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EDITED TO ADD:
***LINKS OR COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR OWN EBAY AUCTION ARE NOT ALLOWED!****
This is considered a free ad and no, it's not allowed.
Almost Everything You need to know to Start Selling on Ebay
***Thanks and KUDOS to our friend Kris, aka iNTeNSeBLue98 for taking the time to put this together!! Anyone who would like to add to or make any changes please PM me or Kris!***
C.Ann and DMRick, among others, contributed to a helpful (albeit lengthy) thread informing fellow DIS members of a way to save money for a Disney vacation by selling unwanted items on Ebay. C.Ann’s original post, and the many replies from Ebay-veterans that followed, inspired more DISers to take the plunge. They began their own practice of cleaning out attics, basements and garages in an effort to put money aside for a trip to what we consider “the most magical place in the world”. The original thread grew by leaps and bounds to 380+ pages with over 5,000 posts – in less than one year! Because it grew so rapidly, much of the most useful information was lost among the pages. This FAQ aims to highlight the most important and helpful tips and tricks to make the most of the Ebay selling experience.
EBAY YOUR WAY TO DISNEY . . . the Basics
1.Register with Ebay, www.ebay.com by creating a unique username and password. It’s a good idea to use a combination of upper and lower case letters, mix in numbers and other characters for more protection. PROTECT YOUR PASSWORD – NEVER, whether verbally, or electronically, and especially through a link in an email, should you share your password or other private information regarding your account. Neither Ebay, nor PayPal, will ask for your password in an email. For more on protecting your account follow this link - http://pages.ebay.com/help/new/conte...rotection.html
2. You will need to verify your bank or credit card information when you register with Ebay. It is suggested that a separate checking account with a debit card be opened to handle your sales. Use this account exclusively for Ebay and PayPal to protect your other income/account(s) from fraud. It’s also a handy way to keep your new-found savings separate from your other income.
3. You may also want to set up an email account just for Ebay, again protecting your personal email, to avoid weeding through your regular messages for Ebay related mail. Many ISP’s offer multiple accounts, check with your provider, and there are a number of free web-based email sites as well – Yahoo and Hotmail from MSN, for example. If you’re concerned about personal privacy, you could also rent a post office box for your eBay “business” instead of using your home address when corresponding with buyers.
4. Opening a PayPal account is not necessary but it is beneficial for attracting higher bids. PayPal is an electronic “bank” that offers buyers convenience and protection for payments. Buyers like the satisfaction of instantly transferring funds from their linked bank account, electronic check (echeck), or credit card. PayPal eliminates the hassle of running out to purchase a money order and stamps, and there’s no need to wait for a personal check to “clear” when you cash it. Offering PayPal can also spur impulse bids. It is your preference to accept money orders, checks and other forms of payment, and whether you do so with the option of PayPal is entirely up to you. State your payment methods clearly in your listing.
5. Gather shipping supplies. A scale is important to accurately quote your shipping price. A basic kitchen scale works well for items weighing less than five pounds, a bathroom scale will suffice for items weighing more than a few pounds. Be sure to weigh items in packaging for the most accuracy. Shipping can be calculated through the link on EBay’s sell page or at www.usps.com. Determine if you will quote a fixed price for shipping or if you will have the buyer calculate the “real” cost of shipping. Fixed prices work well with lower cost shipments or when you have multiples of the same item and know the exact shipping rate. Use the calculated method for heavier items, as the postal zones will vary by location. You’ll need bubble mailers, bubble wrap and packing peanuts, boxes and tape to ship your items. Always be on the lookout for FREE shipping supplies - plastic crinkle bags (you know the blue walmart bags) - excellent free cushioning. Shredded newspaper works well, also. Box sources such as local businesses, gift shops, libraries, banks etc where they receive large supplies of envelopes, books, paper, office supplies. Also remember that Priority and Express Mail boxes and supplies are FREE from the Post Office but must be used for that purpose.
When preparing your shipments, think of how you would expect a package to be received. Package items carefully and neatly, your customers will appreciate your effort. If your item is fragile, be very careful to insulate it, consider double boxing it and have it marked fragile. Remember, these boxes are thrown often in the mailing process and you want it to arrive in one piece.
