I’m trying to sell a little ceramic Santa. It happens to be mid-November so this might be a good time to unload a Santa on eBay. However, what I want to point out here is the fact that 12 people are watching this item but so far only one person has had the guts to bid—and that bid was for the minimum starting amount of 99 cents.
As I look this over I’m also regretting the time of day I listed the item. Unfortunately the auction is going to end at around 8 a.m. Eastern time. Shoppers on the West Coast are going to be asleep, so I don’t think I’ll get that last minute rush of bidding I would have received if more of the nation were conscious when my auction ends.
It would be good to know what time of day people are most likely to goof off at work and time your auctions to end during those hours. I’ll make a guess. I think people are less likely to be concentrating on their jobs right after lunch. They’re leaning back in their Herman Miller Aeron chairs, staring at the photo cube of their families and planning their fantasy league moves. It should be the perfect time for an eBay auction to end.
Troubleshooting your eBay auction
I’ve been doing a short weekly segment on a local radio show in Nashville sharing some of these money making-tips.
The last few weeks we’ve discussed selling on eBay and one morning not long ago we opened it up for call-in questions. The first caller asked a question that probably reflects the experience of many sellers new to eBay.
He said he went through all the steps required to start an auction on eBay, but when he later went back to the site, he couldn’t find his item.
First, I told him he should have received an email that contained a link to the item he was selling on eBay. However, I suspect he went back onto eBay and used the eBay search feature to try to find his auction.
There are, of course, many pages of search results for most items being sold on eBay. I told the caller that it was likely his item was priced too high or had a high shipping price, which caused his auction to be buried toward the end of the search results.
A highly competitive price is probably the single most important factor if you want your auction to be listed at or near the top of search results. Shipping costs run a close second. Of course, if you’ve put your item in the wrong category, you’re in big trouble as well. Ditto if you’re written a poor or misleading headline for the item you’re selling on eBay.
Another factor is your seller rating. You need to have a history of providing good service. And that brings us back to how important it is to be honest in product descriptions and prompt in shipping.
Selling on eBay is like selling at any store. Customers don’t walk through the door if you don’t have a good reputation.
Okay, I thought I was just sort of being crazy when I recently wrote that you should gather up all your Charlie Sheen stuff and list it on eBay.
Crazy like a shark.
A book of poems Sheen self-published some 20 years ago entitled—and I’m not making this up—“A Peace of My Mind,” is doing quite well on eBay. When I checked it, seven bids had pushed the slim volume up to nearly $600. An autographed copy of the same poetry book with a starting bid of $2,000 didn’t have any takers so far.
I offer my own Charlie Sheen poem:
Roses are red
Charlie’s gone mad
before all of this
just his acting was bad.
When I did a search for “Charlie Sheen” I got more than 12,000 items found on eBay. While it’s true that the United States has lost a great deal of its manufacturing to Third World nations where the average yearly wage is $12.42, there is one segment of manufacturing where we still dominate:
T- shirts designed to cash in on celebrity burnouts.
There are currently about 8,000 Charlie Sheen t-shirts on eBay.
And they say Americans don’t show initiative any more.
By the way, I’d love to hear your Charlie Sheen poetry, especially haiku.