I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really like change, especially when I’ve got a good thing going. Once, when I was in high school, the entrance to my neighborhood that I always used was blocked due to construction, which meant I had to go out an alternate way, about a block over. Y’all, I had to call home to figure out how to get to school. It was so pathetic.
With eBay, I’ve found that I need to try new things often. (It’s not so bad, really!) Below are two changes I’ve made recently that have increased my profit. None of these are hard-and-fast rules that will apply to everyone, but they have worked for me.
- Using the “Best Offer” Feature Less Frequently
Prior to about three weeks ago, almost 100% of my listings were “Buy It Now, Or Best Offer”. I liked using Best Offer because I felt like it allowed for greater buyer engagement, and that it would attract shoppers who were looking for a deal. I knew that it opened me up to “lowballers” but I thought that as long as I didn’t accept any offers that would give me less than my target profit amount, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Well, the problem was that I often would accept too-low offers. I don’t know why–I guess I’m just always too antsy to wait for a higher offer (or buy-it-now buyer) to come along. So, I decided that I would take more time to research a price and avoid the Best Offer feature on future listings. The result has been an increase in average sale price.
As you can see from my very professionally produced diagram above, my average sale price for Sept 2014 equals $27.12. My average sale price for Oct 2014 (with 4 days to go, still!) is $31.34. Once the month is over, I plan to go to my spreadsheet and look up my Sept profit vs. Oct profit just to make sure I had an increase in profit as well as sale price. (I’d bet money that I do!)
- Offering Multiple Shipping Options
Just a few days ago, I started adding a second shipping option to most of my listings. Given that I sell clothing, most of my shipments are under 13 oz and can be sent via USPS First Class Package postage, which takes 2-5 days and costs around $2.50ish-$4ish, depending on weight. (I charge the retail cost of shipping, so those are the prices that my buyers see.) Recently, I’ve been adding the option of Priority shipping to my listings that also have USPS First Class. Priority is faster but more expensive (1-3 days and $5.75-$12ish). I have been surprised to see several of my recent buyers choose Priority shipping, even with the less expensive First Class option available. As a Top Rated Seller, I get a percentage off the retail cost of shipping, so anytime a buyer chooses Priority over First Class, I get to pocket a few dimes. It’s not a huge increase, but I’m not one to turn down free money.
Those two simple changes have bumped up my PayPal account’s bottom line, and have given me a little more ammunition in the fight against my big, bad student loans. I am always looking for other changes that might help, though. Have you all found any tips that have made a positive impact on your eBay business?