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The Web Ask Steven Smith
Top 10 Reasons Why eBay Auctions Fail.

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Top 10 Reasons Why eBay Auctions Fail. - Courtesy of Steven Smith

Are you finding that auction after auction fails to attract any bidders or buyers? It happens to the best of us sometimes – take a good look at these things to see if any of them could be making your bidders avoid you.
The starting price was too high: People don’t want to have to make a high bid before anyone else has – you should always start your auctions low and let the bidders bid them up.
The fixed price is too high: If you’re just selling with Buy it Now, then of course your items won’t sell if they’re too expensive. Try reducing the price a little each time the item fails to sell.
No picture: Most buyers are reluctant to bid on something without a picture, and that goes even more for high-value items. Think of it from the buyer’s point-of-view: would you want to bid on an item when you’ve no idea what it looks like?
You had a reserve: Reserve prices scare away buyers like you wouldn’t believe, not to mention costing a percentage of your final sale price. Avoid them like the plague.
Bad spelling and grammar: If your titles are spelled wrongly, then no-one will find your auctions. If your descriptions are incoherent, then no-one will know what you’re talking about. Always run your text through a spelling and grammar checker before you put it up on eBay.
Too much for shipping: You might be expecting people to pay more for shipping than they’re prepared to. Give them a few cheaper options that will take longer, or use cheaper materials.
Negative feedback: If you got negative feedback on your last transaction, expect things to be slow for a while. Try selling cheap things for a while to get your account back in good standing.
Nasty terms: Don’t write things all over your auction like “I will only accept returns in PERFECT condition” or “Serious bidders only, no timewasters!!” This is entirely unnecessary and just makes you look difficult to deal with.
No PayPal: Many buyers simply avoid any seller who doesn’t accept PayPal as a payment method – they can’t be bothered with the hassle of anything else. Even if you don’t like PayPal, you should accept it if you want to business on eBay.
The items were bad. You will have to accept that there are some items no-one wants – perhaps they were hyped to begin with, but now people had heard that they’re useless and stopped buying. Before you come to this conclusion, though, check everything else you can, and check if anyone else is managing to sell it. If you’re sure, try to return the items, and buy in some new stock.
When selling on eBay is so much trouble, you might start to wonder: should I just go and sell my stuff somewhere else? In the next email, we’ll take a look at the various alternatives to eBay that have sprung up over the years.


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