View Full Version : bid secrets for ebay????

08-20-2002, 12:15 PM
I have posted a bead set on e-bay. This is the first time for me. Its been up for three days and still no bids. Is there some secret to getting bids? Please......I would greatly appreciate some constructive criticism. If you think I should change something......please tell me. Thank you...PeggyK


08-20-2002, 12:24 PM
hi- Nice beads! I love sunny yellow.
a few things:
>you need to buy some things first, so you have some
kind of feedback rating. People are hesitant to buy
from those with no feedback, at least I am.
>I didn't notice, but you did spend the extra money
to put it on the gallery? I think that is critical.
>The scan really isn't that bad.
>Remember that very few people bid until the
last day, or even the last few seconds.
Good luck!

08-20-2002, 12:29 PM
Oh, they're gorgeous! What a pity you're not shipping outside USA.

08-20-2002, 12:32 PM
By the way, be sure to check the Internet Sales Strategies (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=70) forum. There are lots of threads about ebay strategies in there. :)

08-20-2002, 12:32 PM
Hi Peggy...I will give it a shot...I am no expert on eBay by no means...but I know what catches my attention and what I find lacking and need to know when done looking at an auction page....first ...you dont have a total shipping cost, you just say first class, you need to come up with a dollar amt to make all easier for you and your winning bidder, depending on a set of beads first class can very for weight and so forth...the only cost you quote is $1.00 more if you want insurance. people like a total cost amt for shipping...so they know how much to pay and how much their total will be with their bid, I get many that pay miniutes after the auction and if they dont have a total they have to wait for you to tell them through emailing back and forth...and if your not home, payment gets delayed sometimes...it takes time to contact one another..I know I wont bid if I dont know complete shipping charges. Also your title is to generic...you need a title which makes your beads yours. Be it: Kite13 Lampwork Beads or something...Also, always put a gallery shot, I see you did, but make it a must always...it helps...many people only shop auctions with gallery shots....and lastly..which isn't really fair..is you have no feedback rating...those really do help...what I suggest if your just starting is making a ME page and introducing yourself to your bidder/buyers so your not so annoymous...and they can put info with that zero feedback or low rating....and somewhere down the line a camera not a scanner would really help you out, even thou your pictures aren't to bad. And lastly...its slower on eBay right now...and many times...first day and last day you get lots of action or your auctions..middle days are really slow...so keep the faith!

Kaye ~koregon

Kimberly Affleck
08-20-2002, 12:37 PM
You beads look great! One thing I do is include a "supersize" option for my photos. That allows prospective buyers to see more detail! I ALWAYS use a Gallery photo! I would also try a different background for your scan. I have found that the green, celadon, sage, tans, etc. backgrounds wash out most of my beads. Also, as the previous posts indicated, most bidding goes on at the last second! Also, it can take some time for bidders to notice you. People are hesitant to bid on beads from a new person. It takes a while, so don't get frustrated. Give it some time! I didn't notice if you had a counter. I use one so I can tell if folks are even looking at my auctions! I am a nervous seller and check frequently to see if I have any bids! I panic easily!

08-20-2002, 01:06 PM
All Great tips. I am "seasoned" at ebay, buying and selling. The gallery pic is a must. When I am looking at beads, I love a good pic. You can get a digital camera for $150 that is decent. (Kaye takes the most gorgeous pics of her beads!) The title also could be more catchy, however the name for your beads is great! As Kaye stated, I only bid on items that I know what the shipping cost is going to be. I shipped priority mail for a long time.....you can get the boxes for free from the post office. Since the rate increase I purchased padded envelopes that run me about 5cents a peice and I can ship first class between 60 - 90 cents depending on how many peices of jewerly I am sending. Boxes increase the rate significantly so padded envelopes is the way to go. You might consider buying a few supplies on ebay to increase your feedback. I can get LOTS of things I need on Ebay for cheaper than I can go buy it, even with shipping. (ie, padded envelopes, tissue paper, labels) Just think of a few things that you might go purchase and look for them on ebay......will increase your rating :D Lastly, be patient most items get bids the last day or even last minute! Even if you sell them at your opening bid, you are increaseing your visibility and your feedback............don't give up.............people LOVE beads!! (BTW, they are lovely beads!!)

08-20-2002, 01:29 PM
I don't think I can add too much that hasn't already been said ... just want to tell you that I think the beads are great! I like that you have both more detailed beads and spacers in the set ... I use spacers in almost every piece of jewelry I design to define the more detailed beads. Your pricing seems fair, too.

