Secrets to selling on ebay?

I’ve got a lot of old parts laying around i really need to offload, but i am … afraid of ebay. I don’t really feel like i know how to compete with the ‘power’ sellers. I don’t have any sort of account history, and i dont’ know enough html to make any sort of page layout. I suppose i ought to learn someday…

Any good tips on what moves computer part merchandise and maximize profit? Do you put lots of OMG THE BEST PART EVAR headlines or does that scare them off? Copy/Paste the useless specs from the manufacturer? (Yes it does have Hyper-Z triple buffering!). Should i make a buyout, like, you know, World of Warcraft (i know its lame but i’ve sold far more there heh) or a minimum bid, or just trust the market to bid the value up? I want to sell my Vcard, for example, for not much less than 200, and i’m afraid if i sell it without a minimum bid i’ll get totally screwed and have it move for 50$. And what’s the best way to handle S/H?

When i tried to sell my old moniter i didn’t even get a nibble.

Monitors are tough because of the shipping weight and fragile.

Look around for comparable parts to see if you will be able to get a sale. If there are brisk sales of similar products and you have a competative price, you have a good shot.

I have failed to sell stuff like NICs and hubs, but have been able to sell somewhat heavy weight items like a power supply. Also good with video cards, motherboards, CPUs, and memory.

Most ebay sellers don’t know HTML; you don’t need that to sell on Ebay.

I have a template I use when selling anything. You can see it in a few of my past auctions here: one and two.

Most of the pics are gone from the first one, but still there on the second. I believe that picking the subject/title is absolutely imperative. Use every possible good key word you can think of that applies. In that first auction, I even listed an abbreviation for “Wizards of the Coast” because I’m positive many people search ebay with it (and they did publish those games I was selling) plus two variations on the spelling of the name of the boardgame.

Also, as Bull briefly alluded to, pricing is important. If the similar item is selling everywhere on eBay for $20, having $25 as your opening bid won’t cut it. :) If you must get a certain price, use the reserve feature. Also, there’s almost no reason whatsoever in any instance to start an auction above $1 (unless your “opening bid” is the minimum you’ll accept… then it’s kind of like starting at the reserve price).

Beyond this, I use the layout you see in both of the auctions above (side by side, they look rather similar). First a brief intro paragraph (here’s where you pack it with more key search terms, such as using hyphens or breaking compound words apart). In here you can also include other, related terms people may search for (such as when I listed “Magic: the Gathering” in my boardgames auction). Then I put up pics, which are all linked to extra-large versions (like 1280x1024 or more) so people can see the detail on precisely what they are getting. Then a description of the pics. Also links to related things are cool because people can see just how exciting your item is, such as my link to a Google search of board game cons, or in previous arcade machine auctions I’d link to the KLOV entry. Finally my standard language closing paragraph concerning payment, shipping, etc.

I always use the 7 day auction because it gives plenty of face time but doesn’t cost extra. I always start my auctions on Mondays, because this fits in a weekend right before the end, but not too closely. When someone asks me a question using the eBay tool, unless it is a repeat or retarded, I always post the answer on the auction page (both of the above auctions had questions, eBay automagically added them to the end of the auction itself so you can see how they look).

I’m not any kind of a power seller or anything, but this formula has worked for me many years. Parts of it, such as the Monday fixation, may be totally invalid but they at least have not totally unreasonable hypotheses as my intellectual backup. I’m 100% confident that title is key, and pricing and good, high quality pics are important. I’m not big on the flash and jazzy layouts that most power-sellers use, but I think that shows the buyer that I’m more of a person than some company on eBay.

I’m posting my last arcade machine for auction tomorrow (finally). When it’s up, I’ll link to it so you can see how it sticks to the same template.

Remember the default ebay search only hits the title.

Sunday day is the accepted best day to end an auction (based on most auction helper sites). Make it 4-5pm EST.


Use lots of exclamation marks as well. At least four. It never hurts to add a “LQQK!!!” or a “RARE!!!” either. If you really want to get their attention, use “HOT!!!”.

TSG, please edit the title of this thread to read “[email protected]@K!!! Secrets to selling on ebay? RARE NR!!!”

I don’t think TSG means what you think it means. :)

Dammit. Am I going to have to change my username to avoid confusion?


Oops. Yes, why can’t everyone have an easy to remember and simple to spell nickname like mine?

I try to make my auctions end on a Monday to catch all the bored people surfing at work.

Good tips, but how do you build up a rating? Would you sell fairly cheap items first, so that you can get some ratings in and then sell your more valuable stuff? Do my ratings from BUYING things apply here?

Yep. All in the same bucket. You build up ratings through volume, though if you want to put in extra effort you can probably boost the number of feedback ratings you get by sending friendly reminders to people you’ve dealt with and by rating them, too. Try “I just left you positive feedback, so I’d appreciate it if you could fill out a rating on me, too” to get the reciprocity angle working for you.

How many ratings are usually considered safe for people looking to purchase your items?

Great thread. A++++++++++++++ Would read again.

(someone had to do it, why not me?)

OK, best eBay advice I can give: don’t rape people on the shipping. It’s such a blatantly transparent profit attempt that you look like a con artist no matter how much positive feedback you have. You’ll recognize the type. It’s the person that charges $6.00 shipping for a music CD, or $10 for a video game. The worst example I ever saw was someone selling a brand new copy of Norton Ghost for $.99 with a S&H charge of $89. I kid you not. When in doubt, package your item and take it to the post office for a shipping quote before you list.

Other than that, the usual applies. Include a good digital photo. Be very descriptive. Lay out your payment and shipping terms in the listing.

I actually posted two more auctions last night, so if you’re interested in seeing my template, they are here and here. Normally when I’m trying to buy something I don’t want people bidding it up early on, but both of these already had opening bids after just a few hours (the first one actually has already jumped up quite a bit) and both still have well over 6 days to go.

Title, Timing, and Template. My three T’s.

So you only have 41 feedbacks and that works well for you? That’s good to know. I probably only have about 12 though…I guess I should start small.

Yeah it works fine. In my case, I’ve been on eBay for six years, and have no negatives in that entire time. All that time with no negs outweights that I only have a small number of positives. Besides, people can see I’m not some uber-seller with an eBay store and all that.

Someone is going to give you $90 for a broken arcade game? Man, I gotta start selling shit on Ebay.

What would you guys suggest for computer parts? I have a Radeon 9700Pro, an Abit motherboard, and a P4 2.6 processor and I was wondering if I should sell these packaged together or separately?

Also who would you recommend for shipping?