As a successful Power Seller on eBay I often get turned to for advice. Since I
registered on eBay in 2004, I've ran 10000 of profitable auctions which I
follow these guidelines. Most importantly always try to be fair with other users
who deal with you and never be intimidated by any competition. eBay is big
enough for us all, and currently there is 1 seller registered to 78 buyers.
1) Low starting Price
Before you list your auction, ask yourself what's the lowest amount you'd be
prepared to accept for your item. A low starting price will attract more bids and
at a quicker pace - usually within the first day of the listings. Research shows
that a 0.99 starting price will get you bidders within a few hours. Many vehicles
and high value items are sold with a low starting price especially by
established Power Sellers - because unless it's an extremely poor week the
item will normally end up with hundreds of bids and at a cost that's acceptable
to the seller.
Additionally users are more likely to view auctions which already have a
successful bid as it generates interest in your item. It's like if you see a market
stall with hundreds of people standing around it - your curiosity would tell you
to stop and see what's generating interest. Use curiosity to your advantage.
2) No Reserve
Many sellers still place reserve prices on their item. A reserve price is one
which unless it is met by your sellers you are not obliged to sell the item. An
example would be if you have an reserve of $10, and your item sells for $9.00
you do not have to complete the sale & release the item. Reserve items,
although very occasionally may be necessary in the case of extremely high
value items or businesses for sale are off putting to bidders. Why would you
bid on an item with a reserve price on, unless you already knew were aware of
what the reserve was. Personally I'd look for alternative items without a
eBay has already removed the Reserve Price option from some of it's site in a
move that is largely welcome by the majority of users. It could be a sign that
this policy change will be extended to all of it's sites.
An Image is worth a thousand words. Take photos of your item to clearly show
the condition of it, and any damage or unusual aspects of it. eBay allows you
to include one photo free of charge and if you use your own image hosting
service you can easily include as many photos as necessary to show your
item in a detailed manner.
Many Power Sellers use up to 20 photos for one single item. Ask yourself how
many are necessary for your item, and also consider using the gallery option
so the image will appear within the search listings.
You've worked hard to get users to view your listing, so while their viewing it
also include a link to any other items you've available. This is allowed in
addition to the already provided link to "View other sellers’ items". You can use
commercial services (such as Anadale) to include images and descriptions of
your other items.
5) About Me Page
Sell yourself on your About Me Page. This is your chance to establish some
credibility for yourself. The biggest reason people will not buy from you online
is because you have failed to establish any credibility for yourself. So include
details about you and your business. Where are you situated?, how long have
you been registered on eBay?, What do you specialize in? If your a high
volume seller you may also want to include a photo of yourself. Have a look at
other About Me pages to see what works and what doesn't.
6) Return Policy
Nothing gives buyers greater confidence than knowing that they can return the
product if it's not for them. So consider drafting yourself a returns policy.
Will you accept returns? What if the item arrives faulty? How long is the policy
It may seem like a big risk to offer such a policy knowing that you'll have to
incur a cost relisting and reshipping items but only a very small amount of
users will return the items.
Don't be tempted to over price your shipping costs and try to make a small
profit on this. Firstly you can be found out to easily, and it's one of the most
unforgiving things for a seller to do. More importantly over pricing your
shipping costs is against eBay policy.
If you’re offering digital goods such as an eBook or special report, you may
consider a small handling fee to cover your time and administration costs. If
you do make sure it's fair and clearly highlighted within the item listing. The
last thing a bidder wants to do is find out there are unexpected costs
associated with a purchase they've made.
8) Instant attention
Give immediate attention to your bidders and prospective bidders. Don't leave
a delay of days before responding to any emails or phone calls. And following
a successful transaction you may want to email your bidder to tell them when
the item has been shipped and when it will be expected to arrive.
I know many sellers, some of them Power Sellers who takes days to respond
to a simple email. If you don't have time to respond immediately consider
delegating the responsibility to someone else who can respond on your behalf.
Never give any bidder reason to doubt whether you’re a genuine seller or not.
9) eBay Store
Opening an eBay Store is a necessary step for anyone medium sized seller.
Not only do you benefit from cheaper and longer listings within your shop, but
you can also cross-promote your products easily, send out newsletters and
establish a trusted brand for your listings easier. Also you'll gain more
coverage (and hopefully bids) for your listings by appearing in the eBay store
Leave feedback for the winning bidder as soon as the item is paid for. Some
sellers like to protect themselves by only returning feedback when it is left for
you. I consider this unprofessional and your bidders will most likely think the
same too. Don't be scared of getting a negative or neutral comment on your
feedback record. The majority of users will consider all of you feedback before
bidding, not just looking at one or two comments.
Additionally if you deserve any feedback left for you such as if you were late
shipping, accept it was you fault. Don't be too worried about admitting it with
an apology in response to your feedback. You may also want to compensate
your winning bidder with reduced postage or a bonus item to show it was a
genuine error on your part.
If you know the there is going to be a delay in completing any transaction,
email the bidder and inform them. Apologize with a comment such as "This is
a rare incident that's completely out of my control. I hope by looking at my
feedback record you will see this is an completely isolated incident". Always
try to keep on good terms with all your buyers. Your sincere words will be the
best tool to win customer satisfaction and repeated business. Good Luck!