Once you joined the online marketplace, you discovered how fast and convenient it is to become an entrepreneur in the digital landscape. But as you have probably experienced, online selling is not simply taking photos of your pre-loved goods and posting them. Selling demands much time, effort, and a whole lot of learning to increase your sales. You may feel frustrated when your listings get ignored but it is natural. Fortunately, there are smart strategies to help you and keep those sales coming.
1. Be transparent with the description
One strong way to build trust with customers is to be transparent about your items. Aside from placing proper descriptions such as the brand, size, and price, always be clear with its condition. This means stating if there are flaws in the product, be it in appearance or in quality.
No matter if it is a shirt you used once, a designer bag with a light scratch, electronics you used a couple of times, it is better to inform people of its overall state. To help you, Mercari has a rating system that allows you to describe the general condition.
2. Take the best photos you can
Online selling is all about visuals. Without attractive images, potential customers would scroll past your listing. People would ignore what you are selling and you may end up without any sales at all.
Use natural light
Now, you don’t have to be an expert in photography to come up with appealing photos of your items. What you need first is to have good lighting. Unlike artificial light that can be harsh and reflect on objects, natural light can create a spontaneous mood. From light and cool hues to warmer, reddish colors as seen in the different times of the day, you can select the best moment to take shots.
Remove the background
After taking photos, edit away the background. Doing so directs the attention to your item and not on the unnecessary details around it. It also makes your images cleaner and professional-looking.
If you don’t have a white background such as a cloth or floor, your best option is to edit the photo. You can use an app like PhotoRoom which allows you to delete the background and replace it with a solid color, minimize blur, adjust shadows, and more.
Use quality hanger or Mannequin
If you’re selling clothing, hang it up to display it. People would better see the overall appearance rather than when they are folded or carelessly laid out on your bed. Hanging them up makes it easier to assess the design, size, and other details of the apparel. This encourages potential buyers to imagine how the clothes would look on them.
Steam or iron your clothing
Remember, presentation matters. You may have designer pieces but if these are wrinkled or abundant with lint, they would seem like neglected garments. People wouldn’t want to buy something that looks old and sloppy. Even if these are ordinary apparel, you can make them appear pleasant.
3. Relist often
With thousands of users on different selling platforms, you wouldn’t want your listing to drown in a sea of catalogs and be ignored. To ensure your items remain visible, relist your old posts. Fresh listings appear higher on search results, giving it the opportunity to be seen again and earn likes.
Plan your approach
Be strategic with relisting. You may take photos from your Poshmark account and post them again on Mercari. But it's best if you review your old listings and see what else you can do to gain profit. Be it adding new photos, tweaking existing ones, editing descriptions, lowering the price, or deleting the listing entirely to post it again, there is always room for renewing your inventory.
When reselling, consider the time of the day that you post. Users are usually active in the evenings on weekdays and on weekends. Once they log on to Mercari, they will easily see the items that you put up again for sale.
Reset and decrease the price
You can also use the Promote feature. This gives you two ways to help boost sales. One is to publicize your listing so it climbs up on the search results. The other is to privately promote, automatically offering discounts like 10% to ‘likers’ and/or those who bookmarked your items.
When changing the price, you can set it at a slightly higher cost. People would always bargain so even when they ask for a cheaper value, you will still end up with your desired asking price.
As a pro-tip, always research before setting the price. You may think your vintage silk scarf or an old perfume would not be worth much. But you would be surprised other people sell the exact same item at a higher cost on a platform like the Facebook marketplace.
Some of these items turn out to be limited edition—the brand no longer produces such scent or design. As a result, people are willing to purchase them no matter the price.
4. Weigh before you list
Consider shipping costs into your revenue before posting your items. Weigh the complete package first—from the item, the protective wrap, the container, and other inclusions. Factor in how some boxes add more weight to your shipment.
Never guess or estimate the load as this will end up with either you or the buyer paying more. This happens when the items weigh beyond what you listed and what the customer settled. Nothing discourages a buyer than having to shoulder an unnecessarily high or erroneous shipping fee.
Mercari’s selling fee is 10% and covers up to 200% protection in shipping.
For USPS, prices differ based on the total weight:
- Less than 4 oz: $3.49
- 5 oz to 8 oz: $4.60
- 9 oz to 16 oz: $4.99
- 17 oz and over: $11 and more
Delivery options range from FedEx, USPS, UPS, to UPS Pack and Ship. The last option is ideal for large and/or fragile items you are uncertain about packing up.
If you prefer a prepaid label, you have to do your own shipping. This includes identifying the weight of the package and its dimensions. When your items sell, Mercari emails the labels to you. Take note that postal rates change together with the product rates and sizes so you need to check these oftentimes.
Make sure you also have a tracking number and insurance on top of your boxes and shipping labels. If you are worried about the surcharges during the holiday season, don’t worry as Mercari cuts these off.
Free shipping is also an option you want to consider. This doesn’t automatically mean ‘free’ as you are building in the shipping cost into the total listing price. Buyers wouldn’t know whether the product price is reasonable as they are unable to see the actual shipping price.
Still, others find the ‘free shipping’ term more desirable and as a result, your sales increase. But if you are the type of seller to know how much profit you are receiving, then go with Mercari’s separate shipping charge. Your net earnings show up as the total sales price minus the 10% selling fee and free shipping.
5. Follow a Listing Template
Having a visually appealing listing helps you gain the attention of potential buyers. Use a Listing Template to help you create an attractive post, much like your blog. Similar to what you see on eBay, these design templates make your listing professional-looking and organized. This makes it easy for you and the buyer to navigate through your items.
6. Place more descriptive words
Customers typically use the search bar to find your items that are on sale. So, having detailed descriptions allow your listing to be visible especially in multiple similar searches. When your listings keep appearing, this shows your account is active.
7. Personalize the template
Aside from descriptions, pay attention to how you customize the Listing Template. Tailor this according to your needs and preferences. You can change icons, control the number and size of images, customize the font, logo, colors, background, and more.
Some templates even allow you to cross-sell your items which means you can sort them into categories, manage the backgrounds, and organize them into product types. These allow your items to be seen multiple times across your listings.
8. Gain more feedback
Personalizing all these details encourages feedback ratings. Users would be enticed by your beautiful layouts and commend you for them. In turn, the positive responses build your confidence and reliability, promote your listings, and gain more return customers. Nothing beats the good feeling of having a constant stream of likes and ultimately, sales.