So, you’re out running errands one day and you decide to mosey down the clearance aisle of your favorite store. At first you see a misfit collection of hair products, ugly rugs that didn’t sell and seasonal items. But then, your eBay-minded eyes behold a glorious sight, 52 perfectly good WhatchamaGadgets, still sealed and prime for selling.
You can hardly wait to get started listing because you’re already envisioning the dollar signs you’ll be racking up. While the “Sell Similar” feature on eBay is many-a-seller’s fantasy daily routine, be careful before you get too attached to that “makes life easier” little button.
Finding several of the exact same item certainly does make for an easier listing process. However, easier listing doesn’t amount to anything if all the items don’t sell.
For this reason, it is best to stagger repeat items as much as possible. What this means is that you should never have more than one of the same item, ending its auction at the exact same time.
If you can manage to list the items, so that they are ending on different days, you’ll create a higher demand for them. Setting them to end three days apart is ideal. Most buyers, when looking through search results, will bid on the items ending soonest. If those auctions have already skyrocketed, the buyer may peruse the open listings a bit longer, in search of a better deal, but will usually suspend their search after they’ve gone through the listings that are still two days out.
By making sure you don’t have duplicate items ending at the same time, you create demand for the one item that is ending today. Then, when the losing bidders go in search of another like item, you’ll have a separate auction, just starting out and able to build momentum in its own right.
Of course, if you have a hot item and there is a time crunch, such as around the Christmas holidays, you may list more than one similar item at the same time. The trick then is to list the items with a Buy it Now price and then vary the prices slightly, so that the buyer will snatch up the lowest one first, but the next buyer will be forced a bit higher.
Most importantly, make sure you know exactly how many of your item you have. If you get “Sell Similar” happy, it’s easy to forget how many you’ve already sold. You don’t want to find yourself in the awkward position of not having a product to deliver. One very simple solution is to visit your local St. Louis area Walmart or Office Max stores and purchase Post-it Notes and string tags. Then, each time you list an item, physically tag one of your duplicates with the auction number it’s assigned.
With careful planning, you could have a very successful run with your similar items.
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