Whether you’re offering a 19th century Old Judge card or a LeBron James autographed jersey, selling online can be rewarding. Smart sellers know much has changed on eBay over the last five years or so, though, and if you’re still using the same old methods or cutting corners to save time so you can list as many items as you can, you might be leaving money on the table.
Not all listings are created equal in the eyes of the auction giant and eBay also has more options. Your competition is getting smarter about using them, too.
Next time you list an item, try out these ten tips to make more money with eBay listings.
This may seem really basic, but we still see a lot of listings with only one image. Photos are essential to attract buyers and play a big role in any decision to bid or buy. Don’t forget to take advantage of the option to include multiple photos. Doing so used to add to your listing fees but not anymore.
Unique angles and perspectives, especially on display items or those with multiple autographs, can make all the difference. Buyers want to know exactly what condition the item is in before deciding how much to bid. Whether you use a good scanner or a good camera phone, the more pictures, the better.
2. List in Multiple Categories
Some items could fit perfectly in multiple categories, and choosing just one can limit the item’s exposure. Buyers search all sorts of ways. Some do a keyword search but others browse full categories. A decades old sports book might be something to list in the Vintage Sports Memorabilia category but also in the Antiquarian Books section. There’s a small fee to list an item in a second category, but all it takes is one more bid to get that fee back—and then some.
Auction ending times have a measurable impact on final sale price. Start listings so they end in the evening hours when people are at home and can enter last-minute bids. eBay allows sellers to schedule a start time for an additional fee. Again, you want as many eyes on your listing as possible and one additional bid will more than cover your fee.
4. Auction Listing Templates
Plain item descriptions can make your listing look untrustworthy. There are many tools, free and paid, that offer listing templates to spice up your listings and add credibility to your sales. Auctiva is a popular service, and eBay also offers listing designer templates for a small fee per listing. It’s worth a try to see how well it works for you and chances are bidders may become more engaged if your listings look professional.
While these are mandatory in some categories, including eBay’s item specifics help shoppers pinpoint the specific things they want to buy. Including this information helps with item placement in search results. Even entering just a couple is a good idea.
6. Offer Free Shipping
Buyers use the combined total of item price and shipping when comparing listings by price, and separating shipping out makes comparing listings harder for them. Additionally, free shipping is attractive to buyers when comparing items that are very similarly priced when shipping costs are included in the sort method.
7. Offer Global Shipping
Many international buyers look for items on eBay, and making listings available to them increases an item’s potential audience. The Global Shipping Program makes shipping to many countries easier by providing a U.S. address for shipping. From there, eBay forwards items to the buyer. Shipping very small items overseas isn’t expensive. If you’re in the United States you should, at the very least, offer shipping to Canada.
The costs of expedited shipping can be substantial, but many buyers are willing to pay a premium to get items a few days sooner. The United States Postal Service (USPS) website makes estimating these costs easier, and multiple shipping methods can be added to listings.
9. Provide One-Day Handling
Items that offer both free shipping and one-day or same-day handling are marked with eBay’s “Fast ‘N Free” badges. These images attract buyers and can increase sales by up to 11%, according to eBay’s own statistics.
10. Extend Auction Durations
While most auction bids are placed in the last hours of a listing, increasing auction duration allows more people to find listings of items they want. Additionally, eBay offers reduced fees for auctions with longer durations compared to ones with shorter durations. Starting a 10-day auction on Thursday night means your listing will end on a Sunday, giving you essentially two full weekends of exposure and an end time that matches when many folks are online.
Two additional tips that have been true since eBay began more than 20 years ago include writing a quality title with as many keywords as you can and to include as many details as possible in your description. Including a card number or designating a card as a ‘rookie card’ in the title may help when buyers are searching. Adding important details about your item’s condition, its provenance or anything else that might help someone make a buying decision is worth the extra few minutes.
For higher volume sellers, eBay is currently offering 80 additional free fixed price or auction style listings through mid-October.
Keep these ten tips in mind and you will have highly effective listings that attract more buyers and premium prices.