Selling online can seem a little daunting at first, sometimes even frustrating.
The frustration usually comes from not being able to sell your items, having no hits, or even possibly getting the run-around from the potential buyer. I want to keep this really simple, and give you some quick, basic, but effective ways to get those items moving!
Quick Tips for Successfully Selling Your Items Online
Take clear photos of the item you are offering
You may think this is a 'given' when listing something; but many times I have run across photos that are blurry and out of focus, taken from too far back, or do not show the detail that sometimes is necessary.
Quick Tip for a Great Photo: Find the room with the brightest, natural light, in your house.
If possible, use this place as your setting .
When taking your photo, make sure the natural sunlight is in front of your item, not behind.
For me I find the best place to take my photos is the dining room between 2pm – 4pm.
Your photos do not have to be professional, or even perfect.
Just make sure they are clear enough for your potential buyer to see the exact item they will receive.
Use the Description and Keyword / Product Tag Option to Your Advantage
This is something that easily gets skipped over, as many people just aren't sure what it is.
In short, "product tags" are when we use one or a few words to describe what we have to offer; "description" is pretty self explanatory.
Let's do an example: You are selling a ladies pair of jeans that are a size 10.
In the description box, you would write a short description of the jeans you have for sale, remembering to list the size and condition.
We would then also use the "Product Tags" to enter in a few keywords that one might search while on Marketplace.
Here is a screenshot of what your Marketplace ad might look like:
** Don't forget to be honest in your listing.
If your item has scratches, flaws, dents or holes, let them know in the description as well as showing a clear photo of the flaw.
Let's do another example of how to make a great listing:
Say you are selling a mirror. I'm using this one as the example, as I had just run into this issue within the past few weeks.
Again, you want to make sure you have taken photos to the best of your ability.
Here are a few photos of my bathroom mirror.
I've chosen these as an example as they are "real" and the mirror is not in a place where I have the best lighting.
But as you can see, I have done my best to show what the buyer will receive.
If I was listing this mirror for sale, I would add in these two particular photos, so the buyer could see how it looks hung and also see the little detailing on the metal flowers:
One more photo I would want to add in my listing, is the back of the mirror.
This gives your buyer an idea of the mirror as a whole, and will also show them the options on how to hang.
Don't Skip This Next Important Step!…
This time we would add a bit more information into the description, such as measurement and weight. Not everybody has a scale handy, so even a "descriptive weight" is helpful.
These details are very important to potential buyers as they need to know if your item will work for their space, or even if their wall will be strong enough to hold it. Now let's get it listed!
You can see I have added in some detailed information, which will (hopefully) save on a lot of back-and-forth conversation, that may lead to nowhere.
Getting (and Giving) a Great Deal
Believe it or not, selling goes both ways!
First thing we want to do is focus on the item you have to offer.
One rule would be, even if that item is "new", you should not expect full price when selling secondhand.
If someone were willing to pay 'retail value', they are more likely to go straight to the source (amazon etc) since they are able to send stuff back if there is an issue, get refunded and so-on. If we'd like our item to sell quickly online, sometimes we just gotta take that loss, and offer it up for a few bucks less.
So how much DO I ask then?
Marketplace and secondhand shoppers like to negotiate and haggling a deal is what the game is all about!
So the first thing we need to do is determine the amount that you actually want for your item and take it from there.
Let's do an example: If you have a pair of jeans that you would like $10 for, we're going to list them at $12.
A negotiating buyer is very likely to message and ask if you will take $10. This is a Win-Win!
Sometimes you may even luck out and the buyer will pay the full asking price of $12 – Hooray!
Now of course, if you don't want to play the haggling game, simply list your item and state that the price is FIRM.
Don't Use Someone Else's Photos
I can't believe I actually have to say this, but it's not okay.
A few weeks back I happen to be scrolling through Marketplace when I passed a photo of a board game.
It kind of stopped me and I thought "That looks familiar." – "Wait…that's my dining room!".
Long story short, I asked the seller to remove the photo; and after a weird guilt-trip of trying to blame her children and that I should be grateful they used the photo, she removed it.
People, you cannot use someone else's picture just because you have the same item.
In my scenario, it was the same board game in name, but it definitely was not the same item.
We both had different years and editions of the game, and naturally, our items would not have been in the exact same condition.
and last, but not least…
I was at my limit with patience when it came to potential buyers who would say they were interested in an item.
We'd agree to the deal, I'd hand off information, along with my address and what would happen…a no-show.
This is really just a giant waste of everyones time and to be quite honest, I find it incredibly creepy.
I decided that now I would take immediate control of my potential sale once contacted.
My conversations now go something along the lines of this:
Potential Buyer: Is this still available?
Me: "Hi (name). Yes it is. I am available tonight between 6-7pm or tomorrow between 2-3 pm"
This gives very little wiggle room for the humming and hawing or possibly not even responding to you.
This also politely, yet subtly, let's the buyer know you cannot wait around all day or even days on end for that matter.
It may still happen from time to time, but it has greatly cut down on the run-arounds; and of course you would tweak this to fit your needs and schedule, but you get the idea.
A Little Food for Thought:
When it comes to either (successfully) buying or selling online, put yourself in both the shop owner and customers position.
What kind of information and treatment would you hope for?
Would you be willing to buy a mirror for $20 if you didn't know the dimensions, weight or condition?
Would you be willing to purchase jeans for $10 if the zipper was broken?
I hope you have found some of these tips helpful and find yourself well on the way to making a few great sales – Good luck!