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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 25817  
Subject: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 1:12 PM
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Greetings, all, I am a relative eBay novice having only bought in the past. Like many, I have some items I'd like to sell and I came here to read a little bit about eBay from the seller's side. I got interested in the recent thread on sniping and learned about the website auctioninsights.com in which there is a PDF book referenced: "Make Your Net Auction Sell."

What I'm now wondering is 1) does anyone have any opinions on the value of this book? 2) does anyone have any other opinions on alternative resources for learning about effective eBay selling?

I have to learn the whole enchilada - I am not a web page designer and I've never even taken a digital photograph, let alone uploaded one, so clearly I would benefit from anyone's kind and sage advice on how to get started simply and effectively. I'm actually very willing to learn how to do any necessary design work but basically need to know where to go next. THANKS in advance for any observations and advice!

xraymd
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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18075 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 1:22 PM
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What I'm now wondering is 1) does anyone have any opinions on the value of this book?

I haven't read that eBook but I am familiar with the people who produce it. They do publish some good information on other topics. I might be wrong here, but I think they offer a money-back guarantee on the eBook, so you can't go wrong.



I have to learn the whole enchilada - I am not a web page designer and I've never even taken a digital photograph, let alone uploaded one, so clearly I would benefit from anyone's kind and sage advice on how to get started simply and effectively.

You can do everything you need to right on eBay's "Sell Your Item" page.
My advice is to get started and learn to enhance your auctions as you go.

ShelbyBoy

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Author: ROTJob Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18076 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 1:23 PM
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What I'm now wondering is 1) does anyone have any opinions on the value of this book? 2) does anyone have any other opinions on alternative resources for learning about effective eBay selling?

My number one bit of advice is this:

Do not spend a single penny to have someone else teach you about eBay.

You can learn everything you need to know from looking at the ebay site and reading the help section. There has been a huge growth of piggyback businesses trying to capitolize on eBay's success. My local vo-tech is even teaching classes on eBay. Ridiculous!

Don't fall for it. Everything you need is right there. It's fast, easy, and free. Just read up on it. Look at other auctions and find styles and ideas that you like. This is a great way to get new ideas.

The only services I actually pay for are paypal, and auctionworks. As a new seller, you will not need services like auctionworks or auctioninsights for quite a while until you get the hang of things.

My advice is, click the "SELL" tab on ebay and walk through the forms yourself and see how easy it really is. If eBay was hard, no one would have used it to begin with. Just take it slow and easy and you will do fine.

Good luck to you!

ROTJob

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18077 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 1:29 PM
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You can learn everything you need to know from looking at the ebay site and reading the help section...Everything you need is right there. It's fast, easy, and free.


I've been selling on eBay for years and I disagree with this. Most of what I have learned about eBay has come from sources other than eBay.

As one example, it's much easier to learn about and dissect new features on this board than on eBay.

ShelbyBoy

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Author: ROTJob Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18078 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 1:35 PM
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As one example, it's much easier to learn about and dissect new features on this board than on eBay.


Do you read the eBay message boards? They dissect things as far as you could ever want.

Anyway, I am really cheap. I learned it on my own one item at a time and then later sought out the services I thought I would like to use. I just hate to see new people pay for an 'education' on ebay. I guess if I was goign to recommend something, it would be eBay for Dummies. It is a good basic book that covers most topics. The problem with books is that eBay changes on a weekly basis, so any print book is already out of date.

I think it all boild down to different strokes for different folks. Do what you are comfortable with.

As far as sniping, check out esnipe. Last time I checked it was free. But if you jsut enter your true high bid the first time, you do not have to worry about snipers.


ROTJob

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18079 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 1:48 PM
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Do you read the eBay message boards? They dissect things as far as you could ever want.

Yes. And I find I have to wade through a lot of useless information to get the facts.

I've been on this board for years and I can remember time after time when a new feature or policy of eBay was implemented and I learned about it here, in detail, and not from eBay.


ShelbyBoy

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Author: Chapter3 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18080 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 2:47 PM
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I have to learn the whole enchilada - I am not a web page designer and I've never even taken a digital photograph, let alone uploaded one, so clearly I would benefit from anyone's kind and sage advice on how to get started simply and effectively.

Hi xraymd,

If you connect to the internet via AOL, here's a great tutorial on uploading pics to eBay from AOL:
http://twaze.com/aolpix/

Best of luck,

Kevin

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Author: reader99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18081 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 3:09 PM
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I really think for simple selling just filling out the "sell your item" form and clicking the blue help links along the way would at least get you started. Start with a small inexpensive item, if you mess up it's just .30 listing fee. I never bother with the featured stuff that costs extra, like bold and gallery, I sell inexpensive items.

