I’ve been selling on eBay for several years now, and the more I sell, the better I get at it. And while online selling can have its ups and downs depending upon a variety of factors, I’ve realized that there are a few areas that have really made a significant impact upon my sales levels. These relative constants are simple rules that I follow to make my products appeal to the masses, yet I’m surprised at how many competitor products I see on a regular basis not following what seem to be quite common sense rules.
Pictures, pictures, pictures
Pictures can be an integral part of the online selling process. Especially when I’m trying to convey quality or give customers a better sense of the detail of the products I’m selling, ensuring that I have good pictures can mean the difference between a quick sale and no sale at all.
It’s amazing to me that with the availability of affordable cameras with very good picture quality and even the amazing photo quality of many cell phones these days, I still see a number of very poor quality pictures for online products. From fuzzy photos, to poor lighting, bad camera angles, or just too few photos, there is little excuse these days for not providing customers with a decent idea of what a product looks like.
Detail and description
I make an effort to describe my products and be as detailed as possible when putting them out for customers to view. I find that it goes against my personal views of ethical business practices to try to hide any flaws or defects. Not only does this break my golden rule of doing business (treating others the way I would want to be treated), but they’re likely to discover such defects eventually anyway. Not only would this likely disappoint buyers, but would probably result in a lack of repeat business as well as poor buyer ratings, which could in turn result in loss of good standing or even my seller account as a whole.
Reasonable pricing and affordable shipping and handling charges
While I would love to make a killing on every product I sell, this typically isn’t the case. I have to balance my product prices with what is fair and reasonable, with what will make me a profit, and that will make it worth the time it takes me to purchase, list and describe my item. I also have to consider my competition’s prices when determining pricing of my own as well as how long it will take a product to sell at a particular price, which could affect my cashflow for purchasing additional inventory.
And while I would love to be able to pay the shipping and handling chargers for every product I sell online, sometimes it just isn’t profitable. However, this doesn’t mean that I have to jack up my shipping charges to compensate. For items where my profit margin allows, I sometimes offer free shipping. For those items where my profit margin is a bit tighter though, I often pass this expense on to the customer. Sometimes I charge a little less than it actually costs me to ship though, and share this expense with a buyer, helping to ease the pain for both sides.
The author is not a licensed financial or sales professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.