12 Tips for Better Sales on eBay

After recently selling a few things on eBay, I’ve compiled some suggestions for you in hopes it’ll increase legitimate bidding activity.

Readability

  • Use a large, readable font. On a 22″ wide screen LCD monitor, 14 point is ridiculously small. Try 18 point and the Georgia font.
  • Create sections in your auction description with bold headings. (e.g. what’s for sale, why you’re selling, item condition, shipping or local pickup, retail pricing)
  • Check for spelling, especially in the title.

Completeness and/or full disclosure

  • Explain yourself. Most auction descriptions are too brief or simply repeat the item name. Why are you selling the item? How long have you had it for? What comes in the box?
  • Even though eBay auctions have a built-in shipping, return policy, and payment tab, repeat the shipping, handling, and payment details in the description. (You know, for redundancy and decreasing miscommunication.)
  • Don’t use stock photos. The bidders will usually ask, so save them time.
  • Display several clear photos of the item. If you know someone with a DSLR camera, get a white foam poster board and take the photos of the item(s) on it. Try to take the photo in some shade. If it’s too bright, get a friend to hold a diffuser over the item(s). For best results, make a light tent. (See “How To: DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio” or “How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY“)
  • Link to a few glowing reviews of the item.

Don’t pay unnecessary fees

  • Host photos elsewhere. There’s no need to pay eBay more money for photo hosting. If you have Flickr, WordPress/WordPress.com, or Tumblr, create a set/page with a gallery of photos for your item(s). Don’t forget to link to the photos within the auction description!

Increase views, watchers, and bids

  • Use eBay’s first free image so it shows up in the listings.
  • End the auction around 9:30pm, and if possible, on the weekend. This will help get more buyers looking at your auction, especially for more expensive items. If you end the auction at 3pm on a weekday, it’ll be more difficult for people at the office to participate in the last few minutes of a bidding war. Don’t forget to calculate the time zones you want to cover. (For example, if you want to end the auction at 9:30pm EST, start the auction at 6:30pm PST.)
  • For a fee ($0.10), eBay can schedule your auction to start at a certain time and day. If you want to save that ten cents per auction, and you’ll be at a computer when you want to start the auction, fill everything out and save as a draft. You can post it later.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take some photos of some more items I’m going to put up for auction.

Do you have more time-tested suggestions? Please take a few minutes to share them with a comment, and explain how it’s helped you. Thanks! (Back off, spammers. I’ll nuke comments and ban IP addresses without hesitation.)

Sold my Canon EF 28-135mm lens

I finally sold an unused lens (Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM), which I bought a year ago from my friend, Noel Kleinman.

Why?

I dropped the lens last April while I was borrowing it from Noel. Fortunately, he was cool about the situation and let me buy the lens.

I haven’t really used it since then.

A few weeks ago, I went on an eBay selling streak and sold all my bass guitar pedals[1. I bought a Line 6 Bass PODxt Live pedal board, so I didn’t need them anymore.].  Those sales gave the courage to finally post the lens for auction on eBay.

After eBay and shipping fees, I broke even from when I bought the lens. Other than being a little cautious with a new eBay user with zero feedback, everything went well.

I’m glad that most camera lenses don’t depreciate like everything else[2. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens that sold for under $80 USD (two years ago) currently sells for almost $99.99 USD.].

P.S. I bought a used Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM on eBay a few weeks ago, so don’t ask me what I’ll do with this money. 🙂

Next at All Narfed Up – Tips for better sales on eBay

AT&T broadband price increase?

I read my AT&T bill for the February 2010 and got freaked out:

PRICE CHANGE NOTICE

Attention AT&T High Speed Internet Members: Starting with your March 2010 bill, the monthly rate for your AT&T High Speed Internet Express, Pro or Elite plan will increase $3 (or $3.01) per month. For details and rate information for your specific plan, please go to http://support.att.com/dslupdate or call 1.866.417.6819.

(My emphasis added in bold.)

I have the Pro service for $30/month. So, twelve months from when it starts increasing, it’ll be $66?!

The text is unbelievable. Someone please clarify.

Related: FCC Commissioner Calls For Examination Of Broadband Price Hikes (MediaPost, March 10, 2010)

Photographing the LAUSD Teacher Protest

LAUSD Teachers Protest (1/29/2009)

Downtown Los Angeles — When I heard from LAist that there would be a huge protest in Downtown LA, I decided to photograph the event. (Chris Lin joined my photojournalism endeavors, too.)

