To New Sellers: You are not alone!
After selling on eBay for a year and a half, I can tell you that just about everything you have or will experience has happened already to most new sellers. I am sure you have heard it ... "You can always sell it on eBay!" or, "How to make BIG money on eBay by reading one book!" Not that I am the perfect expert, but I would like to share part of what I have learned...and hopefully make it easier for you to succeed. Please, read on...
- Selling is a business, and therefore must be viable. There are ways cut corners without cutting service or your product.
- Listings can be more profitable, and sales more numerous by writing good listings and having great pictures.
- Learning internet sales is hard work and takes time, but there are ways to speed it along.
CUTTING CORNERS: Making do until you can get what works the best.
Remember -- there are all kinds of places to get help by clicking "Community." All you have to do is ask!
- What to sell: Know your product. Unless you are only selling new, sealed merchandise, you will need to learn how and where to get information to make informed purchases. Every product-subject has its own language and terminology. A common error of the new seller is to load up on what they like and not what sells. If you decide to sell unique specialty products to a nich market, open an eBay store at the lowest or medium level--whichever is affordable for you. There is a monthly fee, but listing products that take longer to sell is much less expensive.
- Computer: Although it would be nice to have a new computer with DSL, in reality you may have an old computer and no extras. To keep your computer running sharp do disk defragmentation and clean ups regularly. Stop freeze-ups: Learn how long you can go and how much you can do, and then do a shut down before your hard work is lost.
- Camera: You do NOT need a hugely expensive camera to make great pictures. You DO need a digital camera. It will come with a program to download into your computer, and then edit your photos. What if the photo doesn't turn out great? Take another one! It's worth it! (Here are hints--use the focus setting and your pictures will look a lot better. (Ask at the store if you can't find it.) Sunny days outside are great!
- Writing Listings: Start NOW by going to eBay community and reading the discussion boards on your subject regularly. Experienced sellers are helpful, and their wealth of knowledge is incredible! Go to Advanced Search, check the completed listings box, and examine the titles and descriptions of what sold and why, and didn't sell and why. Once you have some listings going and have a general feel for how you wish to handle your business, utilize sellers through the discussion boards, ask for critiques, and take their advice seriously. Call yourself a Newbie
- Shipping: You do NOT need premium boxes and the top-of-the-line shipping products. Buy an inexpensive box cutter, lower-cost shipping tape, and make your own boxes from other boxes and cardboard. Ask around for clean, used shipping peanuts and bubble wrap. The Shipping Golden Rule: Keep it light, keep it dry, keep it in one piece.
- Details Count: Detailed names and information, dimensions, and good descriptions of condition. Until you can afford to buy your own books about your product, the library is a good source for information. Discussion boards have links that will get you subject information, and there is always surfing the web. Although tricky at first, learn to post photos to go with questions for sellers. All of the boards have directions and you can also get names of web-hosting sites that are free for you to use.
- Keep it concise and positive: Think of your ideal sales person. You will receive courtesy, honesty, facts, fair shipping fees, prompt response to all questions, notice of changes, satisfaction, and positive policy. Now, think of how you don't wish to be treated.
- Learn eBay ins-and-outs: Listen to eBay radio! (Find the link in community.) Can't make it for the program? Listen to the archives. Read the hosted workshops. Listen to Town Hall Forums. Read seller how-to information. Take part in the Community boards.
FEEDBACK: Remember: Research>Concise, detailed and positive descriptions>Excellent photos>Shipping well-packaged product quickly>Good communication and service = happy, satisfied customers!