Selling online is becoming more and more accepted nowadays, even if there is the risk to lose your money or your product. The first big challenge of today is to create your online platform in a way that shows confidence and reliability to buyers.
You may ask what is the key to successful selling in the online world, nowdays there are many competitors with seemingly good products, attractive profiles and properly designed shops. The first step obviously is to have a good design and a good position in the online platform. I will get back to this aspect after I run through some other ideas about successful selling.
At the beginning of my blog, I have mentioned the danger of losing your money or product in the online world. Be trustworthy, remove every doubt concerning your credibility, and be transparent as possible. In order to understand the buyer’s concern, you yourself have to become an online shopper. If you do so, you can see how things go from both ways. Share your thoughts and experiences about online shopping, including also the negative ones. Try to offer an alternative answer to your buyers regarding typical issues that might encounter when purchasing. Another important thing to keep in mind when you sell something online is that you have to become an expert in your field. The idea is when someone wants to buy what you also have for sale you have to create your own brand. You have to be one who pumps in the mind of the buyers. In case of selling expensive items, adding more information about yourself is more important, especially if you are a new seller. People indeed read these to try and find out more about you, so it’s a good place to explain your credentials, such as being a collector, a retailer, a person with knowledge of particular items.
Concerning the external parts of your online selling (shop design, photos, description, price) it is essential how you manage it. With the design, it is good if you look around, and do a little bit of research. Read feedbacks about sellers who have had their design done by the company with whom you would like to work. Try to make good quality photos, make an appealing name, a proper description which meets the needs of buyers. Try to offer solutions via your products, and if possible try to show value. Look at how others do it, get inspired and be better. It is important to evaluate you potential profit via and to make a good decision on how much are you willing to invest in this activity. If you have products that have a great chance of being bought, and have a high value, and you managed to reach the target audience it is good to invest in a well made shop design.
Let’s get into details regarding the online selling process. First you need to open an eBay account. After that as I mentioned try to buy some stuffs and see how things work when purchasing online.
Build your reputation by buying a few small items. One important way that eBay maintains itself as a safe marketplace is by encouraging buyers and sellers to leave feedback about each other. Buyers look at sellers’ feedback ratings, and buying a few items is the quickest way to add positive ratings to your profile.
Try buying small items that you want or need anyway, and pay immediately to get good feedback as a buyer. Don’t worry about buying things you can’t sell after a while. The main thing is to present as a reliable member of the eBay community whom buyers can trust. Potential buyers who see a new seller without feedback can think that you’re a “fly-by-night” seller, and they may hesitate to buy from you.
Create a good profile
It’s not necessary to have a very elaborate profile if you are just selling small items, but adding a picture and some information can help reassure buyers that you are a legitimate seller.
For selling more expensive items, adding more information about yourself is more important, especially if you are a new seller, and if you want to make a long term activity by selling online than try to look for a creative shop design. Let people see, that you feel in a gap, a need on the market and among the customers. Having a well made shop design has several advantages. The most important one is that you give a serious image of yourself to the buyers.
People indeed look at these to find out more about you, so it’s a good place to explain your credentials, such as being a collector, a retailer, a person with knowledge on particular items, etc.
Research your market. Search eBay for items like those you want to sell, and read the listings, especially completed listings which have sold for a good price, or current listings that have attracted a lot of bids. Take note of what sort of information or photos you find most helpful for you as a potential buyer, the same type of information will be helpful to your potential buyers.
Let s talk a little bit more about the items themselves. As I mentioned earlier, you need to have good quality pictures.
As you can see you just need to be creative, and buy some tools, and you can already make photos suitable for the purpose. Just as if you were taking photos of a beautiful model, your products need to also look their best. An object such as a cup, kettle or watch may need just a little bit of a clean before you start taking your pictures, while some small faults can be fixed up in programs such as Adobe Photoshop . If you have a model for presenting products, for example a person with a watch on his arm, you wouldn’t want to see dirty finger nails. Lighting is also important in making a good photo. Luckily the basic equipment you need is not as expensive as it used to be and there are great cheaper alternatives available that can achieve similar results without costing too much.
Your lighting can be something you pick up from your nearest large hardware chain who often have offers on industrial lighting or garage lighting for example.
If you are looking to take photos of large and small products your lighting may require different positioning. One great tip is to have some industrial tape handy and mark out any light positions of the camera, reflectors or you objects themselves. When you wish to come back and work on your product photography over a period of days you will not need to start from scratch each time when you set up.
