J.D. at Get Rich Slowly has posted 13 Tips to Profitable Auctions, listing – unsurprisingly – 13 tips for getting more profit out of eBay.
I love eBay. It’s a great way to de-clutter, and make a little bank back. You’ll not make much on your old stuff unless it’s something rare and valuable, but it’s still worth what you can get out of it.
In the past, I’ve tried my hand at trying to make steady profit from eBay sales, but managing a large number of auctions can soon turn into a time-consuming headache. Applications like GarageSale (which is excellent, by the way) can help a little but once you get into fielding questions from potential buyers and fending off scammers, time can get in short supply.
If I were to give you my tips for selling on eBay, they would be the following:
- Reserves are the work of the Devil. I’ve made the mistake of putting a reserve on items in the past, usually on more expensive items. This was a bad plan. People on eBay will pay what they want to for an item – not what you want them to.
- Pictures, Pictures, Pictures! A picture tells a thousand words, as they say. Adding plenty images to an auction can potentially cut down the number of questions you have to deal with. Save on charges by hosting your images on your own server/.Mac account.
- Don’t over do it on postage charges. The best thing to do is to go to your nearest post office and get an exact quote before you list your auction. But lets face, not many people can be bothered to do this (I can’t!). Instead, guesstimate; err on the side of under-charging. Bidders are more likely to bid if they think you’re a fair seller not trying to gouge them.
- Respond fast and be polite. Whether it’s answering a question from a potential buyer, or mailing the winning bidder, follow up any events quickly and maintain a pleasant demeanour.
These tips are from my own experience selling second-hand items, but would probably apply just as well to selling new items as well. I’d love to hear others’ experiences and tips selling on eBay. Have you managed to make a regular profit? How much time and effort do you find it takes? Is it worth it?