This is a collaborative post.
As you probably know by now, I am self-employed (something I never thought I’d be and which always sounded utterly confusing) and I take on freelance work. The job comes with a wealth of benefits but an equal amount of disadvantages including swapping your monthly ‘pay day’ for either a flurry of incoming payments at all once or tumbleweed for a week or two — regardless of how much work you’ve done or how much money you’re due, it just isn’t guaranteed to arrive when it should. Not exactly ideal when you’ve got mouths to feed and shopping to buy is it? Luckily, we’ve been doing some major decluttering recently and I’ve been able to supplement my income by selling things we no longer want/need on eBay.
There’s a knack to getting sales and to save you the hassle of constantly re-listing your unsold items, I’ve put together a little guide to try and help you sell your eBay stuff successfully.
Your listing photos are MEGA important as they’re essentially selling the product for you.
So don’t skimp on them. I use the eBay app to list any items I have to sell and take photos with my iPhone there and then as I’m going through my box of stuff I no longer want/need. You don’t need to take photographs with a professional camera, your phone is perfectly fine, just try and find some light so everything is bright and attractive, experiment with angles and take photos of any key features or clothing labels, if applicable. You shouldn’t edit your photos and don’t try and conceal any damage to the item because it’ll just come back to haunt you as a refund request and poor feedback. Be upfront and honest, pointing out any defects, scratches or tears you’ve noticed.
Also, try not to use stock photos. You want to make sure people know you’re a genuine seller and it’s definitely more reassuring to see some amateur photography of the item in its present condition.
Look up postage costs beforehand.
There is nothing worse than finding yourself at the Post Office paying more than you’ve quoted for P & P. There’s been a couple of occasions where I’ve even found myself making a loss because I’ve sold something for next to nothing and paid more in postage than I’ve received from the buyer overall. It is gutting, it makes you wonder why you bothered when, in reality, if you’d taken the time to price it up properly beforehand it would’ve been OK.
If you can, try and send everything recorded/signed for and always ask for proof of postage just incase any dispute should arise. There’s been a trend recently of buyers pretending they haven’t received low value items and launching a case against the seller via the eBay Resolution Centre. If you can’t prove that you sent the item then you’re going to end up refunding them and they’ll be quids in with both your item in their possession and their money back. Sad but true unfortunately — don’t take the risk!
An alternative (especially for larger items) is to hire an eBay courier such as Shiply and really, this is the most environmentally-friendly option as they utilise the free space in vehicles already running on the road. This means that they are reducing the number of wasteful journeys and you can feel a better about the carbon footprint side of things as well. At up to 75% cheaper than standard courier rates, you simply complete a quick form and shipping quotes are emailed to you.
Also, free postage is the holy grail to potential buyers!
How many times have you been online shopping and seen a banner across the top of the website saying something along the lines of’ ‘free postage over £40’? And how many times have you found yourself filling up your basket with things you probably don’t need to meet that threshold and save yourself a measly £2.99? You know it’s true, we can’t resist anything that’s ‘free’ can we?
So, with that in mind, if you’re selling a high value item consider listing it with free postage if you’re happy to foot the bill yourself. It’s more appealing to buyers to know that they don’t have to factor in postage costs on top of their bids and can easily swing an auction your way against any competitor items.
Communication is key for A+++ feedback.
If you’re late sending your sold item, let your buyer know and apologise giving them an estimated date of dispatch/arrival if you can. If they message you, don’t ignore them — remember, they will be giving you feedback when the transaction is completed so you need to keep them in the loop!
Being vague isn’t going to get you anywhere.
The search bar is where people are going to start their journey from the eBay homepage to your item listing to placing their bids. Buyers either know what they want and are looking to see if they can find said product cheaper on eBay or grab a pre-owned bargain or they’re generally browsing but have something in mind. Either way, you’re going to reach more buyers by loading your title up with keywords and filling in as many of the item specifics as you can.
So, instead of ‘Black Top‘ try ‘Black River Island Embroidered Bardot Top Size 16′. eBay will select what it thinks is the most appropriate category which you should check and confirm and you can then go on to fill in as much as you can in the specifics such as size, brand, length, material etc.
Have you got your timing right?
If you’re listing your eBay items for sale at 2 o’clock in the morning and you don’t schedule them, guess when they’re going to end? 2 o’clock in the morning — when most of your buyers are tucked up in bed.
Schedule your listings to start at the time when you want them to end. I usually go for somewhere between 7pm – 9pm when my potential buyers aren’t working, the kids are in bed and they’ve got the time to engage in a bidding war over my glittery baseball boots from the year I left secondary school.
Also, use your noggin when it comes to seasons. Your all-weather winter coat isn’t going to sell that well during a July heatwave just like your old BBQ isn’t going to push up the bids on a frosty December morning. It’s worth putting them aside and making a note in your diary to sell them later on.
Take note of eBay’s recommendations.
You might have a figure in mind of what you’d like your item to sell for and that’s completely up to you but it’s wise to take note of eBay’s recommended starting bids when setting up your auction.
Here’s the thing — your item is really only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it.
People like to start low and you’ll want to get some excitement and momentum building to get the bids flying in. Don’t fall in to the trap of starting low and not being prepared to sell at that price though as you have no guarantee that it’s going to be as popular as you wish. You could list your item for 99p and end up selling it for that price so if you really don’t want to take the risk, consider adding a reserve price as well to be on the safe side.
I hope these tips give you the boost you’re looking for when it comes to selling your unwanted stuff on eBay and when the cash comes rolling in, you can blow me kisses from your mansion!
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