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eBay Motors Selling Tips

MAINTAINING POSITIVE FEEDBACK 7.2
 
Avoid Negative Feedback
If you receive negative feedback despite your best efforts to communicate with your bidders, provide good customer service and accurate descriptions, then your first step should be to contact the winning bidder and make an assessment, if you haven't already, as to the true cause of their discontent.
If the situation can be easily resolved, and you and the buyer are now in agreement, then the feedback can be removed if you present your agreement to out third-party mediation service. If the situation is at an impasse, then we recommend that you:
 
Contact our third-party mediation service and initiate the process for feedback mediation/arbitration and encourage those complaining about misrepresentation to work through our Warranty and Purchase Insurance processes with you to settle their issue fairly.
 
There are also certain specific circumstances in which feedback can be removed, by eBay. These include but are not limited to profanity, contact information, URLs, and references to legal or eBay investigations in the feedback. See http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/reputation-policies.html
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MAINTAINING POSITIVE FEEDBACK 7.1
 
Build Positive Feedback
Feedback is your reputation in the eBay Motors' marketplace, and it is one of the most valuable and sensitive tools that we provide to you. It is very important to your business that you build and maintain your feedback score throughout the time of your account. Only a handful of top vehicle sellers have feedback scores greater than 1000 today, but more and more sellers are climbing the ranks every day.
 
If you want to be a long term player in the eBay Motors marketplace, then you can't just hand that advantage to your competition. Kill your customers with kindness, close your auctions online, encourage your buyers to express their pleasure with your service in your feedback and set yourself apart from the pack.

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COLLECTING PAYMENT 6.4
 
Use the Mediation Service for Bidder Complaints
If you encounter a non-paying bidder despite your best efforts to communicate, then we strongly encourage you to use the Final Value Fee (FVF) refund system.
 
Our research shows that only 1 percent of NPBs who receive notice through the process retaliate with negative feedback. Research also shows that 10+ percent of those who receive notice actually return to follow through with their purchase.
 
If the bidder does react negatively or threaten negative feedback, encourage them to go through the third-party mediation process for resolution.
 
If the buyer has already left you negative feedback, we encourage you to complete the FVF refund process and to report the matter to our third-party mediation provider to request feedback mediation.

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COLLECTING PAYMENT 6.3
 
Try eBay's Financing Center
If you do not already offer a full spectrum of financing options through your business, then check out the New eBay Financing Center. We now offer financing from a reputable institution at competitive rates for both prime and sub-prime customers.
 
Our provider, the eBay Financing Center, backs up your buyers and provides them with a more secure source of payment, and it can also make direct deposits into your bank account on the day that the vehicle is shipped or picked up by the buyer. No more waiting for a week for colored vouchers and checks, just cash in your account the day that the vehicle leaves your lot.
 
Through our provider, the eBay Financing Center offers a full-service call center for buyers that also helps them with other services such as their DMV paperwork, state taxes, title and shipping logistics. It can take some of the burden of post-sale logistics off you and your business. Most importantly, the Financing Center has a program to pay you, the seller, on an escalating scale for referring qualified buyers to the service.

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COLLECTING PAYMENT 6.2
 
Know eBay's Payment Policies
Be clear in your listing about all the fees and taxes that you expect buyers to pay, including a clearly stated policy for all terms and deposits.
 
Be courteous and reasonable in the amount of time that you allow buyers to pay your deposit or make payment in full. eBay policy states that buyers should be allowed at least three days after a listing closes to contact and make settlement with sellers.
 
We realize that for many sellers three days is an eternity, but you can easily minimize your wait for payment and expedite closure by communicating with your bidders before the auction ends.

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COLLECTING PAYMENT 6.1
 
Verify Bidders
Communications is your first, best and last line of defense against Non-Paying Bidders. We all know that you can't prevent non-paying bidders all of the time, but if you take the time to get to know your bidders, you'll be better able to identify those who are likely not to follow through with the transaction.
 
Taking the time to assist and qualify your bidders leads to:
  • Increased average sale price
  • Minimized non-paying bidders
  • Reduced time and expense of relisting items
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BUILDING TRUST 5.6
 
Become a Verified Seller
The Verified Seller program is a new program on eBay Motors. You give eBay your dealership license information and eBay will verify that you are a licensed vehicle dealer. The program allows you to show your buyers in your listings that you are a dealer who can be trusted, and it has proven to increase bid activity and average sale prices for those who participate.
 
You can e-mail [email protected] with the subject line "Motors Verified Seller Program" to get verified. Contact your account manager for help.

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BUILDING TRUST 5.5
 
Create an "About Me" Page
The "About Me" page should be a requirement for all serious sellers on eBay. The "ME" next to your User ID is a friendly reminder that the buyer can find out more about you and your business and that you are willing to get to know your bidders. The information you put on your "About Me" Page is like your own personalized web page within eBay and provides an invaluable means of marketing yourself to the community. Tell them everything they need to know to understand what a great person you are!

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BUILDING TRUST 5.4
 
Present Yourself As a Professional
Another great way to increase trust and facilitate communication with bidders is to present the most professional face possible. One of the best ways to make an impression on your bidders is through your listing presentation.
 
The cleaner and more professional the listing, the better impression you make. CARad software can help. Let the professional graphic designers at CARad do the work for you. The crispier you make your photographs and the layout of your listings, the better. However, make sure your photographs don't take too long to download.
 
The more you can promote yourself in your listing, the better. Show a picture of your storefront, your company logo, and even yourself. A trusting customer is a paying customer.

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BUILDING TRUST 5.3
 
Communicate with Buyers (cont.)
Manage your listings
  • Designate a qualified, dedicated salesperson to thoroughly manage your eBay Motors listings.
  • Establish a process to initiate contact with your bidders during the auction and to ensure the prompt and efficient response to all your e-mails and phone calls
CARad software can help. CARad software has features that automate your communication with bidders to make more efficient use of your time and effort.

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BUILDING TRUST 5.2
 
Communicate with Buyers
Communication is your first, best and last line of defense for establishing trust with your bidders and avoiding negative feedback.
 