6. Search EBay’s active and completed auctions for items you are considering to sell. Look at the final sale price for closed auctions and the starting price for active listings. What are other sellers offering that makes your item more or less attractive to buyers? Is there demand for the item? If there are a number of completed listings that ended without bids, rethink your desire to auction the item. If it’s seasonal try another time of year. These factors will help you decide your starting bid. Be sure to add additional fees for auction features like Gallery photos, extended listing time, etc., in to your starting price or add a handling fee to your shipping when calculating your opening bid.
7. Take pictures of your item(s). A digital camera is preferred for ease of uploading and the ability to discard unwanted pictures without pricey film processing. Inexpensive models with a flash (a Jam Cam or Fuji ViviCam) are basic models for getting started. A flatbed scanner is good for flat items such as books or videos. If you only have a film camera, you can have a CD-Rom made at the time of processing. You risk paying for pictures that might not develop to your liking, but it is an alternative to purchasing a new camera if you already own one. Of course you can list without a photo, but many buyers like to see what they are considering purchasing.
8. From EBay’s “Sell” page, create your auction. Describe your item in detail, notate flaws, and be truthful. Add pictures, detail your terms of service (i.e. which forms of payment do you accepts, how/when will you ship, etc.) and submit. You can choose to start the auction immediately, or for a few cents extra pick a start time that suits your schedule. Determine how long your auction will be available. The standard is 7 days, but you can choose 1, 3 or 5 days as well as pay a few more cents for 10-day listings. The Start Time of the auction equals the End Time of your auction. Keep this in mind when publishing your listing and bear in mind that Ebay is on Pacific Time. Folks on the East Coast (of the U.S.) should carefully plan this in to listing schedules.
Another suggestion is to check the Ebay Calendar http://www.auctionbytes.com/Email_Ne.../calendar.html to get an idea of when to end and how long to run your auctions. It'll give you an idea of when most people are ON eBay so it raises the chances that your item will sell for a higher price.
9. Congratulations! Your item sold. Hopefully you will see many emails with this in the subject line. Ebay automatically sends you and the buyer email when your item sells (or doesn’t sell for that matter). There’s no need to hover by the computer waiting for the final bid and the close of the sale. Respond to the buyer (unless of course your buyer pays instantly with PayPal) with an invoice, available on the “My Ebay” page or send a personal message via email. Collect payment and ship in a reasonable amount of time, 48 hours is recommended. Again, your shipping terms should be clearly stated in your listing. If you are busy Monday and Thursday and there is no possibility of making a trip to the post office, mention the days you can ship, or post your listings to end in a manner to work with your schedule. Should your item not sell the first time you list, consider re-listing. You may want to select a different category, lower the price, edit pictures and/or description in order to attract bidders. If your item sells on the second try, Ebay will reimburse your listing fee.
10. Leave feedback. Though it has been of great debate as to when to leave feedback, it is important that you leave feedback for your buyers. Feedback ratings (the number next to a registered Ebay member’s name) profile a member’s transaction history. Each comment leaves an idea of what to expect from a member during a transaction.
EBAY YOUR WAY TO DISNEY . . . Tools of the Trade
1. Turbo Lister – free download from Ebay. http://pages.ebay.com/turbo_lister/i...=STRK:SRVC:010
This program allows the creation of listings when you aren’t online. It gives you the ability to save preferences, preview your listing and calculate fees prior to posting your auction.
2. PayPal – free Personal account allows anyone with an email address to collect or send money. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_home
PayPal also offers a Premier account that charges a fee per transaction (30-cents plus 2.9% of total), and allows you to accept credit card payments.
Now Paypal has added a print/hide postage feature very similiar to stamps.com. This prepaid box enables the consumer not to wait in line at the post office, HIDE the postage, and also have the postal fees come right out of the Paypal account. The fees from Paypal are as follows FREE for priority or express, and .20 label generation fee for all other means.
