Like many old time eBAY sellers I long for the good old days where you could sell just about any item you listed for more than the price you wanted, without having to worry about some YAHOO listing the same item for 99 cents, or even 1 cent.
I can understand being undersold. It all goes back to high school economics - profit, loss, competition, and all that. But the motto I came away with was - BUY LOW, SELL HIGH! and, it seems many eBAY sellers are doing just the opposite. A lot of sellers seem to have it in their heads, that the way to make money on eBAY is to give things away. Hence the growth of the penny auction, or the 99 cent auction. And, for many products competition may demand starting your item that low, because everybody else is doing it. But, no serious seller should ever start an auction at 1 cent or 99 cents, until after they have done their research, and understand the eBAY demand for their product, and the average closing prices for their item, based on starting prices, auction titles and everything else.
The fact is: For many items, all you are going to get is one bid - whether you start your item at 1 cent, or $100.00. If you are selling an off the wall collectible, or any kind of item not on eBAY pop, you really want to make sure you start your item, at a price you would be happy to receive.
Back to profit and margin. eBAY is like any other business. You need to know your numbers, and your competitions numbers, if you intend to make a profit. There is often times a lot of difference between the retail price, and the eBAY price. People come on eBAY expecting to find a great bargain. And, that gives you the opportunity to make a profit - if you can supply them with that bargain. Your mission is to find the right product to supply, where you can make a great profit.
Easier said, than done, I admit. But, you really need to take some time checking ebay out, and looking for profitable niches you can supply. Anyone can hit yard sales, estates, and auctions, and find some great things to sell. But doing it consistently is a lot of work.
Another thing you need to think about when you're ranting about that YAHOO selling an item for nothing is, the two of you may have an entirely different view of what a good profit is. Joe Blow may be happy with an extra two or three hundred a month to get a little pin money, while you are busy building an empire and trying to make four or five thousand a month. You're never going to beat the lowball seller on price alone. You need to take a good look at what you have to offer, versus the other guy. If you can't name at least five or ten reasons your customer should buy from you, you should probably hang it up, because you're going no where fast. Think about why you are better, and let it show in your auctions. Build a great store that encourages repeat business. If your competitors are selling cheap knock offs, or a bunch of crap - point out your product features, and why people should spend more for your products. Offer a great warranty. Share customer success stories.
In other words - Quit griping about lowball sellers, cheap starting prices, and dismal profits. Instead, start planning for success.
- Research your starting prices
- Research your titles and keywords
- Reseach final prices for items similar to yours
- Research your competition - what are they selling? What aren't they selling?
- Look for underserved niches, and be the first to jump in and fill them
You can make a great profit on eBAY. If you put in the time, and the effort to make it.