How to Never Lose Money Selling on eBay
Time and time again, I hear sellers talking about items that they lost money on. Maybe it got refunded; maybe it broke; maybe it just never sold. I’m going to give you five tips so you never again have to lose money selling on eBay.
Now, of course, there very well may be a time when you do lose money on something. Things may be out of your control. But, in general, 98 percent of the time, I don’t lose money on an item, and I’m going to share with you why.
#1: Inspect Your Items
A lot of times people lose money because they get excited when they see an item. They pick up the item and then right away tell themselves, “Yeah, I’m going to make 25 bucks on this.” And they get home and something is wrong with the item. Maybe a shirt is missing a button or a jacket is stained. Maybe some piece of electronics doesn’t work.
You’ve got to spend an adequate amount of time inspecting the item before you purchase it. There were times I would buy up to a hundred clothing items in a day. I’d get home and find four or five items that were destroyed, and it was my fault because I got too excited. So one of the best ways to minimize losing money selling on eBay is to make sure that you inspect the item thoroughly before you purchase it.
#2: Make Sure the Item Has a Market
How do you go about determining if an item has a market? Go into the sold listings. If you’re selling on eBay and going out sourcing without a phone and the eBay app, you’re living in the past. Make sure you’ve got a smartphone. Make sure you have the eBay app installed. When you find an item, what you’re going to do is fire up the eBay app, type in some relevant keywords (model, brand, size, color, etc.), and start to look through the sold listings to see how many are selling and how much they’re selling for. You’re going to get some really good information that will give you an idea of whether you should make the purchase. I rarely lose money from picking the wrong items because I always make sure if I buy an item that it has a market.
So many people will say to me, “Oh, I just left the thrift store and bought that item.”
I ask them, “Well, how much is it worth?”
They respond, “I don’t know. I didn’t look it up.”
Look up the items. Some people have an ego and feel that they have to do this without the technology. Use the technology; use the phone; use the sold listings. I know sometimes it’s uncomfortable to look things up in front of people, but just do it.
#3: List Your Items
This seems like a no-brainer, right? But so many people buy items, get them home, and put them in a little pile, where they sit and “die.” List your items. If you’re going to get into selling on eBay or Amazon or Craigslist, list the items you buy quickly.
When those items are sitting at your house in storage, the potential money is sitting there and doing nothing. So get those items listed because the quicker they’re up for sale, the better chance you have of them selling and making you money.
#4: Don’t Buy Items That You Know Nothing About
When I was new, I would invest in these overly complicated items that I knew for sure I was never going to test or figure out if they actually worked. For me, it was certain VCRs, video game systems, or maybe complicated electronics I didn’t know anything about.
Try to stay away from items that aren’t in your lane. If you’re really good with lawnmowers and leaf blowers and electronic items, that’s great. But if you aren’t knowledgeable with that sort of thing and you’re not sure if it works, don’t buy it. Stop getting into items only because you think they’re going to make you money; if something is broken or doesn’t work properly or is missing a part, that’s one of the easiest ways to lose money. So stay in your lane or get the knowledge and learn exactly how it works, how to test it, or how to fix it.
#5: Optimize Your Listings for Increased Visibility
One reason people don’t sell their items for as much money as they’d like is because their listings aren’t optimized. Their photographs are terrible. Their shipping and handling and return policies are horrible. The descriptions are bad. This listing is not mobile friendly. The pricing is off.
Take time when you’re getting started selling on eBay to learn how to take great photographs. Learn how to do keyword research. Learn how many pictures are best for selling your items. Optimize your listings for increased visibility because the better you have them optimized, the better your listings are, the more people are going to see it, and the more conversions you’re going to have based on impression.
Increasing Your Chances of Making Money
At the end of the day, things are going to get damaged every now and then. You might inspect an item, but something just slips by. It’s going to happen. But if you follow these five tips, you’re not going to lose money on eBay. Put in the work, put in the time, and it’s going to help you out so much in your business.
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