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How To Cash In on Weird Auctions on eBay

Until recently, online auction sites such as eBay have been the usual marketplace for bargain hunters and thrift shoppers looking for cheap used or surplus products. But a new breed of sellers are now coming up with very unusual auctions on eBay.

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Until recently, online auction sites such as eBay have been the usual marketplace for bargain hunters and thrift shoppers looking for cheap used or surplus products. But a new breed of sellers are now coming up with very unusual auctions on eBay.

Encouraged in part by the recent purchase by online casino GoldenPalace of a grilled cheese sandwich that has the image of Virgin Mary for $15,000 and on the tummy of a pregnant woman, sellers have started taking a second look at eBay's Everything Else category, especially in the subcategories of Advertising Opportunities and Weird Stuff.

And not a few have been successful. Just last August 23, 2005, the casino paid $18,000 to shave a woman’s head and permanently tattoo the website of the popular online poker room, on her bare cranium.

The eBay seller, Molly Demers, will be wearing the casino’s brand on the top and back of her bald head for one year.

Before her, a woman from Utah now known as "ForeheadGoldie" on eBay, was paid $10,000 to permanently tattoo their website address on a her forehead. Using eBay’s “Buy It Now” option, GoldenPalace won the privilege of placing a permanent ad tattoo on Karolyne Smith’s forehead, making her the first female to have the casino’s brand mark her for life.

And then there are such queer items such dead flies, tushy-shaped apple, haunted items and change-my-name auctions that have been bought for outrageous prices
by lesser-known buyers who are also out to make news for themselves.

These weird auction have been made more popular by websites that have sprouted like mushrooms to feature these auctions, hoping to cash in on the revenue potentual fron sellers' advertisements and eBay affiliate commissions. Even some humor websites have opened up auction pages to ride the bandwagon.


If you have an online business or a website, this would be the right time to look into these weird auctions and see how you can benefit. Here are some ideas:

* If you are an eBay member, listing a weird auction and having it featured by sites such as BuyWeird.com or WeirdBids.com would drive traffic to your other "usual" items. This is now a strategy used by some eBay stores who see the traffic potential of these weird auctions.

I have seen sales of some eBay members skyrocket as a benefit from the number of people viewing their weird auctions, who got curious and looked at their items too.

* You may join eBay and get free promotion by bidding on these weird items. Your name shows up on the frontpage if you are the highest bidder, on the Bid History if you get outbidded. Curious viewers will then check out your own About Me page where you can say something about your business.

* Put up an auction-related website and then contact the sellers of these auctions so they will mention your site in exchange for free advertising. Take advantage of eBay's affiliate program and possibilities of direct advertising on your site. But before you do this, make sure you offer value services on your site to keep your traffic going.

The possibilities are endless. You don't even have to sell on eBay to benefit from weird auctions.


How To Add Unlimited Pictures To Your Ebay Auction Listing – For Free.

I get a lot of questions from people wanting to know how to add more pictures to their auction listings. Do you know that eBay charges for additional pictures? Yes, that’s right. Pay attention when you launch your next eBay listing. Only the first picture is for free. For any additional photos you will be paying $0.15 per photo. This does not sound much but you will be surprised how these figures add up: Imagine you add 3-4 photos per listing. This will end up to an additiona...

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I get a lot of questions from people wanting to know how to add more pictures to their auction listings. Do you know that eBay charges for additional pictures? Yes, that’s right. Pay attention when you launch your next eBay listing. Only the first picture is for free. For any additional photos you will be paying $0.15 per photo. This does not sound much but you will be surprised how these figures add up: Imagine you add 3-4 photos per listing. This will end up to an additional $0.50 – just for hosting of your photos. Let’s say you have 3-5 listings a day at the end of the year you might have paid $400-600$ just for picture hosting. The fees can add up very quickly. Do you know that you can add as many pictures as you like – For Free and even without using eBay’s image hosting service? Well, you could use one of the so called “auction management” services. You pay a monthly fee and hosting of all your item photos is included. But do you know that these services are expensive too? Fees are ranging between $20 and$70 per month – depending on your selling volume. This easily adds up to $400-600 a year – maybe even more.

