19 eBay Success Secrets

We've got the secrets you can use to create a booming business on eBay.

1. Choose a User ID carefully. Be sure to choose a UserID that represents your business or the items you sell. This willbecome your eBay brand identity to prospective buyers.

2. Start With the "How to Sell" Tour. Watch theeBay selling demonstration video. Then, learn moreat the eBay Learning Center.

3. Get ID Verified. You can use the ID Verify optioninstead of, or in addition to, giving your credit card informationwhen setting up a Seller's Account. You might want to do it soyou'll be given an ID Verify icon in your feedback profile,giving the eBay community more confidence to buy from you andallowing you to bypass some feedback requirements when selling incertain formats.

4. Get Computer Backup Disks. Power surges or computercrashes can wipe out your valuable data in seconds. Routinely savethe business documents on your hard drive to disks. Label them, andfile them in a safe place.

5. Use Accounting Software. Accounting software helps youknow how your business is doing so you can make it more profitable.It's also going to make your life much easier come tax time. Abookkeeper can recommend the right software for your business, setit up and teach you how to use it.

6. Make Space for Inventory and Shipping Materials. Theseitems don't have to be in your office, but they do need to bein a safe, dry place nearby. This helps you keep an eye on whatyou've got and what you need as your business grows. The U.S.Postal Service offers free eBay/USPS co-branded Priority Mailshipping boxes. Go to http://ebaysupplies.usps.com to orderyours.

7. Write a Daily To-Do List. Schedule a time to follow upon opportunities that aren't part of your normal tasks, and usethis time frame to respond to unplanned tasks that pop up thatday.

8. Take eBay's Fees Into Account. Even though eBaycharges a small listing Insertion Fee and a Final Value Fee, youmay want to take these into account when you're pricing youritems. Both of these fees are listed here: http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/fees.html.

9. Choose the Best Category. From eBay's home page,click the "Buy" button, and browse the categories to findones that work for your items. Also see where competing items havebeen placed. It's a good idea to choose two categories for yourlistings to reach more buyers.

10. Spotlight Your Title. For an additional fee, you cangrab buyers' attention when they search for listings by boldingyour text (which has increased final item prices by an average of25 percent) and using a color highlight or border on your listing.Also, say more about your item by adding a subtitle.

11. Consider Hiring a Trading Assistant. When yourbusiness on eBay starts booming, you might want help managing yourlistings so you can focus on other areas of growing your businessand also enjoy a balanced work/home life. Hiring a TradingAssistant can free up the time you need and want. Find a TradingAssistant at http://pages.ebay.com/tahub/index.html.

12. Use My eBay. Make sure to use My eBay to monitor yourlistings and activity on the site. My Messages can also help youkeep track of your eBay correspondence.

13. Attend Industry Trade Shows. Not only will you get apreview of product trends, you can also connect with manufacturersand discuss the opportunity of selling their products on eBay.Bring your business cards, and be ready to discuss your success asan eBay seller.

14. Donate to a Nonprofit Organization. Donate part of orthe entire final sale price to your favorite nonprofitorganizations. Support your community, and your charity listingswill get additional visibility along with a blue-and-yellow ribbonicon. Search more than 5,000 charities at http://givingworks.ebay.com.

15. Beware of Unusual Buyer Requests. To help protectyourself from potential fraud, be wary of buyers who have unusualrequests. If buyers ask to send partial payments, consider that awarning sign.

16. Ask eBay Consultants for Advice. Once you know how tosell on eBay and you've checked out the eBay Community, yourhead will be buzzing with new business ideas. Run your questions bythe Seller OnRamp consultants for free advice on creatinga profitable business on eBay.

17. Subscribe to the Chatter. Every month, get featurearticles, tips, helpful links and member interviews. Share youreBay story, and you may be next in the memberspotlight.

18. Sign Up for the PowerUp Newsletter. Get advancenotice of upcoming events and promotions by e-mail at http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/newsflash.html.You'll get a heads-up on free listing days, feature discounts,seller sweepstakes and more.

19. Design Marketing Materials to Promote Your Store. Getbusiness cards, fliers, letterhead and envelopes to strengthen yourStore's brand and invite offline shoppers to check it out.Download eBay's marketing templates for free orvisit NetPostBusiness Connect to create and mail advertising and promotionalmessages to your customers.

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