We have made some great decisions and purchases on Ebay. We have also made mistakes and bad decisions on Ebay. Most importantly we have learned from the mistakes we have made and would like to pass on some advice to you. There are some simple rules to follow when making purchases on Ebay that will save you money.
Buying on Ebay has become so popular because you can find almost anything you want in its auctions. Here are the most important things to do when looking for an item on Ebay:
• Rare items are normally easy to find, but using the right keywords will help you find the best deal. Don’t think like a buyer, use keywords that you would use if you were selling the item you are looking for. Be as vague as possible with those words and you will find some very interesting items. You can always narrow down your search if the words you use don’t find the right item.
• Try looking in the category that you think the item would be listed in. By checking the category, you will find misspelled titles and other items that you may not have found otherwise. Other sellers put their items into a category that is too vague, so make sure you check every possible category that the item you want may be listed in. Many people do not research items properly before purchasing on Ebay. Take advantage of this and make sure you leave no stone unturned in your search for the best deal.
• Check out all of the small print! Sellers used to apply huge shipping costs to items and hope that buyers would not notice until after they agreed to purchase the item. This is not done as much today, but should you pay shipping for something that is delivered through Email? Make sure you read the fine print. Larger sellers have typos in their listings and you would be best off to check with them before agreeing to buy from them. It is easier to get a question answered than it is to back out of an agreement to purchase.
• Use the Watch function while doing your research. This will leave items that you are interested in buying in an easily accessible area where you can find them when you are ready to purchase. It will also leave you time to research and think about your purchase. Impulse buying on Ebay can cost you a lot of money if you aren’t careful.
• It is extremely important to look elsewhere online! Google Base or Froogle, as well as other price comparison sites, are a great place to check whether the deal you found is as good as you think it is. Normally you can find the best deal right here on Ebay, but it is always best to look around before you buy.
• Ebay’s feedback system is extremely important. If a seller is by far the cheapest seller for the item you are looking for and has a -1 feedback score, odds are that they will take your money and run. The system is in place to make you feel more secure about buying from a person on Ebay. Keep in mind that even the best sellers get a negative feedback here and there. If they have a score of 10000 and they have 2 or 3 negatives, they will be a safe purchase for you. We have personally been robbed on Ebay and never saw our money or the product. Ebay does the best they can to protect all of its customers, but there are too many scammers out there for Ebay to save us all.
Selling on Ebay:
Selling on Ebay can be a great home business in itself. There is a lot that has to go into making a business out of Ebay. Research is extremely important here:
• Research your product on Ebay before you look anywhere else. If you are purchasing an item for a certain amount, you must make sure that you are not paying more than it will be able to sell for on Ebay. You must be able to be competitively priced to get sales.
• Research your product on Google and other search engines. Find out what the most prominent sellers are charging for your product. Pay special attention to the details used in the listing of items you will be carrying. Most of these companies have been in business and have already tried and failed with different sales pages. You can give similar information in your listings and not have to worry about trial and error.
• Contact the manufacturer. The manufacturer may be willing to work with you or steer you to a company that will. Most manufacturers want you to buy in quantity, but if you are unable to do so they can steer you toward reputable companies that would work with smaller amounts. NEVER spend money on wholesale lists.
• Search for your product name and the words “drop shipper” on search engines.
• Check the prices they offer for your product line. They will normally be in the same price range that the product is selling for on Ebay. Most try to charge a monthly fee for selling their products. These are not true wholesalers or drop shippers. You will be paying their “middle-man” fee to be able to work with them. It would be easier to buy in small quantities and handle shipping of the items yourself.
• Make sure you research shipping prices carefully. The postal service has a calculator and offers free shipping supplies on their website, UPS is great as well. If you can afford to do so, make your shipping cost lower than all of your competitors. Customers don’t want to pay you profit on the shipping of their product and will not buy from you if they think you are robbing them on shipping cost. Make sure you ship as often as possible. The Postal Service will pick up from your home or office for no charge. If you have heavier items, UPS charges a small fee to pick up from your business or home. The fee to ship larger items through UPS is much smaller than the post office.
The most important part of listing on Ebay is the actual listing itself. Your sales presentation must go a step further than your competition. Ebay is extremely competitive and you must be ready to fight for your share of the marketplace.
• The single largest help we have had with our auctions has been with a company named Auctiva. Their service does not cost you a cent and you can actually make some money off of them. They save you money by adding your images to the inside of the auction itself. You don’t have to pay Ebay extra for more pictures. They have beautiful templates you can use to make your auctions stand out from you competition. You can schedule your listings for a specific time for free. They can do this by offering shipping insurance to your customers. You even get paid a portion of what your customer pays!
• Be sure to add every important detail to your listing. Remember that customers on Ebay cannot hold the product in their hands. You need to provide every imaginable detail in your listing to avoid forcing customers to ask you questions that most people would want to ask. Check your competition and make sure you add every imaginable detail before you list your items.
• Pictures are extremely important. Take the best pictures you can. Most digital cameras are very inexpensive (especially if you buy them on Ebay!). Try to use at least a 3.1 MP digital camera and you will get clearer pictures. A white backdrop will make your pictures look professional. Use a cardboard as a backdrop with a white sheet over it to use any light to your advantage and create the best pictures possible. The more high quality pictures you add to your listings, the more sales you will get.
If you follow these steps when buying or selling you will have much less trial and error using Ebay to get great deals (or give them).