Friday, September 08, 2006

Academia Meets Auction Mania: The Latest Research Tips for e-Bay Selling

Business Week's Kerry Miller went through dozens of academic research papers found in economics, management and psychology and sifted out 10 ways to achieve the best selling prices. Kerry's suggestions:

1. Set the initial selling price low (unless you expect limited number[s] of interested bidders) to encourage competition and a higher ending price.

2. Set reserve prices with care (or skip them altogether), especially on items which you expect the unit price to be low.

3. Use photos with the listing. It is considered likely to increase the number of competitive buyers.

4. Don't sell everything at once. Defer sales of similar items long enough to give buyers a chance to restock their wallet.

5. Spell-check. Potential buyers may miss the item if misspelled.

6. Use light sales puffery without being dishonest. Compare to retail prices if these are running high.

7. Hold seven-day or even ten-day auctions. University of Arizona and Michigan research indicate that these generate higher sales prices.

8. Try to avoid ending an auction between 5-9 pm. It may be overlooked because of all the other auctions ending at this time.

9. Charge a reasonable fee for shipping. You need to cover costs, but this is not the place to make your profit.

10. Handle the post-transaction shipping, thank-yous, etc. professionally to assure positive feedback. Your chances of successful increase greatly if you consistently get positive feedback and ESPECIALLY if you avoid negative feedback.

The author points out that buyers may want to reserve the strategies (look for auctions ending between 5-9 pm, look for auctions with misspellings or no photos, etc.) to reduce their purchase price.

A quick brag on my wife--she figured out pretty much all of these tips on her own.


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9:45 AM  

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