Monday, July 16, 2012

How To Sell Your Stuff : Part One ~ eBay

In ahead of our move I have ramped up our purging efforts here lately.
We took one van full load to Goodwill last week. I did not count how much was in it because I know
it was well over 200 items. I also sit a pile of items to the curb, made a free post in 
Craigslist and watched it disappear in a matter of minutes. Still, there is more here. Sadly.
What I am faced with now is a collection of items I want to sell. 
So, I turn to my favorite places to sell these unwanted items that have lots of life left in them.
 eBay & Craigslist.
I find these to work better for me than yard sales. However, I do have those as well.
I typically have a selling filtered process that goes like this : post on eBay, then move unsold items
after 2 re-listings to Craigslist, then move unsold items from Craiglist to either sell or donate pile.
 Then once I have a good sale pile, I have a yard sale. Whatever is left over gets donated.
Because I am fairly successful in moving items, I am often ask for my best tips for eBay, Craigslist or Yard Sales. I am sharing them with you in a 3 part series. Today, we will start with eBay!
  
Top 10 eBay Tips
 1. Describe & show what you sell in detail. 
Over describe it. Make sure the buyer can
make an informed decision about this purchase. They will like your abundance of information. 
Pictures, pictures and more pictures. Make sure to denote the smallest of flaw. 
You want to cover yourself and inform your buyer. It may turn away a few buyers but
chances are this is the widget they were longing for, so the small scratch does not matter to them.

 2. Dump Reserve Pricing.
This is just a way to lure people in and it feels (as a buyer on eBay) deceptive. 
Just use the lowest price you will take for it as your starting off point. 
I tell people price it at the beginning at a price you won't cry for hours over if it sells.

3. Use BUY IT NOW.
Often as a buyer, I want something and do not want to wait. If I see an item that is priced 
what I wanted to pay to begin with, I am going to skip the bidding process and make it mine, now.

4. Do your research prior to pricing.
There is a saying I use so often which is, Something is only worth what someone will pay for it.
While a silver expert site may say your great grandmother's silverware is worth $1000, if you research
eBay and see it is selling consistently for $600, then price it accordingly to what is selling. 

5. Relist.
Things will not always sell the first go around. Be patient and relist. Take that time before
relisting to make any changes to your description. Also research one more time prices and make
any necessary changes there. eBay offer 50 free listings a month, so it cost you nothing if you stay under 
that number. Also, check your email as eBay will offer many days within that month of listing specials. 
Use them to your advantage if your unloading lots of item.

6. Skip FREE SHIPPING.
News flash, there is NO free shipping. Sellers who use this ploy have already factored in the 
shipping to their item. I find it does not attract more buyers than a low price and basic shipping. 
 I have Power Seller status and have never offered free shipping. Most if not all buyers 
know that the free shipping is being absorbed somewhere. This is a marketing ploy.
Your buyers are smart, treat them the way you want to be treated and you will get the sales you need.

7. Use PRIORITY MAIL.
Free boxes, fast shipping, discounts through Paypal, scheduled pick ups, supplies delivered to your
doorstep. How much more easier can it be?

8. Charge EXACT shipping.
If your going to need to buy packing supplies, please factor that in to your pricing before hand.
I like to glean free supplies from Craigslist or Freecycle and word of mouth. 
Packing peanuts and bubble wrap CAN be attained for free. If those means can not be used
in your area, go stores that would get in breakable items, ask for their packing material they are tossing. 
Most if not all will gladly give it away to you! 
Exact shipping builds trust in your buyers. Priority Flat Rate is a good way to get around weight issues 
and figuring out how much to ship. Just make sure you aren't charging $12 to ship a $5 item. Give the buyers options on ways to ship. If the item is lightweight and not fragile, I will also give a Parcel Post price.
Giving your buyer choices will ensure they will feel as if they are being catered to.

9. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Answer questions promptly. Let the buyer know when their item shipped ASAP.
Communication is a great key in encouraging buyers.

10. Make time.
eBay items need your time. You need to not post it and forget until 7 days later. You need to monitor
your auctions for questions, concerns and bidding. Nothing more frustrating then stating no sales overseas,
ignoring your auction for 7 days only to see the winning bidder is in Japan. Taking the time to pay attention to detail will save you time, show you where you can make changes (if necessary) and get the sales your after.

These are just a few of the things I employ when selling on eBay. If you have questions, please put them in
the comment section. I love helping others find more sustainable ways to move items out
of their life! Remember, re-selling is the ultimate in recycling!

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5 comments:

Becca said...

Great tips! I have been selling on eBay for almost 10 years and you taught me a few things. :-) Right now I am racking up the money selling my kid's textbooks from last year. This is the only time I do not use priority shipping unless they buy quite a few books from me. No one wants to pay $3 for a book and at a minimum $5.30 for shipping. I hate using media mail because of the shipping time, but most of the time if I give my buyers a choice they always choose it. It is so reasonably priced for shipping, even if it is slow.

Chele said...

Becca,
Great tip on the Media Mail. I too often sell my used home school books and always give Media Mail option, most of the time people always take it. :)

Jill of all Trades said...

Having just gotten married, my spouse and I are looking to use Ebay to downsize. These are great tips! Thansk for sharing.

Sarah @ Natures Nurture said...

Great tips, Chele! I've been buying on selling on eBay for as long as I can remember! It's such a great resource (along with Craigslist!). I like the simple system you have set up to move you "inventory" along. Thanks so much for sharing at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

By the way, I'm featuring you on my blog tomorrow morning, so come check it out!

Chele said...

I just seen this Sarah, THANK YOU!!!!