How to Sell Big Ticket Items on eBay

By Elizabeth Mott

Auction house eBay retired its overlapping-character logo in 2012.
i Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When you want to raise some household cash or sell extra belongings to clear away clutter, eBay can offer an option that takes less effort than a yard sale and leaves more profit in your pocket than a consignment house. Elevating your eBay sales to include expensive merchandise entails more than the expectation of greater revenue. To attract the reputable buyers you want for a big-ticket item, set yourself and your listing up for success.

Manage Your Seller Profile

To sell big-ticket items on eBay, present a trustworthy seller profile. A high level of overwhelmingly positive feedback helps project a good impression, but unscrupulous sellers pad their feedback count with small purchases or through shill buying of items sold by other accounts they control. In October 2013, eBay eliminated item details from feedback listings, making it impossible to differentiate substantive activity from a trail of $0.01 purchases. Nonetheless, an eBay subscriber whose history lacks evidence of successful selling may have difficulty attracting buyers to a listing for expensive goods.

Describe Your Item Well

Use up to 80 characters to title an eBay listing. Think quality, not quantity, and take advantage of the title to include buzz words a prospective buyer will recognize and seek out. Don't waste precious title space on meaningless attention-getting tactics, such as long strings of exclamation points or filler characters meant to catch the eye. When you craft your description, be thorough. If your item comes with an unique history, tell its story. Emphasize legitimate one-of-a-kind aspects that make your item worthy of a big-ticket price. Detail its condition accurately, disclosing any flaws that a buyer should consider. Enhance your listing with clear, well-lit, in-focus photographs that show your item as a whole and provide close-up views of significant details. Prospective buyers can ask you questions through the eBay system, but a well-rounded description promotes a professional appearance for your listing.

Specify Buyer Requirements Clearly

Every eBay buyer starts with zero feedback. That doesn't mean your big-ticket listings should serve as new subscribers' initial forays into eBaying. When you sell expensive goods, you may prefer to limit buyers to those in your own country. Delineate clear limitations on buyer attributes and cancel bids from buyers who miss the mark. Additionally, make your payment expectations clear, including how soon after the end of the auction you expect the buyer to complete the transaction and which payment options you accept.

Offer an Approved Escrow Option

Escrow services abound on the Internet, but eBay designates as its approved service for U.S. transactions. You can incorporate an escrow option into any eBay transaction, but most eBay sellers use them only for big-ticket items such as vehicle listings on eBay Motors. An escrow service acts as an intermediary between buyer and seller, holding the buyer's money until the item shipment arrives and the goods meet the buyer's satisfaction. If an item doesn't pass muster, the buyer returns it, paying the shipping cost as well as the escrow fee in a policy designed to eliminate impulsive returns.