Downsize Yourself! Ebay Tips

On Wednesday, I shared an overview of how I made $1,800 selling stuff I no longer wanted or needed. Friday, I went into detail about what I learned from my garage sale. Today, I’m sharing my top tips for Ebay, where I made $945 over the past year. Ebay can be a lot of work, from taking photos to creating listings to shipping your items. Yet there’s not other marketplace like it and you’re guaranteed to reach more customers than in any other venue. Let’s get selling!

Ebay Tips

1. Take Good Photos
Taking great photographs is the number one thing you can do to increase your sales in any online market place. Use a solid black or white backdrop if possible, and try to shoot in natural light. Show items from all relevant angles, and if you are selling a used item with some sort of defect or imperfection, make sure to include a photo of that as well. Ebay includes one photo free, and the rest are 15 cents each.

Ebay Tips

2. Write Good Descriptions
After photographs, descriptions are the most important factor in getting your item sold. Add as many details as possible especially including the condition. I find that if I don’t include measurements of clothing and other items, people write in and ask for them anyway, so I advise including them from the start.

I also try to add a little personality to my listings to instill a little confidence for first time buyers. It can be intimidating to buy used items online, a little warmth goes a long way!

Ebay Tips

3. Resist Add-Ons
Ebay offers tons of options to make your listing stand out, from subtitles to listing “designers.” I say skip them all. At over $1.50 for a subtitle alone, you could easily increase your fees to the point that you barely make a profit! Be confident that those who are looking for your item will find it, bold title or not, and focus on great photographs and descriptions instead.The only exception to this is buy it now, which can be attractive to buyers who want to, you know, buy it now! However, it means more trips to the post office compared to a group of auctions ending on the same day so be sure it is worth the hassle.

Ebay Tips

4. Start Your Auction Right
Seven day auctions are the best as they give you the longest viewable time without charging an extra fee. It also means that the time you list your item will be the time your item ends. I have had mixed results but the expert opinion is that weekend auction endings are the best. One thing I can solidly agree with is the best time to end your auctions is in the evening when people are home from work.

Ebay Tips

5. Rank High in Searches
To increase your ranking in ebay search results, make your handling time one business day. I usually aim to ship out items within a day or two of cleared payment, but occasionally have run beyond that and I still get frequent feedback on my fast shipping! So don’t be afraid that the ebay police will come after you if you mark one business day and really end up taking two. Its worth the search results returns.The other search engine tip I give it to keep your shipping costs reasonable. In the past sellers listed very high shipping fees in order to sneak by ebay’s percentage based final value fees, but they now charge a percentage of shipping fees as well so it benefits you to be realistic about your shipping costs.

Ebay Tips

I learned what worked best for me and Ebay through many fruitless Google searches and a lot of trial and error. If you are getting serious about selling your excess belongings, I recommend you invest in Man Vs. Debt’s 171 page ebook guide to selling on Ebay. If I had found it earlier in my journey I’m sure I would have made an even greater profit!

So, have I inspired anyone to start selling? Happy downsizing!

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One response to “Downsize Yourself! Ebay Tips

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience with selling on eBay. One tip I would add, especially if you’re selling children’s items, is to check that the item hasn’t been recalled. Simply Check is an online tool that will let you check for recalls AND generate a seal to embed in your listing to show your buyers that you checked. I hope you find it useful!

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