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Free Ebay Seller Tips Question

Paul asks…

Have you had positive experiences with Ebay?

I have never bought anything off of ebay, but I really want to. I am just kind of skeptical about it and was wondering if more people have had positive experiences than negative. Explain your situation. Thanks!

scottparat answers:

Yes, it is safe, and I both buy and sell. But here are some suggestions for you:

1. Read the listing with a magnifying glass! That is right. Sellers may try to put loads of text in there and then at the bottom say, “By the way this is broken.” (Extreme example). But the point is know fully what the item is, the condition, and ask any questions before buying.

2. Check feedback! Make sure they have been on eBay a while, and make sure they have good feedback. Read their shipping policy, etc. To make sure that you want to do business with the seller.

3. Use a CREDIT CARD when paying through paypal ONLY! Here is why: When you check out, paypal gives you the option to deduct the money from your paypal account, or select another funding source (checking account/credit card, etc.). Select your credit card. That way, if the buyer turned out to be a scammer and never send the merchandise, you can call your credit card company and file a fraud charge and chargeback the amount. Of course, only do that if you really got scammed.

4. Make sure your address is up-to-date with paypal/ebay before buying. Sometimes people move and the items get shipped to their old address because they forgot to change it.

5. If you have a problem, be nice and contact the seller and explain. Some sellers have “all sales are final” listings and don’t take returns. Others may have a return policy. Again, research what you are going to buy so you know what you get, the seller’s policy, and all of that.

Follow those tips, and you should have a pretty good experience overall. You can find some good bargains many times.

Have any other questions or need advice about it, you can ask me on my blog below. I also have some free eBay templates and things if you ever decide to sell.

Linda asks…

I’m trying to sell some new and used shoes on Ebay, but not having much luck. How can I get more business?

I’m new, so any help would be great. I’ve described them pretty well, included brand names, etc. but still no luck. I don’t have the money to offer free shipping right now, but I did offer multiple item shipping for one flat rate. Any other suggestions?

scottparat answers:

Normally, you would add the price of shipping, into your opening bid. That’s how seller’s are affording the free shipping.

Generally, you want to save on listing fees and let the (ebay) market to set the closing price. In most cases, this means starting the initial price at $9.99 or less. However, the only exception is for expensive items. With the current recession and sales at ebay (and most everywhere else) soft now, you don’t want to get burned. Use you discretion with expensive items.

Some tips that may be helpful to you……….

Be honest and accurate in your descriptions – One-sentence descriptions are for lazy sellers. One paragraph should be sufficient for most items. My general guideline is the more expensive (read higher priced) an item, the more you should ‘talk it up.’ It won’t be time wasted. Use lots of adjectives in your descriptions. Adjectives make prose and your items come alive. Without them, prose is dull and your items less appealing. Just add a little ‘sizzle’ and even have a little fun with it. In short, make your descriptions stand out above the crowd.

Be professional – use good English with no spelling errors


ALWAYS include at least one picture, more pictures for higher priced items. Make sure your pictures are clear. There are far too many pictures on ebay that are dark. If prospective buyers can’t see your items clearly, your items, more than likely, will not fetch the closing prices they deserve. To remove darkness, use any photo editor to add some brightness and a wee bit of contrast.

Eliminate clutter. Prospective bidders don’t want to know what kind of cereal you eat or what kind of kitchen table or bedspread you have. Use a SOLID backdrop when taking your pictures as you want to focus all of the attention on your item. In short, the one and only thing you want in your picture is the item being sold. A SOLID white or light blue backdrop is best. However, there are certainly items that won’t show well on a light backdrop. In these cases, use a darker backdrop. And for gosh sake, don’t even think of using a plaid blanket as a backdrop for your pictures as I once saw on ebay. You should also crop the photos in your photo editor. Good pictures can add 5% to 10% to final closing prices.

GOOD DESCRIPTIONS + GOOD PICTURES = GOOD PRESENTATION. This is what you should strive for.


GOOD Communication is a must – Always notify buyers when you mail their items. It is not only a courtesy you would want and expect as a buyer but it is also both good customer service and good business practice. After all, you are the ‘President & CEO’ of your ‘company’ running your business but using ebay as your selling medium. In short, conduct your business so that it reflects well on you as a person. Treat everyone as a human being, not a living being and this includes people who have inquiries about your items, not just your buyers. Prospective buyers making these inquiries could ultimately be the winning bidders and possible repeat customers.


Do not limit your auctions to one country. SELL WORLDWIDE. The reason is elementary. You now have access to the largest market ebay has to offer. Limiting your auctions to only one country also limits your potential profits. A basic business tenet is, ‘the greater the potential market, the greater the potential to maximize profits.’ But do note in your listing that PayPal is the only form of payment you will accept from overseas bidders/buyers. Through experience, you will learn that there are certain problem countries. Italy seems to be one of them. Mail sent to buyers in Italy very often ‘mysteriously disappears.’ If this is the case, just note in your listing you sell to all countries EXCEPT (name(s) here).

However, if you decide to limit sales to only one country, such as the USA, never say NO when you receive an email asking if you would ship to Taiwan, Germany, Australia or wherever. The reason is that you have a ‘FISH ON THE HOOK!’ This person will bid! When he or she does, this may force a previous bidder to enter another, higher bid or force later, first time bidders to come in with higher bids. So always say YES to these emails if you want to maximize your profits. But do say that PayPal is the only form of payment you will accept from these overseas bidders

Avoid selling ‘nickel and dime’ items. People who list and sell a steady stream of items that close for $5 or less are wasting their time. Less expensive, similar items ($5 or less) are best sold as a group to save time. If you have a large number of these cheaper, similar items, divide them up into sub lots of three, four or five.

More expensive (higher priced), similar items are best sold individually to maximize profits. There are ebay ‘vultures’ who just love to swoop down on similarly grouped items in one listing. When they win these auctions, they turn around and sell the items individually and, in mo

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