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Before Sale
i. Market Research
ii. Pricing
iii. Selling Formats
iv. Merchandise
v. Accepted Payments
vi. Setting Terms & Conditions
 
i. Market Research
Before listing an item on eBay, it's a good idea to research similar items that have already been sold successfully on the site . You can find great information on pricing, features, and key "buzz words" that attract buyers--and compare your item to others in the marketplace by using Completed Listings.

Completed Listings shows you which items sold and at what price which will help in pricing your items. It also indicates what each seller charged for shipping. When you are ready to sell, just click the link "List an item like this" to get started.

There are four easy ways to research previously sold items:

 
a. Completed Listings filter within a search
 

Find a set of items that are similar to the one you would like to sell by using keyword search or by browsing the categories. Then click the "Completed Listings" filter in the "Search Options" area on the left side of the page and click the "Show Items" button below it.

 
 
b. Completed Listings Hub
 
Go to the Completed Listings hub and begin browsing by category the items that have already ended. You will need to sign-in in order to see these items.
 
 
c. Completed Listings in Advanced Search
 
Click the "Advanced Search" link in the header to go to the "Search: Find Items" page. Check the box beside "Completed listings only." Then fill in all the parameters for the item you are researching and press the "Search" button.
 
 

d. eBay Pulse

 

eBay Pulse contains several dynamically created lists showing popular searches, stores, products, and more. These lists are a great way for you see what is hot in the eBay marketplace.

  • Refine by category
    The various lists on the main eBay Pulse page provide an overview of the entire eBay marketplace. You can also use the drop-down menu at the top of the page to refine and filter the lists to show content for specific categories on eBay.
  • Popular searches
    This list is based on actual searches performed by eBay users. It's a great way to see what people are looking for across eBay or within your favorite category.
  • Popular stores
    Based on the number of active listings from eBay Stores, this list is an excellent way for buyers to see which eBay Stores currently have the most inventories to choose from.
  • Popular products
    This list is based on the number of recent purchases of particular products on eBay. Only items that were listed with Pre-Filled Item Information are counted when this list is generated.
  • Most watched items
    This list shows items that are currently the most watched on eBay, according to the number of users who have selected the “Watch this Item” link on an eBay listing page.

Visit eBay Pulse at these countries:
: http://pulse.ebay.com

: http://pulse.ebay.co.uk

: http://pulse.ebay.com.au

: http://pulse.ebay.de

: http://pulse.ebay.ca

 
 
ii. Pricing
 

Start low
A fundamental principle of the auction process is to create excitement around your item, which in turn develops into a bidding frenzy among buyers, resulting in excess returns for you.

Getting that first bid is critical, as other buyers are generally more likely to jump in if they see there are already bids on an item. To do this, many sellers prefer to set an opening bid below what the item is actually worth. This can jumpstart bidding activity, and ultimately produce a higher selling price.

Using a Reserve price
If not used properly, a reserve price on your item can often result in the same problems as an excessively high opening bid. Buyers will often lose interest in an item if they place a bid and find it doesn't meet the reserve. Because they do not know the reserve price, they may assume the seller is simply asking too much for the item. They may then move on to similar items that they feel they have a more realistic chance of winning.

To prevent this from happening, you may want to list your item with "No Reserve". Items sold with "No Reserve" typically attract more buyer interest, as buyers know that they will actually win the item if they are the highest bidder. In addition, statistics show that items listed without a reserve usually sell for more than comparable items listed with a reserve.

To minimise potential downside risk, most savvy sellers will search completed listings for similar items to gauge historical pricing and potential returns before setting their opening bid. You can then set your minimum starting bid slightly below this price, with "No Reserve", and still get the benefit of quickly stimulating interest from buyers and jump-starting bid activity.

 
 
iii. Selling Formats
 

Many buyers enjoy the thrill and excitement of auction-style listings. Others like the immediate gratification of "Buy It Now". When you use just one format, you only reach a subset of eBay's total buying population. Plus, some formats perform better than others, depending on how they are used.

  • Is the product you are selling a commodity?
    Consider listing it at a straight Fixed Price, following a review of comparable items to determine current market value. Fixed Price allows you to sell immediately, at the price you want, and in multiple quantities!
  • Want the Buyer to decide how to end the sale?
    Use an Auction listing with the "Buy It Now" feature.
  • Have a unique or hard-to-find item?
    Auction style listings are a great way to maximise the final sales price.

Don't be afraid to experiment with the listing formats you use. You'll quickly find which ones work best for your products. Learn more about the different selling formats available on eBay.

 
 
iv. Merchandise
 

When considering any online purchase, there are certain "friction points" that may positively or negatively impact a buyer's decision to buy and how much they are willing to spend. These friction points can range from understanding exactly what is being sold, to questions about shipping and payment, to the level of trust in you as a seller.

