It’s an eBay World
Did you know that you can find nearly anything and everything that you’d want to purchase on eBay? From used cars to a pepper grinder made from a stuffed raccoon—eBay has become the world’s marketplace. From high class and high priced to trailer trash chic and selling for pennies, anything you want is at your fingertips. Some say it’s like a world-wide garage sale and that’s not far wrong.
People come to eBay by the millions.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Are you selling on eBay yet? You’re not?
Not smart. There is money to be made on eBay—big money. It’s there for the taking and if you’re not there you’re missing out on one of the biggest gold rushes of this century.
You need to become a Top eBay Seller and I’m about to show you how.
Knowledge is Power
Now that you know eBay can make you a fortune—how will you do it? It’s all well and good to set up an account on eBay, list a few items and sell them, but anyone can do that. Wouldn’t you rather become a TOP SELLER on eBay? Wouldn’t you like to bring in thousands and thousands of dollars a month?
The first thing that you have to do is understand the way eBay works, the way a buyer’s mind works and what attracts them and how to make your offers irresistible to them.
Don’t just look around your house, see something that you’re not using any longer and decide that would be a nice thing to get rid of. Unless that’s exactly what you want to do.
Wouldn’t you rather discover what eBay buyers are buying? You need to know what items to sell, what to charge for them and how to sell them. In order to do this you’re going to have to put in a little study time—but that’s ok, because it’s going to help you get an edge over other eBay sellers.
The first thing you need to do is look at past sales trends. eBay makes this easy for you by providing a Completed Listings search tool. By using this tool you can see what items sold for, what percentages were sold, and discover selling strategies that worked the items you’re planning on selling.
Go to eBay and click on the Advanced Search at the top of the page. Enter the items that you want to know about. Say you’re planning on selling used cell phones. Enter those keywords, check the Completed Listings Only box and click on the search button. Pages of items that have sold will load for you and you’ll be able to view what other sellers listed their used cell phones for, what types, brands, with what features and how they sold.
Used cell phones (our example item) that sold are marked in green. The ones that didn’t sell are in red. Because you don’t want your potential item to be marked in red (unsold) you’re going to study the successful sales groups. What was the final selling price for the item? What’s a usual starting price?
Study the ads of those that sold versus the ones that didn’t: how did they phrase their ad? Did they use bold titles? How did they describe their product? Look at the pictures they used and see how they presented their item for sale. Was the item featured using subtitles, bolded text or more photos from the gallery? Top sellers often use the upgraded features to showcase their wares—to garner more attention and thus make more sales. If your ad stands out it’s more likely to get noticed and bid on.
Did the seller have a posted guarantee or return policy? Check their shipping rates and features. Did the seller upgrade to What kinds of payment did the seller accept?
Your item is more likely to sell if you offer more payment methods. EBay allows you to accept certain kinds of payment options and decline to use others.
The options available for being paid on eBay are the following:
- Credit cards
- Cashier’s Checks
- Money Orders
- Bank Checks
Most sellers on eBay take paypal and some take paypal and credit card payments.
It stands to reason that the more payment methods you accept, the more likely you are make a sale. The problem lies in the fact that some people who purchase on eBay are not always scrupulous. Although there are plenty of honest buyers who prefer to purchase on eBay with money orders and cashier’s checks, there are also many who use those methods of payment fraudulently and you’re opening yourself up to some risk. Fake money orders are a real problem and you will have to decide if you’re willing to take on that issue.
Back to our search on how items have sold before.
In order to understand what’s going on with supply and demand for used cell phones (or any item that you’re looking to sell) do an active listings search. This will show you how many are for sale, asking prices and give you ideas on how to word YOUR ads.
Do Your Homework
According to eBay, 90% of top sellers online do some form of market research before they list their items. Doing a Completed Listing Search will only give you two week’s worth of data. If you want to go more in depth, and if you want to become a top seller on eBay, then you’re going to have to engage in some homework. You remember homework, right? It’s what helped you get good grades in school. Now it’s going to help you earn a lucrative income on eBay.
