When you have the right item – something that has wide appeal and is in high demand – you can usually safely save on your eBay listing fees by simply using a low starting bid and letting multiple bidders run the price up. As long as there are five or six bidders, or more, you will more than likely get a final price that you are happy with.
Unfortunately, while this is the ideal scenario, for a large number of items in many categories, this just isn’t always the case. Many items on eBay have less than intense demand or they appeal to a very narrow niche. When this is the case, different listing techniques are needed.
In the past, many sellers used a reserve to protect items. But, over the years reserve fees have significantly increased and using a reserve has lost it’s appeal to many sellers. This means you must find different techniques to get the same results without paying exorbitant fees. Here are three different approaches you can take to accomplish this.
Use a high opening bid
This may seem like an obvious technique to replace a reserve bid, but actually it’s not that appealing. If you have an item you feel you need to get $50 for, you can protect it with a $49.99 opening bid, but eBay is still going to charge you $1.20 for that protection.
High opening bids also have a way of discouraging bidding. The result will often be either the auction ends without any bids, or a bidder will snipe the auction in the last seconds and buy your item for it’s starting bid. Neither of these is a desirable outcome.
Listing in two categories with a low opening bid
True, listing in two categories will double your listing fees. But, if you keep your opening bid at $9.99 or lower your listing fees will still be only $.70.
This technique can be especially successful when you have an item that a buyer isn’t consciously looking for, but would be interested in buying. Let’s say you’ve acquired a nice illustrated catalog of William Hoosier kitchen cabinets form 1917. The obvious place to list it is in Books>Catalogs where it will attract quite a bit of attention. But, by also listing it in Antiques>Furniture>Cabinets>Armoires, Cupboards>Post 1900 you are able to put it in front of many bidders who would have an interest in it, but wouldn’t be actively looking for it.
This can be a very effective technique because it greatly increases the chances that your catalog will be found by more potential buyers. However, your catalog still won’t be protected, and there are some items that don’t have cross-category appeal.
Using a low opening bid with the option of a price revision
This technique keeps your listing fees low and also offers some price protection for your item. Here’s how it works.
Start your auction at a low opening bid and be sure to monitor it daily. If it starts getting bids from several buyers you don’t need to do anything. However, if several days go by and it just sits there without a bid, you simply revise the opening bid to an amount more in line with what you need for the item.