Have a few things lying around the house that you think you can make a couple dollars off of? Selling on eBay may be a perfect choice for you! But, while the process may seem simple, there are several pitfalls first-time buyers can easily fall into.
You’re essentially starting your own business, so setting the right prices and attracting enough customers are a huge part of what you’re trying to accomplish. Errors are often made along the way when you are unsure of how to begin or what common snags lay in wait for you. The following are seven common eBay mistakes that you should avoid.
1. Ridiculous Shipping Prices
A low price for the actual product may attract buyers, but trying to compensate for that with a high shipping price will drive buyers away. This practice will cause buyers to not trust your business practices which will drive away future business as well. They will exit your page faster than they got onto it.
EBay has so many similar products to what you are selling (no matter what it is) that your potential customers will go to the cheaper alternatives that they trust rather than fall prey to an absurdly high shipping cost.
Part of starting this business venture and being successful is building a base of trust with potential buyers.
Though someone may not buy your product, they may still be interested enough to come back and look at other things that you sell in the future.
Part of building this trust is through having a reasonable shipping cost set for your customers. Shipping to some countries is more expensive, but you can refuse to ship internationally to avoid high shipping rates.
While a buyer may not initially see a high shipping price, they will be angry when the cost of their product goes up to double the price just because of the shipping. If you do decide to set a ridiculously high shipping cost unnecessarily, be prepared for some angry reviews from your buyers.
2. Not having an accurate title
In all actuality, the title of your product is the most important aspect of your auction. Titles are how eBay buyers find your products when they are searching or browsing for products.
Especially in the title of your auctioned product, a misspelled word or two can ruin the potential for people to see it.
For example, if you miss the hyphen in the word ‘A-line,’ people will not see your product as much because they are typing the correct form of the word.
You will want to include as many frequently used keywords as possible for your product, but you should also avoid the use of meaningless, fluffy word. Such words include ‘WOW’ and ‘TAKE A LOOK.’ While they appear to be useful in attracting attention to your products, they actually have the opposite effect.
If the title gets shortened on the initial page, buyers may not see the actual product description amid useless capitalized words. Keep your title succinct and accurate, and add as many common keywords as you see fit and necessary. You want your product to be seen by as many people as possible; you do not want to drive them away with a deficient title.
3. Little to No Product Description
People want to know what they are buying, and potential eBay buyers cannot experience your products before purchasing.
There is some information that eBay will have you fill in, but some of these typical product descriptions do not do your product justice. If you really want to stand out from other eBay stores, add your own description in addition to the one eBay provides.
Adding a product description gives your buyers a chance to experience your product. This is the place to write (briefly) how much you have loved your product and why you are choosing to sell it. You want to be as detailed as possible. This will help cut down the amount of buyer questions you will receive from potential customers which will save you time and effort.
A well-written description will also help build trust with eBay buyers. Listing flaws are important here including whether or not your product comes from a smoke-free, pet-free home or not.
Doing so will ensure the happiness of your customers when they receive your products. It also leaves nothing to chance.
Your buyers will know what they are purchasing immediately and will be more confident in hand money over to you rather than to your competition.
4. Avoiding Answering Questions
If an eBay buyer sends you a question, it is important to answer in a timely manner for a few reasons. For one, it builds more trust with your customers and increases the likelihood that they will purchase your product.
If a customer is asking you a question about your product, they are interested in it. Clearing up an reservations they may have about it increases the probability that they will purchase it as well.
If the customer’s question comes off as rude or mean, you must respond as nicely and professionally as possible. Demeaning the person for the way they word their question will make them avoid your store.
You are running a business, and good customer service is absolutely necessary for a successful business endeavor. The questions you receive should also be answered as quickly as possible (at least within 24 hours).
Because eBay is an auction setting, people are on a time crunch to purchase products. While your product’s auction may not be close to ending, another product that the customer is comparing yours to may be ending soon. If the other store answers the question sooner than you, their product is the more likely to be purchased in the end.
5. Not Taking Pictures
EBay buyers are going into purchasing products almost blind. A well-written description of the product is a good supplement to your product, but it cannot be the only thing buyers have to go off of when making the decision to purchase your goods.
Most eBay buyers will completely skip over auctions that have no pictures simply because they cannot see what they are buying.
Adding a picture to the auction increases potential buyer’s trust in your product in particular, increasing the chances that you will sell your stuff. Just adding a picture to your auction is not enough either. You need to take pictures of your actual product, and you should not use the one that is provided for a brand-new product from the internet.
Your product has probably been used at least once, and buyers need the chance to see if there are any flaws with it.
Pictures should also be professional looking.
Avoiding a busy background will make your product stand out more as eBay buyers are browsing through so many other options on the website.
Taking a picture of the product from multiple angles will help buyers see the entirety of the product similarly to how they would at a department store. If size is important to your product, make sure to scale it to something recognizable like a ruler or a quarter in your picture.
6. Too-High of a Price
Setting a price for your product can be a tricky endeavor. You may value your item at a higher price than what the actual product is worth.
You need to research the price that your used product is going for, and you should set your price at around the same one you found.
Setting your product’s price higher than those you find will drive away buyers since they know they can find it at a cheaper price.
Many buyers will take the time to research the product they are purchasing before committing to one. You do not want to undercut your competition by too much either. If your product’s price is too low, eBay buyers will perceive your product as being of lesser quality.
An easy way to find a competitive price for your product is by taking the average of some of the products you find online and making sure that the final cost is reasonable for your potential customers. It is also important to make sure you’re making a profit. Take into consideration eBay’s fees, transaction fees, and shipping costs when setting your price to make sure that selling your products are profitable to you.
7. A Poor User Feedback Rating
Once you have successfully started up your eBay seller account and have established yourself, you have to keep your feedback rating high. In all reality, you should maintain nothing less than a 4.8 rating on your feedback.
Feedback does your marketing for you. Again, you need to build trust with any potential customers; if they see that other people are satisfied with your services, they will be more likely to purchase your goods.
Avoiding making the mistakes on this list will help you get that higher rating. It will set you above the other sellers on eBay. Another good way to prompt 5-star feedback from your customers is through a friendly email reminder to them. Not everyone will leave feedback, but maintaining meaningful contact with your customers will help them make the extra effort.
Also prompt them to leave more significant feedback about the actual product they purchase than a few quick words. More substantial feedback actually tells potential buyers what kind of seller you are and builds trust for you.
Avoiding making a few simple mistakes while selling your products with eBay will make you more successful and increase your chances of making a good profit.
You will set yourself up for success, build trust with your customers, and grow your business potential with eBay.