How To Sell On eBay in 10 Simple Steps

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In this article I’m going to explain what steps are necessary to sell items on eBay successfully. It assumes that you already know how to open and set up an eBay account, if you don’t you can find those instructions here

1. Chose the right eBay category to list your item

A large proportion of potential buyers find products by clicking on selective eBay categories. It may seem straight forward, but give a little thought into which category your product will be best placed to attract the most potential buyers. For example, say you were trying to sell a book on eBay about baby care. You’re first thought and rightly so might be to choose ‘books’ as the main category. Smart eBay sellers also know that a little thought goes a long way when choosing your eBay category and by listing the ‘baby care book’ in the ‘Baby’ category as well as the Books category would also be an opportunity to reach many more potential buyers at the time they are searching for related items to buy.


2. Chose the right keywords for your eBay listing title

This is the step that can make or break your eBay listing. Before visitors click on your auction, see your pictures, read your eBay item description and buy your product, they need to be able to find it first. The most common way buyers search for something to buy on eBay is by typing in words into the eBay search bar. These are the ‘keywords’ that match the buyers search words to the keywords you enter into your eBay listing title.

When you create your listing only use keywords words in the title that relate to the product you are selling on eBay. If you use other words which you think will get more visitors to see your product, eBay may view other less irrelevant keywords as spam and your eBay listing will lose brownie points for search standing because the visitors are not seeing the exact product they are looking for. When you sell on eBay your listing titles should be concise, well descript and more importantly full of precise words and phrases that potential buyer would type into the eBay search bar to find the product they want to buy and that describes the product you are selling.


3. Use clear pictures that use all of the available image area

When selling on eBay creating an eBay listing with good pictures is important! When you go to buy something from a store you want to see the thing your buying right? Keep this in mind when selling on eBay. Your potential buyers can’t touch and feel the product so you will need to sell the product with good pictures.
I’ve seen a few eBay sellers listing items on eBay with real crappy images. The pictures are blurred or out of focus and are really small. A picture paints a thousand words so the saying goes, and if your eBay pictures are unclear, that is exactly what your pictures are portraying to your potential buyers. Take clear pictures that fill all of the space eBay provides you with.

It’s a good idea to include more detailed pictures in your item description and the best thing about it is that it’s free to include more detailed pictures in your item descriptions.

You can also use graphic software to clean up your images by removing the background and tweaking the brightness and contrast.

4. Describe your item as precisely as possible, highlighting the benefits

When you write your item description, don’t take anything for granted. Describe your item in lay mans terms, as if you were describing it to someone who doesn’t know anything at all about the product. You need to be clear, to the point and describe every detail. The more detail you place in your item description the more your buyers are likely to buy it. Imagine 2 identical eBay listings selling the same identical products. One of those listings has an item description that is three or four sentences long and brushes over the product details. The second has a full description page with 5 or 6 paragraphs clearly explaining every detail and highlighting ALL the benefits of the product to the buyer. Which one is more enticing? Buyers like to know that the eBay seller is responsible and dedicated to offering the best product and service and that the seller really cares about how they conduct their eBay business. The more quality information you put in your item description, the better.

5. Explain your shipping and payment options.

Explain in detail how you accept payment. It’s no big secret that eBay prefer Paypal as a payment method since eBay own Paypal. You will need either a premier or business paypal account to accepot credit card payments. The other option is to accept credit card payments through an alternative card processing merchant account. eBay.com no longer allows sellers to accept offline payment due to security issues. If you are just starting your eBay business, Paypal is the easiest way to accept payments.

6. Include a guarantee and refund policy

Always offer a return policy and guarantee. By offering a guarantee you are giving the buyer a reason to trust you and that the product you are selling. All big e-commerce vendors offer a return policy and you should offer the same if you want to instill trust and confidence into your buyers.

7. Do exactly as you have promised and more.

To sell on eBay successfully and build an eBay business you need to stick to your promises and even over deliver on customer service. If your eBay item description says that you post your products within 24hours make sure they are posted within 24hrs. If you claim your product does something specific, make sure it does it. If you say that deliveries are received within 2 days, make sure it happens. Otherwise don’t make promises you cannot keep. When you keep to your promises you build a good relationship with your buyers that encourage positive feedback. Feedback will make or break your eBay business so you want to make sure you are receiving good positive feedback. Anything else will fail your eBay business.

8. The customer is not always right, but pretend they are!

If you are a customer services type of person then this might come natural to you. But it doesn’t to me and I’m one of those who people who have to work at it. In life you can please some of the people some of the time and not all of the people all of the time and it’s the same in business. You should strive to please as many people as you can but there will always be someone somewhere who disagrees. Regardless if it was an error on your part or the buyers, you don’t want to receive anything but positive feedback so you should offer refunds and compromises with the tiny percentage of buyers who will inevitably complain about your product or service. Negative feedback lowers your search standing and destroys buyer trust. To avoid negative feedback take complaints on the chin, apologize, offer a compromise and move on. The small amount of complaints any business receives is usually irrelevant in comparison to the amount of extra sales you’ll make and seller discounts you will receive if your eBay account is in good standing with good positive feedback ratings and percentages.

9. Follow up with great customer service

You can over deliver on customer service by following up with your buyers with shipping notices, postal tracking numbers and by simply asking the buyer if they are satisfied with the product received. Sending emails like this can be automated from your eBay account and again encourages the buyer to leave positive feedback. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call your customers. Sometimes electronic emails and messages don’t arrive as planned and your buyer might not receive your intended message. If this happens your buyer might think you are ignoring them and become irritated. It’s amazing what a phone call can achieve and the simple fact that you have been bothered to pick up the phone and call your buyer to explain a situation, really does pay dividends and leaves the buyer more than contented that you are trying all you can to complete a satisfactory transaction.

10. Make all of the above routine!

When you are running an eBay business you will find yourself adopting a routine. Streamline your routine to make the best use of your time and don’t spend too much time on things that can be done quickly. All of the above steps should become routine to you so you then have time to find more products to sell on eBay and grow your business successfully.

Once you have mastered these steps you will be well placed to learn and implement more advanced eBay features and methods. Selling on eBay can be a very serious business but also really can be fun and working from your home or office can be really fulfilling. So enjoy the process of selling on eBay and you will soon catch the eBay seller bug and be growing your home based business in no time.

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2 comments

  1. Ed says:

    Hey John,

    Very sound advice, as a matter of fact its the only formula to use, for any success selling on eBay, you know I think a lot of people have this right in the first place but give up to early on success?

    Great post John….Ed.
    Ed recently posted..Selling on eBay- Trampolines They`re Rising in the Auction Ranks?

  2. John B says:

    That’s right Ed, persistence certainly pays off. However, new sellers can ‘short-cu’t a lot of the pitfalls with the correct guidance.

    Thanks for the comment.

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