If you’ve got this far, you’ve got the basics of eBay. There are a few things left, though, that you might not have thought of trying. Quite a few of these tips go against the advice many give for eBay selling – some are a little risky and some are just odd. They’re all worth a try, though, and I’m sure you’ll find at least some you want to keep using.
1. Keep more records. It might sound time consuming, but you’ll actually find it easier in the long run – less time spent trying to figure out which item that cheque you got this morning is for.
2. Post without payment. Don’t even wait for payment to clear! That might sound risky, but it’ll mean that the buyers get their items more quickly – for small items, you might find it worth the occasional loss to give such quick service.
3. Post every day. Once you start shifting a high volume of items, go and post them every day – again, they’ll get there more quickly, making your customers very happy. The best way to do this is if you have items small enough to drop in a postbox.
4. Encourage an auction mentality. Don’t have a Buy it Now price, and make it very clear when it’s the last or only stock you’ll be getting in. Always refer to winning bidders as ‘winners’.
5. Mention every defect your item has. Now why would you do that, you might ask? The answer is that it builds credibility: the small hit you take from the slight flaws is nothing compared to the big boost in trust you get for admitting it. People bid more when they trust the seller.
6. Say how you got the item. Don’t be afraid to go off on a tangent and give all sorts of fun details of how you got hold of what you’re selling – it gives your auction character and, again, builds trust.
7. Accept odd payment methods. Sooner or later you’re going to get a buyer who wants to pay by sending cash in an envelope, or something equally unusual. Why not let them? Be flexible.
8. Don’t be afraid to sell low. Let the occasional item go for a really low price to a good buyer. You might only just break even on the item, but the person who got that bargain will be back again and again.
9. Give free shipping for a certain number of orders, or orders over a certain amount. People might buy something else they don’t want as much, just to get the free shipping. (Amazon use this strategy to great effect).
10. Ship worldwide. Take the time to investigate the prices, and be nice to international customers – imagine how much you’re expanding your market. That’s not to mention the effect of people bidding highly for items that are rare in their country.
Another way to make it easier is to be a better seller is to use some of the many third party eBay tools that are available. The next email will take a look at a selection of tools you might find useful.