Tips on Using E-Bay
I have spent a considerable amount of time on
E-Bay as both a buyer and a seller. So, for those of you just
getting started I am providing you with some tips on using it.
TIPS FOR THE BUYER: As a buyer using E-Bay costs you
absolutely nothing other than what you decide to spend on an item
plus its shipping cost and sales tax(if the seller is in the same
state as you).
- Don't bid on items until they are in the LAST DAY or
within the LAST several hours unless it is something you
are wanting to bid on but, do not think you will be able
to bid on the last day. If you bid too early in the
auction you will not really get an accurate impression of
how high the auction will go. You could string out your
time waiting for an auction to end in 5 days when you bid
based on inaccurate assumptions as to how reasonable it
was selling for. You may find after waiting 4 days that
other people are willing to pay much higher than you for
the item. Most people wait until the last day or so of an
auction to bid.
- ALWAYS bid the MAXIMUM price you are willing to pay for
the item LESS shipping. Make sure you read the auction
carefully before bidding and take shipping costs into
consideration. E-Bay will automatically bid ONLY the
amount needed to make you the top bidder. It will then
only advance your bid amount as neccessary to keep you in
the top. If someone goes higher than your maximum bid you
will receive an E-mail from E-Bay with your outbid
notification. Usually, you will be outbid in the last
couple hours of an auction and therefor it becomes
apparent how important it is to bid your MAXIMUM amount.
Don't play the ODDs game. Bid your maximum and let E-Bay
try to get it for you at the lowest price it can.
- KNOW YOUR SELLER: The number in the parenthesis next to a
Sellers ID is the number of positive feedbacks they have
received. When a transaction occurs the SELLERs tend to
leave POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, and NEUTRAL feedback for the
BUYER and vice versa. This is one of the things that
keeps E-Bay going. If you want to play it safe ONLY buy
from people with good reputations.
OTHER TRICKS FOR BUYING:
If you know what it is you are looking for
try narrowing down the categories by clicking through the
categories in ebay. Once you are in the category most likely to
hold the items you are looking for. Type a WORD or WORDS into the
SEARCH box and CHECK the box that says search only in that
category and click SEARCH. If it finds the item you are looking
for great. You may want to use your BACK button on your web
browser and try it again with different words. If you are still
having no luck have it SEARCH the entire E-Bay site by not
specifying a specific category.
TIPS FOR THE SELLER: Selling things on E-bay is a
very quick way to rid yourself of excess inventory, come up with
extra cash from things you don't really need, and more. It is not
free. Items starting at under $10 will cost you $0.25 (they'll
invoice you) to insert it. E-Bay also takes a % off the top of
items that are successfully sold. I believe it is from 2% to 5%
of the final sales price depending on what it sales for. You can
check their rates information at their site.
- KNOW YOUR MARKET: Before you even begin selling items
SEARCH for similar items on E-Bay. Even look through the
completed auctions as well. Find out what the items are
selling for. You may be starting your item TOO HIGH to
even sell it and will just end up being out $0.25 or
whatever the insertion fee is. If you see something
selling at prices you are willing to part with an item
for then you should proceed. Otherwise, you just saved
yourself some time and money just by performing this one
- FIND A CATEGORY: Find the category that best suits your
item. The best category will be the category that A) has
the most items similar to this in nature as that is where
BUYERS will go to look for it and B) categories that are
producing the most successful number of
transactions(which indicates a lot of buyers are watching
- PRESENTATION: If you are going to just type in run
together text and not show any pictures or anything then
you can easily do this on E-Bay. Otherwise, you need to
know some web page basics to even begin to get a friendly
to the eyes presentation.
Here I will give you some basic tools to make it easier
to read but, they will not make the auction look fancy.
If you want your auction to look fancy read the section
at the end of this document. You can type the text into
the description as you normally would but, you will need
to type in some extra things as you go to make it look
good. Here they are.
<P> Typing this <P> into your document will
cause a line break which will interrupt the wrap around
<BR> Typing <BR> into your document will
create a hard line break which functions similar to
<B> Typing <B> before words you want to
appear in BOLD and then typing </B> where you want
the BOLD to be turned off will allow you to add BOLD to
your auction text.
<U> Typing <U> and </U> as in the
<B> above will give you UNDERLINE capabilities.
<I> Typing <I> and </I> as in the
<B> above will give you ITALICS capabilities.
<HR> Typing <HR> will give you a break and
will put a HORIZONTAL LINE across the screen at that
It is recommended that you type your text into a text
editor such as NOTEPAD and then COPY and PASTE it into
the place where EBAY askes for it as needed. If you know
the basics of web design you can actually use those tools
to design FANCY Auctions with pictures, animated objects,
links to web pages, and more. You just design it and COPY
and PASTE everything between the <BODY> and
</BODY> markers in the HTML into the spot where
EBAY askes you to enter your description. DO NOT USE
- Go ahead and place your item for auction through EBAY.
Start the bidding as low as you can and ALWAYS target for
under $10 and you will save yourself at least $0.25 if
the item does not sell. In addition, if you want to start
the bidding low but, do not want to SELL it for less than
a certain amount which is higher than your starting bid
then you will need to set a RESERVE PRICE. Some people do
not like RESERVE PRICE auctions. This allows people to
bid but, they will not actually be guaranteed the item
unless it clears your reserve price. It should be noted
that EBAY charges the INSERTION fee based on RESERVE
PRICE. So, if you start bidding at $1 and you set the
reserve price at $11 you will be charged a $0.50
insertion fee instead of $0.25. ADVANTAGE: Reserve prices
can be annoying to the bidder (I speak from experience).
There is really only one time to use them. If you have an
item you are not sure will sell and are not sure you are
willing to sell it. Set your RESERVE PRICE at what you
would be willing to sell it for. If it does not sell you
still can contact the HIGH BIDDER if you decide you would
be willing to sell it for the amount he bid and you may
make a sell afterall. However, sometimes the bidder will
go on to bid on something else if they do not meet your
reserve and by the time you get to them they are already
in another auction.
- SCOUTING vs. SELLING: If you have an item or item you
would like to move there is ANOTHER way to use EBAY as
well. Scout out the items similar to yours... especially
look in the COMPLETED auctions. If you find people who
bid on the item for a price you are willing to sell your
item for but, they did not win then CONTACT them by email
and offer to sell it to them at their bid. This
eliminates EBAY fees completely. It does not always work
but, it can.
- LOST LEADERS: Many people have web pages devoted to
selling the items they are auctioning. They start an
auction at a LOW PRICE and have a FANCY LINK to their web
page. This will draw people into their web page as they
look at the auction. They MAY end up selling the item in
the auction for FAR less than they wanted (unless they
use a RESERVE) but, then again they will get traffic to
their web site and if the prices are competitive at their
web site then they may make many more sales. This happens
a lot in Ebay. I see it in the computer section quite a
bit. This can be a technique you may want to consider
using if your prices are competitive and you have a web
site selling items like it.
SERVICES OFFERED:Future Wave Computer Solutions
offers services to EBAY USERS as well.
- BUYING: If you are
not sure what you are wanting or want someone else to buy
for you through E-Bay Future Wave Computer Solutions will
be happy to use E-Bay to purchase the item for you. It
DOES take time so, any such transaction will require that
20% markup be applied to the final bid. This has to be
charged as it can be a lot of work and time consuming to
get the good deals. Future Wave would operate within a
maximum you specify. It is recommended you try to use
EBAY for yourself as you will save that much more money.
However, if you want someone with experience to do it
feel free to contact us via EMAIL: email@example.com.
- SELLING: If you want
the presentation of your auction to be premium and
attractive Future Wave Computer Solutions will be happy
to design the auction presentation for you and help you
put it on E-Bay. The fees are as follows depending on
what you would like.
STANDARD FEE: $5 (for formatted TEXT ONLY)
PER PHOTO ADDED: $1
PER CUSTOM GRAPHIC: $2
PREMIUM PACKAGE (Up to 10 pictures, Custom graphics as
appropriate, formatted text, links to web pages, and
more): $30 (same cost as a single page web page designed
by Future Wave Computer Solutions).
So, basically the cost is $5 to $30 depending on what you
want done. If you wish to have multiple pages it will
cost $30 per additional page. NOTE: These pages can be
REUSED if this is something you will be auctioning
If you are interested in having FUTURE WAVE perform
selling services on EBAY for you then feel free to email
us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The
fees above are in addition to any charged by E-Bay.
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