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4 Huge eBay Listing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

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Selling on eBay isn’t rocket science. But the difference between getting great results from your sports cards and memorabilia sales might lie in your strategy.


by John Reese

No matter how many times I see it happening, I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who are literally throwing money away by making incredibly simple mistakes when they sell items in an online auction.

Over the last seven years, I’ve been making a great living buying and selling products on eBay and other online auction sites, and I’ve perfected a technique that pretty much guarantees anyone can start making a profit right away. That technique starts with avoiding mistakes like these — mistakes I’ve seen people make every day for those same seven years.

If you’re doing any of these four things, you’re leaving money on the table with every single item you sell.

* Listing an item at the wrong time. It’s a proven fact more buyers browse Internet auction sites on Sunday evenings than any other time during the week. If your auction is scheduled to end at any other time than Sunday evenings (specifically between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern time), you’re not getting the maximum exposure for your auction at a time when people are most eager to buy.

* Not giving your photos the attention they deserve. There are two common mistakes people make with the photos they use to entice buyers on eBay. One is not having enough pictures to accompany your item’s description. Over the years, I’ve learned pictures of your item are one of the most important components of your sales page. (There are many reasons for this, but I don’t have the space to go into much detail here.) Multiple pictures from various angles will ALWAYS help you get higher bids for your products. The second mistake is not making sure the pictures are up and running on whatever server you’re using BEFORE you list your item. How many times have you been browsing an auction site and seen a blank box where a picture of the item should have been? That’s a seller who’s losing money because of a very simple, and very common, oversight.

* Using "Las Vegas style" listings. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about here. A Las Vegas listing is one that uses all kinds of flashing animation, multicolored text and other bells and whistles in an attempt to entice bidders. In fact, it does just the opposite. Listings like these are distracting, hard to read, and will always discourage people from bidding, resulting in a lower final sales price. The descriptions that you give of your item on your sales page ARE NOT designed to get a buyer’s attention (you already have that if they’ve clicked on your listing in the first place). They should be designed to get someone to actually place a bid.

* Using a reserve. Using a reserve to guarantee that you’ll get a minimum price for an item will absolutely kill your auction. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen too many times to not accept this as a given. In fact, I often use other seller’s auctions that have a reserve is a way to pick up items at ridiculously low prices that I can sell "the right way" for a huge profit a few days later — but that’s a different article altogether. For now, just realize that nothing scares away potential bidders better than seeing the "Reserve Not Yet Met" tag. If you’re truly concerned about a
minimum price, simply set your starting price a little higher.


John Reese has been actively involved with online auctions and eBay since 1996. Mr. Reese has written several articles on the subject and has recently
created the "Internet Auction Secrets" Video for teaching others how to start, run, and manage a successful online auction business from home.


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