I have been getting many requests to do a post on both shopping on eBay as well as selling. There really is a lot to this but I will keep it short and simple.
Here is my two cents on EBay. You really have to be patient both with buying and selling.
Let's say you are looking for a dress that is either sold out at stores or out of your budget. What you should do is add it to your saved searches. I have done this numerous times, and with a little time, gotten amazing deals! For example: Bebe tweed dress (I would leave out the size because many times we are in between sizes anyway and can always get it altered if need be).
Many people sell to make room for new season or they recently lost weight. Some sell to make money, whatever the reason may be, try negotiating with the seller. Some will not want to, and that's ok. Let's say a seller has a pair of jeans listed for $40 bucks. These might retail for over $200, try emailing the seller with an offer. And see if they are willing to work with you. I have done this so many times and some are totally willing and some never reply. Be reasonable with your offer. If you see an amazing deal, don't wait especially if it's a buy it now. Always do your research on what the item retails for and if it is currently on sale.
Do your research on the seller. Look at their feedback and if they have any negative points definitely take that into account. I suggest this especially if buying something that is spendy. Communicate with the seller and ask for more photos if you are unsure. A good seller should not have a problem sending a few photos to your email.
Another tip is put an item on your watch list and bid towards the end. I usually wait till the last few minutes. Put in your max bid, in other words, what is the most you are willing to spend on the item. This is very important because the key here is not to get carried away. I will only buy something if it is an amazing deal. What's the point if I can just go to Ross or TJ Maxx. Or shop online discount retailers.
Another tip is waiting. If you like an item but price seems too high, wait to see if the buyer might relist at a lower price (of course if it sells your out of luck). There are times I wanted a particular dress and waited a few months for the "right" deal to pop up. So being patient is very important. And so is discipline.
If you are trying to sell on eBay, here are a few tips.
If you have an iPhone/iPad, download an app called Ebay Fees. This will calculate how much money you will have to pay Ebay and Paypal for listing and selling your item. They also have the fees listed on their website.
Make sure to know how much you will pay for shipping. I have a small scale I use to weigh my items so at least I know approximately how much the cost will be. If something is over one pound, I suggest using USPS Priority Mail. Go to USPS.com and order a whole bunch of free supplies. Order different size envelopes, boxes and labels. This will save you time and money. Print shipping labels from home because you receive a discount plus USPS will pick up your Priority Mail for free. All you need to do is schedule it on their website.
Sell only what you would buy yourself. Make sure it's clean with no stains. If there is a defect that can be fixed, make sure to explain it in your description and take photos. Currently you can list one photo for free. If you want to list more photos, download to photobucket, and copy the link into the HTML description box. This is free and the photos will be extra large so potential buyers will be able to see clear photos of what you are listing.
Research what others are selling similar items for. If you have an iPhone you can even see what items like yours have sold for! How cool is that?! I list through my iPhone because it's more convenient for me. I can find the exact or similar item on eBay and there is an option "Sell one like this". This makes it super easy because many of the options are already included.
Make sure you have a clear descriptive title. For example: NWT J Crew Toothpick Jeans Neon Pink Size 25
This will help when buyers are searching for an item. Try to include measurements in the description. For example if you are listing a pair of jeans, include inseam, waist, rise measurements.
Hope this helps you get more comfortable with EBay. Don't overthink it too much, just get down to it. The more you shop/sell the better you will get at it.
Till next time.