Thursday, November 21, 2013

What I've Learned on eBay This Year

I returned to selling on eBay full-time in June, in addition to maintaining my Bonanza booth.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

Jennifer's Series Books on Bonanza

With my eBay store subscription, I get 150 free listings per month.  Additionally, I receive at least one "by invitation only" free listing offer per month.  Sometimes the offer is for fixed-price listings, and other times, the offer is for auctions.  I have learned several things.

When using auctions in place of fixed-price, always place the starting bid as what would have been the Buy It Now price.  Never place the starting bid at less than the desired Buy It Now price.  What almost always happens is that the buyers do not take the Buy It Now, and the item sells at the opening bid.  To protect myself, I must have the starting bid at what I really want for the item. 

Never sell cheap items without offering free shipping.  Some buyers see that the shipping price is more than the price of the item and leave a low DSR for the shipping cost.  They fail to understand that the shipping cost is the actual cost and perceive that the seller is gouging.  They feel that if an item costs only $1.00, then the shipping should be free or only cost $0.10.  This isn't logical, but that is how some buyers think.

Never sell cheap items in rough shape on eBay.  This is for the same reason as above.  I have been able to offer this type of item on Bonanza with no problem, but on eBay, cheap items in rough shape bring out a certain type of buyer who wants something for nothing and is quick to complain.

The "My eBay" interface is better for sellers who have stores.  That alone is worth the store subscription, provided that a seller sells enough per month to justify the cost.

The interface makes it extremely easy to see when an item has sold and when an item needs to be shipped.  Printing packing slips is easier, and the packing slips are better than the ones eBay provides to sellers who do not have stores.  Additionally, bulk editing is available, which saves a lot of time.

Free shipping may help sales.  My items have been converted to free shipping for just a short period of time, so I don't know for sure how much free shipping helps with sales.  Within the first couple of days of changing all listings to free shipping, several items that I considered stagnant sold.  My sales have improved since changing over to free shipping.  After a longer period of time, I will know for sure.

A seller's ability to maintain a top-rated seller status is very shaky and is largely outside of a seller's control.  I have one low DSR in the shipping cost category which I received in late October.  I converted all of my items to free shipping immediately after I received the low DSR, but I still have quite a few buyers who have not left feedback yet who can still rate the shipping cost.

Top-rated sellers are allowed a maximum of two low DSRs per DSR category at a maximum percent of 0.50%.  The one low DSR that I have already places me above 0.50%, so if I receive one more in the shipping cost category, I lose my top-rated seller status.  While I have taken action to prevent future buyers from leaving a low shipping cost DSR, I have no control over the buyers who paid for shipping and have not yet left feedback.

eBay has a new feature where an item can be relisted for up to three times for free and not count against a seller's monthly free listings.  I haven't tried this yet, since this feature just went live in the last few days, but it sounds interesting.  I am also wary, because when an item is relisted, it can get suppressed in eBay's search because the item did not sell the previous time it was listed.

1 comment:

stratomiker said...

All these rules are insane and make it almost impossible to sell on eBay when buyers can beat the absolute heck out of sellers for no reason at all but the seller has no recourse to fight back.

As I've said before, I have learned to pay no attention to all this stuff. No matter what a seller does, the buyers know they can slam and intimidate you and many do it just for the heck of it.

Reasonable buyers know right from wrong and don't make unreasonable demands about postage or other costs. And they don't pay much attention to the rating system either because they know it's unfairly stacked against the seller.

I've had so many buyers threaten to give me bad ratings if I don't do what they want. The heck with them. I've been selling on eBay since it began and still sell almost everything I list. I will not let all these rules control and intimidate me.

Ebay is trying to hard to ne Wall Street and Amazon. They are chasing away a lot of sellers who made them successful. People expect fairness in business dealings, and this current eBay phase is npt fair. Eventually it will hurt them and they will drop the Gestapo routine for more normal.