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How to Sell on eBay

For a novice, figuring out how to sell on eBay can be challenging. Although eBay started as a global garage sale, over the years selling on eBay has evolved into more of an online medium for small businesses.

For the average person, eBay has become an increasingly hard place to make a sale. Professional eBay merchants, using bulk shipping rates and buying and selling at wholesale prices, can undersell you in starting bid prices and shipping costs. How can the average person compete in such a market?

How to Sell on eBay – Selecting Products to Sell

Before you can start listing auctions or creating an eBay store you will first need to decide what it is you want to sell. There are plenty of books on the subject of running an eBay business but you can get all the information you need from the site itself. The first thing you need to do is sign up for an account if you haven’t done so already.

When you sign into your account you will notice eBay pulse, this is one of the most useful tools that eBay has to help you decide what you should sell. This is under the section “What’s Hot” and then you will be able to see what other people have been searching for.

eBay pulse can be used to identify the top ten highly searched phrases on eBay; these are normally iPods and similar products. This could make it difficult to compete as all of them are expensive branded products.

The problem with looking at the top ten most popular items on the whole site is that although these are popular products there are already plenty of businesses supplying them. Instead you can use the same tool to look at the 10 most popular searches in particular categories. This makes it much easier to identify a niche market.

eBay also offers a wide range of other tools to help you decide what to sell. This includes the eBay community where other members of the community can share their experiences with you. There are lots of forums on eBay which can be used for help and advice.

Spending time researching now will prevent you from making mistakes in the future.

How to Sell on eBay – Listing Items and Establishing Trust

The trick to selling on eBay is to make both your item and you as a seller stand out in the listings. With a little extra time and effort, you can still sell something at a higher starting bid than the professional Power Sellers offering a lower price for the same item.  True, shoppers have become more comfortable buying stuff online over the last fifteen years. But there remains a natural unease of buying an item they’ve never seen from a person they’ve never met in a “buyer beware” atmosphere.

Rumors and horror stories of con men using the anonymity of eBay to run scams will always be part of the online shopping experience. Therefore, to know how to sell on eBay, you need to get shoppers to trust you through your listing words alone. Believe it or not, shoppers will gladly pay a “premium” – paying a slightly higher price for an item bought from a safe, reliable, trustworthy merchant.

Power Sellers on eBay, moving hundreds or even thousands of items a day, can’t spare the time for a detailed description of every item they list. Consequently, their listing often consist of a one-sentence description, followed by long and complicated shipping, warranty, and return/exchange terms and conditions. The lack of details about the item, combined with the elaborate legal defenses, understandably makes people nervous that they’re being set up for a bad deal.

You, on the other hand, can spare the time for a detailed description of the item you’re selling on eBay. If you want to know how to sell on eBay, the trick is to describe the item thoroughly, but briefly. Shoppers are notoriously impatient, and want to get all the important information as quickly as possible.

Start with a one-sentence summary of the item. Next, break your description down into categories (Features, Contents, Shipping, etc.) followed by bullet points. If you have a high feedback score, be sure to mention it.  Always, always, always include a photo of the actual item you’re selling on eBay, every time. Your professional eBay merchant competitors often don’t have time for this. Surprisingly often, Power Sellers either have no picture, or use a stock photo obviously ripped off the internet. Sure, they may be quick and efficient, but it makes shoppers nervous. The fact that the listing doesn’t include a photo of the actual item makes them wonder if there’s something wrong with it.

Next, devote an entire section of your listing to the condition of the item you’re selling on eBay. Shoppers want to know precisely what they are buying. Being brutally honest is how to sell on eBay. If the item has slight imperfections-a dog-eared book cover, a scratch on the CD case, etc.-be sure to mention it. Shoppers will appreciate your honesty, and feel that they can trust you more. Besides, eBay shoppers are usually okay with tiny imperfections. Think about it – if they weren’t okay with a little wear and tear, they wouldn’t be shopping for second-hand merchandise on eBay in the first place!

When selling something on eBay, don’t list something as “New” unless it’s still in the original sealed packaging. “Like New” however, is acceptable, especially if you explain why (never used, only used once, etc.). If you’re selling anything electronic or with moving parts, clearly state that it has been testing and is in good working condition.

How to Sell on eBay – Opening an eBay Store

If you’re looking for an even more professional way to do business on eBay then you can open your own eBay store. This is like a regular store but on eBay. You will have a shop window where you can display your products.

Products can still be searched in the usual way but it’s also possible for people to browse your store seeing only your products. eBay stores are available for a small monthly fee although many people think that it’s worth it.

It’s possible to use your eBay store to brand and promote your business.

These are the tricks to how to sell on eBay. Above all, spend time selecting your products and put the customer’s natural fears to rest. Make them feel they can trust you and your merchandise. Spend the extra time and effort to describe the quality of the item, and your reputation as a merchant. You’d be surprised how often this simple strategy enables you sell your more expensive item over a Power Sellers cheaper competition.

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