Learn to buy and sell antiques and collectibles

19 Ways To Quickly Improve Your eBay Auctions

These are in order by importance. The ones at the top will have a more dramatic effect on your final selling price.

  1. WRITE BETTER TITLES. Your title should contain the words a buyer would use to find your item in a search. These are called keywords. Most sellers only search titles, so your title must have the most important words.

    The title also serves to capture attention. The most important words go first in your title because scanners only read the first few words of a link to determine it's value.
  2. USE GALLERY IMAGES. The gallery image is free and shows up next to the auction title in searches. Don't use the extra cost gallery image that expands when it's clicked, just the free version. Stage your galley image so it clearly shows the item in the auction.
  3. WRITE ADEQUATE DESCRIPTIONS. Notice I'm not saying a "perfect" description. It only needs to be good enough to explain what you're selling.

    Don't start out by explaining the defects, instead list the positives first.

    Bad description: This has one broken step, but is otherwise in very good condition.

    Good description: This is in very good condition, but has one missing step.

    Both of the statements above say the same thing, but the good one is more positive.
  4. LIST IN THE BEST CATEGORY. Notice I didn't say "most relevant." EBay's rules say you must list in the most relevant category and gives an example that points out the difference.

    Say you have a book on Lionel trains. Ebay says the most relevant category is the books category. The truth is people interested in Lionel trains aren't searching the book category. They are searching the Hobbies category.

    You'll get more in the hobbies category because that's where the bidders are. Ebay doesn't enforce the most relevant category rule in this situation.

    If you cannot decide the best category, list your item in two categories. (Watch the listing costs as they are doubled so you might not want to use expensive listing upgrades in two categories.
  5. HOST YOUR OWN IMAGES. You can use the free space your internet provider gives you to host pictures or set up your own image domain for less than $6.00 a month. If you run more than 6 auctions a month, you'll save money this way.
  6. USE FULL SIZED PICTURES. Hosting your own images means you can put full sized pictures in your auctions. Big pictures work better than small pictures that must be clicked on to enlarge.
  7. USE AS MANY IMAGES AS NEEDED. Hosting your own images means you don't have to pay to include them in your auctions. You can put as many pictures as you need to show the buyer your item into each auction without extra cost.

    Free report - Easy eBay Images
  8. KEEP YOUR DESCRIPTION FOCUSED ON THE ITEM YOU ARE SELLING. You don't need to warn people about what happens if they don't pay. These statements just make you look difficult to deal with and will push buyers away.
  9. CROSS PROMOTE YOUR AUCTIONS. This can be done simply by mentioning you combine shipping, and telling buyers to see your other auctions. Or you can use any of the cross promotion tools that show your auctions and provide pictures and links. Whatever you use should be placed at the BOTTOM of your listing so it doesn't distract bidders.
  10. LIST SIMILAR ITEMS AT THE SAME TIME. This increases cross bidding.
  11. USE FEATURED PLUS TO INCREASE VIEWERS. If your item is worth more than $300 featured plus will usually increase bids. I run one or two desirable items as featured plus auctions as a way to drive viewers to my less desirable items. This assumes you're cross promoting and listing similar items. This option is no longer available, and has been replaced by Featured First. Featured First is a waste of money in the antiques and collectibles categories.
  12. SHOW SHIPPING COSTS IN YOUR AUCTIONS. Letting the buyer know the cost before bidding increases confidence. This will also lower complaints about the shipping cost.
  13. OFFER MULTIPLE PAYMENT OPTIONS. Right now you should be offering PayPal, checks and money orders as options. This allows people who aren't comfortable with PayPal a way to complete the transaction. (Note: Since 2009 eBay has prohibited sellers from taking anything except PayPal and Cash on Pickup. About 10% of my buyers still mail checks and money orders. These buyers ask first, then I post the reply in the auction so other bidders can see it. )
  14. SHIP INTERNATIONNALLY. A lot of sellers don't like to ship internationally because they don't want to spend the extra 2 minutes filling out customs forms. This is an easy way to increase your bidder pool.
  15. RESPOND TO QUESTIONS. When a viewer asks a question answer the question quickly and post the answer in your auction. (See # 16 below for an exception.) If a viewer asks for additional photos, post them in your auction too. The majority of questions will have little effect on your ending price. Some of the questions will provide bidders with information that makes your item more valuable.

    Here's an example. Lionel made 3 black hopper cars in 1940. Two are worth less than $200 in excellent condition. The third is worth $2500 or more in the same condition. If you list a train set with pictures of the items as a group, it's hard to tell what hopper is for sale. A close up of the side of the car will show this detail.
  16. WATCH FOR DAMAGING QUESTIONS. Many eBayers will provide input and advice about your auctions. In most cases the information will help you get higher prices. In some cases the information is designed to make other bidders back away.

    If you get a question that seems to be designed to scare away bidders, don't post it in your auction. If you are unsure of the information, post the question on a discussion board related to your item.
  17. NEVER ACCEPT AN UNSOLICTED BUY IT NOW OFFER. I get offers suggesting I cancel the auction and sell the item outright all the time. The item is almost always worth more than the offer.

    For example, the last offer I got was for $50 postpaid, and the item ended at $125 plus shipping.
  18. WATCH YOUR INSERTION FEES. I see a lot of people listing items for $10 rather than $9.99. That extra penny in the opening price costs an extra 10 cents in listing fees. Other things like bold, and subtitle are almost always a waste of money. Learn which options are really worth using, and when it makes sense to use them, pay the additional fees.
  19. CONSTANTLY IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS. This is the one area most eBay sellers ignore. You're reading this so you know how important it is to improve your skills.

Improving your skills isn't hard. You can read articles like these for free, and take the next step by purchasing my Auction Revolution Manual.

Terry

Free Quiz Will Test Your eBay Knowledge

eBay Sellers - Are common eBay selling mistakes costing you money? Check your eBay knowledge now. This short quiz will help you earn more money in your eBay auctions. www.auction-revolution.com/


Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.

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