First, I'd like to take a moment to thank you for reading my guide, and I hope you find it helpful. Here you will find a few tips that can help you succeed in buying and running mystery auctions.
We've all seen them, we've all been tempted to bid on them, and we just
can't seem to get enough of them, what are they? MYSTERY AUCTIONS. With
the ever growing popularity of mystery auctions, you have every Tom,
Dick & Harry listing them, jumping on the bandwagon so to speak.
Who do you buy from though? Who can you trust? You are taking a big
enough risk by buying online, now you are going to buy a cardborad box
filled with free gifts. It's risky, but it's fun! You wait impatiently
everyday for your mailperson to bring you your box, and sometimes you
get it and you open it and you are THRILLED!!! YAY!!! I got awesome
stuff! But, 7 out of 10 times you open the box and you want to cry, you
spent HUNDREDS of dollars on what....shredded money? Monopoly money?
How about the certificates for 'Free' shopping sprees (after you pay
$400 shipping!)? Or, those vacation vouchers (where all you have to do
is buy a time share)? I know, you got a box of junky gold plated crappy
jewelry (some that you wouldn't even send out for free gifts!)? It's
happened to all of us. We've all been there, done that. It STINKS!!!
So, now, what do you do with your 'cardboard box' full of junk that is
now falling apart because it is drenched with your tears? You throw the
items away that are claerly trash, and those items that are salvagable
at least a little, you throw in your EBay box. I like to include a free
gift with every purchase anyway, so if the item is 'OK' I may send it
with a pair of shoes I sell, or clothing, etc... but I will never send
JUNK! Anyway, back to the task at hand......MYSTERY SELLING.
I had been selling for a month or so, and doing alright, but I started
thinking about the mystery auctions, they haunted me, I dreamt of them,
I wanted to restore them. Make them fun, make the worth while! So, I
took one of the many Coach bags I was selling and I listed as a mystery
bag, and I filled it with some of the other items I was going to list
but didn't have the time to. My very first mystery auction went very
well, in fact the buyer is still one of my many repeat customers. I set
the standards for my auctions high, I would NEVER send my customer
junk, remember that, because that is the most important thing, if you
want to be successful NEVER SEND JUNK. Now that I've rambled, I will
list the do's & don'ts.
DO make friends with other sellers, they are NOT your enemy. If you
work together with other sellers and form EBay friendships you will get
more exposure, POSITIVE exposure. When you work with other sellers,
cross promoting each others items, your listings get more hits. Plus,
isn't nice to be friendly?
DO take the time to review each & every word in your listing. Be careful you aren't offering something you cannot deliver.
DON'T copy another sellers listing, it is not only rude, but it's
against EBay policy. If a seller stumbles across an auction they like,
and they go into it and they see their own words staring back at them,
it hurts! That is NOT a good way to make EBay friends. Ideas cannot be
copyrighted, but if you are going to list an auction similar to another
at least take the time to make it your own. That leads me to....
DO be original. Add some funny comments, be yourself, your words are
all you have to set you apart from everyone else. That's it, you are
not in a store where people are face to face with you, a person can
only judge you by the words you use in your listings, so chose them
DON'T use foul language, or any kind of profanity. It will get your auction pulled, and you may end up suspended from EBay.
DON'T bad mouth other sellers, NEVER. I don't care how much you dislike
another seller, EBay is big enough for all of us. Really, it is.
DON'T email bidders to say the seller is untrustworthy, to try and get
them to your auction. First that is wrong, but it is also against EBay
policy and you can get kicked off indefinately for interference of a
sale. People do not like getting emails telling them they are dealing
with a untrustworthy seller. It hurts the seller ad causes stress that
is just not needed. Again, EBay is big enough for all of us. Really, it
DO feel free to email other EBayers to promote your items, if you have
EBay friends send them an email and tell them about your listing. If
you have repeat buyers, word of mouth is the BEST form of advertising.
If you can be trusted, you will get more business.
DO make sure you have the items you are advertising. Even though in
mystery auctions they are bidding on the 'box' only, your customers
want NICE items, they don't want junk.
