First, let’s look at what we call the "8 Golden Rules" for success on eBay!
1. Picture: A picture is worth 1000 words. You would be shocked at the pictures that are on eBay. Avoid placing your item on the floor and taking a fast picture—it will not work well for you. Looking at someone’s old carpet will not sell well on eBay.
It’s easy to take great photos if you just take your time. Use nice backgrounds, and software to fix up the balance of your photographs.
You may also want to invest in a light box, which is very affordable and easy to use. A light box is like a small white tent that removes shadows. You can buy them on eBay for under $20.00—just search for “light box” on eBay. It’s worth your time and money to take a great picture.
2. Research: Do research about what you’re going to sell before you even list your item.Get on eBay and look for the same thing that you’re going to sell.
I like to click on the “watch it now” button and keep track of what the item sold for, and then I have a good idea of what to expect.
Pay attention to how many other people are selling the same thing. Don't feel discouraged when you have an item to sell, and discover that 30 other people on eBay are selling the same thing. Pay attention to what other items are selling for and then make the best listing you can.
Also one more point: DON'T STEAL OTHER PEOPLES PICTURES! It really angers other eBay sellers. You should also avoid borrowing descriptions from other sellers. You can use many of the same words in your description, but write your own.
3. Shipping: Learn everything about shipping, and become a "shipping master.” Shipping fees are the biggest money hogs that you will deal with. Be sure to charge a fair price for your shipping. You will do a lot better in the long run.
Learn about the different shipping rates and weights. First class is 13oz or less. Using media mail will save you a lot of money on books, films, DVD, CD, etc, but it’s cheaper to ship one CD or DVD first class mail than using media mail.
International shipping will increase your eBay business; however, you will have to learn more about worldwide shipping regulations. You will also have to fill out some additional forms.
Don't guess on shipping. If your customer emails you a question on shipping, make sure you know how much it's going to cost. Don't get lazy, because it will cost you!
4. Listing: Writing your eBay listing is as important as the picture. Describe your item in full detail. Be clear if the item is new in the box or mostly new (used). Don’t deceive your buyers or they will be disappointed when your item arrives. Be totally honest with your buyers: if the item has a scratch, tell them. You will still sell the item and have a happy customer.
Remember to sell your item using action words, but don’t over do it!
5. Payments: Take all kinds of payments: Paypal, checks, money orders, etc. Don't be afraid to take personal checks, but don't ship the item until the check clears. It's that easy.
You will have more sales by offering more payment options. Be easy to work with! Easy equals success in eBay.
6. eBay feedback: Act as if your selling life depends on your feedback, because it does. Feedback is the life-blood for eBay. Remember, people do not do business with people who have low or bad feedback. You should only do business with sellers and buyers who have high feedback scores.
Always give feedback to buyers after you have received their feedback. Let your customers receive their product, make sure they’re happy, and wait for their feedback. Then you know they are satisfied and all is well. If you give your feedback first and they are not happy then you have lost all your leverage to work things out. You will then have a greater chance of receiving negative feedback. Even one negative rating can affect your score for years. Always return feedback fast, as soon as you get it.
7. The World: Don’t forget that the world shops at eBay. Yes, I said the world. Sell your product worldwide if that makes sense, but keep in mind that some things will not ship easily to other countries. Pay attention to shipping. If you make a mistake with shipping it can kill your profits.
Selling worldwide can greatly increase your business: adding Canada alone will increase your success on eBay by 6%. . Customers from around the world may love your eBay auction, so don't forget them.
8. Act like a business: Always provide great customer service. Remember, a lot of people tell their friend where they purchased a great product. Keep in mind that any customer could bring you a lot of business.
Capture your customers and let them sign up for your email newsletter. You can continue selling them more items. Direct them to your other websites if you have any. Every package that leaves my home has a flyer, coupon, free shipping offer, or other piece of communication telling customers that they can find more great products on my other websites. You do that, and your business will increase very fast!