If you want to be able to succeed at selling on eBay then there are many, many things that you need to be doing on a regular basis besides even getting the right products to sell.
I think that this is one of the biggest obstacles to people finding real success selling on eBay. Marketing and sales is half the battle. There is a lot of competition on eBay, but 95% or more of people selling on eBay ignore this completely. The thing is that you really don’t need to be selling iPhones to be making money selling on eBay and chances are that if you are selling iPhones on eBay then you are not going to have a lot of success because someone bigger than you is getting them at better prices or in a more regular supply.
What if I was to tell you that what you sell isn’t nearly as important as how you sell it?
This isn’t always easy to understand, but I’ve been selling on eBay for years and in that time I’ve looked at a lot of my competitor’s listings and have been shocked and appalled in so many instances at how pathetic their presentation of their item has been that I have almost laughed at even considering them ‘competition’.
Here’s an example that I think explains it all.
When was the last time that you went to McDonalds? I’m not one of those people that has anything at all against their food. I don’t eat it often and wouldn’t feed it to my kids often, but I love the fact that you can go to McDonalds, anywhere in the world, and you know what you are going to be able to get, how quickly you can expect service and what the price is going to be. Also, I know that I can take my kids and they will have a good time playing on the play equipment while I relax for a few minutes and fill up. I don’t go expecting anything other than fast food (but to be fair McDonalds have expanded their menu quite significantly over the past few years).
See, McDonald’s has never been in the food business! Their food is not what brings people there. If you wanted good food you’d go somewhere else. McDonald’s is a marketing business pure and simple. They know their market better than any other franchise anywhere and they get people in the door by giving their market what they want again and again and again.
How can this apply to your eBay selling business?
While I’ve been selling on eBay I’ve been appalled at the presentation (or lack thereof) that many eBay sellers use for their listings. The photos that they use are more often than not out of focus and too generic to show any details. Or, the photos show the product that they are trying to sell in it’s worst light.
Do you think McDonalds would ever be guilty of that? They’d be out of business. See, here’s a Big Mac as you have seen it 100 times on McDonalds’ marketing material:
The Perfect Big Mac
I know it doesn’t appeal to everyone, but to me and millions like me it really looks good enough to eat.
In this famous picture, the bun is firm and fresh, the beef is brown and the lettuce is green. It all sits so nicely together and looks large and filling. There’s melting cheese and onion and the special sauce just slightly oozing out the side…
You might even be forgiven for thinking that you have eaten this Big Mac. You see this image has been presented to you so many times that it’s lodged in your subconcious (this is McDonalds marketing magic in action!)
But here’s what you know that you really get:
Your Real Big Mac
Personally it makes me pretty sick looking at that picture. But I know I’m going to eat one again one day when I’m hungry and the kids are screaming in the car on the way home from school and I’m tired and just can’t be bothered going home and cooking…
And I’ll have forgotten what it really looks like and be thinking about the perfect marketing picture that has been burned into my head!
I’m not advocating an kind of deception and bringing all this back to selling on eBay, you obviously wouldn’t misrepresent the condition of any item that you are selling on eBay. I just wish that people selling on eBay would take a little more thought to the way that they present their listings and their photographs to make them more enticing to me.
For most things that I buy on eBay I’ve got a lot of choices of who I’m going to buy from. I don’t buy antiques or collectibles so the rarity factor doesn’t come into play with me. I probably buy the sort of things that you are selling – clothing, electronics, stationery, Cd’s, DVDs, toys…
Don’t just snap off a shot of your product sitting on the kitchen bench (with more of the dirty bench in the shot than the item) if you want me to buy it from you. I won’t. I don’t care what you’re selling or what your price is because you’ve turned me off.
Take some care with your listings and you will be selling on eBay successfully for a long time to come and make very good money.
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