Give Your eBay Business a Tune Up

ebay tips and strategies to increase sales and profits

A lot of folks sell on eBay to clean out their garage or attic and perhaps to make a little extra money on the side. But, if you are starting or running an eBay business to build a second income or start a home business, it pays to optimize your eBay auctions if you want to really make money on eBay. 


Here are some of the steps you can take to do this:


Bundle products – Bundle a less desirable item with a more desirable item increases sales. This is a tried and true marketing technique. If the bidder wants the better item he has to buy both. If two sellers offer the same item, the buyer bids on the two-item auction. Bundling two low-cost items together also increases bids. A buyer may not be willing to pay shipping for one item, but might pay for two.

Sell similar or same category products at the same time – Bidders look to see what else you have for sale they might be interested in. So if you are selling Combined shipping saves postage for the buyer. Packing in the same box saves time and packing costs for the seller.

Practice cross selling – Once you list similar items be sure and practice cross selling.  List the other items you sell in your other auctions with an active link right in your auction description to see your other auctions.  I use Vendio to manage and launch my auctions.  They have a scrolling marquee that displays all of my items for sale that is inserted automatically at the bottom of each auction description.

Sesonal sales – Don’t sell winter gloves in July, or swimming goggles in January. Be sure to offer seasonal items early enough to allow for shipping. Don’t expect to sell many Christmas items that must be shipped after the second week of December.

Understand your profit margin and look for products that have a higher average selling price (ASP)  Don’t buy to resell for only a $5 profit when you can make $20 on a different item. Determine your desired monthly income and choose products appropriately. Want to make 1000 a month? That is $250 a week. That’s ten successful actions at $25.00 profit, or five items at $200 a month, or ten items at $100 each. Also packing 10 items takes less time than packing 20 items. Always consider time as a cost.

Upsell during the payment communication process – Offer complimentary products during the payment process or on your auction store/web site. If you sell underground fences for dogs, an up-sell item is a customized collar. A secondary product could be a pet door. Another secondary product could be an e-book on “Travel Safely With Your Pet”. A back-end sale to the e-book could be an item that helps your family travel safely with your pet.

Build a mailing list – For many successful online sellers the mailing list is where their real money is made. Using an autoresponder, sellers automatically email customers on their list at regular intervals. Include content with announcements of upcoming sales increases back end sales. Once a customer buys, they are more likely to buy again from same person or company. For information on autoresponders see this company.

Consider your customers – Collectors have expectations non-collectors don’t. Example, some book buyers that are allergic like to see “a book from non-smoking home” in your item description. This would earn you a higher bid. What does the customer expect to see in a description?

Terms and Conditions – Include eBay auction terms and conditions with each auction. What shipping options are available? Do you take questions? Do you ship only certain days? What kind of payments do you take? Type whatever standard terms you offer in a word processor and cut and paste into your auctions. This saves time. For some sellers, typing the content for each auction is one of the most time consuming tasks.

EBay is a great home business opportunity but the devil is in the details. Practice these eBay selling techniques and you will see your profits rise.

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