Revealed: What makes users bid higher on eBay?
Filed under: Shopping & Deals
So what's the secret?
Shopping for the home
ColourIt appears that a huge amount depends on the background colour of the item you are bidding for. The study, by the University of Virginia and published in the Journal of Consumer Research, asked their subjects to pretend they were buying a Nintendo Wii on eBay. They were then shown three different lots: with either a blue, red or grey banner.
Shopping for the home
When the background was red, bidders were inclined to bid higher. Buyers were happy to bid up to $131 for the Wii. That compares to a maximum of $125 with other colours. The researchers concluded that red "induces aggression and excitation."
In a second test, they added a 'buy it now' option for $149.99 - which actually made people bid less on the item with the red background. Those with a blue background were, meanwhile, prepared to pay more.
They concluded that items with a 'buy it now' option were more like negotiations than competitions. Red rendered people less able to negotiate, while a cool blue encouraged people to weigh up their options and consider compromises.
Sell for moreThe good news is that you can easily use this to your advantage. You can be as in-your-face as you like, putting the item on a red background in the photograph or ensuring any electronic item has something red on screen. You can also customise your description to place it on a red background for the full red effect.
However, this isn't the only way to push up the price on eBay. The experts also suggest five top tips which can make a huge difference.
1. Pick the right starting price. Set this as your cost price, so if you sell to the first bidder you will exactly break even. This means you never lose out, but you are seen as well-priced, and all you need is two bidders to make some money.
2. Don't try to make money on postage. People will consider the total cost, and will be irritated by inflated postage prices.
3. Be really clear about the product. This applies to the picture and the text. People need to know exactly what they are bidding for and the condition it is in.
4. Time it right. The best time to set your auction to close is Sunday evening, when more people are online and bidding.
5. Consider a longer auction. Setting up a ten day auction on a Thursday will help you benefit from traffic over two weekends, and may be worth the extra cost.