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How To Sell Shoes on eBay: Five Tips From eBay's Fashion Director

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How to become a master eBay seller, straight from eBay's Head of Fashion
How to become a master eBay seller, straight from eBay's Head of Fashion

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From vintage scores to barely worn designer finds, eBay is an endless source of amazing footwear gems for your shoe closet. But you know that already. As we enter spring and summer—a.k.a. shoe season!—most of us could use some help on the other side of the eBay coin: the seller's seat.

We talked to eBay's Fashion Director Heidi Ware to get her insider tips on how to maximize your assets when re-selling your shoes. "I've just recently become a much bigger seller," she told us, and shoes are one of her most successful items. From Jeffrey Cambell heels to Swedish Hasbeens clogs and Coach snow boot she never wore (they seemed like such a good idea at the time!), she's learned all the tricks for unloading the shoes that no longer require a place of honor in her closet. After the jump, five tips straight from the expert herself. Happy selling!

Photography: With more than 3 million active shoe listings currently on the site, photography matters. A lot. "Because I art direct photo shoots for a living, I know a couple easy tricks for product shots." Ware creates a make-shift "seamless"—that huge roll of paper that serves as a background in the majority of catalog shots you see—by taping together pieces of white paper and tacking it up on her bedroom wall. She found that the shoes she shot on the seamless sold better than the ones she did against the wall or floor. "That simple paper trick was perfect. No distractions, beautiful white background..." Works like a charm.

Multiple Views: Would you buy a shoe you couldn't first examine it from all angles? Probably not, and neither would the majority of shoppers on eBay. Ware recommends multiple views of everything. "I shoot the profile of the right shoe, then I shoot them together straight on, and then I tip them over and shoot the bottoms. Three views of each shoe, plus details of any flaws." Images are free, so no need to hold back.

Details, Details, Details: Include brand, color, and size, and make sure to note if the item is associated with any trend (tribal print, platform, pointy toe, what have you) because you never know how people are going to search. "Think about how people talk, and then translate that to your product description," recommends Ware. When possible, also include the actual product name from the vendor in the listing title and repeat it in the product description.

The Art of Pricing: Ware recommends performing a mini competitive analysis before deciding on a listing price, whether you're doing a "buy it now" price or not. "I look up the item on eBay, and note the similar items that didn't sell and the items that did sell. Then I develop my listing price based on what's selling on the site." If you believe that your Isabel Marrant wedge sneakers are worth the $600 you paid for them, just check and make sure eBay buyers agree with you before listing. Otherwise, you and your wedge sneakers might have a longer future together than you actually want.

Timing Is Everything: As with so many other things in life, timing matters. Ware says she's had the most success when she lists items on Sunday evening. "Sunday night people are generally home and hunkered down, and are around to respond to the sale ending prompt the following week." It's also good timing for the seller: you can package up all your sold items on Sunday night and have them out the door on Monday morning.

And here's a bonus tip: Embrace the app. "The tablet app is amazing. I know I sound like a commercial, but it makes it sooo easy," says Ware. And she means it. She made $1200 in one week using it.
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