One thing I noticed that I don't think anyone else has mentioned is that you haven't put a size for the beads. It's just about impossible to tell by putting a coin near the beads - I really appreciate measurements (i.e., largest bead is 11 x 7 mm, smallest spacer is 5 x 7 mm).

Don't be discouraged - lots of times there won't be a bid until the last day (unless you're Corina)!


08-20-2002, 02:36 PM
I'm with what everyone says - here's some encouragment, though, I've had some auctions not have a single bid until the last day. Then the last few hours things really heat up!

There's so much lampwork out there that posts get lost after the first day until they show up on "Ending Today" and "Going, Going, Gone" - just hang in there.

Since you don't have a bid yet, why don't you go add a gallery pic? Just make a pic 96 x 96 pixels, and pay that 25 cents!


08-20-2002, 03:09 PM
Hi Peggy,

Good luck with your auction! Okay, I'm a frequent bead buyer, so here goes...

I tend to bid at the last minute on beads, unless I'm going to be away at the time. Yes, I'm one of the dreaded snipers! :angel: I tend to buy from buyers I know, but do try out new people as well. If I like the beads I receive, I will keep buying from them. I don't rule out bidding from eBay newbies, but it might be a deterrent for a lot of other people. As others have suggested, you might want to buy a few things just to get some good feedback up there.

One thing I suggest is to always put something in your title like your initials or your business name if you have one...like Peggy's Beads or PK or something like that. Always put the word lampwork in there as well.

As others have said, it takes a while for people to find you sometimes, so don't give up. Also, it is a rather slow time right now.

I think your picture is pretty nice -- close up & you can see the detail. I would suggest either stating the bead sizes in the text, or at least putting a millimeter ruler in the picture, as coins don't really help me in figuring out the size. There are lots of great tips on Wet Canvas on getting good images of your beads, something everyone here struggles to improve.

I think it is very important to have the gallery photo, especially as a new person, so that people can catch a glimpse of your beads while browsing...otherwise they tend to get lost in the listings. If the regular picture shows enough detail, as yours does, I don't tend to look at the "supersize" picture. I think it's good for bigger sets though so you can see more detail.

I agree with stating the shipping costs up front. I won't bid on something if I don't know the shipping beforehand, or if the shipping costs are too high (say the person is charging $5.00 for something that costs them under a dollar to mail). I offer the option of First Class or Priority Mail, insured or uninsured (stating that I will not be responsible for the item once it leaves my hands if they choose not to insure). I prefer to have things sent First Class, as it saves me money & doesn't seem to take any longer than Priority most if the time. I opt for insurance most of the time, unless the item was not very expensive.

You might want to consider shipping internationally as well, as that will open you up to new buyers. Just ask them to e-mail you with their location for shipping costs, so you can then look it up on the USPS site & let them know.

Anyway...that's all my thoughts for now...just my opinions, of course...YMMV (your mileage may vary...got that from Mags!)! :D Good luck!


08-20-2002, 03:21 PM
Peggy - I think the beads are beautiful! I may even bid on them - but I'd wait a few days - so that sort of tells you one thing; most people don't bid at least in the first half of the auction. Now, I was an aggressive automated sniper, so (in the old days) I wouldn't even place ANY bid before the last 7 seconds (yes, many of you hated me, I'm sure...)

10 day auctions are too long in my opinion (buyer point of view). If I'm in the mood to buy a set of beads, the longest I want to wait from the time they catch my eye to the time I know if they are mine is a week MAX. I think 5 day auctions are a good compromise for buyer and seller. Also 7 day are acceptable. 3 day prolly only works well for the well known and those with an established customer base.

Size...you cropped out most of the coin from the pic, so I can't tell if its a dime or a quarter. If it's a dime, the beads are very petite - may be just what some are looking for or way to small for others. If it's a quarter, they are probably the size I would use.

I think your pictures are actually quite good and the close up of the focal is nice. I think the beads are really excellent.



08-20-2002, 03:30 PM
BETH!!!!!!!!! was that YOU?????????? let me find my shot gun...hey honey have you seen the shells lately!!
grumble grumble!

08-20-2002, 03:44 PM
Uh oh...not sure which "sniper" Beth she means, so I'm going to go hide under the desk now!


