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Ten Secrets to Making Higher Profits on eBay

January 28th, 2009 by Skip McGrath

Here are ten great eBay tips to lowering your costs and increasing your eBay profits

Here are ten eBay tips to help you make more profits on eBay.  Many of these are very simple and easy to implement. If you do all of them the savings and profits can really add up.

1. Use Free Relist Credits – On average, about one-half of all auction listings result in a sale. eBay will give you one free relisting credit on auction listings that do not sell. You can relist unsold items by selecting the "relist your item" drop down on the unsold items module on you’re My eBay Page. If the relisted item sells, eBay will credit the Insertion Fees back to your account.

 2. Pay your eBay fees using a credit card with a cash back program. – Check your credit cards to see which ones offer a cash back program. Using these types of programs can result in between 2% and 5% credits back to your card. Some sellers prefer to get airline points, but personally I always go for the cash.

3. Control Your Insertion Fees – Pay attention to the tiered pricing in your eBay Insertion Fees . Pricing an item between $10 and $24.99 will cost 55 cents. Pricing an item between $25 and $49 will cost $1.00. Analyze your costs here and determine if it is more cost effective to set your starting price in the lower tier to save money on your insertion fees. Assuming your item sells, pricing the item lower will cost less in fees than pricing it in the higher tier. Here is a link to the eBay fee schedule: http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/fees.html

4. Open an eBay Store – Running all auctions gets expensive. You can add items to store inventory for 5 cents per item for a 30 day listing. Basic store subscriptions start at $9.99. Although there is a monthly fee for an eBay store, in the long run the lower listing fees can easily offset this.

5. Use the new eBay Fixed Price Listing Feature. – You can now list an unlimited number of items at a fixed price for 30 days for 15¢ in books, movies and music and 35¢ in other categories. The final value fees are higher in some categories and cheaper in others but items in fixed price listings come up in search whereas eBay store listings do not.

6. Use listing upgrades Selectively  –ebay optional feature fees can get expensive. eBay charges hefty fees for bold, highlight, enlarged photos, and other upgrades. Run listings with upgrades and without and determine if the upgrades have any effect on your sales. The Bold listing upgrade tends to work the best for me, whereas I rarely use the other one. But it doesn’t work on all products. I recently reviewed all of my listings. I removed the Bold feature from 18 of my listings for a savings of about $75 month.

7. Save non-paying bidder fees with mutual cancellations –  If you’ve sold an item but can’t go through with the sale, or the buyer refused to complete the sale, you can cancel the transaction in the eBay Dispute Resolution Center and you may receive a credit on your Final Value Fee.

 8. Always file Unpaid Item Disputes –  You will see these on your eBay Selling Manager if a buyer has not paid for an item within 7 days. After filing the Unpaid Item Dispute, the buyer might pay. If buyers don’t pay within another 7 days, eBay will refund your Final Value Fees. However, you want to be a little careful doing this when your feedback score is low as these buyers often leave you a negative feedback anyway. I think its better to use number 7 above, as once a transaction is cancelled, the buyer can no longer leave feedback.

9. Save eBay Photo Hosting Fees and eBay Schedule fees – Use a low-cost auction management service such as Auctiva (free) or InkFrog (very low cost).  eBay charges fees for photos and to schedule your auctions. You can save on both by using an auction management service to host your photos and launch your auctions. On eBay your first photo is free on. Each additional photo per listing is 15 cents. So if you ha e four photos in each listing (as I typically do) you are spending 45 cents every time you list.  Since I list over 300 new auctions per month, this would cost me around $135 per month.  eBay other common fee is the scheduling fee of 10 cents. Again if I launched 300 new listings a month that would be another $30.  But you can get this service for free with Auctiva and for only $9.95 per month with InkFrog –my new favorite service.

With both of those services I get photo hosting and scheduling without any additional fees.

10. Watch your packaging costs – Don’t over-package your items. The more packing material you use, the more your item will weigh. More weight = more postage.  In some cases, reducing your packaging by just one ounce can mean the difference in a few dollars per package.

Packaging materials can get expensive. Check with your local gift shop, kitchen shop or Radio Shack. These stores will often give you boxes and packing material for free so they don’t have to recycle them.

When shipping items USPS Priority Mail, we use the Tyvek envelopes instead of a box if a product in not highly breakable. Boxes weigh more than the envelopes, and cost more to ship.

If an item weighs less than 14 ounces, then use First Class instead of priority or parcel. You can purchase your own poly mailers and use First Class for these lighter items. Poly mailing bags cost a few cents when ordered in quantity. You won’t have to spend the minimum Priority mail cost to ship an 8 oz item just to get the free Priority Mail supplies.

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Learn more about saving money on shipping, photography and other ways to make money on eBay with The Complete eBay Marketing System by Skip McGrath.

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