Ebay Auction Secrets, how to get the highest prices for your items

How To Get The Highest Prices For Your Items on Ebay

NOTE: Also check out the section on "When Is The Best Time To List Your Items" so your items have the best chance of selling. Next, there are many factors to consider for your items to sell for a good price.

LIST YOUR ITEM CORRECTLY TO GET THE BEST PRICE

Put your item in the correct category. There are shoppers who only shop by checking the category list over and over, limiting the number of possible buyers if your collectible salt and pepper set is listed under porcelain dinnerware. Some people think that the most general category possible will get their item the most views, but this is not true on ebay. If you are listing sixteen items, take a few seconds to double check your listing details so you don't put items in the wrong category accidentally.

RESEARCH YOUR ITEM FIRST

Not researching the item you are selling is a common fault. You call the pattern Blue Onion when it is actually Delft. First, the Blue Onion collectors go away unhappy, then the Delft collectors never came at all. Besides knowing what to call your item, you should research its value. There could be six of the exact same item listed for $2.99 each but your price is $12.00. It doesn't take a genius to see that your auction is the last of these auctions to even get a look, let alone a bid.                  

A LITTLE OUTSIDE ADVERTISING ALWAYS HELPS

What do the top sellers on eBay have that you don't? The answer--a website! The purpose of the website is to help drive traffic to an eBay auction, increasing the bids and, hopefully, earning you the most money. In fact, some webmasters are simply going the free route, opting to build cheap websites or blogs using platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress. Aside from that, there are dozens of free tools available online as well. Tools such as a free site template, plugins for Wordpress, ecommerce storefronts and so much more, make building a free site an extremely logical decision. Or, If you feel as though your budget allows, you could get your own hosting and domain name, establishing a permanent site to help drive traffic to your eBay auctions. However, hiring someone to design, program and code the site can get expensive.

A GOOD PHOTO BRINGS A HIGHER AUCTION PRICE

Take a good clear picture of your item, as close up as you can to get the entire item into the picture. Before you click the shutter, see if there is anything ugly or unnecessary in the immediate background. You could move the background distraction or put your item in another location to take the picture. Then, your picture must be optimized. With the help of a photo program, crop the picture to include the item only. No one cares about your living room, and it is maddening to wait forever for a photo to load only to find out that your time was wasted because the seller couldn't take a minute to crop their picture. Tweak the color of your item until it matches as much as possible. Most collectors specialize, and the color does make a difference to them. If they are forced to guess on the color of your item, they just might pass altogether. Next, shrink your picture down to 72 dpi (which is the most that monitors see anyway) to make your picture load faster. If your starting picture is small, you can shrink the dpi without shrinking the size of the picture that people will see. If your picture fills the entire screen, you can probably make it much smaller so it loads faster and makes for more comfortable viewing. When a special feature should be highlighted, make a copy of your large picture before shrinking it, then crop out a "close-up" view of that feature only as a second photo. Try sharpening your photo - sometimes this helps and sometimes sharpening makes the picture look worse, but you can always click on undo.

When you take pictures without enough light, you have problems. The color will never come out correct, even with good photo software. A white item will look dirty and gray, and lightening the picture doesn't help much. And, shadows can look like flaws to buyers. It always makes for a better photo if you adjust your camera to match the lighting you are using.            

ADVERTISE WITH YOUR PICTURE

If you are not using ebay's picture services, you could simply write your photos into your written description. But, unless one of your photos goes in the space "Enter the Web site address of your hosted picture," you won't get the little camera icon letting buyers know that you do have one or more photos. Some buyers will pass your auction right by if they think you don't have any photos.

A cheap (25 cents) way to get a lot of advertising is to put your photo into the gallery. Some people shop through the pictures of the gallery only. And, the gallery picture now also goes on the general listing page. Lots of buyers get a little sidetracked at looking at all the photos that they pass right over some of the auctions without this extra photo.

LACK OF PHOTOS HURT AUCTION SALES

Be honest with your photos. You might put into your written description that the item has a "small" defect in the back. Showing a photo of the perfect side only would be deceptive on your part, and it makes a lot of buyers not trust you. If a buyer's idea of a small defect is much different than yours, you will end up with a very unhappy customer and possibly have to issue a refund to keep your reputation. You don't have to put a large close-up of the flaw, since this makes the problem look worse than it really is, but do show both sides of the item at the same size if one side has a problem. Buyers may decide that the flaw is not enough to bother them.

NO PHOTO IS AN AUCTION KILLER

Collectors are very picky. They may have twenty items that look the same to a casual viewer (or an underinformed seller), but all twenty have some little difference in the collector's eye. If you don't offer any photo at all, they will assume that yours is not Number 21 for their collection. Not researching the item you are selling is a common fault. You call the pattern Blue Onion when it is actually Delft. First, the Blue Onion collectors go away unhappy, and the Delft collectors never came at all - an excellent reason to add a photo. Years ago, people could say "I don't have a digital camera." They did start out pretty expensive. Not any longer. If you plan to sell more than one or two items, you can't afford to not get a digital camera. Even an inexpensive digital camera can produce a good picture if you follow the directions. If you only plan to sell one or two items, you could scan in a photo from a regular camera, have someone else take some photos for you, or borrow someone's camera.            

