eBay is one of the world’s largest online market platform. It’s an E-commerce platform known best for its’ online auctions, consumer to consumer and business to consumer sales on its website (https://www.ebay.com/). eBay inc. (pronounced as EE-bay) is an American corporation famous for its multinational e-commerce business layout.
The website is generally free for buyers but charges a meager fee for sellers at the time of listing items and then at the time of sale. Normally, eBay is very easy to use and a newbie can get carried away in the process of setting up their account and beginning to sell. However, the platform employs strict rules before anyone can begin to sell on it. So it is wise not to dive into this ocean of online marketing and to take a step back, go through all policies and rules. Because if you are not careful enough, eBay doesn’t generally give a lot of space or time for errors and simply inactivates or suspends your account.
While it is one of the world’s largest marketing platforms, eBay has some areas of concern where it is slow and cannot be fast-tracked. Even though some users can set up their listings in no time, there are others for whom it becomes a long, tedious and a time consuming process and they have no idea how to list items on ebay. Such users involve those who want to list unique, abstract items or second hand items from not so fancy or branded stores or even those who want to list random home items.
The listing process
The steps involved in listing include:
- Take photos of the item.
- Log into your eBay account.
- Complete pricing research to determine what to charge for the item.
- Begin completing the Sell Your Item form.
- Choose the listing type: fixed price or auction.
- Write a keyword-rich descriptive title for the item.
- Fill in all the item specifics provided by eBay.
- Categorize your item accurately.
- Write a keyword-rich item description
- Avoid using symbols in the description
- Upload photos of the item to a computer, or list directly from a mobile device.
- Bidding procedure
- Choose the shipping method and assign a shipping cost.
- Submit the listing
This is just a crux of the process and but some steps need further explanation.
Categorize your item accurately.
After you have decided to sell your item on eBay, the next natural step is to determine under what category your item will fall. Categories can be anywhere in the spectrum from clothing and accessories, to DVD, or an iPod, or home accessory, or mobile phone, or laptop, etc. if you are not sure which category to choose and where your item can be easily seen and found by buyers, then you need to sit down and think about this first step very carefully. Because, moving correctly forward from here on will eventually result in making the sale. So, this step Is crucial. First and foremost, refer to the categories page or under the tab “Sellers’ tools”. If this doesn’t help clarify your type of category, look for other similar items and find out what category those sellers are using to list their items. Once you have logged into your eBay account, go to the “Browse Categories” tab. There you will find a drop down box with subcategories. Carefully select the one which closely matches your item. This is crucial because it will aid your prospective buyers find your listed item easily.
Write a keyword-rich item description
After you are through deciding a category for your listed item, next step is to give your item listing a title. EBay only allows fifty five characters for the title. So it is best your title has the right, specific keywords, better if it includes popular ones that are normally used to look for that particular item. Better yet, not get fancy with your title. Keep it as simple as possible and as descriptive as possible. For example; if you are selling your mobile phone, just give the brand name, model, years it has been in use and condition (new, used or antique). If you are selling a book, its’ name and author are enough in the title. Simple and upfront is the key to the best title.
Avoid using symbols in the description
Use professional, clear words in your title. Always avoid using symbols and over used, unnecessary punctuation marks. Few examples include:
- L@@K here!!!!!!!
- SAVE $$$$$
- WOW- $$$Best Buy!!!!!$$$$$
Such titles are not attractive, do not leave a mature, professional impression of the seller. Mostly, they only add confusion for the readers and buyers. Better and more attractive adjectives can be used which are more appealing and also hint towards the condition and form of your listed item. Words like these are preferred:
- Pre loved
- Brand new
- With the packing
Never list your item as mint if it has been previously used, however briefly. Collectible items usually involve stamps, coins, artifacts. EBay provides a grading system for such items which helps determine their worth and rating. It is best to grade your items as accurately as possible. Failing to do so may account as a fraud, deceit or at best lower your rating even before you get started.
