Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Greg Holden's Top 10 Tips for Selling on eBay

Here are my top tips for selling on eBay:

  • Take lots of photos. Photos sell better than text. Always include more than one photo. Try to get closeups. Pay attention to lighting, and arrange a background that contrasts with what you're selling.
  • Get detailed with your description. Yeah, I'm a writer, so I'm prejudiced, but think about it. Aren't you more likely to buy something if the seller talks up how it feels or how it works, and describes its unique features? Be enthusiastic; tell the world why you like what you have to sell and what it will do for them.
  • Go for quantity, not quality. The only way to make a consistent income on eBay is to get multiple items online, not just one or two or three. Don't try to make everything perfect. Just get it online. You can fix it later.
  • Automate. Come up with a system for getting multiple sales online: a Web site template; a photo studio; software that will streamline your listings and get many of them online at once.
  • Get help. Don't try to do everything yourself. You'll quickly get exhausted and stop selling. Get your kids or family members to help; if that fails, hire a student or friend.
  • Choose brand names sell. Get to know the top sales items in your area of interest. Learn all you can about unusual and distinctive products that people will want. Try to find them at wholesale so you can offer them online.
  • Remember that the customer is king. …and queen too. Whatever someone wants, give it to them if you can. Give them a refund. Give them new photos. Answer questions quickly. Personal responses and personal attention leads directly to sales.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. If someone returns an item, accept it and move on. If someone complains, apologize. Don't get bogged down in arguments and negotiations. It's not only bad business, but it's not worth the trouble and will distract you from selling and fulfilling sales.
  • Be passionate about what you sell. People always ask me what they should sell online. Sell what you love. After all, you'll be spending many hours per week surrounded by these items. Make sure you love them yourself—or are at least moderately interested in them. Your interest will help you get your work done.
  • Expand to multiple channels. Don't just stick with eBay auctions. Open a store. Try sites like Bonanzle and iOffer. Sell through your own Web site. Make all your online stores point to one another. The more points of sale you have online, the better your chances of success.

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