eBay profiteering system: 8 simple reminders to make you £££
I once had a first edition of Harry Potter (Prisoner of Azkaban) at its popularity peak. Bought it for a few hundred quid, and sold it for 5 figures. Of course, buying one-off books at ridiculous prices is not the smartest way to go about making eBay into a sideline business. You’re better off steadily selling £5 USB hubs and bra enhancers than grabbing the occasional windfall when the opportunity is ripe. For both newbies and veterans to eBay, here are some reminders to increase your profits on eBay:
1. Don't buy add ons: If you are just starting out on eBay, don’t buy the add-ons when you do your listing until you figure out the conversions for your particular market. As tempting as the slide shows may be, you don’t really need them. Other fancy eye-catching options may increase the click throughs, but aren't you spending enough on listing and FVF (final value fees) already?
2. Don’t buy stuff. Nothing cuts into your profit like spending it on a large carrot, or a 'I love Gary Glitter' bumper sticker. If you're listing on eBay, avoid going on a spending spree. Better yet, consider alternative bulk listing programs such as Auctiva or Turbo Lister to keep your focus and productivity.
3. Sell old stuff. No need to go scouting in the mountains of Nauru for diamonds in the rough. If you have it and you don’t use it, why not sell it? Consider everything you own that you haven't touched in the last 6 months, from books, antiques, to old gadgets and electronics … It is truly amazing what you will find in the storage room boxes.
4. Be realistic. Just because those extra high end cotton wools or your old breast implants are valuable to you doesn’t mean anyone else will find it very valuable. And if something is extremely sentimental to you, the few quid you'll profit from it is probably not worth selling.
5. Take good photos. Use natural lighting vs. flash when possible. Multiple clean photos increase conversions so in certain circumstances (such as books and laptops) are an exception to the “don’t buy add-ons” suggestion above.
6. Research. Before setting your opening bid, do some homework. What are comparable items going for? Well trained shoppers scan by price, so choose an opening bid or 'buy it now' price that lures them in. Look at current retail price and how well comparable items hold their resale value. Focus on generating buzz instead of profiteering. The bids will bubble up to where they ought to be.
7. Know your P&Ps. For heavier / bulkier items, figure up how much you’ll pay for packing materials and shipping. For international shipping alternatives to Royal Mail, you guys made some great suggestions.You can go to the Royal Mail price finder and make a pretty good estimate of what you’ll have to pay for postage. Make sure you charge enough in shipping to cover your costs.
8. Paypal.... the payment system we all love to hate. While they can truly be a pain in the arse with account limitations, fee extortions, and the lack of protection for certain types of products (such as digital goods), it still beats cashing a cheque, waiting for it to clear, western union (unless you're a Nigerian scammer) and skill swapping. For items posted recorded or special delivery with tracking, the seller/buyer protection scheme is still probably worth the extra 'insurance'.
eBay going commercial may be making the auction giant alot more saturated these days, but there is still money to be made. Once you settle into a groove of listing and selling regularly, you can bring in enough extra to fund those luxuries you’ve been denying yourself because of the recession. High end cotton wools for sale, anyone?