10 Tips for Closing More Auctions on eBay – Part 3

In: Tips

9 May 2009

Here it is – part 3 of the tips for closing more auctions on eBay:

Tip #21: Slow Down in the Summer

For whatever reason, eBay traffic slows way down in the summertime. (Lots of potential buyers are on vacation, and even more are outside enjoying the sunshine.) If you want to maximize your bids, you’ll get a higher price when fall and winter come along.

Tip #22: Promote Your Auctions

Let people outside eBay know about your auction. Mention your auction in relevant newsgroups and mailing lists, feature it on your personal website, and send emails about it to all your friends. Include your item listing’s URL in everything you do so that anyone interested can click the link to view your auction. Do anything you can think of to draw traffic to your listingand thus increase your chances of selling it.

Tip #23: Use My eBay to Track Your Auctions

Don’t let your auction activity get away from you. Use My eBay to look at all your auctions daily, or use auction management software to track your auctions automatically.

You can also use My eBay to track your favorite auction categories, as well as your feedback ratings and account status. Personalize your My eBay page the way you like and then bookmark it; it’s a great home page for the heavy auction trader.

Tip #24: If You Sell a Lot, Use eBay Selling Manager

My eBay is great for tracking your auctions, but when it comes to managing your end-of-auction activities, consider subscribing to eBay Selling Manager. For just $4.99 per month you get assistance in sending emails, printing invoices and packing slips, and leaving feedback. It’s great if you run a lot of auctions simultaneously.

Tip #25: Avoid Premature Cancellation

Know that many bidders wait until the very last minute to place a bid. (It’s called sniping, and it really works.) If you cancel an auction early, you’ll miss out on the bulk of the potential bids. So don’t cancel!

Tip #26: Avoid Deadbeats

You don’t have to sell to just anybody. You can stipulate that you won’t sell to bidders with negative feedback or with feedback ratings below a certain level. If you receive bids from these potential deadbeats, cancel them. If the deadbeats continue to bid (after being warned off via email by you), block their bids. You want to sell to someone who will actually consummate the transaction and send you payment; bidders with negative feedback are more likely to leave you high and dry.

Tip #27: Include All Your Shipping Costs

When figuring your shipping and handling costs, be sure to factor in all your costsnot just the shipping itself, but also the cost of the packaging, the labels, and the packing tape. Don’t gouge your buyer (this isn’t meant to be a profit center), but don’t cheat yourself, either. If actual shipping costs are $3.50, think about charging the buyer $4 to cover your additional costs. And, when you’re figuring the item’s shipping weight, remember that you don’t just ship the itemyou also ship the box and all cushioning materials. These items have weight and must be included when you’re weighing your item for shipment. (Those free Priority Mail boxes are especially heavyand can easily increase your cost of shipping.)

Tip #28: Use a Middleman for Expensive Items

If you’re selling a high-priced item, consider offering the buyer the option of using an escrow service. It’s a good deal for you; the buyer pays for the service (in the neighborhood of 5%, typically), it provides a level of peace of mind for the buyer, and it lets you accept credit card payments that you might otherwise not accept.

Tip #29: Document Everything

In case something goes south, it helps to have good records of all aspects of your transaction. Print copies of the confirmation email, plus all email between you and the buyer. Be sure to write down the buyer’s user ID, email address, and physical address. If the transaction is ever disputed, you’ll have all the backup you need to plead your case.

Tip #30: Communicate QuicklyAnd Clearly

When your auction ends, get in touch with the high bidder immediately. Don’t wait until the next day; send your post-auction email within minutes of the auction close. Remember, the faster you notify the high bidder, the faster you’ll get paid.

And here’s something the best sellers do. Email the buyer again when you receive payment and once more when you’re ready to ship the item. The more everyone knows, the fewer surprises there are.

Also, remember that not everyone reads his or her email daily, so don’t expect an immediate response. Still, if you don’t receive a response, send another email. If you’re at all concerned at any point, get the buyer’s phone number or physical address from the auction site and call or write him. A good phone conversation can clear up a wealth of misunderstandings.

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