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Sell Your Stuff: A Free Online Guide to Selling on eBay

Aug 17, 2007
EBay is one of the most successful and versatile auction sites on the web. Whether you are simply cleaning out your attic or you are embarking on a new work at home career, here are a few things that eBay insiders already know:

1. Your eBay reputation is of major significance. Many bidders will consult feedback from your customers before placing bids, so you will want to acquire lots of positive feedback to maintain an excellent rating. This means being a courteous and conscientious seller.

2. Descriptions sell. Pictures are wonderful, but they may not show every detail. That is why accurate descriptions are important. Most buyers know that used items are not in perfect condition. Be sure to describe chips, scratches, holes or any other defects. If you do happen to be selling collectible items, such as baseball cards or beanie babies that you have kept packaged and in mint condition, mention that in the title or heading.

3. Photograph your items carefully. When taking snapshots of your items, be sure there is plenty of light and clean or polish them first. Create a pleasant background and use a flash whenever possible. Dark, fuzzy, hazy pictures are boring and will not pull in the attention of the viewer. Many sellers post photographs taken from various angles showing the front, back and any markings, if they are selling highly desirable items such as collectible glassware.

4. Communicate well with potential buyers. Some potential buyers will write to ask questions about the article for sale. Be prepared, attentive and responsive. Do your research so that you will be able to answer their questions quickly. Remember, a minor detail to you may be very important to the buyer and may mean the difference between a successful sale and no sale at all.

5. Ship with care. When packaging delicate items, be sure to pad each one carefully using Styrofoam popcorn or bubble wrap, and plug any exposed areas using crumpled up newspaper. Glassware should be placed in boxes at least four inches apart and away from the sides, top and bottom to ensure safe delivery. Mark the outside of the carton "Fragile" and "Handle with Care."

6. Know the ins and outs of insurance. No matter how careful you are, there is always the possibility of breakage when shipping certain items, so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself beforehand with the claim process.

Getting serious about eBay

If you are serious about making money from your eBay selling, you will need to become adept at researching the eBay marketplace, especially before you decide which products you want to sell.

Here are some guidelines:

1. Search for the most popular categories. Look at the number of listings that exist under each category. Then look to see how many bids the products have.

2. Choose no more than one or two categories, especially when you are first starting out. When you are an expert in your niche, you build credibility and trust with your buyers.

3. Examine the ratings of the sellers who are listing products in each category. Read their profiles. See how many products they are currently selling and how many products they have sold in the past.

4. Analyze prices. Become an expert in your chosen category and know at which price a product is worth buying, as well as the expected final winning price of your auction.

Finding More Products to Sell

Here are a couple of additional considerations once you have exhausted your attic and need more products to sell.

1. Consider Dropshipping. Dropshippers will sell you products at wholesale and send them to the address that you specify. On these items, you will not need to carry an inventory yourself, which minimizes your investment. After the auction is complete, you simply send your dropshipper the address of the buyer.

If you decide to use a dropshipper, you need to make sure that the winning price is sufficiently higher than the wholesale price you pay for the items. At minimum, you should expect to double your costs.

It is also important to use care with companies that claim to be dropshippers. Do your research and work only with legitimate drop shippers, which are either the product manufacturers themselves or authorized wholesale distributors. If a prospective dropshipper asks you to place a minimum order or to pay a fee to set up your drop shipping account, consider it a red flag.

2. Buy from eBay. Many successful eBayers know how to buy at a good price on eBay and then sell the same products at a higher price. If you know your niche well, you can find opportunities that will allow you to buy and resell for a profit. Here again, research is essential.

3. Import Asiatic products. If you are willing to carry an inventory, you can invest in Asiatic products for a low price and resell for a profit. You can easily start importing Asiatic products from the Internet at Alibaba.com

4. Sell local products. If you live in an area that produces local products that can be bought at a cheap price and then shipped to other areas, where people would pay more, you should take advantage of the situation. What kinds of unique local products do you find yourself taking for granted?
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson is a frequent contributor to several popular websites, including Momscape.com, Susies-Coupons.com, and BestSelfHelp.com.
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