DO pay your bidders their gifts, if you offer them. Nothing is worse
than bidding on an item and not getting the gifts you were promised.
They won't come back and bid on your items again. You cannot redeem
yourself from that.
DO keep good records of who bid on what and what marks they hit.
DO make connections with suppliers of fine items to include in your auctions.
DON'T report other auctions unless it is unavoidable (like you found
YOUR auction, but you are not the seller- it's an exact copy). We are
all in this together, reporting an auction causes nothing but hassle
for the seller, and any bidders that they may have had. A listing
barely ever goes as good the 2nd time around, some bidders won't come
back. It causes a loss of faith in your listing. You wouldn't want YOUR
auction pulled, would you? Ebay only pulls auctions that have been
reported, remember that next time you get that dreaded 'alert' from
DO cross promote with fellow Ebayers. It increases foot traffic to your auctions.
DON'T send anything you wouldn't want to receive. How would you like to
get a box full of trash? Think of that every time you pack your
'cardboard box' and think of what reaction you want to get.... do you
want laughter or tears upon arrival of the package? I opt for laughter.
DON'T ever, no matter what, use trick wording in your mystery auction.
If you are a scam artist, then you should ashamed of yourself, it is
dishonest, this list cannot help you. This is for honest mystery
DO keep track of your watchers, and if you tell them they are getting a
free gift, make sure you send it. You never know who may become a
paying customer. You want to keep your supporters happy, word of mouth,
as I stated is the best advertisement.
DO be trustworthy.
DO read a sellers feedback BEFORE bidding/buying from them. If it is
private, ask them to let you see it, an honest seller shouldn't have a
problem with that. If they don't you may want to avoid doing business
with them, especially if there are a lot of RECENT negative comments.
DON'T bid if you cannot pay. Make sure if you are seller that you state
clearly in each auction that every nonpayer WILL be left a negative
feedback comment and when the time arrives they will get an unpaid item
DO use your resources to research any of the bidders you suspect are
bidding only for bonus's. By offering bonus gifts to bidders you run
the risk of getting these bidders, but if they win you want to be sure
they will pay. Be careful of low feedback, it may be an old user who
has a new screen name. That is a trick they use, they open multiple
accounts, in multiple names, they shill bid, they scam people, and then
they turn off that user ID, and open a new one. These buyers/sellers
are eventually caught, but they can do a lot of dmage in the few weeks
that they hold that ID.
DON'T be fooled by a seller who uses clever wording, such as could be,
or may be, even if they offer free gifts, they cannot imply that it may
contain something. If you come across that, be careful. It should say,
at mark #? 1 item WILL be added.
DO read the rules & regulations. EBay has a strict policy on
mystery auctions, and you cannot divulge the value of an item that will
be included, the 'free gifts' cannot effect the value of the auction
(even though technically they do). The item up for auction is the only
item allowed to have a value placed on it.
DON'T believe everything you read. If an offer sounds to good to be
true, it probably is. Some sellers use trick wording, and go with your
gut. Do you really think a person would give away millions of dollars?
If theyhad millions, would they really be selling it on EBay? Use your
head in that situation.
DO make sure you only bid what you can afford. Try not to fall pray to
the auctions that are selling for thousands, even millions of dollars.
As a bidder, buying a mystery box, are you going to honestly pay that
much for item that you do not know what it is? 1million for a cardboard
box, is that realistic?
DO leave your feedback after you have received your items. Feedback is
the way that buyers judge a seller, and vice versa, be honest in your
feedback. But before you leave a negative or neutral comment, try
contacting your seller 1st, chances are they will want to make you
happy. If you have a reasonable gripe, a good seller will try to make
DO take customer satisfaction seriously, to me it is #1. I want to make
each customer a 'regular' and I want to get to know them, so I can add
a more personal touch to my mystery auctions. If you know a buyer's
taste you can better send them what they want.
DO have fun!
I hope you found this helpful. Mystery auctions are growing by leaps
& bounds, and there are still some honest sellers out there. If you
find a mystery seller you like, tell your friends, they will appreciate
it! And so will the seller.