GAS - The Strain that is Guitar Acquisition Syndrome
5 Easy Steps to get the most dollar for your AXE on eBay!!
By Strings Direct – 29 August, 2023
We've all had a nasty bout of Guitar Acquisition Syndrome in our lifetime, everyone gets it, for some of us there isn't even a cure! But if you are like me and from time to time have a reality check realising you have spent this months mortgage payment on your new PRS Custom 22 and you need to offload some "old faithfuls" to balance the musical books then you usually head straight to eBay to get some quick cash!
There are many other easy ways to sell your guitars but to be fair eBay is the most effective and has become a generic resource to sell online for the man in the street!
But even though it seems eBay has been around since the dawn of time - a lot of sellers still fall into the trap of pushing up very poor listings which showcase their gear in the worst possible light and in turn get poor offers or bids and end up selling for a knockdown price.
We want to help you guys get the most dollar for your golla! So I have compiled 6 great tips to help you achieve a financial "stairway to heaven!"
1. Listing Title
Along with the images a great listing title is essential for grabbing a buyers attention. A good title will work wonders for your listing. Now, if you have access to software like Terapeak GREAT - that can be used to search for the perfect keywords to put into your title so that eBay will "spider out" and you'll get the most views on your listing. But if you don't have access to such software, simply search for other sellers (mainly businesses) selling the same item as they will have done all the research for you. Jot down a few awesome keywords and create the title from there. Alternatively you can use a free keyword tool such as Title Builder (linked below).
Try and remember to put main keywords up front in the title and end with specifics.
For example "Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Candy Apple Red - Maple Neck - USA Made"
*TIP - for the extra few pence it's always worth using the sub title option for your listing to promote extras like "Complete with Genuine Fitted Hard Case" as it shows up on the main listing page under the title.
2. - Images
Great images are the key selling point on eBay. Bad images = no sale. Simple. "But I'm not a expert photographer?" I hear you say - fear not!
Most of you won't be a dab hand behind the lens and the truth is you don't have to be, an iPhone is more than adequate for an effective eBay listing but do follow basic visual etiquette.
DO - Try and use a neutral background for your images - a nice white wall, or any light colour background is good practise for eBay listings or and a decent wall hanger always sets it off nicely instead of a floor stand.
DON'T - Take a picture of your guitar on your superman bedspread with your dirty gym socks creeping in to say hello!
DO - Use all eBay free images. They allow 12 free images to be uploaded so use them all. Take shots from different angles, close ups of blemishes or knocks and any extras like fitted hard case, case candy etc.. always helps to seal the deal!
DON'T - Edit or filter your photos. The last thing you want is the buyer to receive the guitar and decide the colour did not look the same and want to send it back. It costs you in time, return postage and bad feedback for future dealings.
This part isn't rocket science, a true honest description of your instrument is what buyers are looking for. Be sure to include as much relevant information as you can fathom or gather, if you can get an in-depth spec sheet from the manufacturers website that is perfect.
Serial Number is a must! As is an honest description of the full condition, outlining any marks the guitar may have.
And if you have a cool story behind the guitar that's always a nice little kicker.
Are one of the lucky few to ever play a famous venue or open for a well known band - add it in then!! You never know who is looking - just don't lie!
4. Item Specifics
This is a relatively new feature on eBay brought in around a year ago now. Use them as much as you can where possible fill in the colour, brand, MPN (Manufacturers Part Number), UPC (Barcode Number), where the instrument was made, basically as many fields as you can muster as eBay now use these to categorise your listing therefore the more info you add in the easier it is for potential buyers to find your listing and convert them to bidders!
The Holy Grail of the eBay Listing! My advice, do your research, you should search for other listings, check what has sold and what it sold for, check what was listed and didn't sell. This is all info that eBay displays openly.
If you are selling something low ticket and don't mind too much what you get for it, why not try it at 99p? The listing fees will be as low as they can be and it often gets a lot of interest & watchers and towards the end of the auction you will be surprised how many times you get a last minute bidding war between 3 or 4 bidders.
For something slightly more desirable then I'd always recommend starting at a sensibly low price, setting a reserve price you are happy with and even have a BUY IT NOW price that is quite high and adding the "OR BEST OFFER" function to attract buyers. Buyers love to offer a price in hope of getting a deal and if your buy it now is high you might find you get an offer that is your ideal price anyway!
For all auction listings 7 days is good practice and specifying the auction to end on a Sunday around 6pm-9pm - as many buys are in doors watching TV, flicking through their phones or laptops and are primed for a late bid!
BONUS 6. Delivery & Return Options
This one again is pretty simple. Over the years eBay has got a slight name for itself as a platform for fraud. So be smart and always factor in your postage costs. It's always cool to add FREE DELIVERY but if you are going to do that you must add it on to your final BUY IT NOW price.
Example - if you want £70 for your item and is costs £8.50 to ship - set the BUY IT NOW at £79
Always use a delivery service with a tracking number as there are buyers out there who are not totally honest and can quite easily say they have not received the goods. If you have no tracking number eBay will side with the buyer and you will lose out. Tracking numbers protect you and the buyer.
For competitive shipping rates try comparison sites such as Parcel2Go, it's a great resource to get the best possible service for the lowest possible cost. Just add the weight and dimensions of your guitar and let them do the rest! You can even pay via PayPal - EASY!
You can even do some research, by gathering the costs of shipping your guitar abroad using Parcel2Go and set the listing to list outside the UK also, this casts your net further than just the UK and with exchange rates varying this can sometimes can be very attractive to a foreign bidder. You can get far more than you expect from the auction!
Finally with returns just be sensible. For used gear set it around the 7-day returns policy and be fair with the buyer - if you have described the instrument as honestly as possible there should be no issue at all.
So good luck and happy selling!!!