You can't please all of the people all of the time, but if you take the time to get to know your bidders, and they get to know you, you'll build better relationships with your customers and therefore better trust.
 
Taking the time to assist and get to know your bidders during the auction leads to:
  • increased customer satisfaction
  • increased positive feedback
  • reduced negative feedback

Which in turn leads to:

  • increased sales volume
  • increased average sale price
  • increased bids per item
  • reduced non-paying bidders
  • reduced time and expense of relisting items
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BUILDING TRUST 5.1
 
Build Feedback
The best way to gain the trust of your bidders is to build up and maintain positive feedback. And the best ways to build up and maintain a great feedback score are:
  • Selling cars on eBay, not off line
  • Communicating with your bidders during, as well as after the auction
  • Providing great customer service-kill them with kindness
  • Creating thorough and professional listings
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MARKETING YOURSELF 4.5
 
Vary Your Inventory to Cover Multiple Categories (cont.)
On eBay Motors however, sellers often find that in order to grow to their full potential they need to branch out to offer a variety of makes and models in order to satisfy the many varied demands of our multifaceted community of buyers.
 
Don't fish with a single line. Diversify your inventory and start fishing with a nice wide net.

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MARKETING YOURSELF 4.4
 
Vary Your Inventory to Cover Multiple Categories
Top sellers find that one of the most effective ways to capture buyers is to cast a wide net. If you only purchase inventory to list in one category, then you are only going to capture the interest of a very narrow slice of the over 7 million unique visitors that come to eBay Motors every month.

Consider listing parts and accessories. Try a new niche of inventory. Make sure that you are offering potential buyers a wide assortment of makes and models to choose from. Diversify. The more times you appear on the eBay Motors website, the better chance you have of capturing a buyer, especially if you cross-merchandise your listings. One hundred BMW 3-series appear on only one listings page on eBay Motors. One hundred BMW 3-series appear on only one listings page. That browser who is just looking at the BMWs may only be able to afford a Buick. And they may find your Buick listing while they're looking at your BMW listing. Many sellers build their business in one line of vehicles, because they know that line better than any other and are confident in the margin they can earn.


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MARKETING YOURSELF 4.3
 
Cross-Merchandise
Since the average vehicle listing on eBay Motors receives well over 1,000 page views, there's no better place to advertise your other eBay listings than on eBay Motors itself. If a shopper is not interested in the one car that they see on the view item page, but they are impressed and encouraged by the professionalism of your presentation, the quality of your feedback and the sense of integrity that they get from your listings, then they they are likely to be interested in one of the other cars that you have listed on the site.
 
Don't forget that it is against eBay listing policies to advertise your Web site in your listings. But it is not against eBay listing policies to advertise your other eBay listings. So, throw yourself some hot leads and link to your "eBay showroom," from all of your listings. Drive potential buyers from one of your listings to another and don't let them leave your "showroom" until they've seen everything that you have to offer!

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MARKETING YOURSELF 4.2
 
Write Effective Marketing Titles
Research shows that well over half of eBay visitors use the search function to shop for the items that they are interested in. When visitors use search on eBay Motors, they are primarily searching for matches in your title and subtitle.
 
The eBay Motors site automatically populates your title with your make, model, year and sub-model information when you list your vehicle, but the details and choice of terms in your subtitle are yours. Fortunately, some of the most common search terms on eBay Motors are actually vehicle makes and models, so by pre-populating those terms for you in your title you are ensured that you will be able to maximize those search terms without having to repeat them in your subtitle. Your sub title therefore can be used at your discretion to attract as many potential buyers to your auctions as possible.
 
Terms such as "low reserve," "Warranty," "4WD," "clean" "single owner" or "smoke free" describe popular attributes that potential buyers will be searching for. Maximize your share of eBay Motors unrivaled traffic by describing your vehicle in terms that have meaning to your customers.
 
Talk to your account manager about the best way to include the most popular search terms on eBay Motors in your subtitles.

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MARKETING YOURSELF 4.1
 
Try eBay's Marketing Features
Bolding and highlighting make your listings stand out amongst the pack, catching a potential bidder's eye and getting more page views. Research shows that bolding and highlighting drives more bids and higher average sales prices.
 
The Category Feature option is also a very effective tool; in certain categories, it is almost a requirement to getting your listing to the top of the page, or even on the first page of search or browse results. This elevation in exposure makes a big difference in the number of page view that your listings will receive. Category Feature listings are always shown above listings that are not Category Featured. For example, the first page of the Ford F-150 category is almost always a full page of just Category Feature listings. Don't get stuck on the back pages, leverage the power of featured placement on the most trafficked automotive Web site on the net.

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LISTING STRATEGY 3.9
 
Know the Rules
eBay Motors goes to extensive lengths to ensure a safe buying and selling environment for all of its users.
 
Some basic rules to know as an eBay Motors vehicle seller:
  • Comply with state legal regulations-dealer laws
  • Do not bid on your own auctions or enlist any account that you are in any way associated with to bid on your auction in
  • Order to influence bidding
  • Know eBay's listing policies
  • Do not misrepresent your vehicles
  • Know your responsibilities as a seller
  • You can read about all of eBay's policies at: http://pages.ebay.com/ebaymotors/help/policies/topics.html
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LISTING STRATEGY 3.8
 
Don't Sell Offline
Selling offline is defined as selling merchandise to a lead that you received through eBay or on an eBay listed vehicle that is not the winning bidder of that item. It is understandable that there are many circumstances in which this activity occurs and that resisting closing the transaction off line, or convincing your buyers to participate online is not always easy. However, technically, this practice can be interpreted as fee avoidance, and you can be suspended for it. More importantly, it is known from experience that selling offline will result in lower margins for you and fewer benefits for you and your buyers.
 
