The Seven Rules for Selling

Recently I've had several peers and new sellers ask me about my success on Ebay. At first, I just assumed it was the clothes. As of late I've started selling more high end items, but after really looking at my sales, I noticed it was the vintage and daily pieces that were flying out the door. Though part of it is the fashion, a lot of it is because I created my own seller standard. These rules I created for myself really made my listings stand out from the rest. This is the perfect guideline to getting you started on track to successful selling. I will be creating more detailed posts about each of these rules so stay tuned.

Rule #1 - BE HONEST
Always be honest with your item Title, Condition, Category and Specifics.  If the item is used, mention it, don't list it as New with tags when its clearly worn. If its FAUX leather, mention that, people hate paying a lot of money for something they're not expecting and faux leather is one of them. The more honest you are the more likely they'll buy it - and come back for more later. 

Rule #2 - NO FAKES
Never EVER EVER sell a fake trying to pass it off as real. First and foremost Ebay is adamantly opposed to selling counterfeit items on their site. Their policy on on knockoffs are strict and heavily enforced since it is a copyright infringement issue. Click here to find out more about  Ebay's Replica Counterfeit Policy. Let's assume you sell a fake Chanel purse. The buyer pays $1,000 and when it arrives, it is clearly a knockoff. What the buyer will do is contact Ebay and open a case against you. You must accept the return, fully refund the buyer's costs, and pay for their return shipping. If you attempt to refuse to accept the return and the case is escalated, Ebay will side with the buyer and not only do you lose your money, but the item is theirs to keep. If you do intend on selling an item that is similar or styled to a specific item you can, but you can't declare it as the high end item.  It is one thing to sell a plaid backpack and write in the description (NOT THE LISTING TITLE) "Similar to Burberry's canvas check backpack", and another to sell it as an original. 

 Rule #3  - TAKE FANTASTIC PICTURES
Accurate, bright, well lit pictures are the game changer. There are so many ways to photograph your fashionable wares: buying a mannequin and styling it, flat lay pictures, or modeling the pictures yourself.  All of these types need one main ingredient and that is LIGHT. People are much more interested in purchasing and spending more money if the picture shows all the flaws (or lack thereof). If there is an issue with the item always document and photograph it so if you run into the chance that the buyer tries to pull a fast one you can confirm with Ebay that any stated issue was documented in your listing. This gives you leverage and security. Many Ebay sellers ( at times myself included) use stock pictures from runways and department stores. This actually is not allowed on Ebay. You can only use stock pictures with the owner's permission. This is a rampant issue, but as of this post Ebay doesn't really enforce it, but another seller can report your listing for it. If you are using a stock picture,  and the item is used it can't be the first picture per ebay guidlines. To photograph, natural lighting is best, but we do know that sometimes you just cant photograph during the day. Use bright (not yellow) lighting, and make sure you photograph all angles (front, back, sides/sleeves), pattern details, issues, and labels to confirm authenticity. All of TSL's items are photographed using a Samsung Galaxy S6! We do use bright or natural lighting to improve quality, and never use the flash on our phone. Lastly- if you see another seller selling the same item,  DO NOT steal their own unique pictures. Besides the fact that its not fair, they can report you and have your listing removed due to breach of copyright. Don't steal those pictures - ever. Ebay Picture Policy

Rule #4 ALWAYS WRITE ACCURATE DESCRIPTIONS
Accurate descriptions are key. If you want that jacket to sell or you want those shoes gone, the description part is your friend. It differs than the specifics aspect of the listing since you write about the item itself and specifics only discusses the brand, size, and material. In your description you get to sell your item and let the buyer know- these shoes run small, these sunglasses are polarized, this is in PERFECT condition, and if at all possible the measurements of your item. TSL's store has a 2% return rate and its mostly due to the fact that our listings are accurate and we include measurements in all our listings. Besides measurements, we include our shipping policies, return policies, restock fees, and we let the buyer know that our items come from a Pet and Smoke free environment. If you have pets or smoke BE SURE TO DOCUMENT THIS IN YOUR LISTING. A lot of buyers are allergic to certain animals, or hate the smell of smoke. These simple steps inspire buyers to bid or buy it now. We all have those impulse purchase moments 

Rule # 5 SHIP PROMPTLY & DON'T OVERCHARGE
Shipping promptly makes a happy buyer. No one likes buying a dress they want to wear to a wedding 3 weeks before and the item is never received.  Ebayers also hate paying $15 for shipping only to receive the item shipped first class and stuffed into a tiny envelope with tape all over it, making it difficult to open without causing damage. Shipping out within 2 business days is customary for most sellers, but when creating your listing you must adhere to your handling time - which shows the ETA for the item you're selling so the seller isn't surprised. If you are going to be longer than that contact the buyer directly and let them know. When an Ebayer knows their item is going to be late, they're going to be kinder in the feedback they leave. USPS and FedEx have shipping discounts if you purchase your shipping labels through Ebay as well. When you purchase a USPS label through Ebay its cheaper than going into USPS and faster too. Since it is a pre-printed label, you can hand it directly to your mailman or you can do a quick drop at the post office and avoid the line. USPS priority ship guarantees the item is received within 3 days anywhere in the states, with free tape and boxes at the post office. If you can, wrap the item in tissue paper and add a thank you note. These final touches go a long way.  After you ship it out, track it and make sure its received. 

Rule #6 CONTACT THE BUYER
When a purchase is made TSL directly contacts the buyer and thanks them for the sale. We also let them know that if there is any issue with the item to reply to that message which takes a step away from the buyer opening a case in case there is one needed. It also shows Ebay that you're thorough with your work and strive for customer satisfaction. When the item is received contact the buyer and thank them again for the sale. Buyers see your interaction and see that you're important to them. Also, if they haven't left positive feedback after they've gotten the item, contact them to find out. Let them know you saw they got the item but you haven't received feedback and you want to be sure they're happy with the transaction. Buyers who don't normally leave feedback will definitely do so afterwards. 

Rule #7 LEAVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK (sort of)
Don't leave positive feedback until the item is actually received. I know a lot of sellers automatically leave feedback as soon as the item is paid for but I don't recommend this until they have dealt with the buyer. There are buyers out there that don't deserve your feedback, they suck and they might be a nightmare to deal with. TSL actually waits 5 business days after the item is received, then we leave feedback for the buyer and contact them directly if we haven't gotten feedback asking why. Leaving and received positive feedback is important since people can track the kind of business you do as a seller. Also- people can see the feedback you have left for others so even though you have 180 positive feedback, most will know that you've left feedback for 273 purchases.

To summarize, communication is key to successful selling on Ebay. If you are in contact and are honest with your customer, you will gain profit, sales, and positive feedback which are all critical for successful selling. These simple tips really help any seller go far in the Ebay selling world.