If, like me, you’re hoping to use some the warmer weather to clear out some household clutter, you’ll probably be looking to eBay to try and make some money on your previously cherished items, so you’ve got more money to spend on important things like family vacations or days out in the summer.
If you’ve just started out on eBay or aren’t a regular seller, there are a few common pitfalls that are easy to fall into (and therefore easy to rectify!), to take you from newbie to pro with not a lot of extra effort. See if there are any small changes you can make to get your old things flying off the shelf and money flying into your pocket.
High shipping prices
Many sellers move on when they see high shipping prices, particularly in comparison to other listings of the same item. eBay buyers can easily look up postage costs so make sure you don’t look like you’re taking them for a ride. Consider listing items as ‘free delivery’ and increasing the item price to swallow the postage costs – but watch out as this will increase the final ebay fees you’ll need to pay (they’re calculated by the item’s final selling price).
For heavy or bulky items, don’t shy away from putting ‘collection only’. As long as the item price is fair, this should hopefully not put off as many customers as you might think – there are lots of companies out there like Shiply who can deliver large items for non-locals, and this puts the postage in the hands of the buyer so they know there are no hidden costs.
Bad or too short descriptions
We see them everywhere – words like GORGEOUS or STUNNING used in titles for clothing or accessories. Adjectives like this are not really helpful and just get in the way of more useful information such as the size, color and brand.
Be honest about the item’s condition – select the correct condition so buyers aren’t disappointed when they receive their item. Imagine if you bought something in ‘very good’ condition, only to find a big scratch on it when you open the box! Make sure you include need-to-know information including measurements, whether something is true to size, and why you’re selling the item if it adds peace of mind to the buyer (has your child sadly grown out of it or you wish you could keep it but are saving for something special?) Keeping quiet about damage could result in returns which will get you back to where you started, so have a photo showing any damages so there are no nasty surprises for the buyer.
Think of your listing in the customer’s shoes
If you’ve got an item listing, think about what potential buyers will think. If you regularly buy things on eBay, you’ll have a good idea of what you look for, so try and provide the information that you would like to see.
Make sure you’re able to respond to questions about the item. You don’t need to be responding to everyone immediately, but check your account regularly for messages so you’re not ignoring people.
Check that the images accurately show the item. An expensive camera is certainly not necessary, but getting good lighting that shows accurate colors can make a big difference
Look at the time you’ve set the auction to finish. If it ends at 4am this is not likely to be prime shopping time for customers. The best times for auctions to finish is 9pm, with Sundays, Mondays and Saturdays being the best days.
I hope these tips help to supercharge your listings and give you a little spare cash for some extra ice creams this summer. Let me know how you got on!
Laura is a writer trying to live frugally in London. She loves vegetarian cooking, sunny days in the park and attempts to befriend every cat she comes across.