which your potential buyers can base their decisions, so why make it harder for them.

See the pics many of them actually give you a good idea of what the item is like in real life?? One of these is mine btw...can you guess which one?

You need to use a completely plain coloured background, preferably one which contrasts against your item. Remember you may have thousands of items to compete against, so make your item stand out from the crowd as best you can.

To illustrate my point, see the pics above. That dress in the middle is lost in its background, isn't it? Whereas the bottom pic is beautifully done, it makes me want to see more, plus the seller has even made that easy by adding the 'enlarge' option.

Clothing is one of the trickiest types of things to photograph, especially with a point-and-shoot camera. Again, make sure your background is plain and that you have good natural light on all sides with no shadowing. If you're selling small items regularly, consider investing in a light box, the prices can very enormously but it's worth it if you're a regular seller as it'll cut down your photography time by 3/4 and solve all your lighting problems.

Another super-important thing; item title. Ebay now allows 80 characters, so make sure you use them all, and put the most important search keywords first where possible.

Look up your item on ebay first, and what keywords other sellers are using. Try to use words that are in the 'search suggestions' drop-down box, as there are the commonly-used search words.

Choose your category carefully! This can often be a tough choice, as many items often suit more than one category. Again, go back and do a 'completed items' search if you're not sure, look at each listing individually and see where the best-selling ones were placed. This may take some time but it can make a big difference to your final result.

Auction or Buy It Now? Unless you have a store, you're likely better off listing an item at auction, as BIN listings only last as long as auctions, and if you don't get a buyer you'll have to relist. BIN listings also tend to rank lower in search results than auction listings if you don't have a store, so again, do your homework carefully.

There is lots of help and advice available on ebay itself. If you scroll to the very bottom of any page, in tiny writing you'll see 'sitemap'. Click on this, and you'll see the above help topics. There's lots more than this, including a 'guides' section where there is an absolute tonne of useful info on all sorts of topics.

As I said, these are just a few basic pointers, I could rave on about all this for days if you let me. You may have something to add here, if so please do leave a comment so we can all benefit!

In unrelated news; an unexpected mid-week house clearance has netted us a new motherlode of vintage treasure. Being flagged down in my own street with our business card by a complete stranger just begging me to 'take stuff off his hands'  was nothing short of surrealyetawesome. It has also left me quite flat out and cross-eyed with tiredness as I write this, needing to get everything done before I fly up to Darwin for 3 days next week...more on this exciting trip soon! I'll be over to visit your blog as soon as I can, even if it takes me a couple of what's new? x.


polkadotpeticoat said...

I love your enamelware address numbers in your previous post......and ebay......great ideas!

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Great Ebay tips. I'm still not getting your updates on my blog feed. Super frustrating! I have no idea why. So if I don't comment it's most likely because I haven't seen your post. I hope you have a fab time away....can't wait to hear all about it, & see your treasures from the house clearance.