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Ebay Selling Tips

I do shop on Ebay a lot, but sometimes I sell things too. In fact, my very first transaction on Ebay was a sale. I’ve been Ebaying since May 2000!

Here’s a few basic tips for selling on Ebay more successfully that I picked up over the years. At least this is what works for the stuff I sell (clothing, jewelry, shoes, computers, photo-equipment, miscellaneous):

Listings get the most action when they end around 10pm EST. I list on Thursdays for 10 days or Sundays for 7 days. Listing on Tuesdays for 5 days didn’t work at all – not enough exposure time.

I try to group items by category (i.e., list all movies together, all shoes, all clothing). This often leads to one person buying several items.

Offer combined shipping. This also leads to multiple purchases.

If you prepare your listings offline in advance (like I do), list them at least 5-10 minutes apart. It’s kind of tedious, but… there are bidders who only shop from “Ending now” listings hoping to get the best deal on items without bids. If all your items end at the same time, these last minute browsers won’t have a chance to bid on more than one of your items.

It is believed that people shop on Ebay when they get paid, generally around the 1st and the 15th of each month. While it’s been kind of true for me, I get the best results around the 15th. Possibly because in the middle of the month people don’t think about budgeting as much, and at the end/beginning of the month they’re more mindful of spending (just a theory).

Every listing should provide information in an easy-to-read format. As both buyer and seller, I prefer bullet lists to creative essays and make sure I include (when applicable):
– item picture, – condition, – defects, – brand, – size, – color, – dimensions;
– shipping charges; – payment types accepted; – other terms such as local pickup.

The fewer questions the buyers have, the less chance for problems down the road. Full disclosure means you won’t have to respond to bidder questions all week long, and the buyers will have reasonable expectations about the item. There’s always going to be the one who doesn’t read all of your carefully drafted ad, but if you’re not selling video games (target audience – teenage boys with ultra short attention span), you won’t get many of those.

Ebay offers all sorts of listing upgrades. I’ve tried most at one time or another, and again – this is just my personal experience – only these are worth paying extra for:
– gallery picture: almost all items benefit except movies and books
– 10-day extension: oddball items buyers aren’t very likely to look for on Ebay, or the ones you want to sell for $50+
– subtitle: for items you expect to sell for $15+.

Holidays: Weekends after Christmas and the New Year have been good at times, but generally I don’t bother listing for items to end on holidays or weekends right after.

Seasons: Mid-May through August are a great time to find bargains on Ebay – and the worst time for selling anything.

Between Ebay, Paypal fees and increased shipping, I get to keep less and less $. I no longer bother selling anything for under $10. It’s just not worth my time anymore.

Happy Spring Cleaning!