Doing what it takes… to make good impression!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The 10 Secrets to Make Money on eBay

by Jim DeLillo

Some people think they can make money on eBay by setting a high price for something they perceive to have a high value. The problem is that their perception is skewed. Very often they assign an emotional value to the item and are disappointed when they can't get their asking price.

You can avoid disappointment and even losing money by following these simple steps:

1) Don't buy anything.
The object here is to make money on eBay. So don't spend any. It often very tempting to surf eBay and buy something that you think you need.

Start out by having a "garage sale" or clean out the basement. In other words sell what you got. On eBay especially, one man's junk is another man's treasure. Old books, toys, tools, souvenirs, office supplies, electronics, etc. Anything you can find, you can sell. You will just have to set reasonable expectations on price.

2) Research pricing.
The biggest mistake made is setting an opening bid too high. It works against you in two ways. First, a prospective bidder may not even open your item. The opening price is listed on the summary. Second, it costs more to list it at a higher price.

3) Lose the sentimental value.
This is the toughest part. When we are selling mementos, memorabilia or other items, we tend to remember the circumstances upon which we got them. "Remember how long we had to stand in line for those concert tickets?" or "That was from my first car."

If you can't stand to part with it… don't. Other people will not have the same attachment to it that you do. Price it as if you were going to go to the mall and buy it today.

Antiques and ephemera generate their own "sentimental value" by the provenance or history of the object. But it is unlikely that your ownership has added much to that.

4) Set a low starting price.
The best opening bid is one that is high enough to indicate some value. Bids starting at a penny or a dollar are often thought of as junk and a waste of time. But a hundred dollar item opening at ten dollars is a real bargain.

To determine the best starting bid. Surf eBay and the rest of the Internet for similar items. Look at both the new retail cost and the resale value. Then set your price low enough to get generate some excitement. It will rise to its proper value.

5) Place it for 7 days.
This is the standard listing. Listing it for a shorter period may seem to generate a bid sooner. In reality, it is missing out on a lot of potential buyers who will return when it's close to closing time - not the best way to make money on eBay.

6) Make it pretty.
At the very least use a photo. No matter how well you describe you will ALWAYS benefit from the extra 'thousand words". It will result in more bids and higher bids (important to make money on eBay). Even if it looks like junk, the buyer knows exactly what they are getting.

Even better, use ad builder software to dress up your presentation.

7) Don't buy any extras
BOLD listings, slide show, gift tags, etc. all add up to increase the fees associated with your listing. This only serves to reduce your profit.

8) Cover your costs
Do not estimate the shipping costs. Use actual costs. Be sure to include charges for the shipping materials, as well as postage. The best way is to use free materials supplied for Priority Mail. Using or a postage meter is convenient, but be sure your scale is accurate. More than once I've had to add postage at the post office.

9) Use Paypal.
The quicker you get paid, the quicker you make money on eBay. Paypal is instantaneous. No waiting for the "check is in the mail" and no waiting for the check to clear.

10) Do it often.
The more you sell, the more you make on eBay. Don't worry that you only getting a few dollars at a time. Ten dollars a day, every day for a year will get you $3,650. Not a killing, but quite a nice vacation.

© Copyright 2003 Jim DeLillo
Reprint rights are granted if this entire resource box is included.

Jim DeLillo, is president of Pleiades Group, Inc. He has been an invited speaker for: American Management Association, Material Handling Society, APICS, and Independent Computer Consultants of America. Pleiades Group, Inc. implements improvements in efficiency by automating processes. Mr. DeLillo holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from NJIT.

Keyword: Make Money on eBay


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