Selling on eBay? 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Making mistakes is a great way to learn what doesn’t work so you can find what does work. I’ve made some very costly mistakes in business, like ordering a full container load of inventory that wasn’t selling, so I had to sell it for 1/4 of the price! I lost tens of thousands.

Here are 9 common mistakes made by eBay sellers:

#1 – Wrong Keywords

Simple yet effective, I see lots of sellers not include important keywords in their listing titles. Ask yourself the following: “Is there anything else prospects search for that I could put in the listing title?”

#2 – Not Selling Internationally

By selling domestically, you are excluding a huge audience that could buy from you. Yet so many eBayers don’t check the international box. Why???

#3 – Only Entering Required Product Data

You have to provide some information when creating eBay listings, but filling in more information not only answers more of your prospects’ questions, but helps get more viewers! I tested this by adding keywords in the additional option fields.

#4 – Low Margins

Many sellers don’t actually calculate the amount of money that represents profit with every sale. You should calculate the gross profit margin after deducting fees, shipping, inventory, procurement and overheads. Below is the gross profit margin formula:

((Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold) ÷ Revenue) x 100

#5 – Low-ticket Items

If you sell an item for £5, even if the gross profit margin is 80%, you’d only earn £4 per sale. However, if you sold an item for £50 with a gross profit margin of 50%, you’d earn £25. That’s over 6 times more profit!

I’ve made this mistake before: I used to sell toy pellets for about £10, with a 50% gross profit margin, and after procurement, shipping, returns and customer service, it just wasn’t worth my time. Many sellers don’t or can’t charge high enough prices due to the competition, little traffic, limited value delivery or no USP.

#6 – No USP

Your unique selling point is what makes your product different from the competition, and how it delivers value to customers differently. If you sell the same product as your competitors, why would someone pay more to buy it from you?

I made this mistake before by selling toy RC cars. I was inevitably priced out by bigger sellers who achieved economies of scale by buying huge quantities of them, and hence had lower costs. The best thing I did on eBay was sell a gaming product with extra valuable media on it, which was very profitable, which I’ll discuss in a later email.

#7 – No Brand!

Sell something with your name on it! Or if your products don’t have your brand on it, try to put it on it. If you don’t have a brand, create one! Don’t be an average Joe and underestimate the value of the brand… If you sell lots of products, it’s an opportunity to remind them of you.

I made this mistake before by not putting my brand on the thousands of gaming consoles I used to sell! At least with the toy pellets, I put my brand on them which helped build my ‘Kingdom Airsoft’ brand. And other people reviewed and promoted my brand, which lead to more organic sales. If you procure from a manufacturer, ask if they offer ‘OEM manufacturing’ services (in other words, putting your brand on the products).

#8 – No Back-end Marketing

Every time you sell an item, you have the customer’s email. You should:

  1. Create some pre-written emails
  2. Add their emails to an email marketing list
  3. Send them automated emails over time

You’ll not only consolidate the relationship with the customer and deliver them more value, but be able to upsell products and services to them; on autopilot. Check my resources page for email software I’d recommend.

#9 – Poor Images

Again, simple yet effective. So many sellers don’t include enough images in their listings, or their images suck. Quickly ask yourself: “Is there 1 more image that would answer a prospect’s question?”. The Pro Version of my eBay Template also helps by presenting images in a rollover image gallery.

Thanks for Reading

I hope you’ll be able to avoid making these eBay seller mistakes! Making mistakes will ultimately make you stronger.

As an eBay seller, you might want to get a copy of the Free Listing Template or Free eBay Cheat Sheet to discover other tips to improve your eBay store.

If this has helped you, please share this page so that it can also help others.

Thanks, and Good Luck.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your FREE eBay Cheat Sheet & Listing Template Includes newsletter signup. Complete the form for access.
share page Found this helpful? Let others know: