eBay is still one of the most popular marketplaces online, with millions of sellers and buyers using it daily across the world. Many people start selling on eBay without knowing exactly how to increase their chances of selling as most categories can be heavily competitive.
Here’s some expert eBay selling tips you should consider to gain an advantage over your competition.
Firstly, eBay and Paypal fees are usually one of the most expensive elements for most businesses using the website, in the US there’s the 4% ‘fine’ for sellers who fall below the standard rating. Therefore, its crucial to ensure that if you sell on eBay’s US site that you preserve an above average rating. The 4% eBay will charge you is in addition to the final value fee incurred on each sale made.
Equally, when you sell an item on eBay you are charged a final value fee. But sometimes a customer changes their mind and does not pay for the item and in this case you are able to be refunded by ebay for the fee they unfairly charged you. You can do this either manually or automatically by turning on the ‘Unpaid Item Assistant’ in the account settings.
Remember eBay gives preference to sellers who are highly rated by :
these sellers higher in search results
the ‘Top Rated Plus’ seal in search results as well as in the listing
- Final value fees can be discounted by a huge 10% (not including shipping costs)
Another way you could potentially save on your fees is opening an eBay store, for some this means you can have lower listing and final value fees. This tactic is usually recommended if you’re using eBay as a business, rather than just sell items around the house on occasion.
Equally you can also try to save money with PayPal by applying for ‘merchant status’. This applies to sellers who are billing upwards of $3,000 who typically pay a fixed rate fee of 30 cents on a transaction plus an additional 2.9% of the transaction amount.
In order to apply for this status on PayPal’s website:
- Login to Paypal
- Click ‘profile and settings’
- Click ‘my money’
- Click ‘merchant fees’
- Click ‘apply now’
- Fill out a short form and click ‘submit’
Let’s look at your content on eBay, one of the most effective ways of working is in bulk, this means you need to master bulk listing techniques, which can save you huge amounts of time. There’s many third party bulk listing software available for you to use, obviously depending on your industry and sector you’ll need to consider and review each option and find out what’s relevant to you.
Here’s some of the most popular:
eBay Selling Manager – With eBay Selling Manager you can rapidly create and manage listings, track sales statuses, and perform post-sales tasks like leaving Feedback and printing shipping labels—all from one central location. It’s a great selling solution for sellers who want to streamline and optimize the way they sell. As of 2019, Selling Manager is free for all sellers, and sellers with a Basic eBay Store subscription are automatically subscribed.
Sellbrite – Sellbrite is a simple cloud software that enables you to easily list and sell your products on multiple sales channels, control and sync inventory, manage and fulfil orders, and access the multichannel reporting intelligence you need to be successful.
Channel Advisor – Channel Advisor allows you to list, optimise and manage all your product listings on over 50 global marketplaces.
Auctiva’s Ebay Tools – Let Auctiva help you to potentially increase your profits and boost your sales. From their 1,800+ eBay listing templates, to their cross-promotional Scrolling Gallery, to Auctiva’s easy-to-use One-Page Lister, they can start saving you time and money from day one.
As well as thinking about bulk listing, you need to also consider how you’re titling your products. Remember the title is arguably one of the most important elements, which piques your audiences’ interest. You should always write titles for people, not computer algorithms.
Try and make your titles user friendly by trying to put yourself in the buyer’s position. Include elements such as:
- Brand name
- Product condition
And so on.
Remember your titles need to look professional and flow correctly, for example
PlayStation 4 1TB Black Console – Brand New in Box
Don’t simply list the features like this:
PlayStation 4, 1tb, new, black
You should also think about how your title is presented in eBays categories and search result pages. Some marketers and business owners attempt to stand out by using symbols such as:
** PlayStation 4 1TB Black Console – Brand New in Box **
This type of tactic can easily draw the attention of your customers, if there’s a lot of competition in your industry.
Equally to help you even further, some people like to discover popular search terms by using eBays autocomplete search bar function, to find the latest words and phrases their target audience might be using. This is similar to the functionality which is used on search engines, so use this to your advantage.
Product Listing Page
Let’s take a closer look at your actual listing, generally you want as many high-quality images as you can. This means using a white background if possible and taking images from several different angles.
