Selling Personal Expressions Products on Auction Sites
By Stephen Bucaro
An "auction" is a public event where you sell items through a bidding system.
In an "open outcry" auction, the auctioneer opens the auction by announcing
a Suggested Opening Bid for the item on sale and then accepts increasingly
higher bids from buyers on the floor. The bidder with the highest bid without
a competing bidder becomes the winner.
A "silent auction" is auction where bids are submitted in writing. But today,
the vast majority of auctions are "virtual" auctions held on the internet. For
sellers, online auctions open up new channels for sales of their products.
The most popular auction site is eBay.
To sell on eBay, you have to register by providing your name, email address,
and a credit card number (for paying auction fees). Then, with your user ID and
password, you can log in. To list your item for auction, click the "Sell" link
on the "Welcome" screen. This takes you to a very long form.
The first thing you have to do is choose a category and sub-category for your item.
Choosing the correct category is essential. When choosing a category consider your target buyer.
Next, enter a title for your item (45 characters max). Your title should consist of
carefully selected keywords. Buyers use keywords to search eBay. At the end of your title,
you might want to enter the letters "NR". This stands for "No Reserve" and means that you
are actually willing to sell your item at the price you enter as the minimum bid.
Next, enter a description of your item. Fraud is a concern on all auction sites, so
make bidders feel at ease by giving as much information as possible. Then enter your City
Next enter a "Minimum bid". This is the lowest amount you are willing to accept for the
item and the amount you require to make the minimum acceptable profit. Then set the
"Auction duration", the number of days that you want your auction to run. For best
results, your auction should end on a Sunday.
If you donít want to actually sell your item at the minimum bid amount, then enter a
"Reserve Price". This is a price higher than the minimum bid, at which you are actually
willing to sell your item. Buyers canít see your reserve price, they only know there is a
reserve on your item. Buyers donít like reserve price auctions, so you might want to leave
this entry blank.
Next, you can select many optional features for your auction, such as prime product
placement, double category placement, a small picture in eBayís Picture Gallery, and so
on. But these options are costly.
Next, set checkboxes to select the types of payment you will accept; checks, money
order, etc. Then enter any shipping, handling, insurance, and sales tax charges.
Next, enter your return policy. If you donít want to have to refund money to a buyer,
enter "No Returns". Then set the radio button for "I will not accept escrow." For an
expensive item, you might accept an escrow. Escrow is when a third party holds the buyerís
money until he receives the item. Then, if the item is acceptable, he gives the escrow
company permission to release the funds to you.