08-20-2002, 03:58 PM
Hi Beth...so your a sniper huh? I have mixed thoughts about that...in the long run I guess its ok...but...sometimes bidding at least once on an item that interest you...doesn't hurt...to wait until the very end to show your interest sometimes can backfire.
what I mean...well it can have reverse affect...I pulled an auction this week...when I got no bids after four days...mostly because...right out of the starting blocks I got an email from someone saying...what no buy it now??? I told her I dont do them, but if we could agree on a price i might consider it...that I like to give everyone a chance at my beads and being an art form its hard to choose a buy it now price...so I asked her what price did she think was fair...well in the long run...she ended up not naming a price but talking about how she was a jewelry maker and had to get her beads for a good price...more or less..I am sure she was wanting the beads for opening bid or not much more. So it was a no deal..told her that I felt they would do well...because other sets like it had...and low and behold! Not only did she not bid (that bothered me the most)...but not a darn bid for days, so I pulled them and I am keeping them for me...to use with a strand of faceted ametrines I have (the gal wanting them wanted them for the same purpose, to go with Ametrine gemstones)...but sometimes holding off on that bid...well makes the hearts of us waiting for a bid...just break to a million pieces :-) "said with a chuckle"

Kaye ~koregon

08-20-2002, 04:24 PM
Hi Kaye,

My reasons for being a sniper...at least the ones i can think of at this moment! :D

-- There are so many beads that I want, but can't afford all of them (unfortunately!). I like to go back & look at the auctions again...check out the pictures some more...see if I still like them enough to bid...etc... I'm one of those people who takes forever to decided on things at stores too! I'd be in real trouble if I placed a bid on everything or bought everything in which I was interested!! I try not to spend more money than I have (cash, not credit!). The day the auctions end, I generally have more of an idea of what I can afford right then. Sometimes I can't afford anything, so I don't bid no matter much I like something, or sometimes it's going for higher than I can afford at that point.

-- I get confused easily, as my bookkeeping stinks. If I've bid earlier, it's easy for me to lose track of what I've won when & whether I've paid for it yet or not. I have enough trouble as it is getting it all straight sometimes!

-- The times I have bid early, I've rarely won the item, no matter how much my proxy bid.

As a jewelry designer, I too need to be conscious of how much I'm paying for beads. If something goes for too high, I can't afford to buy it, as I would not be able to sell the jewelry at the price I would have to charge. I'm not looking for bargain-basement prices (I respect beadmakers & their work too much for that!), but I do have to be conscious of the price I pay. If I'm buying the beads for myself, then I can & do spend more than if I plan to use them to make jewelry to sell.

Anyway, those are just my rambling thoughts of the moment!


08-20-2002, 04:28 PM

I think that your beads are lovely and I think that you got some very valuable feedback. I am a seasoned ebay buyer and I agree with everything that has been said.

If I would you, I'd go back and edit the paragraph before someone bids.

Use some of the suggestions such as:
-put in a fixed shipping rate
-say that they were made by you. I don't think that I saw that.
-if you've been making beads for a while then say how long. This may offset the fact that you don't have any feedback. Without a summary of your experience, the seller is left to assume that you are brand new to this art and may be less inclined to bid. If you are a newbie then fine but, don't infer that you are.
-take out the apology for the less than perfect picture. The picture is great and you shouldn't be apologizing for it. It is not a favorable statement either.

Good luck, it's summer, things are slow.

08-20-2002, 05:10 PM
Hi Beth,

No need to go into all that...I didn't mean it the way you might have taken it...I guess my feelings were really thumped by the gal that wanted them..but not enough to bid on them...only if I would sell them to her BUY IT NOW...for a low price...and as a beadmaker...that doesn't seem the smartest move. I put low prices for my start prices...wholesale prices in fact. So all the inquires I get in email asking if I have a website or sell off of eBay are people hoping to get my beads for cheaper.....Most of those inquiring never ever buy or have bid on my beads...they are just searching for artist beads at a super low cost....which you cant knock em for trying...imagine they run into a few that do sell to them that way....the auction method does us well...really well...so website and wholesale at this point are a no go.

But hey~ I really really didn't mean anything bad by saying your a sniper, Promise!...I dont use any of those programs myself...but I do keep a watch on items and think about it for awhile. BUT most of the time if I love something I usually put the min bid and keep an eye and decide as I go....decide if I will up the bid and go on.

Sorry if I said anything wrong..didn't mean to...guess thats why I dont talk to much on here...I can put my foot in my mouth to much

Have a great day~ Kaye

08-20-2002, 05:36 PM
Hi Kaye,

No no no, don't be discouraged from posting!!! I didn't take it the wrong way at all. I understand your point of view...guess I didn't come across clearly in my message either...that's the problem with communicating via internet sometimes!

I would never ask an artist to sell me something at a lower price, but I know there are those out there looking for that. If you had a "buy it now" price, priced at what you would normally charge, she probably would not have been willing to pay that much anyway. I think the people who are looking for bargains like that don't understand the artform that is lampwork.

