Living with the Internet: Online shopping
Living with the Internet: Online shopping

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Living with the Internet: Online shopping

2.3.1 A step-by-step approach to selling

First you have to complete the 'Sell Your Item' form. This creates your eBay listing and requires decisions from you on a number of issues:

  • Selling Format Are you selling through eBay's standard auction format, or using your own eBay Shop (using 'Buy It Now')?

  • Category Into what category or categories does your item fall?

  • Title Should be clear, complete, and descriptive – and should include words that buyers would search for when looking for your item.

  • Item Description This should be clear and complete – and spell-checked (lots of eBay listings are not!).

  • Add Pictures Show off your item with photos. Experience on eBay suggests that good pictures are very effective selling aids. This is only to be expected in an online environment where people do not have an opportunity to handle or try the goods for themselves.

  • Pricing and Duration Decide how long you want your auction to run. How many items are you selling? What will be your starting price? Would you like to use a reserve price (i.e. the price below which you are not prepared to sell) or sell with Buy It Now?

  • Item Location This reveals where (in terms of town, city, country) the item is currently located. This helps people near you find your item. Note: it does NOT involve revealing your real address.

  • Payment and Postage Information How will you accept payment from your buyer when your auction ends? Where will you post your item and who will pay? The more information you provide now, the easier the end of your auction will be.

Having completed the form, you need to review and submit your listing. eBay provides a preview of your listing and a summary of its details. If you are satisfied, submit it. Your auction is now online. When the auction closes you should:

  • contact the buyer directly using email once the listing is over to arrange postage and payment;

  • dispatch the item to the buyer;

  • leave the buyer feedback on the online form provided automatically by eBay.

That's it!

You should choose four different auctions and compare them in terms of:

  • accuracy and attractiveness of the item description;

  • quality of presentation – especially photographs.

You may wish to share your comparisons in the Comments section below.

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