With all of the questions I have been getting recently about eBay, I thought we should look at some of the tips and tricks that I use with my customers to increase their eBay sales. Even if you don’t sell on eBay, these tips will help with your inventory process!
1. Use keywords. eBay does not need complete sentences and punctuation. You only get 80 characters, so you have to be picky with your words while making sure everyone understands them. Here is an example:
You might be writing descriptions that say:
“03 H2 Body Control Mod 591-6963”
This means nothing to the average eBay customer or to your Aunt Judy. I try to make my eBay titles so clear that my Aunt Judy could understand it:
“2003 Hummer H2 BCM Chassis Brain
Box Computer ID 15179509”
2. Paint codes sell parts! I have said it a hundred times, and I will say it again! No matter where you list your parts, please include your paint codes and paint names where you can. I have a 2011 Sonata. We all call it Blue or BLU (which also means nothing to an eBay customer). Hyundai calls it Y2U Blue Sky Metallic, which is very different from the other 4 blue paint codes that they also put on the Sonata in 2011.
In this example, you might currently be writing descriptions like:
“4dr, BLU, 2D1”
But for my Aunt Judy, I need to write it all out:
“2011 Sonata Left Driver Side Fender 4 DR Blue Sky Metallic Y2U *Light Scratches”
3. Think outside your normal hot sellers and your geographical area! You know, or at least I hope you do, what will sell on Car-Part.com and in your shops. The parts that sell on eBay are often very different than the ones that you sell to your regular customers. Wiper transmissions or fuel filler necks in Arizona or Florida? Nope! Not a big deal! In Michigan and Iowa? Oh, yeah! The rust there is so bad that they need these parts! When I was still at Nu-Parts, I could not give away a 22r timing cover in Chicago or Pittsburgh, but we still sold cases of them in California. No rust, so they are still driving these cars there.
4. Research! Research and then, guess what I want you to do? More research! Go to eBay and look up cars that you bring in. Not just the new ones! Put in the ‘02 Buick Regal or the ‘92 SAAB and see what is selling out there. One of my yards sold an AC vent for a ‘96 Corolla for $29! I guess if you don’t have one and you still drive that car, $29 seems like a good deal!
5. Feedback is king on eBay! You do not want negative feedback! Test the parts that you say you tested. Understand that “free shipping” and “free returns” are part of eBay life, but also know that most of my yards have less than 5% returns on eBay, which is far better than what they have on local sales. Yes, once in a while, you will feel like you got taken, but the same thing happens now when a shop buys an engine brain box only to find out that it wasn’t the problem –and then sends it back as “no good.” Do your best to be honest on eBay and you will find out that the customers are a lot more forgiving on things like “light scratch on fender” or, “headlight is faded” as long as you tell them about it when you list the parts.
I hope each and every one of you has a blessed and happy New Year! As always, if you have any questions feel free to email me at TheresaC@Car-Part.com or you can call or text me at 859-802-2382. Thanks for reading and have a great month!
Theresa Colbert is a public speaker who goes to state association meetings, at no charge, to give classes on cores, brokering and much more. She offers on-site support to salvage yards in many areas and has been an on-the-ground representative for Car-Part.com for five years. Prior, she worked at Nu-Parts Automotive Products for 10 years, was a manager at Winter Auto Japanese Engines in Glendale, Arizona, and at AAA Economy Auto Parts in Phoenix, Arizona. With 23 years of industry experience, Theresa has seen the auto recycling world from almost every point of view. When she is at home, she loves to spend time with her family, play with her dogs, cook and watch football.