eBay Cash! - Starting Prices

Once you are done making your super listing, it's time to list it! And the last thing left to do is decide on a starting price. If you don't already know, the starting price can play a major part in the number of bids your auctions receive and the final price the auction closes at.

Starting the bidding at one price instead of another can mean more than a 25% difference in the final price your item sells at. So here is what you need to know about starting prices: $1 no reserve: listings starting at $1 and no reserve are a favorite among "eBayers" and constantly out perform those listing that start at higher prices or have a reserve.

1 Penny/No reserve is another popular variation. I understand that it can be scary to start something that's worth a lot more at $1 and no reserve. You obviously don't want to end up selling something you paid a fortune for, for only a $1. Don't worry, in most cases you won't.

But before you go and start everything you have at $1 there is a few things you should know. The reason $1NR auctions do so well is obviously because it is starting only at one dollar! Some people might even place a few bids even if they don't really need what you're selling.

$1NR auctions get a lot more bids than auctions that have reserves and start at high prices. It is not unusual for someone to start off the bidding within a couple of hours of the item being listed. And the first bid is a big deal. With $1NR auctions every bid can end up being the winning bid, even if it's $1!

The first bid gets the ball rolling, and someone is a lot more likely to "get the ball rolling" if the first bid is only $1 as apposed to $100. As people see an item with a $1 bid on it they are going to want to get in on the action. As the bidding accelerates and the price of the item rises several bidders will emerge that will be serious about winning the bidding.

There will also be a couple of silent watchers that stay quiet until the last minutes of the auction to place their bids in an attempt to steal the item away from right under other bidders' noses. People will also feel more comfortable placing a bid on something that already has several bids.

This is because there are other people doing the same thing. I know it may be hard to believe, but people feel more comfortable doing something if others are doing it with them. No one wants to do everything by themselves, this goes for bidding to.

I know that when I am about to bid on something that has no bids on it, I think to myself "how come no one is bidding on this, is there something wrong with item? Or maybe it's the seller?" These thoughts create doubts in my mind and I usually wait until someone else starts of the bidding, but sometimes it never happens.

Perhaps it's because everyone is waiting for "someone else" to start the bidding. I f you are going to start an item that is in demand at $1NR, it will most likely sell for a higher price than items that have a high starting price. But if you are selling something that is not in demand and not very popular at $1NR it might actually sell for a dollar.

$1NR is not for everything, it's for the more popular and sought-after products out there. Some people think that all they have to do is start the bidding at a dollar and they will get a good selling price...sorry, that's not the way it works. If you are selling something that is not in demand its better to start the bidding close to what you actually want the item to sell for (if it doesn't sell, re-list it).

What often happens with unpopular items that start at $1NR is only one or two people notice it and wait until the last minute to place a bid and the product ends up selling for a very low price. Reserve auctions: if you put a reserve on an auction, you can still start the bidding at $1...but the item won't sell unless the reserve price is met. So if you are scared to start the bidding at $1 and no reserve, set a low reserve.

Here’s my formula for a successful $1NR auction:

Popular item + well written listing + $1NR = Fair market value will be seen

You have to realize that if you do everything right, then you will get fair market value. That value may be more or less than what you were expecting, but the final bid will be representative of what the market will bear. Of course there are a few exceptions, but in general you will find this to be true. Once again, keep in mind that the formula assumes you are listing it in the right category, using pictures, detailed description, etc.

Most "eBayers" hate reserve auctions, some simply refuse to even look at them. The reason for all the reserve hating is because reserve auctions can be extremely frustrating. Sometimes a person can spend 7 or 10 days bidding on an item only to have the reserve not met at the end of the auction.

It is also frustrating to place bid after bid and get a big bold "reserve not met" after every bid. Most people don't want to play games, at least not frustrating ones. Imagine going to the supermarket, giving the clerk money and hearing "try higher" from the clerk!

If your reserve is too high, even if you get a lot of bids in the beginning, most bidders will quit from frustration and boredom due to seeing "reserve not met" too many times. So if you must use reserve auctions set the reserve as low as possible. Even though most eBayers hate reserve auctions, there are still a lot of people that don't mind reserves.

Those people who don't mind realize that with reserve auctions there is less completion and that the reserve is probably set at a reasonable price that is still much lower than retail. Reserve auctions are not always bad, especially if you are selling something very expensive.

In that case most bidders will understand. A reserve auction can never create as much excitement as a $1NR auction, but that doesn't mean there is nothing exciting about reserve auctions. The excitement in reserve auctions happens when the reserve is met.

When the reserve is met, that means the item will sell and this is when the real bidding begins. A met reserve can create a lot of excitement among everyone that has already placed a bid or two and can attract new bidders, even ones that hate reserve auction, because the "evil reserve" is now gone!

So if you are too scared for a $1NR auction go ahead and use a reserve but make sure you set the reserve price low to create excitement as soon as possible. Other starting prices: you obviously do not have to use a reserve in your auction or start the bidding at one dollar.

You can set the starting price as high or as low as you want. You can start it at 1 cent or you can start it at $1,000. The thing you must keep in mind when deciding the starting prices, the higher the starting price the higher the listing fee will be.

If you are going to sell products that are not in high demand you shouldn't start the bidding at a dollar because a lot of times your item might only get one bid. So set the starting price close to what you actually want for the item, but remember to be realistic.

If you are selling used jeans that sell for $80 in stores, start them at $5 - $10, or a little higher than what you bought them for (from a supplier). If you are selling used products, remember that used is much cheaper than new. So you should start used products for the same price you buy them at from your supplier.

Remember not to get too greedy when deciding on starting prices, try and set the starting price as low as possible. If you must set a high starting price don't start the item higher than you bought it for, this way you have nothing to lose and the price will still be lower then the retail.

If the starting price is relatively high make sure to let everyone know the retail value of the product you are selling, so they see that there is still big savings to be made.

You can also use the Buy It Now (BIN) feature to sell your products. Just like the name suggests, this feature lets people skip the bidding process and buy your items at a fixed price. The BIN feature is very convenient, because not everyone that buys things on eBay wants to wait for the auction to end.

If you are going to use BIN remember that whatever the BIN price is, that is what the customer will have to pay you (plus shipping). I know that is obvious, but I have heard of people setting the BIN prices at $1 thinking that BIN works like a regular auction. You should set the BIN price exactly at what you want your item to sell at. Again, don't get too greedy.

$1 No Reserve auctions are one of the best ways to generate bidding and excitement.