FIRST - no matter what, if you sell a item within the US please make sure use delivery confirmation. This is a LAW a MUST. If your buyer won't pay for it then build it into your cost but make sure you have it on your package. It does NOT matter how many times you state in your auction that you will not be responsible for lost packages or that you will not be responsible for any damages incurred once a item leaves your possession PAYPAL and EBAY will make you responsible. You can ship that package and have post office receipts proving you shipped it and you can even have a returned signature card where they had to sign for that item but IT WILL NOT MATTER because ebay will hold you responsible and if the buyer files a claim with paypal or ebay they will REVERSE the monies out of your accounts and side with the buyer.
INSURANCE - I always give the buyer the option of paying for insurance on my $1 auctions because there is not that much money involved and I can eat the costs if the item is damaged or lost but if you're not willing to do this then by all means require insurance. I do require insurance on all high dollar items. I do not take returned merchandise unless grossly misrepresented and they're a lot of buyers that will change their minds, buyers remorse, and it costs money to relist items and I really don't have time to deal with it or the mishaps that can happen when items are returned. There are those buyers that know you will not take returns but they've changed their minds about wanting the item and God forbid they will purposely damage the item so they can get their money back. This is a good case for insurance. If this happens just mail the buyer the insurance forms and let them file their own claims. As long as you package the item using bubble wrap and a sturdy box then you've done your job. Unfortunately some sellers will throw the items loose in a bubble envelope or even just a plain envelope and most of the time these items are damaged. I won't even go into the detailed nightmare descriptions of what happens when items are placed in the hands of whatever deliverer you use. Your packages will be sat on, thrown around, run over, kicked - you name it. Disgruntled employees are a senders nightmare. So, insurance is always a good thing.
SHIPPING - Do you want a happy buyer? Do you want good feedback? Do you want repeat buyers? Buyers love it when they can get them their item ASAP. I always try to mail the same day as payment is received or the next day. You never know how long it will take the deliverer to get the package to the buyer so you need to send it as fast as possible. This is especially true around the holidays. Please note that there will be a cutoff date for Christmas delivery that your deliverer, weather it's the post office or what, and that date will be posted at the place of business or you can find it online. Two weeks before Christmas I start sending my packages priority mail and the last week before Christmas I send them express mail. Irate buyers leave negative feedback.
PRESENTATION - Buyers love it when you the seller take the time to make their package personal. Care given to the wrapping of an item and the presentation of such item does go a long way. I try to send my items in a nice jewlery box and sometimes I use a silk bag along with a nice box. You can buy these items on ebay. PLEASE make sure that your item is clean. Clean it yourself or take it to a jeweler and have it cleaned. Nasty, dirty jewelry can make all the difference between a negative and a positive feedback. It doesn't matter if you're selling is for $1 or $1,000 dollars it needs to be clean and presentable. If you're selling high dollar items it is your responsibility to make sure that the item is as stated. You must know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the item is real, this means gold and stones, that the item still has its integrity such as sturdy prongs and no loose stones. If this isn't the case then you need to state it in your description. If you don't know then state you don't know.
PHOTOS - If you want to sell your items and make your money back then you need to invest a little in a nice camera. Photos sell - end of story. You need macros to take good photos. You need lighting ( I use halogen lights on poles that you can purchase from Sears and they don't cost that much) a table and a poster board backdrop are just fine to get the right look. You'll have to adjust your EV compensation on your camea and play around with it until you get it just the way you want it and you'll have to adjust your lighting. I have one pole on each side of my table close to my body (I stand in the center) and the lights nearest me are in the down position and the lights furthest from me are pointed up towards the ceiling. Keep in mind that I work in a room with flourscent lighting but the lights in your room may be incandescent lighting so it might make a difference when adjusting the lights on the pole. There are photo discussion boards on ebay that can help you fine tune this. They're there to answer questions and can be really helpful. I know a lot of newbies when they first start listing on ebay will have photos in their auctions that span the width of the computer screen. I used my own photo hosting accounts and not ebays because I want to be able to put up as many photos as I want without being charged. When I upload my photos to my hosting account I always click the button for " resizing images to fit " so that my photos won't be so big that they're blurry. I use GFXHOST and PICTURETRAILS - there are different accounts out there you can use or you can use ebay. These hosting accounts also have lots of software you can use to improve your auctions, unfortunately I haven't had the time to utilize these features yet but hopefully I will get the time to try them out next year. I like my gfxhost account because I have thousands of photos and since they let you have unlimited space this is my only option. I like to hold onto my photos for 3 months because a buyer can come back within any 90 day period and file a claim and as long as you have those photos you have your proof. Buyers are more willing to spend the extra money on a item if they can see it from all angles so it really pays to put up photos of your item from all angles. You can buy items on ebay to help show off your items such as neck props, wrist props, earring props, etc. These items really do help showoff your items and are worth the investment - they don't cost that much and you can buy them on ebay, of course. Last but not least pay the little extra and run a gallery photo with your auctions. I know many ebayers have thousands of auctions they want to look at and they skim the pages just looking at the gallery photos and if yours is not there chances are your auction will be overlooked.
MEASUREMENTS - If you're serious about selling a ring sizer, electronic scales and a loupe are a must!!!!! Later on, if money isn't an issue, you can get a stone tester and a gold tester. Some sellers like testing their own products and some like using a jeweler. Using a jeweler can be expensive but you owe it to your buyer to know what you have. The electronic scales are important because buyers want to know how much the piece weighs and kitchen scales will NEVER give you an accurate weight and if you use them then you've set yourself up for a negative feedback. Electronic scales are an absolute must if you sell lots of scrap gold. Electronic scales do not cost that much and they do sell them on ebay. Ring sizers are critical. Buyers like to know the size of a ring they may want to purchase. It can be costly to resize a ring and sometimes rings can't be resized because it could compromise the stone so buyers need to know the size. Ring sizers are cheap!!!! A loupe is a must because only with a loupe can you see some markings on jewelry items and only with a loupe will you be able to see small scratches or chips (bites) on a stone. Loupes are also cheap. I use a 10x and a 20x loupe; a 30x loupe is just too powerful for me to see anything with. Down the road you may want to purchase a lighted desk lamp like magnifier that frees the hands if you ever want to get into repairing your jewelry.
DISCUSSION BOARDS - Ebay has lots of discussion boards via the Community link at the top of your ebay page. They discuss and answer all manner of problems and questions. Visit whenever you get the chance. You can also learn what's happening in the ebay community that you are unaware of but need to know about. I don't get much time to go over there as much as I would like but it's very informative and downright fun at times. Ebay should be a fun and safe experience but a lot of bad apples are making it into something else these days but we that love ebay are mad and fighting back hence the reason I'm taking the time to write these guides for you.