Following the previous episode of this guide, Part 3: eBay - Introduction
, let's go straight into the core of this new episode.
How To Sell
When you create your listing choosing the right title can make all difference in the world.
It's somewhat similar to SEO... you'll have to put there what your item is about of course, and then try to put all the major keywords you can, and that make sense, within the character limit.
I warmly suggest you to check which approach other sellers with similar items use and then find what works best for you.
This is a living effort... you should be always looking to improve your placement in the eBay search results and title plays a huge role in it.
Experiment and find your way to the top!
Please, I ask this as both a seller and a buyer, always state in the condition field what's the real state of the cards: if they smell, are damaged or else...
Card Status is very subjective unless you have them rated by PSA.
Something I might consider Near Mint/Mint could be just Excellent for you, etc
So always underestimate your cards condition unless you are 100% sure of it.
This allow you room to discuss if the buyer is satisfied enough.
In case of lots of collection where cards are likely to not have the same conditions, state "Mixed conditions".
This is specially important if you use stock image in place of photo of the current card.
Another approach that work well is the "See Photo" if you use the photo of the actual card. This Is especially helpful when you have to list a lot of cards.
Whatever you chose, always offer to provide more pictures of the cards on request if condition is a concern.
This isn't mandatory but the more information you can provide here the better.
Mention again the cards conditions, maybe a brief mention to the card and the game it belong to.
Listing all the game history it's useless and make no sense unless you are selling some starter / beginner product and you migh want to intro a new player to the game to let him know what he's getting into.
If possible have a table with your shipping prices and follow with any Return/Refund option you want to offer.
Auction and Buyout
eBay offer 2 options for listing your items: Auctions and Buyout.
By default, based on the marketplace of your choice, you'll have a limited number of free listing. This number will grow if you subscribe for a Shop.
Doing so it's highly recommended but only if you have enough to sell or plan to become a seller.
Both works pretty well and choosing one over the other depend on a lot of factor:
You should go for the auction approach if:
• You are into a mature market and you know a lot of eyeballs will see your listing in the days it will last
• You want to get rid of something fast, regardless of the end price.
• You are 100% sure people will fight over your auction
To understand if the auction is the right approach, needless to say, you should have done your research.
If you are into a mature market it is worth to try Auction Singles, one by one or in small lots. Don't bother to list C/U/F cards unless Signed. You have a limited amount of free listing and don't want to waste them on cards that won't sell... use those wisely...
Star Wars CCG is a great example where Singles auctions works well, specially if you have some of the most sought after cards.
Another type of auctions worth listing are Lots.
Those works best for pretty much any game, but more often than not, will net you less than selling the singles.
C/U/F lots usually don't net you much, regardless of the game, however there are a few exceptions.
When trying to free up space and profit as much as possible, the best lot composition is usually 100-150 cards (C/U/F) possibly all different and 5-15 rare.
ALWAYS note if your lot contains rare, so that people buying from you know at a glance what to expect.
You want your buyers to be happy and you shouldn't trick them to believe they are buying a treasure if they are not. A negative feedback on eBay, and in the OOP CCG community, is not worth the few extra buck you may get.
Middle-Earth CCG is a notable example of a mature game that, on auction, sell better in lots rather than singles.
The nice thing of auctions is that they put a sense of urgency into the potential buyer, making them think if they will pass on the item, these will never be available again. This could drive to compulsory bids netting you more profit than expected.
However for most out-of-print CCGs , you are dealing with "sleeping" collectors/players, and you need to be lucky to have them check eBay while the auction is live.
I do generally suggest to avoid auctioning full sets, unless they are very sought after. You will end up getting less than what you could achieve with a Buyout option and a bit of patience.
Some other tips, based on my experience are:
• Sell C/U/F lots only as auctions, whatever the end price will be, it's better than let them get even more dust on your shelves
• Always start auctions at 1$ , it's easier to get people involved and if someone is not ready to spend more than that, they won't bid if you start it at $5, $10, or $15 and up.
• Always use the option to improve visibility on the UK-US marketplace. Visibility is Key for auctions and always worth the extra cents
• Advertise... if you know of an online place where your auctions could be of interest, talk about them, reference to them in comments,etc ... let people know these are up for grab.
• 90% of the bids will have place in the last hour or so, so don't get scared if you don't see a bid in 6 days
• Have auctions end Sunday evening (7pm-9:30pm GMT+1) it's the best day for people to be around for the end of the auction and it's an hour where both European and American continent should be awake to check.
• Use the 10 or 7 days duration, never less than that. I moved to the 10 Days to have the maximum exposure for the listings, posting on Thursday. So when the auctions of the previous week end, people will see already the new auctions.
If you are not in a hurry to drop your cards, Buyout option is the best bet.
You can have cards listed as long as you want, most CCG might take months to move, even if you have interesting cards, specially if you want to maximize your profit.
I do suggest, as long as you have enough free listings available, to start selling singles, one by one (obviously this apply only to Rare or better cards and a very selected few relevant C/U depending on the game).
In the worst case scenario, you don't sell your cards, but before giving up, let them be on the platform for 1-2 months and you'll get a good sense of what's interesting to the buyers, taking a look at how many views/Observers you got for each of them.
Then you can list the above in Lots with the same logic that apply to auctions.
Complete sets should always be sold as buyout.
On a rule of thumb, if you can sell a complete set, you should do that, even if it might net less profit than selling singles. That's because you are going to free up yourself of the C/U that comes with it and, generally speaking, there's always interest in full sets rather than all singles.
If you are not entirely sure about the price, feel free to add the option for the buyer to make an offer. This allow you to set the Buyout a little higher, and then discuss the final price with the interest party. It's free and allow you to attract more potential customers.
There's no reason to not use this tool, unless you set a price tag that you don't want to lower at all. Even then, I suggest you to list it for a bit higher than your minimum price and use the Make and Offer option.
Another great use of this tool is if you want to list singles that might be worth less than 1$ (the minimum price you can set up for Buyout option). This allow you to get visibility for all your singles at the right price.
Whatever doesn't sell in 6-12 months, you can then move them to auction to at least free up space.
Some other tips, based on my experience are:
• If you have enough free listing / time to manage, or few items to sell, list for 5, 7, or 10 Days, otherwise 30 Days if fine. Never "Good 'Til Cancelled" - see below point.
• Never "Relist" anything when the time run out but always "Sell Similar". The reason is, when you relist, the items doesn't show up in the saved searches of the users and will have less visibility overall since the item become "old", only Watchers will be notified of the item being relisted. By my experience and a lot of reading on the web, you get much more eyeballs by "Sell Similar" than "Relist" and you will use up a free listing regardless.
•There's no better time to post something with Buyout, feel free to post it whenever you have the time to.
• Be patient and you'll reap your reward.
Please bear in mind these are guidelines I made based on my experience, but are in no way set in stone. Experiment and see what work for you, hands on approach is the best learning experience.
You can check my eBay store
and reach out to me via email over the website or through the Facebook page
Stay tuned for the next article : CCG Market Guide – Part 5: eBay - Shipment
Our CCG Market Series
Part 1: Intro
Part 2 : Where are the cards ?
Part 3: eBay - Introduction
Part 4: eBay - How to Sell
Part 5: Shipment - Intricacies of the Global Market
Part 6: eBay - Pricing