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Why you need to sell on eBay? It is estimated that each day people from around the globe view 670 million pages on eBay and they do 120 million searches. Internet selling is fast becoming the way to buy and sell. It seems that everyday another high street seller is closing down. HMV, Blockbusters, and other big names have fallen recently.
Although this is due in no small part to the current recession a lot of it is undoubtedly due to the increase in selling and buying on websites such as Amazon, Etsy, and of course eBay. Many of the things that we traditionally bought from high street stores can now be bought on the internet. We even buy our food on the internet! If you are a seller you need to be on eBay. This article will help you become a successful eBay seller.
Will your products sell? Because so many people in the world today buy on eBay it is possible to start selling your products within days or even hours of having listed them. This is in marked contrast to selling through an e-commerce site where there may be a long time before products are found by search engine robots and indexed on Google.
Despite this, you may still experience difficulty in selling your products: Reasons for this can include:
Opening an eBay seller account: before you can start selling on eBay you will need to register as an eBay member and open a seller account. Opening an account is a simple three step process where you:
New sellers are often surprised and disappointed to find that there are limits to the number of products and total value of goods that they are allowed to sell. These eBay monthly limits can be increased by talking through your business plan with eBay. eBay will also increase your limits when you have shown that you have the ability to sell and will eventually remove all limits.
After you have registered with eBay and opened a seller account you can start listing your products. You have two choices when deciding how to list your products: auction or fixed price.
The easiest and simplest way of listing your products is to login to eBay and type the details of your products into the eBay data entry screens. This is OK if you only have a small number of products to sell but it can be time-consuming and expensive if you have hundreds or even thousands of products to list. You have a lot of things to do running your eBay business and you want to reduce the time you spend on listing your products to the minimum.
With this in mind quicker and more efficient ways of listing products have been developed by eBay and third-party software suppliers. Ebay provides two ways of importing products from a flat (csv) file to eBay. These are the File Exchange and Turbolister. Both are free and are highly recommended for bulk listing. Applications have been developed by several third-party software suppliers and two of the most popular ones are Auctiva and Blackthorne.
If you are looking for a bespoke solution to meet your listing needs there is the eBay API (Application Programming Interface). This is really a subject for the advanced seller and any application will require the help of a competent web developer who is familiar with eBay Web Services.
Keyword research – how will buyers find your products: when a buyer types in a word or phrase and presses the search button eBay looks for all products that have that word or phrase in their product title and then lists those products that it has found.
Successful sellers do keyword research and include words and phrases in their product titles that buyers commonly use when searching for those products. This is crucial if you want buyers to find your products. Suppose you have a toy figure of Shaggy, from the popular cartoon series Scooby Doo. You will attract more interest if you include keywords such as Shaggy, Scooby Doo, US, TV, cartoon, show, Hanna-Barbera, action, figure, collectable, toy than if you just write the title as 'Toy figure of Shaggy from the Scooby Doo cartoon show'. Titles must be a maximum of 80 characters in length so sometimes you need to be pretty clever in deciding what goes in to the title and what to leave out.
Some keywords will be obvious to you, for example if you are selling a man's shirt the keywords you should include in your title will be 'men' and 'man'. However, there are tools available that will help you pick the best keywords to use and one of the most popular ones is 'Terapeak'. With Terapeak you have access to a year of current and archived listings. By typing in a few words about your product Terapeak will suggest other keywords which it finds by searching it's database and which you may not have thought of.
Market research – getting the price right: on eBay you are competing against tens or even hundreds of other sellers who are selling the same or similar products to you. Therefore you need to make sure that your products are competitively priced. There are quite a few tools to help you price your items. One of the most popular products is Terapeak. Typing in the name of your product will bring up listings that are currently on sale including the average price for the product. Increasing the search range will also reveal information for products that have ended. Armed with this information the seller can then price their products appropriately knowing that they are competitively priced.