Learning from the Winners

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After performing a Completed Items search and finding a number of successful sales, Swifty proceeded to review and analyze each of those successful listings for tips he could apply to his own. The following is a list of things Swifty recommends you look at very closely when sizing up the winning ads.

Item Description

Sometimes the item description alone can make or break a sale. Learn from those that are successful. What keywords did they include? Remember that when buyers are searching for items, it all comes down to them being able to find what they're looking for. In the Lennon Wedding Album example, the successful sellers had all included the following keywords in their item descriptions: JOHN LENNON ORIGINAL UK WEDDING ALBUM RARE APPLE BOX LP.

You can't use them all because of the character limitations, but you can string together your own based on what you find.

Photo(s) Used

Did the seller use a stock photo or an actual shot of his album for sale? You can usually tell. In this case, all the winning listings included an actual photograph of the seller's item and not a store or distributor image. People buy

Selling the Music what they can see. Learn from those that have sold before you and fork out the cash for a digital camera or scanner—it's worth it.

Starting Bid

Where you start your bidding makes a huge difference in the success or failure of an ad. What did these successful ads use as a starting bid? Too low and you will sometimes scare away serious bidders who feel the item is either fake or stolen. Too high and you'll scare away those who feel they can find it cheaper somewhere else, considering this would only be the starting bid and would definitely go up from there.

Feedback Ratings

Did these sellers have extremely high feedback ratings? Were they all 100% positive? Again, you may be surprised. If the item is rare enough, buyers will forego high feedback ratings and take the risk. In this case, the sellers had between 3 and 25 positive feedback points—no negatives.


Wow! This is where Swifty learned a truckload. In all the winning ads, the seller had provided exhaustive detail as to the contents, credits, and condition of the album. For those people collecting vinyl, condition is important, and the more objective that rating is the better. These ads followed a grading method that screamed of confidence and credibility for this category of collectibles. For example, here are some popular grading ratings for album condition. Next to each rating is an abbreviation contained within parentheses. These are the abbreviations you may see in item descriptions on eBay.

term LinG - Live, informative, Non-cost and Genuine !

Good Plus (G+)

Good (G)







There are several websites that offer grading systems that you can follow. Use Google to find the one that works best for you.

Bottom line—when it comes to descriptions, do your best to anticipate questions buyers might ask and make sure the answers are in your ad. Clean and simple.


For those people who browse on eBay rather than going directly to the Search box to find what they are looking for, it is important that you list the item in the proper category. Learn from those who were successful selling the item by checking which category or categories they used. For a small additional fee, you can list your item in more than one category. All of the winning sellers had listed their items in the following category tree: Music > Records > Albums/LPs > Pop & Beat: 1960s > The Beatles. This was yet another tidbit Swifty picked up for his posting.

Payment Methods

I won't beat this one to death, but suffice it to say that the more options you offer, the more sales you will make. All the successful ads had at least three different payment methods, with one always being PayPal. You can never overdo it when offering buyers pay options in your listing. Many include everything from credit cards to online payments to bartering fish and animal pelts. Just kidding about the fish and pelts crack, but I think I've made my point.

Selling the Music

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Reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information presented in this book is  accurate. However, the reader should understand that the information provided does not constitute legal, medical or professional advice of any kind.

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