INCORRECTLY PRICED AUCTION ITEMS MAY NOT SELL

There are two items exactly the same listed at the same time. Basically, everything about both auctions matches except the opening price. The item is expected to sell for about $28.00. One starts the auction at $14.99 (Auction A). The other starts the auction at $28.00 (Auction B). When both auctions close, Auction B has received NO bids at all. Sure, the item is worth $28.00, but people don't want to pay what an item is worth. They want a deal at an auction. Auction A received 10 bids and sold for $28.00 The first few buyers were trying for to get a great deal. Then the competition began, and some went back and put in another bid. Competition simply works with auctions. Even after several bids got the price up and up, people could still see that the starting price was very low - so they will check out your other auctions.

RESERVE AUCTIONS

Reserve auctions can may both sides happy. The seller in Auction B does not have to sell the item for less than $28.00 if the reserve price is $28.00 ($27.99 is even better). But, if that seller makes the opening price $9.99, the buyers will still think DEAL even after seeing that there is a reserve. This brings competition without the risk. The most common reason for using a reserve is in case ebay has an outage so the buyers can't get in and bid, and it is good insurance in a questionable economy.

THE WRITTEN DESCRIPTION DOES COUNT

Some sellers think that they can say about six words about an item since they put in a photo. No. People with older computers, on a bad ISP, or that just highly value their time do a lot of their shopping without photos. They "turn off" the photos in their browser and search by written descriptions alone. At least put a real description of what the item is. This is also highly valuable when people do searches. A search can't find a 3" Goofy in a karate outfit if the description only says "No damage, shipping is extra." Added to all of that is the title of "Goofy Toy," and you can see how difficult it would be for this item to be found. Few Goofy collectors want to do a search for "goofy" just to find one special one - there are thousands of Goofy items listed, including Goofy Grape and someone who tells you he got the item from his goofy brother.

Write your description in an effort to answer any question buyers might have. You could get many, many buyers looking during the last five minutes, and that simply not enough time to ask a question and get the answer. Getting a question answered was much quicker before ebay made themselves mediators. In fact, it is to your benefit to put your email address in your description for last-minute questions. Anyone who ever goes anywhere on the internet will have their email address added to "spam" email lists. It is just the price we pay for the privilege of talking to anyone in the world for free (no stamp, no phone bill). Hitting the delete key is not hard to do. If you have kids and worry about the possibility of receiving adult-type email, don't let the kids use email until you check the mail. Anyway, if a buyer doesn't have enough time to get their questions answered, they will most likely not bid. In the event that someone has a question in the last hour or two, or even the last 24 hours (when your item is in the "ending today" category), do your best to be available. Check your email often.

The more people that find your auction through a search, the more bids you could get - theoretically, depending on all other factors also. Include your item name in the description. Adding the color (although it seems obvious by the photo) may double your amount of visitors. People search in different ways, and they don't all spell the same or use the same terms. For example, using "eye glasses," "eyeglasses" and "spectacles" in your description will bring in three times the number of visitors as any one of these alone. Add the maker's name also if you know it.

NOTICES, WARNINGS

If you have had trouble in the past with an auction or two and would like to prevent the same problem in the future, you are allowed to put some sort of notice or warning in your description. But, be aware that bad auction dealings are such a minority, as are bad auction people. Try to make your words sound businesslike and polite instead of threatening or belittling. Otherwise, you may get your wish and not get have any more bad auctions simply because you will send all potential buyers away in fear or disgust. They may not want to take a chance on being your next "victim."

THE AUCTION TITLE

Titles with funny characters (*** @@@ ^^^ " ") in them do not attract more bidders. While searching through a list quickly, these characters actually get in the way and prevent the eye from seeing that one word or phrase you are looking for.

Doesn't it seem obvious that what the item is should be included in the title? There are many, many auction titles that give no clue as to what the item is. "Large China!" That's quite a title. It is for a marble - a valuable type of marble. Someone doing a search for marbles won't find it. The description also does not contain the word marble. (This is an actual auction listed at this very moment!) The auction is in the marbles section, but only a small percentage of buyers shop through the category. If you ran an auction this way and then accidentally listed it in the wrong category, absolutely no buyers would find it. The word "jerk" suddenly comes to mind! Why would that be? Enough said.

EXASPERATING EXTRAS

Unless you are a real professional, don't use a background on your auction page. Most of the backgrounds used are way too large. In fact, most backgrounds can be found in the pages that take forever to load - then you find out that the item wasn't even worth the wait. That is a quick way to lose customers. Even if you are a professional and can make your background small enough that it loads instantly, why? Why bother? Backgrounds do not add anything worthwhile to an auction, they sometimes get in the way of the picture, and they are annoying. Even worse adjectives could be used for music on an auction page! As mentioned in a section above, photos that take up the entire screen and photos that are absolutely huge but are 90 percent junk and 10 percent item are a waste of bandwidth and time.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Getting good prices for your items starts with common sense. Give your visitors every reason to come back to see your auctions next time and to see your other auctions now, and get rid of everything that is not essential or takes up their valuable time. If there are six other auctions for the same item that you want to sell, look at the one that is getting the most bids and the ones that is getting the least (or no) bids and see what the differences are. If you are new to selling, do a lot of browsing first. See how other auctions look. If you don't have a photo editing program, you absolutely need to find one if you are going to list more than one auction ever - and even then if you want to get a good price for your item.


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