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How to sell stuff on eBay, successfully!

By Lauren Leisk, Yahoo!7 Moneyhound Updated May 1, 2013, 8:00 am

The use of successful eBay practices can be a great way to make extra cash or downsize when moving house.

For many entrepreneurs, it can also be a place to test their products before venturing into the e-commerce space.

However, eBay is where you can either generate regular, successful sales or simply go unnoticed. With more than five million registered Australian members and 52,000 of them deriving an income from eBay, these tips will help your listing get more attention than others:

Photos sell products

Provide high res, large, quality photos, in good lighting - and lots of them. You can now upload up to 12 pictures under standard insertion fees and in some instances it's free.

Nobody wants to see you holding the product or your kitchen sink in the background. Put it on a table with a white tablecloth or sheet and up against a white wall where there's lots of natural light, but avoid shadows. Make sure the buyer can see the photo in the list (so they don't have to click on the listing to see the pics).

For brand new items, consider using a stock image from the internet instead of your own picture for that professional look.

Related: Make money with a winter storage room clean out

End auctions at busy times

A recent survey showed Sunday night to be the preferred time for browsing eBay. However, that time slot was only preferred by 18 per cent of respondents, so there are many other times that may suit. No one wants to wait up until midnight or 3AM to watch the end of the auction.

Try scheduling the start time of your auction (for an extra 20c) to either Sundays at 8pm for 7 day auctions, or try Thursdays at 8pm for 10 day auctions so that your item is listed for 2 whole weekends and ends on a Sunday night when many people are likely to be able to watch and wait for the auction to end.

Schedule times might depend on the items you are selling. If you sell more business-to-business products then consider a start time that permits the auction to end during business hours.

Use models to sell clothes

If you are selling clothes, a model is always more effective than clothes pictured either on yourself or laid flat on a bed or a floor. If you can’t personally model clothes in a flattering manner, find someone who can. Tightly crop photos to exclude faces and remove any distracting backgrounds. Consider using pegs to create shape too, just like they do in shop windows. Avoid accessories though as buyers might assume they are included.

Related: 10 Ways to get free stuff

Measure twice, list once

With everything from furniture to clothes, it’s more important to list exact measurements than simply specify “small” or “medium”. Describe any materials or fabrics the item is made from, also supply any recommended retail prices so the buyer can identify any savings being made. Think about it this way; if you were buying a table online wouldn't you need to know the exact h x w x d measurements and what it is made from?

You might also want to list why you are selling the item so the buyer doesn't suspect you are getting rid of something faulty.

Information is key

Supply email addresses and phone numbers so buyers can ask questions. If you are selling goods from a small business or retail shop, an email address can also help inquisitive buyers find your full website.

Incorporate any postage and handling into the prices of your items so that you can offer 'free postage' or be very clear about postage costs. You can find out estimate postage costs by submitting height, width, depth and weight information on the AustPost website.

Download and use the eBay app so you can track your active auctions and quickly answer queries to ensure the best feedback results.

Do your online auction research

Start your auction at the lowest price possible, but don’t list your item for 99c unless you are happy to accept that price. Research real prices of your goods by looking for other sellers with similar items to gauge what you should charge, and think of keywords to include in your listing title that might help buyers find your products.

Sell your product with words

Take some time to craft a well-worded ad and include any search engine-friendly phrases. Overuse of descriptors such as “stunning” and “gorgeous” can muddy your better selling points.

When you consider a car is sold every 10 minutes, and a piece of women’s clothing is sold every 10 seconds, eBay has become a space to sell almost anything. Whether you intend to clear out the closet or kick-start that online business, these tips will increase your potential for success.

Open a fee free savings account with your new found cash and watch it grow

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