Make sure you understand what you are giving up by closing offline.
  • No chance to earn feedback
  • No eBay Assurance protection for your buyer
  • No chance for your buyer to use the eBay Financing Center

Be aware of alternatives:

  • Use the Lower Your Price feature
  • Second Chance Offer
  • Relisting with a Buy It Now price
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LISTING STRATEGY 3.7
 
Experiment With Timing
Statistically, the best practice for listing duration and timing for passenger vehicle auctions has been a 7-day format beginning/ending late afternoon or early evening Sunday. However, research also shows that any day is a good day to end an auction and that the advantage gained by ending on Sunday is not overwhelming.
  • The reality is that statistics are important, but real life experience is a better source of information for driving strategy. Be a student of the site.
  • Experiment with different time and duration strategies and track your own results to set the best practice for your business.
  • Remember that you are selling to a national and even international audience.
  • List your vehicles at a time of day that will provide a good viewing opportunity for all of your prospective customers across all time zones.
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LISTING STRATEGY 3.6
 
Use the "Lower Your Price" Feature
Use the new "Lower Your Price" tool to negotiate with your bidders online, and let the marketplace do its job without sacrificing the security of a reserve. Both the "Buy It Now" (BIN) and the "Reserve Lowering" feature provide additional value by automatically contacting your bidders and enticing them with your latest offer. Lower Your Price allows you to lower or remove your reserve price once during the auction, and to add and lower your "Buy it Now" price once as well. When you add, remove or lower either price an e-mail is automatically sent to all of your bidders to inform them of the change and encourage them to bid again. The automatic email feature will increase your communication with prospective bidders and the added pricing flexibility will allow sellers to haggle with potential buyers on line without sacrificing the potential upside of letting the auction run to fruition.

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LISTING STRATEGY 3.5
 
Use the "Buy It Now" Feature as a Signal
A Buy It Now (BIN) price can send a pricing signal to your bidders when they cannot see your reserve price. This signal can do
a lot to help you attract bidders and sell more cars, but it has to be used wisely. Buyers will jump if BIN is aggressively priced, but a high BIN, such as a price at or above their local retail pricing, will also scare away bidders. We recommend putting BIN somewhere between wholesale and retail prices, no more than 10 bid increments, or $1000, above your minimum price. BIN should ultimately be at about the price you would expect your auction to run up to once it "goes live." Leave some space between your lowered reserve price and your BIN price in order to give the auction a chance to "go live."

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LISTING STRATEGY 3.4
 
Start your Prices Low
The most important advice about Pricing regardless of your reserve strategy is to set your minimum price low-the lower the better-whether it's your start price or your lowest reserve price. Setting pricing low gives your listing a chance to "go live." In other words, your bidders will know that when they're bidding, they have a chance to win because their bid has met your lowest price. Once bids are "live," positive auction emotion and psychology take cover and your listing price has a better chance of running up.
 
Your minimum reserve price should be set at your best alternative price, which for most sellers is wholesale or even below wholesale when the market prices are dropping. Remember, your reserve is not the end of your margin, it's the beginning of your margin. Have faith that the massive traffic of the eBay Motors marketplace will drive your winning bid well above reserve.
 
Your minimum starting price on the other hand, regardless of your reserve strategy, should always be as low as possible. Low start prices encourage bidding activity and tap into the emotion of potential buyers. The more people that bid on your auction, the more likely it is to capture the interest of others. Make that mob mentality work for you. Start Low to Sell High.

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LISTING STRATEGY 3.3
 
Experiment with Reserve and No Reserve Auctions
Research and the experience of eBay's top sellers show that reserve auctions are a very effective way to list cars for auction without the risk of losing margin, but that the presence of a "reserve not met" on your listing can negatively influence auction psychology and in turn limit bidding.
 
"No reserve" auctions on the other hand are highly effective for capturing positive auction emotion and driving a high number of bids, but the lack of a reserve safety net does represent a greater risk to the seller. However, if you play by the rules, resist the temptation to bid up or close out your auctions, and you have the nerve to risk an occasional loss for a more substantial gain, the "no reserve" auction strategy has proven to be highly effective.
 
Whether you use the Reserve or the No reserve pricing strategy, the goal is the same. You want your auctions to go "live" as early on in the auction as possible so your bidders are excited and encouraged that the next bid might be the winner.

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LISTING STRATEGY 3.2
 
Assist Potential Buyers in the Process of Buying a Car
Many bidders are willing but unprepared. Earn their trust by helping them through the process. Make sure that they have all their "ducks in a row" and are truly ready to buy. If they don't have their "ducks in a row," sell them some ducks! Revenue from Warranty and F&I can easily double your margin, but you have to sell it.

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LISTING STRATEGY 3.1
 
Work Your Leads
Every bidder is a buyer walking on to "your lot."
  • Don't let prospects leave "your lot" without communicating with them.
  • Contact your bidders
  • Do not wait for the opportunity to come to you.
  • Leverage the fact that eBay Motors provides you with the means to contact your bidders through the "Find Members" page.
  • Designate a qualified salesperson to manage your eBay Motors listings and work all of your leads.
  • CARad software can help make it easy.
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CREATING LISTINGS 2.5
 
Use the eBay Motors Seller Tools
eBay knows that creating thorough listings may be a time consuming process. Seller tools can save you a lot of time. Listing software providers like CARad (www.carad.com) give you VIN decoders, condition report forms, an easy way to upload and format a large number of photos, the ease of saving and re-using information that you will put in every listing like your deposit policies and many other crucial time saving features. And everyone knows, time is money.

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CREATING LISTINGS 2.4
 
Take A Lot of Photographs
The more photographs the better. Give the bidder a virtual walk-around tour of the vehicle, inside and outside, as if they have actually touched the car. Seller tools allow for over 30 photographs and some of the most effective sellers on eBay Motors use that many photographs. However, be careful not to use photographs with file sizes so large that they load slowly on the page. Remember that most buyers use dial-up connections to access eBay Motors. Also, devise an efficient process for transferring images from your camera to your computer, such as creating file folders for each car.

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CREATING LISTINGS 2.3
 
Make the Sales Manager Accountable
A thorough, honest and professional listing is the most effective tool you have for selling a vehicle on eBay Motors. And, if your name is on the account, then ultimately you are the account owner and responsible for the detail in the listing.
 
