And PLEASE watch out for Ebay's fees. They can mount quickly and then you discover that after selling a ton and cheering for your windfall, half of it goes right back out the door to Ebay. I think Ebay is a great sales tool but some things are really better sold on craigslist (no fees), private chat boards (like Diaperswappers for us cloth diapering moms) or at a yard sale. By all means, use Ebay but please be careful.
Victoria from Carpentersville, IL
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I keep hearing that if you want to sell successfully, you need to find your "niche" on what to sell on eBay. For those of you that do sell on eBay, how did you find your niche? I'm trying to sell and I seem to be floundering. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
By Karen from Charleston, SC
I can't really help with finding your niche. You may find it very difficult to find something unique anyway, but it can help if you have a hobby that produces sale-able items. Otherwise, I don't know. I would advise you against electronics if you're just starting out. Have you ever tried to find something on eBay that you expected to be there and wasn't? If so, look into that, see if there's a demand. Then see if you can track down a wholesale outlet that can supply you with it.
(For research into what's generally available, you could look at http://www.makro.co.uk/servlet/PB/menu/1051111_l2/index.html, sorry about the huge URL. Then if not, you can look at specialist suppliers.)
And for general advice, as other people have said, make sure your returns policy is rock solid and very clearly visible. Don't try to make money on the postage, work out a business model and take it seriously. If you view it as a hobby, it's unlikely to go anywhere.
I am interested in selling Gymboree Clothing on Ebay. Does anybody know where I can find out free information for buying the clothing wholesale? Everywhere I seem to look, it costs money for an e-book download. Also, can anybody tell me where I can find out the "lines" that Gymboree has sold over the years. Same as above, everywhere I look, it costs money to subscribe. Thanks in advance :-)
Julie C. from Park River, ND
I found this site , it tells you what people are doing on ebay and how she is doing it. I have learned a lot from her and its 100% FREE I cant believe it. It's not an ebook or a download its just her blog.
As the only child of only children, all the family heirlooms have passed down to me, and I'm buried. I want to list items on eBay, but I'm concerned about knowing the value of an item before I set a starting bid or reserve for any of it.
A great deal of it is porcelain figurines and china, not stoneware, real china. What sources can I refer to to make sure I'm in the ballpark? Most particularly, is there a really big book of porcelain and china marks that will let me look things up easily?
Hi - you can go to eBay help center or site map and go to the discussion boards. They will let you post pictures in different categories and experts will tell you about it. You can get a lot of info.
I have about 10 gift cards that I am going to be selling on eBay. I have the value of each card and I will list that in the auction. How do I know that the person who buys it from me wouldn't come back and say that the amount stated in the auction is different on the card. In other words, they could easily say I gave them the wrong amount.
A few of the suggestions I also had. You can't expect alot from ebay buyers. Maybe 75% at best. As suggested, use them as gifts. Donate to a silent auction for charity. Get tax credit.
Instead of gifts for long distanced relatives, I do gift cards that are good in their area. For kids, I ask parents if such and such is good. All kids like their own fast food card I have found. Easter bunnies and Halloween ghosts sending them in the mail.....my grandchildren have not figured that out yet.
I am trying to make some extra money by selling items on ebay. So far I have not had a lot of success. Can anyone give me some pointers as to how I can make my items stand out and create real interest? TIA
Cookiepom from Owensboro
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)
I am new to eBay and I was wondering if anyone could tell me the best time of day or night to target buyers by age, gender, and sex? I am so new that I haven't even sold anything yet. Thanks.
Are there any eBay sellers on here? I am trying to begin selling on eBay, but I am wondering about setting the price for shipping. How do you figure the shipping cost?
By onetigger67 from OK
They will weigh your stuff, and tell you how much it costs, before you actually ship it. You could try that, before you post your items. (08/07/2009)
Also don't set your own cost for shipping, be honest and don't make profits on shipping. I add the following disclosure on all my auction pages.
I don't make money on shipping, only on my sales. When you set up your auction and add the weigh of the item + all packing materials, eBay will set the cost of shipping for you automatically. (08/08/2009)
Then sign up for a PayPal account. They will help you print a postage label to tape on the package. Look at some ads in the categories in which you would sell and go for it! It is fun but don't expect to get a million tomorrow. Good luck and good ebaying. (08/11/2009)
1.) Read ALL of the help subjects on eBay site. Do not waste your money on a "course" or book as everything is right there. Many sellers write about "how to" do everything on eBay. So read some of those also.
2.) Try to buy a few small items to get the hang of it and start selling with small inexpensive items. Buyers do not always like to buy from someone with no background (feedback).
3.) Go to the eBay Answer Center and read some of their posts and ask questions there also.
