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Tips for selling on eBay: Listings that Rock

by Craig Paulson

Sellers can make excellent profits on their collectibles when they list them on eBay, and there are several tips that can increase your opportunities. Niche markets are one of the primary areas that appeals to individual sellers, as these are not prone to the competition that is found in other sectors. Collectibles such as sports cards and memorabilia are perfect for this consideration, and sellers should be sure they use marketing techniques such as free shipping, liberal use of keywords, top level photos and opening their own store on the pages of eBay.

Keywords are the primary way that customers can see what you have for sale, and there are several words that will excite the interest of potential buyers. eBay enables sellers to include 55 characters in their title, and it is essential that they are used wisely. This boosts the visibility of the products, and it increases sales. The keywords that should be used should be any word that potential buyer may be typing into the search box.

You want to make sure that while your title makes sense, it also includes words that might attract bidders you  may not have thought about.   If you’re selling something related to the 1961 Yankees, be sure to mention “Mickey Mantle” and maybe “Roger Maris” in the title as well as the description.  Google and other search engines give a lot of weight to eBay listings so be sure your description includes as much detail as possible in case someone runs across your listing in a general search.  They might be a potential buyer.  If there’s space, you can try using team names.  If your item is autographed, use the name of the authenticator.  The word “auto” is usually as good as typing out “autograph”.  In fact, “auto” is one of the most searched terms on eBay.  Saving a few characters by using the shorter version can help in your effort to add more words in the title.  If your modern card is a 1/10, be sure to use that in the title to re-enforce its scarcity.

Pictures are another essential ingredient for success, but they must be clear and highlight the benefits of what you’re selling.  Whatever you do, don’t skimp on picture quality.  Digital cameras are inexpensive, and they may be needed if a phone or computer is unable to produce the quality image that is needed. If you’re selling a lot of cards, buying a scanner is a must.  Do research and buy a good one, then make sure it’s optimized to provide high quality images (Amazon has a ton of them. Click here to check them out).

The better they are, the more confidence buyers will have that you know what you’re doing and you’re going to give them good service.

Lighting is another consideration in pictures and can be used to highlight the products for sale. Higher resolutions are essential to capture the detail of the goods, and buyers can choose to enlarge items with the features that are included on the eBay site. The setting where the picture is taken is another essential, and it should be as clean as possible.  Don’t be in a hurry and post a grainy, distant image that doesn’t show detail.

Shipping goods is another consideration, and when a person is selling small items such as sports cards or memorabilia, it is best to provide this service for free. eBay automatically gives five star ratings for its clients who provide their customers free shipping, and this will help determine your item’s prominence on the search results–helpful if you’re selling an item similar or identical to yours.  Many sellers have also used shipping charges to make up for low minimum bids, but buyers are tuned into this tactic, and it is frowned on by eBay as well. Free shipping promotes customer satisfaction and will increase return customers to a person’s store.  That doesn’t mean you skimp on packaging.  Just be sure you start your item at a minimum bid you’d be happy accepting as a final realized price including shipping, because you can lose money if you’re not smart about it.

Starting your items at a low minimum does carry some risk, but as we’ve seen from eBay’s biggest sellers of sports cards, if you have quality items, this won’t be a concern.  It’ll entice more people to bid.

Setting up stores is another good idea if a person has a lot of inventory or has plans to build a business.  Stores provide a host of benefits and will ultimately lower the fees that a seller has to pay eBay to have their products displayed on the site.

Selling on eBay is a great way for a person or business to generate revenue and it can provide new sales leads as well. This is a competitive marketplace, and it is essential that sellers use the tips above to boost their results.  eBay’s Seller Information Center has more information.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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