Tuesday, 28 April 2015

E Is For eBay

Day 5 of my A to Z Challenge. E is for eBay. 
If you don't know how this works, I've posted the link back to the rules of the challenge at the end of this, along with a link to yesterday's post. If you want to read my full alphabet, just keep following the links. Each day has a link back to yesterday's post.

I love eBay. It is a great place to sell anything and everything. A lot of people use it to run very successful shops and make a lot of money, and a lot of people sell on eBay full time. I tend to use it mainly to sell unwanted items, although sometimes I do buy a job lot to break down and sell. I don't claim to be an expert, this is things I have picked up through trial and error and a fair few mistakes!
Here are my top tips for writing a good listing on eBay:

Use keywords in the title
I know this sounds like an obvious one, but a lot of people get this wrong. Keep it sharp and to the point, but include the things that will get searched for.
For example if you are selling a pair of jeans. Naming the listing "pair of jeans" isn't going to grab much attention. You should include the item, brand, size and colour. For example "black River Island jeans, size 14". I see so many listings where people either don't put enough information or they miss out keywords or use words like beautiful, gorgeous etc. You have a limited number of characters - don't waste them. Also, if the item is new (don't lie - more on that later) add that to the title. To save characters, eBayers use abbreviations in the titles. BN = Brand new. BNWT = Brand new with tags.
Good photos of your item are essential! Unless you particularly want to, you don't need to pay for a load of extra photos (unless you are selling a car or something with really high value). Just make sure the photo you do use is sharp, clear and shows the item in a good light. If there is any damage to the item, it is always a good idea to include a picture of it then the buyers know exactly what they are getting.
Main description
This is the part were you can use words like beautiful etc. Fully describe the item. If it's clothing, for example, as well as the dress size, it's a good idea to add other measurements such as length etc. If you don't, buyers may move on to something that is more clearly described. Or you will get hundreds of messages asking for measurements. Either one isn't the desired outcome. If there's an interesting back story, add it. If there's a specific reason for sale, add it. Remember you are trying to sell this item to people - make your listing sound a bit personal rather than vague. Also if there's any damage add it in here with a full description. It might seem like a bad idea, but the alternative is unhappy buyers, returns and negative feedback.
Postage costs are always going to be a bone of contention between buyers and sellers. Buyers want it for next to nothing, sellers want to charge too much. I always offer free postage and just add the cost of postage to the item start price. If you don't want to do that, just make sure postage costs are fair. They should cover actual postage, packing material, and the cost of getting to the post office to send the item. You should never add extra on to avoid fees etc.
Item condition
State if the item is new. If it still has tags on, mention them. If the item is used, be honest. No one wants to bid on a new item and it turns out to be used. Generally speaking, used items sell as well as new. The issue stems from being lied to! If the item has been worn several times and has some minor wear and tear for example, state that, don't put worn once.
Always make sure the items are correctly packed. They should be boxed, or wrapped, in a way that they are fully covered and can't move around. Ensure packaging is stuck down well, and wouldn't fall apart in rain. Remember, postal services aren't gentle. If you need to be extra gentle with an item, it is not packed correctly. Also, ensure the item is clean (and don't use anything like newspaper to pack as this will dirty the item) and pressed if applicable.

This could go on for pages, but I've tried to keep it to the essentials. If you are new to selling, I would advise selling a few small, low value items, and experiment - find what works for you and stick with it.
Remember "One man's junk is another man's treasure". Sometimes, the things you put on with no real hope of selling make a lot of money, and items you think will fly out don't, but that's what keeps it interesting!

Follow me on Twitter @randommusings29 and feel free to comment :)

The Twinkle Diaries


  1. It's funny because I don't use Ebay anywhere near as much as I used to and I actually get a bit fed up with the non buy it now ones because I'm so impatient! I do love the very end of the bidding war though when you are fighting it out! This is a great guide, would be really helpful to anyone who hasn't used it! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. I'm the same when I use eBay as a buyer, I hate not having a buy it now option, but as a seller I find you make more money auction style! I wrote this because I remember as a new user stumbling around trying to suss things out. Thank you and thanks for hosting the #TwinklyTuesday linky :)