Saturday, 7 February 2009

How to start selling on eBay

The place to make money online, and from the comfort of your home is eBay.
There are endless amounts of products to be sold on eBay, from rare antiques and vintage items, to cheap, bargain and second-hand items.
However, before you start out on your eBay business venture or sideline, there are a few things you need to know:
~What to Sell
During a recession, people are looking for bargains. It may seem obvious, but, you should sell what people are looking to buy. Finding out what people want, and selling at a profit are the fundamental basics of successful selling on eBay.
One way of deciding what you are going to sell on eBay is by thinking of what interests you, what you enjoy, maybe a hobby – a niche you can focus on. Make a list of everything that interests you, select the most suitable, then go to eBay - to the category your niche would be listed in and see how well it sells and what sort of feedback it gets. To do this, go to eBay, click on ‘Advanced Search’, then use ‘all categories’. Tick the ‘search title and description box’ and ‘show completed listings’. Look for green ‘sold’ items. Search for each one and see if there are other listings that have sold. It may not be a good item to sell if there are none.
Competitive research is extremely important, it’s a reality of business life. Gather all the data you legally can on your competition, but always be ethical, don’t rip anyone off. You can emulate others and improve on what they’re doing or selling whilst being fair and ethical.
Find niches and hot selling categories. When you find what are ‘hot sellers’, bear in mind some have too much competition, and you may have to try other things. Successful sellers stick with hot lucrative niches once they find them.
~Where to sell
It is vital to make sure you have your item in the correct eBay category or it may never be seen by potential buyers. Research the categories before you list your item to make sure you use the correct category. You can also place items in more than one category when selling. Be creative, target the right audience, target your niche.
~When to sell
Obviously items sell better in their correct seasons, ie. Christmas items sell better nearer to Christmas and swimwear will sell better in the spring and summer.
~How to sell
The basic items needed to sell on eBay are: A credit card/Paypal account/eBay account/digital camera/items to sell.
To begin, describe the item, use important details and key descriptor words – don’t be too long winded. Be knowledgeable about what selling -if you look expert, more people are willing to buy. Copy experienced eBayers, for instance PowerSellers when listing items on ebay.
Spy on successful eBay sellers, look at the profile of the most successful sellers in your market and look at their feedback profile – at what they sold and how much for and what title they used, times of day when auction ended. Find their strengths and weaknesses.
Keywords – common (generic) keywords are the item, e.g. handbag, shoes and so on. Use more specific keywords, e.g. type of item (Chloe Paddington bag etc).
Make sure use seasonal keywords for seasonal items e.g. Halloween, Christmas and so on. Check eBay Pulse within your category – find keywords for niche chosen, that people use.
Know what to sell and what to avoid. Stick with hot lucrative niches to maximise profits. Look at completed listings regularly and see what sells quickly and for good profit, and, as buying trends are constantly changing, it’s very important to keep up with the changes. Keep a regular eye on what the competition is doing.
Common mistakes made by sellers are: The use of the wrong listing categories. Please do research which category your product belongs in, as potential buyers won’t find things if they’re in the wrong place. Trying to sell things in the wrong seasons, for example Christmas items don’t sell well too early in the year and bathing costumes don’t sell well at the start of the winter. Overcharging on postage/shipping – puts buyers off big time and can be the death of a business. Take trouble to find the correct shipping charges. Photo clarity is also important as potential buyers may doubt the authenticity of goods which have a poor quality photo in the advertisement.
Finally, try to use creative marketing to make your listing standout in crowd.
Setting up a successful business on eBay takes time, dedication and endurance, but is so worth the effort.

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