Price gouging is never appreciated in the eBay world, especially when those prices include hidden or exorbitant shipping fees. Like setting a reasonable starting bid, determining reasonable shipping costs requires a certain amount of research.
Don't pad shipping costs, warns Rosato-Donahue, as this could hurt you in the long run, since buyers leave anonymous ratings for shipping and handling charges as part of the normal feedback process.
Shipping costs should be clearly articulated on the description page so buyers aren't surprised when it's time to pay for the item. Guldner recommends using eBay's free Shipping Calculator, which determines shipping costs based on the weight of the item and the buyer's ZIP code. If you find that offering discounted or free shipping attracts more bidders and requires a minimal investment, don't be afraid to offer these incentives. But avoid increasing the starting price to compensate for discounts. Chances are, the lower starting price will get more looks than discounted shipping costs will.
4. Define your terms of sale. Do you take returns? What happens if the buyer isn't satisfied? Do you ship with a request for delivery confirmation? Do you pay for shipping insurance? What kinds of payments do you accept? These questions will flood your eBay inbox if they're not answered clearly in the listings, says Guldner.
The more specific you can be about your payment policies, the more you'll build buyer confidence. Accept online payments--and be clear and detailed in your listings about which payments you take. Noting that 3 out of 4 buyers prefer PayPal, Rosato-Donahue says, "Buyers are more likely to bid on your items if your payment methods are clearly stated and easy to use."
To get a better idea of the terms of sale you might want to include in your listings, visit the eBay University Learning Center and explore the "How to Sell" lessons.
5. Capture the image. Not all eBay entrepreneurs were born photographers. Luckily, you don't have to be an amazing photographer to make your items look good on eBay; you just have to know the basics.
Center the object on a plain, well-lit background, and take shots that focus on the entire object as well as the details. You can include up to 12 photographs in your listing--more expensive and intricate items may require all 12, but other items may need only a few. Either way, photos that focus on sensory details such as the look and feel of an object will entice buyers who might normally prefer to see the product in person.
"If it's a collector's item, you'll want to photograph any signatures, stamps or authenticity marks," says Guldner, who often sees sellers skip the gallery and thumbnail options, which can improve an item's salability by 10 percent, on average. "If it's a common item, make sure you take a picture of the actual item in your possession. Don't pull the picture off a website."
eBay offers a slew of free and low-cost photo options, including Picture Pack, Picture Show, Preview Pictures and Supersize Pictures. As part of the listing process, you are taken through a photo upload process and given the opportunity to purchase some of the advanced photo options for your listings.
For general consumer items, such as books, DVDs, CDs and games, eBay offers an image gallery where you can search for stock images using SKUs or ISBNs. For more on this, see the article titled, "Start Your Engines."