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Dropshipping on eBay - tips and tricks for marketplace sellers, part 2

Written by Jeff Allen on June 26, 2014 in How to Sell Products Online

E-Commerce

Editor's note: This is part two of a two-part series

Selling on eBay can be a big endeavor for those who aren’t prepared. Start your auction at the wrong time, set the price too high, or describe your product well and you’ll quickly be left behind by more experience sellers. As we continue to look at ways to better increase your success with dropshipping on eBay, we’ll focus on building your profile, what price to start your auction at, how to filter buyers, and the benefits of shipping. If you missed our first article, make sure you check it out here.

1) Building a Better Profile

ascending stars 

 If you’ve never sold an item on eBay before, you may find it hard to sell high-priced items. The reason for this is people check the profile of every seller before they buy. If you don’t have any feedback, you’ll find it difficult to get off the ground. 

An easy way to remedy this is to simply buy a few small things that you need. Try to get pens, socks, or anything else that you’d be picking up anyway. This will boost your feedback profile enough for other buyers to recognize you know how to shop and promptly pay for items on eBay.

When you do start selling, start small as you build your profile. When people begin to buy from you, be as efficient as possible in getting their items shipped and delivered. Be prepared to respond to any customer questions and always solicit feedback. Your biggest help or hindrance to selling on eBay will be your feedback profile. According to TeleFaction data research, someone who rates you a “5” rating is six times more likely to shop with you again than someone who only gives you a “4.8.” More than 60 percent of consumers are influenced by other consumers’ feedback, so aim to give the best service you can.

2) Setting the Right Price

money question mark

Pricing is tough. Set it too high, and no one will buy your product. Set it too low, and you’ll probably end up losing money on the sale. The trick to setting the right price is to know your competition. Search eBay for similar products and monitor how their auctions are going. Which items are getting the most bids? Which items are getting the biggest bids? Check out eBay’s “Completed Listings” to get an idea of what the selling price has been for your item. Once you have a general feel for how your product sells on ebay, you’re ready to post it.

Now, while there isn’t a single “best” starting price, there are many good ones. Based on your research, and depending on your product, sometimes setting the average selling price (ASP) as your starting price, and then listing a slightly higher “Buy It Now” price will net you with more profit. Something that also works is setting a starting price that is slightly lower than competition. This may bring in more bidders as well as those from competitors, pushing your final selling price above the ASP. 

If you are selling a less-expensive product, try starting the auction low ($1) and see at what price it sells. On your next listing, set the start price at what it sold at, and repeat the process. Regardless of how you choose to sell, the best way to learn will be from knowing your competition and, ultimately, trial and error.

3) Getting the Right Buyers

question mark customers

They never go through with purchases. They leave unwarranted negative feedback. They always ask for refunds or complain about the product. They’re just...not the type of customer you want to do business with. Many eBay members have had bad experiences with this type of person and it can make selling a hassle. 

Bad buyers average about 5 percent of all buyers on eBay. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you take into account that more than 100 million people use the online auction site, it quickly becomes a large number. Luckily, eBay has provided a way for you to control (to an extent) the type of person who buys from you.

In your account, under the “site preferences” link, you have the option to select your buyer requirements. These options include whether or not to do business with people without PayPal accounts, who have received unpaid strikes, negative feedback scores, etc. Selecting these options will greatly improve your overall selling experience on ebay, and improve the success you have selling your product. All customers are still able to contact you, so if a special exception arises, you’ll be able to adjust to the situation.

4) Shipping Smartly

shipping box 

 For most businesses, shipping comes as an afterthought. The customer already bought the item, shipping is just the next step. In truth, though, shipping is an integral part of the transaction. Here are some statistic that hopefully shape how you handle your shipping process:

  • 85% of customers won’t shop with you again if the return process isn’t convenient

  • 44% of shoppers will abandon their carts due to high shipping costs

  • 64% of shoppers say that free shipping greatly impacts their ordering decision

  • 93% of shoppers purchase more products with free shipping

  • 95% of shoppers expect a free shipping offer to deliver the product within 3-7 days.

As you can see, shipping is a major part of the buying experience, even to the point of customer retention. Free shipping can be expensive if not done right. By utilizing techniques like product bundling or setting price requirements for free shipping, it can be a profitable experience for both you and your customers.

5) Get Selling

As helpful as this article is, the best advice you can get is to just start selling. These are some great tips you can use to help as you get familiar with the ins and outs of selling online, but as you’ll quickly discover, there are many other techniques that might end up working better for you. Don’t worry if your first transactions don’t measure up to your expectation. Most online sellers don’t become rich overnight. Do your research, learn from your sales, and you’ll soon be a pro at online selling.

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