4.) New rules coming up with eBay and buyers cannot be required to purchase insurance as the SELLER is always responsible for getting the item to the buyer. PayPal has lots of rules and these HAVE to be followed. So read, read, read.
5.) It does NOT matter what you put in your ads about buying "as is" or "payment must be made in 2 days" as none of this will hold water when the buyers file a complaint with PayPal or eBay. Their rules are the only ones that apply. PayPal has all of their "rules" listed, so read.
6.) EBay does have a way to "block" certain bidders but you cannot block bidders with "less than 10 feedback" as someone stated. You can only block bidders that have things against them. This is complicated and as before - READ before you jump in.
7.) Shipping is very important and can be costly if not done properly. Use a scale and have the item in a box or envelope to get the correct weight. You can charge a modest fee (like .50 to .75 for your supplies AND should) because you will lose money quickly if you do not. Buyers expect to pay something above the actual cost. Just use calculated shipping and add a small fee. You will do well if this rule is followed.
There is too much involved to help you very much, so I wish you luck but the best plan is to read and follow rules. (08/11/2009)
Ebay has become too big for me. I don't like the fees, etc. However, you can learn from our mistakes and while it's great to sell across the globe, here are some things I have learned:
1. If your item is heavy, try just advertising within 50-100 miles of your city and offer to have people come and get it. You can do that on the left side, and people will only see it within those parameters. Of course, if you sell jewelry, that is better to sell nation or world wide, as shipping would be minimal.
2. Same thing with breakables. If you sell something that is fragile, you will no doubt come across the amoral people who will say the item is broken so they can get their money back. DO NOT send them a refund until they send you a photo. This way, the item is either not broken and they have to break it if they want their refund, or it really is broken and you give them a refund, or it's a scam and they won't bother you again. When you set up your account, make sure you put your refund policy in the auction, so no one is surprised.
3. You can make insurance optional, or required. Ebay will help you determine what to charge, etc. Here are some helpful points for selling.
If you sell, say fabric, please remember NOT to do this. I bought 6 fabric vest panels once, and the gal just folded them up, stuffed them (literally the envelope was ripped at the seam) without plastic protection. Anything that is vulnerable to dirt, water, or being caught on something sharp should be sealed in Ziplocs or at least a plastic bag then put in a box or waterproof envelope. When you do everything you can to protect the item you sold, your feedback will be very positive. If you get a negative, if they even do that anymore, you have a chance to rebut the comments.
Always spend the .35 for a gallery view. I never click on anything I can't see first. It would be like buying a book with no cover. If your item is small and you have a flat bed scanner, take a nice clean and close shot of it on the scanner. Fuzzy photos don't help us to see what we are buying, and we won't buy it for the most part.
There are two mistakes the newbies make; They either don't describe the item enough, or they make you read a book before they get to the good parts. Here is something I do that might help.
WHAT: Gold tone snail brooch with diamondelle eyes. It's 2.5" long with no flaws or defects.
WHERE: Anyone in (your town) is welcome to come get it.
WHEN: This auction is for 10 days.
WHO: This is a rare Hagen Renaker piece and can be seen in a value list book.
HOW: There is no reserve on this item and I ship within 3 days of final payment. Insurance is required on this piece.
If you end up selling say...15 pieces of jewelry, Ebay lets you sell a similar item, and you can keep this format but just change the photo, item description, etc. This can be like a template.
Read Feedback! Before you buy anything, look at their feedback. If they have 15 and have just started, read their feedback. New people are suppose to make mistakes. Nice people will steer them right and you will learn right along with them. Or, find someone who is knowledgeable and let them help. I have taught eBay to gals who paid my cell phone bill that month and took me to dinner, gift cards, etc. Barter is smarter so ask someone to help you out in the beginning for a nice dinner out.
Getting back to feedback, believe it when you read it. Ebay won't let someone get away with it, but they can't control everything. If someone has say 500 feedback but only 95% positive, read what the problems have been and be mindful. If their shipping is slow and you need it fast, keep looking. If they pay slow, don't sell to them. BUYER BEWARE is also SELLER BEWARE, so do your homework.
CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD MONTHLY. I can't be too clear on that. I just sent 4.00 to a person who, unbeknownst to me, had hacked into someone else's account and I am out the money, and the item. Now, you might be thinking it's only 4.00, but you multiply that by all the people who bought in that 5 days, and that person made a killing that the seller will never see.
Don't believe everything you read. I can right click on the eBay logo and send anyone a letter stating I needed personal information. If you send it to me, you will be hacked. Ebay never sends notices to you that they don't call you by your first name, and they don't need information that they already have, so if you get something that makes your eyebrows go up, forward it to ebays fraud dept. They are relentless and will find them.
And yes, start out slow. Dip the toe in before you cannonball! Good luck and happy selling. (08/12/2009)