THe instruction book with your camera will help you get the pictures into your computer. When you get to the picture part of the auction click 'browse' and it lets you search through your directories to where you save the picture and you just click on it and there it is. Some things can be scanned instead of photgraphed, like books or videos.

I learned a lot on the ebay board at www.auctionwatch.com. You have to register with a credit card to post, but can read it all without registering. Not about how to create and auction, but about what is selling, handling slow and no-payers, etc

Reader99
Ebay seller


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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18082 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 4:08 PM
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I'm not an eBay seller, and haven't a clue what resources are worthwhile. But I do have one observation.

Before you start shelling out any money for tips and advice, you might want to take a look at how much you're planning on selling, and what you think it might garner at auction.

If you're just cleaning out the attic, selling off a bunch of junk and hoping to earn a few bucks out of it, it's unlikely that any book (no matter how well written) can make enough of a difference to be worth any substantial investment.

On the other hand, if you're planning on selling great-great-grandma's priceless Revere silver collection, knowing what you're doing can make a big difference in your pocketbook.

If you don't mind our prying, what sort of things are you planning on selling? Are they especially valuable? Are we talking about a handful of items, or hundreds of listings?

Curious,

Albaby

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18083 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 4:43 PM
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Greetings, Albaby, and to everyone else who has been so kind to reply thus far!

I am thinking of selling the kinds of stuff probably most people start by selling - my cast-offs. But I'm choosing only the best of these: clothing in excellent condition, some unworn and new with tags (don't ask!).

The deal is that some of these items are from designer labels and would probably fetch a high price relative to their non-labeled counterparts (i.e. coat from a sought-after French designer, never worn, Hermes scarves never worn, etc.). I have very little of THESE kinds of items yet would hope to showcase them properly to make them appropriately attractive to their intended targets. So I am trying to learn how to do this well.

Reader99's suggestion of starting by selling something inexpensive and small makes excellent sense and this is what I will do at the beginning. I've already had good luck selling no-longer-wanted medical books on half.com but that seems to be a different style of selling than eBay is.

Finally, I may eventually have some more high-end specialty items (objets-d'art from the 1950s) but not until I understand the ropes of how to price, market and sell to the intended customer of these items, whether on eBay or not.

I don't have any ultimate intention of becoming a primary eBay seller (at least I don't plan on it!). I have just completed my medical residency and am in between that and starting to work. In the meanwhile, I have titanic levels of student loan debt which I would dearly love to retire, and the best way I know how at this time is to purge myself of old possessions that have demonstrated value in the eBay marketplace. I'm in a divestiture mood, anyway, so the timing is right to concentrate on how to sell off my stuff as appealingly as possible.

xraymd

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18084 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 5:04 PM
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But I'm choosing only the best of these: clothing in excellent condition, some unworn and new with tags (don't ask!).

I suggest looking at clothing categories on eBay for recently completed auctions. Look at the prices.

Consider your time and effort in taking a picture, developing a description, contacting the winning bidder at the end (assuming there is one), getting a shipping box, preparing the shipping box, taking the box to the post office, UPS, etc.

Now compare the closing prices to the effort required. Is it worth the effort? If Yes, proceed. If not, you might consider a Plan B. You might do better at a yard sale or consignment shop.



i.e. coat from a sought-after French designer, never worn, Hermes scarves never worn, etc

Name brands mean something to some people but not to others. If the people to whom it matters don't search for your items during your auction, are you prepared to sell them for a very low amount?

Remember, people will be looking for bargains on eBay. You'll be competing with the local thrift store, Goodwill store, yard sales, etc. And at those locations, the customer can touch and maybe try on the item before purchasing.

ShelbyBoy

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Author: BankerNoMore Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18085 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 6:39 PM
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The other thing I might add to the discussion is thinking about whether you like learning about computer stuff and whether you feel fairly skilled in this arena.

If you are into learning and doing yourself, purchasing a book either the online one or perhaps there's an "eBay for Dummies" book might be a good investment along with definitely browsing competitor's auctions to see how they're formatted, type of details in listing and title, how well they sell, what their counters read at auction end, what eBay extras they used in listing (look at their pricing or to see the many options and what they do and if any are of use), etc. As you may want to use a more fancy description including html and photos throughout and perhaps hosting the pictures yourself through your ISP, etc.

If you aren't into all that, it may be easier to just use eBay's sell your item format with just text in the description (all run together as it appears) and using eBay's photo-hosting.

Or, an in-between is to use one of the auction services out there that can help you with an attractive layout and can host your photos at an additional fee.

Good luck,
David

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18086 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/7/2002 11:08 PM
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Name brands mean something to some people but not to others. If the people to whom it matters don't search for your items during your auction, are you prepared to sell them for a very low amount?

