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How To Sell on eBay
BY JUSTIN E. ZIEMNIAK

If you haven’t tried selling your unwanted items Online, you need to take a look at eBay ( http://www.ebay.com ), which is the world’s hottest auction site. Here, you can sell just about anything, and you usually get a higher price than you had hoped for.

If you’re new to computers, it may seem difficult to sell on eBay, but it’s really a piece of cake. I will outline what you need to do to prepare your products for sale, how to list your items and a few good selling strategies. Ready to start making some money? Here we go!

First, you need to find items worth selling. Give consideration to possible shipping fees, and packaging needs to send items to winning bidders. If you don’t have a scale at home that you can weigh your merchandise on, you can take it to the post office or the Henrietta UPS office, and have your item weighed and you’ll be told what it would cost to ship your item to certain parts of the country. It’s best to get the shipping cost for the furthest place from you since eBay buyers are from all over the country, and you could end up sending your item to places such as California or Washington.

Once you find items to sell and have an estimated shipping cost for them, you’re almost ready to list your item. But, you now need to start thinking about how you can present your item for sale in an appealing way. Using photos is the best way, since you’re presenting the actual product and the prospective buyers can see the condition it’s in. If you have a digital camera, you can take a photo and save it to your computer’s hard drive. I save mine to my desktop so I know exactly where they are, and when I’m done, I will remember to drag them to my trash bin.

If you don’t have a digital camera, you have other options. You could take an actual photograph of all the items you’re going to try selling, and have your film processing lab give you a disk with your photos saved to it digitally. Then, you just pop the floppy disk or photo CD in the appropriate drive, and you have your photos ready to upload to eBay. Or, if you own a scanner, you can simply scan in your prints and save them as a JPEG image file format. Or, have a friend or family member that can scan in photos for you and email them to you.

If all else fails, and you can’t take a photograph of your items, then you may want to search eBay for other auctions of people selling the same thing you are. I use this method quite often, because it saves me the time toying around with taking digital photos, and most of the things I sell are in good or brand new condition, so it’s not so important to show the actual items. See if you’d be happy using another person’s photo, or if your product is fairly new, see if you can find a photo on the manufacturer’s site, or an Online retailer may have a photo as well.

Once you find a photo to use, put your mouse pointer over the photo, click the right mouse button, and choose "save picture as" and select the area of your hard drive to where you’d like to save the image. Once you have it saved to your computer, you’re ready to use it in your Online auction. And if you don’t use a photo at all, you still can sell your item on eBay. Photos just help.

Your next step to selling on eBay is to register at the site, and provide information about yourself. You’ll need to come up with a unique username and password and you’re now required to give them a credit card so that they can debit your card for auction listing fees, which are very minor. Once you’re registered, you are ready to start selling!

At the top of all of eBay’s pages reside a clickable series of links. Click on the "Sell" link graphic, and then choose a category your item would fall under. The next screen asks what picture service you use, but just leave it selected on the default, which says, "I want to use eBay’s Enhanced Picture Services."

The next screen you come to is where you can upload up to two pictures for free, or more for a small fee. Don’t worry if your photos are large, because eBay will shrink them down to a pre-defined size to use as thumbnail images in your listing, which bidders can click on to see a larger view.

After uploading your photos, you are next presented with a series of form fields, including your eBay username and password, along with more defined categories which you need to designate for your listing to reside at. It is this page that you need to come up with good wording to best present your item for sale. Be truthful, and be sure to mention all that might be wrong with it, or else the buyer will be very upset after receiving your item not in the condition he or she had thought it was. This kind of thing can turn into a nightmare for a seller. Trust me, I’ve been there.

I recommend giving as many specifics about your item as possible. Explain the size, weight, condition, color, how old it is, and so on. For collectibles, I have seen people’s pictures that have a ruler next to their item to show the actual size of something. Using adjectives will help spice up your description and play on the emotions of your potential buyer. If it’s a collectible or keepsake, and if you have a story to tell about it, be sure to put it here as well. People like to know the history of antiques, artifacts, and so on.

If you know any HTML Webpage design code, you can insert actual code within your item’s description field to add some style to your listing. This will make your listing much more flashy if you know how to do it.

Tell bidders how much you’re charging for shipping, and what forms of payment you accept. The latest craze for eBay-ers is a fairly new 3rd party service called PayPal ( http://www.paypal.com ), which allows you to accept payments without people sending you checks, and you can even accept credit cards with PayPal. All someone needs is your email address (which they can get from your auction and any correspondence eBay sends them regarding their winning bid at your auction) and they can send you money using PayPal, making getting money from a winning bidder so easy and you get your money in much less time than if you had to wait for a personal check to clear the bank.

At the bottom of this page, you are provided with many listing options, which have different fees associated with them. They include having a bold listing font, a yellow background to your listing, and the option to add your listing to the gallery section, among other enhanced features, which cost a lot. These extra features are offered to help you try to make your listing stand out from the others. If you’re selling something that is being sold abundantly on eBay, you might want to try to do something to help your listing look different than the rest. I normally just sign up for the 25-cent gallery feature, which adds my item photo to the section that some people shop eBay with, and only shows photos of items they search for, compared to text listings.

Continue through the form and be sure to review it before letting it go live. You’re given the option on how long you’d like to allow your auction to run, whether you to choose to run it for just one day or up to 10 days. I normally list my item for 10 days.

Once you accept the way your auction looks, you approve it and then it goes live. You’re emailed daily on the status of your auction, and what the current bid price is. You can also click on the link they email you, to check up on your auction activity.

After your auction ends, you then need to email the winning bidder on how to arrange for payment to be sent to you, and once all money clears, then you ship their winning item to them. After the winning bidder receives the item, they will post feedback about you on how you dealt with them and they note things about how helpful you were with any questions they might have had, and how fast you shipped their item. You should also post feedback to their profile as well, which is publicly viewable and shows you seller & buyer credibility. Bad feedback might keep buyers from bidding on your items and sellers from accepting your bids at their auctions, so it is highly suggested you try your best not to get negative feedback postings to your account.

The invent of eBay has allowed so many people to buy things at a bargain, and sell unwanted items at a premium. EBay continues to dominate the Online auction arena, and has sparked entrepreneurship around the globe, with many people buying and selling items through eBay part and full-time and making a living off it. By following these eBay-selling steps, you’ll be selling in no time. <JEZ


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