How to Make eBay Work for You

 

By Erin Spence For Land Academy

If you know anything about how we got our start and where Steven and Jill come from, you know about eBay. Heck, if you’ve listened to a week’s worth of podcasts – you KNOW eBay. Jill and I are personally confident that Steven still holds the record of most properties sold on that platform. Since 2004, eBay has generated more than $20 million in revenue for our companies. $20 MILLION. A typical average for us was four properties a day being sold, and even got as high as ten to twelve a day. 

We really have seen it all on eBay, and as a result have learned the best ways to be successful. I’m here to share a few tips to help you along the way. 

Tip 1 – The properties you’re selling have to be inexpensive. 

You aren’t going to sell a commercial piece of property that’s worth $125,000 for $250,000 on eBay. It just isn’t going to happen. People are on eBay to get things cheap, and they’re very price-conscious. You aren’t fooling anyone.  

What does this mean for you? You need to be good at buying property incredibly cheaply. You want to leave the buyer shaking their head and running to tell their husband all about how they can’t believe they just bought 40 acres for $6000 that you can drive up to in X county. That’s the typical kind of buyer that you’ll see on eBay. 

Tip 2 – You need to build up your credibility. 

Those people who just bought the incredible property are going to leave you feedback – because eBay buyers LOVE to leave feedback. The next people are going to leave it, and so are the next people. Soon enough you’re going to have hundreds and thousands of positive feedback messages on your account, and nobody is going to question your legitimacy as a seller. 

You should also have your website set up and connected so that potential buyers can verify your credibility that way. For a buyer to be able to go and see that you’re a real person with a real business is key. For us, they can look us up, see all about our business, listen to our podcasts, etc. You don’t need to have that much by any means, but some form of presence set up really is necessary to be successful. This is also a great way to drive people back to your website to buy from you there.

Tip 3 – Sell in an auction format, $1, no reserve. 

When selling on eBay, you want to sell in an auction format, $1, no reserve. This is the ONLY way that we sell This can be a major mental speed bump for people to get over. They think “What if my property sells for just a dollar? I paid $3000 for this property!” It won’t. Trust us. That property will not sell for one dollar. You should also be charging a doc prep fee (and disclosing this in the listing). 

You can typically expect to get what other sellers are getting in those areas. Go onto eBay and check out the completed sales in a specific land area and you can expect to get what others are currently getting when they sell similar properties in those areas. Now on the flipside, this is also a good indicator on whether you should be selling this type of property on eBay or not. If you look in an area and there isn’t any data or completed sales, like New York for example, then that isn’t a good place to sell property on eBay. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy property there, but eBay probably isn’t the best venue for selling it. 

You can also use this data to work backwards and tailor what you’re selling on eBay. You can see what others have sold successfully, and determine how much you should buy that property type for. For example, you can see that these properties sell for $1000. So I should be buying for $400 or $500 or whatever your numbers work out to be. 

Tip 4 – Have great postings and great customer service. 

It’s incredibly important to make great postings with great pictures and good videos if possible. You really want to accurately convey the land and make it look good and like something that you would want to buy. Check out our active eBay listings for some great examples of how to format your postings. 

Also make sure that you really spell out the transaction process in your posting. Tell buyers exactly how it is going to go and don’t leave any room for surprises. For example – when you win, here’s the next steps. You’ll expect an email with instructions on how to pay, and we’re going to get the deed out to you within X number of days. We’ll send it with recording instructions or we’ll record it, etc. Disclose everything and spell it all out from start to finish. 

All of this is also meant to lighten the load of questions that you’re going to get on the property. We learned this the hard way. If you leave out what the taxes are each year and if they’re current or not, you will get asked it. Repeatedly. Make it easier on yourself and put it all in the original posting. 

You will get tire-kickers, and you will get people who don’t pay. We’ve seen it all. You’ll learn pretty quickly how to weed out the tire-kickers – and traditionally the people who ask questions before the auction has closed are not truly serious about buying the property. The ones who buy the property usually have no questions, because you’ve put all of the information that they need in the posting. 

From there, just let your property ride and then it’s just sending out your paperwork! You’ll be amazed at what happens, I guarantee it. 

Land Academy was really born on eBay, because enough people were asking us how to buy properties so cheaply that Steven and Jill decided to develop a program to help their buyers.