3. USPS Shipping Assistant – free download gives you the ability to print shipping labels on your home computer and printer. http://www.uspswebtools.com/shipping.../sa_splash.htm Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher (free download) http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
Printing labels with Shipping Assistant also provides free or reduced cost Delivery confirmation – free for Express or Priority Mail, 13-cents electronic confirmation other types of mail such as First Class, Media Mail or Parcel Post. Shipping labels for Priority Mail (and Express Mail) can also be printed free online with USPS. Delivery Confirmation is free with these labels. A laser printer is recommended, but most inkjets are fine (allow the ink to dry before handling). Cut the label (paper from your printer) in half and attach the bar-coded portion carefully to package, keep the other half for your records. If taping across the barcode, use caution not to create wrinkles.
4. Spare Dollar – auction management service http://www.sparedollar.com/corp/
Flat-rate pricing includes a multitude of features. Create listings, manage your account, track visitors and more. 30-day free trial.
5. Vendio – online sales management service http://www.vendio.com/
Various pricing plans for inventory management, post-sale manager, unlimited image hosting and super-sized images, custom templates, spell checker and more. Free trial
6. Andale – tools and services to help you sell on Ebay. http://www.andale.com/reg/create_login_page.jsp
Counters (free) allow you to see how many visits have been made to your listings. Other tools include What’s Hot and Research. Create listings, manage email and more. Some services require a low-cost paid subscription.
7. Stamps.com – Print postage from your computer. http://www.stamps.com/welcome/
Eliminate trips to the post office. Free no-risk trail with $80 bonus offer
8. USPS Postal Store - free Priority Mail and Express Mail supplies. http://shop.usps.com/cgi-bin/vsbv/po...+Priority+Mail boxes, envelopes, tape, labels – use only for specified mail services only
9. VERO Program – VErified Rights Owner Program). http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/item_allowed.html
Lists items permissible on eBay, questionable items, and items that are not allowed due to copyright or trademark are outlined.
10. Quillcorp – direct marketer of office products http://www03.quillcorp.com/
bulk order shipping envelopes and more
EBAY YOUR WAY TO DISNEY . . . Dos and Don’ts
1. DO change your password(s) regularly, say once a month, to protect your account.
2. DON’T respond to emails appearing to be from Ebay or PayPal requesting your personal information including passwords and credit card number. Forward those messages to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and delete them from your inbox. Ebay and PayPal will never address an email to “Dear PayPal (or Ebay) user or member, nor will they include an attachment. If personal information is needed by either site, an email will direct you to securely log in to the site with your user id and password.
3. DO set your starting bid at the lowest price you’re willing to accept for your item. Should only one bid be placed, you are assured of getting what you wanted in the very least.
4. DO build listing and final value fees into your starting price. You won’t lose money if your item sells with a low bid if this is incorporated. You also should consider adding a handling fee to the shipping cost to help defer your cost of purchasing boxes, packing material, driving to the post office, etc. The average amount varies, but many seasoned Ebayers add $1.00 handling.
5. DON’T end a listing early if a potential buyer emails you a request to do so. Often times your item is likely to get higher bids by leaving it run its duration. Respond to such requests with, “While I appreciate your interest, it would be unfair to other bidders if I ended the auction early”.
6. DON’T check the “credit cards” option for PayPal payments if you only want to use the free Personal Account with PayPal. Accepting credit card payments with PayPal requires upgrading to a Premier Account. Fees are then assessed to every incoming payment made through PayPal.
7. DO pack fragile items tightly. 2-inches of packing material will properly protect fragile merchandise, such as dinnerware, from damage in shipping. Each (plate) should be wrapped individually in bubble wrap and surrounded with peanuts or other cushioning material. Don’t forget to add insurance, whether as an option or required portion of shipping.
8. DO end your auctions during the time you expect to reach your target buyer. That means Monday-Friday 9am-5pm for commercial or business transactions, weekends and evenings for everyone else. Start time equals end time. Keep in mind that Ebay time is PT (Pacific Time), three hours earlier than EST (Eastern Standard Time) on the east coast of the U.S. For an additional 10-cents you can set the starting time of your listing.
9. DON’T use Media Mail for shipping unapproved items through the U.S. Mail. Media Mail is restricted to shipping books, sound recordings, recorded video tapes, printed music, and recorded computer-readable media (such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes).
10. DO track your sales. You may want to keep a log on your computer, with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for instance, or if you’re not computer literate beyond the internet, you could keep a 3-ring binder or accordion file. Keep track of your listings, fees, buyers’ email and mailing address, etc.
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