Hello, my name is Scott, and since September of 2004 I have owned & operated a store that specializes in selling used DVDs.. One of my prime methods for picking up stock is to win auctions on eBay. With this guide, I hope to help you learn how to properly list your DVDs and make your auction more appealing to people like myself.
I recently dealt with a seller that made several mistakes in his listing, the most prominent being that they typed in all capital letters and that they typed all the movie titles in a continuous line. Here's an example:
THE MASK-JIM CARREY,FIGHTER IN THE WIND-NEW JAPANESE KUNG FU ONLY MAN TO BREAK A BULLS HORNS WITH HIS BARE HANDS-GREAT ACTION MOVIE,RUNNING MAN-ARNOLD,TERMINATOR 3,BEST OF THE BEST,DRUNKEN MASTER-NOT CHAN,EXORCIST 3,DOC HOLLYWOOD,DERAILED,CITY BY THE SEA,CROCODILE DUNDEE,DRAGON'S INN, MINORITY REPORT-TOM CRUISE,KISS THE GIRLS-MORGAN FREEMAN,ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA 2,A BRONX TALE,BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY BOX SET,ASSULT ON PRECEINCT 13-ETHAN HAWKE,BOURNE SUPREMACY AND BOURNE IDENTITY,TRAINING DAY AND A CLASSIC, THE LAST DRAGON
Now imagine trying to read over 50 lines of that garbage. It's not worth my time to try and make a cohesive list out of that mess.
So that gives us our first two rules for people that want to maximize their profit:
Rule #1 - avoid typing in all capital letters, commenly referred to as "online shouting."
Rule #2 - take the time to learn eBay's version of page coding, especially when it comes to learning how to put each title on a separate line.
Let's look at some other good rules...
Rule #3 - alphabetize your list. Sometimes I'm looking for key items in an auction. Or a customer might be looking for a certain title, and I want to be able to tell them if the auction I'm currently watching has that title available. Most importantly, I need a decent list to do an inventory once the auction is won and the items have arrived... and I don't have time to play cut & paste and make a whole new list because you were too lazy to put together something coherent.
Rule #4 - triple check (or more) the list! One of my early bad experiences consisted of the seller not paying attention to what he had listed already, and one particular title was listed several times. I figured that since it was a thousand+ title auction, he had multiple copies of some items. Turns out he didn't.
Rule #5 - list all the titles that are being sold! With the exception of an auction of items shipping from the Phillipines, Guam or Asia, nothing screams "SCAM!!!" like the phrase "I don't have time to list all the titles available." That tells me that you're selling a bunch of garbage public domain titles that I can buy at the dollar store.
Rule #6 - description, description, description!!! Know your product, know if there are variations on the market, and if there are, know what version you are selling. AND TELL WHAT ONE IT IS! For example, there are several versions of Night of the Living Dead on the market. Along with the many public domain knock-offs, there are several versions with varrying extras (the Millennium Edition, the 30th Anniversary Edition, the colorized edition w/ Mike Nelson commentary, Tom Savini's remake, etc). Sometimes a buyer will be willing to pay that much more if they know that the versions of the films that they want are in your auction. It also saves you from having to answer a lot of questions later on. Hey, speaking of questions, that leads us to...
Rule #7 - babysit your e-mail and answer questions completely and quickly! If someone can't be bothered to answer questions about their auction, I can't be bothered to bid on it. Lack of attention to potential buyers is just as damaging as lack of attention to the layout of your auction.
Rule #8 - don't try to make an extra buck on shipping. Charge whatever it will cost you to send the items. Experienced buyers know how much it costs to ship their order. I don't hesitate to file a complaint with eBay and PayPal when someone tries to gouge me for shipping, and I've yet to lose a claim.
Rule #9 - be realistic in your pricing. Yes, you may have spent $8,000 on your DVD's when you bought them new, but guess what? They're older now, and they're opened. If you even make half of what they were worth new, you should be happy. Unless you're selling valuable out of print titles, you're not going to make your money back.
Rule #10 - accept PayPal. I hate to say it, because PayPal is a very draconian service... but I've also noticed that the ending bid on an auction that allowes PayPal is 25% or more higher than those that don't. It's the convenience and the buyer protection that makes it preferred. Buyers do not feel comfortable making a purchase and having no recourse if something goes wrong.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. The scam artists won't follow these rules... but if you're not trying to scam people, you need to. It's the only way to let your buyer know that your auction is worthwhile and legit.
10 Commandments of DVD listing
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April 16, 2007
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