Tips For Starting Out On Ebay

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rolex54, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. rolex54 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Well i have had an ebay account for a little over 2 years, never really did anything with it
    Now I am thinking about selling some of the crap around my house

    What are your tips for starting out on ebay?
  2. eman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2007
    In the great white north
    Ebay can be a great place to buy and sell and it can also be a brutal place. Read the "anyone got cheated in ebay before?" thread. IMHO some of the most important thing to remember about ebay are: don't send any money western union, no wire transfer, no local pickup unless you get cash and know every paypal rule down to the T. If you make a mistake with a scammer, they'll initiate a Paypal dispute and recover their money and have your item. Some scammers will receive your item and replace it with their broken item and send it back and say it was broken and want their money back. Scammers love to buy software and then burn a copy of it and then dispute the transaction and say the software didn't work.

    I've had way better luck with selling on Craigslist than ebay. With Craigslist, meet in a local spot and request cash. Ebay just raised their selling fees 50% and it will end up costing you about 12% to sell an item on ebay and put up with the scammers. On ebay you will be paying a listing fee, selling fee and Paypal fee and Craigslist fees are zero. Not everyone on ebay is a scammer, but there's no shortage either. I have been scammed on ebay a number of times and never on Craigslist. There are scammer on Craigslist as well and they want to pay you by bidpay, alertpay etc.. don't do it, cash cash cash. I'm not trying to scare you away from ebay, I'm just giving you info to make good decisions.
    Good luck.
  3. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2008
    Here are some tips that will help you be successful on eBay.
    • Always clearly list your shipping prices. They show up automatically, but adding them clearly to your listing is also a good idea, as some buyers purchase items, and then leave neg/neutral feedback afterwards, claiming they were unaware of shipping costs prior to bidding.
    • Thoroughly describe the items you are selling, so that buyers are certain of what they are bidding on.
    • If you plan on selling numerous items and using drop boxes for shippers, invest in a scale, and create an online account with your chosen shippers, as this often gets you a shipping discount, or free delivery confirmation.
    • Always use delivery confirmation/tracking to cover yourself in case a buyer claims the item was not received after you've shipped.
    • State your shipping carrier and terms in the listing, such as the option and cost to purchase insurance, and lack of responsibility on your part should they choose not to do so.
    • State your return policy in your listing. If all sales are final, make that clear.
    • If you ship via USPS, order their priority mail boxes on their website. They're free for priority mail, include delivery confirmation, and they have flat rate boxes that ship at either $8.95 or $12.95 regardless of the weight for various sized boxes.
    • Invest/use a decent digital camera to photograph your items. Make the photos well lit and clear, but don't go overboard on the size, as people who are forced to wait for them to load may move on. If there are faults or blemishes, make sure to photograph them, and point them out in your listing so the buyer is aware, and won't cry foul upon receiving.
    • Search and research the prices of what similar condition items have sold for, and use this to gauge your pricing/expectations.
    • The Buy It Now feature is great for impulse buyers, and you can easily set it at a price slightly higher than what you've seen other items sell for.
    • Ship purchased items ASAP. State in your listing that you ship within 1-3 business days, or whatever you decide.
    • Use humor/personality in your listings. If a buyer thinks you're a likable guy, they'll be more apt to purchase from you. Also thank them for viewing your listing.
    • Read up on eBay policies, and research the extend of how eBay and Paypal will protect you from fraud, so that you're aware of any risks you may be taking, who to avoid, and what options you have to protect yourself.
    • Browse the listings of some of the successful Powersellers who have high positive feedback ratios. Study and compare their techniques in order to get a feel for how to make a good listing.
    • Leave feedback for buyers in successful transactions, as some buyers are trying to build up their feedback, and can easily check which sellers leave feedback, and which don't. Hold out on leaving feedback until the buyer has left you positive feedback, because retaliatory feedback for unvoiced issues are fairly common, and can lower your rating quickly.
    • Be a good communicator via email. If the buyer has a question or issue, respond ASAP so they don't panic and leave negative feedback unnecessarily.
    Good luck, and have fun. :)

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