In this discussion of selling on Ebay, Betsy1951, a vintage dolls and toys seller from Dallas, Texas, is providing us with her wealth of knowledge as a successful online Ebay seller. Below is the third and final article of this series. (Parts one and two are here.)
ISBB: What should every successful seller do?
Betsy1951: Based on my experience as a “Top-Rated Seller,” I recommend that you should:
- Know your product.
- Know its true price.
- Buy only what you know well.
- Know that the value of an item is what you can sell it for.
- Keep up to date on the market because it’s always changing.
- Buy every price reference book you can, and when a new book is published, get it quickly — these books aren’t in print very long, and generally can’t be found in local bookstores. Note that as soon as a collectibles reference is out-of-print, online booksellers often inflate their cost to three, four, even more times the original cover price.
- Be mindful that prices in these reference books generally aren’t accurate anyway, too-often featuring very inflated prices. Ebay has become the ever-changing, always up-to-date price guide for both sellers and buyers.
- Before you sell on Ebay or any online marketplace, become familiar with all their policies. From your first listing, be honest. Follow the Golden Rule. Sellers who don’t often find themselves former sellers. Ebay recently implemented many, many new seller policies aimed at producing happy, repeat customers. With new guidelines in place, Ebay is working to eliminate bad sellers and to draw attention to good sellers with the badge of “Top-Rated Seller.”
- Accurately describe items, pack them carefully, ship them promptly, don’t inflate shipping costs, communicate clearly with buyers on shipping times, and provide tracking information. (In other words, behave professionally.)
By doing all of the above, the best Ebay sellers are rewarded — up front, by better placement of their items in buyers’ searches, and, after the sale, with discounted “final value fees” that Ebay charges sellers. A seller’s fee discount is determined by the dollar amount he sells as well as the “detailed seller ratings” (one-to-five “stars”) each buyer gives him after the sale — a new part of the feedback system.
- Also, sellers can now qualify for the “Top Seller” rating with much lower sales figures than Ebay’s previous “Power Seller” badge: The threshhold is now $3,000 in annual sales instead of the former $12,000. Ebay reasoned that it should value customer service more highly than sales figures.
For more advice or to see some of Betsy’s vintage dolls and toys online, visit her Ebay myworld page.