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Tuesday, May 21, 2024   
 

ONLINE AUCTION CORNER: Market Research
by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker

Remember that camera I put up for auction? Well, it sold for $71! That's $71 off my debt! So far, everything I've put up for auction has sold.

Look through your house for stuff that you really don't use anymore. That stuff may be very useful to other people, so you should consider selling it online at auction web sites like eBay.com and use the proceeds to reduce your debts.

Once you find items that are good candidates to be sold online, it is important to be able to get an idea of how much they are worth. You can look at StrongNumbers.com for prices of many items, or simply go to eBay.com and do a search for the items.

By reviewing the search results, you'll find the best description for your item. Do another search with the more specific description and see if any are for sale right now.

Next, click on "completed items" which will show you what your item has sold for in the past. Then sort by highest price first. This final research list tells you the highest prices you can expect to get when you auction your item. It also tells you what people used in their description that made the item sell at the greatest price. This is the information you'll want to include in your item description.

Finally, you need to register with eBay.com to get an account. The registration process is easy. Just go to their main page and click on "register now," and fill out the online forms.

Okay, so now you have the item, you have an idea of what to write in the description, you have an account, the next thing you need is a picture of the item.

As the cliché goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and this is absolutely true! People want to see what they're going to buy. When you were researching the item description, you should also have noticed the photos used. You'll want to take similar pictures to use in your description.

The best way to get great photos is with a digital camera. I use the Sony Digital Mavica FD73 ($350). Another option is to take a film photo and scan the print.

Also, many companies that process film give you the option of having your pictures posted online. This option allows you to take pictures of your items, then download the pictures. You can then use the pictures that are already posted online to link in the HTML description of your item (I'll talk about that in the next column).

Research your items, pick the most likely to sell, take a photo of each item, and make each picture digital.

Have fun! Click here to read more.

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