Your vehicle information may come from a variety of sources: VIN decoder, window sticker, Web site, data service, or you and/or your employees taking photographs gathering information and writing the descriptions yourselves, but you are the person who stands to gain from the sale so you are responsible for the outcome. Train your salespeople thoroughly, and stay in control of the process or assign a well-trained, trustworthy Sales Manager to be accountable for exactly what goes into your listings.

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CREATING LISTINGS 2.2
 
Gather all the Information First
Use a standard "checklist" template for gathering information on every vehicle. Make sure your checklist will create a complete and accurate description of the vehicle and then consistently use that checklist.
 
Most eBay Motors listing software provides VIN decoding which pre-populates many features of the vehicle once you type in the VIN.
 
You can download a standard checklist at: http://pages.ebay.com/motors/Sell_Your_Vehicle_Checklist.pdf

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CREATING LISTINGS 2.1
 
Inspect Vehicles Before Listing
Selling high-priced, non-commodity items online requires the seller to provide a lot of information about the item to make the buyer feel secure about making the purchase sight unseen. Research shows that the main reason that potential buyers do not bid on a vehicle is because they cannot inspect the vehicle, are afraid the description is inaccurate, and they need more information.
 
A thorough, complete and honest cosmetic and mechanical inspection of a vehicle will give your potential buyers more confidence to bid. Stating that the inspection was performed by a certified mechanic, even if it is your own, will increase a buyer's confidence and reduce their hesitation to bid. In fact, disclosing everything about the vehicle, even the minute defects, has proven to raise potential buyers' level of trust even further.

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SELECTING INVENTORY 1.5
 
Experiment with Unusual Cars
Specialty, exotic, niche and collector vehicles are well known for being good choices for the national exposure provided by eBay Motors. However, if you broaden what you think of as unusual cars, then you may find other opportunities as well. That particular color of green which is hard to find, and which you may find unattractive, is just the color that somebody else in the country has been looking all over for. A low-mileage, old-model-year vehicle is "unusual" and a high-mileage, highway-driven, late model vehicle that has been carefully taken care of is also "unusual." So are convertibles in winter.

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SELECTING INVENTORY 1.4
 
Try Wholesale and Trade-in Vehicles
If you're not already choosing vehicles for eBay Motors that you would otherwise sell through wholesale channels, then you should start. If you run a retail lot, and you receive trade-ins of makes and models that do not fit your local market (e.g. Ford trucks on a Mercedes lot), then try selling those units to a national market on eBay Motors. You can set your reserve at wholesale and guarantee yourself a chance at a lift above other channels while offering a great deal to your buyers.

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SELECTING INVENTORY 1.3
 
Use the eBay Motors Average Selling Price Report
If you are looking for new makes and models or other segments to branch into, then ask your account manager for the monthly average selling price report. This report is meant to be a companion to wholesale and retail pricing reports and should give you assistance in gauging opportunities to purchase vehicles at competitive prices and sell them for a margin on eBay Motors.

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SELECTING INVENTORY 1.2
 
Experiment with Different Niches
The breadth of opportunities on eBay Motors is wide enough that if you do not try to exploit the entirety of the site, you are not using the site to your whole advantage. Some buyers may be looking for trucks, but a whole other segment is looking for low-dollar, high-mileage vehicles that they can afford. Make a point of trying to go outside of your comfort zone regularly to see if you can find new niches to exploit

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SELECTING INVENTORY 1.1
 
Create Niches
Sometimes it may be hard to find data on pricing of vehicles across all makes and models. But, if you find a niche that works and stick to it, then you always have the most up-to-date pricing and demand statistics on vehicles in that niche. That way, you know exactly what to source and for how much.

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CARad, an eBay Company
CARad software offers you another easy way to list and manage your eBay Motors listings. CARad makes the listing process a whole lot faster. From taking photos to automatically pulling vehicle information from VIN number entry, CARad lets you list twice as many vehicles in half the time. So you can spend more time communicating with eBay buyers and getting higher bids.

Benefits

  • Live eBay Motors listings in less than 5 minutes
  • Numerous professional templates to choose from
  • Custom templates built on request
  • Free photo hosting management
  • Up to 35 photos per listing
  • The ability to load your entire inventory into the CARad listing manager

Features

  • Phone-in Customer Service
  • Listing Manager
  • Photo Hosting
  • Header Builder
  • Photo Manager
  • Page View Counter
  • HTML Templates
  • Description Builder
  • Live Helper
  • Loan Calculator

Pricing

  • No long-term commitment
  • Monthly credit card billing (USPS invoicing available)
  • Only $9.99 per listing or $299.00 per month for unlimited listings.

For more information, call (830) 964-5713 or visit http://www.carad.com/Dealer.shtml


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SQUARE TRADE
 
Registering via SquareTrade
SquareTrade is a third party that makes it possible to register on eBay Motors without providing a credit card. Registration via this method costs $50.
 
  • Choose option A
  • Provide eBay user ID OR start creating basic account
2. Create basic Account (if applicable)
  • Provide basic information and choose eBay user ID + password
  • Complete the basic account creation process
3. Create Motor Seller's Account
  • Return to SquareTrade site and provide your eBay user ID
  • Provide information including your dealership license
  • Provide your payment information for your eBay and SquareTrade fees
  • Complete the seller account creation process
4. SquareTrade will process your application
 
For questions, call SquareTrade at 1-800-686-6007 or e-mail: [email protected]
 
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Marketplace Integrity
As a seller, beware of these "watch-outs" in order to stay in good standing with the eBay Motors community.
  • Make sure that you are conforming to all of the dealer regulations of your state. Selling vehicles as a business in almost all cases requires a dealer license. If you are unclear of your legal responsibilities, contact your state Department of Transportation.
  • Do not make the mistake of bidding on your own listing or having a friend or associate bid in order to protect yourself from poor listing performance. Regardless of your intentions, this behavior is considered shilling, which can be a criminal offense and will result in your indefinite suspension from their site.
  • Adhere to eBay's listing policies. These can be found at: http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/policies.html. Violating these policies will result in community complaints, the removal of all affected listings, and even your indefinite suspension from the site.
  • Make all efforts to represent your vehicles correctly in your listing. eBay buyers do have a high expectation that what is described in the listing is what they'll get, so incomplete or false information can cause problems between you and your bidders and lead to negative feedback.
  • Handle any disputes professionally. Most bidders are reasonable and will respond favorably if you treat them as a valued customer.
  • Finally, any type of fraudulent activity is treated very seriously by eBay Motors and can result in criminal prosecution.
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EBay Motors Assurance Program
Buy or Sell with Confidence
 
The eBay Assurance Programs for Vehicles offers a set of services that builds protection into every step of the vehicle buying or selling process. Buyer protection is especially important, as sellers benefit only when buyers feel safe and comfortable bidding.
 
