Learning From History: 5 Common eBay Mistakes

Errors in Judgment Certain mistakes are common among eBay sellers, even those with experience. But avoiding them can result in higher close rates and better final prices. Lynn Dralle, of http://TheQueenOfAuctions.com, shares the five top mistakes she sees eBay sellers make: 1. Writing a Bad Title. Look at the keywords other sellers are using for similar items, and use every relevant keyword you can—make the most of your 55 characters! Avoid wasting characters on punctuation, and using come-ons like L@@K to get people’s attention. 2. Setting the Wrong Starting Price. Look at lots of Completed Items listings and see what your item is going for. If you start too high, you may lose buyers’ interest. 3. Posting an Inaccurate or Incomplete Description. Failure to include the details of your product, such as size, condition, markings, age, or history, will result in numerous questions and emails. And shoppers will feel less confident bidding without having all the information. Make sure to note any damages or defects as well, to avoid many unnecessary returns. People will be more likely to trust you if they see you’re honest and up-front right away. 4. Putting Up Bad Photos or No Photos At All. Use a background or shoot outside in indirect sunlight—no one wants to see your living room or your messy desk in the background. If you sell clothes, don’t attempt to model them yourself, or put them on your children—buy a mannequin. Advises Dralle, “Keep your environment out of it. It makes your auctions look more professional.” 5. Putting Up an Auction at the Wrong Time. Both time of year and time of day affect the success of your auction. You won’t get a lot of bids for a toboggan if you decide to sell it in August. While if you sell video games, you might find that ending an auction at twelve noon results in a lot fewer of your potential buyers being online than ending it at twelve in the morning. Sufficient Knowledge “At the base of all these mistakes is research,” explains Dralle. “You’ve got to do your research.” Look at eBay’s Completed Items listings, and use their Marketplace Research. Or try a third-party tool like http://Terapeak.com or http://HammerTapNow.com, which can help you figure out the best way to list your items. An informed seller is always going to see more success, more closed auctions and higher profit margins.