The Easiest way and steps you need in buying and selling on eBay
‘Tis the season for online shopping, whether you’re turning to cyberspace to avoid the malls or want to compare prices from the comfort of your bathrobe.
You can find some great deals on eBay – one of the world’s top online marketplaces – including its recently updated app that lets you research, negotiate, bid or buy, right from your smartphone or tablet.
Similarly, if you’re looking to unload some old or unwanted items you have lying around your home, why not sell it for a good price and put those funds toward something you really want?
The following are three tips to scoring a good price on eBay and three ways to making quick cash on the same marketplace.
• Research your product: You may be excited to pick up a hard-to-find vinyl record or high-capacity microSD card, but don’t buy the first product you see. Compare prices, shipping charges and return or refund policies for the same item, from multiple sellers. Read the product description carefully and look at the photos. Is the product new or used? Look at other sites, too, and if you find it cheaper, tell the seller to match or beat the price (and send them a link as proof).
• Buy instead of bid – and counter-offer: Time is money, as they say, and so if you don’t want to go through the process of bidding on an item, look for a “Buy It Now” icon, which means you pay the listed price instead of beginning the auction process. But don’t just stop there: While a Buy It Now listing is supposed to be a fixed price, it doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate a bit. Go ahead and suggest a lower price than the posted amount, and you’d be surprised how many sellers will take the offer.
Check the history: Did you know you can easily find out what others have paid for that same product? This might give you an indication of what you can pick up the item for – regardless of what’s posted. Here’s how to do it: Search for a product, such as Bose QuietComfort 35 noise-cancelling headphones, and after you find a bunch of listings, scroll down the results page to the section on the left, where it says “Show only.” Now choose “Completed Listings.” Prices in green show the sold price, while prices in black show items that didn’t sell.
Other tips include: Research the seller (check their rating and comments); don’t be afraid to ask questions before you buy; only pay with a secure payment method, such as PayPal or credit card; and don’t wait to the last minute to order a holiday gift as no one wants to receive a Christmas present in January.
• Use Instant Selling: If you have a smartphone you want to unload but don’t want to wait for someone to bid or buy it, Instant Selling is the newest way to earn the most money on your previous generation phones. Basically, you’re selling it to eBay and get paid instantly with a voucher once you list it – which can then be used immediately toward the purchase of a new device. The company says it provides a much higher trade-in return than other online or retail stores – up to 40 percent more, in fact. Visit ebay.com/s/phone, enter your device info to determine if it’s eligible, and then click List to receive your instant voucher. Print off the dedicated shipping label.
• Timing is key, price your item right: EBay says Sunday is the busiest day for purchases, followed by Saturday and Monday. To increase the odds of selling your item quickly, think of the time of year it is and offload things people want. Sell your camping gear when summer arrives and not in the dead of winter. Christmas items will do better in early December than March. Cash in on World Series hype by selling your baseball paraphernalia. You get the idea. As for pricing it, make sure your item is competitively priced as eBay shoppers are comparing your item to others. A tip is to offer free shipping – even if you must increase the product price a bit, you’ll likely sell it faster.
• Make your post stand out: Use some eye-catching words in the heading to grab a buyer’s attention. Give clear descriptive headlines. Inside the listing, provide a good description, including model number and condition. Take good photos of what you’re selling. Along with a catchy headline, photos grab a buyer’s attention. It’s critical to attract shoppers, as you’ll no doubt have competition. You’ll want to take photos from every angle, including close-up shots.
• Other selling tips: if you’re not offering a “Buy It Now” option, choose your bidding start and end times wisely; be clear about your return or refund policies; build up your seller reputation by asking happy customers to post a short review and star rating; and advertise your eBay post elsewhere, including auction sites, to maximize your reach.