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The Worst eBay Selling Strategies… Ever? Part Two

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Author: Linda Kerr

There has been a lot of buzz and hype in recent years relating to selling on eBay. It is true to say that there are people successfully selling on eBay and are able to give up their boring, stressful day-jobs. However there are considerably more people who are not successful.

In Part One of "The Worst eBay Selling Strategies… Ever?" I told you about researching your products and the importance of quality photographs. Now in Part Two I will be advising you on staring bids, Buy it Now, why you need to find competitively-priced sources of goods plus warning you of the risks of over-diversifying.

Starting bid too low

It is cheaper to list your item at 99p than it is £20, so I got into the trap of listing everything at 99p. The problem is that it can take a lot of frenzied bidding to get the closing price you want and more often than not I was disappointed.

I noticed another seller starting the bid at what they were looking for with the addition of a Buy it Now price which was quite a bit higher. What this does is sets a perceived value in the customers mind. If you have the bidding start at £25 with a Buy it Now price of £30, then it will look like the lower price is discounted and that they are getting a good deal. Some people are impatient or don't want to get involved in a bidding war so they simply buy now. I love it when that happens, although sometimes I feel a little guilty as they could have bought it much cheaper elsewhere.

The key is to experiment and take note of the closing prices. Each product is different so you should ultimately decide for yourself.

Paying too much for your goods.

Depending on what niche market you are selling in, eBay can be very competitive. A lot of customers on eBay shop around for the best deals before buying so you need to have a competitive edge. What sellers are now doing is importing from abroad, especially China. This means you are cutting out the middle-man so can pass the savings onto you customer.

Don't I need to buy in bulk?

It depends on what supplier you are dealing with. I have seen a lot of jewellery manufacturers asking you to buy a minimum of 120 of each item. This is a massive risk when you are just starting out. However the industry in China is highly competitive so it should be easy enough to find a manufacturer who is willing to sell you much lower quantities in hope you will spend more in the future. I know of some very good resources which I will tell you about later.

Diamond Rings and Power Tools.

It is always a good idea to diversify with the products you sell, however it looks very bad if you just have one shop to sell them all in. If you have a shop selling jewellery, then by all means branch out into other fashion accessories such as handbags and scarves. Just don't list power tools, computers and wheelchairs as well, otherwise you could end up looking like a cheap market stall.

Also be aware of combining differently priced goods together. I really don't think having an £8,000 diamond engagement ring listed next to a £2.99 plastic necklace gives a good impression.

Try and get into the mind of your customer. If you are selling expensive jewellery, what else will your customer need? Jewellery cleaner and a jewellery box perhaps? Always try and up-sell by letting your customers know of complimentary products in your store.

I can't think of a better way to start your own business than on eBay. Whether you are just looking for a part-time job or want to build up a massive company with warehouses and staff, eBay provides the tools you require. With other businesses you have to spend a lot of time and money advertising your goods whereas eBay takes care of this and has an already massive customer base all over the world. Just be careful and make sure you do your research. Remember this, if you fail to prepare, you should be prepared to fail.

About the author: Linda Kerr

No idea where to find profitable products to sell? Most people don't either. That's why Auction Inspector ( and SalHoo ( are probably the best resources for you. Remember to sign up for a free 6-part importing guide from SaleHoo. All the best, Linda Kerr

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