As someone with “Top Rated” status, over 1,500 positive feedback (at 100%), and over 1,000 items listed for sale, I’m writing this article to share my favorite eBay tips, tricks, and best selling practices. If you follow these guidelines, I’m confident you will increase profits and succeed as an eBay seller.
For my companion article for buying on eBay, visit: “5 Things Every eBay Buyer Should Know!“
1) Upload Great Images!
The first thing people see when they search for an item on eBay is the image. It’s staggering how many sellers still use low quality & unclear pictures in their listings, when it’s so easy to take great photos that help to sell items exponentially faster. You don’t need a fancy digital camera. Nowadays, most smart phones come equipped with excellent cameras.
BE SURE TO TAKE CLEAR IMAGES & CROP THE EDGES AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!
Secondly, unless you’re selling an unusually large or weird shaped item, a few pieces of white poster board from your local CVS or craft store are the perfect surface for taking pics. As long as the room has a fairly bright ceiling light or lots of natural sunlight coming in, you can just lay the paper(s) on the floor and take the pics from above. You can also use your camera’s options to adjust the brightness if needed, and be sure to crop the image as much as possible! I can’t tell you how many listings I’ve immediately dismissed because the seller left his big, hairy, bare feet showing in the bottom of the image and it grossed me out! ?
2) Fill Your Title With Keywords.
The titles of your listings can be up to 80 characters long. While you shouldn’t spam your title with extra keywords unrelated to your item, you should fill the 80 characters with as many relevant words as you can. I often see sellers make the mistake of leaving wasted space in their titles. If a potential buyer searches eBay using a descriptive word that this seller left out, their listing will not be shown, and another seller (who included the word in their title) will likely get the sale.
THIS TITLE USES ALL AVAILABLE SPACE & HAS LOTS OF KEYWORDS!
For example, someone selling a tee-shirt of “The Vulture” character from the new Spider-Man movie might title their listing as: “The Vulture Tee Shirt, Size XL”.
Whereas I would use the title “NEW! Marvel Comics Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Shirt (feat. Vulture) – Men’s XL”.
My title uses all 80 characters and includes only relevant info. I added the “Marvel Comics” brand, the full name of the actual movie, and noted that it’s a men’s shirt. These extra keywords may get me a buyer that was searching for Spider-Man: Homecoming items, but not necessarily the Vulture. Still, they may love the design once they see it, and if your price is just right and you have a good description/images they may just buy it!
3) Keep your descriptions short & sweet.
A simple, two paragraph description that sounds honest, and like it was written by a real person will sell an item faster than a long-winded page in a fancy template that looks like it was made by a retail store.
Buyers on eBay know they are often shopping from private collectors and amateur sellers. By offering a short and accurate description of an item, as well as clear images, it may help make the sales process seem more personal and friendly to the buyer. Also, try not to re-use the same description for every item and just change the title and images. This makes the seller seem too lazy to write in specific details about the item and many buyers will simply move on to a different listing instead of messaging the seller and waiting for a response about the product.
My general formula for descriptions is:
– 1-2 sentences with the basic details of the item. (What it is, who made it, and any special reasons why the item may be rare or valuable)
– 1-2 sentences describing as close as possible the condition of the item and any noticeable damage or imperfections. Be as honest as possible, and don’t try to hide anything! Buyers will appreciate your full disclosure and trust you more easily, and you’ll get far less returns, complaints, and negative feedback about imperfect items.
– 1 sentence about the shipping and insurance options.
– Finally, I like to close with 1 sentence encouraging the buyer to closely review my title, images and description, and to message me with any questions before buying. This helps to ensure they buy the item they truly want and won’t be surprised or disappointed by anything when they receive the item!
4) Choose the right category & fill in the product details!
Be sure to list your item in the category that is most relevant to your product. If your item is in the wrong category or sub-category, buyers may not see it when they search!
For example, you can list a new Star Wars toy under the category “Toys & Hobbies–>Action Figures–>TV, Movie & Character Toys”. Or, you can be more specific and list it under “Collectibles–>Science Fiction & Horror–>Star Wars–>VIII: The Last Jedi”. This helps people searching for only Last Jedi figures find your listing faster.
Also, be sure to fill in as many item details as possible, especially when selling apparel & accessories. Many people will use filters when looking for items, so if they filter out only “XL” sized shirts and your sizes field in blank, they won’t see your item when searching!
5) Try To Price Competitively.
If you’re dealing with a very rare or high priced item, you may be able to charge more than usual and get away with it, but more often there will be other people selling the same item, and their listing prices may vary greatly. In this case, if you’re trying to sell your item quickly, try to price it just below the cheapest or average price.
It’s good practice to research your competition, and be sure to look at completed (sold) listings and see what people are actually paying for an item. For example, I often see a collectible that has only few available listings for sale around $100, but the completed items have lots of listings that sold for $50 or less!
This is because the item may have a certain retail price that owners expect to always be its minimum value, but as we all know, the market (via supply and/or demand) dictates the price of most items. In this case, the average person is not willing to pay more than $50 for this item. So, you can list it for $100 and hope to sell it eventually, or list it for $40-60 and maybe sell it in a day or two!
If you have any questions about buying or selling on eBay, please feel free to contact us or comment below. Thanks for reading!