A few points:1. Fixed Price has lower final value fees
[for clothing] than auctions when an item is priced over $100.
eBay uses 9% flat for auction, 10% on initial $50 + 8% on remainder for fixed priced. [A caveat: final value fees for auctions are capped at $250, whereas fixed price is 2% over $1000.]2. Do not offer returns
. Of course if you make a mistake, you will have to (and should) take a return, but by offering returns you are appealing to a very different type of buyer. These are the buyers that waste your time, have items ship to try on and then demand both shipping costs refunded, and generally buy impulsively. In extreme cases, buyers sometimes intend to "rent" items from you (my ex had tons of stories of women who would buy dresses, wear them, send them back on corporate shipping accounts, and ask for both shipping costs refunded so they would turn a profit).3.
If you have poor photographs or are fairly new, start with higher priced auctions (using your free listings) or used a fixed price format. You cannot hope to replicate the market presence/following of arger sellers, so do not be tempted by seeing his auctions get bid up (or in converse, auctions bid up by sellers with poor photographs/incomplete listings). eBay is not a perfectly efficient market, whatever Spoo tempts you to believe.4. Look into packaging supplies
. The common approach is quickest and cheapest (i.e. shoved into a tyvek), but this is very shortsighted. The first impression buyers have when they receive an item is crucial and taking care to properly (and nicely) package your items decreases buyer's remorse, promotes return buying, and in my humble opinion is appropriate. Take a second to nicely fold your item at the very least and ship in a box when appropriate. Cellophane bags, bubble wrap, and tissue paper are your friends.5.
On this note, USPS offers free shipping supplies
- many of which are not available in local post offices. I suggest calling since online orders are extremely buggy and have then tendency to not show up.
The online store has additional items like legal sized and bubble padded USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes (larger & nicer, but ship at the same price). There are many better sizes of boxes: 1095s (same size as medium flat rate box), 1092s (perfect size for a nicely folded blazer), 1097s - a nice smaller size for shipping shirts, etc. If you want to get into more exotic shipping, like regional rates, you can find those options as well.6.
insurance (when available) through eBay shipping. It is often cheaper to use and you can insure services/destinations that are not otherwise available through USPS. Claims are also much easier to resolve - with almost instant refunds. I would not wish the USPS insurance department on my worst enemies.7
. Under-sell or at least honestly describe the condition of your item. This might be common sense, but there seems to be a tendency to up-sell the condition (used as "NWOT" or "MINT"). Even if they are in perfect condition, USED items are not NEW
. Doing things like this always almost backfires and destroys your credibility.8.
Take advantage of the blocked buyer list (The Official SF eBay Black List
- courtesy of BrianPore). There are some real
whackos out there, it is better to miss out on a sale than to deal with them. Trust me.