EBay offers a paid service which allows you to do the following:
- Access 90 days of Completed Items information
- View and analyze everything from top search data, starting prices, average starting prices and average selling prices
- You can track items that you want more information on and see what the sale price was
- View graphs with average buying and selling trends
This service comes in three flavors, FastPass, Basic and Pro. You’ll be charged a graduated fee for each one. Since the best sellers are using this method of market research you may want to jump into it as well. But only if you want to become a Top eBay Seller!
Use Seller’s Central
EBay makes it easy for those who wish to become top sellers—because it’s a win-win for them in fees. Seller Central is an excellent resource. Just click on the SELL tab located at the bottom of the SELL page. This will send you to a page that offers you search tools and the following:
- What’s Hot tab will show you what items are selling well and are in high demand on eBay right now so you can get in on that trend.
- Merchandising Calendar will give you advance notice of which items eBay is going to be spotlighting on their home page and their promotions.
- Category Tips will give you an edge when you’re working on your ads because eBay will show you exactly which keywords are in demand in your category. By using the most in-demand keywords buyers will be more likely to find your auction and click on it. If they click on it, they’re more likely to buy it.
Click on the What’s Hot to find the link to eBay Pulse. That will show you what items are red hot and selling fast! Use the category selector and that will give you the Pulse report for any category you are researching. This will also allow you to delve deep into subcategories, give you the top ten searches for a category and will give you a list of the five top stores in that niche. This will help you see how successful these sellers are and give you an idea on how you can do what they do. Make money!
Use any of the searches to take you right to the search results and then you can click on store names to check out the stores, and see sellers’ profiles or feedback scores.
Another search option offered by eBay are from third party vendors that offer research services. These third-party vendors can tell you when the best time is to list your auction and they’ll instruct you on the features that the Top Sellers are using. Click on the Sell tab, go to Sell Hub and click on Third Party Services located towards the bottom of the page, then click on eBay Solutions Directory and go to the Marketplace Research link located under Other Solutions.
In order to be a successful seller on eBay, you’re going to have to be able to take excellent pictures of what you’re selling. Try to get into the minds of your potential buyers and see what they want to see.
A buyer wants to see the item that they’re purchasing, and so would you.
Make certain that your pictures are clean and close up to the items. Blurry is bad, clear is good. Crystal is better.
Natural or ambient lighting works best to show the piece that you’re going to sell.
If you’re selling a digital product, make sure you have a picture that depicts what the item is. There are programs that can create graphics of eBooks or CD’s that you can then post next to the item you’re selling. If you’re not a gifted photographer or graphics artist there are photographers you can hire, or graphic artists that can add a great deal to your ad.
Remember that most people are impressed by clear, crisp visual depictions and will be more likely to purchase your items if the picture is compelling.
Make Your Written Description Soar
In order to become a great seller on eBay you’ll have to write a description of what you’re selling. Browse the categories and see what other sellers have written. You’ll find some that are brief and to the point, some are dry and boring and then sometimes you’ll come across a very creative description that stands out from the crowd. Some will even make you laugh.
Perhaps you’ve gotten emails from friends that have been forwarded a million times about a certain item for auction on eBay. The reason this particular ad is getting so much attention is because the seller has gotten creative in wording the ad. Some ads that get all this attention are selling unique one-of-a-kind items (like a husband) but that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz up your copy, even if you’re not selling off your significant other.
Make the description of your item compelling. Describe any and all characteristics, including any defects it may have. A seller has an obligation to honestly report on the condition of the item they’re putting up for auction.
Try to anticipate the questions a potential buyer may have about your item and answer them in the description that you’re going to write.
It’s also a good idea to have someone proof what you’ve written. If there are grammatical or spelling errors in your copy it will appear less than professional and may put off those who might have been interested in purchasing your item.
Most of all be creative. Stand out from the crowd and you’ll do better than you might think.
Don’t Know What to Sell?
EBay gives you ideas on what to sell! Just check out the WANT IT NOW tab on eBay’s homepage to see what eBay buyers want but can’t find! If you can fill that niche you’re in for a selling frenzy!
One of the things that a potential buyer will look at, besides your item, is your feedback rating.
A feedback rating is what others have said about you as a buyer and as a purchaser. You want the best possible rating because this tells buyers that you are a person that can be trusted to sell and purchase in an honest manner.
