A Sale of Two Eddies

There are many factors that can contribute to the rise in bidding of your eBay auctions. Aside from having a desirable item, you need a proper description, a good photo (preferably several), a reliable reputation, well-thought keywords in your title, and a knowledge of what you are selling.

Recently, at my wife's prompting, I was clearing out some of my collection of carded action figures. While I'll often sell many of these through a local toy store that does consignment, I also will check the values of completed auctions as well to see if an eBay listing is worth my time.

One of the toys I was clearing out was this guy:
An Iron Maiden action figure from the MiniMates line. If you aren't familiar with the heavy metal stylings of England's Iron Maiden and their mass-merchandising mascot Eddie, all you need to know is that as a leading band for over 30 years they have amassed many millions of fans worldwide. These guys are popular and have been for a long time. Used concert t-shirts of theirs from the 1980s sell for hundreds of dollars regularly. Do a search for Iron Maiden on eBay and you'll be combing through well over 12,000 items, including concert tickets, records, clothing, toys, posters, videos, and more. And most of it features a pictures of Eddie.
This item lies at the intersection of action figure collectibles (popular with nostalgic man-children like me) and heavy metal collectibles, and the potential for profit is high.

A quick scan of completed listings yielded this:
Click on image to enlarge.

2 Bids - 5 bucks... not very impressive. But I think I can do better.
You see, the above listing is the epitome of how a terrible listing can sabotage a potentially great auction. This is pretty much the entire listing, and it gives us nothing. It's only five words! The photo is from far away and out of focus! The title uses only 20 of the 80 possible letters! I'm amazed that "Maiden" is even spelled correctly. Tack on sky-high shipping costs and this one was lucky to get even 2 bids.

A potential buyer searching for "Iron Maiden action figure" would not find this listing. Neither would "Iron Maiden Eddie Toy" or basically any other specific search terms. Heck, someone could even do an advanced search the item descriptions and this listing still wouldn't turn up. This is exactly the kind of listing a Part Time Picker is looking for to bid on, potentially to flip it back on eBay with a proper listing.

Now check out my listing:

My listing, which didn't take that long to create, netted me 8 bids and $32, more than six times as much! Even when you factor out my $4 shipping cost (I listed with free shipping), I still consider this auction a great success.

The extra effort I took to add in such keywords to the title as "New", "Collectible", "Eddie", and "Power Slave" (the name of the record this specific mummy Eddie is from) paid off. I took quality photos of the front and back of packaging. I mentioned the year it was made and any other information I got from the packaging. I listed the size (3 inches) so there isn't confusion. And I didn't even do a screen capture of all the returns and shipping info I add to every listing (I'll write more about that in another post).

Plus, I added a little sales panache in the description with phrases like "New In the Box", "Great for Display", and "A rare and fun collectible". I emphasized the free shipping in bold. I even dropped a reference the Derek Riggs (the artist who created the character), just so any potential bidders knew I was a true Iron Maiden fan. I happened to know this info off-hand, but any quick wikipedia search will tell you all you need to know about most items.

So there it is... two auctions with the same item and over $25 in difference. Take the time to make a decent listing for your auction and you will be rewarded.

No comments:

Post a Comment