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Preying on Poor Listings

March 20, 2011

On Wednesday I posted my second Steal of a Deal article about the 97-98 Donruss Limited Unlimited Limited Exposure parallel I picked up for a great price on eBay a little while back.

In that article I mentioned how I found the listing to be pretty poor and that I felt the quality of the listing played a big part in why I was able to get the card for such a bargain price.  

From operating an eBay store for close to three years now and having done a fairly significant amount of research on how to improve my eBay sales, one of the most important things I have learned is that the quality of your listing plays an absolutely critical role in the level of financial success a listing can bring.

Having been at this for such a long time now, I find it amazing that other sellers allow themselves to produce poor listings.  Common sense tells me that a seller ought to create listings that maximize the available characters in the item title and provide sufficient and accurate details in the unlimited space available for the item description.

Not surprisingly, my version of common sense is often not to be the same common sense followed by other sellers, as there are a startling number of them on eBay who do not seem to think in the same way and listings similar to the one I found with the Thornton card that is now a part of my collection are relatively easy to come by.

By no means am I trying to say that my listings are perfect or that every seller should follow the same model that I do.  I know for a fact that there is always room for improvement in everything that I do on eBay, and I strive to make those improvements on a regular basis.  What I am saying, though, is that I find it surprising how often I come across listings that are nothing short of dismal.

The seller and writer in me hates to see poor quality listings because I know the person trying to sell their item is missing out on an opportunity solely because they did not take the time to do things correctly.  The buyer in me, however, absolutely loves coming across this type of listing since they provide an opportunity to snag items at surprisingly low costs.

While a fairly harsh way of putting things, essentially, I am preying on the poor quality of the listings that the ineptitude or laziness of certain sellers allows them to create.

Because of the fact that poor listings are relatively common, on occasion I make it a point to scour through eBay listings seeking out those hidden gems.  Over the years these random searches have allowed me to buy up countless items from auctions that have titles that do not accurately describe the item, descriptions that are completely off base or non-existent when it comes to providing details about an item, and/or contain photos or images that so poorly illustrate the item that is said to be available that one is left wondering why a photo was included at all.

The obvious drawback to purchasing in such a way is that it tends to take a significant amount of time to track down such listings.  My approach to preying on poor listings is to seek out deals on absolutely anything that I either need for my collecting projects or believe that I can flip in my eBay Store for a decent profit, but that means simply inputting search criteria is all but out of the question.  Clearly, it is difficult to seek out poor listings if the entire idea is to find things that are void of the information you would normally expect to see in a listing.

My advice to anyone who lists items for sale on the site is to make sure that you take the time to do it properly.  Do any necessary research so that you truly know what you have available for sale, figure out the best title for it within the limited number of characters you are given, and create a description that does not require a potential buyer to have to inquire further about.

Until every seller on eBay starts doing exactly that with their items, I will be more than happy to prey upon those poor listings and continue to see benefits in my own collection.

As always, feel free to get in touch on Twitter (@bb_bros), Facebook, by e-mail at bb_bros[at]hotmail[dot]com, or by posting a comment.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!



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