eBay Tips and Tricks
Useful, free advice for active eBay profit seekers


7 Foolish Mistakes To Avoid If You Are New To Selling On eBay

(1) Keyword spamming

This is a sure fire way to make yourself look like a complete fool.

Basically, keyword spammers list words which are not related to the auction in the title to try and attract more visitors. Often the words they use have absolutely no relevance at all to the product they are selling.

For example:

ps2 the getaway not xbox nintendo pc sega
(from a listing found 1st November 2005)

This particular title is a very bad choice. Why on earth the seller decided to put "not xbox nintendo pc sega" in the title I do not know. Does he think that a potential XBox buyer will suddenly feel compelled to buy a game for another console? The only result of this is that a huge number of potential bidders will miss this auction.

The seller has overlooked the fact that anyone searching for "getaway playstation 2" will miss his auction. And people searching for that term are looking for his product!

A better title would be:

Sony Playstation 2 (PS2) Game - The Getaway - As New

Even worse than those who spam in the title are the sellers who spam in the subtitle. Searches on eBay do not include the subtitle so it is completely pointless keyword spamming in this way.

Instead of spamming, make sure you use the entire character allocation of your title and cram in as many keywords as possible.

(2) Feedback Gathering

One quick way to get to 10 or 20 feedback points is to buy lots of 1p ebooks from other eBay members.

The foolish newbie believes this to be a great way to increase feedback, after all, you can spend 1 and receive 100 positive feedbacks!

The problem comes when they start to sell products and their potential customers look through their feedback. When they see that the seller has purposely inflated their feedback by buying crap, it looks like a scammer's account.

Go about your eBay business professionally from the beginning. If you need feedback, sell some things you don't need from around the house. You'll soon build up some positive numbers next to your username.

(3) Trying to sell "resale rights" eBooks

One reasonably well-known information marketer recently made a massive mistake by selling an eBook with resale rights. Within a couple of days her 30 eBook was changing hands for as little as 5p (0.05).

Resale rights do not work on eBay because as soon as you sell an eBook with these rights someone even dumber than you will undercut your price. Then someone even stupider will undercut theirs. Next thing you know, several sellers are offering the eBooks, along with 10 or so more for 1p. The price drops within 48 hours and there is no real money left to be made.

If you want to sell eBooks on eBay, write them yourself and beware of other people trying to sell your work. Never try and sell someone else's work unless you have purchased the right to do so. You will get sued.

(4) They neglect to give prompt, polite service

When you list an item on eBay you can sometimes get someone who asks a very silly question or makes a ridiculously low offer. Always be courteous to these people, they may be future customers.

At the same time, when you do make a sale, ensure that the product is dispatched as soon as possible once payment is received. eBay buyers are very, very impatient. You may think that sending an item with 2 weeks is OK, most buyers want it within 2 days.

You can, and probably will, get negative feedback for being too slow or by appearing to be rude in email communication. Remember your manners, answer all questions in full and treat everyone as a potential life long customer and you will have an easier time on eBay.

(5) They sell the wrong products

The ideal eBay product is easy to source, easy to post and popular. When first starting on eBay it is a good idea to concentrate on selling small items such as CDs, DVDs, video games etc.

Buy bulk lots from eBay, break them up and list them seperately. Make sure your title, description and photos are clear and show the product for what it is. You will be surprised at the profit you can make just by doing this.

Also, steer clear of huge, bulky items. Selling plasma TVs may seem like a good idea but when you come to post your TV to the buyer, you will soon regret offering it for such a low price.

(6) They try to cheat their customers

New sellers can be very "wet behind the ears" and neglect to mention some damage to the item they are selling. If you do not mention a scratch or other significant damage on your item, the customer will return it and expect a refund. You may even receive negative feedback for your troubles.

And, more seriously, never, ever try to bid on your own auction to raise the price. You aren't the first person who thought of it and you won't be the last. Shill-bidding will land you in trouble with eBay and potential customers. A lot of buyers check a seller's previous sales. If they continue to see the same bidder bidding on your auctions they will refuse to buy from you and may even report you. eBay will then ban you.

(7) They over-charge on postage

Be fair with your customers and you will have a lot less hassle from them. Overcharging on postage may seem like a good idea to boost profits but what you will probably find is that any potential bidder will bid less for your item if the postage is too high. Always state your postage in your auction and you will get a higher price than if you do not.

Thanks for reading,