Five Things to Avoid When Selling on eBay

eBay is a wonderful place where buyers and sellers come together.  But it can be a bit frustrating at times, especially for novice sellers.  Maybe you're not getting bids on your items, or maybe they're not bringing the prices that similar items are.

Chances are, if you're not getting the results that sellers of similar items do, some simple adjustments to your listings could help.  Here are five things to avoid when trying to sell on eBay:

1.  Misspellings – If you misspell the name of your item, those who are searching for it may never find it.  And if someone does happen to find it and bid on it, that person may be the only one who happens upon it.  That means that he will get your item for bottom dollar.

Besides making your listing hard to find through the search function, misspellings just look bad.  Buyers may be hesitant to hand their money over to a seller who can't be bothered to take the time to proofread her listings.  If spelling is not your strong suit, consider having someone else proofread your listings.  At the very least, copy and paste it into your word processing program and do a spell check.

2.  Not Using Keywords – Buyers search for products in lots of different ways.  So it's important to use keywords in your title and description as much as possible.  Try to cover as many terms that could be used to search for your product as you can think of.

3.  Bad Photos – When shopping at bricks and mortar stores, customers can see a product up close.  When shopping online, they can't.  That's why it is so important to provide good pictures of your auction items.

Photos should not be blurry, and they should show the product in as much detail as necessary.  Multiple photos taken at various angles and showing important labels and accessories will give buyers more information.  It's also important to make your photos look reasonably professional.  While you don't have to hire an experienced photographer, it's a good idea to use a contrasting, solid-colored background and proper lighting.

4.  Reserves – A reserve is the minimum amount you will accept for an item, but it is not shown to buyers.  If someone bids below the reserve price, he is simply told that the reserve has not been met, and he will have to try bidding again.  In most cases, reserves serve only to frustrate buyers.

Many sellers like using reserve prices because they will not be obligated to sell at a lower price, and they don't have make the starting bid so high that no one is willing to place a bid.  In this case, using a reserve price and disclosing it within your listing may be the best answer.

5.  Incorrect Categorization – Buyers can get more relevant results by searching within the right categories.  And some forgo searching altogether, going directly to the specific category that they think is most appropriate.  That means that placing your item in the right category is very important to your listing's success.  Searching for items similar to yours and noting the categories they're in should give you an idea of which ones to use.