Recently I reopened sales on my eBay platform. This post is to share my success and failures.
- ORGANIZE: The first thing to do is make a place to organize and store items you’ve listed or intend to list. Keeping items in one location makes it easy to find it and get it ready when it sells. Sometimes questions come up and you will need to go back to the item to measure it or see if you can answer your buyer question.
- PHOTOS: Take many photos of the item with many detailed views. I have two backdrop cloths that I use to make the items I photograph stand out. One fabric is a golden suede remnant piece, and the other is a vibrant blue fabric remnant. When I photograph items I turn off the flash on my camera, and hold a small bright LED light to highlight the item. Having the right lighting and backdrop can really make your item stand out in the photo. EBay allows up to 12 photos per listing for free. This is nice because when I began selling on that platform in 2003 we were only allowed a few free pictures per listing. We had to buy additional photo space. Times have advanced, so take many photos and add as many as you can with your listing.
- PACKAGING: When you look at each item, you must consider shipping it to its destination. USPS will provide and deliver priority mail flat rate boxes if you go to their website and order in advance. I also find having hard white cardstock 4×3 envelopes handy. My office already had small envelopes on hand because I sell seed packages on my etsy shop. When I began listing larger textbook size items, I found large padded manilla envelopes at Walmart. You can find these items individually at the dollar store if you only have a few large envelope size things to ship out. You’ll also need to have on hand packaging tape. The post office no longer provides additional taping to secure your packaging. Some clerk will wrap your box with the postage sticker, but that is all the extra effort I’ve noticed.
- SCALE: Ebay sales will offer the seller a 10% discount if they purchase postage right from their website. You’ll need to know the weight of the overall package to provide all the details so you have an accurate postage. I also just like to double-check the weight I got off of my scale with that of the place that I shipped it out of. We have a Dymo scale because we also have a Dymo label maker. The software work together and I can make professional looking address labels, print postage, and packaging information on my seed packages. We use the Dymo scale that can weigh up to 25 lbs., and then a smaller scale that weighs by the gram. If I have 3 seed packages with ~100 seeds in them, they all will weigh the same amount.
- LISTING: The idea is to make your listing stand out. There are advanced editing options and you can purchase a bold title or advertising easily if that is your budget. You’ll want to provide as many details as you can and then remind the viewer to check out the other things that you have listed. People shop with their senses so make sure to add all of the details. Look for the ebay deals on listing fees or total sale fee. The low listing fee is $.30 but you can find up to 100 free listings from time to time which is something to take advantage of. They take about 1% at the end of the sale. So if your item sold at $20, they would get $2. Determining how and when your auction will end is important. I try and make many listings end at the first of the month, and then between the 15/20th of the month. I also look to end the auction/sale on the weekend – Sunday evening preferably. They say more buyers are waiting on weekend auction endings. I haven’t been doing it long enough to see if this strategy pays off.
- PRICING: When pricing your item, make sure you remember your cost on packaging and shipping. This is why having your own scale comes in handy because you can get an idea of the amount of money it will take to ship your item. Look up your item and compare it to other items already listed. Your goal is to entice buyers. I chose to list items that I knew were going to first fetch me views, and then second fetch me profit. I had to begin selling on a high note right out of the gate. Ebay will rate your performance as a seller.
- RETURNS: After much thought, I decided to make the auctions that I have for used media material such as a magazine or manual or textbook with NO RETURNS allowed. Someone bought my magazine, read it, and then returned it. They paid the return shipping and in the end that is all they paid because the initial purchase was refunded. This was just a personal decision because I don’t enjoy shipping things so much.
- PROMOTIONAL IDEAS: Make sure that you create listings where the buyer can make an offer. Being flexible on an item might fetch you two sales instead of one. Send a Thank – You note in with the item you sold. Remind that buyer to come back for a 10% deal with code BBACK or something if they purchase within a certain frame of time.
- FEEDBACK: Make sure to leave your buyer feedback. When you engage in leaving feedback, you’ll see feedback return to you. The same goes for purchases. If you are engaging in online purchases and shopping, then the universe will engage you in sales from other online shoppers.
HARD KNOX LESSONS:
- Know your postal center. If you are not creating your own postage at home, then making friends at USPS is a good idea. One lady at a UPS center ripped me off because my boxes were wrapped in brown paper. She told me it was a fire hazard. So I was shown to the USPS rate via her center. Before I knew it, my profit dropped to 10% because of all of the money this postal center was leeching out of me – because of wrapped packaging. That lady didn’t earn my repeat business.
- SPEAK UP AT USPS: Ask to see the rates. Some clerk don’t even take the time to let you see your options.
- Magazines are not media. Don’t disclose what is inside your package unless you are being pinched. You can go from a $3 rate to a $12 rate because you indicated the specific material. MEDIA – is all they need to know. Stick a cardboard inside your envelope for rigidity.
- Ebay has bullies. You’ll eventually over price something and someone will call you out on your mistake. You’ll be bullyied by someone who thinks taking personal jabs at the unknown solves problems. You’ll purchase something with buyer’s remorse so take pictures as you open your purchases so you have a case for return if necessary.
In the long run, it all means nothing. It is just stuff. Ebay is a place to find stuff, buy stuff, sell stuff, dream about more stuff –
Eventually the things I have to peddle online will dwindle and I will have a pause from using this platform. Then, time will go by and I will collect enough things to make having ebay sales energy prominent in my life for a period.
For my health and the toll that this energy takes on my physical person and emotional person, I cannot make this full time, all the time. For me, Ebay is a venue to clean out the closet – so to say.
#success #Ebay #auctionsuccess #declutter