I think a lot of artists list the starting price as lower than they would sell them for off of ebay. Sometimes they get what they would normally sell them for, & sometimes they get way more. There's always the chance that they will go for the starting price as well, so I think people should at least list them at what their wholesale price would be. Starting them at $.25 or whatever only seems to work for the people with a big following.

I'm of two minds about the "buy it now"...good for people who want to get things right away, but bad for people who can't be checking for new stuff all of the time. By the time you see that new stuff is listed, some of it is gone!

I don't use any sort of auto-sniper program. A lot of the time I don't make up my mind if I'm going to actually bid until the last moment, & I don't think there's any programs out there that could be set up to read my mind! :D

Ooh, I feel bad if I made you feel bad! I would never want to send anyone back into lurker mode! You really do have lovely beads, & I hope to obtain some at some point. Kind of been taking it easy lately with the bidding, as I have a transmission to pay for...argh!


08-20-2002, 05:50 PM
Kaye - those beads are fabulous! Love them!

Heh, heh, heh...yes I made many an enemy (opps, typed "enema" first...) when I first got going. I learned week 1 of my eBay buying career pretty much all the buyer strategies. My "favorite" competition was arlyn_designs (Jody's now an email buddy of mine), wheat_carol (who I tried to extend the olive branch too, but she blew me off) and lyn114... Yes, no question in anyone's mind, I was addicted and into "winning". Many dollars later, I "broke" myself of the whole thing (and I won't indicate how many zeros are on the "many dollars" thing...)

I totally agree with you Kaye! Now, I always bid at least once early on, to at least indicate interest. Then I set my automated bid amount and forget it. It worked pretty well, because (and seller's hate this effect) as I was a bit "notorious" at the time, my tossing my name in the hat often had the effect of discouraging some more sane bidders. Sort of like what happens when Carol bids...

At one point I had annoyed so many bidders (I had folks "following" what I was bidding on and just upping them all for the heck of it) that I finally changed my ID! OK, not my finest moment. I once tried to convince a friend that I wasn't a particularly competitive person. They laughed so hard the peed their pants...

Well, I rarely snipe anymore, but I occasionally do because I'm not likely to even be on eBay enough to remember to bid. And it can be used in a very SANE way - it's a good way to figure out the absolute most you're willing to bid, and then walk away without tempation to overspend (any more than already planned.)

And, yes, I paid the extra monthly fee to the service so I could bid in the last 1 second!!!

B2 :o

08-20-2002, 06:24 PM
This is a frequently asked question on the ISGB Forum. Here are a few excerpts from advice I've given in the past:

Your beads look nice and I’ll bet they’ll do well once people find them. Remember, eBay bead shoppers are overwhelmed with choices. You’ll need time to build up a clientele. In the meantime, do things that will draw attention to yourself. In addition to listing in the Gallery as you have:

* Spring for the occasional BOLD title, and a Buy-It-Now auction now and then.

* Take advantage of eBay's free aboutme page. What do you like to know about a lampwork seller before you bid? Include that information on your page.

* Then be sure and link yourself to the ISGB Business Member Artists Links page. As soon as I did that my auction traffic increased.

* You can advertise in the rec.crafts.beads newsgroup too. Several lampworkers post links to their auctions as soon as they're listed. Be sure to use "AD" in the Subject line. I've recently rediscovered that group and have found them to be a great source of information about everything related to beads. They're a very friendly bunch too!

* Think SEARCH WORDS when listing your auction title, the words that shoppers use to sort through the thousands of auctions. Lampwork. Glass. Beads. Pendant. Set. Focal. They're not likely to search on Lemon Twist, Cosmic Soup, Malibu Sunset, etc. Those words are best used in the auction description itself, near the image.

* I used the book, "eBay for Dummies" when I got started and found it very helpful.

* The number of bids and the winning bid amounts on my auctions increased significantly as soon as I offered the PayPal option. The bidders who prefer to pay by check or money order continued to bid, but I picked up a whole new crowd with Paypal.

* List in two categories (Artisan Jewelry, Home Decor, etc.).

* Keep an eye on what your competition is doing.

I hope eBay is as fun and profitable for you as it has been for me. Good luck,


08-20-2002, 06:47 PM
Goodness, this has turned into a lively thread!
Jinx, how do you list in two categories? I've yet
to figure that one out.
Yes, folks, I DO snipe, and not ashamed of it,
either. I got tired of never winning an auction.
The biggest problem was, once I started doing that,
I kept winning. It got
kinda expensive there, for a while....