Through the eBay Assurance Program for Vehicles, a buyer is protected in several ways:
  • eBay Motors offers a free one month, 1,000 mile limited power train warranty on most vehicles that re under 10 years old with fewer than 125,000 miles. In order to be eligible the vehicle must be sold on eBay Motors and the listing must include a VIN. Note: there are certain exclusions. Please visit the "Services" section on eBay Motors for more details.
  • eBay Motors also provides up to $20,000 in purchase insurance to cover a buyer in case of material misrepresentation, or outright fraud.
  • Buyers can schedule available third-party inspections.
  • Buyers can use Secure Pay to facilitate transfer of funds.
  • The feedback forum allows buyers to find out who they are dealing with.

Sellers benefit in several ways:

  • eBay Motors enables fast deposits from winning bidders
  • The feedback forum allows sellers to find out who they are dealing with.
However, the eBay Assurance Program doesn't replace common sense. Though most eBay Motors buyers and sellers are honest and reliable, we encourage you to use the Feedback Forum to check on the eBay reputation of the person you're trading with. If you're selling, be specific and straightforward in your listing, on everything from the vehicle's condition to your terms of sale. If you're buying, ask enough questions so you can bid with confidence and commitment. Once the listing closes, follow through immediately to arrange the most secure way to exchange the funds and the vehicle. Buying or selling a vehicle is both exciting and involved, so it's important to make informed decisions throughout the process. The eBay Assurance Program is your safety net if something goes wrong despite buyer and seller's best efforts.

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No Reserve with a Low Start Price
This is for the seller who is comfortable turning a profit based on volume. This is potentially risky, because the seller could take a loss on any given vehicle if the bidding doesn't heat up, but it does drive bidding activity and almost guarantees that the vehicle will sell. You should only consider this strategy after you have had some experience selling on eBay Motors. Many eBay Motors top sellers understand the marketplace well enough to make large profits on a fast turn listing business using no reserve strategy. Sellers who deal in the least expensive spectrum of the used car market and have lower exposure on any given asset also prefer this method.

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Strategy-No Reserve Auctions
A second seller strategy is to run a listing without a reserve. This strategy takes two forms, each with its own pros and cons:
No Reserve with a Relatively High Starting Price (Equivalent to a Reserve)
 
This strategy results in very little bid activity until the final hours of the listing, as bidders wait in the wings. conversion rates are generally higher for these types of auction than for reserve auctions, but a high percentage of these auctions end with no bids. This strategy is only for those who understand eBay well and have the patience to wait out slow moving listing.

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Buy It Now ("BIN")
Once you have 10 positive eBay feedback, you can set a Buy It Now price on any listing. This is the price a buyer can pay to end the listing and win the vehicle. Buy It Now is a good mechanism for moving cars when the seller is willing to give a customer a great deal in order to move the car fast.
 
Buy It Now prices can also signal buyers, who look at the BIN price as "sticker price" on reserve auctions. If the BIN is too high, buyers assume the seller is not realistic with his reserve and may look to other, better-priced auctions. On the other hand, a reserve listing with a low BIN price signals that the seller is offering a great deal.

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Tips for Establishing a Reserve
  • Set your reserve price the lowest possible price that you are willing to accept as listing prices only move up.
  • Reserve prices should be set close to wholesale, as most sales on eBay Motors are between wholesale and retail. New sellers often make the mistake of pricing too close to retail and their conversion rates suffer as a result. You should never find yourself in a situation where you end up selling a car off eBay Motors for less than the reserve. It means you have not priced correctly.
  • Think about your best alternative for that car: if your best alternative is to wholesale a car, list it on eBay Motors at a wholesale reserve price and let the listing do its job.
  • Low start prices drive bidding activity. In the eBay marketplace, bidding activity draws other bidders to a "hot" item. Vehicles with high start prices and an unknown reserve fare poorly on eBay Motors.
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Strategy-Reserve Auctions
Minimize your exposure so there is no obligation to sell until the reserve is met. Conversion rates are somewhat lower as buyers like no reserve auctions because they know what the price is.

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Listing and Pricing
As a seller, you can decide how you want your listing to run for every listing.
  • You establish the start price which is the level of the opening bid.
  • You decide whether or not to set a reserve price on your listing. This is the price below which you are not obligated to sell.
  • Additionally, once you have built up standing in the eBay community, you can also set a Buy It Now price. This is the price a buyer can pay to end the listing early and win the vehicle.

No matter what strategy you use, play the numbers game. Not every car sells on eBay Motors, and not every listing results in a bidding frenzy. Some cars get hot, some don't. Top sellers realize that they do not need to make a large margin on every car and they set reserves aggressively. Less gross per car on a much higher sales volume can drive profits higher overall. Additionally, on eBay Motors you have the opportunity to offer the buyer extended warranties, financing and other services that can add margin to the transaction.


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Track Trends
Top sellers track price and conversion trends on the site to establish a strategy for listing most, if not all, of their inventory on eBay Motors.

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Selecting Inventory and Listing Strategy
If you're wondering what to list, we recommend you begin by tracking what's selling in the marketplace. Watch current and completed listings:
  • From the eBay Motors Home Page, click on "Search" in the navigation bar.
  • Search for the name of the make or model that you wish to track.
  • Choose "Passenger Vehicles" from the Matching Categories section on the left of the screen. This will return items currently listed on the site. From this page, click "Completed Items" in the lower left display box. This will return results of ended listing for the past 15 days.

