Bummed by slow sales and don’t know what to do about it? It happens to all of us! We work and work and list and list, and yet the sales don’t come in. This can be really discouraging, especially when fellow resellers are posting photos of their stacks of sales in all the Facebook groups. You know the ones I’m talking about. Just keep in mine, those people may have little to no profit margin. You don’t know their numbers, and often times, they don’t either.
So how can we change our daily sales totals? I’ve learned that there are 7 key areas in your ebay store that are super important to your growth. If you get those right, you’ll have lots of sales.
Let’s talk about photos for a minute.
Photos are one of the most important things in a listing. They will make or break you.
Your buyer cannot pick up your item and turn it around and upside down. You have to do that with the photos. You must also include photos of any damage or wear. Full disclosure is so important.
Do NOT try to hide the undesirable parts of your item by no including them in the photos. People will buy broken, damaged and worn items without realizing it.
It’s also important that the background be free from any clutter and distractions. Kitchen counters and coffee tables are not ideal places to take photos because they are usually filled with other items.
A simple piece of foam core board from the dollar store will work with another board placed at a 90 degree angle for a background or a science fair board.
Use black for lighter objects and white for everything else. Make sure that you have good lighting and bright photos. The photos can be brightened in ebay after you upload them.
You can put together an easy, inexpensive setup. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to look clean and crisp.
2. Listing Titles
The titles are as important as the photos.
It’s the only thing that buyers are going to see in the search results other than your photos.
Titles also help you get found in search.
Avoid using words like L@@K, Nice, Cute, etc. These are not words that people are going to search for. They just take up valuable space that could be used for something else.
A good formula to use is = brand + gender + type + descriptor
Not all of these words will apply to every item, but this will give you something to work with.
Don’t have a super short title like “vintage clock.” That doesn’t tell the buyer anything.
On the flip side of that, don’t cram the entire title space with words just to put something there.
Use the item specifics section in the listing for more details. This will help you rank higher. Don’t cram a bunch of works in the title.
3. Product Mix
The combination of products that you have in your ebay store can vary for many reasons. You may choose to have only one type of product like clothing or shoes, vintage items, toys, etc. You may also choose to have a broad mix of items.
What you are able to buy and sell depends heavily upon what is available in your area and your cash flow capabilities.
I choose to have a mix of new and vintage items. The price range of my items also varies. I have something for everyone.
It is up to you to determine what your minimum profit has to be on a item to make it worth it for you. Having a threshold set will help you make buying decisions much quicker.
If you have all low dollar items, your first goal should be raising the average selling price.
There are a few ways you can do this. The first and easiest way it to just quit buying junk. We all do it in the beginning.
This leads me into my second point: as you learn better you can do better. Educate yourself on new items to look out for.
Start with what you know and study completed listings for those items. Sort from highest to lowest. Watching YouTube “What Sold” videos is also another great way to learn.
4. Business Policies
If you have a reselling business, you need to map out your business policies. Selling on someone else’s platform means that you are in their sandbox and you must play by their rules.
First of all, read the terms of service for ebay. Familiarize yourself with their guidelines on what you can sell and not sell.
Second, decide on a return policy. I have mine set at 30 days with the buyer paying return shipping. This is a personal choice. You have to do what is best for your business. Accepting returns does not mean that you will have an increase in returns. I rarely have one.
Also, if a buyer says that your item is not as described, you will have to take it back. Returns are a part of any retail business.
Thirdly, what policies do you state in your listing? I state my handling time and how many days I give for payment. If you are writing long paragraphs that sound very accusatory in nature, you are not warding off bad buyers. You are scaring off the good ones.
Your text should be left-justified, not centered and bullet points are just fine. There is no need for paragraphs. At least 50% of your buyers are on mobile. They are not going to take the time to read a long description.
5. Sell Through Rate
This is an important metric to consider because it tells you if you are actually selling the items you have listed.
The sell through rate, simply put, is the comparison of your sold inventory to the number you have listed.
To find the sell through rate, you will need two numbers- the number of current active listings in your store and the number of items that have sold in the past 90 days. The second number can be found in your ebay seller hub under all orders. It should automatically filter to the last 90 days’ worth of sold items.
Add together the number of sold items to the number of active items. This will be the total number that you have accumulated for the past 90 days. Then divide the number of sold items by this total.
The number you get will be the sell through rate over the past 90 days.
Many factors can affect the sell through rate such as your rate of listing new items, time of year, quality and desirability of your items, etc.
If you have 500 items listed, but only 25 are selling over a 90 day period of time, there is a problem. This calculation will give you a good idea of how your business is doing.
Pricing is a big factor in your profit margin.
If you price your items too low, they may sell too quickly. You may miss out on profit.
If you price them too high they may never move. You could end up storing items instead of selling them.
t’s important to know how to properly price your items. Price with the completed listings, but take into consideration what is active. Check the resources page at the end for more info.
One important thing to remember is that if you price your items super low, you are undercutting the other people selling that item. If people consistently under price, it will become a race to the bottom. Don’t be that seller.
If you feel that you have your item fairly priced and it is not moving, try reverse psychology. Raise the price. You find that this technique can also get you a sale.
Remember that pricing is not static, it is fluid. You will need to go back through your store and check prices again. Lots of things can affect pricing, like seasons and trends.
Your pricing has to be relevant to be successful.
Shipping is an easy way to lose money. Reevaluate what you are charging for shipping.
Are you charging way too much? Shipping is not a place to make a profit. Will you make an extra dollar or two here and there, yes. This helps even out your expenses. It helps ease the pain of your shipping blunders.
Should you be making a big profit off shipping, no. If someone can look at your listing and know that shipping should not be that much, they probably won’t buy your item.
The only way to truly get an accurate shipping cost for an item is to do calculated shipping. You can also do flat shipping, but you need to be really familiar with the way shipping works.
Flat rate shipping is not something I would suggest for a beginner to do. The exception for this is when you are using a flat rate shipping envelope or box. Flat rate is almost never the best deal for your buyer. The exception to this would be padded flat rate mailers for items like clothing that is over 1 lb or flat rate boxes for items that are really heavy.
Fair shipping rates will get you more customers. Being fair does not mean undercutting yourself so make sure you are charging enough and not undercutting your profits.