Types of Ebay Auctions

Over the years, eBay has introduced all sorts of different auction types, in an effort to give people more options when they buy and sell their things on eBay.

For every seller who doesn’t like the idea that their item might sell for a far lower price than they intend, there’s another who wants to shift hundreds of the same item quickly. eBay tries to cater to all tastes. This post is meant to give you an overview of the different kinds of auctions and their advantages for you.

Normal Auctions.

These are the bread-and-butter of eBay, the auctions everyone knows: buyers bid, others outbid them, they bid again, and the winner gets the item. Simple.

Reserve Auctions.

Reserve auctions are for sellers who don’t want their items to sell for less than a certain price – a concept you’ll know about if you’re familiar with real auctions. They work just like normal auctions on eBay, except that the buyer will be told if their bid does not meet the reserve price you set, and they’ll need to bid again if they want the item. If no-one is willing to meet your price, then the auction is cancelled, and you keep the item.

Fixed Price (‘Buy it Now’) Auctions.

Buy it Now auctions can work in one of two ways. You can add a Buy it Now button to a normal auction, meaning that buyers can choose either to bid normally or to simply pay the asking price and avoid the whole bidding process. Some sellers, though, now cut out the auction process altogether and simply list all their items at fixed price. This lets you avoid all the complications of the auction format and simply list your items for how much you want them to sell for.

Recently, eBay added a twist to fixed price auctions: the ‘best offer’. This means that buyers can contact you to negotiate a price, which could be a good way to get sell some extra stock at a small discount. The only downside to reserve and fixed price auctions is that you pay a small extra fee to use these formats. In general, it is more worth using reserve auctions for higher-priced items and fixed price auctions for lower-priced ones – but remember that you can combine the two formats.

Multiple Item (‘Dutch’) Auctions.

These are auctions where you can sell more than one of a certain item. Dutch auctions can be done by bidding. Buyers bid a price and say how many items they want, and then everyone pays the lowest price that was bid by one of the winning bidders. If you have trouble getting your head around that, then don’t worry – everyone else does too! These auctions are very rare.

What is more common is when a seller has a lot of one item, and lists it using a combination of two auction types: a multiple-item fixed price auction. This just means that you can just say how many of the item you they have, and offer them at a fixed price per unit. Buyers can enter how many they want and then just click Buy it Now to get them.

Now that you know about the different types of auctions, you should make sure that the items you plan to sell don’t violate eBay’s listing policies.

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Ebay Title Writing Tips

Trying to be help your buyers find your auctions can be a truly daunting task. Most people only search eBay by title, not by description, and that means that you only have those 55 characters of the title to cover all the possible search terms. That’s not easy. In this email, I’ll give you a few pointers.

Don’t bother with eBay clichés: There are plenty of eBay auction titles that say things like “Super rare camera wow look low price”. These are stupid things to put in your title, as no-one is going to search for them.

Think like a buyer: If you were looking for your item, then what exactly would you type into that box? If you think it’d help, try searching yourself to find someone else selling your item. What were the first things you thought of typing?

Think like other sellers: Keep an eye on which sellers are doing best with items like yours, and try to copy their title styles – if it works for them, it can work for you.

Be specific: You should be sure to write the item’s brand and specific model number in the title, as people will often search only for this information. Make sure that you also say exactly what the item is.

A Few Examples.

Here are a few examples of good titles. They’re real, and they’re on eBay right now, making their sellers money. So what makes them good?

“Dell Latitude Laptop P3 500mhz Notebook PC Computer”

If you know about computers, you’ll know instantly what this auction is selling. It has manufacturer (Dell) and product line (Latitude), followed by a few technical specifications (P3 500mhz is the processor speed). Notice also that the title includes the four words ‘laptop’, ‘notebook’, ‘PC’ and ‘computer’, as the seller wants people looking for any of those words to see his auction.

“OASIS Don’t Believe the Truth CD Album (New)”

This auction for a CD is well formatted: it gives the artist name in capital letters, followed by the album name. It then manages to include the two key words ‘CD’ and ‘album’, as well as the word ‘new’ – that means that anyone searching for ‘new oasis cd’, ‘oasis new album’ and so on will find this auction.

