eBay has been around long before businesses infiltrated social media. In 2015, it pulled off a total of $82 billion for sold merchandise. As of the first quarter of 2017, eBay is already at 167 million active users strong, 25 million of which are sellers.
These numbers look astounding on paper. Anyone with a dream to make money from home will surely want to be a part of this lucrative business. Yet, vendors will tell you that selling on eBay isn’t always a picnic. In fact, many of these entrepreneurs still struggle to find what to sell on eBay despite being there for a long time.
If you’re on the same boat, it’s time to brush up on your selling skills and learn these 10 tips to maximize your profits on eBay:
Tip #1: Build a Strong Profile Before Selling
What does it mean to build a strong profile on one of the largest marketplaces? Suppose you’re looking for your favorite gadget. You key in the name of your coveted item into the Search bar and browse through the results, clicking one link after another. Besides scouring for the best price, you want to make sure that you’re buying from a legitimate user.
Let people see that there’s a real person behind the username. Becoming a buyer yourself is a good way to go. People will see your eBay history and know that you’ve been with the company for a while. You should also choose a username that’s easy to remember and evokes credibility.
Tip #2: Time Your Listings Right
Timing is everything – this advertising adage applies to selling on eBay as well. Start and end your listings during hours when people are highly likely to be online. This could be when the weekend is approaching and during after-work hours. Keep in mind that eBay operates in the Pacific Time Zone. If you’re on a different one, adjust your clock accordingly.
Tip #3: Start Your Bids Low
People comb through eBay to hunt for bargains. If you set your prices high from the get-go, people will just browse through your listing without batting an eye.
Start your bids low to catch the interest of as many buyers as possible. This will encourage a competitive auction until the last day of bidding. If you’re worried that you’ll sell the item too low, you can always name a minimum price.
Tip #4: Go for PayPal Payments
Some sellers aren’t so happy about PayPal’s transaction fees. What they fail to realize is that it is the safest currency in the eBay world. If you want to be safe from scammers or bogus buyers, get yourself a seller protection program that only PayPal can provide.
Tip #5: Never Underestimate a Good Customer Service
Marketing and selling tactics are updated every now and then. But no matter how many tactics are added, nothing can take the place of an exemplary customer service.
A good customer service can de-escalate complaints, encourage return transactions, and usher in new customers. If you want to get on top of customer service, hire an eBay seller virtual assistant to get things done on time.
Tip #6: Be Smart and Vivid with Your Product Description
Keep in mind that what you write isn’t only to illustrate what the product is about. The terms you use will also serve as keywords that will pull up your product to help users find you.
A good copy isn’t just meant for your blog posts. Take some time to clearly describe your products by using words that will land you the top spot in search results. Use acronym words from eBay itself, such as:
- VGC – Very Good Condition
- BNWT – Brand New with Tags
- BNIB – Brand New in a Box
- BN – Brand New
Tip #7: Be Honest about Your Products
Building a strong profile isn’t just about filling out the information required of you. It’s about establishing credibility and being honest with every transaction.
Do your products have defects? Will the buyer have to pay for shipping costs? Have the products been used in the past? The more transparent you are, the more will people learn to trust you.
Tip #8: Include Measurements
You’ve heard it said that taking clear, quality photos is a must to make a sale. Yet despite quality images, people have been sharing their online shopping experiences that don’t always measure up to their expectations.
Don’t just settle for posting good photos of your products. Make sure that it’s accompanied with accurate measurements, too.
Tip #9: Branch Out to International Shipping
Are you shipping within your country only? It’s time to start looking at eBay as the international marketplace that it is. Don’t exclude customers from other parts of the globe. Branch out to international shipping to attract more buyers. People are willing to pay shipping costs if they found the right item.
Tip #10: Advertise on Social Media
No, you don’t have to pay a hefty amount to Facebook or Twitter to advertise. You can post on your personal profile or create a page for your business. Outsource this task to your eBay seller VA (virtual assistant) so your followers always know what new items are up for grabs.
Instead of being intimidated by the high competition in eBay, let the numbers inspire you to be a strong member of this thriving retail hub. Thanks to these 10 tips to maximize your profits on eBay, that’s what you’ll be in no time.
Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.