While experienced eBay Motors sellers know that any vehicle, from a Ferrari 360 Spider to a Ford Taurus, can be sold in the eBay Marketplace, new sellers typically succeed best with the following types of vehicles:

  • Inventory that is priced to move
  • Any vehicle that could benefit from a national audience of buyers
  • Out-of-season vehicles (i.e. convertible in Boston in January)
  • High demand/supply constrained vehicles
  • Specialty, exotic, niche, and collector vehicles
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Merchandising and Disclosure in the Listing
An important factor in becoming a successful eBay Motors seller is letting the sight-unseen buyer know exactly what he or she is bidding on. Let the buyer know who you are and why he or she should trust you to buy a car from you. Offer clear, simple terms and conditions for payment, warranty, shipping, etc.
 
Pictures: Provide a complete virtual walk around, inside and out.
 
Vehicle Description: This is your opportunity to really sell the car, as if you were talking to a buyer in a showroom. Make it easy to read and provide complete disclosure. Be honest about the condition of the car. Include options, aftermarket parts, and a a full description of condition and history of the car. Disclose dings, dents, mechanical defects, title issues, or anything else the buyer would figure out if he or she were taking a test drive. A deceitful seller does not last long on eBay Motors.

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"About Me" Page
Our top sellers can't emphasize enough the importance of a good "About Me" page, where buyers can see all your other listings. This really helps buyers feel more comfortable and assured that this is a legitimate transaction with a reputable company.
 
To create your "About Me" page:
  1. Click on "Services" at the top. Scroll down to find "About Me" at the bottom right.
  2. Click on "Create my About Me page" to get started.
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The "About Me" Page (cont.)
The "About Me" page is your opportunity to sell yourself. Think of it as the front door for your virtual dealership. It allows you to tell the eBay community about your dealership. It also enables you to showcase your other eBay Motors vehicle or parts listings. Your "About Me" page can include:
  • A business photography- "Why they should buy from you"
  • Any memberships in local business associations, such as the Better Business Bureau
  • Any special awards or recognition that would be significant to potential buyers
  • Terms of sale- how to pay and ship
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Developing Buyer-Seller Trust
Most eBay Motors buyers are bidding on a car they have never driven. They will do so if they can discern that you are a trustworthy seller. You can earn the trust of your buyer by:
  • Building positive eBay feedback.
  • Highlighting yourself as a reputable seller in each listing on your "About Me" page.
  • Using high quality, professional photographs and well written descriptions.
  • Providing complete disclosure. Give potential buyers information about damage large and small. Most used cars have some damage so don't leave your buyers guessing.
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When should I view Feedback or Post Feedback?
Viewing each potential buyer's feedback can answer questions about how that person does business. At the completion of any transaction, you can leave feedback that is positive, negative or neutral for your trading partner, depending upon the experience.
 
How does the Feedback Forum Work?
 
The Feedback Rating System is simple. Members receive:
+1 point for each positive comment
0 points for a neutral comment
-1 point for each negative comment
 
Members with a feedback rating of 10 or more comments receive a star icon.
 
For more information on eBay's feedback system, see http://pages.ebay.com/services/forum/feedback.html

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Establishing a Good Reputation
eBay's Feedback Forum
 
Every eBay user has a Feedback Profile made up of comments from other eBay users - an official "reputation." Building positive feedback is critical to a business selling vehicles on eBay Motors.
 
On eBay Motors, a buyer will look at a seller's feedback to determine how trustworthy the seller is. Sellers with good reputations via the feedback system enjoy more bids and higher prices on their sales. Similarly, sellers can use the feedback system to "qualify" their buyers by seeing how the buyer performed in previous transactions on eBay.
 
Next to any eBay member's User ID, there is a Feedback Rating number in parentheses. for example: Skippy (125) means that this member's User ID is Skippy and he/she has received positive comments from at least 125 other eBay members.

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What to do if a Bidder doesn't pay?
While it's rare, there are occasions when deals "go south" on eBay Motors just as they do on the lot. In the uncommon occurrence that you cannot contact the winning bidder or agree upon mutually favorable terms for completing the transaction, use the following guidelines.
 
  • Contact the buyer after your listing has ended. Like you, buyers can have emergencies or computer problems. Your high bidder may not be able to respond to you right away for legitimate reasons.
  • Send an e-mail specifying your payment, deposit and delivery terms to your winning bidder within 3 days after the end of the listing.
  • If you cannot contact the high bidder, consult the eBay Motors help section for the latest information on dealing with non-paying bidders. See http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/bidders_overview.html
  • Consider re-listing. This situation is not indicative of the tremendous buying activity on eBay Motors.
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Re-listing
If your vehicle doesn't sell the first time you list it, you can re-list with special pricing.
 
Here's how: If your item sells the second time, you'll get the Insertion Fee ($40) for the second listing credited back to your eBay account. However, if it doesn't sell the second time, your account will not be credited for the second Insertion Fee ($40).
 
You can re-list any car on eBay Motors by clicking on the "Re-list the item" button at the bottom left hand corner of your item page. When re-listing, you want to give yourself a better chance of success the second time through. Perhaps you should consider lowering your reserve, removing the reserve altogether, or adding more information or photos to your listing to help it sell the second time around.
 
If you have an interested "watcher" (someone who contacted you expressing interest in the vehicle, but did not bid), you can easily accommodate that sale on eBay Motors by simply re-listing the vehicle with an agreed upon Buy It Now price. The re-list will be free, you'll gain the benefit of feedback, and the buyer will have the peace of mind on eBay's available limited warranty and purchase insurance. These services are not available if the vehicle listing does not close successfully on eBay Motors.

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What if your vehicle doesn't sell?
Second Chance Offer
 
Not every vehicle listed on eBay Motors sells right away. Perhaps the bids did not reach your reserve price. However, you may still be able to sell that car on eBay Motors! Your first option is to give a Second Chance Offer to one or more of your bidders.
 
A Second Chance Offer allows you to contact the bidders on your ended listing with a lower offered price on your ended listing with a lower offered price on the vehicle. You can contact all of the bidders on the vehicle, one at a time, through the Second Chance Offer. You and the buyer can agree on any price you want, but your automated offer must be lower than your previous reserve price.
 
