Wednesday 11 January 2012

eBay - Selling and Buying

 Over the years I have used eBay religiously, whether it be for buying at bargain prices or selling my old tat. So in this blog I am going to put together a few selling tips for you, and what I have learnt over the years having accumilated over 200 feedbacks. 

As I am planning on moving in with the other half this year I have had to seriously re-think the amount of clothes and clutter that I have. This has resulted in me using eBay to get rid of a lot of it. Whilst it will never make me rich its a good way to de-clutter and know that the clothes I no longer need will be going to a good home!

My Pointers on Selling!

1. Research - research whatever you are selling to get an idea of how much you can expect to sell it for. You can use the advance search and opt for completed listings, that way it wont just be whats currently being sold you can see what has been sold in the last month or so.

2. 99p auctions! Most listings starting at 99p are FREE but be aware that although it may attract a lot of 'watchers' it does not actually mean that you will attract a lot of 'bidders'. Be prepared to sell at 99p if that is all you get. Remember eBay IS legally binding therefore what you sell for you are obliged to complete the transaction. This applies to buyers too. 99p auctions work best for items that you know are highly demanded and will definitely sell for more. If you are selling clothing items which may be less popular you are better listing for the minimum you are willing to sell for and paying the additional fees. 

3. Photo's! The more the better! With all clothing items the photo's are FREE up to 12 of them so get clicking. If there is damage to an item show this in a photo, if there is detail that would be a good selling point then show this too. It avoids the hassle of receiving multiple questions asking for further details which is not only time consuming but can be annoying after hearing the same question several times. 

4. Be aware of FEES! You are charged a listing price on certain categories however as mentioned above most 99p auctions are free. However be aware that you do have to pay a final selling fee which is a percentage of what you sell for. If your item only gets 99p then sometimes you can end up making a loss so be wary when listing. Also take into account PayPal has its own fees which again are charged as a percentage of the final selling fee, you can avoid this by accepting payment via postal order or cheque although always ensure that payment clears before sending the item, these methods of payment can be time consuming hence why most people opt for PayPal which is a lot safer and quicker. 

5.  Be Honest! If an item is damaged, say so. Describe the item as well as possible and mention any flaws which a buyer could pick up on upon receipt of the item - this will avoid problems further down the line! When selling clothing items I always state that it is a used item and therefore wear and tear is inevitable. I also list the materials and size and if the brands website has a size chart I copy and paste this into the listing, that way the buyer can check easily whether or not the size is correct etc.

6. Terms and Condtions. Small sellers dont often do this but this is something I ALWAYS do. I always state the time it takes for me to post the item, whether I accept returns etc and how long I expect to receive payment by. If a buyer fails to read these and then complains at least you have something to fall back on, such as please refer to paragraph 2 of my terms and conditions etc. 

7. The item description bar has now been lengthened so use it to your advantage. Instead of putting 'ladies top' put 'gorgeous River Island Navy Cami/Shirt/Blouse Top Very GC, UK 10' for example. This encourages it to come up on multiple listings and allows potential buyers to find it so much easier. 

8. Packaging! If selling clothing items then search eBay for mailing bags. You can usually pick up 20 or so for a few £ and they make packaging so much quicker. Also check your local pound stores for cheap packaging such as padded envelopes. Think about when it is posted, is it beak-able? Take this into account as if it is damaged on arrival you may have to refund if the packaging was not adequate.

9. Use the Royal Mails postage price calculator to check the price before you list. Also take into account the packaging price. Do not over charge on postage but do not undercharge so that you are left out of pocket.

10. Feedback. I tend to leave feedback once the buyer has left it to ensure that I know they are happy and it has got to them safely. I know some people do it the other way around. Be aware though that some buyers will wait for you to leave positive feedback and the hit you with a negative. If you feel that feedback is unjustified and that it has been unfairly left then you can contact eBay customer support and they will look into it and possibly retract it.

11. Finally be courteous with your buyers. If they fail to pay within your stated time, do not get rude, send them a polite email reminder with a date that you expect to hear from them. Then state that if you do not hear from them within this time then you will assume the item is no longer wanted. Then after 5 days you can open a dispute and leave it to eBay to chase the money. If they still refuse to pay eBay will refund all fees and you can relist for free or offer to the next highest bidder. 

Of course there is a dark side to eBay and everyone should be aware of this when buying and selling. I tend to stay clear of buying cosmetics as there are so many copys out there you do not knowwhat ingredients you are getting. Remember if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. You are never going to get a MAC 120 palette, as they do not exist in the real world except for on eBay etc so just be cautious. The same applies to selling, if you are not confident of the authenticity of an item then your best bet is not to list it.

Now time to sort out all those unwanted clothes and junk...

I hope that this has been of some assistance and I would love to hear your tips and tricks and general eBay experiences good and bad, please comment below!