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Successful sales require successful advertising. In the 'real' world of sales this means spending a lot of money marketing both your company (ala Target's red spot ads) the product(s) you sell and various manufacturers to generate excitement and keep your customers aware of your presence. On eBay most of that has been done for you – but how you present the specific item you have for sale, how you describe it and what images you choose to include can make your item either stand out or be hastily avoided when presented with all the rest. Understanding this and knowing how to successfully create a listing that will enhance your products salability and create bids is what really makes for successes in eBay sales – and we're going to let you in on those secrets!
The basic listing of an item for sale on eBay is really pretty simple, but like so many things having an overview of the process and going through it a few times allows you to be prepared for more advanced aspects and tips. So before we go into any real detail on how to create outstanding listings that fully utilize all that eBay has to offer, let’s first go over the specific processes that are required to post a listing on eBay at all – just to make certain you know how to go about getting your item in the right category, listing it in more then one location and setting the various options necessary to make it available for sale.
Recently eBay has changed their selling form to allow all the work to be done on ONE page as well, which is an improvement. A summary of the new layout and form can be found HERE but the overall process is still much the same.
Just as when using regular auction services a certain amount of pre-sale work is required to identify and prepare the item(s) for sale. Obviously if the item you have for sale is used you should inspect and clean it thoroughly, and make note of any issues before settling in to put it up for sale. Then you are ready to begin …
Obviously to be able to list an item on eBay you first need to have a seller’s account which we've already covered in another chapter. You also need to know some details about the item that you have for sale, an idea of the price you will be expecting, some shipping ideas and a handful of other attributes depending on what exactly it is you have for sale. Figuring out what all you need to have on hand is all part of step one.
The most useful thing you can do at this step is to generate a checklist that you will use to enable you to prepare all the various elements and data you need to properly list the product. For some sellers this is a step they feel best done in their heads or ‘on the fly’ but you'll find that many of the more successful sellers create a physical checklist similar to the following at least once for every product that they sell:
As many of the known details (age, manufacturer, retail value, links to reviews etc.) about the product it's common name and if available product ID number or model number.
Including projecting listing fees and sales fees to help you set a realistic sales price and / or handling fee.
size and weight:
This is really necessary to determine shipping costs, but also can be of interest to some buyers so know exactly what the shipping weight and size as well as the item size and weight is before listing it whenever possible!
Locations and Costs:
The costs of shipping, whether you will / can ship internationally and what packaging etc. may cost.
At least two images of the product (a minimum of one of which is of the actual unit itself for sale) should be available in digital form for uploading. Moderate-sized JPG's at least 4" wide are best.
If there are problems or caveats, whether it has any warranty etc. needs to be clearly detailed to avoid upset buyers who may make assumptions if you do not state one way or another.
The categories on eBay are very convoluted and follow a tree-like structure, often being so detailed as to break down individual merchandise not only by it’s function but further to the manufacturers and sometimes even to subcategories within those! To help you isolate what keywords to query on to find your category, or even see the tree path itself you need to log into eBay and take a moment to research the existing market.
If you can find listings for the exact item(s) that you will be selling you can easily decide based on bidding taking place on those items, as well as the prices that similar items are going for in the various categories where they have been placed and help isolate where you wish to place your item. Sometimes the ‘correct’ category is not the best place, and this step will help you to understand if that is true for your item, as well as help you in identifying various keywords and descriptive phrases from ended auctions that had good buyer response to incorporate into your listing. If you find successful listings make notes of points that catch your eye and consider updating aspects of your notes at this time.
A caveat for new users when researching finished bids: eBay has a feature called "sell similar" that you can click on existing ended auctions that you had presented that will help you create another listing similar to the one you had – this feature does not work on others auctions as you might expect, but only on auctions that you had created.
If you used the checklist from step one you should now have all of the information that you are going to enter into the eBay forms together. If you have not already be certain to put it all in an accessible place on your computer and review it to make certain it is complete, accurate and has been spell checked. Many sellers find it useful to create a 'dummy ad' in Microsoft Word or some other editor to allow them to cut and paste into the eBay sell form as necessary and to help prepare the wording and verbiage in advance, this also allows you to have and keep a copy of the ad for future use and in case of problems during the sale item creation.