Using this feature is simple. At the end of an unsuccessful listing, you will receive an e-mail message informing you that the listing has ended. You will find a link to the Second Chance Offer tool in this message. Additionally, the closed listing itself has a link to this tool.

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Tax, Title, and Registration
For an in-state buyer, paperwork is very much the same as for any off-the-lot buyer, and you should collect state sales tax as you do on any similar transaction.
 
For an out-of-state buyer, most of the paperwork remains the same and you can mail it back and forth with the buyer if he or she ships the car instead of picking it up in person. Generally, an out-of-state buyer is responsible for registration of the vehicle and payment of applicable taxes in his or her home state. You should check with your state Department of Transportation if you have questions about laws pertaining to your state.

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Shipping
Perhaps the biggest difference between selling on eBay Motors versus off your lot is that many buyers will never meet you in person. As a result, eBay Motors buyers pay transportation companies to ship thousands of vehicles every month. eBay Motors offers online shipping quotes through DAS (Dependable Auto Shippers). Additionally, there are dozens of transportation companies that will provide shipping quotes online. If you have a prior relationship with a trustworthy shipping company, you might want to offer to help arrange for transportation.
 
Some dealers provide delivery service for the vehicle within a limited distance from the dealership or they will pick buyers up at the airport if they fly in. Stating this in your listing may help persuade a potential buyer to bid.

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Inspection
Some buyers may want to arrange for a third-party inspection of the vehicle if they are not within easy traveling distance. This could take a few days ot arrange, but these inspectors traditionally will come to where the car is located.

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Secure Pay
Payment can also be arranged using an online escrow service such as Escrow.com. Escrow.com will hold the funds until the buyer has an opportunity to receive and inspect the car. We recommend that you decide ahead of time whether you are willing to participate in such a transaction and spell this out in your terms of sale.

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Payment/Terms
Terms of Payment should already have been well established through the Terms of Sale provided in your listing. Sellers are encouraged to accept Secure Pay and Paypal, but are welcome to accept or deny any type of payment they see fit as long as those terms are clearly explained in their listing.

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Closing
The remainder of the process is similar to the traditional delivery process.
  • Agree upon terms for payment and/or deposit.
  • Arrange financing, if needed.
  • Set up escrow, if applicable.
  • Allow the buyer an opportunity for inspection.
  • Help the buyer to arrange for pick up or delivery of the vehicle.
  • Arrange for signatures, title transfer, etc...
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When your Vehicle Sells
Your vehicle sells to the individual who has entered the highest bid at the time the listing ends if the reserves is met. To deliver good customer service, we recommend that you contact the winning bidder as soon as possible to arrange delivery of the vehicle. When the listing is over, eBay automatically sends an End of Listing email that includes all pertinent information.
 
Sellers can also access the high bidder's contact information through the Find Members process described in the "How to Manage Your Listing" section of this guide.

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Ending a Listing Early
Sometimes something goes wrong and you can't complete your listing as planned. If needed, you can choose to end your listing before the scheduled date. If there are bids on your item, you can cancel them.
 
It is acceptable for a seller to end an eBay Motors listing before the reserve is met in order to sell off the lot. Beware of selling the same car twice! Once the reserve is met on an eBay Motors listing (or a no reserve listing receives its first bid), you have entered into a contract to sell the vehicle to the winning bidder. If you then sell it off the lot, you have sold the same car twice! Let your salespeople know once the reserve is met on a car and put it on the sold inventory list. Similarly, when a car is sold off the lot when the eBay Motors listing is under reserve, remember to end the listing. It is courtesy to contact your bidders and let them know the item is no longer available for sale.
 
Sellers are not permitted to cancel bids and end listings early in order to avoid selling an item that did not meet the desired sale price. This is considered to be reserve fee circumvention. Although there are legitimate reasons for ending a listing early, abuse of this option will be investigated.
 
See http://pages.ebay.com/services/buyandsell/index.html and click on the link for "End my listing early" for more information.

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Canceling Bids
Sellers occasionally need to remove bidders from the listing. If at any time a seller is unable to contact a bidder, or feels strongly that he will not complete the transaction if he wins the listing, then the seller may cancel that bid and even block that bidder from any future bids on that item.
 
See http://pages.ebay.com/services.buyandsell/index.html and click on the links for "Cancel bids on my item" and "Bidder Management" for more information.

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Find Members Page
You can also request more contact information about the bidders by going to the main eBay site www.ebay.com and clicking on "Search" and then "Find Members."

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Bid History Page
The Bid History Page is your source for contacting bidders. You can reach the Bid History page by clicking on "bid history" on the listing page. Once you reach the Bid History page, you can contact bidders by clicking on their usernames.

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Setting the Reserve Price
Top Sellers often used the price they'd expect to receive at a wholesale listing as their reserve price. Unlike a wholesale transaction, a sale on eBay Motors preserves your ability to sell additional products and services, like extended warranties or vehicle financing. Once a listing meets the reserve it usually attracts more activity, resulting in sellers getting better than wholesale pricing.

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Removing a Reserve
A seller can remove the reserve price at any time during a listing. If a seller decides to remove the reserve, the reserve price will be lowered to $1 above the current high bid. The next bid that is placed will meet the reserve. This is done to confirm that the high bidder is still interested in the item.
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Adding a Buy It Now Price
A seller may add a Buy It Now Price after a listing has received bids. The new Buy it Now price can be any amount above the received bids.

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When to Lower your Price
A seller may lower the reserve or Buy It Now price during an auction. All bidders are then notified of that the price has been lower. If seller lowers the reserve below the high bidder, the high bidders maximum bid will be lowered by $1 below the new reserve price. This allows the high bidder to confirm they are still interested in the vehicle.
 
Lowering the Buy It Now price will automatically will lower the reserve price as well.

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Bidders that do not Contact you
Some bidders will not contact you for any reason. It is recommended that you contact all bidders to ensure that they can complete the transaction should they be the high bidder. Can they finance the transaction and do they fully understand the terms of the sale?

