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Top 10 Tips For eBay Sellers


Why has starting an eBay business become so popular?

Because it’s great being self-employed, you meet a lot of people online and you can work from the comfort of your home.

But what if you want to actually make BIG money on eBay?

How did you go from just selling your old junk on eBay to actually having a successful eBay business?

And how much money can you really make on eBay?

Read these 10 tips and you’ll be on your way to making thousands of dollars on eBay.

We’ve reviewed every top 10 eBay seller’s list on the Internet and consolidated the best of the best here for you to read and go profit; you won’t find a better list of the top 10 tips for eBay sellers anywhere!

1. Doing Your Homework; Research, Research, Research

Do launch an eBay store if you’re serious about building a business. Don’t do it until you have completed your homework! Doing extensive research before launching a store is critical if you want to be successful making money on eBay. At the very least, you must:

  • Know how much market demand exists for your product category
  • Know how much you can sell your products for and what your profit margin will be
  • Know how much competition you will face in your selected category
  • Know where you can source your products and whether you can arrange for drop shipping
  • Know what your absolute shipping and handling costs will be

2. Set Realistic Goals

People are too eager to get rich with their eBay business, but how realistic is it? Some sellers have found ways to made excellent livings. What should you set as your goals so that you can make a decent return?

  • Set a realistic target for yourself, like $1,000 per month. Once you achieve the goal, you can increase it again with a realistic expectation that you can meet it.
  • Remember, it may take 10 to 12 hour days, 7 days a week to get your eBay business up to speed; it’s no different than any other business.
  • Your initial focus should be on establishing yourself as a proven, trusted seller and building up positive feedback and repeat customers. If you want to build a successful eBay business, you have to take the time to achieve your goals.
  • Your feedback score must be at least 50 or buyers won’t fully trust you. Start out a new eBay ID by buying from other sellers until you reach 10. Then you can start selling lower priced items to build up your feedback.
  • Don’t try to sell expensive items until you have established yourself. You need to keep your feedback rating at 99% or higher to keep potential buyers’ trust.
  • Run your eBay business as a proper business from the start. That means setting up a real business; starting an LLC or establishing a DBA (doing business as), collecting appropriate taxes, following solid business practices and investing in promotion, professional packaging and customer service.

3. Write Sticky Headlines and Listings

This is your only sales opportunity on eBay; if you can’t write a catchy headline and create a professional listing, you will not succeed. It’s just that simple. Here are a few critical techniques to follow:

  • Headlines should always have a “hook”; why is your item such a great deal? Show some personality and creativity in your headlines. For instance, you don’t just sell "antiques" … you sell "original, one-of-a-kind collectibles".
  • The most import element of your eBay listing is the title. It is the title, not the description, which is indexed for search results.
  • There are 55 characters allowed in your title, so choose your words carefully. Don’t use words like "feel" or "wonderful"; select keywords that buyers are likely to search.
  • A great way to select keywords is by searching completed listings for similar items for ones that have sold for the highest prices and examining several of the top sellers’ titles.
  • If you are selling more than one unit in your listing, include the plural and singular keyword in the title.
  • If space allows, add common misspellings of the primary keyword in your title.
  • Always make sure your items are listed in the correct category.
  • Be honest in describing the condition; is it new, used, brand name and model, size, weight, color, features and benefits. Think like your buyer; what would you want to know in order to be convinced to buy the product?
  • Don’t use boilerplate copy from the manufacturer of an item unless the item is new and you know that other eBay sellers are not using the same copy; you need to stand out from the crowd.
  • Stating you offer the "Lowest price, guaranteed!" will not work. The most convincing thing is to be open about your business model. Are you selling cordless phones in bulk? Do you have too much inventory for your retail store, and you’re selling off your overstock?
  • Exaggerate problems; it may seem counterintuitive, but eBay sellers with the best ratings do it religiously. If there’s a minor scratch, zoom in! Overestimating flaws builds the trust required to “bid with confidence”.

