I have sold a lot of "stuff" on ebay and have been moderately successful. Take good clear pictures. Use as few words in your title as possible, but say as much as you can. Be honest. Thank the person for looking at your item. Tell them that you may have other companion pieces or whatever listed that they might be interested in. Is the item rare? Say so in capital letters. Write in the description how you happen to have it, the history of it, why you want to sell it. Measure everything accurately. Is it a vintage item? Say so in your title.
Be as honest as possible in telling the age of the item and the condition. Is there a little chip? Focus in on that in a picture so they know you aren't trying to sell a faulty item. Take a picture of your actual item, not a photo out of a magazine or catalog. Say it is a "stock photo". I've heard more and more lately about people posting a catalog picture of an item, then packing a broken item, insuring it and sending it, effectively trying to rip off the post office.
Not cool because they won't always honor the insurance. They have in my case, but maybe I was just lucky the couple of times it happened. When I mail something fragile, I line the box with empty pop cans - laid end to end or side by side, they provide excellent light packing. I've had lots of comments on my unusual packing, but it works, and it recycles them, too. If you are selling clothing, be honest about rips, tears, holes, snags, etc. I can sell a "10" crockery bowl" or I can sell a "vintage 10" crockery bowl with rare floral design, like new condition".
Hope this helps!! (12/05/2006)
Think carefully about the title you use and the description of the item. You need them to be effective and to grab a potential buyer's attention, they are marketing tools. Personally, I use every character available when writing a title. When buyers do a search for an item, usually they are just doing a title search, so you want to include as many possible keywords as you can. Also, sometimes people make spelling errors and seasoned buyers have learned to look for misspellings (for example, hershey's collectibles sometimes appear as hersey) because they aren't getting as much search exposure and usually sell for less.
I sell mostly children's clothes or items around the house and have been pleased with the results thus far. I start all of my items for $ .01 and let buyers bid up from there. So far, it has worked pretty well. Every now and then somebody gets a really good deal, but most of my items have sold for more than I anticipated. Also, it's a good idea to keep shipping reasonable. Add in a very minimal handling fee to cover any expenses you may have if you'd like, but trying to make lots of money on marked up shipping costs doesn't pay off in the long run. You can get free priority mail shipping boxes sent directly to you (order on the ebay website). It saves time and effort to have them on hand and a nicely packaged item will garner better feedback from your buyer (and again, they are free).
Finally, review your descriptions carefully. Include any info needed to cover yourself in the case of a grumpy person with buyer's remorse. Clearly state your return policy and note that insurance is the responsibility of the buyer, but recommended (some seller's require insurance, it's up to you). I offer very detailed, honest descriptions of my items and use several very clear pictures, but still note that all items are sold "as is". Any additional questions or concerns should be taken care of before bidding. Good luck! (01/23/2007)
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