How to Get More Bids and Credits from your Auctions

There are many ways to get your auctions to generate more bids and potentially get more credits for your items.  Because some of them may take some trial and error to learn, we wanted to help everyone by sharing some of the tips we use ourselves.  So here are the top 10 tips that work best for us:

10) Always include lots of CLEAR photos.  Blurry ones are a big turn-off.  Studies have shown that lots of pictures in auctions are worth a bazillion words.  Take pictures from various angles, in good light, showing relative size, etc, and again, never include blurry photos.

9) Give LOTS of info about your product.  Also, take advantage of Listia’s ability to add Updates to your Description, should you forget to mention something or end up getting lots of the same question.

8) If you live in a smoke or pet-free household, let it be known.  Some people really care about that.  My favorite from this week is from one of our user’s auction: “Items come from a smoke free home….I have cats….they don’t smoke either!”  Hahahaha!

7) Make sure your Seller’s reputation score is high.  Your online reputation is worth everything and will instill confidence in the bidders who are interested.

6) Be extra clear with your shipping options.  Ambiguity is your enemy when it comes to having successful auctions.

5) Unless absolutely necessary, try not to “hide” any comments.  Bidders will trust you more from your transparency.  Besides, any bidder can simply click and see what a seller hid.

4) Try to time your auction to start and end during a reasonable day/time when there are more Listians bidding–that’ll usually lead to higher credits.  Don’t have your auction end at 10am east coast time on a weekday, since that would only be 7am on the west coast, and many potential buyers are either rushing off to work or still sleeping.  Remember that Listia does allow you to schedule your auctions if that’d be more convenient for you.  Start times (thus end times) can be set while creating the auction, under the “Show Advanced Options.”  (Requires Listia Perks: http://www.listia.com/account/perks)  Click this thumbnail to see exactly where.

Where to set the auction's start date/time

3) Try setting your auction as a Premium Auction so that its title is bold in the search results, gets a special icon next to it, and it will get special placement in both the search results and auction pages.  The cost varies, depending on the then-current market demand, but it’s usually a good investment.  I almost always do mine as Premium with great results.  Details can be found here.

2) Offer Free Shipping because you’ll get more bids and better placement in the search results.  And you’ll make up the cost with the extra credits you’ll earn.

1) Communicate, communicate, and communicate often with those who are watching, fanning, or commenting.  Nothing else gives bidders more “warm n fuzzies” than a seller who’s friendly, helpful, genuine, addressing concerns, and commenting back quickly.  Did I mention that sellers should communicate often?  :-)

I hope these tips help you get more out of your auctions.

Do you have any seller tips of your own that you’ve found to work well for you?  Leave us a reply below.

Have a suggestion for a future topic?  Tell us here too.

Coming in the next Newsletter: Shortcuts to blaze through Listia, faster than a lightning bolt!

Listia Local – trade with your neighbors!

Today we officially launched Listia Local – a set of features that make it easier to trade stuff with your neighbors. We’ve been testing it for a few weeks now, and the response has been so great that we’re releasing Listia Local in four exciting cities.

Why Use Listia Local?

1) Discover Free Things Near You
Nothing is better than free stuff…except maybe free stuff in your area! With our new Listia Local filters, you can now browse all listings near you.


2) Get Your Stuff Faster

With the Local Pick Up option, you can get your items from the seller as soon as a listing ends. No more waiting by the mailbox to collect your winnings.

3) Save Money
Forget about mailing costs. Pick up your winnings locally from a seller, or avoid shipping fees by listing your unwanted stuff for Local Pick Up only.


4) Give and Get Big Things!

Now you can earn credits for that big couch no one uses at your house. Or win a new lawnmower from another local Listian. With Local Pick Up, the possibilities are endless!


How Do I Get Listia Local?

Listia Local is currently available in the following cities, and should be enabled automatically for you if you are in one of those cities. If not, please contact us and we can enable it for you. More cities coming soon!

New Feature: Higher Start Bid!

This morning we launched a feature that allows you to set higher start bids on your auctions!  Now you don’t have to worry about getting too few credits for your items, so start digging through your closet to find more of those things you want to list!  Some awesome benefits:

  • List those higher valued items that you were afraid to list before
  • List heavier things that you can’t ship like furniture, computer monitors & TVs.  Post them up for local pick up without worrying about your minimum bid.

A couple things you should note when you list a higher start bid in conjunction with Get It Now.

  • Your Start Bid must be lower than your Get It Now value.  Makes sense right?
  • If your Start Bid is over 50% of your Get It Now value, Get It Now will be disabled after the very first bid

Enjoy and happy listing!

