Selling Tips

Read these 15 Selling Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Auction tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What is the best time and day of the week to end my auctions?

End Auctions on Sunday

Consider ending your auctions on a Sunday evening (before the East Coast bidders go to bed). Last-minute bidding can often help bring much better prices, and Sunday evenings seem to be a time when many people are home, looking at auctions.

   
Should I take advantage of special features like Buy It Now?

Buy It Now

One of the best features to come along in quite awhile is eBay's “Buy It Now" feature. This allows bidders to buy it immediately for a price that you set. It's great for buyers who don't want to wait days until an auction ends to see if they've won. Sellers also benefit. I have sold items within a half an hour by offering the "BIN" option.

   
Should I end my auction on the last day of a 3-day holiday weekend?

Avoid Ending on Last Day of 3-Day Holiday

Don't schedule your auction to end on the last day of a three-day holiday weekend. People are tired, traveling, and generally doing something other than waiting for your auction to close. However, if you are a buyer…this can be an excellent time to find some real bargains.

   
Where should I start the bidding price on my auction items?

How Low Can You Go?

Keep your starting bids low. This will attract more bidders and stimulate a lot of action on your auction. I consistently start my auctions at $1-$5, even though my hope is to fetch up to $60-$75 as the final price. The reason for doing this is that by the time the auction is close to ending, I may have 15-20 bids already listed. Other potential bidders see this and figure there must be a good reason why everyone seems to be bidding on my item as opposed to the other one with a $25 opening bid.

   
How can I save myself from paying unncessary fees?

Alternative - Set Higher Minimum

On lower-priced items, set a higher minimum bid rather than using a reserve price. This will save you from paying unnecessary fees. Also, reserve prices on lower-priced items can be annoying to bidders.

   
How can I use the holidays to shorten my sales cycle?

Holiday Sales

Selling holiday items can be an excellent way to use timing to your advantage. Because holidays have an intrinsic purchasing deadline, you can create a great deal of excitement and shorten your own sales cycle. For example, remember the bidding fever created when people were selling their "Talking Elmos" that had been sold out of toy stores for weeks prior to Christmas?

   
Should I send a congratulatory email to successful online buyers?

Increase Positive Feedback

Most online buyers truly enjoy immediate gratification. After your auction ends, send an email, congratulating your high bidder on his successful bid and provide details on how to pay for it. If you can't do this manually, there are several automated programs that can handle this function for you. This will go a long way in building good relationships and strong, positive feedback.

   
Should I sell large quantities of an item all at once in one listing?

Avoid a Glut

If you have a large quantity of a product to sell, consider selling a few pieces at a time, rather than putting 20 or 50 of the same item up at once. Supply and demand will favor items that appear in lower supply. You can also list a few items on eBay, and a few on other auction sites such as MSN and Yahoo! to avoid a glut in any one marketplace.

   
Is it good to list all my auctions at the same times each day?

Close Auctions at the Same Hour

Try to list your items at the same time each day, so that your auctions all close at or near the same time. This allows you to perform all of your post-auction functions at one time.

   
What are some alternative sources for products.

Business Cards Can Be Profitable

Get some business cards printed and add this copy to the back:

Items I Buy:
Toys, Comic Books, Collectibles, Antiques, Baseball Cards, etc.

Pass these out at swap meets, garage sales, businesses, thrift stores, and other such places. Soon you'll have people calling you with products!

   
Should I Sell More Than One Product ?

Placing All Of Your Eggs In One Basket

Always be on the lookout for new products and never become content with just one or two items or categories, no matter how well they are doing.

Regardless of the product, eventually it will hit a saturation point and sales will drop off. If you discover a great selling item, it won't be long before others are copying your success and lowering the price.

   
How do I calculate my starting bid?

Calculate Your Starting Bid

To set your starting bid, calculate how much you paid for the item. Add other expenses, such as your listing and FFV fees, and figure out how much you hope to earn from the listing.

   
Should I consider selling items to bidders in other countries?

Think Globally

Online auctions attract a global audience. To increase your sales, consider selling your items to bidders in other countries. Before doing so, carefully research and list all additional shipping costs and requirements.

   
Is there a way I can block a bidder from bidding on my auctions?

Blocking Bad Bidders

There are a number of reasons for wanting to prevent someone from bidding on your auctions. Among them are past negative feedback, emails from the bidder that are cause for concern, or just an overall bad feeling about the bidder. eBay and Yahoo both allow sellers to do this. You can blacklist users when you list an item, when you cancel a user's bid, or at any time during the auction.

   
How do I find out what my item will sell for ?

Search Completed Auction Histories

You can search completed auctions for the past 30 days on eBay. This is one of the easiest ways to get a starting price for your item.

   
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Heidi Splete