7 Tips for How to Sell Items Fast on eBay

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••• There are strategies to selling items quickly on eBay. Getty Images

Selling on eBay isn't an exact science, but there are a few things sellers can do to speed the process along. Time is money with reselling, so anything that a seller can do to encourage faster sales is a distinct advantage.

Here are seven tips for selling on eBay:

Don't Make the Buyer Ask a Lot of Questions

The objective is to think ahead and anticipate what the buyer will ask. If the buyer has to ask questions, a few things might happen:

  1. The buyer may not take the time to message you for further details and may move on to the next seller's item.
  2. The buyer may message you and ask a few questions, but keep looking for another comparable item while waiting for your answers. In the process, you could lose the sale.
  3. The buyer may message you and ask a few questions, but you may not be near your inventory and unable to respond expediently and you end up losing the sale.

It is important to anticipate any questions the buyer may have or any details the buyer may be interested in. These include such things as:

  • Measurements
  • Weight
  • Material (i.e., what the item is made of which might be several materials)
  • Where it was made
  • Age of the item
  • Countries you ship to

As you become more experienced with your eBay business, you will get at knowing what details to put into your particular listing. If you're unsure what information to include, look at what other sellers are saying about their (similar) items.

Use the Best Offer Feature

One way to sell items quickly is to accept offers from buyers. Some buyers won't even click on a listing unless it has the Best Offer feature, so by not including it, you are missing buyers right off the bat. Other buyers always submit an offer and will never pay full price.

By not being willing to negotiate, you are missing opportunities. Some cultures always negotiate when making a purchase, so that is part of their buying procedure to haggle or negotiate.

Don't Use the Auto-Decline Feature

When you set a threshold for an automatic decline, you won 't be notified of any offers below that thresholde—even offers one penny below your threshold. For example, if you have an item priced at $40 and set an auto-decline of $32, if a buyer makes an offer of $31.75, you won't see it and you won't be able to accept it. With eBay, you always want to be in a position to counteroffer. The buyer may be testing the seller to see if they are using auto-decline if someone is evaluating the offers. eBay allows the buyer to make 3 offers on one item within a 30-day timeframe. Many times, an item will sell after offering and counter offering back and forth a few times. 

Don't do Auction Style Listings

It's important to understand that buyers are in a hurry. Delayed gratification seems to be a thing of the past. Auction style listings force the buyer to wait until the auction is over to pay for the item, and for it to be shipped. Getting more sales faster means having all inventory available for purchase at all times.

Don't expect buyers to wait until an auction is over, because many won't. They may move on to another seller who has the item available on Buy It Now and can ship the item immediately.

Offer Many Online Payment Options

Most sellers on eBay offer PayPal as a payment option. The nice thing about PayPal is that buyers can also use a credit card to make payments if they want to.

Accepting checks or money orders can help boost your bids and your final purchase price, but it can also be a hassle. Keep in mind if you do accept checks, to include a disclaimer that there will be a delay in shipping so that you (the seller) can wait for the check to clear. This protects you from bad check scams. Also, if you accept money orders, only accept payments from your own country. There is a common money order scam from international buyers that involves an overpayment via money order from the buyer.

Often, the money order turns out to be fake.

Take Several Clear Photos

It is very important that the buyer see exactly what they are buying so there is no confusion. eBay suggests 8-12 photos per listing so that that the buyer can see all sides of the item, the details of the item, and exactly what they are buying. Also, one of the photos will be designated as the gallery photo and will show up as the photo the buyer sees when searching for the item. The objective is to have an outstanding photo so that when buyers see your item compared to other sellers' items, competitively, yours will look superior to others and the buyer will choose your listing. If you're good with a camera (or a smartphone) there's no need to hire a professional. Either way, you should Check out eBay's tutorial on photo best practices

Establish a Reputable Account

The feedback rating that you receive as a seller comes from your customers, following your sales.

New sellers always earn less than seasoned sellers, even when selling the exact same items and everything else is the same. Buyers on eBay highly trust sellers who’ve been around a while and have proven that they can be trusted. The quickest way to establish trust is scoring high on eBay’s measure of trust system, which is its feedback rating system.

Ratings used to be only positive, negative, or neutral. Later, eBay added the “detailed seller ratings.” Now, buyers could rank specific areas where the seller does (or doesn’t) do well. To boost your feedback rating, quickly sell a lot of small, inexpensive things. This allows you to rack up a lot of positive feedback in a short period of time. Don’t wait more than 24 to 48 hours to ship an item that you’ve sold, and carefully package items you sell so that they arrive at the seller’s location in perfect condition.