Selling on eBay isn't just about finding great items, photographing them well, writing a good description, and shipping securely. It is about how much you can do in a day to maximize the number of listings while doing all of those things. Listing an item on eBay can be a chore, especially if you aren't fond of the computer part. Working efficiently is all about planning and intention. When you set up processes and follow them, workflows faster, with fewer errors and more can be accomplished. Here are some strategies for listing an item on eBay faster, so you can build your store and see more sales.
Create an Assembly Line Process
Henry Ford figured it out, and we can use the same principle when listing on eBay. For most smaller at-home sellers, a good workflow looks like this:
- Choose 10 similar items from your death pile
- Make sure the items are recorded in your bookkeeping spreadsheet
- Clean, steam, remove price tags or do what is necessary to prep the items for photographing
- Take the photographs
- If listing from a computer (recommended method because the eBay App is limited), use Air Drop to transfer photos to the computer in a matter of seconds
- List the items one after another, ideally, they will be in the same category
Use eBay Templates
Templates are an efficient and organized way to systemize listings. You can set up templates for types of items so that when you are listing an item on eBay, minimal input is required. For example, let's say you sell women's clothing. You can have templates for pants, skirts, dresses, coats, tops, and swimwear. Each time you list an item with a template, you will only need to change the item specifics, photos, measurements, and price. You may not even need to change the weight or shipping options since most items in the same category weigh approximately the same, such as a bathing suit weighs between 4-6 ounces consistently. Ebay's help guide offers more tips on creating product and listing templates.
Get off Social Media
Social media has proven to be a huge time suck, especially for at-home workers who don't have firewalls set up to prevent access. If you worked for a large company like IBM or Coca-Cola and had a desk job, you wouldn't be able to access Facebook and Twitter all day long as you can at home. Large companies know that access to social media negatively affects productivity.
If you are a social media junkie and find yourself wasting time on entertaining YouTube videos, scrolling Facebook all day, or looking at Pinterest planning your next meal, it is time to get serious about your eBay listing. A few ways to limit your social media time:
- Close out any windows except eBay while you are listing
- Turn off social media notifications on both desktop and mobile so you won't be tempted to check what that alert was about
- Reward yourself with social media breaks after a certain number of listings are finished for the day
- Realize you aren't missing anything - important information will make its way to you eventually
- Understand that time is money and all those wasted minutes add up to hours and days over time
Most at-home eBay sellers are a one man (or woman) show. After a certain amount of time, the law of diminishing returns goes into effect and a single person hits the wall as far as how much she can do in a day. On order to expand your business, it may be time to hire more people and delegate parts of the business. You can never get more time, but you can always get more people. You could hire people to do the following tasks:
- Source items from local thrift stores
- Prep / clean items for photographing
- Photograph items
- Edit photos
- List items (this can be done virtually)
- Organize inventory, pull sold items
- Ship orders
- Handle bookkeeping
Hiring help is not a cop-out or admission that you can't handle your business. Many businesses go through growing pains. It makes more sense to hire help so that you can expand, rather than struggle to keep up and miss opportunities.
In summary, to list more items on eBay in the same amount of time, you must make a conscious decision to make the process more efficient. But it can be done with some forethought and planning. A more efficient business is a more profitable one.
Revised by Suzanne Wells, October 30, 2017