Ten tips to maximise your eBay selling power

Ten tips to maximise your eBay selling power

Turn your unwanted items into cash and maximise your eBay returns

We've shown how easy it is to list an item on eBay, but how can you make sure that your item sells? How do you make sure that you get a decent price, and how can you simplify the process if you want to sell a lot of stuff?

1. Set a low starting price

You're more likely to get that all-important first bid if your starting price is low. There's no need to indicate the price you want to get for your item unless you're using Buy It Now for a quick sale. Tempt your early bidders by starting at 99p. Once you've got a bid, you're much more likely to attract further bidders.

Set an attractive starting price to tempt buyers to bid early

2. Set a reserve price

If your item finishes at a low price at which you're not prepared to sell, you're not obliged to do so if you've set a reserve. This is not visible by people bidding, so you can set a realistic price here. Set it at the minimum you're prepared to part with your goods for.

A reserve price protects you against your item selling for way below its value

3. Auction length

For how long should you put an item on sale? You can pick from one to ten days, but don’t assume it’ll receive more interest the longer it’s available. One trick to consider is making sure your auction ends during a weekend, when more people visit eBay.

4. Images

Don’t rely on a standard product image to sell your second-hand goods. People may think you have something to hide. Take your own photos against a plain background. Take a variety of shots using different settings on your camera to ensure you get the best image.

5. Turbo Lister

If you’re making multiple listings, you should consider using a dedicated listing tool, like eBay’s Turbo Lister. This takes the strain out of listing by letting you save templates for multiple adverts. Once installed and set up, click the /New/ button to set up your first item. Enter a brief description, pick a category and set a price. Don’t forget to include postage and payment details.

Turbo Lister makes it easy to set up multiple listings based on the same template

6. Avoid poor eBayers

Use Buyer Requirements to protect yourself against unreliable bids. Click Change Buyer Requirements under Other things you'd like buyers to know in your listing and set it to block people with negative feedback ratings or users who won’t pay with PayPal from your auction among other criteria. This may restrict the number of people who can bid, but it will give you added protection.

Make sure you don't deal with people who have let sellers down in the past

7. Insured delivery

Always offer an insured postage option such as recorded delivery, even with small, inexpensive objects. This then puts the onus on the buyer to protect their purchase. If it goes missing in the post (or if the buyer claims it’s gone missing), you have comeback. Similarly, an insured postal option protects you should the item get damaged in transit. If they don’t want to incur the extra expense, that’s their choice, but make it clear they do so at their own risk.

8. Payment up front

Never send out the item until you’ve received payment. If payment is by cheque, wait until the cheque has cleared in your back account (make this clear in your additional instructions). Always stay in regular contact with the buyer. Keep them informed as to the various stages of the process, and they’ll return with positive feedback if all goes to plan.

9. Get proof of postage

Always take the time to get a postage or courier receipt. You never know when you may need to prove that you've dispatched an item. You may have to process an unnecessary refund if you don't have it.

10. Use Trading Assistants

Not got time to handle your auction? Find a nearby Trading Assistant who will do it for you. This is a scheme where eBay enables people to offer their services to run your auction for you. They will take a fee plus a percentage of your profit, and may even pick up your goods from you. Go to the Trading Assistant page and enter your postcode to find nearby traders.

A Trading Assistant can take the strain out of your eBay listings