Let me talk a little more about the description. As I said, you need to meet the demands of the market. In order to do this, you need to create your description is this manner. Here are some tips: 1.Put the most important information at or very near the beginning of the list put some key words in the description, so the search engine finds you easier.
2. Keep the design simple, if you see the need to design a listing at all. Some sellers clutter their listings with unrelated elements that that it makes the listing itself more difficult to read. Let the pictures and your text speak to the buyer.
3 Choose moderately large, easy to read text fonts for your listing and don’t overdo animation, clashing colours and other distractions. Remember some buyers have poor eyesight and prefer large print. Think of “large print books” as an example of text size.
4. Be clear about any defects in the item. Buyers will find this out anyway, so let them decide for themselves what might be a problem and what is not. Clearly describing an item mistake will build buyers’ confidence and make them more likely tobuy your item.
Setting the price
With the price I say the same thing as with the description. Set your price according to the market situation and of course how much you paid for the item, your time, eBay fees, and how much it costs to ship. Set it too high, and no one will buy your product. Set it too low, and you’ll probably end up losing money on the sale. The trick to setting the right price is to know your competition and your target customers. Search eBay for similar products and monitor how their auctions are going. Which items are getting the most bids? Which items are getting the biggest bids? Check out eBay’s “Completed Listings” to get an idea of what the selling price has been for your item. Once you have a general feel for how your product sells on eBay, you’re ready to post it.
Now, while there isn’t a single ‘best’ starting price, there are many good ones. Based on your research, and depending on your product, sometimes setting the average selling price as your starting price, and then listing a slightly higher price will net you with more profit. Something that also works is setting a starting price that is slightly lower than competition. If you are selling a less-expensive product, try starting the auction low and see at what price it sells. On your next listing, set the start price at what it sold at, and repeat the process. Regardless of how you choose to sell, the best way to learn will be from knowing your competition and, ultimately, trial and error. It is possible to change the price at any time with fixed priced items, or before the first bid is placed for auction items.Lower starting bids attract more bidders and interest in your item, and may well result in your item selling for more, but if an item doesn’t generate enough interest or isn’t visible enough, you may get a very low final selling price.
There is an option to set a “reserve” price for your item while offering a low starting bid, but eBay charges extra for this and some buyers find it annoying.
Don’t overcharge for shipping and handling. While it’s sometimes helpful to tweak the shipping price a bit to be able to offer a lower price, and account for handling and supplies, most buyers will be put off by obviously inflated shipping charges. Keep an eye on the invoices that eBay sends you and be a timely payer. You will get commission fees and other fees over time from listing and you need to make regular, full payments in order to be able to continue listing your items for sale. While the fees might initially surprise you, treat them as very much a part of your business expenses and soon you’ll remember that these need to come off the costs of your products and efforts.
Who’s going to be your buyer?
You need to find the gap, the group of people who are looking for what you sell. Try reading forums, blogs about groups of people, who would want to buy online, read their concern, read about their problems, and this way try to offer the solution suitable for them. If you can manage to make personalized solutions for online searchers, than you have a big advantage in the field.
Good shipping is essential to have satisfied customers, and to monitor your own orders. Even if you had good sales, if the customer doesn’t receive the packages properly, you can have negative feedback. Let me show you some tips on this. First you need to have a good online platform where you can monitor your outgoing packages. Secondly you have to acceptable shipping prices that are ok on the market compared to other shipping companies. You have to define important shipping policies like:
What are my processing times?
Will I offer insurance on all packages, or only some?
Will I accept returns, and will I reimburse buyers for return shipping costs?
What will I do when items are lost or damaged in the mail?
What mail providers do I use?
What shipping methods do I offer, and what are their average shipping times?
Will I offer expedited shipping?
Will I ship internationally?
Am I taking all the steps that will make me eligible for Seller Protection?
Will I ever offer free shipping?
These conditions need to be known by the buyers, and they need to be adjusted to buyers’ situation. By buyers’ situation I want to say: shipping distance, region, country, continent where they have their residence. You can give as well discount on shipping if the buyer purchased a certain amount, or give a discount above a certain value or quantity.
Selling on eBay and making ecommerce can be a great challenge and a great opportunity to find new business opportunities. Being authentic and being reliable is also important. As I went through some ideas, you need to be aware of these rules in selling in eBay, and last but not least you have to constantly follow any possible modifications in terms of policy on eBay.