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My 10 eBay Vintage Tee Selling Tips

Post by jimmyj »

After 10 years of selling on eBay (5 of which were vintage t-shirt years) I'm closing my store. Sure, I may surface with the odd special auctions from time to time but consider me retired. :( I can't say that I'm sad about the grueling listing process we all endure, definitely one of the downsides of selling products that are all so unique.

Having said that I figured I would pass on some strategies that served me well over the years. I'm sure you're familiar with most, but there's a few you might be able to benefit from.

Please interject with any of your own, let's build a handy little guide.

1. Items should never end on Friday or Saturday. They should also end as late in the day as possible. Time zones can be a consideration. I know snipers run rampant, but there is still a large percentage that do real time bids, so you want them to have the opportunity to do so the entire day/night.

2. I always felt that 10 day auctions were well worth the 40 cents, especially if you have a store and are auctioning sought after auctions to attract traffic to your store items. During my heydays I sometimes viewed auctions as "loss leaders" to drive traffic at the store. Even if I had to pay $50 for an Iron Maiden t-shirt that I knew I would only break even on when I re-listed it, it was worth it because of the attention it brought to my fixed priced goods.

3. If you can squeeze it in your title putting the word 'tee' never hurts. A small percentage of people actually search using it instead of shirt.

4. I caught on to the 'vtg' shortform right from the get-go, which allows for more 4 more chars in the title space. A word to the wise, originally there was an inconsistency with the synonym being triggered across the various eBay international sites. It also wasn't being acknowledged by users saved search results. Meaning if someone had a saved search out for "vintage iron maiden" and you listed as "vtg iron maiden" they wouldn't get an alert in their email about your listing. Not sure if this is still the case but something to test and consider because it my not be completely universal yet.

5. If you have a store activate its RSS feed and use it in conjunction with the Google Store Connector. Sign up with Google Base. This allows you to instantly submit your store listings to Google, rather than waiting for them to be indexed. ... ui=1&hl=en" onclick=";return false;

6. If you have a store and a blog/site use the eBay store referral code when linking to eBay store from your off eBay entity. If someone goes from your blog to your store, then buys your fixed price items, you'll save 75% of the final value fees. Truth be told it won't happen a heck of a lot, but definitely a nice savings on a yearly basis.

7. Set up answers to commonly asked questions in your account settings. We all know people will still ask some questions even if they are clearly stated in your listing - if this occurs and you aren't around, they can find the answers right away - which will help encourage impulse buys, which would otherwise not occur in the event they ask a question and you're not able to answer immediately. They'll have a change of heart and you'll have less change in your pocket.

8. Activate your stores free stats and explore them. You can find out lots of great information from it. ie who is linking to your store items, etc. I found a lot of forums would, and would jump in to their conversations to help keep the thread active and better indexed. Use this in conjunction with your referral codes, you can post really great shirts in applicable forums, ie, MJ shirts in MJ related forums.

9. In my eBay you can set up pre-written email forms to contact your costumers after purchases, notify them about shipping, and remind them about feedback, even use it as a mini-email list to announce stuff. I found this really useful in cutting down the "when did you mail my item" emails. Just a few clicks and eBay fills in all the applicable listing information.

10. Remain neutral. Over the years there's been quite a few battles between some of the heavy weight sellers, which have resulted in negative feedback and other drama. You don't need the stress even if you do notice some sellers are unethical in their practices. Concentrate on what you're doing and don't see other sellers as adversaries, communication could really mutually benefit you, ie this forum.

Thanks for helping to make the blog and forum what it is.

Respect to all of you guys who continue to passionately devote your energy to vintage.

Jimmy J
Jimmy J

Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: My 10 eBay Vintage Tee Selling Tips

Post by hermosavtg »

Excellent. You piqued my curiosity especially about the eBay store tips. I never ended up opening an eBay store simply because of the reduced visibility store items had in the past, especially since the introduction of the 35¢ a month GTC listings. Whats the point of paying $15+ a month if your items are constantly buried at the bottom? And earlier this year it seemed that eBay was getting ready to do away with the Store format entirely.

However eBay keeps changing shit up and now they have a filter to "include store inventory" in search results. Maybe the store will stay, maybe it will go, who knows what will happen with our errant friend eBay. Anyway your tips will have me reconsider opening a store! Thanks!

Moving on. I've always been skeptical about the 10 day listing. I think people lose interest after about day 6 and spend their money on something else.

One tip: Don't fill your listing with a lot of shipping terms, refund terms, "i dont do this", "buyer must do that" and "i dont ship here". It's a Perfect way to scare off willing bidders. If you want an excellent example of how to list a vintage t-shirt, just look at any STORMCROW VINTAGE listing.

Second tip: Ship all items within 24 HOURS. Nothing ensures a high DSR positive feedback as much as receiving an item while the purchase is still fresh in the buyers mind. And please don't charge $6 to ship a shirt domestically via first class mail, when i know it only cost you $2.60.

Third: If you are serious about selling stuff online, do your research, invest in a tool such as Terapeak. It's invaluable, i use it daily.

Hope this thread grows! Good luck in your next venture Jimmy!

Posts: 544
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:29 am
Location: Montreal/Honduras

Re: My 10 eBay Vintage Tee Selling Tips


hermosavtg wrote:One tip: Don't fill your listing with a lot of shipping terms, refund terms, "i dont do this", "buyer must do that" and "i dont ship here". It's a Perfect way to scare off willing bidders. If you want an excellent example of how to list a vintage t-shirt, just look at any STORMCROW VINTAGE listing.
+1. As a buyer it's terribly off putting to view an item where the Terms of Sale are 3 times longer than the item description.
Have vintage Elvis tees? Let me know!

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