08-20-2002, 07:09 PM
Hi Kaye,
I completely agree with Jinx about PayPal. I don't buy anything if I can't pay via Paypal. I usually bid in the last 30 seconds, so don't sweat it! You never know when your gonna get a bid war!;)

B2, I can't tell you how many beads I lost to wheat_carol! Dang she has a deep pocket book and she bids on awesome stuff too! grrrrrr....


Lori Peterson
08-20-2002, 07:38 PM
I have learned so many tips from this thread I just hope I remember them all when I get back to listing on ebay. Thanks to everybody for posting such helpful advice. Kaye - I need those beads every time I see them - wow! great colors!)
I'm gonna go dig out my ruler and gauges and actually remember to say how big my beads are next time! And off to the store I go for some padded envelopes to get those shipping charges down.

My first listings were far from perfect - lack of critical info, photo faux pas, starting price and auction duration fluctuations that, if graphed, looked like an ekg of a heart attack. I tried this, I tried that in an effort to create some basic formula for success.

I was so lucky to have picked a pretty good time to test the ebay waters (June & July). I made the mistakes and still they bid. Outrageously high, IMHO, dispite the glaring errors. So I gained some shreds of confidence and I kept listing. If I had gotten no bids on my first set out there, I would have never listed again. I would still be making beads but probably just for gifts for friends and relatives.

In the current ebay slump it is so good to have so many generous and kind souls to share their knowledge so avidly, selflessly and adeptly. Beadmakers are good souls and I want every one of you to pat yourselves lightly on the back for me with a heartfelt thank you.


08-20-2002, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by annabella2
Jinx, how do you list in two categories? I've yet
to figure that one out.

Anne S,

When listing an auction, the first page is: Sell Your Item: Select Category. "Main Category" is at the top, "Choose a second category (optional)" is at the bottom.


08-20-2002, 11:01 PM
THANK YOU.......EVERYONE!!!!!!! I have made a list of all of your suggestions. I will change what I can. You have been so helpfully. Its this kind of help and friendly attitudes that keep me coming back to this forum. Thank you again.......PeggyK:cat: :cat: :cat:

08-20-2002, 11:24 PM
Everyone just gave the most awesome advice.....all true too!
Your beads are great....you will do well once you get going.
There is a lot of competition out there, so don't get discouraged too easily..you will build your own customer base eventually.
Many people only shop by picture gallery images...so always have a pic in the gallery. Also some only shop by "ending today"...so don't loose heart....your beads will sell. Good luck,

08-21-2002, 07:21 AM
Great tips...this should go sticky too:clap:

08-21-2002, 07:32 AM
Yes, all this excellent info should go into the sticky.

I always snipe. Always. I may not win because someone else who is also snipng may bid higher but it is really fun the times I do win. Now if I had an unlimited bank account, all those glasscreek, jampwork, BRG, Blueheeler and many other's beads would be coming to live at my house. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:


08-21-2002, 08:44 AM
EBay should pick up again in the fall (I hope) It always has in the past anyway. Summer is slow, and as a few people pointed out, it takes a while to build a reputation and get a following of people who regularly check your auctions.

I try to keep something new up every few days, though I've been falling down on the job a little lately. That way people will check often to see what new stuff you have up.

Also I'd advise against having too many auctions at once. I see some people who have two or three PAGES full of very similar beads when you look at their sellers page. :eek:

Seems like offering too many similar items would keep the bids form going up much at all, since the customer could always move on to the next item if anyone bid against them. :(

Just my two cents.
Be patient and don't be discouraged!:)

08-21-2002, 11:21 AM
'fess up, Beth b2beads -- who WERE you? I'm not an active eBay buyer, but I've browsed enough that I might recognize the name. And don't worry -- I can't even remember if I've ever been sniped for a bead, so I'm certainly not holding a grudge against you!

08-22-2002, 08:58 PM
Hi Everyone, THANK YOU AGAIN!! for all the wonderful tips and great ideas. I have changed my listing and am hoping for the best. I even came up with a snappier title for the page. It makes my mouth water. hehehehe Here is the web site if you would like to view the improvements. PeggyK


:cat: :cat: :cat:

08-23-2002, 01:12 PM
Peggy, I thought "twist & shout" was pretty catchy too! I think it would be a good idea to start putting something in the title to signify it's your auction, like Peggy's Beads or PXX (replace x's with real initials) Lampwork. That way people who surf the listing will know it's you...kind of stands out more that way when it's personalized (at least to me!).

Here's another thread where we were discussing auction tips:


Good luck!