For many advanced users creating templates or using power seller tools to store commonly sold items is a good idea. This and other advanced listing features will be discussed later, but even if you plan on using these features it is a good idea to keep a local version of your data, if nothing else as a backup should the online listing information become lost are damaged.
The process itself for creating an eBay listing is fairly straight-forward and eBay walks you thorough finding the categories, entering the title and description, uploading images etc., however it is a good idea to know the category in advance and to have created a ‘dummy’ ad to copy and paste your information from in case of browser or connection problems. Doing this can save you losing several minutes worth of excellent prose due to a power glitch or having to retype the same phrase three or four times because you mess up and have to start over.
The process of actually creating a listing is as follows:
“Sell Your Item” form by clicking the Sell button which is at the top
of most eBay pages
form you will first be asked to Select a category, which you can do by
browsing the available trees or by using search if you know the keyword
then you will click the “Sell It” button to move to the next step
page of the form you should copy and paste or type in your title and
description, be specific
pictures using either the basic or enhanced uploader
(enhanced is recommended, and allows for some basic editing ‘in place’
once the images are uploaded) then choose the appropriate photo package
NOTE: If you have three or more images the “Picture Pack” option is a great bargain and allows you to have up to twelve images and to utilize the ‘supersize’ and ‘picture show’ options
auction type and duration - types of auctions include
Auction (1,3,5,7 or 10 day listings)
Price (3,5,7 or 10 day listings that can also have a “Best Offer”
(allows you to receive ‘offers’ and accept ones that you choose)
need to choose a “starting” price and whether you want to set a reserve
or use the “Buy It Now” options
starting prices are recommended to get bidding and interest started
can’t accept a bid below a certain amount using a lower starting price
and setting a ‘reserve’ price is a good idea
Buy It Now
can allow you to sell the item quickly, but be aware that some
unscrupulous users open new accounts and click “Buy It Now” with no
intent to pay, causing problems and delays in selling items so setting
Buyer Requirements is a good idea if you use this feature
duration – as mentioned earlier differing types of auctions have
different lengths available. Seven days is the standard default
selections for payment
methods that you will accept – be aware the most if not
all buyers prefer to use PayPal accounts for the added security it
provides both sellers and buyers
shipping information be sure to select whether or not you ship
internationally and specify if you are charging just costs or if a
handling fee is included
It is best
to specify a return policy even if it is extremely limited
listing upgrades that you wish to utilize
Once done click the “List Item for Sale” button and after a pause the image will be listed for sale on eBay
NOTE: In most cases if you abandon a listing in the form it will be saved so you can complete it at a later time by simply clicking the item title link when you return to the Sell form.
The best of us have to admit that at times, despite our best efforts problems can arise. Fortunately eBay is aware of this and allows listings to be edited to revise existing listings that have not yet received bids. You can also add comments at any time, which can be used to correct mistakes if a bid has already occurred. The rules on changing your listings are pretty detailed, but the specific items that can normally be changed provided you have received no bids or have more then twelve hours remaining include:
Any information other then the selling format
Removal or addition of options such as Buy It Now, Picture Services,
Reserve Price etc.
Add or change the Gallery Picture and add additional photographs
A successful listing created with the suggestions above in mind should look something similar to the following:
Title: NEW FB60 Fastbag Motorcycle Luggage
SubTitle: Don’t be half-fast!
New and direct from factory the Fastbag is an awesome expandable storage solution that will work on almost any motorcycle and can double as a backpack when off the bike. If looking good while having storage is your problem then FASTBAGTM is the solution!
Available in 40L and 60L sizes
Optional soft-hinge available
Color choices include Carbon-Fiber, Yellow, Ducati Red and Green
Shipping is included in the auction price and I will ship within two days of checks clearing or of receipt of PayPal or money orders.
A complementary or neutral background helps to set off the object. If you are going to have just one image be sure to take one that shows off just the item itself - or if you will have multiple images the item close-up or detail shot would be preferable as your primary image since the product is clearly shown in detail
What to Sell on eBay!
Where the Sources Are!