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Sporting Goods Selling Guide

Tags:  selling | sports | shoes | athletes | exerciseWrite a guide!

Whether you're a sports buff, a weekend ballplayer, or simply looking to sell some equipment around your home, eBay makes selling Sporting Goods fun. With millions of eBay shoppers looking for baseball gloves, equestrian gear, inline skates, snowboards, bicycles, and more, it’s easy to turn your stuff into cash on eBay.

Cash In on Sporting Goods

Cash In on Sporting Goods

Many athletes successfully use eBay not only as a place to find new Sporting Goods, but as a way to fund their next equipment purchases. Whether you are saving up for a new treadmill, need to repair your old bicycle, or are looking to upgrade your ski gear, selling on eBay is the perfect way to earn extra money. Swap out your unused pieces—those baseball bats in the garage or your extra fly fishing rods—and buy yourself new equipment.

What's It Worth?

Already have an item in mind? Visit Sporting Goods Seller Central to find out the average selling price of similar items on eBay. You can also search completed listings to see how others are selling similar items.

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Find Out What's Hot in Sporting Goods

Find Out What's Hot in Sporting Goods

Millions of people come to eBay in search of Sporting Goods for all levels and interests—everything from foam footballs for kids to cross-country skis for the pros. The following provides just a small sampling of the myriad of Sporting Goods that you could sell on eBay. To get a real-time view of what’s in demand, what buyers are searching for, and what items are selling the most, visit Sporting Goods Seller Central.

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Get Top Dollar for Your Sporting Goods

Get Top Dollar for Your Sporting Goods

Once you have an idea of what you’re going to sell, it’s time to think about how to attract Sporting Goods buyers. Here are the top tips from eBay’s most successful sellers.

Help Buyers Find Your Items with Keywords

Keywords are a great way to attract buyers to your listing, especially when used correctly in your Listing Title. Listing titles are used by eBay’s search engine to pull up listings during a search. Use your 55 characters wisely, and try to anticipate what buyers will be searching for. Find out what is being searched right now with our list of Top Sporting Goods Searches. Be sure to include common search terms like “fishing” and “golf,” when appropriate. State important characteristics of your item—what it is, brand, model number, color, materials, and condition. Of course, you should only include keywords that are relevant to the item you are selling. You can also search current and completed eBay listings to see what other sellers include in their titles.

In your Listing Description, make sure to include both basic information and details about your item. A good description is concise, well organized, and easy to read. Create bold section headlines, bulleted lists, and be sure to restate the information featured in your title plus more details such as sizes and dimensions, collection, benefits, related products estimated value, and any other interesting features. You can also insert photos or links to videos that highlight the unique attributes of your item. Think about your listing from the buyer's perspective. The more information you provide, the more likely the buyer will be to place a bid on your item.

Here are some terms commonly used by other sellers to describe their Sporting Goods. Make sure you only use a term when you are sure it applies to your item.

  • New In Box (NIB): Accessories or equipment are new in box if they remain in their original packaging from the time of purchase and have not been opened or used.

  • New With Tags (NWT) or New Without Tags (NWOT) or Never Been Worn (NBW): Equipment and accessories that have never been washed or worn can fall under NBW. If your apparel still has its retail tags attached, you can list it as NWT. If tags have been removed, but the clothing has never been worn, it is NWOT. Any items listed under either of these three should have no flaws.*

  • Gently Used (GU): Gently used equipment or accessories have been washed, worn or used, but appears new and has no signs of use and no flaws.

  • Excellent: Excellent condition products have been previously worn or used and have only very slight signs of use. It should still have no flaws.

  • Very Good: Stuff that has been previously worn or used with moderate wash wear/fade, but have no visible flaws are considered in very good condition.

  • Good: Previously worn or used apparel or equipment with minor visible flaw(s) and/or significant wash wear/fade can be considered in good condition.

  • Fair: Previously worn or used products with significant visible flaw(s) and/or heavy wash wear/fade are in fair condition.

  • Poor: Clothing that is not wearable or a product that is unusable and has severe flaws/damage is in poor condition, but may have desirable and useable element(s).

*Flaws might include spots, stains, holes, tears, fabric irregularities, or problems with buttons, zippers, snaps, etc.

The following abbreviations are used to indicate protection levels for helmets and masks, and may be useful for your listing title:

  • OPO: Oral Protection Only.

  • JOP: Jaw and Oral Protection.

  • NOPO: Nose and Oral Protection Only.

  • NJOP: Nose, Jaw, and Oral Protection.

  • EGOP: Eye Glass and Oral Protection.

Showcase Your Sporting Goods with Great Photos

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words! Photos are the closest you can get to putting your Sporting Goods in the hands of potential buyers.

  • Choose the Right Background: Use a contrasting, solid backdrop. By placing your item on a solid black or white backdrop, you draw a buyer’s immediate attention onto the item. This is easily achieved by hanging a bed sheet or placing poster board behind the item. Use a plain, colored fabric backdrop to make your item stand out. Most importantly, avoid background clutter that can distract buyers or confuse them regarding what you are selling. If you are selling more than one item in your listing, take pictures of the set as a whole and of individual pieces.

  • Cover All Angles: Take pictures from multiple angles and distances, zooming in on important details. Make sure you highlight any labels and tags, textures, logos and patterns with a close-up picture. Zoom in to show textures. Photograph any flaws to give buyers a clear idea of what they are bidding on—this helps build a buyer’s confidence in your item.

  • Use Proper Lighting: Natural light tends to give the best representation of your item, however direct sunlight can have the nasty effect of shadows. Find an area that receives indirect sunlight. Try taking your item outside on a sunny day and photograph it in a shady area. If you can't seem to find an area like this, or would prefer to shoot using indoor lighting, try surrounding your item with desk, overhead, or floor lamps. Above all, avoid using your camera's flash which causes distortion and shadows.