The Listia Blog Gets a Facelift

Listia Blog It’s been a little while since our last post, but we’ve been super busy building new features and enhancements for Listia.  Once such enhancement is a new look for our blog, which is launching today!  We think it’s a bit easier to navigate, and we’ve added more links to the most common activity such as browsing and listing so you can get back to the site quickly.  It’s also wider and a bit easier to read.  Let us know what you think in the comments and remember to subscribe to the blog using the “follow” button at the bottom or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get all the latest news, contests and updates!

Helpful Tips & Advice

Listia_tips

We’re so thankful to have a large engaging community of users. Not only is Listia a fun marketplace to discover new and used items, but many users also gain new friendships here too. To go along with this collaborative spirit, we’ve come up with some helpful tips and advice that will help everyone succeed on Listia.

UNDERSTANDING SOME KEY TERMINOLOGIES:

  • Seller: A user who lists an item
  • Bidder/Buyer: A user who bids on an item
  • Winner: A Bidder/Buyer who wins an item at the end of an auction
  • “G.I.N”: This is short for “Get It Now”. For more information about our Get It Now option, visit this page here
  • “F&W”: abbreviated for “Fanned and Watching”

LISTING AN ITEM (FOR SELLERS):

  • Always have a clear descriptive Title. This will help attract potential buyers to click on your listing and be more engaged to read your description
  • Always have a clear and detailed Description. This is where you can highlight your item and give potential buyers your “selling points”
  • You can set a starting bid amount (ranging from 0 – 100 credits). This is done by clicking the Show Advanced Option button
  • If you are not offering free shipping (e.g. flat rate, exact rate) and have a specific payment method (e.g. PayPal only; does not accept PayPal), make sure you include that in your description so potential buyers are aware
  • For high-value items (e.g. electronics), we suggest that you include photos with your user name on a piece of paper next to your item. This will help potential buyers know that you have possession of the item and ensure buyer confidence
  • The more clear images you have, the more attractive your listing will be (check out our latest blog for statistics)
  • Comment back to potential buyers in your auction(s) so that they know you’re an active user and comfortable buying from you

PLACING A BID (FOR BUYERS):

  • Carefully read the auction listing and description before placing a bid
  • If you have a question about the listing, leave a comment for the Seller prior to bidding so you know what you’re bidding on
  • Once there are multiple bids on an auction, you cannot withdraw/retract your bid amount
  • If you’ve placed a bid, but was automatically outbid, that means your bid amount was not high enough to outbid the current highest bidder.  Try again with a higher amount
  • If you’ve placed a bid, but did not win the item at the end of the auction, then your credits will be returned and made available in your account again

Be sure to check out our FAQ/Tips pages for additional tools & tips: http://www.listia.com/support/faq

What helpful tips would you also offer? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!

SXSW Interactive: Collaborative Consumption Panels

Sxsw_interactive_logo

South by Southwest Interactive kicks off this Friday, March 9, and we’re excited to see so much activity and interest in sharing economies and collaborative consumption startups.

Several panels caught our eye this year, including:

  • What Makes Asset Sharing Platforms Thrive?
    An exploration of what qualities drive success in sharing platforms, as well as unique challenges faced by collaborative consumption startups. Speakers include Christopher Lukezic from Airbnb and Neal Gorenflo, publisher of Shareable Magazine.
  • The Airbnb of Anything: The Growth of P2P Markets
    As the title states, this panel will discuss the rapid growth of P2P markets. Speakers include the founders of Airbnb, thredUP, and TaskRabbit. They’ll touch upon how P2P startups are connecting consumers online and reinventing market behaviors to elevate sharing.
  • Designing for Social Innovation and Public Good
    Barbara Brown Wilson from the Center of Sustainable Development will join forces with several leaders in the public interest design movement to discuss how design can be used to solve complex social problemss

It’s amazing to see how much traction collaborative and trading economies have gained in the past few years, and we feel really fortunate to be a part of the sharing marketplace momentum. Will you be at South by Southwest this year? What panels, speakers or parties are you checking out?

Free Shipping Could Boost Your Listings

Do you ever wonder if it’s worth it to offer Free Shipping in your listings? We were very curious to find out, so we asked Ngan to dig up some more stats from our database.

To set the record straight, most Listians do offer free shipping. In the history of all listings, about two thirds included free shipping for their buyers. 65.5% of all listings, to be exact:

Chart1

But how does Free Shipping help or hurt your listings? Well, you can draw some conclusions for yourself:

Chart2

Based on our top performing categories, we noticed very strong correlations between Free Shipping and more bidders, bids and final credit amounts. Across the board, items with Free Shipping ended with twice as much activity than their counterparts offering Flat, Exact or Local Pick Up only.

So as a seller, is Free Shipping worth it? We sure think so, but we’ll let you confirm for yourselves.

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