Stay Ahead of the Competition

If you have followed eBay over the past decade, then you may have seen a few big changes take place over the last couple years.  In the beginning, the site was all about the little guy.  Helping out you, the one selling stuff out of their garage.

Lately though, there's been a shift.  Perhaps it's because of how dominant Amazon is in the market now.  Either way, eBay is really pushing big business right now, and this is something that probably isn't going to change.

So if you are looking to have success again, to make those fast sales and earn that extra income, then you need to be ahead of the curve.  These tips will have your items flying out of the house like it's the eBay of 2008!

stand out

Take Professional Pictures

Taking some good pictures of your item is the best thing that you can do keep up with the big guns.  Luckily, it's also very easy to do.  You don't need a high end camera, and you don't need to have a college degree in photography.

The only thing that is important with your listing photos is that it helps, not hinders.  Set up a clean area with a plain backdrop and good lighting, and snap your photos there.  Make sure that no clutter is showing in the background.  People would rather pay $200 to buy an Xbox from Best Buy, as opposed to paying $195 for the same item- because Best Buy doesn't have a pile of dirty, disgusting socks and underwear in the back of the picture.

If you are selling a lot of items, then making a light box or creating another designated photo area is probably a good idea.  This isn't hard to do either, and can be made in an afternoon using cheap supplies.

Also, if you are going to use your iPhone and not a real digital camera, then hold the phone sideways.  Nothing will make you look like more of a novice than taking vertical cell phone pics.

Write With Detail

There are lots of sellers that will take 5 different photos of their item, but then will write a one sentence description.  If you want to appear professional, you want to give as many details as possible.

Fill out any and all fields for that particular item category on eBay.  And when it comes to your description, tell your potential buyers as much information about the item as you possibly can.  This helps avoid confusion, and any possible returns or complaints, so you're really doing yourself a favor for later on.

Even if the item is something simple and easy to describe, like a movie, write something short that will sell the viewers on clicking that buy button.

This is a great movie - rated PG - fun for the whole family.  It is in like new condition, looks like you just brought it home from the store, only watched once.

Case is in great condition, and disc has no scratches.  Plays perfect with no skips or issues.  Ships fast! 

Even a short and sweet description like that, in addition to all selling fields filled out, will move quicker than someone who didn't take the time to write anything.


Use Buy It Now Instead of Auctions

In the past, it always made sense to use auctions on eBay, as people would get caught up in the moment and spend more money than they ordinarily would.  But as with the rest of the site, there has been a shift recently.  Now, the best way to get the most money you can is to use Buy It Now.

Buy It Now is what all of the big companies are doing on eBay, so you should do it too.  People don't want to sit around watching a video game auction for 5 days.  When they see it, they want to be able to click "Buy" and be done with it.  Everyone wants instant gratification, it's part of what makes Amazon so successful.  So if you want to get the most amount of money possible, give the people what they want.

When you do BIN listings, it is very important that you figure out the pricing first.  You don't want to price anything too low, because then you will just have someone scoop it up for under market value very quickly.  At the same time, you don't want to price anything too high, because you'll have it sitting forever and never sell.

The best thing that you can do is look at other people selling the exact item you are.  Then undercut them by a buck or two.  Also, personal experience has shown that pricing items at $29.99 is better than $30.00.  There's a reason why all stores will price their items like this- it's statistically proven that people are more likely to buy

Ship Fast and Professionally

This is something that even the big companies aren't all doing yet.  And that's good for you.  Show the buyers of eBay that it is better to buy from the little man.  If someone pays you on a weekday, package the item up that night and get it out the next day.  Have online tracking available for anything you sell.

In addition, make sure you package up all of your items well.  Again, this is something that isn't always done by the big companies.  Make sure that items can't get broken while in transit.  After all, this will just end up with you paying for it later.  It may be worth buying a roll of bubble wrap.

Ultimately, you want to show people that you can provide a shopping experience that is just as good as with the big companies that have invaded eBay over the past few years.  Since you are moving less volume, you can make up for other aspects of your business by acting fast and professional.  Most people prefer to help out smaller sellers like you anyway, you just have to give them a reason as to why you are better.