One way to get a fast feedback rating is to purchase penny items from eBay sellers. There are a great number of low-priced items on eBay, from eBooks to toys. Even if you don’t particularly need the item, you DO need a good feedback rating to instill trust in your potential clients.
Make sure you treat your customers right and hopefully they will reciprocate by leaving you an excellent feedback rating. In this way you’ll be building a solid reputation in the eBay community and word of mouth (feedback) means a great deal there.
Naturally you cannot please all the people all the time, but do your best and soon you’ll have a reputation as someone that can be purchased from with peace of mind.
So put potential buyer’s minds at ease by keeping your feedback rating high and you’ll make a lot more sales.
Excellent Customer Service
One of the mainstays of being a top seller on eBay is learning to respond to your customers in a timely manner.
When you receive an email, answer it promptly. This will help make you a sale. If you don’t respond, then a buyer may lose interest in your item and move on to something else.
Learn from your experiences with sales clerks and businesses. If you’re not responded to, then you’re not happy with your buying experience. Simply because you don’t have to see your customers face to face or speak to them on the phone doesn’t mean that you should ignore them. Email your customers, send them a thank-you email, ask them questions to see how you could improve their buying experience.
Give your customers excellent service and they will become repeat customers AND leave you good feedback responses, which will also increase your overall sales.
Open an eBay Store
If you sell one thing that’s great, but how about selling a LOT of things? Even better! If you open an eBay store you will enjoy some special perks given out by eBay that other regular sellers don’t get. You’ll have the option to add search inventory along with your listings which can lead buyers to other auctions that you’re holding.
Having an eBay store allows you a central location to sell your items and a place to send your customers.
EBay stores can net you a tidy sum if handled correctly. EBay makes it easy for you and will give you tools that include the following:
- Extra Marketing features
- Allows you to design and customize your eBay store—and gives you the tools to do it!
- Easier listing management tools
- Toll-free customer support
- Access to a store listing format to make listing your many items easier
- Three subscription levels of differing prices, Basic, Premium and Anchor. Each has different benefits and tools, with the Anchor store the priciest option.
Buy It Now!
Another great way to become a top eBay seller is to become a seller that is allowed to offer a fixed-price Buy-it-now price.
This enables you to set a fixed price that you will sell at which a buyer can then meet and the auction is over! The plus side to this is that you get your money sooner, rather than waiting for the end of the auction cycle and your buyers get their items faster.
If you have a lot of merchandise this is a good way to get it moving and if you have a product that’s in high demand it boosts your chances of making more sales in a shorter period of time.
Upgrade and Multiple List
If you want to make more sales on eBay, then you have to take advantage of their multiple listing categories. This puts your merchandise in front of more buyers, rather than just setting it up under one category.
It’s also a good idea to use eBay’s feature upgrades, like putting your text in bold, highlighting your words and even putting up extra pictures to catch the eyes of potential buyers. Again, use the search options to see what successful sellers are using to attract more customers. This will increase your chances of getting a sale, and that’s a good thing.
Use a Shorter Auction Cycle and Offer Guarantees
The last two tips I have for you to become a top eBay seller is to use a shorter auction cycle and offer money back guarantees.
Using a shorter cycle, three days instead of five, means that you’ll get your money faster, potentially make more sales and perhaps reach a larger customer base. Offering a guarantee will ease a potential buyer’s mind about whether or not they should make the purchase. They know that if the item isn’t to their liking, they can return it.
Find YOUR Pot of Gold on eBay!
It’s a matter of record that eBay has revolutionized the online buying experiences. Some say it’s the world’s biggest garage sale—and on some level that might be true. But eBay has also become synonymous with selling, buying, making money and much, much more.
If you’ve ever considered becoming a seller on eBay you should spend some time visiting there and reading up on their rules and then search for things that you might wish to sell. Start out part time and build up over time as you learn from the See what other sellers are doing and how successful they are at what they do. Take advantage of eBay’s tutorials, you can even purchase DVD’s to help increase your knowledge and therefore your ability to become a Top Seller on eBay.
As I said before, knowledge is power and power translates into success as a Top eBay Seller.