This is part two of a series of three articles interviewing “Betsy1951″ (part one here), a vintage dolls and toys seller from Dallas, Texas. She offers her advice as a successful Ebay online seller since 1999.
ISBB: How did you become a “Top-Rated Seller”?
Betsy1951: In my field, Top-Rated Sellers have to provide shoppers with an experience very close to the doll show experience. If I’m selling a fine doll, I might include the following as an example of the amount of detail I offer:
- Take as many as 30 photos in my description – Give the viewer even more than she’d see in person. I photograph the doll dressed and undressed so the shopper can see its condition. Of course, since dolls are lovely things, I’d advise a doll seller to capture their charm in good, crisp, large photos, with uncomplicated backgrounds. Pose them as children. Approach them as art.
- Provide images of the soles of the shoes – Plus the bottoms of the feet, the marks on the back of the neck, the wig beneath the hat, which must be clear and large.
- Write a description that details everything – Because some of my shoppers aren’t visual learners. Both attributes and flaws have to be shown in photos and described in words.
- Remember when an item is in “as-is” condition – Show them that at least now it is well cared for.
- Restore and clean what you can – But never do anything that destroys originality. Knowing your product will tell you how much you can do in restoration.
- Packing supplies should be clean, too – Recycling is fine, but only if supplies still look presentable and do their job well.
- Make each item a treat for your winner to receive – Regardless of the selling price, you never want them to be disappointed with their purchase. They’ll then shop again and will tell their friends to look for my auctions.
What should every seller avoid?
- Don’t write a poor headline – Study “completed” auctions that end with “highest price.” What words did they include? You’ll be checking out completed auctions of items you’re about to sell anyway, so take notice of what contributed to those sales.
- Don’t ignore the category — With the exception of the fans you may accumulate over the years, the category in which you place your item is important, too.
- Don’t overlook your descriptive words – Most people are in a hurry and search by a few specific words rather than perusing an entire category. The “search” is everything! Your headline is everything! Once you grab them with that, the rest is up to you by using very descriptive copy.
For more advice or to see some of Betsy’s vintage dolls and toys online, visit her Ebay myworld page.