We joined the growing crowd at the LAUSD headquarters before streets were starting to get blocked off. Around 3:30pm, it got packed out. Finally, the bullhorn-equipped leaders led the crowd from the back of a flatbed truck, surrounded by huge speakers powered by a generator.

A sea of red moved down 4th street. Chanting, signs and music blared as the crowd moved toward Pershing Square. (I also saw a fellow Flickr photographer, Luke Gattuso.)

As we got closer, we saw that a huge crowd already formed. A stage was set, a row of news vans were parked, helicopters were hovering, and police/safety officials were everywhere.

Leslie Miller from ABC7 Eyewitness News was at the entrance of Pershing Square. I think they were having camera issues, plus one person was harassing her a bit.

I made my way through the crowd, trying to capture a few more photos before we took off. There were some stands mocking Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with pamphlets and forms to fill out. A lot of people were seated on steps and benches, looking tired and fed up.

We didn’t stay for too long at Pershing Square. I simply wanted to capture the massive crowd.

I hope something positive came from this.

View my photos from this event at Flickr

Update 1/30/2009 — If you were taking photos at this protest and you’re on Flickr, you can share them in the UTLA Flickr group. Otherwise, e-mail your best ones directly to UTLA. (via UTLA.net)

Black Friday 2008 arrives early at Amazon.com

[Old News] I’m not much of a shopper, but if you are, check out Amazon.com for Black Friday 2008 Deals and skip those insane lines!

Also, Amazon.com Customers Vote is going on now!

Customers Vote is a special end-of-year promotion where you and your site visitors can vote for the deal you’d like to buy at an amazing discount. There will be six rounds of voting with three products in each round. Beginning Thursday, November 27, 2008 each day a new winning product will be announced, and randomly selected customers who voted in that round will receive an invitation to participate in the race to buy the winning product.

This promotion will end on 11:59:59 p.m. on December 4th, 2008.

Disclaimer: I’ll get a tiny percentage of items purchased through these Amazon.com links.

I need your help

I’ve been enthusiastic about photography these past eight months. (Why?)

In addition to all that, I’ve photowalked almost twenty times[1. with more than one person].

However, I need help addressing the following problems ASAP.

Problems

Currently, I have equipment worth over $2,000. If my camera/computer dies, or if I need more hard drive space, I don’t have money saved for that. I also don’t have money for additional hard drives – I’m currently using 188 GB just for photos and Lightroom catalogs. In addition, I’d like more lenses to expand my photographic abilities.

I’m a struggling student going back to school in January 2009[2. assuming Cal Poly Pomona accepts me], which means I’ll be getting a loan.

I’m in debt due to credit cards[3. not entirely my fault, it’s a long story that I don’t want to be public], which add up to at least $4,000.

Lastly, I don’t have an emergency fund or a savings account.

How you can help

  1. Buy some prints. I love compliments, but it won’t help keep me going if I don’t have funds for upgrades and new equipment.
  2. Request for photography services. I’ll do a photo session with you: portraits, family portraits (Christmas is around the corner!), senior portraits, events, or be a second/third photographer for your wedding[4. not enough experience to be the primary photographer – yet]. I also love band photography. I pretty much love portraits in general, can you tell?

Whether or not you’re able to help me monetarily, I really appreciate the love and support you’ve given me this past year. I won’t forget. You all inspire me to improve.

Win eBay auctions with Unwired Buyer and Auction Sniper

I just won an auction for an iRiver iFP-899 on eBay (link) — and I wasn’t at my computer. The ones that aren’t set with “Buy It Now” are selling for $100+ at the moment.

My two weapons:

  1. UnWired Buyer (free)
  2. Auction Sniper (first three snipes are free, add three more snipes per referral – more details)

A few days ago, I set a maximum bid within Auction Sniper. Today, I was on the way back from school when I got a text message notifying me that in five minutes, I’d be receiving a phone call from UnWired Buyer. I wasn’t planning on bidding in realtime, because Auction Sniper would do that for me within the last five seconds of the auction.

Listening to the bids being made in real-time, I chuckled and listened in anticipation for the final seconds. At the end, the voice said something to the effect that I won with a bid of $78. I hung up and giggled with glee for about a minute.

If you’re curious, I bought this device in hopes that it’ll record class lectures much better than my iPod + iTalk. Also, I might use it to start a podcast. Have I mentioned that before?