MarketLink Collectors Network
Every marketplace provides the seller with a form that, once completed, creates the page that you see when you are shopping. While the sequence may be a little different, each one has six different sections to complete. We will use eBay's Listing Form as an example for this step. Here are both of the Listing Forms that eBay provides for sellers. Step 3: Marketplace Sites compares some of the more popular venues.
Here is the Wikipedia List of collectibles. When thinking about a category for your items, there are several things to consider.
These are the suggestions from eBay Lister for two of the Boyd's Figurines. Note that different words and sequences of words produce different results in category choices.
Most sites have specific categories and sub-categories for "Collectibles" and "Antiques." You may find a more accurate category for your items by using the "Vintage" section of a more general category.
Writing a winning title for your item can be quite a challenge. Keep these things in mind.
These are the Google search results for different Titles for Clawdette Fuzzyface & Wuly...Yarn Merchants.
See the section Step 4: Pictures for tips on taking and editing pictures that sell. Remember that the pictures of your items are your best sales tool.
This is a scanned image of a Silver Charm Bracelet that we recently sold on eBay.
In the Step 4: Marketplace we discuss the services which provide image hosting and eBay listing services. Most of these services have a free plan as well as more extensive plans for a monthly fee. Our direct experience has be good with both InkFrog and Auctiva.
If you search for "online image hosting" or "free online image hosting" you will find lots of these kinds of sites. Here is an album in our account on PhotoBucket of the Noritake Chaumont China that we have for sale in Goldie's Cupboard.
Each picture has its own web address. You can provide the urls on some of the marketplace sites rather than uploading images to them. Here is the Chaumont Sugar Bowl, for example.
We recommend using a Thumbnail Gallery rather than a series of large images. A gallery encourages the buyer to interact with your lisiing and increases the time he spends looking at your item. Contact Us for more information on creating a generic photo gallery for your listings.
Place your Image Gallery at the top of the listing. A buyer wants to see what he's buying before he takes his time to read anything.
If you use a listing service like Auctiva or InkFrog, they give you a choice of layouts for your images with their templates. Take advantage of their scrolling or storefront gallery, too. Place it at the bottom of your listing to let prospective buyers know what other items you are currently selling. It allows them to click directly through to your other listings.
A listing template is a form that is designed to include information that you will repeat in every listing e.g. payment and shipping details and your return policy. In addition, most templates have designs that can add personality and color to your listings.
Click on Pawlene's Picture here to see the differences that templates make to the visual impact of your listings. Pawlene and Kandace use templates provided by Auctiva, our eBay listing service. We used a simple template we created with our logo for Clawdette along with an Auctiva photo gallery.
Another way to choose a template is to look at how the color scheme looks with your item. Check out these different color templates for the Chaumont China. Notice the differences in the appearance of the china itself next to the colors of the templates.
If you use a listing service (like the ones discussed in Step 3: Marketplace), an assortment of templates and photo galleries are provided for you. There are also tons of free templates available on the web. Do a web search to find templates for your chosen marketplace. Contact Us for help in using templates or with any other design questions.
The description should contain five distinct sections:
In deciding on your strategy for setting the start price for you listings in Auction Format, listing fees should be at the bottom of your list. And while starting low may entice a larger number of bidders, you also run the risk of the final purchase price of your item being much less than you were really willing to sell it for. Setting reserve prices is expensive and discourages bidding. Our philosophy is to list the item at the lowest price we are happy to sell it for. If our expectations are realistic and our item has a market, we are usually successful with the sale.
Setting a fixed price is also a challenge. We recommend researching your item on eBay to see what it has recently sold for and with the search engines to see what the asking price is currently. Then you must determine what you would be happy to accept. Simple? Yes. Easy? Well, not so much!!! (Learn more about listing types in Step 3: Marketplace.)
Our section Step 6: Paid & Ship discusses the different shipping choices from the different carriers to their different services. Now is the time to decide.
Whether or not to offer Free Shipping is the prevailing question at this point. We have tried both and have found that estimating shipping costs and adding them into the price can be very tricky. On the other hand, buyers have left unfavorable feedback when we used Calculated Shipping with a $1.00 handling fee. It seems that, in general, buyers underestimate the postage costs and expect all other associated costs to be included in the sales price. There is no concrete answer to this question. It is one that you must decide on a per item basis.
This is the only step that may not be included in your listing form, depending on the marketplace policies. Some of the sites allow you to set payment options on each listing, while others have you decide this issue when you set up your account. Those choices are then added to every listing.
Check out Step 6: Paid & Ship for a explanation of the different payment options and payment processors.
Be sure that you include information on shipping times for each type of payment in your Shipping Policies Statement. If you are accepting checks and money orders, quite a bit of time can pass before you receive their check and then allow it to clear your bank. Be sure your customers are clear on how their payment decision will affect shipping and delivery times.
We believe an easy to understand and implement return policy is the best way to go. We stand behind the merchandise we sell 100% and offer a money back policy. The only drawback can be "buyer's remorse" - when the buyer just changed his or her mind. However, in our experience, this rarely happens.
Here is our Return Policy. Some sites post this with every listing, while others have you set up your policies on a separate page. We recommend that you place your Shipping, Payment and Return Policies at the bottom of your listing description. A serious buyer needs easy access to this information.
Put any special instructions for reporting damage or non-delivery of items. Shipping insurers will require pictures of the damage taken by the recipient. They will not accept a claim if the broken item is returned to the shipper.