5 More Common Mistakes for First Time Sellers to Avoid

eBay selling does not have a guaranteed pathway to success. New eBay sellers are lucky, however, to be able to take advantage of the experience of thousands of sellers before them to avoid the initial selling pitfalls. Following on from our last guide, here are five more common mistakes for first time eBay sellers to avoid.

6. Poor photo quality

Seeing is believing on eBay and that’s exactly why including photos are so important to a listing. Not only that, but the photos need to be good too. Too many new sellers will quickly snap a couple of shots of their item without much thought. The better the range and quality of photos, the more confidence a buyer will have to purchase the item. Confident buyers mean more sales and therefore more profit.

Avoid this mistake:

Take multiple photos – One or two is just not enough. Include multiple photos of items in listings, with different angles and adjusted positioning.

Always document damage – Use a camera’s zoom feature to focus in on any damage to avoid misleading buyers to the item’s condition.

Avoid stock photos – Using stock photos may indicate to buyers that you do not have the item. For more photo tips, check out our How to Take Great Photos guide.

7. Starting auctions too high

It is normal for new sellers to overestimate the value of used items. This is typically seen in auction listings when the starting price (or reserve) is exceptionally high. The truth is that a high starting price can kill interest in the listing altogether, leaving the item unsold.

Avoid this mistake:

Go low: Keep auction start prices and reserves low to attract buyers. If a bidding war starts, the end price could be much higher than anticipated.

Trust the market: Used items, even in excellent condition, do not have the same value as brand new retail stock. Reassess expectations and have faith that most items sell at a price approximating fair market value.

8. Failing to update listings

Good ‘Til Cancelled listings are great for the busy seller who doesn’t want to waste time creating listings over and over again. Something that should not be forgotten, however, is that these listings may benefit from improvements as eBay standards change over time. Without occasional updates, the listing may lose relevance and visibility to buyers.

Avoid this mistake:

Keep informed – eBay publishes regular updates to keep sellers informed of changes on the website. In the Fall 2016 update on eBay.com for example, it was confirmed that active content on item descriptions will no longer be allowed after June 2017.

Regularly check listings – Read through every listing at frequent intervals, looking for irrelevant content and any potential updates or upgrades to improve the listing.

9. Not using eBay sales insights

If a seller makes more profit, eBay is also more profitable. It is for this reason that eBay offers several useful tools for sellers to track, and hopefully improve, the success of their listings. The new Seller Hub dashboard, for example, helps to identify top performing items and offers insights to help optimise listings. Sellers who do not take advantage of these tools are missing out on potentially extremely useful advice.

Avoid this mistake:

Start using Seller HubeBay’s new selling dashboard is completely free to use and presents information in a simple and clear way.

10. Scaring off buyers with a ‘no returns’ policy

Many new sellers try to avoid dealing with returns by having an inflexible return policy featured on their listings. Not being able to potentially return an item after purchase can be very off-putting to buyers who may already be nervous about purchasing from an unknown individual on eBay. Refusing to accept returns damages buyer confidence and is also not favoured by eBay.

Avoid this mistake:

Consider offering returns – Listings that allow returns are attractive to buyers. Check what other eBay sellers in your field are doing regarding returns and remain competitive.

Accept that returns are part of eBay selling – The truth is, occasional returns are inevitable as sellers are required to abide by eBay’s Money Back Guarantee.

Concentrate on customer service – The better the listing description, photos and service is, the less likely a buyer is to request a return.

Are there any mistakes you made as a new seller that you haven’t seen mentioned already? Share in the comments below!

Gemma is our all things eBay expert. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Canada and travels extensively. You can read about her travels at her blog Off Track Travel.

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