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eBay: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

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Auction Tips and Tricks

There's a lot of conflicting advice out there about what works on eBay and what doesn't. While it would be nice if there were a sure-fire plan that could take you from newbie to PowerSeller (Section 7.6) in a couple of months, the best way to learn what works for you is by starting with the tips in this section—and then adapting them as you discover which work best.

Best Category, Best Price

Try listing the same items in different categories to see where they perform best—getting the most bids and highest prices. Some categories are straightforward. If you're selling a Dell Inspiron laptop, you're going to list it under Computers & Networking Laptops Dell. But what if you make and sell one-of-a-kind teddy bears? Do you list them under Collectibles Animals Bear, or Dolls & Bears Bears Other Bears, or both? Does depression glass sell better when you list it under Antiques, or under Pottery & Glass? How do you know where buyers are most likely to look? The following two strategies can help.

  • Compare completed auctions. Look at completed auctions for similar items and note which auctions had the most bids. To do so, from the eBay home page, click Advanced Search and search for similar items, being sure to turn on the "Completed listings only" checkbox before you click Search. Sort the results by "Price: highest first," and look for items that generated lots of bids and sold for a good price. Then check the auction listings to see which categories the ...

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