4. The Proverbial 1000 Words

A picture IS worth 1000 words. It’s old-fashioned, but people still like to see things before they buy them. For successful eBay selling, make sure any products you list on eBay are accompanied by quality color photographs.

  • Professional quality photos greatly increase your selling success!
  • It is estimated that over 80% of eBay buyers skip listings without images while sites with galleries get 15% more activity.
  • Listings with super-size photos get a whopping 24 percent spike in sales!
  • Use a product image by the headline to grab attention; you’re trying to catch the bidder’s attention as they scan hundreds of listings. It costs nothing to add a photo by the headline, you will get far more click-throughs this way.
  • Show multiple views and close-ups.

5. 100% Customer Satisfaction

Your customer’s buying experience determines whether you get positive feedback. Always be professional and provide excellent customer service to build your reputation. Selling on eBay is like any other business; provide the kind of customer satisfaction that you expect from any business yourself.

  • Always follow up by email to ask your customer how the item arrived and whether he is happy with his purchase; you catch a problem before and resolve it before you get negative feedback
  • Offer a return policy in order to reassure customers that your items are “as advertised”. While you may have the occasional return, in the long run you will be far more profitable accepting returns in cases where your customer is not happy.
  • Be fair in your shipping charges and do not attempt to extort buyers with handling fees or mark ups.
  • Maintain a rating above 99%; if your rating falls below 99%, buyers will likely lack confidence to buy from you.

6. Give Your Customer Options

  • Offer as many payment options as possible, including PayPal and credit cards. The more payment options you offer, the more bidders you will attract.
  • Where applicable, link to the owner’s/user’s manual/instructions for your product.
  • If you are selling new items, be sure to offer as many options as possible in terms of color, size, etc.

7. Pricing For Profit

Knowing how to price on eBay is crucial to your selling success. Guaranteed all those sellers who are peddling iPhones for $1,000 are sitting on unsold inventory. Overestimate the market pricing and you fail to get that critical first bid. Here are some pricing strategies to follow:

  • Know what your product is selling for elsewhere. Research what similar products are selling for and you’ll know what you can expect to get.
  • Take your expected winning bid, cut it in half, take off another 10% and use that as your reserve price if you feel you must set a reserve.
  • The more bids you get, the higher the winning bid will be. More bids attract more buyers, so the way to start a bidding frenzy is by starting the initial price very low to encourage as much bidding as possible.
  • Items that typically receive more than 10 bids are best to start at a ridiculously low price like 99 cents.
  • If you’re willing to accept a price about what it’s selling for elsewhere on eBay, use that price for your "Buy It Now" and throw in free shipping to create a truly compelling offer.

8. Auction Timing

  • Seven day auctions are usually the most successful, but try different auctions lengths to find what works best for your product category. Seven day auctions are the most popular because they usually cover weekends.
  • Set up your auctions to end on Sunday when more people are at home than any other day of the week.
  • Friday and Saturday tend to be the worst days to end your auctions.
  • Try to end auction listings at 10 PM EST (7 PM PST).

9. Selling Outside of eBay

Regardless how good you are as an eBay seller, there is more money be made by selling outside eBay.

  • If you can build a customer base on eBay, then you can send them newsletters and special promotions. This enables you to sell items through your eCommerce site and avoid paying eBay fees.
  • Try promoting your online business by starting a blog, posting on relevant forums or submitting articles to popular eZines.

10. Going International

Every bid counts, even if it comes from the other side of the world. Follow these tips to sell internationally on eBay:

  • Set a special handling fee for international buyers to compensate for the extra time it takes you to fill out the customs form and to cover international shipping and insurance costs.
  • Always insure international packages.
  • Notify customers that they are responsible for return shipping expense as part of your return policy

We hope you will find these 10 tips for eBay sellers useful and profitable in running your eBay business. Good luck and good selling.


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