Drop Shipping & eCommerce Blog | Doba

Dropshipping on eBay - tips and tricks for marketplace sellers, part 1

Written by Jeff Allen on June 24, 2014 in How to Sell Products Online


Editor's note: This is part one of a two-part series on eBay selling fundamentals.

There are a lot of ways to be successful while selling on eBay. It can be hard to get ahead of the crowd, especially with the sheer amount of retailers who are dropshipping on eBay. However, there are certain tips and tricks retailers can use to get ahead - and stay ahead - of their marketplace competition. Let's take a look at a few of them. 

1. Make Good Use of Keywords 

There's a good reason why they're called "keywords." They're key. If you can manage to find the best words and phrases that pertain to your product, you'll have a lot of customers looking for your product. Take the time to research which terms and phrases are best for your product. Neither eBay or customers like keyword saturation. Most customers look for technical details about the product they're searching for. A good tool to use is eBay's keyword research tool. It shows you which words will have the most success when someone is searching for your product. Don't short-change the description of your product. The more detailed you are, the more likely someone will find it.

search query table

2. Sell What You Know

expert photo

Don't try to sell just anything.  Offering popular products that you know little about can hurt the image customers have about your business. You'll make sales, for sure, but when people ask you about these products you'll find yourself in a position where you won't be able to answer. This can damage the relationship you have with any present and future customers. Instead, focus on what you know a lot about. Can you build a computer with your eyes closed? Do you know the type of wood and the tools used to make a table simply by looking at it? Can you tell which perfume someone is wearing as they pass by? Are you a sports nut who has every statistic of five different sports memorized? Aim to sell what you're passionate about. Not only will you have information – good information – about the product you're selling, but customers who share your passions will recognize similar likes. You'll get customers who not only come back to buy product, but who also seek your advice.  You'll soon seen how contagious loyalty is as your customers start telling all their friends about your business.

3. Respond Positively to Feedback

why customers leave a company graph

Feedback is another key part of successful selling. Regardless of what you sell, you will be receiving feedback. And while unfortunate, it's also unavoidable that some of your feedback will be negative. It's easy to respond to someone who loved their experience with you, but when someone has a lot of problems, it can both negatively affect your mood as well as other customers' perception of you. Regardless of the feedback, always respond positively. While customers will see negative feedback, what really stands out is how well the seller responds. Respond poorly and it will only create and confirm customers' doubts about your service. Respond well and customers will most likely forget the negative feedback in light of your superior customer service. It's true that there are some people out there who just won't be pleased regardless of the quality of your service. Other customers recognize that and will look to your response to make a decision about buying from you.

4. Take Quality Pictures

stock photo of an image being taken

You might not think it, but often times customers won't buy a perfectly good product simply because there aren't quality pictures posted of it. Online shopping isn't like a retail store where you can go and physically inspect the product. Many customers are already hesitant to buy something they can't inspect themselves, and the lack of good photos is often the determining factor for not buying. If you have access to a high-quality camera, use it. Take multiple shots from different angles. If there's something physically wrong with the item, make sure you take good photos of it. Even though you may describe in detail any defects, being able to actually see them will ease the buyers mind when making the purchase. Good pictures also means good protection against any fraudulent claims. So be sure to always take lots of good, quality pictures of the product you are selling.

5.Time Your Auctions Well

bid placement graph

The timing of when your auctions go up, and in turn when they end, is very important. It's not going to do you any good if your auction goes up when everyone is asleep and ends when everyone is at work. Try to have your auction end between 9-11 PM Eastern Time/6-8 PM Pacific Time. By doing this you're guaranteed the most exposure to your auction. It's also wise to have your auctions end during the weekend. Try to have it end between Friday and Sunday evening. People typically aren't worried about work or other responsibilities during this time and are more prone to spend their time looking for deals on eBay. With more people looking for deals, you'll see more bids on your item. More bids means higher payoff.


Images used with permission courtesy of Joe Hastings and Owen Parrish.

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