Tricks For Making A Profit With Online Auctions

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Selling items through online auctions such as eBay is pretty straightforward to do and more and more people are making money this way. eBay is one of the biggest and best known online auctions and in just a few easy steps, anyone can sell a dizzying array of different items, once they have an eBay account. Simply find something to sell, upload a photograph of it and write a description, get your listing onto eBay, collect your money and dispatched the item -- easy!

The process is easy enough and very cost-effective considering the millions of eBay users your items will be exposed to, but how easy is it really to make sales and find products that will sell? This is the million dollar question and there is no easy answer. On eBay you will see items that are trending and this can give you an idea of what is popular, but this is constantly changing and there is no clear pattern, so there are few clues as to what you could sell to make your fortune. And anyway, if there were a short list of items that are guaranteed to sell, everyone selling on eBay would be getting on the bandwagon and you'd be faced with extremely tough competition.

So how can you maximize your chances of making a sale on eBay?

Trade on people's mistakes

If there is one thing that can increase your chances of selling anything online, it is to have a clear photograph of the item you are selling. Items that are listed without a photograph tend to sell for at least 20 percent less than those with a photograph -- even if they sell it all. This can go even higher with certain items such as clothing -- in fact clothing items without a photograph sell for around 78 percent less than those with a photograph.

Do you see an opportunity here? You can buy items of clothing with a photograph and relist them with a photograph and potentially make a 78 percent profit. This is one easy way to find products to sell on eBay if you want to buy in small quantities. You usually have to buy in bulk to get large discounts.

Another way to trade on other people's mistakes is to find items that are poorly listed. This includes listings with a poor title, a short or poorly written description, items in the wrong category and items from sellers with no feedback history. You can find these items by generally browsing eBay but it is easier to focus on categories you are interested in and find items that are close to their finishing time -- this is where you will find bargains that have failed to attract bids. Once you own the item, you can relist it with a photograph and a better description and you should make a profit.

Watch your timing

If you have an item listed on eBay that is due to finish at silly o'clock in the morning, you are unlikely to get that bidding frenzy at the end because buyers are still snoozing. It has been shown that there are times when items sell better, including Sunday afternoons and evenings and Wednesday evenings -- some also suggest that business-related items sell better on a Monday or Tuesday during office hours. These are times when you should get increased bids and by trying this tactic and watching your timing, you could easily make 20 percent more profit for very little effort.

Watch out for collections

Lots of people selling on eBay are too lazy to list items individually and will offer the whole lot as a collection -- for instance a collection of 50 classic vinyl records. However, collections sell for a lot less than if each item were listed separately, so if you can get hold of a collection, you can relist each item separately and make a profit.

Sell on other auction sites

eBay is one of the best-known auction sales sites and over 95 percent of all sales are made on eBay -- they have the largest number of buyers and the most items listed for sale. This means that items on eBay fetch the best prices.

You can make a profit by buying items from some of the smaller online auctions where prices are lower, then listing them on eBay.