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This often amounts to classical errors and misconceptions. eBay with its cleaver advertising and it’s high media profile has lead too many people to believe (incorrectly) that all you have to do is to list an item on eBay to make money from it. Well I don’t want to burst any bubbles but this is simply not true, it does not work like that.
To give an example a shop opened very close to me over a year ago, part of the eBay partner network; it was approved by eBay, and proudly displayed the eBay logo as the partners had gained sanction from eBay and had done the training and gained the accreditation required.
I dropped in to the shop incognito to suss out the competition so to speak. The way it works is this; the company list your item for you and take a percentage of the selling price. As a customer you agree not to sell the item in the interim. Does it work as a business model? Again it depends on what is being sold. If it is an auction, unless you have set a reserve price the item may well sell at the starting price no matter how low this may be.
The simple formula put it on eBay, sell it make, money, does not work unless you have a desirable item. I am sorry to report that the business did not succeed it closed within 3 months, due to the low quality of items presented for resale and the ability to sell the item on eBay yourself. This should be a warning about buying into the eBay mythos. So what are the 10 classic errors about eBay selling and how can we avoid them. Well they are:
- Making money instantly: Not everything will sell remember that. Now that’s ok when you are selling your own possessions to make a few dollars here and there. We are often just recouping money we have already spent and would otherwise be money that would have remained dormant. My own eBay business took 8 month before it showed a clear profit. So do not expect instant results from each product you try to sell.
- Thinking any old rubbish will sell: Think of the example earlier, or this example. I visited an open market recently; one of the stalls was selling old fashioned second hand watches at $40-$50. As I looked at them the seller told me that they sold on eBay at $75-$100 each. Now why was he selling these at the market?
- Poor titles: The point of the title is to grab the attention of a prospective buyer. Have a look at on eBay in any category, how many of the titles fail to do this? Answer lots, use keywords in your title, look at the other seller’s titles who are selling the same or similar items to yourself. Use the same keywords, but do not, repeat do not copy the title. Rewrite the title of a particularly successful listing.
- Poor picture: Your pictures are the second big opportunity to sell your item (some would say the first). So make the picture as good as it can be. Digital cameras are very affordable these days and most cell phone have an excellent camera as standard so getting a good picture should not be a problem. There are a number of free image manipulation packages to crop your photo and improve its presentation. Make sure that the item is in focus and that the lighting is good, the whole purpose of the picture is to show off the item for sale to its best advantage. Would you buy an item from a listing in which you could not see the item clearly?
More next time.