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Q: Tips for Successful eBay Auctions ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Tips for Successful eBay Auctions
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: n2film-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 28 Aug 2003 06:16 PDT
Expires: 27 Sep 2003 06:16 PDT
Question ID: 249607
I bought too many wall sconces for a large construction project. 
Instead of paying restocking fees and shipping to return them, I tried
selling them on eBay without success.  I paid more than $75 each for
the wall sconces.  They are very heavy and look great.  They were
listed three different ways on eBay (see the item numbers below). 
Does anyone have some ideas for me?
Subject: Re: Tips for Successful eBay Auctions
Answered By: mvguy-ga on 28 Aug 2003 09:37 PDT
To start off my answer, I must confess something: until I went to the
applicable eBay page and saw the picture, I had no idea what a sconce
is.  (For the record, I'm no dummy. I'm highly educated with a large
vocabulary. So if I don't know what a sconce is, I'd bet 90% of eBay
users don't know either. I also do my own home repairs and have even
installed similar things, so it's not a matter of selective ignorance
either.) And I believe that could be the biggest problem with your
auction. If I were going to want to buy one of these things, I would
have never thought of the word "sconce" as a search term. I would have
probably used the term "light fixture."

So my first suggestion would be to use some words in your title that
might attract a buyer who isn't totally sure what he/she is looking
for, or a person who does know but isn't sure what they're called.

I looked on the list of sconces here to see what terms other people
were using:

You might get some ideas from there.  Some terms I would suggest are
these: wall lamp, wall light fixture, candle-shaped wall lamp,
candlestick wall lamp, decorative wall light, wall candelabra, gold
patina wall lamp, mini-candelabra for wall or bathroom.  Of course,
you could also use the word "sconce" for the more educated of your
potential customers, and it wouldn't hurt to use a descriptive phrase
such as "looks great" or "add class to your wall" or something like
that (although people don't search on those phrases, so they may not
be worth the available characters they use up).  To be honest,
sometimes descriptions such as that can look tacky, especially if
they're overly capitalized or use too many exclamation points, but a
subtle description would still draw attention. People who are looking
for a sconce will probably look through the listings of sconces;
whatever you put in your title will help people who don't know which
category to look in.

Similarly, you might consider putting the original retail price in the

Other than that, it looks like you've done things right. You have
excellent pictures, and as a customer I would know exactly what I'm
buying. You also provide flexibility in payment, which helps. You
provide enough information that I wouldn't hesitate to buy from you if
I wanted what you're selling.

It's hard to be overly optimistic; looking at the list of sconces for
sale, I see many that have not been bid on.  But here are some other
suggestions I would give, based primarily on my experiences as an eBay

1. List what your shipping charge will be.  If you don't know exactly,
you might say something like "$8.00 in the United States if shipped by
U.S. Postal Service, $10 by UPS, more to Hawaii and Alaska" or
whatever is appropriate.  As a customer, I very seldom bid on items
without knowing what shipping will be, and unless I want something
really bad I seldom write to the seller to find out.  I've checked
various "eBay tips" pages, and all of them say that stating shipping
costs up front is a good idea, so apparently I'm not the only customer
like this.

2. Consider reducing your minimum bid.  Of course, what you feel is
the least you can accept is only something you can determine. However,
there are people (I am one of them) who are willing to bid a nominal
amount in hopes of getting a bargain. Once there is bidding on an
item, others may be willing to join in. All you need, of course, is
two people who decide they want an item.

3. Consider selling one at a time, then put something on the page to
indicate that you have two others and would be willing to sell them at
the same price (or whatever you can do under eBay rules). This might
attract someone who needs a set but doesn't want to take the risk of
buying one but being outbid on the other.

I hope these suggestions help.  Here are some pages that give general
information on how to sell items successfully:

Online Auctions Sellers Tip Page

eBay Aution Secrets

Guide to eBay for Sellers

Best wishes,


Search term: ebay tips selling
Subject: Re: Tips for Successful eBay Auctions
From: ephraim-ga on 28 Aug 2003 10:36 PDT
It also might be worth looking at how other similar auctions ended:


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