(last updated on 4/26/2010)
GunBroker.com Tips for Sellers
GunBroker.com would like to offer you some tips on creating a successful listing and maximizing your sale price. Our experience shows that a well-designed listing will help you get a much higher price for your item. With a little effort, you can create eye-catching auctions that draw attention from bidders and get good prices for the item.
Past experience shows that the successful seller takes uses the following suggestions to create eye-catching listings:
Picture (Image) Hosting
- Add Pictures! Pictures sell. Items with clear, attractive pictures tend to bring a higher price. Since pictures are a complex subject we cover them in-depth in a later section of this document.
- Create a Descriptive and Compelling Item Title. We cover this topic in a later section of this document titled Creating a Proper Item Title.
- Provide a Thorough Description of the Item. We cover this topic in a later section of this document titled Writing a Winning Description.
- Price your item appropriately. If you price your item too high you will tend to put off bidders and it will take a long time to sell. We cover this topic in a later section of this document titled Pricing your Item.
- Spell out all terms, including shipping, payment, and warranty. Use the correct boxes on the List an Item Form to enter all of the terms of your sale, including payment you will accept, shipping costs, and sales tax (if you must collect it). If you fail to properly specify your terms you may end up with problems with the transaction.
- (Optional) Use our Optional Services to enhance your listing.
- (Optional) Use HTML in the Item Description get the user's attention.We cover this topic in a later section of this document titled Using HTML in your Item Description.
- (Optional) Consider using an Escrow Service. Escrow addresses one of the major issues between a buyer and yourself - the issue of trust. Buyers do not know you so they may be hesitant to place a bid. Escrow can make the buyer more comfortable with the transaction and can therefore increase the number of bids you receive. Click here for more information on the online escrow services.
GunBroker.com has an Automated Picture Upload Facility! You can now upload a picture at the same time you are entering your item listing. This service is fast, free, and easy to use. To use this facility, go to our 'List an Item' page. Fill in the form, leaving the 'Picture URL' field blank. When you have filled out all of the other fields, click the 'Upload Picture...' button located to the right of the 'Picture URL' field. A screen will pop up that will walk you through uploading you picture to our server. When the upload process is complete, the 'Picture URL' field will be updated with the name of your picture file. Click the 'Review Listing' button at the bottom of the page to submit your item listing.
If you cannot use our automated picture upload facility, you can send us your pictures by email. Please list your item before sending us the picture(s). Once your item has been listed you can send an email with the item number and your GIF (.gif) or JPEG (.jpg) files to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add the pictures to your listing. We recommend that you use the automated upload as described above as pictures sent in by email must be posted manually and this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Note: Pictures emailed to us or uploaded to our servers are deleted after 60 days for space considerations.
Creating a Proper Item Title
The Item Title is the most important part of your listing because it is what the potential bidder sees when he browses our listings or performs a search on our site. Your item title must attract the potential bidder's attention and, since it is what is most commonly searched, it must contain the proper words so that the bidder will find your item when he performs a search.
You should always include the manufacturer name and the model of the item you are selling. Add as much information as you have room to add, including information about the item, its caliber, finish, or style, its condition, and anything else you can fit in. Keep in mind that some bidders are novices and may not know what an item is by make and model alone. Descriptions like 'Colt Pistol' are terrible because it does not describe anything important about the item. Instead, try 'Colt King Cobra .357 magnum stainless revolver'.
We strongly suggest against putting junk in your item titles or descriptions. Use of ALL CAPS is prohibited. Put a space character between each word in your title and do not use special characters like exclamation points, asterisks, etc. Characters like # ^ & * ~ @ and most other characters that are not letters or numbers can interfere with the search function so titles containing these characters may not be found by potential bidders.
Writing a Winning Description
Once the bidder finds your item he will look at the description. You have to provide all of the information needed by the bidder to eliminate questions and allow him to place his bid. This is also your chance to sell your item to your prospective bidder. Provide as much information as possible about the item and its condition. Keep in mind that the bidder may not know what the item is or what it may be used for based on the make and model alone, so give information on the product and its uses. Statistics show that if the bidder has to look elsewhere for this information you will probably lose the sale.
Tell the buyer what is included with the item (original box, owner's manual, clips, accessories). Make sure the user is clear on what is included with the item.
Pricing your Item
Pricing your item correctly is key to getting the most for what you are selling. You may want to check the price of similar items and price accordingly. Remember that the Starting Bid is the absolute lowest price your are willing to take. The lower that is set, the more attention your auction is likely to get. The more attention your auction receives, the more people will usually bid and the higher the price will usually go.
Using HTML in your Item Description
GunBroker.com allows you to use HTML in your auction listings. For details on what HTML tags do and which tags are suggested, please see: How can I use HTML in my listings?
GunBroker.com has prepared several sample HTML templates for you to use. The templates, along with instructions on how to use them in your listings can be found at ItemTemplates.aspx