Researching Your Items

Recently I’ve received emails from new eBay sellers very upset because their items aren’t selling. One in particular caught my eye and I went over all their auctions to see what was wrong. I looked at each auction and saw that the auctions were clean (no distracting backgrounds or dancing gifs); their images were large enough (but not too large) and their descriptions were good. This seller had no bids on any of their items in the past 30 days.

I went over each item, one by one. Their auction for item #1 had a starting bid of $25. The auction description read that the bidding was “starting at half the retail price for the item”. Didn’t sound too bad, until I ran a completed auctions search for the same item. Twenty-five of the exact piece were up for auction in the past 15 days. (This is as long as the eBay completed search will reach). Starting bids for these items were from $16.95 to $45.99. Only three of the items sold: one at $18.00, one at $19.99 and one at $24.95. One sold on a Sunday at 20:02 PST; a Saturday at 22:33 PST and a Tuesday at 10:50 (the lowest selling price). Coincidentally, there are currently 9 of the item up for sale, and only one has a bid. That one had an opening price of $1.

What does all this information tell us? For starters, before investing in items to sell at eBay, we should run our own little marketing study by examining completed auctions. The more money you need to invest in an item, the more completed auctions you should examine. This particular item currently is not a desirable piece on eBay. No one is buying it – so if you are questioning whether you should invest in it for selling, the answer should be a clear NO!

More information can be gleaned from surveys like this. If the item is selling well at eBay, you can tell, by past history when you should close your auction. Sort the completed auctions by highest prices first. After checking the dates on a calendar, see if the item closes for the most money on certain days of the week – and at certain times of day. Plan your auction to close at that day and time.

If you are selling a popular item at eBay (that always sells at a comparable price) you can usually start your auction with a low opening bid and watch the action from there. Stick with the 7-day auction format. Three-day auctions work best for super-hot items – and of course, always use a Gallery image. The 25¢ you invest will come back to you with more bids.


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