From the Kenosha News on 12-2-07

Sell your stuff on Ebay in time for Christmas

      The Christmas shopping season is a great time to sell on Ebay.  Items like used games and books sell best this time of year.  If you’ve not used Ebay before, I suggest you start as a buyer before you begin to sell.  See my previous article on my web site at www.sabbarpublications.com/newsarchive/news7-31-05.html, which tells how to set up your account and get started. 

      Once you have an Ebay account, get as much information as you can about the item you want to sell.  A good description, complete information, and good photos will not only help you sell your item but should also increase the selling price.  Also, determine if you have a minimum selling price – called a reserve price.  You can use the Advanced Search feature to look at “Completed listings only” and how much people have paid for similar items in the past.  Note what category your item is listed in and what words should appear in the listing title. 

      Let’s say we were selling a used Yamaha flute, as I did last year.  First, click Sell at the upper right of the Ebay screen.  Enter a few words to describe your item (e.g. “Yamaha silver flute”) and click Start Selling.  Select an appropriate category from the list; click Continue.  Enter your title, such as “Yamaha flute Like New Solid silver head joint w/ case.”  Note that specific items such as subtitle add more cost to your listing.  Fill out the condition, brand, etc. using the drop-down boxes.  Add pictures.  (You may be prompted to install Ebay’s picture software for this.)  I chose to add several pictures, including shots of the entire flute, the case, and a close-up of the head-joint with the Yamaha brand and mode.  

      Continue filling out the listing screen.  Put as much info as you can into the description, including a link to the manufacturer’s site, if appropriate.  Phrases that help boost price include:  “new in box” (NIB), “original owner,” “recently refurbished,” etc.  Note that some options, such as Buy it Now, Reserve price, etc., cost extra but have definite value.  Don’t use too high of a starting price.  Choose the length of the auction and if you want it to start immediately or at another time.  It is said that auctions do best when they end during evening or weekend hours when people are more apt to be using their computers for recreation.

      Select the payment type.  You will do much better in your auctions if you use a PayPal account, but you may want to accept checks as well.  (Note that there is a fee for sellers to use PayPal.)  Also enter the shipping cost info.  I always use a set shipping price, even if I have to guess or take it to the post office to be weighed.  Buyers may not want to bid on items if they don’t know what the shipping will cost.  Click Continue. 

      Correct any errors that are detected.  Check the summary of listing options on the next page and what they’ll cost.  When you are ready to sell, click List Item.  Watch your e-mail for seller questions, and be sure to ship quickly to get a good seller rating.

by Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 12-2-07