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20 Powerful Tips for Selling on eBay

Chris Grundy
July 28, 2017

eBay is an online marketplace that anybody is able to utilize, whether it’s someone looking to get rid of some old fishing gear, or an e-commerce store selling products by the thousands. While eBay is relatively straightforward, there are a few tips that can be implemented to ensure that your products are fully optimized for maximum exposure.

1. Utilize Keywords

While such a tip is normally reserved for search engine optimization, the endgame is the same, to have visitors reach your page. As with any use of keywords, you should ensure that the keywords being used pertain to the listed item. Both eBay users and eBay itself frown upon keyword misuse, but proper use of keywords is one of the most important tips for selling on eBay.

2. Fully Explore eBay  

Many users of eBay go beyond the listings and visit the ‘About Me’ sections of an eBay seller. They also frequent the forums as well as reading the blogs that some sellers write. As such, you should ensure that your ‘About Me’ section is complete, and that you engage in the forums where possible. You might also consider designing your own logo to add authenticity to your online store.

3. Know The Value of What You Are Selling

This seems obvious but many sellers are still negligent when ascertaining the true value of their stock, ranking this among the top tips for selling on eBay. When selling onlne, some sellers look to have a quick turnaround to keep the profits coming in. Having a quick sales turnover can cause you to overlook the value of certain items, meaning that you could sell a high-end product for a much lower price. Ensure you research your inventory and it is being sold for what it’s really worth, not what you think it's worth. Why not check out our guide on what products to sell on eBay for the most profit.

4. List Your Items in Bulk

Listing your items in bulk is without a doubt among the most important tips for selling on eBay. Perhaps the most useful features on eBay is the ‘Other Items’ option, which allows prospective buyers to peruse other items a seller might have for sale. As such, it makes sense to upload all your items as soon as you can, as it could mean a bigger sales conversion.

5. Keep Your Photographs Real

If you have taken the time to write an information-filled description for your listing, don’t go and spoil it by uploading a stock image. Genuine photographs instil more confidence with buyers, as they are able to see what condition the product is in. This ties in with the quality of your product descriptions as a whole.

6. Ensure Your Product Descriptions Are Genuine

eBay offers a mixed bag for buyers, with both new and second hand goods up for grabs. If selling faulty goods, then simply say so. If you list something as ‘slightly used’ when it has in fact got a relatively short shelf life, you are only going to end up with negative feedback and a lack of sales. Have a look at our favourite product descriptions for inspiration.

7. Familiarize Yourself With Abbreviations

In order to master the art of selling, it can be a good idea to become familiar with your environment. Many buyers within eBay abbreviate their searches to allow for quicker searches. Terms such as BNIB (brand new in box) and VGC (very good condition) should become part of your language when selling on eBay.

8. Buy Before You Sell

One of the most popular features on eBay is the feedback feature. This feature allows buyers to ensure that they are buying from a reputable eBay user. If you have just started on eBay, then it’s a pretty safe bet that you have zero feedback. You can fix this by simply buying some cheap products and having sellers leave you feedback. Once you are able to sell, you can then grow your reputation accordingly. Alternatively, you use dropshipping.

9. Know When to Start and End a Listing

Statistics show that eBay is most active in the evening, especially on a Sunday. In this regard scheduling your listings at night is one of the most powerful tips for selling on eBay. Sellers can expect to pay a fee for scheduling listings for a specific time, but the views you will gain are well worth the investment.

10. Don’t Overinflate Your Postage Costs

We’ve all come across a listing that shows a product at a bargain price, only for it to show questionable fees when it comes to postage and packing. Be realistic when listing your postage options. Many eBay buyers are long-term visitors to the site, and are easily able to smell deception.

11. Be Clear With Your Returns Policy

Offering a money back guarantee can be great way to increase sales, but you need to endure that you are able to honor such a guarantee. If you sell used cars or second hand goods, then your return policy is going to be much different than if you were selling new goods. If you sell a mixture of both, ensure that you have a clear returns policy in place for each.

12. HTML Can Help Create More Bespoke Listings

Although eBay only offers a limited HTML editor, it can still be used to a seller’s advantage. Learning some basic HTML can make your listings stand out from the others, and it isn’t as difficult as you may think. Play around with your listings to find a look that suits you and your brand, while ensuring it remain informative and aesthetically pleasing.

13. Package Your Products In a Professional Manner

Another giant among the tips for selling on eBay concerns packaging. Getting your products out in time means nothing if they are not packaged correctly. Sending items in packaging that has been used before is a sure-fire way of diminishing your return customers. Invest in some packaging from a local stationers or gift suppliers. Packing your goods in the correct way will make the correct impression on your customers.

14. Always Include The Item Number in Communications

Never assume that your customer has only made the one purchase while on eBay. Buyers are able to add a number of items to their online trolley and can sometimes become confused as a result. Ensuring you include the item number in your communications makes it easier to collect payment.

15. Ensure You Read eBay’s Posting Guidelines

Generally, if you are honest and clear in your auctions, you shouldn’t run into any problems when using eBay. However, users can report your listing if they feel if it is misleading, or stuffed with keywords that aren’t deemed relevant. Familiarize yourself with eBay’s guidelines so you are fully aware of what’s expected of you as a seller.

16. Take Advantage of Hit Counters

Evidently, there comes a time when an item just doesn’t sell. This can be due to a number of reasons, but one reason could be that the listing had very few hits in the first instance. eBay offer hit counters as part of their listing setup, so ensure you utilize them so you can track how many visitors your listings are actually getting.

17. Be Careful When Handling Rare and Collectable Pieces

As well as being an outlet for the latest gadgets, eBay is also home to some collectable pieces. If you happen to come across a collectable piece, don’t be tempted to restore it.  Some items hold their value ‘as is,’ and any work carried out could devalue the item in question. This makes the careful handling of precious items one of the top tips for selling on eBay.

18. Ensure Your Customer Service Skills Are Up To Speed

When dealing with customers, it can be normal for customers to air their frustrations, even if they're not always warranted. Ensure you remain professional and take the measures necessary to ensure the customer has a satisfactory outcome. Taking steps such as this could help convert a disgruntled customer into a repeat customer.

19. Keep Listings Simple

The penultimate entry in our top tips for selling on eBay concerns simplicity. Many eBay traders deal with what they love, and as such, can be tempted to go into great details about their item, so much so that it can actually dissuade customers. Ensure you tell customers what they need to know, such as specifications and condition, while leaving out any lingo or buzz words that could cause confusion.

20. Always Work Out The Cost of Listing an Item

Although eBay fees are relatively low, this doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be included as a business cost. Consider whether your product will cover one or more categories (more categories means additional costs.) You should also take into account the commission eBay will charge on a successful sale, as well as any payment merchant fees.

Bonus TipA problem that most online sellers will face at some point is cashflow. This is because it is incredibly difficult to avoid seasonal changes, price fluctuations and market volatility. In this case it is advisable to take out a small loan to purchase new inventory and maximise revenues difficult times.

Those Were the 20 Most Powerful Tips for Selling on eBay

Using these powerful tips for selling on eBay you will be able to gain a competitive advantage and maximise revenues. Try them out and let me know what you think. If you have any recommendations or suggestions please leave a comment below or contact me at [email protected]

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