Effective merchandising on eBay can minimise many of these friction points, leading to higher sales and profitability. A few of the areas where such merchandising can ease transactional friction include:

 
 
Item Title

Every character in the title is critical to helping users find your items easily, so keep the following in mind:

  • You can use up to 55 characters. Use as many of them as possible.
  • Include general category keywords (like "laptop").
  • Include important descriptive attributes for the item. For example, the title for a laptop could include brand, processor speed, and memory.
  • Avoid non-standard abbreviations and misspellings.
  • Consider the most popular searched words.
  • Other popular keywords include New, Free Shipping, and Warranty.
 
Item Description

A good description is concise, well organised, and easy to read. If you are not familiar with HTML, you can use eBay's text editor to create bold text, bulleted lists, and other formatting options. The more information you provide, the more likely buyers are to place a bid. Look at your item as you write your description and include:

  • Type: Item model or style.
  • Brand: Manufacturer or designer, etc.
  • Condition: New vs. vintage, etc.
  • Value: MSRP, estimated, or appraised value.
  • Other attributes: Size/measurements, etc.
 
Photos
A picture really is worth a thousand words! Use clear pictures from a variety of angles to accurately show your item.
 
 

eBay Picture Services: Add pictures to listings quickly and easily by using eBay Picture Services. The first picture is free and each additional picture is only US$0.15. Did you know that items with 2 or more pictures are 9% more likely to sell?

 
 

eBay Picture Manager: Storing and managing pictures is now easier than ever with eBay Picture Manager. Picture Manager is fully integrated with the Sell Your Item form and Selling Manager Pro. Just drop and load the picture into a listing and you are ready to go! Picture Manager is the ideal solution if you are selling several items.

 
Picture Upgrade
 
 

Gallery: Choose the Gallery listing upgrade to display a thumbnail photo right next to your listing to attract buyers. Gallery listings are shown to increase final price by an average of 11% and are 9% more likely to sell.

   
 

Supersize: Select the Supersize upgrade to show your items big and up close. A larger picture helps show the details so you receive fewer questions from potential buyers, saving you time and money!

 
View Item Page

Look at your View Item page through a buyer's eyes. The more attractive, informative, and professional your listing is, the more confidence potential buyers will have in placing a bid. If you list regularly, use a consistent template so buyers will learn to recognise your listings. With Listing Designer, you can choose from a variety of fun, themed templates and photo layouts: holiday/seasonal, categories, and more. It's so easy, there's no need to know HTML!

 
My World Page

Create a personalised My World page to describe yourself and your business; this can increase the level of comfort potential customers have in doing business with you.

 
 
v. Accepted Payments
 

Offering payment choices makes your listing more appealing, and most sellers offer more than one option. However, not all payment methods provide the same value to inspire buyer confidence. It’s important to consider the buyer’s perspective when selecting typical payment options.

Buyers’ questions about payment methods include:

  • Is it traceable and is there proof of payment?
  • Is it fast and convenient?
  • How secure is it?
  • What is the liability coverage in case something goes wrong?

Payment methods used by eBay sellers include:

  • PayPal : The preferred payment method for most eBay buyers and sellers. PayPal enables you to send payments quickly and securely online using a credit card or bank account. Learn more.
  • Merchant account credit card : You can set up eBay Checkout to take credit card payments and require buyers to provide their credit card information.
  • Personal checks / Money orders / Cashiers checks : These methods are traceable to a particular mailing address, but most sellers wait for the funds to clear before they send the item to the buyer.
  • Escrow : For high-priced items, eBay recommends eBay's approved escrow service, http://www.escrow.com/.

Important Note : eBay does not recommend cash or cash wire transfers such as Western Union or MoneyGram as a payment method.

For a comparison of payment methods from a buyer’s perspective, see About Payment Methods.

 
 
vi. Setting Terms & Conditions
 

Make sure you clearly spell out your shipping terms, return policy, warranty services and other terms and conditions in your listing description. The more customer-friendly your policies, the more you will be able to convert potential buyers into customers.

Shipping Terms
Here are a few shipping tips to make your item more attractive to buyers:

  • Bundle shipping into your item price and advertise "Free Shipping" in your title and description.
  • Offer a flat rate to a specified area (eg: US$20 to anywhere within Asia).
  • Embed a shipping calculator directly in your listing if shipping is a variable based on the buyer's location.
  • Offer package tracking, especially for higher-priced items, so you and your buyer can track the shipment status of your item

Return Policy
Having a return policy increases buyer confidence. Research shows that 21% of non-buyers cite “lack of return policy” as the reason they buy elsewhere. (eBay Consumer Research, July, 2005).

Warranty Services
You can now give buyers assurance and peace of mind by offering them a standard warranty or extended warranty on electronics and computer items via the Warranty Services program. The best part is that for every warranty sold on one of your items, you earn a cash bonus!

 
   

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