  • Add Gallery: Including a gallery photo with your listing is extremely important for success. You can attract attention to your item with a photo next to your listings in search results. In addition, when a buyer uses “Picture Gallery” to look at search results, your listing will be shown. Your Gallery picture should be a very clear, uncluttered view of your item. Since it is the only photo visible on search pages, make sure it provides a good representation of your item.

Maximize Profits with Low Priced, No Reserve Listings

Auction style listings are a great way to create excitement around Sporting Goods, which in turn can develop into a bidding frenzy among buyers—which could result in a higher selling price for you. The keys to a successful auction style listing are to get your first bid and encourage bidders to continue bidding.

  • Low Starting Price: Getting that first bid is critical, as other buyers are generally more likely to jump in if they see there are already bids on an item. To do this, many sellers prefer to set an opening bid below what the item is actually worth. Try beginning with a low starting price—such as 99 cents—to jumpstart bidding activity.

  • No Reserve: Be careful when setting a reserve price. Buyers may lose interest in an item if they place a bid and find it doesn't meet the reserve. Because they do not know the reserve price, they may assume the seller is simply asking too much for the item. To prevent this from happening, try listing your item with "No Reserve." Items sold with "No Reserve" typically attract more buyer interest, as buyers know that they will actually win the item if they are the high bidder.

  • Accept PayPal: Buyers want to know that they can pay securely when making a purchase on eBay. By accepting PayPal payments, you can build buyer confidence and help protect yourself. PayPal transfers payments to a bank account of your choice and notifies you when a payment has been received. Best of all, PayPal offers free online tools to make managing your payments easier. You can even print shipping labels and track your shipments.

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Ship Your Sporting Goods

Ship Your Sporting Goods

Specifying reasonable shipping and handling costs in your listing is essential for smart selling—and it improves your search ranking when buyers sort by total cost. Never leave a buyer wondering how much shipping will cost.

Calculate Shipping Costs

Often times, shipping costs will vary by distance. To make sure your shipping charges reflect this, incorporate a shipping calculator into your listing. With the shipping calculator, eBay can automatically calculate the shipping cost for your buyers based on the size and weight of your item and the buyer’s location. You can also program the calculator to add in the cost of packaging materials and your handling fee, if any.

Select a Service Option

If you are selling shoes, order free Priority Mail shoe boxes from the United States Postal Service. You can also order free smaller scale boxes, perfect for your clothes and accessories.

To protect both you and your buyer against loss or damage during shipping, consider purchasing shipping insurance for your package—especially for higher priced items. Shipping insurance is available through most shipping companies, and can be purchased while you pay for shipping. You can factor in the cost of shipping insurance into your shipping cost—but make sure you state in your description that you are doing so. Buyers want to know that they are paying extra for shipping for a good reason.

If you are selling larger items such as weights, basketball systems, and exercise machines, freight shipping might be the easiest and cheapest way to get your item to your buyer. Freight shipping is usually reserved for items over 150 pounds, and is available in the United States and Canada. Find out more at the Freight Resource Center.

Package Your Sporting Goods Securely

After your item sells, you are ready to ship it off to its new home. Make sure you package your item safely and securely. Use bubble wrap, foam, or other packaging materials to make sure your item is not damaged during its move. Here are a few steps to think about:

  • Wrap It: Individually wrap items and provide lots of cushioning (bubble wrap, peanuts, foam, corrugated dividers, or crumpled paper). Do not wrap your clothing in newspaper—it not only looks cheap and unappealing, but the ink can rub off and damage your items. If any pieces could be damaged by water, make sure you wrap them with a layer of sealed plastic. Bundle any wires, fasten them with a twisty-tie, and place them into Ziploc bags. Remember, wrap and pack firmly—you don’t want to hear any rattling!

  • Box It: If the item is on the smaller side, you can order free USPS Priority Mail boxes right on eBay—the United States Postal Service will even deliver them right to your door for free! For larger items, use a corrugated box with rigid sides, intact flaps, and plenty of room for cushioning on all sides. Don't exceed the maximum gross weight of the box (usually printed on bottom flap).

  • Seal It: Use strong tape designed for shipping, rather than masking tape, cellophane tape, string or paper over-wrap. Once you’ve sealed up your package, you can pay for shipping and print shipping labels right from your PayPal account. You can even request a pickup from USPS or UPS, saving you a trip to the Post Office or UPS location.

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Build Your Reputation

Build Your Reputation

Communication is the key to a successful transaction. Make sure you’re available before, during, and after the sale. Answer any questions about your item promptly. Include a thank you note in your package—it’s a great way to surprise and delight your buyer and encourage them to leave you positive feedback.

Always Leave Feedback

Feedback is extremely important for all eBay users. Consistent positive feedback lets buyers know that you manage transactions well and that you care about your reputation. One way to help ensure good feedback is to communicate well, represent your item truthfully in your listing, and be polite. Also remember your buyer’s feedback score is as important to them as yours is to you—so be courteous, thoughtful, and truthful when leaving feedback.

Express Yourself

Be more than just a username to your buyers. Introduce yourself through your About Me page and MyWorld. Add pictures, keep track of your favorite buyers, and tell the community about your interests and collections. Show your expertise by writing Reviews & Guides. Connect with other Sporting Goods traders on the Outdoor Sports Discussion Board. Remember, be yourself—and have fun!

Sell for a Cause

Support your favorite cause and enhance buyer trust and loyalty at the same time. eBay Giving Works listings tend to sell at higher final prices, because buyers are more willing to purchase, and often pay more for, items that benefit a nonprofit. Get more exposure and receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donations!

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