If you wade into the eBay community forums, you quickly get a sense of overwhelming anger mixed with powerlessness. These buyers choose to rage about problems in their store and feel like the only solution is for a Government investigation of how eBay is purposefully ruining their lives. They are convinced that eBay has a specific employee with a finger on the button that keeps their sales drying up.
As long time eBay sellers, we completely understand where this fear comes from. To this very moment, we experience the grumpy buyers, inconsistent sales from week to week, confused customer service reps, etc. Why can’t we have total control?
But we do have a certain amount of control when running our eBay store that is guaranteed:
- It’s starts with the items we choose to scavenge . Often we use gut instinct, but we still whip out our phone and do a quick search on “sold” items. If we feel our sales are slow or selling for low dollar, we’ll simply choose to buy different items. It’s insanity to keep having problems selling a certain item and think the result will be different. Plus variety is just fun.
- How we take photos of these items is an early important lesson we quickly learned. As eBay customers, we are amazed at the number of sellers that provide only one or two photos that are blurry or unhelpful in their perspective. We have always provided as many photos that are logical (usually at least 8). Our photos are always well lit and clear. We provide plenty of close ups. If we do our job correctly, no potential buyer will see our item and crave a different angle. Whose item will that person buy: the blurry single photo or the ten clear photos?
- How we title an item gives us an enormous amount of control. This is all about research and the experience of having done past research. Proper research gives us the keywords to attract the right buyers. We use every single character to describe an item. Every relevant word is another keyword that google or Cassini will pick up on. It is insanity to see a seller only use three or four generic words to describe an item. Adding all the item specifics is also a bonus.
- And how we price an item is the last power we have (and maybe the most important). Do we need to be very competitive and lowball the price? Or is our item in rare, good shape so we should wait for the higher price? Should we run sales to move items? Or will no one buy this item right now whatever the price is? Am I charging too little for my items to make all the listing worth my time? Or am I being too precious about these items I’ve listed? We think pricing is probably what makes sellers the most crazy because they incorrectly think the lowest price will always win. There is absolutely no single good answer.
If we pull out our view from just focusing on an eBay business, what control does any business actually have? You can’t force people to buy your item or even walk into your store. Some of it is reputation, luck, research, and mostly the seasonal nature of retail. We try to take advantage of all the power we do have, and accept a certain level of helplessness and uncertainty. With this acceptance, comes some amount of peace.
We had an awesome week of eBay sales. They just happened because we had put the time into list list list.
The forum keeps giving us some great conversations. We’re always learning new things from smart sellers. Cebanak posted about Facebook Marketplace now letting people using electronic payments. Is this just one more step closer to Facebook competing with eBay?
Hope you had a good week!
Our Store Week February 19-25, 2017
Total Items in Store: 5,794
Items Sold: 69
Cost of Items Sold: $120
Total Sales: $2,566.74
Highest Price Sold: $299 (vintage art work)
Average Price Sold: $37.19
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0
Number of items listed this week: 110
Sold 2 items for $60
Total Items in Store: 997
Items Sold: 11
Cost of Items Sold: $15
Total Sales: $261.22
Highest Price Sold: $42 (Vintage Dr Scholl’s sandals)
Average Price Sold: $23.74
Number of items listed this week: 15