Thursday, February 16, 2012

SELLING ON EBAY

No one really understands how much work goes into having an eBay business until they have done it. If you want to sell stuff, you really have to put some thought and effort into it. I have just been blessed with a ton of clothes, shoes, and handbags to sell on eBay, so I am spending several hours a day in the prep work. I find that it's sort of like painting a room - almost all the real work is in the preparation. Cleaning, touching up, taping, taking outlets off the wall - that sort of thing.

So, when selling clothing on eBay, the first step is to inspect every item for tears, stains, buttons missing, any flaw at all. You can advertise something and point out that "tiny little spot" but most of the time it won't sell. After everything has been sorted into "Sell" and "Goodwill" piles, then all items must be washed. And, of course, some are "hand wash, cold," some are "machine wash, warm," some are "tumble dry," and some are "line dry." I have to admit, anything that requires hand washing ends up being the last to be listed.

Once all the items are ready to photograph, I have to have a nice day with a lot of light. I find that around 10 a.m. is a good time to start. It's not too chilly outside, and the light is nice and bright, but not that brutal noonday sun. I generally take 4 shots of each item - front, close-up, back, and the label. If it's a two-piece item, like a pajama set, then there are two or three more shots.


Then the photographs have to be downloaded to my Mac. Once they are in iPhoto, I can crop and adjust the exposure, maybe saturate the color a little just to make them pop. Each item gets its own folder, and they are ready to be uploaded to Auctiva. Auctiva is a listing service that provides templates and data services for people who sell a lot on eBay. If you are only listing 20 or so items per month, it's not worth it, but if you're doing a big, big batch, it's a good tool.

Just as in painting that room, the final step is the easiest and where it all comes together. A snappy description of the item helps get a shopper's attention. You want to sound friendly, but professional. Buyers must trust you before they will buy something they cannot see or touch. EBay's feedback system helps establish this trust, too.

So if you want to see what I've been working so hard on this week, go to eBay and search for "santanartist." Or search for "Orange Carole Little." Either way, you should find my items.