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Selling on eBay Case Study

 
 Increasing numbers of small businesses are using eBay to sell their products. In some cases, the entire business is focused on selling on eBay. But how easy is it to get started selling on eBay and is using eBay an effective way to reach a niche market? In this selling on eBay case study, our tester sought answers to these questions by becoming an eBay seller selling a product that appeals to a particular niche market over a three month period. In this case, the product was sold to benefit the Y2K Spitfire Project, a non-profit organization, but the eBay selling process and the lessons learned apply equally to for-profit 

     The product: Collections of WWII Pilot Profiles, published by Robert Taylor. Each collection comes packaged in an attractive binder with the RCAF logo on it. The selling on eBay process: The first step was to register and create an eBay seller’s account. Then, following the Selling on eBay Quick Start Guide, sales listing for the items were created. He included a photo of one of the individual Pilot Profiles in each eBay listing. None of the eBay special promotion features, such as Featured Plus or Highlight were used, as these have an additional cost when you're selling on eBay. Our eBay seller chose to list the items individually rather than using a multiple items listing, being aware that the product would appeal to a particular niche market and thinking that it would be more profitable to sell the items individually over a period of time. (Later he discovered that he couldn’t have used a multiple item auction anyhow as a new seller, because you need 30 pieces of feedback first.) Because the niche market is distributed internationally, he chose to use U.S. currency and ship worldwide. He also chose to list the Pilot Profile collections using the auction-style listing, hoping that the eBay auction style would result in higher prices for the items. He was careful, however, to set a reserve price each time. Each eBay auction was set to run for one week, with an opening price of US $100. The selling on eBay results: In April, one Pilot Profile Collection was sold for US $305.00. In May, one Pilot Profile Collection was sold for US $355.00. In June, three Pilot Profile Collections were sold: June 9 – US $485.00 June 19 – US $448.00 June 26 – US $260.55 In July, two Pilot Profile Collections were sold: July 3 – US $280.55 July 4 – US $249.99 Our tester found that the eBay auction process worked well, although it often took days for the auction process to “heat up”. Most bids occurred in the closing hour or even minutes of the eBay auction in all cases. One of the advantages of the eBay auction process that our new eBay seller particularly liked was the Second Chance Offer option, where a buyer can send a non-winning bidder a second chance to buy the item at his bid price (if the buyer has more than one of the items available). The second item sold in July was sold to a “Second Chance” buyer. Our eBay seller chose to suspend the selling on eBay experiment at this point, knowing that many members of his niche market travel during the summer months. On the next page of this eBay case study, our new eBay seller shares what he learned about selling on eBay, lessons that will make you a more successful eBay seller. Click to continue reading.   

 



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