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How to be a successful seller on eBay

Do you wonder how selling on eBay can help your business?
Follow this step by step guide covering everything you need to be a successful eBay seller.
Preparation is key – do your research and be realistic.

1. Set up your seller`s account
To sell something on eBay you need to register and set up a seller’s account. You will be asked to provide debit or credit card details. To become a seller, you also need to let eBay know how you would like to pay your seller fees by selecting the payment method.

2. Research your item and the rules of selling
Before you place anything for sale, remember that preparation is key – do your research especially about setting a starting price, listing format, category and remember to be realistic. Get an idea of how much you can expect to sell your item for and to find out how others have sold similar items, check eBay’s “Completed Items” search. There you can see what similar items fetched, and get an idea of how to market yours. Selecting a category explains how to search for and select a category. Selecting a selling format tells you more about format choices.

You need to make sure your description is accurate. Take plenty of photos in a good light and inspect the item for even the tiniest flaw. If you sell flawed items, without mentioning this in your description and a seller picks up on this, you could be left negative feedback, making it less easy to sell in future.

3. Different ways to sell
There are two ways to sell, either through an auction-style listing or at a fixed price with “Buy It Now”. For beginners, the auction is generally the way to go because, with the fixed price option, you need feedback from at least 10 sales in order to list.

4. Create and manage your listing
The next step is to decide the duration of your listing. You can list items for up to 10 days.

Many sellers list their items for seven days in order to include a weekend to capture weekend shoppers, as Sunday evenings are the busiest for shoppers.

When creating a listing, use as many relevant descriptive words as possible. Imagine you are the buyer – what information in a listing would entice you? Your description needs to provide all the information with details like brand, age and condition.

Create your listing based on your item category and which listing form you use, you’ll have a variety of listing options. If you’re selling an item associated with a product that’s in eBay’s catalogue, you can add product details from their catalogues to your listing. You can create an auction-style or a fixed price listing. Listing upgrades such as highlighting, font, and picture enhancements make your item stand out. You can even donate a portion of your sale – or all of it – to a charity of your choice.

Once you’ve got your listing up and running, you can check it to see how bidding is going. You do this from the Sell section of My eBay, which comes up when you sign into your eBay account. You can also:

– Set notification preferences to let eBay know how and when you want to receive alerts or notifications.
– Set seller preferences about picture hosting, receiving payments, shipping, and more.
– Set member-to-member communication preferences to say how buyers can connect with you.
– Set general preferences for searches, My eBay preferences, and more.

If you want to change anything in your listing, see Changing your listing.

Be sure to answer any questions you receive about your listing. This will help you sell your item by establishing good rapport with potential buyers. When buyers give you positive Feedback , you become a stronger seller on eBay.

5. Wrap up with your buyer
Buyers feel more compelled to bid and buy when they know the postage costs beforehand. So make sure you include all postage and packaging costs in the listing – buyers want to know exactly what they will be paying.

It could be worth buying a set of scales, so you can price packaging accurately. If you get it wrong you could end up out of pocket, or get poor feedback because customers will mark you down for unfair costs. If this is your first time selling an item, you may be required to specify postage. Calculating postage costs tells you how to do this. Visit the eBay Postage Centre to learn more about posting your items.

Learn about eBay policies on prohibited and restricted items, as well as what items are accepted or prohibited when listing and completing the sale at knowing the rules for sellers.

Buyers feel more compelled to bid and buy when they know the postage costs beforehand. Package, weigh, and measure your item so you can use calculated postage.

6. Choose the payment
Before you make a listing, you must choose how to accept payment, for example cheque, credit card or money order. Buyers want a safe and easy way to pay so consider accepting an online payment system such as PayPal.

PayPal is a secure online method which allows you to pay or be paid quickly and easily without sharing any of your financial information. Sellers pay up to 3.4pc plus 20p per transaction, so the cost is minimal and the more you sell, the more you can reduce the percentage cost.

Be sure you receive payment before you post your item. Make sure that the credit card or electronic payment has been accepted and credited to your account before sending the item. If you listed in one of the categories that allows you to accept cheques, make sure the cheque has cleared the bank before delivering the item.

7. Contact the buyer
Once the listing ends, contact the buyer to arrange payment and delivery details. But remember; only post the item once you have received payment. Once the sale is complete, leave feedback for your buyers and encourage them to do the same for you.

How you handle these last steps will go a long way toward your customer satisfaction rating and getting great Feedback from your buyer, which gives confidence to future buyers.

Communicate with your buyer – When your buyer completes checkout, you’ll be notified by email. If you don’t specify postage and payment details in your listing, the buyer can request this information during checkout. If you have disabled checkout, you can contact the buyer directly by email or phone. Important: Contact your buyer directly if you haven’t heard from your buyer within three days of your listing’s end.

8. Post your items
Post the item to the buyer – Pack it well! Use bubble wrap or crumpled up newspaper to protect the item from transit damage. Make sure any fragile parts of the item are well padded and located toward the centre of the box if possible.These tips will help you dispatch your items quickly and efficiently so that you can provide your buyers with a great eBay experience.

Offer free or discounted postage
Listings with free or multiple-item discounts encourage buyers to purchase additional items from you. Select the Free P&P box when you list your item. When buyers search for items, they can sort results by price plus postage. Items with free or low postage costs will rank higher.

Make sure your postage rates are reasonable
If you’re not sure, check our selling practices policy. You can check the actual cost of shipping your item directly from the Post Office website.

Save time and hassle
Save time with free package pickup services from Parcelforce . If you sell valuable items, consider purchasing insurance. Check with your carrier for insurance options. Remember, you can include the cost of insurance in the item’s price or handling cost but you can’t charge a separate fee for insurance.

Stock up on supplies
Always have postage supplies on hand by ordering from the Post Office , or from sellers on eBay.

Print postage labels at home
You can print postage labels from your home printer. Look for the Print Postage Label link in the listing or on the Order Details page. Find out how to print your own postage labels. Provide tracking or Delivery Confirmation information when available.

Purchase Delivery Confirmation when you create and print a postage label. When you use an express postal service like Parcelforce, tracking information is automatically included. You can also upload your own tracking or Delivery Confirmation information in My eBay.

? Offer express postage
Even if you offer a free postage option, buyers appreciate the option to pay to get their item quicker. Delivery services will be displayed using a standard e-commerce classification: Economy, Standard and Express. Specific information about your postage services and estimated delivery times also appear in your listings. The table below lists the postal services and estimated transit times.

In summary, after creating your account, research your products in order to best manner in which to sell your items. Then create your listing, writing a good, full description of your items and put as many pictures as possible. Make sure you include postage fees in your listing because people like to know beforehand the cost of them. Remember package your items appropriately and contact your buyer to encourage buyer feedback. Deal with complaints and questions quickly and with courtesy.

Happy eBaying!

About The Author: Elsa Yenigotchian is an intern at WNW Design Ltd. Based in France, Elsa is studying International Trade, when not spending time with WNW Design. You can find WNW Design on Facebook here

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