Build Your Online Auction Business...
Let's continue with the next 25 Ebay
online auction tips and hep to build your online auction business...
51. Writing your Description
To ensure there are no typographical, grammatical, or punctuation errors, you can use Notepad or a word processor to write the text. This will allow you to check for any errors. Once you are satisfied with the text, simply copy, cut, and past into the eBay description space.
52. Auction Duration
You will need to choose between listing your item(s) from 3, 5, 7, and 10 days. The most popular choice is 7 days but the option is up to you.
If your item(s) is something that sells fast on eBay, you can lower the number of days whereas if it is a higher priced item you might want to push the date to 10 days, which will provide more time for the bigger spenders to find your auction.
This is a feature offered by eBay and once you qualify, you can have one price where people can buy the item(s) “now” or they can continue bidding until the auction ends.
If a buyer chooses the “buy now” option, the auction ends. Many buyers enjoy the convenience this option offers.
It is important to list the city and state where you are located. Not only does this help the buyer determine shipping to make sure you are not overcharging them but if you are selling larger items such as furniture, automobiles, or appliances where the buyer would have to pick the item(s) up, it would let them know if they want to bid based on location.
As an example, if you have a refrigerator for sale and you live in New York, someone from California is not going to drive clear across the country just to pick up the appliance whereas on the East Coast might.
Use iPix if you need help getting your photo uploaded. This is a simple solution helpful for beginners to experts.
If you know how to use FTP (file transfer protocol), you can even enter your web address where your images are stored allowing buyers to click on the URL and view the items. This is especially beneficial if you have an entire eBay store full of goodies.
56. Photo Size
Keep your photos 25K or less. This will allow buyers to download quickly and not get annoyed waiting to see your item(s).
57. Photo Gallery
The gallery option is yet another great eBay feature. For only $.25 you will be provided with a thumbnail picture of the item at the top of your listing.
When potential buyers click into your auction, instead of having to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see your item(s) they can get a glimpse of it immediately at the top. This is yet another way of providing customer service.
Buyers remember these types of things and appreciate the convenience offered. If they do not buy from you now, the chance of them buying in the future is elevated.
eBay provides the option of using a counter on your auction site. This helps you track the number of people visiting your auction.
If you find that you have many hits but no one is buying, you might need to adjust your
description (see Instant Sales Letters), photo, etc. To make this even more appealing, it is free.
59. Payment Page
On the fifth page, the payment option page, you only need to check one box – “see item description” box. Since you will have outlined your payment options in your description, this reduces redundant information. This is easy to use and highly recommended.
60. Buyer pays Shipping
For the question as to who pays for shipping, you will have the option of who pays for shipping, you or the buyer. Always be sure you have the “buyer” box checked. Otherwise, you will end up with all the charges on your plate.
61. Shipment Location
Be sure to consider where you will ship to carefully. You will have buyers from around the world but you can limit where you will ship.
Some people prefer to ship to the US, Canada, and European countries while others ship anywhere.
The option is completely yours but keep in mind that there are some differences in how you wrap the package, the currency exchanges, and communication barriers between you and the buyer.
62. Page Six
This is an important page in that you will see the summary of your auction. This is your last chance to make any changes before your auction goes public.
Take your time to read through everything two or three times before hitting the final button. Sometimes having a friend or co-worker scan through your information can help find things tired eyes miss.
Once you post your auction, if you see an error that would make a huge difference in the sale, there is an option on eBay where you can add information.
Although you cannot go back and correct the actual error, you can point out the error and provide the corrected information.
Using the fabric scenario, if you were selling 12 yards but in your description, you said 2 yards that would make a big difference in the bidding. In your additional information, you could state, “My apologies – in my original description I stated this auction was for 2 yards. The actual amount of fabric is 12 yards. Thank you.”
64. Communication with Buyer
It is your responsibility to contact the buyer at the end of the auction congratulating them on winning the item(s). Issue an e-mail requesting their shipping address.
Once they provide that information to you, let them know when the shipment will go out, which should coordinate within the timeframe provided in your auction description. If you know the shipping charges, advise them in this same e-mail.
Once payment has been made, send another e-mail to the buyer confirming that you received their payment and that the item(s) will be shipped on X day via (US priority mail, UPS, Fed-Ex, etc.). Once you have a tracking number, send that to the buyer as well. This will allow them to follow the tracking themselves.
65. Package & Shipping Tips
eBay is in the process of creating a Package and Shipping Tips page that will help you with the entire shipping process. This should be up soon and will be yet another valuable tool for sellers and buyers alike so keep your eyes open for this.
66. When to List
The time of day you list your auction is important. The start time will be the same as the end time, which is why it is so important. If you want your auction to end at 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, you need to have the auction start at 10:00 p.m. For this reason, be sure to set the start time accordingly.
67. Do your Homework
In addition to researching what other people are selling similar items for, you need to conduct your own research outside of eBay as well to determine the going rate for your item(s).
As an example, if you are selling artwork, jewelry, or collectibles, you need to state in your description the going price. Although you may or may not get that price from the buyer, it shows buyers that you have done your homework and will stand a little more firm in your price. It also tells buyers that they are getting quality for a good price.
68. Seller Assistant Pro
When and if you get stuck in the process, use eBay’s Seller Assistant Pro, which is yet another valuable tool offered to help you find all the answers to your questions.
The appearance of your auction is important. Auctions that are designed with loud colors or hard to read fonts can push buyers away.
Use colors and fonts that are easy on the eye. Remember that not everyone will have perfect 20/20 vision so you want to make sure the fonts can be read by all buyers. It would be the same for graphics – a few added to the auction is fine but too much is a distraction.
You want your auction to interest buyers not lose them in all the fluff.
Although you may have tremendous knowledge of something you are selling, not everyone will. Avoid language that is too techie and stay away from acronyms. Keep the language simple and easy to read.
If you will be auctioning off several items or you plan to auction items on a long-term basis, keep the look of your auctions consistent.
Over time, you will develop several buyers that follow your auctions because of the quality of your items and professionalism. They will become accustomed to seeing information laid out in a certain way. Keeping your auctions consistent will help them navigate easier and therefore you will make a quicker sale.
72. Youth Auctions
Auction items that focus on youth such as games, collectibles, clothing, body jewelry, etc. should end during the week or on a Sunday night.
Ending them on Friday or Saturday nights is not a good choice since they are generally not home on these nights and therefore, the bidding is not as good.
73. Retirement Age
If your auctions include items that would appeal to people around retirement age or moms and dads that stay or work at home, the best time to end your auction is mid-morning during the week.
This is the time when older people spend most of their time on the Internet and the ideal time for parents who have smaller children taking a nap.
74. Item(s) Use
Tell the buyers what the original use of your item was. For example, if you are selling lawn and garden items, you should express that you purchased them for your home but then moved to an apartment or whatever the case.
This helps confirm to the buyer that the item(s) is fine –the circumstance for its use changed.
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