eBay Auction Research

IMPORTANT NOTE: These ebay pages are online for historical reasons. I would now advice my visitors NOT to use ebay. There are alternative sites which provide a far safer experience. Read my Ebay - Work From Home page for more details. However, for those that are required to use ebay for some reason, the information is retained below.

The first step before you do anything on eBay is to of course sign up and make an account. It's free. Choose a name that is easy to recognize but not necessarily your own name. For privacy reasons, you might not want any person to see who you are. If you are planning on selling items from your company, you will want to have a name that matches your company name so that you build up trust with the eBay population, though.

Create an Excel spreadsheet for the type of item you are interested in. Put in the starting date, starting price, length of time, winning price, and a brief description of the item. Now watch for 2-3 months and keep track of items that fall into the category you're interested in. See if they sometimes sell well and sometimes sell poorly. Try to see the difference in listing styles when that happens. Do some include more photos? Is there certain words in the title that seem to attract attention?

I've seen times when someone lists a collectable plate set at $500 for the set - even though it is obvious that 10 other sets are selling at that EXACT SAME MOMENT for only $20. If that person had done some research, they would have seen that their request was ridiculous. On the other hand, if you start your listing too low, demand will usually kick it right up into the proper levels. Of course, if you start your auction too low AND give it really awful key words, then your target audience may never find it. So it's important that you figure out what is best for your item type before you begin.

I was a long term member of ebay - from 1999 through 2009. In the beginning years, ebay was a fantastic community, full of fun bargains, friendly people and a general feeling of joy. It was like going to a fun garage sale on a sunny day and spending time with friends.

However, starting in 2009, changes made to the ebay system altered it overnight from a joy to a horror. In one auction set alone I had three different buyers attempt very questionable refund operations. I went on the forums to get assistance. The forum members' derogatory comments and snide responses shocked me. Literally in one week I went from being from a staunch promoter of ebay to someone who swore never to use the ebay system again.

I am maintaining these pages online for historical reasons, but I would now wholeheartedly warn visitors NOT to use ebay going forward to sell items. The risk to you is too great. Feel free to contact me for all details on the situation. Instead, I highly recommend these systems:

Amazon Sales for selling used CDs, DVDs, books and other products
Etsy for selling personal items (crafts etc)

I have used both of the above sites and they are wonderful.

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