This week I sold some homeschool curriculum on eBay. While I prefer to use Craigslist, because it’s free, sometimes selling on eBay makes sense. In this case, I know homeschool curriculum tends to do well on eBay, and it’s easy to ship, so eBay is the venue I chose.
If you want to create an eBay listing that fetches a high price for your goods, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of getting the most money for your item. I’ll cover these steps through a series of posts, but today we’re going to focus on the first step: research. Many people are tempted to skip this step, because it takes time. In my opinion, that’s a bad move.
Before you begin writing your listing, it’s best to do a little research. By doing a search for completed auctions for items similar to those you’re selling, you can find a few tips to help you optimize your listing.
To find completed auctions, click on “advanced search” from the eBay home page. You will need to sign in first, if you haven’t already.
Plug in a few keywords for the thing you want to sell. In my case, I had a set of Rod & Staff English 6 books to sell, so I entered Rod Staff 6. Don’t worry about categories or anything else. Just put a checkmark in the “completed listing” box and hit search.
The results page will bring up several listings of ended auctions. Pay attention to those that were selling the exact (or close to it) product that you’re trying to sell. In my case, I see auctions that ended for $28.02, $21.01, $24.50, and $20.00. Obviously, I’d rather sell higher than lower, so I’m going to take a peek at these ended auctions to see what the seller did (or didn’t do).
No matter what you’re trying to sell, peruse the completed auction listings to see what the sellers did. If there are too many listings to read, pick a few auctions that ended high, a few in the middle, and a few at the low end. Look for obvious similarities and differences. You want to emulate (but not plagiarize!) the eBay auctions that ended high and avoid the mistakes of the auctions that ended low.
Here are a few interesting things I noted about the listings for Rod & Staff English books:
Perhaps the most important thing to note is titles. Many people search, rather than browse, eBay. Thus, it’s important to get the title right, so people who are using the search box can find your auction.
In the case of the Rod & Staff English books, the titles of the four auctions, from highest ending bid to lowest, were:
The one notable difference is that the auction with the highest ending bid included the word “set” in the title. It makes sense that people searching for a set of books would search for the word “set.”
I’ll confess that the auction with the highest ending bid was my auction. It wasn’t perfect, as the picture wasn’t great, and the description could have been a little better. But I did my research, and I’m happy with the result. In the next post (or posts) in this series, I’ll talk about how to put your eBay research to good use.
Posts in the How to Create the Perfect eBay Listing series:
If you like this article, please sign up for free weekly email updates.
I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I state that I have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.
Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. I do my best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.