Online Auction Basics

Online selling communities can prove to be a great boon for retailers. It allows you to reach customers nationwide (or even worldwide) without having to spend on a physical store, on expensive marketing campaigns, on additional staff, or even on site design. With some ingenuity and a good working knowledge of the ins and outs of the site you’ve chosen, you can put up a profitable home-based business that virtually runs itself

What To Sell?

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Keep in mind that buyers go online to look for bargains or for hard-to-find Items, so used items, collectables, antiques, gadgets and imported goods are very popular on these sites. It’s a good idea to spend a few hours browsing the site to see which items move fairly fast in that particular community. You can look at the site’s ”Hot Auctions” link, or look at the items offered by well established sellers with a long selling history or high feedback scores.
Importantly, some of these sites allow you to sell internationally- eBay Philippines, for example offers it as an option while on Amazon.com international exposure is automatic.

To get started, most sites require nothing more than for you to undergo a fairly sample registration. Some sites may require a credit card, to which fees may later be charged In any case, registration is usually pretty straightforward, even fort he most inexperienced new users. The simplest and fastest way to learn the ropes is to register and participate in the process first as a buyer. This way, you get to learn the entire process and forestall any potential problems.

However, what you do need to work on is the item description-it can make or break a sale. Your description should be brief but thorough, and include information on payment and shipping arrangements, warranties or guarantees and your return policy.

Finally, there are two kinds of online listings, fixed price sales or auctions. It is where you can see the “Buy Now” button for the fixed price and the “Bid Now” button for the auctions. In fixed price you name a price for your item and you sell it to the first person who contacts you for the sale. Auctions on the other hand, open your item up for competitive bidding for a fixed period of time.

Easy Payment System

After you have been contacted by the buyer the next step is to collect payment and deliver the goods. The easiest method for this is a meet-up or COD (cash on delivery). For the sake of convenience you and your buyer may also agree on delivery after payment. The buyers may deposit the money to your bank account, or more popularly nowadays send the money through GCASH. To know more about GCash and how to register your sim, just click here.

As soon as you receive the payment, you can send the item through a courier service like Air21, 2GO, LBC, DHL, or Xend. Make it clear from the beginning whether you or your buyer are going to shoulder the shipping fees, and that you have a good idea of how much it will be. Some courier services also pick up from your home or office so you don’t have to go to their drop-off centers every time you need to send something.

Online selling communities work on a feedback system. Buyers and sellers post their comments about the transaction, which will then form part of your record on the site. As a seller you need to earn positive feedback from satisfied buyers as this Is the best way to gain credibility In the community. Likewise, you can protect yourself from so-called fraudulent buyers by checking on their feedback scores. You can opt not to sell to customers with negative feedback as long as you state so on you’re listing.

The only hurdle you will have to face in the beginning is earning your first feedback points. A new seller with zero feedback is not likely to be trusted immediately, but you can set minds at ease with proper communication. Again, it would be highly recommended that you join the community as a buyer first and learn the etiquette and techniques used on the site. Be active on the forums as well, so other members may get to be familiar with your username.

If you’re wondering how sites like eBay became so massively successful in a relatively short amount of time try it out. You’ll find that for the most part selling online entails minimal risk and potentially high returns for any retailer-plus it’s also a lot of fun.

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Tips to make your title sell:

  1. Be Very Descriptive. Think of your title as your main display: it is the first thing that the buyer sees, so be sure that it contains important information such as brand, color, size and condition of the item. If applicable, tell potential buyers of any promos you’re running or any freebies you may want to throw in.
  2. Add Alternate Keywords for You Item. This allows your item to show up in more searches. Let’s say you’re selling backpacks. Buyers may search for “bag”, “backpack”, or “schoolbag”. You’ll want to cover all the bases, so instead of listing it merely as a “BAG”, a good title might be, “B/New Gray Sports Bag/Backpack/School bag 50% Off!”
  3. Learn the Lingo. To save on space, learn how other sellers shorten their titles with accepted abbreviations (e.g. BNIB – Brand New In Box; BNWT – Brand New with Tags; NM – Near Mint condition; etc.)

Source: Masigasig Magazine