Becoming a seller on ebay can be daunting. Becoming a travel seller can be impossible, unless you know the secrets. My tips on selling on eBay can apply to all categories of items, but some steps are unique to selling travel.
The travel industry is highly regulated on EBay, as it should be. High standards keep out disreputable sellers and scam artists, and adds to your own company’s trustworthiness when you are approved by eBay..
1. Before you are even thinking about selling travel on eBay, it is important to get a username and email address just for eBay. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes. Register as a seller and you can use the same username to buy as well. Choose a name that reflects what you sell i.e., “Bermudabound” rather than “sexyblueeyes”. Other eBay members will come to recognize you by your User ID, so it's a good idea to choose one you'll want to use for the long term.
2. Your eBay name has sunglasses (i.e., read “shady character”) for the first 30 days, so don’t try to sell anything while you are wearing shades. Use this time to buy on eBay and learn good practices from other sellers.
3. Set up a PayPal account. EBay buyers feel more confident purchasing something from a seller who accepts PayPal. According to PayPal, “Listings that offer PayPal are 6% more likely to sell and experience a 5% average increase in final price.” Go to www. Paypal.com. Get a business account. Registration is free.
4. In the first 30 days, buy small items on EBay, pay for them promptly. I have always found eBay sellers to offer good values, provided that you check their feedback listing first.
5. Pay your seller promptly, because then you will always get positive feedback from your seller. Your feedback profile is the most important aspect of your reputation at eBay. Feedback is extremely important on eBay, as your future buyers can evaluate you at a glance. Even one strike against you counts heavily. Your feedback score also helps later with qualifying to run banner ads on eBay, and to have eBay pay some of your advertising costs.
6. Create your “About Me” page on eBay. Use this page to tell other eBay users about yourself and your interests, your experience and your products.
7. While you are waiting the 30 days, also become a) ID verified and b)square trade approved. a) Get ID Verified through eBay as an extra sign of security for buyers. When a member gets ID Verified, a third-party company working with eBay confirms the member's identity by cross checking their contact information across consumer and business databases. You'll see the ID Verify icon in verified members' profiles.
B) The Square Trade Seal is one way for sellers to show bidders that they are committed to high selling standards and have had their identity verified by a third party. You will need a credit card and your IATA, ARC, or seller of travel number. Both are requirements for selling travel, and you must place these numbers as the first lines of your ads on EBay. All members listing airline tickets, cruises, vacation packages, or lodging must be participants in the Seller Verify by SquareTrade Program. This program combines verification of sellers with ongoing monitoring. For instructions on this, go to eBay.com.
8. When you are ready to list your items at auction, sell small stuff first, building customers and credibility. Sell all items with no reserve, at the lowest price you can afford to accept, and fill all orders promptly.
9. Choose carefully what you will sell. You cannot sell some travel certificates, and all listing must list the exceptions, blackout dates, and extra taxes and shipping charges. Travel agents, and other businesses selling travel services are regulated in eBay. According to the eBay rules for selling travel, “Businesses and individuals who sell and/or arrange air or sea travel or accommodations (but do not directly provide the travel service themselves) may list air and ship related travel items (i.e. airplane tickets and cruise trips), along with accommodations, on eBay only if they are licensed as sellers of travel lawfully able to do business in all 50 states and they themselves will be booking the travel for the winning bidder. Their listings should clearly set out their California seller of travel license number as well as any other license information required in other states. It is against eBay policy for travel clearinghouse affiliates, that are not actual agents booking the travel themselves, to list travel auctions on the site. Sellers are required to include the following disclaimer in all listings for travel exactly as it appears below and in a text size and color that can easily be seen and read by all bidders:
"By listing this auction I verify that I am the actual travel agent or travel provider and not a third party affiliate. The travel/accommodations in this auction will be booked directly through me and not an outside agency. I also verify that, other than the government taxes and related government fees stated within the listing description itself, there will be absolutely no additional fees, charges or after auction purchases associated with booking the travel within this listing."
For travel services other than air or sea travel, businesses and individuals may offer gift certificates or coupons that are issued by a specific provider of travel, such as a gift certificate to a particular hotel. They may not, however, offer travel club memberships or "choice travel" certificates.”
10. Build a store. EBay stores are free for the first 30 days. Afterwards, they are $9.95 a month. According to eBay, Store sellers see on average a 25% incremental increase in sales the 3 months after opening their Store.” Here is where you can list all those other items that are higher priced, but good value at a low listing fee - at about 02 cents, rather than $4.80 for an item over $500. Auction and Fixed Price listings appear in your eBay Store as well as in eBay Search and Listings. The store allows your buyers to peruse your other items in addition to your auction items. Go to: http://pages.eBay.com/storefronts/openbenefits.html
For examples of travel stores on eBay, take a look at: http://stores.eBay.com/Travel-Ireland-and-Britain_W0QQsspagenameZMEQ3aFQ3aSTQQtZkm About the author:
Ellen Mc Nulty is President of Lynott Tours, specialists in travel to Ireland and Britain. Ellen assists retail travel agents in listing their wares on EBay. Lynott Tours has been selling travel for 35 years, and can be found on the Internet at www.lynotttours.com