View Full Version : Experimenting with different strategies

02-24-2002, 11:08 PM
Last week, I decided to try out several ideas as Ebay strategies. I though I'd share what I found out:

I listed 6 items. On one of them, I used the 'feature plus' feature (at a cost of $20). For this one, I took my minimum bid and added $20 to it so that I would recover this fee if I sold. If I didn't, then I had to take that loss. I also listed one piece with a starting price of $1. It was a piece that I didn't care about, so I was prepared to have it sell for $1. The others I listed at my usual price, 2 of them were prints, which I listed in the 'print' category. I listed some in the 'self-representing artist' category and some in the 'paintings, contemporary' category. They were 10 day auctions ending on a Monday so I took in 2 weekends.

So here's what I found out: the 'feature plus' piece absolutely got the most views; I got 2 email inquiries, and it did sell for the asking price with only one bidder. The piece listed for $1 sold for $5.65 with 2 bidders involved. The others did not sell.

I had thought that with a lot of views on the feature piece, that that might bring more views to the other pieces through my 'link to gallery auctions' button, or through my 'about me' page. That did not happen. Some pieces got very low views. Some did a bit better.

Most of the activity happens in the first and the last 24 hours. In between, it's pretty quiet. I think it's better to end the auction on a Sunday evening, and I think it's good to have a 10 day auction so you take in 2 weekends.

The category that I listed under didn't seem to matter too much, although I think that the 'print' category does not bring as many hits.

So what's the conclusion? Hard to say except that there's a bit of luck involved in timing. It's a matter of getting the right person to look at your painting at the right time. Good titles matter as that increased the chance of buyers finding you through the search options. Using the feature plus was a definite help. That is the highest price I've gotten for my paintings on Ebay. Beyond that, who knows?

02-24-2002, 11:55 PM

I thought about doing some calculated testing myself, but after analysing it I realized there are SO many variables that are uncontrollable. Like you say, the bottom line is getting the right person to look at the right auction -- GEE, thats all it takes! :D

I have changed the way I do things (for the moment). Most of my prints will be reserve auctions from now on. I can't survive on those $9.95 minimum bids -- many of them were selling for that amount. My reserves of 14.95, 24.95 and 35.00 are doing quite well. I still start them out at $9.95. There were a few I tried to list with higher starting bids, and they didn't do well. So at the moment I think 'reserve' is the way to go for me, although that does end up costing a little more in eBay fees in the long run.

The 'feature plus' does sound risky -- and since I'm selling mostly prints, a $20 jump I think is too much. I tried the "Highlight" ($5) this week for one auction, don't think its worth it. Doesn't really make it stand out all that much.

I HAVE TAKEN THE ADVICE HERE and am now doing 10 day auctions -- I didn't realize it only cost 10 cents extra. Views are definately higher so far.

And so it goes....
Try, try and try again -- its fun!

02-25-2002, 12:00 AM
I look at Feature Plus auction as an investment, not really as a way to sell for better prices. The important things are the number of people that look at your art, you webpage, the enquiries you get ...the exposure. I list almost exclusively ( as I am doing right now) using the feature plus. I used to start at $29.99 no matter the size or value of the piece, now I list for a bit more.(if does not work I am going back to $29.99). I don't care if my work sells for little money as long as I don't loose in the process.I rather start low and have more bidders that start high and have only one....or none!!. Disappointed bidders are your future bidders!!
I don't list prints ( I don't have any, first of all) but my consideration is that if original art goes for so little what would encourage buyers to buy prints? Even Jeff Cohen does not do well with prints. I also find that certain pieces sell better than other and that depends on the appeal of the piece, not really on the day or the title, or the description. So, my strategy is
1) List appealing pieces ( usually small)
2) Get as many viewers as possible to see your work ( Feature Plus)
3) Start low in order to get a "bid battle"going
4) List high in the categories ( like american, european, other, etc) because the listing will appear also in all the preceding others especially if featured. Like if you list in "european" the listing will also appear in "contemporary" and also in "painting", but if you list in "contemporary" the listing will not be seen in "european".
I have been selling on ebay since july 2001 and while sales have been good, the best part is that I have sold a lot out of my webpages at full price, mostly to Ebayers. It seem that people understand that ebay prices are a steal and don't mind paying much more for a piece they really like. I only use FedEx so my shipping fees are pretty steep, but my buyers don't seem to mind...they know they are getting a bargain!!


02-25-2002, 01:53 AM
Originally posted by Rita Monaco
the best part is that I have sold a lot out of my webpages at full price, mostly to Ebayers. It seem that people understand that ebay prices are a steal and don't mind paying much more for a piece they really like

Rita, I find this very interesting! I've never linked my website to my ebay sales because of the difference in pricing. I'm very encouraged to hear you say this!! YEAH!

02-25-2002, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Rita Monaco
I don't list prints ( I don't have any, first of all) but my consideration is that if original art goes for so little what would encourage buyers to buy prints? Gee Rita -- prints are ALL I have!:( There are NO originals with digital art (well there's some controversy on that subject too)
:eek: Is digital art doomed on eBay because it can only produce prints for sale? I was a afraid that was true after doing a lot of research before actually selling. But, NOPE, I don't think so from my experience. I've been selling prints since Nov 2001 for anywhere from $9.95 to $127.
:clap: I have a new one listed right now that is at $31 and still has 3 days to go, so I feel like its actually going quite well considering I am selling only prints.
One of these days I do plan to enter the world of ORIGINALS on eBay -- I'm getting itchy figures to get back to my 'roots'.:)

02-25-2002, 02:37 PM
Hairballs, I have had very good success selling prints of my original paintings. I use them as 'filler' because I work full time and some weeks will only get one original painted. So prints have been a good thing for me.
Rita and Sumafra, thank you for the info on the Feature Plus. That is very encouraging, and I think I will try it.
Thanks everyone this is a great discussion.
Cathy :clap:

02-26-2002, 01:21 AM
Don't bother with Featured Plus anymore...ebay just today changed its policy regarding that.


Featured Plus is not worth the money anymore.


02-26-2002, 10:49 PM
I can't believe this. Just when I think I've found something that helps, ZAP, it's gone. Is that rotten timing or what?

02-26-2002, 11:30 PM
I suggest that you go to the ebay forum "art & artists" and join in the fight. I have been doing that for the last 2 days along with Lee, Ginette and many others affected by this change. If we put up a good fight there is hope that they will listen.