Securing the winning bid at an auction can be thrilling and gratifying.  What can be even more exciting is being the ultimate winner by walking away with cash for something you no longer need.  Take the plunge and make some extra money by selling on eBay and other online marketplaces – you’ll get to clean house and get paid for it at the same time.  Here are some tips and tricks to draw potential buyers to your listings instead of the competition:

Pictures, pictures, pictures

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this rings true on the online auction block.  Using photos with clean backgrounds that are well lit and free of clutter are key.  Always include a stock photo of your item and place it as the main photo.  There is a reason why businesses invest money in professional photography so use that to your advantage to help your listing sell.

Calculate shipping costs thoughtfully

Always make sure to consider the costs of shipping and packaging.  You’ll want to make sure you are not losing money due to boxes and bubble wrap.  Plan ahead and figure out how your item will ship in the most cost effective and professional way.  If you are planning to sell a lot of items, invest in a small scale that will help you calculate shipping weights accurately.  Offering free shipping is an awesome marketing tool to attract buyers, but make sure to shift your shipping expenses into your listing price.

Time of day

Think about when you do most of your online shopping – it is usually in the comfort of your own home after a long day of work.  Scheduling the day of the week and the time your auction ends is crucial.  Listings ending on Sunday evenings are always more successful than those ending Wednesday mornings.  When you are creating your listing, you can schedule when you’d like it to start and end.  Take note of which days become more successful for you and stick to a schedule.

Actual vs. perceived value

While we think some of our prized treasures are worth an indeterminable amount, there is a reality of what people will actually pay for items.  Do your research on how much similar items have sold for in the past, not what others are currently listing them at.  On eBay, there is a search tool that allows you to filter sold and completed items.  Use that to determine what items similar to yours have actually sold for recently in the online arena.  Make sure you are the most enticing offer out there.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the stagnant eBay bush!

Online selling can be a fun way to get rid of older items that you’ve outgrown, make some quick money, and clear the decks all at the same time.  Try these tips and tricks in your next online marketplace and you’ll be yelling “sold!” faster than an auctioneer can talk.

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