So, what can you do to avoid these additional costs? Of course, you can add only one picture per item, but guess what?? Right, the chance that your potential customer/bidder quickly moves to another listing is high. In fact, VERY high!! Because people like to see first what they are buying and do you think that one picture is enough? I don’t, because we live in highly visual world…people want to see the product or item they potentially want to purchase. Yes, the even would like to “touch” it - if they could. What about you? Do you take the product you want to buy in your hands and “touch” it? I bet you do. Imagine you are in a shop and want to buy a birthday present for a good friend. If one special gift catches your attention you take it from the shelf and you carefully look at the product, don’t you? You “touch” it and turn it around to get a “feel” for it. How can we add this “feeling” experience to our eBay auction listings? Yes, by adding a couple of good photos. Take pictures of your item from all sorts of different angles. The potential buyer will get a good “feel” for the item and it’s more likely that they place a bid. As mentioned above: You can add as many pictures as you like – For Free. How can you do it??? The answer is simple: Host your own pictures! Not sure how to do it? Here are some ideas:

1. It’s very likely that your Internet Service Provider offers you also free web space. I have used (and still use) the 10 MB web space my ISP gives me for free. Check the policy of your ISP – maybe an email to them is a first try.

2. Find a free or cheap web host – but be careful! Some of the free webs hosting companies do not allow that their service is being used just for data storage. Read their policy carefully before you sign up.

3. Search for some image hosting services. There are a couple of free image hosting companies out there allowing ‘hot linking” to eBay auctions.

4. In case you own a website you can make a special “ebay” directory for your auctions pictures.

Upload all your photos and item pictures BEFORE you design your auction listing and copy and paste the image URL into the source code of your auction description. http://www.auction-design-for-free.com may assist you with that, in case you are not familiar with this process.

One important point to mention is the file size. Make sure that your 3 – 4 pictures of your item are NOT 1 MB big. Can you imagine how patient your potential buyers/bidders are? That’s right! That’s right! Not very patient at all. If the pictures are not loading within 20 seconds your visitor leaves your site and moves on. There are maybe other listings offering the same – with pictures loading faster. So, make sure that the file size is in manageable range.

You’ll be amazed how more pictures will add more credibility to your selling practice and gives the potential buyer/bidder the feeling that they can almost “touch” your item.


How to Fix Flagging Ebay Auctions

Ebay is an exciting frontier for sellers. There are few other businesses which allow you to make a steady income from home, selling items you choose to sell. And with Ebay’s global following, there are plenty of buyers out there willing to spend money on your merchandise.

So what if your auctions aren’t performing as well as you would like? It happens to most Ebay sellers from time to time, but flagging auctions aren’t the end of the world. Increasing your sales might be as easy as revamping your price structure to meet current market trends. You should also take a look at your listings to make sure they’re as complete and buyer-friendly as possible.

First, check your prices. What have other, similar items been selling for lately? You can check by using Ebay’s advanced search function. Check the box at the top of the listings to see only auctions which have been completed. This is a good way to study market trends and to learn whether your prices are too high, too low, or right on the money. Search for similar items to see how much competition you’ve got. If the market is saturated and prices have fallen off, try selling another type of product until demand once again outweighs supply.

Starting your auctions off at a minimum bid of $1.00 is actually a great way to get more bids. Buyers see an item listed for a dollar, and they are tempted to place a bid. Others will follow suit, and soon the item will sell for more than you’d expect. Dollar bids bring out the thriftiness and competitiveness in Ebay buyers. Let them fight over your item, and you’ll end up with more bids and higher profits in the long run.

Auction listings are at least as important as the items you’re selling. If yours are too short or don’t accurately describe your merchandise, buyers will notice. Also beware of typos and misspellings in your item descriptions. Avoid using distracting graphics or garishly bright text. To provide an easy-to-read listing, either use HTML tags to format the text, or use one of Ebay’s auction templates. Buyers won’t waste time on something they can’t read. You probably wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time struggling through a poorly written, disorganized auction listing. Neither will your customers.

You want to build up a reputation for being an honest seller. If you don’t provide enough details about your products – especially if the goods are used or lightly damaged – buyers will feel like they got duped when the items arrive. And unhappy buyers lead to negative feedback, which directly impacts your reputation and your success on Ebay. Strive for a feedback rating in the high 90th percentile. If your feedback number or positive score is low, buyers will go elsewhere to make their purchases. Luckily, you can increase your score by making purchases.

Finally, be clear about your refund and exchange policies. If you don’t accept returns, say so. If you do accept returns, clearly state your requirements. Buyers like to know that you have a firm set of rules in place before they risk a purchase. And, of course, accept a variety of payment methods. You want to give buyers every possible chance to buy from you. And you can be sure that your competitors are taking as many payment methods as possible. Keep up with your competition; troubleshoot your listings, and you’ll soon turn those flagging auctions into real moneymakers.

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