Imagine for moment that you are searching ebay for a product. Frequently your search will return a large number of similar products so you are faced with a choice. The odds are that in an auction, you will want to know exactly what the product is and to see a good quality picture. Without a good description and a suitable picture, you will be much less likely to bid.
Therefore, if you are selling on ebay you must observe the following:
- Provide a good, accurate listing title for the item. If the item is new -then say so. If it isn’t but it is in very good condition – then mention it. For example. Let’s assume you selling a used Pentax camera. (I am using this example as many people have saleable old cameras like this). You will frequently see a listing like this:
- “Used Pentax camera in good condition”
Unfortunately, this description will not attract much interest. You may sell it but you could have sold it for more by attracting more viewers with a different description like this:
“Superb Pentax SLR Super A camera in mint condition”
The first description doesn’t even mention what type of camera it is. Is it a film camera or a digital camera? It doesn’t say! Equally, it does not mention the model. Now the people who may be interested in this camera are likely to be fairly expert. They will know the make, the camera model and they will know it is a film camera and you have told them the condition.
There may be a significant number of enthusiasts who would be very interested in this camera. These will be high quality, serious visitors that will frequently bid.
Note: You must be accurate and truthful in your description or the winning bidder may well take further action if the item does not meet your claims.
The next rule is vital:
- Supply a good quality photograph so that your item can be clearly seen. This must appear in the gallery listing so that it is visible together with the description. The photo should show the item to its best advantage. Don’t simply prop the item up against a wall on a table and snap away. The odds are you will wind up with a mediocre result.
There should be no problem with the photo being out of focus. Modern digital cameras are all auto focus but the rest is down to you. If you hope to attract the maximum value for any item, you must invest a little time to achieve a good quality, clear picture. In the case of this example, you should use a plain background. Buy some art paper in black, white and maybe a few pastel shades as well. Buy two of each color and tape them together so that one leaf lies on a table and the other leaf is leaning against a wall.
In general, use a light colored background for dark items and a dark one for light items and get in fairly close to the item so that it nearly fills the frame.
- Watch out for reflections or hot spots caused by direct flash. This result will instantly show you cannot be bothered to go to the trouble of providing a decent picture and will immediately put some potential buyers off.
If possible, shoot your item outside on a bright day outside but out of direct sunlight. If you do this, you will get an excellent quality result and you will not need flash at all.
If you have to shoot inside you can use a separate flash placed a little way from the camera. There are many small, cheap flash units that will do the job well. You should consider this method if you sell regularly on eBay.
An alternative is to use a couple of small spotlights and tape some diffusing material over them like a piece of old (white) bed sheet but don’t let it get too hot! This gives a lovely soft diffused result. Move the lamps around until you have evenly illuminated the item, take several shots at slightly different camera and spotlight distances from the item, and then check the results.
- If you are selling an item like the camera example, then take shots of the top, bottom, front and back so every face of the camera can be clearly seen. Most potential buyers will want to see this. If you don’t do this, two things are likely to happen.
- OK. Now we come to the final stage. Make sure you include as lengthy a description of the camera as you can. The more details, the better. This includes:
The condition of the camera – good, very good, excellent or mint etc.
The full spec of the lens.
Are there any extra lenses included?
Whether it is in full working order.
Include the full camera specifications.
Whether it has any dings or scratches.
The condition of the lens (mould and scratch free etc)
Any extras included like filters, lens hoods or a case.
Whether it has a battery and whether it is new.
Whether you have owned the camera from new
Does it has a neck strap.
These are just some of the things you must include to maximise the sales value and to create confidence.
- In addition, don’t skimp on the packaging and make sure the item is well protected. If you say you are going to use first class post – do it.
This may seem a lot of trouble to go to sell an item on ebay but it doesn’t take a lot more time. It will, however make sure you get to sell your items for the maximum price by attracting more bidders. In addition, if your description and service is good, then you will get good feedback and create more confidence in future sales.
I have sold several cameras on ebay and learned the hard way. I can assure you will get 20% to 50% more if you take the trouble to use this guide.