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How to Set the Right Opening Price on Your eBay Auction

One of the reasons why items don't sell on eBay may be to do with the pricing strategy that has been used. You will see this in action if you search and find more than one auction for identical items. Have a look at the start prices being used by each seller, whether or not a Buy it Now is available, and which if any of the sellers have used a reserve price.

Every seller is in control of these variables, and how they are deployed can have an impact on the success of the auction. Here are some different ideas for you on pricing strategies.

Try setting your start price to the level you would normally have as your Buy it Now price. Then make your Buy it Now price at a slightly higher amount than your start price. The idea here is to entice an interested bidder to make a Buy it Now purchase. This method clearly makes the value of a Buy it Now extra clear, and hopefully makes them willing to pay the extra for the privilege of immediate ownership.

Or, how about taking on your competition head on?

Keep an eye on your competition and, when they start a Buy it Now auction for an item you stock, start an auction for one of those items yourself. Make sure your title is similar to theirs, but price your item slightly lower than theirs. This will mean that your auctions will be listed together in search results, but yours is going to appear to give better value.

Or, try the free shipping option.

Many buyers dislike paying for shipping. So why not incorporate the shipping cost into the price of the item, whether that be by start price or Buy it Now, or both? Then you can make a feature of the fact that the item has free shipping. This has the advantage of "removing" what some consider to be an extra which appears at the checkout stage.

Or, if you're brave, why not just go for it?

In this strategy you list your item for the maximum duration of ten days, ideally starting the auction on a Thursday so that it goes across two weekends and finishes on a Sunday. Plus, set the starting price to the minimum you dare - ideally one penny or one cent.

It may be prudent to purchase low cost listing features like bold or highlight, to give your auction a visual boost. What you're attempting here is to give bidders as long as possible to discover your auction, so that a bidding war can take place.

If you get this one right, you can make a much bigger profit than you would have with any Buy it Now price, especially with a medium or high value item.

As in all eBay activity, my advice to you is to keep testing. By all means try different pricing strategies, but keep track of what works and what doesn't. And never put all your eggs into one basket. When testing pricing strategies, don't do it with every auction.

Be sensible, and you should be able to improve the performance of your auctions. But remember, there's no guarantee. So please walk before you run.

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