|Hot dog! Your frequently asked question, answered.|
More than anything else, people ask me how to know how I decide on a starting bid price for my auctions. It's a tricky decision: if you start it too high, the buyers will be turned off and won't bid at all because there is no possibility of them getting a deal. If you start your auction price too low, you may end up selling your would-be 25 dollar item for ninety nine cents.
Here are my thoughts:
- If I am selling clothes, I start the auction with a "I would be happy with this" price. Clothes don't sell as well as they used to, so I like to start the auction at a price where if it ended at that price, I would feel good about it.
- As far as toys are concerned, I only buy things I feel confident I can sell for a decent profit (at least $10, but usually I'm shooting for more than that with my purchases).
- I typically start my auctions, even if it is something I think will sell for $200, at $7.99 or $9.99. That's low enough to pull most anyone in and let them get emotionally invested in the toy, and let them think they might get a really good deal.
- Consider adding a "buy it now" price. As an eBay shopper, I love buy it now and fixed prices. I am not a see-the-auction-through-to-the-end kind of gal. I pretty much only buy things on ebay if I can buy it right then and there (I guess I am into instant gratification...so if I am, other people are too!) So don't be afraid to add a "buy it now" price to your listing, a price you would be really happy with when it sells. If nothing else, it will inspire someone to place a bid right from the start, which is also key--once someone jumps in and gets the bids going, other people want to get in on the action.
- During the slower months for toys, I often do a "fixed price" listing. This is where YOU set the price and if someone wants it, they have to pay your set price. You can also add an "or best offer" to your fixed price, which people LOVE because they can "feel" like they are getting a discount. If you choose the "or best offer" to add to your fixed price, you will want to increase your fixed price to allow for the lower offer. (Many people open an ebay store and have had great success with this, which is all fixed price listings. I have not done this myself but am considering it!)
- It's important to research completed listings of the item you are selling so that you can anticipate the final sale price of your auction. If your item consistently sells for a certain amount, this knowledge will help you decide if you want to do an auction, a fixed price, and what kind of "buy it now" price you would like to add if you choose to do so.
- I almost always list my items for 7 days and I like to begin my auctions on Thursday nights around 10pm Eastern Time. 10pm is not too late for East Coast buyers, and not too early for West Coast buyers. Thursdays are great because I have the whole weekend to get my shipments together. Please note: be mindful of holidays and holiday weekends. You want to avoid ending your auctions during these times.
For all my fellow ebayers out there, what can you add? There's so much to say, I know I have probably missed something. Feel free to comment and join the conversation! We also discuss these things on my facebook page, so if you want you can like me on the right and join in.
If you are new here and just getting started on the whole eBay thing, you may want to read one or more of the following posts before reading today's ebay selling tip: