You’ve heard of writer’s block. “Lister’s block”? Not so much. But after posting a question on our Facebook page a few weeks back, we realized “lister’s block”—that mental high hurdle keeping you from selling your unlisted inventory—is most definitely a thing. For many sellers, the struggle is real.
But it is hurdleable! (OK, not a word, but you get it.) Thankfully, quite a few sellers were eager to share their tips for overcoming lister’s block. Then, like they so often do, our community took it up a notch. Not only did sellers offer great ideas for heaving themselves (and their items) up and over the listing hump, they delivered stellar tips for listing faster and more efficiently, too. So, without further ado, here they are!
Beating back the beast of unlisted inventory? It starts with a plan.
Most every seller who responded to our post said the same thing: Just do it. That means scheduling a specific window of time in your day to list. Some sellers, like Kristie L., even make a game of it. Kristie gives herself a two-hour period each day to see how many items she can list, and cheers herself along by repeating words like “Hustle” and “Focus” in her head. Go Kristie!
Kristie isn’t the only one who uses high-octane words to fuel her listing engine. Lisa S. says she hangs a sign in her “To Be Listed” closet that boldly states “MY GOALS ARE NOT NEGOTIABLE. DO IT UNTIL IT’S DONE.” Lisa also makes listing prep a regular part of her end-of-the-day routine, lining up all the items that “WILL get listed” the next day.
Don’t get side-tracked by social media.
There’ll be plenty of time to comment on your friend’s hilarious cat video later tonight. And politics will still be around tomorrow. When you have inventory to list, push those Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to the side and turn off your notifications, so you can stay focused on the task at hand. That goes for TV, too (DVRs, people!). Don’t let anything come between you and your listings, at least for a couple of hours each day.
Let your listing past inspire your listing present.
Wouldn’t that be a great motivational poster? OK, maybe not. But the core idea is right on the money. Seeing what you’ve listed and its value can be an inspirational tool. Dawn R (who specializes in getting entrepreneurs organized) says she gets “great motivation by seeing my listing numbers grow.” Each day, Dawn notes how many items she listed, their price, and her total number of listings on a calendar. Why? Because “seeing how my time spent listing translates into potential $$ helps me value my time and effort.”
Then again, maybe it’s the very act of listing that’s cramping your selling style? If so, our intrepid sellers have some outstanding ideas for that, too.
To make listing easier, you’ve got to think like Ford (Henry, not Harrison).
What I mean by that is this: it pays to think of all those acts of listing as an object lesson in assembly-line efficiency. Photo-taking. Measuring. Describing. What can you do to streamline each step along the way?
More than a few sellers said they use their phones to take pictures, draft their listings, and even finish them up. Katrina R. says her phone’s camera is just as good as her DSLR, and it takes her half the time to upload them straight from the eBay app. She drafts listings on her phone, then finalizes them on her PC. Barb W. takes photos for multiple listings at one time, then uploads them in order, making it quicker to retrieve the photos she needs for listing later.
A number of sellers also recommended securing a tape measure to the end of your desk or shipping station for quick and easy measuring—especially handy for clothing and packages. Kristie L. says she measure hundreds of fashion items at once, marking it all down on small cards she pins to each (she gets her kids in on the act, too). Then, she has all that info available and ready to go, even if she doesn’t list all at once.
Never underestimate the power of “Sell one like this”.
Yeah, remember that link beneath the photos on any View Item page? Turns out it can be a tidy little tool for streamlining the listing process. Many sellers, like Logan S. recommended finding an item like the one you have to sell, then hitting “Sell one like this” to have many details all filled in for you. Just don’t forget to give your listing a quick review to make sure the title, description, and shipping details from the original listing match what you’re selling.
And for sellers who list items of the same type or category over and over again, using your own previous listings to start a new listing works, um, similarly. That way, you can copy your return policy and shipping info from one listing to another with a single click, which saves you all kinds of time. Take advantage of the hard work you’ve already done to make less work of what’s still left to do.
Thanks to lots of great advice from our sellers, overcoming lister’s block—and streamlining your listing process—doesn’t have to be battle, or a chore. So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading and start selling!
Have your own highway to the listing zone? We’re all ears. Please share your tips in the comments below. And feel free to pass along this article to your eBay colleagues via email, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. After you’re finished listing, of course.
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