eBay seller tips

Just like any way of making money, selling items online can sometimes require a touch of skill in order to best ensure success. If you’re wanting to improve your listings and earn more cash, here are some great tips to get you started.

The importance of feedback

In today’s connected world, online feedback has become one of the key factors affecting businesses and people who sell things over the net. If you receive consistently poor eBay selling feedback from customers, you’ll send out a negative message to prospective customers who happen to check your rating before pressing pay.

There are lots of things you can do to improve your image as a seller whether it’s eBay selling feedback, Trustpilot or any other rating systems.

Provide a good service

The most obvious way of improving your feedback score and cultivating lots of glowing comments is to simply provide a superior level of service to your competitors – read up on what customers like, then go above and beyond.

Respond to comments

Whether you receive positive or negative comments, prospective customers will think better of you for replying to feedback you’ve been given. Doing so shows that you’re attentive and that you care about your customers, and what’s more, if the review is negative, you’ll give yourself the chance to rectify the issue.

Don’t cheat the system

Websites such as eBay have systems in place to ensure that sellers are unable to artificially change their feedback, so don’t tempt a site ban but embrace legitimate feedback instead, it’s your passport to great business.

Focus on photography

When you’re listing items on eBay or any other selling platform, appearances matter. In many ways, the images you take of your goods are the most important part of your listing – if the images are of poor quality you’ll end up either not selling your products, or having them returned by disgruntled customers. Here’s how you can create the best photographs of your items.

The setting

The best pictures are those that feature no reflections, few shadows and that put the product centre stage. To get this, use a plain backdrop (white probably works best, and can be easily created using a large sheet of paper bent and clipped in place) and only use diffused lighting – lighting that comes from a large area, not a flash – to minimise shadows.

Be sure to put something in the image that shows the scale of the item, especially if it’s small. These help the buyer better understand what they’re purchasing.

If you’re selling clothes, invest in a mannequin. Clothes hangers can obscure the realistic fit of a piece.

The focus

Using a tripod (shaky hands equal blurriness), clean your lens and take high-resolution images that focus on both the item as a whole, and close-ups of any features and flaws that a prospective buyer would want to see. Take images of the item from all angles – buyers don’t want to have to make guesses about any aspect of the product.

It also makes sense to enable the ‘Zoom/Enlarge’ feature, particularly for images where you need to show that the product has a small blemish or mark.

How to write descriptive titles and descriptions

Selling things online is all about information. If the people looking at your listings are better informed, they’ll be more likely to buy the product – nobody wants to spend their hard-earned cash on something they’re second-guessing.

Having a good title and description is part of this – here are a few dos and don’ts to bear in mind.

Top titles

For a standout title that’ll set you apart from the crowd and ensure you’re seen, use short, snappy descriptive words that clearly and precisely explain what the product is. When a customer searches for what they want, the listings that contain the particular keywords searched for are listed higher up the page.

As such, try to put yourself in the shoes of prospective customers and write specific, useful words, thereby matching your product to the perfect customer.

Effective descriptions

When writing a good description, start with the specifics – size, colour, packaging info, condition, age, shape and so on – that customers will want to see first. Keep it short, positive, snappy and use paragraphs and headers to signpost information and guide the customer’s eye to what they need to know. For more expensive or one-of-a-kind items, a more in-depth history of the item can help win over customers.

Be as honest as possible, as deceiving buyers is a sure-fire road to returns and bad feedback, so be sure to follow the site’s rules regarding listings.

Get the timing right

If you’d like to get as much money as possible for your items, you’ve got to get your timing right. From free listing days to strategically planning when you list your items, you could make a few small savings along the way.

Free listing days

From time-to-time, eBay will host a free listing day. This means that they’ll have a period of time where sellers can list their items without having to pay the fee that’s usually charged. While this fee is only small, if you’re listing a lot of items each month it can add up, so free days are well worth taking advantage of.

Be careful however, as you’ll still have to pay if you want to include extra listing features such as large pictures.

What about ending auctions?

Knowing when to end your eBay auctions can sometimes feel like a bit of guesswork. Do a little research before you decide when to end it, for example, this article explains that Sunday evenings are the best time of the week to end an auction. It also explains that keeping your auctions open for about a week could open the door to multiple bids. Have a look around and compare your items with other sellers to see what the norm is.

Also think about national events, holidays or celebrations that are happening around the time of your eBay auction. For example, if there’s a new TV series that’s likely to be a big hit being broadcast around the same time as your auction closes, you’re more likely to miss out on those last minute bids.

Helpful Tools

Once you’ve established yourself as a seller on eBay, a few hints and tips can go a long way in increasing your sales.

Follow the rules

A key part of becoming successful on eBay is making sure you follow the recommended guidelines. From ensuring the items you want to sell aren’t restricted, to making sure you describe each one as accurately as possible, following the rules will give you the best start.

Give yourself visibility

Follow our tips for writing titles and descriptions for your items to give your listings the best possible chance of appearing on potential buyers’ searches. Clear, honest listings can go a long way in building relationships with your customers.

Get organised

If you’re selling a lot on eBay, it’s important to keep on top of your sales. You don’t want to fall behind with an order and run the risk of getting a negative feedback score. Fortunately, for keen sellers, there are apps available that’ll help you keep on top of things.

eBay’s very own Turbo Lister can make managing your listings easy, helping you to edit descriptions and create multiple listings at the same time.

Make sure you’re fully clued up on how to make your eBay account work – check out our guide to avoiding scams below.

Avoiding Scams

Sellers might not realise it, but they can be scammed by buyers too. It can be difficult for sellers to prove they’re the victims in the transaction, but there are steps you can take to ensure you remain protected.

We recommend all sellers, whether you’re using eBay, Depop or another platform, to always obtain proof of sending and track the delivery. Here at CollectPlus we provide free tracking on all of our parcels, just make sure you keep the receipt in case there’s a dispute.

A few precautions

Buyer scams on eBay can be avoided, and creating buyer requirements is one way to prevent scammers from even bidding on your items. You can choose to block bids from those who have unpaid items pending on their account and have a low feedback score. You can also tailor the requirements to only accept PayPal payments.

If you do come across difficult buyers on eBay, you can add them to a blocked list to prevent them from purchasing any other items too.

PayPal tends to be the preferred way for buyers and sellers alike, and it offers seller protection for all items sold on eBay. If you choose to use a different platform, make sure your item is eligible for seller protection.

When using PayPal, sellers should never send to an unconfirmed address. If a buyer requests an alternate address to the one on their PayPal account, even if it’s for a seemingly innocent reason such as sending it to work or as a gift, it will void your seller protection.

Our last tip, which applies to all sellers, is to be careful when selling multiple items. If individual payments have been taken from one buyer for multiple items, always make sure you send them separately. Two items paid for separately placed in one parcel will only give one tracking number, so buyers can easily claim that their second item was not delivered.