Start Selling on eBay in 2015 – Part 5

Feb 03

Start Selling on eBay in 2015 – Part 5

I’m continuing the Start Selling on eBay tutorial series that I started last November. The goal of the tutorial is too get you set up on eBay and PayPal, earning feedback, and start earning money by selling things you already have.

Start Selling on eBay Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 –   Part 4

If you’re following along you should have some listings up and have bought a few things to get some feedback started. Now we’re going to talk about how to make your descriptions better.


Better eBay Descriptions

Several sellers put maybe one line of description into their listing or don’t put anything at all. Try to include anything in your description that you can think of that a potential buyer may ask.

I tend to start my descriptions with the name of the item again. Sometimes it’s exactly the same as the title or I may change it up a bit. I’ll include information I may not have been able to get into the title, such as color. I also disclose any damage to the item or any imperfections in the item, no matter how small. Make sure you have photos of any damages as well.

Describe your item as simply as possible. Don’t use “novel” when “book” will do. Think about how a buyer may search for your item. The words in your description help with your listing’s SEO (search engine optimization). Use the words your buyer will use.

I include measurements for almost every item. Some things are self explanatory, but if there’s any question I provide a measurement. I always measure clothing because a tag size doesn’t always equate with the actual measurements, especially if it’s a piece of vintage clothing. If it’s a decor item or dish, I include the measurements so the buyer can determine if the piece is too large or too small for what they want.

Be as positive as possible in your description. I don’t include policies and shipping information in my description anymore like some do today. That used to be needed but the listing system is updated now to remember your policies and include them automatically. If you do want to include your policies in your description, don’t be demanding or negative. Remember, you want buyers to buy from you.


Example Title and Description

Here is an example of a listing I found on eBay:

Ebay tutorial Women's Cute Strapless Candies

She’s using the word “cute” and the word “clothes”. A dress is automatically assumed to be clothes. A buyer wouldn’t be searching for “cute clothes” or “cute dress”. A buyer may find this dress by searching for “strapless dress” or if they specifically wanted a Candie’s brand dress.

A better title might be “Candie’s Strapless Dress Pink Women’s Size 5 Sundress”

All of these are keywords a buyer would use to find this dress.

Here is the description from the listing:

Super cute Candies dress. Size is 5. It was only worn one time and is in excellent condition. The color in the middle of the dress looks black in pictures but is brown. Comes from smoke and pet free home. If you have any questions feel free to ask. No returns. Thanks!

She uses the word “cute” again. She only has a bit of negativity with the no returns. We’ll get into returns next week. She describes the dress and the pet free home may be important to some buyers. But she doesn’t have any measurements or other details about the dress. She does have the Item Specifics filled in, but even with the item specifics it’s important to include as much as possible about the item you’re selling in the description as many buyers don’t look at item specifics.


Auction or Fixed Price

eBay was built on the auction format. Over the years this has changed as the sellers wanted other features such as Buy It Now. There’s even a Make Offer ability now, since buyers and sellers were doing this anyway over the years, even though it was against eBay’s terms of service.

There are many sellers who sell by auction and make a good living, just as there are those who sell on fixed price and do equally well. It will all depend upon your business and your strategies.

The hope with an auction is that you’ll start it at a low price and it will increase until you get more than you hoped for on that item. The truth is that if you start most auctions low – eBay still suggests .99 – then they will sell for that low price.

If you want to experiment with an auction, list the starting price for the lowest amount you’re willing to sell the item for. If you want to make $10 on this item, then start it at $10 and see what happens. If you get bids, then you’ll get your $10 or more.

If you’re going to do an auction, don’t use a reserve price. If you’re using a reserve price, you may as well just use fixed price and list the item for that much or start your auction at that price.

Our strategy is to list fixed price, Good Til Canceled with a Make Offer on all items over $30. We list items and let them wait for the perfect buyer to come along. We do pay relisting fees every 30 days when we go over our free listings. Sometimes we list for 30 days instead of Good Til Canceled to save some money on listing fees, but we never use auctions and we always go for the longest time out. We may experiment with auctions – I’m not cutting them out – but our store has so many unique and eclectic things and fixed price works for that.

If you want to hear more about Auctions versus Fixed Price, listen to this Scavenger Life Podcast with Tim, Mr. Customer Service, and how he sells the majority of his items on auction.


Talk to Us!

Is this tutorial helping you with questions about selling on eBay? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

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