If last month’s introduction to selling over the Internet motivated you to scour your closets, attic and garage for items you’d like to get rid of, today we’re going to share a few tips so you can get a feel for how much money you might make and help you maximize your profit.
By far the biggest Internet marketplace is eBay, so we’ll talk about selling your items there.
There are two ways items are sold on eBay: the traditional auction format or through a “buy it now” price. When you join eBay and start a sale, you first set the price where you want the auction the begin—the required opening bid price.
TIP: Set this price low, at something like 99 cents. It’s far more important to generate interest and get your auction going than it is to hold out for a higher opening bid.
After you set your opening bid price, you can name a “buy it now price.” If an eBay member wants to pay this price—before anyone else makes an opening bid—the auction is over and the buyer has purchased your item at your “buy it now” price. As soon as someone makes the first bid, the “buy it now” disappears in most eBay auctions.
Smart sellers generally let their auctions run for one week, so a “buy it now” sale can get the money into your Paypal account more quickly. Set your “buy it now” price high enough to make you happy with your sale.
TIP: Be sure your auctions include one full weekend for people to bid. Also, start your auctions between 6-9 p.m. Pacific Time. That’s when the most people are on eBay. Your auction will then end during that busy period and it’s the final hour of bidding when you get the most action.
When you decide to list an item to list on eBay you’ll probably search for similar items to see how much they are selling for. If you scroll through active auctions with “buy it now” prices, you might get the wrong idea about the value of your item. You have to find out what people actually paid for similar items.
TIP: Next to the search box at the top of virtually every eBay page is the word “Advanced.” This is a link that takes you to a search page with additional options. Click on the word “Advanced” and when you get to the next page, scroll down a little and select the box that says “Completed.” Now when you search for something you will only see completed auctions and what buyers actually paid, as well as when items failed to sell.
Armed with this information and these tips you should be well on you way to pricing your merchandise properly and making a few sales.