Some eBay businesses experiment with using colourful backgrounds for their products, depending on your industry and target audience this may work well for you. However the general rule of thumb is to keep it simple with a white background.
Make sure that your pictures are:
- Not blurry – they need to be clear and pristine
- Taken on a neutral background – black or white usually work well
- Take images of your item from multiple angles
- Don’t use images from catalogues which do not accurately represent your item
Remember, as your shoppers can’t see the item or product in person, the image is a big trust element they rely upon. Every shopper wants to be sure they are making a purchase from a trustworthy merchant who will supply a good quality product in a timely manner. If a person does not have enough faith in your product and/or brand he or she will skip your listing.
You should also bear in mind, that people are short for time, or are flooded with information – this means you should not waste shopper’s time and energy with large sections of text. Although you should be as descriptive as possible, many people will simply not read hundreds and hundreds of words.
Typically, its recommended to write a maximum of 300 words. Remember to place the most important keywords at the beginning of the listing, make sure your copy is user friendly and not a list of keywords and to format your text – for example, use bold and change text size when appropriate and necessary.
Equally, as eBay works on a search algorithm many people overlook the importance of a key element in the listing – this is the item specifics section, typically the more information you provide eBay’s search engine with, the easier and more likely it is for your item to be displayed in search results. This is particularly true when customers filter for items. If you do not fill in item specifics, your products are very likely to appear low in search results or not at all when filtered. Although it can be seem boring, eBay have this section for a reason, it’s because it matters!
Obviously, you also need to consider the price you’re selling your items for. eBay typically has a cut-throat environment between sellers, meaning a few cents or dollars can easily make a difference to the amount of sales you receive.
If you decide to promote your products with some paid marketing, a general key rule of thumb is to never exceed a 1:3 ratio – this means if you are selling a watch for $60, you should never spend more than $20 on advertising for that item. The main reason is that as a business you have other overhead expenses which need to be paid from the sale, such as packaging, shipping, staff costs, eBay fees and so on. Businesses use the 1:3 ratio to maintain profit margins.
Equally, as we’re talking about promotional marketing, you shouldn’t use promoted listings for items which are either not selling or are selling slowly. You should concentrate your spending on items which are popular or attempt to increase the amount of sales of other products which already sell quite well. Equally for some industries you may want to promote a new product which you’re introducing into the market.
Speaking of new products, when launching a new item, particularly in a competitive category, it can be a good marketing tactic to set the price at the lower end of the field. On eBay many shoppers are price driven and consequently choose to display results based on which item is cheapest.
Obviously, you will need to consider how this pricing strategy may affect your overall business, however if can afford to price low for the first few months, it will mean you can climb higher in eBay’s default organic search results. If you keep a close eye on this, once you are at the top or at least close enough, you can then start raising prices and earning the rewards of your patience and strategy.
Using a Wholesaler?
If you’re selling products you’ve purchased from a wholesaler or items which feature a barcode, it can be a good idea to think about downloading the eBay app which will allow you to scan the barcode of any item (which is new or used) and determine its value based on recent sales.
After you’ve downloaded the app, all you need to do is scan the barcode and click the ‘sold items’ filter in order to show similar items that have recently been sold.
Scroll down and click ‘sell one like this’ and eBay will automatically fill in all the relevant information and details for you.
This app can be valuable in many industries and is a great tool for most businesses, you can easily receive up to date and real time data which can help you when thinking about what type of products you should sell.
Of course sourcing and selling on eBay is just part of the puzzle, you also need to think about your after-sales support. Remember a return policy is a must which all sellers need to have.
A main aspect for possible clients on eBay is your returns policy. If you do not have a return policy or if your return policy is less than generous you will:
potential customers who are put off
- eBay will penalise you in terms of your ranking in search results as its algorithm favours generous return policy providers
Equally as well as your returns policy, you need to also think about your delivery policy too. As the modern world is face paced and people want everything fast, this means you need offer a speedy service.
After all, there’s other main players on the scene where customers can easily shop at instead of using eBay, think of Amazon Prime which tapped into this lack of patience and made 2-day delivery the new standard in eCommerce.
As far as eBay is concerned, they introduced a new 3-day guaranteed shipping filter. If you can’t keep up with the 2-3-day shipping standard, you may lose a lot of business.