For a while now my wife and I have been having a clear out. A few months ago we moved house, the possessions that we had spent years acquiring packed carefully into boxes. Our new house needed a lot doing to it and there wasn’t a lot of spare time for unpacking so we just unpacked what we needed. Everything else stayed in its box, destined live out its life in the attic until we moved again. Rather than just store all this stuff for ever more we decided to put it up on eBay. eBay is a wonderful site, a place where you can buy and sell just about anything. Always one to experiment I thought I would try lots of different sales techniques out to see what helped shift our precious items (also known as junk). Given below is some of the things that I found to work well.

Include a good photo

People want to see what your item looks like. Make sure that the picture is an honest representation and is in focus. Digital cameras are cheap and easy to get hold of, you do not need anything sophisticated. When taking the photo place the item in front of a neutral background and mount the camera on a tripod or place it on a solid surface. Experiment with different lighting, natural light often works best. Try with the flash both on and off to see which produces the best picture.

Sell the benefits not the features

When people are deciding whether or not to buy something they make the decision with their emotions and then justify it to themselves afterwards. You need to bear this in mind when writing your item descriptions. Instead of just listing all the different features that your item has tell the buy how it will benefit them. Maybe it will save them time, give them hours of entertainment, save them money etc. Think of all the benefits and put them in your sales pitch, be honest though and do not make false claims

People often like to bid on items near the end of the auction

Do not worry if your item does not seem to be attracting any bids. You will find that people will often only bid on your item on the last day and probably within the last few hours or minutes. Some bidders also practice ‘sniping’, waiting until the last possible second before bidding.

Schedule your auction to end at a good time

Some people say that ending your item at anti-social times like 3am will make people bid early and prevent sniping. Personally I think it is best to schedule your auction to end at a time when the most people can bid. A Sunday afternoon seems to be the best time. Ending your auction at 3am will not stop sniping, if people want to do it they will. An anti-social ending time will reduce the number of people entering into the last minute bidding war though.

List for 10 days

Many potential buys only check eBay irregularly, often only at the weekend when they have some spare time. Posting your listing for 10 days will give bidders plenty of time to find your item and watch it until they want to bid. Listing on a Thursday evening for 10 days will allow you to get two weekends in and your auction will end on a Sunday afternoon.

Research what you are selling

Find out as much as you can about what you are selling. Search eBay for similar items that are for sale and have previously sold. Seeing what similar items have sold for will give you a good idea of what price to expect for your item.

Choose your title carefully

Unless people explicitly tick a box to search through item descriptions eBay only searches through each item’s title. It is therefore important that you write your item titles carefully. Think about what words you would search on when looking for your item and make sure you get them into your title.

Consider using Buy It Now

If you know how much you want for an item and are confident you will get it then consider listing the item using ‘Buy It Now’. People will often check eBay for items that are hard to get elsewhere and like Buy It Now items because they do not have to wait for the auction to end and do not have to risk being out bid.

If you found this article useful, have any questions, comments or have a particular topic that you would
like to see written about then please let me know.