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Tips for first-time eBay sellers

    1. Gather what you want to sell
      First things first: sort out what you are selling. Whether you already have a stash of old clothes waiting in a designated area in the wardrobe or whether you need to set aside a Sunday afternoon to compile everything, it’s best to gather all the items together so they’re ready to list all in one or two sittings. When you’ve got everything together, it means you can get the boring listing part out of the way faster, and means you can think about whether you want to sell items individually or as part of a group of items. ‘Job lots’ are more popular for smaller items or themed items like makeup samples, sports equipment or collectibles.
      marketing and pricing research
    2. Do some pricing research
      It’s a good idea to take a look at how much similar or the same items have sold for recently so you know how to realistically price your own. Type in keywords that buyers might use to search for your item so you know which category to put yours in, and take a look at ‘completed listings’ to see the prices others have sold that item for and decide whether you want yours to be a little bit cheaper than the competition, the same price, or whether your item has features that justify a higher price. You might even want to go with the estimated price that eBay provides. There is no wrong answer so if you’re still not sure, price higher rather than lower, and if it’s failing to sell, reduce the price later on if you’d like to.
    3. Postage
      Having searched through some completed listings you may have already decided how to price the items including what you want to charge for postage. Alternatively, you might want to price the postage differently:
      Free postage: You could offer free postage, but remember that you will still need to pay for the postage as the seller, and that you may need to put the price of the item higher so that you can still make a decent profit. Another catch of listing an item with ‘free postage’ is that the sellers fees taken by eBay are a percentage of the amount that the ITEM sold for, so you’re effectively paying fees on the postage costs too. By specifying a separate postage cost, this means the sellers fees to be paid are calculated by the item’s sale value only.
      Find a large item courier For larger items, there are couriers that can do the heavy lifting for you so you don’t need to make your listing say ‘free collection in person’ and limit your potential customers to only those that live nearby. Use Shiply to get multiple quotes from delivery companies and choose the company that works best for you.
      Don’t live near a post office? If it’s not easy or practical for you to get to a post office, find out online if you live near a newsagent that offers courier collection services like Hermes or Collect+ so you can drop parcels off to a place that may be more convenient for you. You can use Parcel2Go to compare courier prices and print postage labels at home.
    4. End your auction at a good time
      There are several blogs and websites that have calculated the ‘best’ time for an eBay auction to end (which is apparently on a Sunday evening). If this matches up with when you’re typically free, that’s great, but if not, choose a time that works for you and when you’ll be able to dispatch the item soon after and answer any questions the buyer might have after purchasing.
      If you’d prefer to list the item with a fixed price, list the item as ‘Buy It Now’, so buyers don’t have to wait until the auction ends and you’re guaranteed the price you’ve asked for. ‘Buy It Now’ is best for more low value or household items like beauty product or kitchen utensils. Listing these types of items in an auction could make buyers go elsewhere where they can get hold of them more quickly.
    5. Dispatch quickly
      If you’ve specified that you’ll ship the item within 2 days, make sure you do so, or you could be setting yourself up for receiving negative feedback from the buyer. It’s important to make sure you set a realistic dispatch time on your listing in the first place to manage buyers’ expectations and not commit to something you’re unable to fulfill. As long as you’re honest up front about how often you’re able to get to the post office, you shouldn’t have any problems, specially if you’re selling something particularly desirable or rare!