7 mins

How to Sell on eBay – The Best Tips to Grow Your Business

Chris Grundy
Jun 10, 2017

eBay is an online auction platform that sees a plethora of items being sold every day. Whether it’s generic household items such as washing machines or games consoles you’re looking for or more obscure items such as retro collectibles and broken laser pointers, you can rest assured that in most cases, eBay will have it.

With such a powerful platform in use, then selling your day-to-day bric-a-brac should be fairly straightforward affair right? Well, in theory yes, but as the platform has become more and more popular, so has the competition. So while it’s certainly possible to make a good return using eBay, it’s always worth knowing the best way to post your listings and the essentials of how to sell on eBay. A few simple tips can ensure that you’re selling to the people you need to, and at the best price.

How to Sell on eBay Essentials

Take a Lot of High Quality Photographs

As eBay soars in popularity, so does the competition. That’s not to say that you won’t sell your item, but a better-presented listing may have seen a greater return. People on eBay can be just as fickle as they are in real life, in that they need to know exactly what they are buying. A quick photo taken with no thought will not inspire people to read your listing any further while some may avoid the listing all together.

Don’t be misled into thinking you have the latest in camera technology to take a professional-looking photograph. Many smartphones come complete with a camera which should be more than up to the task in hand. Simply ensure that you adjust the camera’s settings so the resolution is at its highest. You could also use a bed sheet to give a white background, ensuring that the viewer’s focus is the item itself, not the background.

Take a series of photographs from different viewpoints. This will allow any potential buyers to view the item in its entirety, and are then more than likely make a purchase. This is because they entrusted the seller based on the information they have been given.

Make Your Listings Relevant and Concise

Some amateur sellers make the mistake of putting in a lengthy description in the hope it will instil more trust with their potential customer base. While information should be thorough, there needs to be a healthy balance. Ensure any trending keywords relevant to your product are included, this will ensure that people searching for items similar to yours will be directed accordingly.

Listings should be relevant. Although it can be tempting to tell the story of why you’re selling and the exact back story of the item, this information is not really what a buyer is looking for. They generally need to know what condition the item is in, how much it’s being sold for and whether there are any defects they should be aware of. Of course, other factors can come into play depending on the item, but overall you’re looking for a listing with condensed, punchy information.Look at other similar listings that seem to be doing well and look at how they display their information. Research what aspects of your item customers will need to know about. For example, if you’re selling laptop computers, then customers will be keen to know what memory and hard drive capacity the item has. Relevant and concise listings are crucial in understanding how to sell on eBay.

Don’t Exaggerate Within Your Listings

When learning how to sell on eBay this point is essential. Selling is a case of presenting something in the best light, but that doesn’t mean that dishonesty should have a place within the process. Many people using eBay have been fooled into buyingitems that turned out to be something completely different, normally of much lesser value. While you could assume that the people behind such scams benefit financially, it is normally short-lived as scams quickly become highlighted within the community. What this means is that one white lie within your description could tarnish your reputation, whether it caused any distress or not. Many buyers within the eBay community are honest, and will not mind proving so by leaving feedback based on their experience.

Always Give a Realistic Arrival Date

In a bid to secure custom, different sellers will have delivery dates that see the item shipped as soon as it’s paid for, and while such a service can only benefit the user, not everybody has open access to such facilities. This is where it can be tempting to promise something that you can’t actually deliver. Sure, it will get the orders in initially, but don’t expect any repeat custom if your customers received their product long after they were promised. If you cannot beat the competition’s delivery dates, then don’t. Simply stick within your own delivery dates, and you will soon see some repeat custom, as they will know exactly what to expect when ordering from you.

How To Sell on eBay – Top Tip

Always Research the Value of Your Item

When items have to be sold for logistical reasons, it can be tempting to value the item at the retail price it was purchased for. Unfortunately, this is not how eBay works. If an item is second-hand, then buyers expect to pay a reasonable price. Don’t dissuade buyers by having a high buy-it-now price or excessive reserve. Being realistic about the value of your item will help you make further sales in the future.

Always Try and Obtain Proof of Postage

Unfortunately, there are people who will try their luck to get a free item. Normally this is done by stating that a package hasn’t been received when it in fact has. While this is only a small minority, it is still something that any eBay seller should be wary of. Always try and obtain proof of postage where possible. If you’re using a courier then ensure that you have a record of the delivery. This will ensure that a quick resolve is put in place should any buyers try to obtain goods fraudulently. It will also ensure that such buyers are quickly disciplined, therefore making the online auction site a safer place to shop.

eBay can offer a number of solutions regardless of whether you’re a sole trader, or part of a bigger operation. Sellers enjoy a comfortable income from the site as long as they play by the rules and remain transparent to their customers.

I hope this guide has been helpful in explaining how to sell on ebay. Learn more about creating a successful marketing strategy for your Online Business.

Are you an eShop owner looking to finance your small business? Chech out our small business loans for eBay sellers and retailers.

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