Friday, May 24

Do’s and Don’ts of Selling Items Online

Before selling items online, read this first! Here is advice on how to have a positive online selling experience that could increase your potential for online selling success.


First and foremost choose the right venue. There are numerous sites on the Internet, some of which charge a fee for listing and/or transacting goods and/or services. A free venue is just as good as any; why pay to sell online when you can get the same services elsewhere for free?


Save yourself time down the road by choosing a site like UZAP that allows you to re-post the ad instead of starting completely over when the if/time comes. Some sites require you to start over from scratch after a certain length of time depending on each site’s individual policy. This can be very tedious and time-consuming, especially if you have had several different ads up at the same time that have all expired relatively close to one another.


Make sure the site is safe. The Federal Trade Commission, Identity Guard and ID Theft Center are just a few sites where you can better understand how to conduct business online safely.


Do your homework ahead of time by researching the competition before listing online. Compare the item you are selling to other items in similar condition. Do this by scanning online classified sites and searching for a similar item you want to sell. Determine a fair price somewhere mid-range of what other sellers are asking to ensure a successful sell.


Post a picture. If the item warrants it and you have the resources, by all means attach a photograph to give credibility to a product’s value. If selling a car, make sure to photograph it from all sides and remember to show pictures of the inside too allows people to post as many as six pictures per listing.


Most importantly, what you write about in your ad will make all the difference in the world. Make sure you know your audience and write to that audience. Take a look at the difference parts of an online ad and what you should include in each. 


The headline

Be creative. Your headline determines whether or not potential buyers will even open your ad and read it. Steer clear of overhyped messaging including typing in all caps, using too many exclamation marks, question marks and other symbols. Do not assume that people understand abbreviations. Spell them out whenever possible in headlines.


The body

In the body, answer the questions people will have about your product. Do not waste other peoples’ time with unanswered questions. It could cost you the sell. It also looks like you are hiding something if you don’t come forward with the information from the beginning.

When describing your item, make sure you write about its benefits and not just the features. This is key! Writing about benefits means that you are answering the question, “What will this item do for me?” For example, don’t just tell potential buyers that your camera comes with three lenses; tell them that the three lenses enable the user to shoot from close by, mid-distance and far away making photography possibilities incredibly versatile.


When it comes to price, there are two ways you can approach it. After doing research on competitors’ products you can choose to be firm or negotiate your final price. Either way you choose, be sure to state so in your ad. If you are open to negotiating, be ready to play the game. Half of the thrill for some people is the fact that they can haggle the seller down a bit.


If after a period of time your item does not sell you should re-evaluate the situation. Look at the competition’s prices and see if the market value has changed. If so, you may have to adjust your price. If you are offering your product at a fair and comparable price, it could be that the demand simply isn’t there. Pulling your ad and trying again later when the market demands might do you well.


Be available. Whenever you post an ad, be aware that potential buyers might contact you with questions about your ad. You will need to be available to answer those questions. You will likely receive email inquiries and the faster you can respond, the better. So, don’t schedule that cruise to the Bahamas the day you put an ad online unless you don’t care about selling the item.


When it’s time for the transaction, use a secure resource, oftentimes a third party website, to act as the liaison between you and the buyer.


Good luck and happy selling!


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