I often find myself in conversation with people asking about selling and buying on ebay. I think ebay, and other such auction sites, are a fantastic avenue for buying and selling. They are also environmentally great, as 'stuff' that might otherwise go into landfill because owners don't know what else to do with it, can be sold and bought with relative ease to a huge market of people.
Stewart's ebay selling tips:
- I recommend starting all auctions with a 99-cent starting price. The only exception is for items that are genuinely valuable and you would cry if they did actually sell for 99-cents. While some items will sell for less than you expect, most, and it is often the items you least expect, sell for much more than you dreamt of. Starting with low starting price seems to always get more people interested. Regardless of what you get financially the best bit is that you get your unused and unwanted things out of your life!
- If selling furniture, always state that it is for local pick up only, that buyers must arrange their own transport, and that the goods must be paid for and collected within seven days after close of auction (or whatever length of time you are happy with) or negative feedback will be left. The onus should always be for the buyer to organise collection and particularly buyers who are not local should be polite and ask you prior to bidding if you are happy with whatever collections arrangements they have in mind.
- Be really honest about the condition of the item you are selling. People expect imperfections in second hand goods, so describe things as best you can and show images of any imperfections or flaws. If it has a brand name or other identifiers on it, say so.
- Always provide good quality images of the item you are selling. More are always better.
- List for 10 days. The longer the listing the more people that will see your item. I also like to list on a Thursday afternoon so as a ten day auction finishes on a Sunday afternoon. This has the benefit of spanning two hole weekends, when most people have more time to browse ebay, plus the final bidding happens on Sunday, when more people are likely to have time to do last minute bidding.
- Respond to buyers questions as soon as possible. Even though some of the questions can be amazingly stupid, don't ignore them.
- And lastly, as a safety tip to avoid scammers, always communicate to other members when logged on to the ebay web site. Do not respond to buyers questions by hitting the reply button on your own email program. On more than one occasion I have received emails that look like they are from ebay but are in fact not.
Feel free to add any comments or suggestions of your own using the 'Post A Comment' link below. I will add some buying tips at a later date. In the meantime, good luck with reducing the number of unwanted and unused items you share your life with.