Monday, August 6, 2012
Maximizing eBay Auction Results
I've been selling on eBay for about a dozen years and I've had some success with it. Auctions are a fluid thing-- subject to market conditions as well as a variety of other variables some of which may be controlled by the seller. Here are a few tips if you're looking to either start selling or improve your sales on eBay-
1. Pictures sell. Take good pictures, take a lot of pictures. I'm amazed when people put up an auction and don't take pictures. For example- I recently got a lot of Shadow novels which had no pictures listed for $17 which I turned around and resold for close to $300 just by changing the listing with a few of the items below and taking some good pictures. Cell phone pictures are no good-- take a decent picture!
2. No Reserve Prices. I don't bid on them and I don't sell them. If I have an item that I don't want to sell below a certain price I don't list it. Simple as that-- because I start all my auctions below $10 for an opening bid (see the next one). Let the market determine your item's value. Do research. Check COMPLETED AUCTION listings on eBay to see what similar items sell for before you list it.
If you want a certain price-- list it as a BUY IT NOW-- you'll be much more successful. With Reserves the bidders feel like they are wasting their time.
3. Start it Low and Watch it Go! -- As I said, I start every auction below $9.99 to open. Even on an item worth several hundred dollars. The logic is simple-- Auctions work for sellers because a buyer gets an emotional attachment to an item. Maybe they plan on only bidding $40 for something, but once they get caught up in the idea of winning you might get a lot more out of them.
Recently I watched two identical items-- one had an opening bid of $9.99 and the other had an opening bid of $169.00. Same exact item. Same condition. Different sellers.
The item that started at $9.99 SOLD for $374.00! The item that started at $169.00 ended with NO BIDS. Why?
Starting at a lower bid you attracted more bidders, many of whom were convinced they were going to get a bargain. Even as the prices grew, those same bidders now bought into the idea of winning and the auction bidding war begins.
Yet no one is interested in opening the bid at $169-- because the perceived value is not the same. It's hard to comprehend sometimes but emotions play a big part in auction prices realized.
4. End your auctions on Sunday night and never on a holiday weekend. You need to reach the maximum number of bidders and this is it. Auctions that end on Friday nights usually go for 1/3 less than one ending on Sunday night. I've also had some luck with Monday night auctions. I never set an auction to end during the day.
5. Use a third party uploader. This way you can write and schedule your auctions to upload when you want them to. If you are a Windows User I recommend TurboLister and for Mac folks Garage Sale.
6. Ship items right away. Use the ship feature paypal provides and you never have to go to the Post Office. I try to ship within a few hours of the payment coming in to get the item to the buyer quickly. I know I don't like to wait-- and this will build up repeat business for you.
There you go, a half dozen suggestions. Hope they help!
Posted by Andy Fish at 8:18 AM