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The "What is your Reserve?" Question
It is your decision when and if you will reveal your reserve price. If you reveal your reserve price you may not get a bid from that individual anyway. On the other hand a bidder may not want to bid if they don't know the reserve. Positive contact with the customer can instill confidence in you and your vehicle and encourage them to bid.
 
Would you immediately tell a buyer on your lot what the lowest price you would sell your vehicle for or would you try to sell the value of the unit and maximize your gross profit potential?

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Communicating with your Bidders
Communication with your bidders is usually by e-mail and phone. Questions are often ask regarding the condition of the vehicle and the reserve price. The most important items here are timely responses and accurate information.

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What does it Mean to Manage my Listing?
Managing your listing means building a relationship via the phone and e-mail with your bidders. Answering their questions in a professional and timely manner. And choosing the right time to lower your price if you choose to do so.

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What if my Vehicle doesn't Sell?
You may list it again. If it sells the second time you list it, you second listing fee will be refunded. (only if it sells the second time)

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How Long can I List my Vehicle?
You choose the length of the auction- three, five, seven or 10 days.
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Scheduling a Listing
You have the ability to schedule your auction to run at a specific time. Carefully consider the time of day and day of the week your listing will end. Most bidding takes place in the final hours the end of the auction should be a convenient time for buyers across all major time zone. (All eBay Motors listings are in Pacific Time)

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Pricing your Vehicle
  • You can choose a start price (opening bid)
  • You can choose to set a "reserve" price. This is the lowest price that you are obligated to sell at.
  • After you have sufficient feedback, you can set a "Buy It Now" price that allows a bidder to end the auction.
Whatever your strategy, it is a numbers game. Not every car sells, not every listing creates a bidding frenzy. Top sellers realize that they do not need to make large margins on every car. Higher sales volume can drive profits as much as low volume and larger margins.

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Another way to sell vehicles on eBay Motors is to use a Dealer Assistant. Note that all services for Dealer Assistants are outside of eBay Motors fees. You can find Dealer Assistants at www.ebaymotors.com/dealers

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If you are selling frequently there are a number of software providers that simplify the listing process for you. This is a faster effective way to create high impact professional grade listings.

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Sell Your Item form is provided free of charge, it is however designed for the occasional seller because of it's inability to save information for future use.

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Creating a Listing
There are various ways to do this.
  1. You can do it yourself, using the "Sell your item" form online at eBayMotors.
  2. Use a third party listing software, there are several on the market now
  3. Work with a dealer assistant
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Vehicle Inspections
This is another service that is intended to help your buyers feel safe buying from a non-local dealer. Top sellers offer buyers the option of having the vehicle inspected prior to the close of the sale. Make your listing very clear on the terms of the inspection.

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An alternative payment option that can build trust with potential buyers is acceptance of an escrow payment through Secure Pay. Escrow payment is when you agree to have a third party hold the funds until the vehicle reaches the buyer. You benefit by knowing that the buyers funds have been verified before you ship. Buyers feel more secure, since you don't receive funds until they have the vehicle.

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It is common practice for seller to require a deposit within 72 hours of the end of the auction. Most sellers then require the balance to be paid within a specified time frame in the acceptable terms within the listing. Some sellers will accept a different type of payment for the deposit only. Paypal is standard form of payment and is the easiest way to accept credit card and bank account deposits.

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Successful sellers will e-mail any user that bids in the last several days/hours of a listing to verify their intent to purchase the vehicle. If the seller does not receive a reply within a specified period of time, they may cancel the bid.
 
If you intend to use a similar process be sure to specify the process in your listing terms so that bidders know what to expect and there is no confusion.
 
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Setting terms of sale - Part 1
Customers will look at your terms of sale to answer several questions:
  • What types of payment will you accept? (cash, certified funds, 3rd party such as online finance companies, credit cards, pay pal)
  • How much time does the buyer have to complete the transaction?
  • How much down payment is required?
  • How soon must the down payment be made after the close of the auction?
  • Will you accept the use of an online escrow service like Secure Pay?

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Setting terms of sale - Part 2
Who pays for shipping? (Buyers are typically responsible for shipping cost but be explicit in your listing.)
 
Will you deliver and if so, how far away?
 
If you don't deliver, can you help arrange for shipping services?
 
Will you only ship within the United States or internationally?
 
Is there any form of warranty on the cars you are selling?
 
If sold "as is," do you offer extended service contracts for sale?
 
Will you accept bids from buyers with negative or zero feedback?
 
Is the vehicle available for inspection prior to the end of the listing? If so, how should this customer arrange for an inspection with the service provider they hire?
 
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Successful sellers understand the buyers' need for information and clearly spell out their payment and inspection policies in order to increase bidder confidence, minimized negative feedback and eliminate misunderstandings.

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When listing a vehicle make sure you note issues like dents, rust, interior damage, rips, tears, paint fade and scratches. Some bidders may even want details on undercarriage rust.

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Top sellers don't try to hide problems; they fully disclose all information. Consider placing a ruler or dollar bill next to dents and dings to provide perspective on the size. Building Trust in your listing=More Sales!

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Photos of Engine Compartment-One shot of the entire engine compartment with good lighting is usually adequate, but make sure any modifications can be easily identified.

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Managing your online business in house requires a person with these qualities:
  • Able to write good descriptions and e-mails
  • Take and upload digital pictures
  • Use the computer comfortably and understand the Internet
  • Respond to phone calls and e-mail from potential buyers
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Interior Photos
Document all the details a buyer will want to see inside the vehicle. Make sure you include any items that help identify optional equipment, trim levels and condition.
Examples: Odometer, steering column for cruise, door panels for power locks and windows, sound systems.

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Provide potential bidders with a full exterior view of your vehicle. Suggested: 3/4 view to capture the front, back and both sides in two photos.

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Photos, Photos, Photos. The most successful dealers load good quality photos and several of them. Listing software such as CARad allows you to:

  • Upload nearly three times as many photos
  • Create eBay Motors listings in less than 5 minutes
  • Host up to 35 photos
  • Create professional-grade listing templates
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