eBay Australia is an obvious channel for any online retailer. Gim Loe of Hip Industries shares her eight favorite tips for getting the most from the site.
eBay is the world’s largest online shopping destination. With over 94 million users and operations localised in over thirty countries, eBay Australia is often the first destination for anyone wishing to purchase online. Selling on eBay world is cheap and easy. In fact a few clicks and in a matter of minutes you can set up your own customized eBay store and start listing products for sale. Although most of you will be familiar to the discounts of shopping in eBay, it is surprising how few get involved. Here are eight tips that will help you get the most out of eBay.
- Do your Research
Becoming a successful eBay seller requires research. Although being passionate about the product that you are selling is important, as with any business, it is important to research your market well before conducting any business venture.
Work out the size of your potential market base, age, location and price among others.
Search your product of interest both on eBay Australia and the wider internet for your answers. If there is an item similar to your product of interest consistently listed with no bids, ask yourself why. There could be a number of reasons behind this- there may be a lack of demand or the sellers could be the asking too much.
- Spend what you need for the listing. Don’t overspend
One of the reasons for eBay’s immerse popularity is its minimal startup fees and costs. Anyone can start an eBay account at the minimum fee of a few cents per listed item.
For an item valued at $1-$20, you will be charged an insertion fee of a minimum of 50c as well as a final value fee (a percent of the final bidding price). This is cheap however these fees can hike up if you are not careful.
There are many booster options that can take your cash for minimal to no effort. It is important to only choose the essentials to make your item sell. Although these options are cheap, do not be tempted by what may look cheap but will add up unnecessarily.
Remember to consider other options. eBay will charge you an extra 25c per photo but using an image from outside eBay Australia is free. Photobucket is a fantastic free photo storage website that many have used to great effect as a way to get more images onto eBay for free.
- Auction Time
Auction Time is always a daunting experience. There is a lot to be said of timing and even with said timing lined to a tee things can still go wrong!
I would recommend going to auction at least once (especially if your product is rare). An auction will give you a good idea of a possible selling price. If you going to go to auction, there are a few pointers to remember:
First, end your auctions at peak hour. Sunday evenings generates the most traffic so for a 10 day listing start on a Thursday night for a Sunday hotspot. Second, think about the season. If you intend to sell Christmas decorations, the middle of July isn’t the best time to sell!
- Buy Now can be a better alternative
Auctions are well known to inflate and/ or sometimes never reach your desired selling price. To keep things consistent and get top ratings, go for the Buy Now option. Although Buy Now will add an additional 10c to your listing, it will insure that you get inconsistent sales as long as you are reasonable about your pricing.
eBay offers many payment options including credit card to Paypal. Paypal is compulsory to all sellers and is by far the best option. Paypal offers security to both buyers and sellers. Although Paypal has attached fees ultimately it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to dodgy buyers.
- Learn everything you can about shipping
Shipping is expensive and can often be the most costly component of your business. Research into shipping before starting any business venture to determine suitability, more often than not, they will throw you back.
Consider the different postal services available- Australian post, Toll Australia, DHL …etc. Think about drop shipping from cheaper alternative countries. For example, it is cheaper to ship from Hong Kong to London then it is the ship from Australia to any equivalent country. Calculate the costs and understand your shipping costs inside out. You may also want to check out the flat rate package boxes co-promoted by eBay and Australia Post.
- Focus on getting positive feedback.
Feedback is very important. Getting positive feedback basically tells your customers that you are reliable if they continue. Getting this feedback is difficult.
It involves basically focusing on providing good customer service and being honest. These are the key attributes to any successful business. Place yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about how they would like to be treated and deliver.
This includes the obvious (responding to every customer enquiry) and the not so obvious (avoiding the temptation to photo shop blatant products flaws). While it is important to make your product as attractive as possible, do not leave out obvious product faults. Leaving these is a quick route to a negative rating.
- You are a business
Remember that although eBay is often used by home-based businesses, you are a business so you must register your business and record your expenditures.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your eBay account. Feel free to comment on my tips and post any of your own eBay experiences. Next month, I will talk about Adwords.
Gim Loe is co-founder of Hip Industries.
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