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How Much Is It Worth? Estimating Your Item's Value for Sale on eBay

Aug 17, 2007
Proper pricing of items to be listed for sale on eBay is one of the most important aspects of generating interest in one's auction listing.

If the price is too high, interest will be low, and the possibility of a sale decreases.

If the price is too low, the seller generates enormous traffic, yet the final bid might be too low to satisfy the seller's need for a profit.

The following are steps that will aid in that process.

Step 1: How Much Was this Item Originally Worth

First of all, one must find out how much the item was when it was bought. This helps the seller set realistic goals as to how much he will expect to profit from that item.

The seller must remember that the going price for that item nowadays will be different from its original price. And depending on the demand for that item, he may get a price that is better, or worse than the original price.

The seller must also come to an acceptance of the fact that the buying power of today's $1 is different from that of ten years ago.

Step 2: Do a Little Research

Sellers should research on the current price of similar items. This gives them a good standard as to how much they should price their wares. Searching eBay for successful auctions of similar wares is the best way to do this.

Step 2: How Much Has the Item Depreciated?

The seller must check the item for damages and other irregularities from a mint conditioned item of the same kind. He must then deduct a reasonable amount from his asking price. Wear and tear tends to bring down the price of an item considerably. It is wise to make sure the items are repaired, or spruced up before being auctioned.

Step 3: Start It a Little Lower than Usual

It is wise to start an auction a step or two (or even three) lower than a sellers intended price. This generates interest in the item. It may be hard to believe, but auctions that start lower than its intended price actually have a better chance at overshooting that intended price.

Professional opinions are available if the seller is in doubt of the value of his or her item. Third party appraisal companies help in this regard. A list of such is available at the Authentication & Grading link under Protection and Authentication on eBay.
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