The decision to live with more simplicity in my life comes at a great cost. And by cost I mean in terms of realising the amount of clothes I have worn and won’t wear again as well as (god forbid) never even worn once. :S The amount of things lying around contributing to this cost in money and space in my tiny room was too high for me to handle anymore so I embarked on the scary journey of selling my stuff online. More space, more money and someone else can enjoy what I no longer do? What’s not to like? 😀
When I first began I didn’t know specifically what to do other than the basic process of 1) Putting pictures and a description up 2) Waiting for people to buy it and receive the payment and 3) Mailing the item out. The steps seemed simple enough but I soon began to realise I had oversimplified it all and was bumping into some obstacles I didn’t anticipate to encounter.
From my own experience I’d like to point out a few things for you to keep in mind when selling a few of your belongings for the first time as a casual seller. When becoming a seller the single most important thing to remember is to think about your listings in the buyers point of view that you’ve probably been in many times before because this way you can make it easier for them to purchase your item.
NUMBER ONE: Take nicely lit and detailed pictures
You wouldn’t buy from someone who doesn’t bother to make sure the photos of their item are properly lit and it’s important features are shown in the pictures, so why would you expect someone else to? Bad pictures just looks shady, dishonest and sloppy on your part.
Select a nice neutral background, good lighting whether indoor or outdoor and a good camera to take pictures. With the smartphones nowadays, I’m sure the camera on those would be good enough and it’s an added bonus because you can directly send the images to your dropbox to upload and create a listing. SCORE! 😀
NUMBER TWO: Be realistic about the prices of your items, monitor their progress in terms of views and watchers and adjust them if they’re really not selling
I remember from somewhere that we tend to believe that the value of our items are higher than if we were to buy the same item from another. It’s only natural but it makes it very easy to overestimate when you price an item so be reserved and logical. Understand the demand for the product, the market value of it and even such things as the materials it’s made of.
On eBay it’s very easy to check the amount of people who’ve clicked on the item and are “watching” it. This indicates the interest buyers have in your item and shows that the item and that price has a high chance in selling. The listings that have few views and no watchers for a long period of time have to be revised and the price lowered reasonably.
Take into account the fees that you’ll incur when using eBay and Paypal when selling. Depending on the type of item and it’s price it was sold at (including the shipping costs) you will be charged separate fees by both eBay and Paypal. Hefty I know, but keep it mind so that you get something back in the end.
NUMBER THREE: Know the weight of your item, shipping and shipping material costs
As shipping is a really big cost to selling your items you will have to be as accurate and cost effective with shipping. Purchase your packaging from (you guessed it!) eBay in small bulk packs rather than separately for about $1 each at a post office. Also know how heavy the item is in case you mistakenly charge a lower price to the buyer for shipping than you have to pay at the post office.
You can do this by grabbing a booklet at your local post office with all the details on how you are charged postage to refer to.
NUMBER FOUR: Check the keywords and search terms used by others selling similar items and appropriate relevant ones into your listing
Ahh SEO and search rankings, the magic makers of the world of the Internet so much so that if you don’t do it correctly your customers find it hard to locate your item. In order to maximise the chance of selling, make it easy for people searching different things to come to the same item.
For example, rather than titling it something simple like “Black dress size 8” try to add more descriptive words. Turn it into “NEW sexy party cocktail silk black strapless frilled dress size 8” so that people who search very different things as “cocktail dress” “sexy dress” “black frilled dress” etc can all be directed to the same item. More traffic means more chance of people buying it. Kaching!
NUMBER FIVE: Be honest about the description of the item and detail any damaged areas
After directing people to click on the item listing they want to see the details on the item. Along with clear pictures, the clearer the description about the item and its flaws (if any) the less risk the buyer perceives about buying from you. Also it’ll work out better in the end as you will receive better feedback from buyers who got exactly what they expected from you. Nasty feedback kills some of the confidence that future buyers have in your honesty and this may lead them to hesitate to buy from you.
NUMBER SIX: If you received a payment with Paypal, send the item to the Paypal name and address not the one on eBay
Many buyers have the same name and address on their eBay and Paypal accounts so it hadn’t dawned on me that it was possibly that they can be different and cause the trouble it could. Due to most transactions being carried by Paypal now, it’s safe to say that the item should be sent to the name and address on the Paypal account it was paid through.
This is because if you do not send it to the one Paypal shows and the item is undelivered resulting in a dispute then you are not covered by their Seller’s Protection. Better safe than sorry for yourself in case some people seriously cannot be bothered to double check if both their eBay and Paypal addresses match up yet think it’s okay to go shopping online with messy details.
NUMBER SEVEN: When writing the address on the envelope double check it to make sure it’s correct
I had this blunder once of writing the wrong number on an address and from then on I’ve double, triple and even quadruple checked the address was right because I had to pay for the shipping twice due to this mistake. And the second time I sent it with express shipping as well! Don’t be an enemy with money, just check it to make sure.
NUMBER EIGHT: Write your return address on the package
Last but not least, remember to add a return address to the package just in case it needs to be returned. Like in the case I mentioned just before, in order to send the item to the correct address again it needed to be sent back to me safely and the return address helped make it just that bit easier.
Please like/share/comment if you enjoyed the tips in this post. 🙂
Happy selling! ❤