Making Money Through Online Auctions
Whether you run a business or you just want to get rid of some clutter around the house, online auction sites can be the way to go to turn a serious profit. Depending on the items you have up for bid and your willingness to follow a few simple rules of the road, these sites bring traffic that no storefront could hope for and a garage sale could never match.
Getting started in online sales can be a little tricky though. The sites that provide online auctions make it easy to get items “out there,” but there’s more to it than that if sellers want to be truly successful. Oftentimes, it’s a question of trial and error and building up a reputation before an online “storefront” really takes off.
In the online auction world, a seller is only as good as his or her word. Feedback from past customers is vital. Bad feedback can create a sense of distrust in other buyers and greatly reduce the chances for high-dollar sales.
To ensure that feedback is always high, smart sellers do the following things:
* Clearly define the items they’re selling. This means full disclosure about any problems. Antiques, for example, still can hold a great deal of value even with a chip. But if a buyer expects to get a perfect vase and ends up with one that’s cracked, it could bode badly for the feedback rating. If there are minor imperfections, say so!
* Take pictures. They can and do say a thousand words. If you have items that lend themselves to shots, do take pictures, do upload them and do build the auction ad around them. If you’re dealing with that vase and a chip, even point out the minor problem in the pictures. If it’s a highly sought after antique, the little chip might not put a big ding in the final price.
* Make sure descriptions are straightforward and don’t mislead. Avoid the use of “fine print.” If you’re selling a picture of something, say it’s a picture! Don’t beat around the bush.
* Be available to answer buyer questions. This can mean the difference between auctions that skyrocket or fall flat. Answer any and all questions to the best of your ability.
* Carefully choose item categories. Sometimes this is where the trial and error comes in. Use the most logical categories for items and if they don’t turn results, try a different one before giving up entirely. It may be that signed Beatles album would be better off in the collectibles category rather than the music section.
Selling online can net some high profits for people in business and those who just want to clean out some space. But when it comes to being successful in the effort, reputation, honesty and a sense of fairness all come into play. Be honest, ship when you say you will and answer questions and you’ll find your ratings should soar, which means more buyers will likely be willing to check out subsequent auctions under your name.