It’s easier than you think
It really is amazing how Ebay sellers can take a highly desirable item and sell it very, very badly. The end result is either low buyer interest and/or low selling price. It’s easy to avoid these pitfalls by learning proper Ebay selling techniques. While this advice is mainly for selling model cars, it should serve as prime advice for selling anything on Ebay.
Don’t do this
Why? The photo at left is the only photo from a recent Ebay listing. The end panel does not tell you a thing about what’s actually in the box. Go ahead, guess.
The second example at right is simply a mess. Only a very experienced model builder could tell you if the kit is complete. It probably didn’t sell or sell for much unless someone needed spare parts.
Your primary photo should tell potential buyers almost everything they need to know in a quick glance. Additional photos fill in the rest of the story.
A good digital camera or your phone is probably fine for almost anything. If you’ve got a tripod, even better, for a perfectly steady shot. We don’t want blurry shots. Find an appropriate white or light flat surface and you are almost there. By the way, a large piece of white oaktag or white foamcore board is great for this. Available in big box or art & crafts stores.
If the model is absolutely new, leave the packaging as it came new. This simplifies the photo taking process. We know it should be perfect because it’s never been touched.
If it is pre-owned, put your model back into its original box/case/packaging as it came from the factory.
- Your first shots should be: front of package to show its condition. Back and sides are also good. This is pretty important to some collectors.
- Next, shoot photos of the contents out of the packaging but leave on its base if present. If new, shoot the contents as closely and clearly as you can without destroying factory packaging. Shoot front, back, left, right and top shots if you can. With a little thought, #1 can be combined with #2 to get all possible views.
- Try to obtain photo size of 800px by 535px.
If selling a kit, shoot each bag of parts separately. All of the decals should be shown, as should any vac-formed parts.
That was the hard part
Now we’ll write some descriptive copy. Simply describe the item: scale, brand, kind of vehicle and year. If it raced, the race it ran, driver(s) and year of race. This info is also the title of the item that buyers will see alongside your primary photo.
Describe the condition of the item accurately. If something has fallen off or it’s been fixed, disclose that. If you know more about the item than this basic info, share it.
In the case of the above Mercedes, the title might read: “1:43 Minichamps AEG Merecedes 190, 1990 DTM, Snobeck.”
The descriptive copy might read: “1:43 Minichamps AEG Merecedes 190, 1990 DTM, Danny Snobeck. Driver finished 6th in the series. Model in perfect condition. Box in perfect condition. Stored in a dust-free showcase. From smoke-free home.”
Let’s talk money
You probably know how much you want for your item. List your item for a fixed price. Add “or best offer” if you are flexible.
You can also start your auction with a very low starting price and have a “reserve price” that bidding has to hit for the item to be sold.
The third way is a crapshoot. Start your auction price at something reasonably low and let bidding go where it will. If more that one person wants the item, they will bid the price up until they hit their bid limit or they win any which way. Truthfully, this is what you want. Bidders that go for broke inevitably drive the final selling price up. Sometimes, wildly so. Or not.
Find a similar item to the one you are selling and list your item in the same category. Try to list your item at a time when buyers will commonly be able to see the listing. This is the same time your listing will end, so choose a start time which is also a good time for most folks to buy your item: after work or dinner. Good listing times are from 7PM ET to 10PM ET. Good days to list are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when most folks may be home from work. A good length of time to have the listing for is either 7 or 10 days, but make sure the listing ends on the day you want it to.
Shipping via USPS Priority Mail is great for its low cost, free boxes and envelopes, speed of delivery and free tracking numbers. Insure particularly valuable items against loss or damage. Wrap the item well so it doesn’t move in the shipping box and seal the package with good packing tape. Use the Ebay shipping label and tape that on securely as well.
That’s about it
These are tried and true effective Ebay selling techniques. Use them and you will do better than if you don’t. Trust me. I’ve had a 100% rating since I began selling on Ebay. I’ve made enough money on Ebay to buy a really nice Ferrari.
For more effective Ebay selling techniques, log in to Ebay and go here.
For more Collecting 101 tips, go here.