EBay is a crowded market-place, there is no doubt, so to succeed there you need to get your items seen and the best way to do that is, of course, to offer items for sale that people want to buy.
That’s the easy bit, though, as in my experience pretty much anything will sell (in time). Getting your items up the searches is not that difficult but there are certain rules you have to follow.
The first rule is “Do whatever eBay wants you to do”. The most recent generation of the eBay search engine, Cassini, introduced some significant upgrades. Cassini recognises certain seller behaviours, rewards them with additional exposure and helps push the sellers’ listings up the rankings. EBay has been stressing a number of key actions that they wish sellers to take and now such actions are rewarded with a higher position in the search rankings.
Actions and behaviours that are rewarded in this way include:
Free (domestic) postage and packing.Research shows that “free” p & p is important to buyers. You should do it. (eBay explicitly wants this in your listings)
Free 30-day (minimum) returns.Another aspect of a listing that research shows is important to buyers. (eBay also specifically wants this in listings)
Item Specifics.Fill in Item Specifics as far as you can. Even two or three will help. People use them, more for some categories than in others. eBay encourages this.
Stick to the eBay rules.Comply with all eBay policies and guidelines. This is essential if you want a future selling on eBay.
Upload tracking numberseBay likes you to use a tracked service for all items or orders over the value of £20. Some people say they don’t bother uploading details but to me it’s just another way that you can demonstrate that you want to comply with eBay guidelines and policies and it will definitely help in the event of a dispute.
“Fast and Free”Offer a “Fast and Free” service – include an option for a next-day delivery (it doesn’t have to be the price-inclusive option). This gives you a “fast and free” badge and will improve your position in the searches.
Same-day despatchOffer same-day despatch (you can set a latest payment time for orders to qualify).
Optimise your titles.If you do just ONE thing to improve your search engine rankings do this. How you express your item in its title is the single most important factor in whether your buyers find it.
If you want to know how to get the best from your titles take a look at my article “How to Optimise your eBay Item Titles”.
Take great photosUpload at least three good, clear photographs of every item you list. Make sure your photos show any flaws but also the best angles.
Great descriptionsUse comprehensive but concise descriptions. Include any and all flaws and faults as well as any and all positive points that you want to get across. Be honest and, if anything, lower your buyers’ expectations so that are delighted when they receive something that is better than they expect.
Be active.Review your listings regularly, improve your listings when you see issues with them. Use sales and promotions.
Use “promoted listings”.Notionally, you can choose your level of exposure by picking the level of additional fee you will pay. The higher the % fee the greater your exposure. However, if you are selling in a very competitive field you might want to consider a higher level of commitment in order to be higher up the searches in your crowded sphere. But if you are in a niche market with few direct competitors even a 1% additional fee will increase your exposure.
If you don’t do the above you will be missing out on sales. The eBay search engine is designed to push buyers towards those sellers who perform best in all areas of their eBay activity. The more happy customers you have the more exposure you will get and so the cycle continues.
To be successful on eBay you just have to do what eBay wants you to do. The above guidance will help but you also need to have great items to sell.
Happy selling and have fun.