Item description is another monumental step to make a sale on eBay. It is imperative to write a complete but precise, short but all-inclusive notes, description and comments about your eBay item listings. Before finalizing and posting them, proof read them, make sure there are no grammatical errors and no spelling mistakes. Double check your keywords as that will make it easy for buyers to find your listed items.
Another important aspect of eBay listing is the importance of using the right words. Listing your item / items on eBay is a simple task but it needs to be engineered correctly in order to make sales. Seller needs to be very precise in their description of the item they’re putting up on sale. The description should include all details of the item. Sellers are mostly keen on making sales but part of description should talk about if it is used, say it is used; if it has a defect albeit minor, say it has a defect. If it has a tear, scratch, torn or has a missing button, you need to say so. This will reflect in your future reviews and your buyers will vouch for your honesty and transparency. That will aid in building a rapport for your future buyers and boost your sales. In your description, do not forget to mention your items’ size, design, color, fabric (if needed), etc. Creating trust amongst buyers will take you a long way on eBay and help you in making income off of the online marketplace. The key is to start off on the right foot by being honest. And generating reviews about honesty and a reputable seller. As highlighted above, avoid using too many exclamation marks, emoticons or caps lock throughout the description. Caps lock all the way through implies screaming or yelling in the online linguistics. Phrase your words maturely, professionally and honestly! And always, always upload photos of your items when listing them on eBay.
Take your own photos
EBay has clearly laid out rules and policies against using someone else’s photos or using photos off of the internet. However, if you still wish to use someone else’s photo you must have a written permission from them. Several online applications and free YouTube tutorials exist to guide you through taking your own, appealing photos to post on eBay. Official eBay policy states: “You should be sure you have permission from the rights owner or creator before you use the following:
- Images or text copied from websites or internet searches
- Stock photos and text
Information from product packaging
- It’s usually OK to use information such as measurements, weight, or other item specifications that are necessary to describe the item that you simply can’t say any other way. However, you should avoid using any other text from product packaging unless you have permission from the owner to do so.
- Images and text copied from listings of other eBay members
- Scans or text copied from catalogs or advertisements”
Setting a bidding amount
Now that you have set up your item description correctly, next it is time to determine a price at which bidding will start. A starting price on eBay is also called the minimum bid. This is equivalent to the lowest bid possible in your auction. Bids on eBay generally start at ninety nine cents. Setting your minimum amount for a bid must take into consideration the type of buyers you are hoping to attract and cater to. If you want to get a certain amount for your item, designate either a minimum bid amount or set a reserve price.
The reserve price is the price that eBay will display that bidders need to match before the item can be sold, or the bidding amount must meet before the auction actually starts. Keep in mind that some bidders do not like to see reserve prices listed on a seller’s page. It is time-consuming and often frustrating to try to meet that reserve bid. For example, let us say you see a used bike with a minimum of $99 starting bid. If you bid $5 and then see the message that the reserve price has not yet been met, you can spend an hour bidding in $5 increments and still not meet the seller’s reserve price. Whenever possible, use reserve prices only on items that you are not willing to let go at a bargain basement price.
The “Buy it Now” is also an option you may select. Most often, this option is used for single-item auctions. It is also used when an individual has multiple items for sale, such as DVDs, CDs, or the same brand and model of a watch, for example. You can determine the amount for the “Buy it Now” price that you want. You also can designate that price as high as you think you can get for it. However, before you list a price for a “Buy it Now” item, browse eBay and see what other buyers are asking for the same item and what those items have actually sold for. Once you have determined what you want to set as a price for your item, it is time to determine how long you want your auction to run. Options for the length of your auction include one, three, five, seven, or ten days. If your auction starts at 8:30 in the morning and you designate a one day auction, your bidding period will end at exactly 8:30 the following morning. The bidding starts at the time your listing posts or goes live on eBay.
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes when listing your item and determining a bid amount, and you likely will have more success in your endeavors. Once you have bought or sold an item on eBay, it is time to accept and send payments.