Maybe you sell books online as a hobby, or maybe you just have a shelf of books you no longer need. Some of the most popular products to sell on eBay are, in fact, books. But selling books on eBay takes a little knowledge, practice, and above all research. Read this article for several fundamentals on conducting research so you can sell your books on eBay to make money.
The Necessity of Research
One of the most important steps (if not THE most important step) in listing a book for sale on ebay is to do your research. You will want to find out the best way to describe the book for the title of the listing and to find out how much your book generally sells for on ebay. You can do both by browsing Completed Listings through the Advanced Search capability. Completed Listings are listings that ended within the last week. When you look at Completed Listings, you can see both listings that sold and those that did not. Read below for directions on using the Advanced Search.
Using Advanced Search
After signing in to your ebay account, click the “Advanced” button to the right of the main Search box. Doing so will take you to a new page with a whole bunch of boxes. Your main concern is the first few boxes. In the box that reads “Enter keywords or item number,” you might want to type in the name of your book, the author’s name, or if you believe the book is too rare to have been listed by anyone last week, then you could type in a keyword. As an example, let’s say I have a book about collecting pipes. I might type in “pipes” and “collecting” in this first box. (I chose this example because there’s a limited number of books on this topic and thus a limited number of listings for us to deal with.)
Usually, you can skip over the next box on the page called “Exclude words from your search” and go on to “In this category.” Here, you will select “Books” because you want to limit the listings that the search renders to book listings. Last of all on this page, you need to make sure that you have selected “Completed Listings” under the section “Search including.” Now, you can hit the blue Search button at the top right of the page.
Titles and Keywords
Now, you are viewing all of the completed listings from last week that included your keywords in their titles. You should now use this information to help you get an idea of a strong title for your specific book.
For example, I typed in “pipes” and “collecting.” There were only eight results in the completed listings. Only three of the listings sold. I notice that two of the three books that sold were listings of the same book, Rare Smoke by Richard Hacker. Both listings included the name of the book and the phrase “pipe collecting” in their titles. This tells me that if the book I’m selling is Rare Smoke, I should probably mention the name of the book in the title. It sells. I also remember, from previous searches, that the author Richard Hacker, has written other books on the subject. I should probably mention his name, too. My research also tells me that I might want to mention more keywords in my title, because sometimes listing the name of the book is not helpful enough to people searching for books on the topic.
From my research, I can also see an average price range for books like the one I’m trying to sell. Each sold for (give or take) $15. So I definitely don’t want to list my book for $50. I might either list it as BuyitNow for $20 and accept Best Offers or sell it auction-style with a beginning bid of $11.99. Either is possible, but I honestly believe the BuyitNow would be best for this type of find.
Summary of my Research
Let me summarize what I learned from my research that I should use while creating a listing for my book. My title for the listing of this book should include the title of the book, the author’s name, and a few key words (maybe “pipes,” “collecting,” and “tobacciana”). I should aim to sell the book for around $15. While this example was pretty straightforward and simple, you may face more difficult scenarios. Just remember to try out different keywords and to follow any leads you get. For example, I might have done a new search just on Richard Hacker to see what other books by him sell. Then, I could have used keywords for those books to include in my listing.
Don’t Skip the Research
Be a smart eBay seller. Do your research. Using the Advanced Search function is like learning from history. And you know what they say: “History repeats itself.” If you want to follow in the footsteps of those whose listings sold, then you have to know what they did, because it worked!