Remember, people will be looking for bargains on eBay. You'll be competing with the local thrift store, Goodwill store, yard sales, etc. And at those locations, the customer can touch and maybe try on the item before purchasing.


Greetings, ShelbyBoy, you are quite correct about name brands meaning something to some of the people some of the time! I agree that there are bargain-hunters and, actually, the bulk of what I would hope to sell would be directed towards the bargain shopper (I am one as well!) and attractively priced. I'm thinking about making my bargain auctions "free shipping" and starting their prices commensurate with estimated shipping costs (taking weight and packing into consideration) already included. The books I've sold on half.com were the lowest priced ones in their quality class, so when I am ready to "move out the merchandise" I am quite willing to cut the price to the bone. This strategy would apply in particular to the more commonplace and inexpensive items (nonetheless in excellent condition) that I might wish to place for sale on eBay.

That said, there is still a category of shopper who is looking less for a steal than for a rare find (granted, a rare find at a steal is the holy grail). The very few "name brand" (i.e. high end designer) items I would offer for sale would be marketed not so much on rock-bottom price but on scarcity (as indeed some of these items are). I've looked around a little to determine that eBay is indeed an appropriate venue for certain of these items (primarily clothing) but agree that certain other items may be best sold through a local specialty dealer who specifically handles items like mine for sale at higher price points. To be sure, some of these items CAN be found on eBay but when it comes to verifying authenticity, for instance, it seems a lot easier to put the item in the hands of the local dealer who has the means to separately authenticate these items. I think it could be a hell of a hassle trying to be certain to satisfy a sight-unseen buyer on eBay who would be putting up (in some instances) a lot of money and who, understandably, would wish to be sure of the pedigree of a significant purchase. Better to do the transaction locally in this case.

xraymd



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Author: swapusa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18087 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/8/2002 1:00 AM
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xraymd,

As has been suggested by some others, I wold encourage you to just take the plunge and use eBay's own listing utility to list a few low priced items and learn the process. There is really not much to it. There are plenty free tutorials available for putting up pictures, so why spend money on a book that may or may not help you. I have looked at some books and publications that are supposedly written by eBay experts and PowerSellers, but most are not worth the paper they are written on. Also, keep in mind that eBay is constantly evolving and going through changes and no book can be as up-to-date as bulletin boards like this one or eBay's forums. Books are printed many months in advance and a lot of their info and tips may no longer even be applicable.

If you are trying to sell some expensive or rare high end designer clothing items and accessories, you need to assure your seller that you will not cheat them out of their money. Accepting credit cards through PayPal would be a good first step, so if you don't have a PayPal account, get one. Your feedback also helps. Most bidders shy away from sellers with no feedback, and a few low priced item auctions can help you build up the feedback rating.

Also, for every genuine high end designer item that you put up on eBay, there are probably 10 fake ones, so you need to somehow assure your bidders that your item is genuine. A photo of the original purchase receipt and close up photos of the tags could help.

For high priced items, consider paying for some premium listing options, such as Featured Plus (Featured in Category), Bold or Highlighted listing. For some high end brand names there are so many Featured Plus items that items that do not use that option will not even see the light of the day. For me, if a brand name item is expected to sell over $200, it is worth paying the $20 Featured Plus fee to bring it up to the top of the category.

Best of luck!

Mehran,

SwapUSA

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18089 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/8/2002 10:24 AM
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I'm thinking about making my bargain auctions "free shipping" and starting their prices commensurate with estimated shipping costs (taking weight and packing into consideration) already included.


Try it on a few items and see what happens.

FWIW, I tried it a couple of times and put the words "FREE SHIPPING" at the beginning, middle and end of the auction description thinking that would encourage bids. In the end, it didn't seem to matter. I went back to the usual practice of the buyer paying the shipping and the number and amounts of bids didn't seem to change.

ShelbyBoy

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Author: BankerNoMore Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18090 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/8/2002 11:19 AM
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About "Free Shipping" in auctions:

With my "buyer" hat on, I love it.
BUT, to be candid, I'm almost as happy with a seller who simply charges the actual cost (or cost rounded-up to nearest dollar) since I'm so accustomed to being charged more.

With my "seller" hat on, I completely agree with ShelbyBoy, even with the low-priced items I wouldn't do it as it seems most folks focus on the bid amount (unless the shipping charges are noted and sky-high).
Pay yourself first!

If you want to give the buyers a deal, just charge the actual USPS/UPS cost (or this amount plus a small and reasonable packing/supplies charge if the supplies cost much).

On the higher-priced items, I would also include insurance and, if shipped with USPS, delivery confirmation so there are no worries / disputes.

You can always waive shipping charges, if you want, this way too (if the item sells way above expectations or for a regular customer or never or...).

Dave

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Author: reader99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18091 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/8/2002 12:12 PM
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Yes, my buyers weren't impressed or attracted by free shipping. They DO want to know what the shipping will be. My items are all very similar so I use one fixed price. Many people will not bother to email for a shipping quote, they just go to another auction that makes it easy for them by spelling it out.

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Author: faithhope Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18092 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/8/2002 5:25 PM
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Just a thought... If you include the shipping costs in the initial bid, doesn't ebay take a % of the final sale price? and not a separate shipping cost? so if you are going to include it in the cost and offer "free shipping" you should pad the amount a little.
Faith

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18093 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/8/2002 5:38 PM
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...so if you are going to include it in the cost and offer "free shipping" you should pad the amount a little.


In general, if I list an item for $5 to start and an identical item for $1 to start, the $1 item will end up selling for more. The exception would be if this was a rare item and there was sufficient demand to run up both auctions.

There is something about people getting in on a bid while it's low and then staying with it. If you list your starting amount too high, you miss out on those opportunities.

ShelbyBoy

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Author: ROTJob Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18094 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/8/2002 9:13 PM
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There is something about people getting in on a bid while it's low and then staying with it. If you list your starting amount too high, you miss out on those opportunities.

That is precisely why i start out all of my auctions at a penny. Even the ones with reserves.

There is some psychological attraction to items with a large number of bids. It makes the item seem more in demand. Sure I always end up with jokers that bid 5, 11, and 49 cents on signed books that are easily worth $500. But those bids add up and they show up in the searches. When you see page after page of items in a search that have no bids...and then you see one with 5 bids, chances are you will stop and take a look at that item.

Just my 2 cents...


ROTjob

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Author: swapusa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18096 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/9/2002 10:14 PM
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In general, if I list an item for $5 to start and an identical item for $1 to start, the $1 item will end up selling for more. The exception would be if this was a rare item and there was sufficient demand to run up both auctions.

There is something about people getting in on a bid while it's low and then staying with it.


Shelbyboy,

What you are saying above is generally true, but there may be another reason your items with a $1 starting price sell for more. It is a little known and unadvertised secret of eBay. Here is the unadvertised special:

Quite frequently, eBay puts up links in the main category pages for items with a $1 starting price. And quite frequently, these links bring up items that originally started with a sub $1 price, regardless of where the price is at the moment. So, any item you list for $1 or less could get a lot lot more visibility. You will even get more visibility if you start your item at 1 cent because a lot of time eBay puts up links for items starting at less than $1 and sometimes for items starting at $0.01.

As an example, take a look at the "Jewelry,Gemstones, and Watches" category:

http://pages.ebay.com/catindex/jewelry.html?ssPageName=MOPS5:HJG01

At the time I looked at this page tonight, there were 5 different links on that page for items at $1. $ of the links were for $1 items and 1 link for below $1 items. One of the links seems to be there all the time in the "Related Items" box on the lowere left for "All Jewelry from $1."

Better yet, sometimes eBay puts up these links on its home page, giving huge visibility to sub $1 starting price items.

Of course, since we use BIN for almost all our auctions, we hardly use the sub $1 starting price, but before BIN, we used it almost 100% of the time.

cheers,

Mehran,

SwapUSA


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Author: swapusa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18097 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/9/2002 10:30 PM
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About Free Shipping offers:

I guess every seller's experience with free shipping offer could depend on the type of item being offered. Even though I don't dispute Shelbyboy's experience with free shipping, our results are completely the opposite. I offer free shipping on some of our lower priced video games, specially when there is a lot of competition. When supply is high, the word "Free Ship" seems to grab more attention and we typically end up selling the item much higher than the competing items that charge shipping. Our items are commodity items and competition is always high, so anything to grab attention helps. I add our normal fixed shipping cost to the item's starting and BIN price. For us, the Free Ship offers works best with low priced items, typically below $15.

For one of a kind items or items with low or no competition, you are probably better off without free ship offer. You end selling price will probably not change due to the free ship offer, so why pay the shipping cost out of pocket!

cheers,

Mehran,

SwapUSA

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Author: swapusa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 18098 of 25817
Subject: Re: Relative eBay newbie hopes for help Date: 10/9/2002 10:35 PM
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There is some psychological attraction to items with a large number of bids. It makes the item seem more in demand. Sure I always end up with jokers that bid 5, 11, and 49 cents on signed books that are easily worth $500. But those bids add up and they show up in the searches. When you see page after page of items in a search that have no bids...and then you see one with 5 bids, chances are you will stop and take a look at that item.



Agree with everything above. I just wanted to add that if an item gets more than 30 bids, then you get a "Hot" item icon next to your item if form of a burning flame. I liked the original "Hot" item icon before they changed it. It used to be the word "HOT" spelled in red with blazing fire coming from top of the letters.

cheers,

Merhan,

SwapUSA

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