Friday, March 26, 2010

How to sell on Ebay (the right way).

I have been asked quite a few times from co-workers and friends how I make my money on Ebay, so I thought I would write an article on the subject. What makes me have the rights to compose such an article? Well, I have been selling on Ebay for 5 years and am ranked as a Power Seller as well as a Top Rated Seller , I also have a feedback score of 100%. The way I started my Ebay business and how I sell won’t work for everyone, however you can take the basic principles and apply them to your own way of doing business on Ebay. Let’s get started.

First things first. What do you want to sell? Try to sell things that you are both passionate and knowledgeable about. Do you like hair care products? Make-up? For me it was clothing, shoes, and handbags. I know about brand power so I told myself to stick just with designer brands hence my user id Designerfindsaddict. Once you determine what you want to sell then you will want to come up with a seller id that people will remember or correlate to the items you are selling. You are not going to have a name of Designerfindsaddict when you are selling car parts.

Next you need to go to Ebay and get registered as a seller. This is a very easy process and the website walks you through this. You will also need to establish a Paypal account. Paypal is how you will receive money from your buyers. When I signed up for Paypal I also signed up for the debit card, which gives you 1% cash back on all purchases. The option for the money to be automatically invested in a money market account was also there and I took the opportunity to sign up for it. Since stocks are so low right now you are not getting a huge return but when it was doing well, the profit was nice. I do all my transactions with my Paypal debit card. I use it at the post office to ship my items and I also use it to buy the items I sell.

Once you have established all the accounts, it’s time to get started! This is exciting isn’t it? The thought that you can be your own boss is enough to celebrate! I have read mixed reviews on this next step, people see it different ways. You have to establish yourself with your feedback. Some people do this by buying a lot of little things to get your “number” high. I personally think this is a little shady. Ebayers are not stupid and they will look at the items you bought and see that you paid very little and they will not fully trust you. They will know what you are trying to do. I say look for things in your home that you can sell. Never sell anything that you wouldn’t buy yourself, items that have holes, stains, or have beyond normal wear. I started by selling the clothes I didn’t wear anymore. Now, I don’t usually buy designer clothing so I started with midline clothing brands such as Banana Republic and Gap.

Researching your item is key. Type in your items name in the search bar and do a completed items search. This will tell you how much your item sold for in the past from different sellers. The amounts listed in Green are the items that sold. The amounts listed in Red are the items that didn’t sell. Now, again, this is just what I do and every seller does this different…but if I see an item that I bought from a store in the completed field with a bunch of red amounts I immediately go back to the store and return the item. Sometimes I will check this out while I am at the store, almost any smartphone will have an Ebay application. If you list the item, you’re pretty much wasting your time and MONEY!! Once you have the amount you want to sell it for and what you want to write for the description of the item, it's time to list it.

Listing your items takes a lot patience. It takes time. Don’t try listing items when you’re making your children dinner or trying to finish up your homework. Set up a designated time to do Ebaying, trust me, this makes all the difference. Make sure your pictures are clear and you are able to see the item well. The more pictures the better. I try to stay away from using stock photos you can find by Googling your item. Customers want to see what they are going to get. Sometimes a stock photo is ok for the main photo, but you will definitely want to use real photos inside your listing. Remember, it’s all about earning your customers trust. Ebay walks you through this listing process and they have a live chat feature that is there to help you along the way.

Your item sold!! Congratulations! This is a very important time in your Ebaying experience. What you do after an item sells separates the great sellers from the not so great sellers. Time is of the essence. The faster you ship an item and the more you communicate with the buyer, the better your feedback score. You want to wow your customers. Give them more than they expect. Sometimes I take this overboard (like driving to the post office at 11:30 at night just so I can mark an item shipped within 30 minutes of the purchase) but customers LOVE this!!

Finally, if something goes wrong during shipping, if the item is damaged or was misrepresented in the listing, always remember the customer is always right. You may lose your butt on profit, but that same customer may come back multiple times in the future and you will eventually make up the loss. There is one exception to this. If the item was not misrepresented in the listing and not damaged during shipping you do have the right to not offer a return. You must specifically list your return policy in each listing. Ebay walks you through this as well.

I could write another 5 pages on this subject, but I think I have subjected you to enough information by now. Good luck with your Ebay business and if you ever need advise, I am only an email away!!

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