“1840 Penny Black stamp, certificate, four margins”

Here’s a slightly more obscure one, from the exciting world of stamp collecting. A penny black is one of the oldest and most famous stamps. It uses a few key words that collectors will consider important: ‘four margins’ indicates that the stamp has been cut out with some margins around it and so isn’t damaged, and ‘certificate’ tells you that the item has a certificate of authenticity – it’s a real penny black. Remember to use every bit of space to squeeze in as much important information as you can in the title.

So now that you’ve written a winning title, you need to start on a great description. The next email will show you how.


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Breakfast Frittata

Found this wonderful recipe and tried it this last weekend, the kids loved it, that is saying alot… they won’t eat anything.

Breakfast Frittata

Prep and Cook Time:20 min. 

Ingredients:

½ medium onion, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
¼ lb ground lamb or turkey
2 + 1 TBS chicken broth
3 cups rinsed and finely chopped kale, (stems removed)
2 whole free range chicken eggs
3 egg whites
salt and black pepper to taste 

Directions:

Preheat broiler on low.  Heat 1 TBS broth in a 9-10 inch stainless steel skillet. Sauté onion over medium heat, for about 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add garlic, ground lamb or turkey, and cook for another 3 minutes on medium heat, breaking up clumps.  Add kale and 2 TBS broth. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook covered about 5 more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and mix.  Beat eggs, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and pour on top of mixture evenly. Cook on low for another 2 minutes without stirring. 

Put under broiler in middle of oven, about 7 inches from the heat source, on low, so it has time to cook without the top burning. When it gets firm it is done, about 2-3 minutes. 

 


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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

So appropriately named, I am now SAD!  Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, is a mood disorder in which people who have seemingly normal mental health throughout most of the year and then experience depressive symptoms in the winter.

According to the US National Library of Medicine “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.”

It seems rather early for it to be hitting me this year.  Living in the Northwest, the sun seems to go down earlier then in most places.  I get up in the morning and it is dark, I come home from work and it is dark…. boy that makes me SAD!

There are many different treatments for classic (winter-based) seasonal affective disorder, the most widely used are light therapies with bright lights, some times anti-depression medication is prescribed, some try cognitive-behavioral therapy and carefully-timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin can also be used.

I’ve added links for several items that I have found at Amazon that would be very good if you also suffer from SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.


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Ebay Seller’s Checklist

Being a seller is a lot of responsibility, and sometimes you might feel like you’re not doing everything you should be. This simple checklist will help you keep on top of things.

Have you found out everything you possibly could about your items? Try typing their names into a search engine – you might find out something you didn’t know. If someone else is selling the same thing as you, then always try to provide more information about it than they do.
 
Do you monitor the competition? Always keep an eye on how much other items the same as or similar to yours are selling, and what prices they’re being offered at. There’s usually little point in starting a fixed price auction for $100 when someone else is selling the item for $90.

Have you got pictures of the items? It’s worth taking the time to photograph your items, especially if you have a digital camera. If you get serious about eBay but don’t have a camera, then you will probably want to invest in one at some point.

Are you emailing your sellers? It’s worth sending a brief email when transactions go through: something like a simple “Thank you for buying my item, please let me know when you have sent the payment”. Follow this up with “Thanks for your payment, I have posted your [item name] today”. You will be surprised how many problems you will avoid just by communicating this way.

Also, are you checking your emails? Remember that potential buyers can send you email about anything at any time, and not answering these emails will just make them go somewhere else instead of buying from you.

Do your item description pages have everything that buyers need to know? If you’re planning to offer international delivery, then it’s good to make a list of the charges to different counties and display it on each auction. If you have any special terms and conditions (for example, if you will give a refund on any item as long as it hasn’t been opened), then you should make sure these are displayed too.

Have you been wrapping your items correctly? Your wrapping should be professional for the best impression: use appropriately sized envelopes or parcels, wrap the item in bubble wrap to stop it from getting damaged, and print labels instead of hand-writing addresses. Oh, and always use first class post – don’t be cheap.

Do you follow up? It is worth sending out an email a few days after you post an item, saying “Is everything alright with your purchase? I hope you received it and it was as you expected.” This might sound like giving the customer an opportunity to complain, but you should be trying to help your customers, not take their money and run.

Being a really good eBay seller, more than anything else, is about providing genuinely good and honest customer service. That’s the only foolproof way to protect your reputation. Of course, you might be wondering by now whether it’s really worth all the hassle to get a good reputation on eBay. Won’t people buy from you anyway, and couldn’t you just open a new account if it really comes down to that? Our next email will set you straight.


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