Top 10 Most Common Ebay Mistakes (Top 10 Ebay Selling Tips)
After years of selling on eBay, it still amazes me the simple mistakes that sellers make and how EASY it is to improve your profit margin by not making these simple mistakes.
The following list is not all inclusive, but what I believe to be the Top 10 Most Common Ebay Selling Mistakes.
Here we go!
1. OUTRAGEOUS SHIPPING. Almost nothing turns a potential bidder off faster than inflated shipping costs. Consumers are not stupid and the average buyer has an idea of what it costs to ship a package. If you are charging $17.00 to ship a 1 lb. package from Los Angeles to New York within 10 days, you are going to upset a lot of potential buyers who will simply click away and buy from your competition. Don't inflate shipping charges to try and make up for a lower starting bid price. You will not suceed in getting the bids you want AND you may have your listing ended under eBay's new fair shipping rules. In addition to setting a fair shipping price, be sure to outline shipping specifics in each listing to avoid confusion and buyer dissatisfaction. Set apart a clear section in your auction that lists your shipping practices. For example, "We ship within 24 hours of receipt of payment via USPS Priority Mail. Please contact us if you don't receive your order within 5 days of payment and we will provide you with tracking information." This type of shipping info tells the buyer exactly what to expect and how and when to request more information.
2. LESS THAN 4.8 STAR FEEDBACK RATING. On eBay, feedback is your marketing life preserver. Getting 5 star feedback from buyers gives potential and new buyers more confidence in buying from you and also saves you money on eBay fees. eBay refund selling fees at a rate of 15% to Powersellers that maintain feedback star ratings at or above 4.8 in all four star rating categories. How do you get 5 star feedback? Don't make the mistakes on this list! : ) Another marketing tool you can use is to send an email to your buyer after an auction is won asking them to leave 5 star feedback for you or give you the opportunity to make them 5 star happy AND ask that your buyer leave specific meaningful feedback. Here's what I mean...instead of leaving "Fast ship, thanks." feedback, ask them to specifically review your product or service like this "Better than name brand mineral makeup. Way fast shipping. Will buy again!" The second example actually tells potential bidders/buyers something about your products and your service, not just a thank you or A+. You'd be surprised what buyers are willing to do if you just ask them. The power of suggestion!
3. IGNORING EBAY LISTING FEE STRUCTURE. This is SUCH a common way that eBay sellers waste money. Be sure to keep a print out of eBay's listing fees with you at all times when you are listing. The difference of one penny in a starting auction price can cost you a lot of money in listing fees. For example, eBay charges just $0.55 for a listing with a starting price of $24.99 but charges $1.00 for a starting listing price of $25.00. A one cent difference in starting price can cost you $0.45 per auction! Bottom line, pay attention to eBay's stated listing fees when listing auctions.
4. BAD OR EVEN NO (EEK!) PICTURES. You simply must use a picture to get your auction noticed in the sea of auction competition on eBay. A whopping 83% of ebay shoppers will simply skip auctions without images. But using a picture is not enough. You need to use GOOD pictures. Also, avoid using "stock photos" that also get lost in a sea of sameness in auction search results. An idea I've had success with is to include an image that has big bold words as opposed to a picture. i.e., if you are selling a well known product such as "mineral makeup foundation," instead of including a tired old picture of our mineral foundation jar, I'd include a graphic image that said in big, bold letters "Free Ship" or "Money Back Guarantee" or "Over 11,000 Glowing Positive Feedback." These are words that attract buyers and the difference in the bold words and the many other pictures of mineral foundation attracts the shopper's eye to your auctions. Here's an example:
5. NOT ANSWERING QUESTIONS. Noneone likes to be ignored. Can you imaging the smoke that would start coming out of your ears if you walked up to the customer service counter of your favorite store and asked a question and got NO reply? You'd be insensed and would most likely walk out of the store, forever. If you get a question on your auction, answer it promptly and politely. ALWAYS take the high road, even if a client seems rude. Try answer questions as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours.
6. MISSPELLED TITLES/KEYWORDS. Your auction title is the single most important aspect of your auction. Titles are the #1 way ebay shoppers find your auctions. Include as many keywords as will fit in your title that are meaningful for buyer searches. In other words, skip meaningless words such as LOOK! or WOW! as they just take up precious character spaces that could be used to include keywords buyers are actually searching for. For example, "XL Sheer Mineral Makeup Foundation *Cover Acne" is far more keyword rich than "Mineral Foundation - Light Warm PRETTY! LOOK!!"
7. INCONVENIENT PAYMENT METHODS. Online shoppers want the transaction to be as easy and painless as possible. If you don't accept credit cards through PayPal and only accept money orders and checks by mail, you are cutting your audience drastically - by as much as 90%. Buyers don't want the hassle factor of having to add extra steps by going to the bank to get a money order, addressing an envelope and mailing. it. This also slows your transaction sigificantly as responsible sellers wait for payment to be received to ship. This will be a moot point soon as eBay plans to make accepting PayPal mandatory for eBay sellers and will no longer allow money order and check payment methods.
8. INSUFFICIENT DESCRIPTIONS. Be sure to include very detailed and accurate descriptions of your products. This will not only cut down on buyer questions (which take time and effort to answer) but will also give the buyer confidence as to exactly what they are bidding on. DON'T be afraid to list and even possibly exagerate product flaws. Again, buyers will know exactly what they are getting. And exagerating flaws builds buyer confidence. Also, being honest about your business model in your descriptions. Letting the buyer know that "My wife won't let me by an iPhone until I sell my Alltel" or "We buy in HUGE quantities at HUGE discounts, so we can offer this [xxx] to you at such a great price."
9. PRICING. This one's tricky. Research, research, research. Finding out what your competition is selling for is about two clicks of work for you. Find sellers successfully selling similar or identical products to yours and set your price close to theirs. Don't set price too high. Consumers are savvy and will do the research if you don't...and then buy from your competition! Its equally important however to not set your price too low. Low pricing lowers perceived value of the product. Also, remember you are in this to make a profit! After eBay fees, PayPal fees, inventory cost, marketing and shipping costs, is there any profit left for you? That said, there are other important factors that will convince buyers to buy from you regardless of small price differences....buyer trust is essential. Having good feedback, charging honest and fair shipping, offering a return policy and great communication with buyers goes a long way.
10. "ALL SALES FINAL" AND "NO RETURNS" POLICIES. Buying online is risky to begin with. Your buying "site unseen" which makes many buyers a little nervous. When you set your return policy as "no can do" you will lose buyer confidence and quite simply LOSE SALES. You'll be surprised how few returns you'll receive if you use great pictures, descriptions and fair shipping charges. And the confidence and good will you create by allowing buyers to return for dissatisfaction will turn directly into hard dollars in sales.
Correcting these simple but deadly eBay mistakes can help you grow your eBay business and make it MUCH more profitable.
I hope this helps!
Sheer Miracle Mineral Makeup
eBay user: maddieandcassielove