It occurred to me that after reading about selling your BlackBerry on eBay, some people might want to take action. Many of us could use a few extra dollars, and hawking an extra BlackBerry could put some more food on the table, or pay off some debt. However, not everyone is familiar with the eBay system. So today we’re going to take a quick walk through the process of listing your BlackBerry. Let’s have a look.
The first thing you’ll need to do is register for an eBay account at their site. When you hit the home page, on top you’ll see a link to register. Click it and then fill out all of the information on the following screen. Once done, eBay will send you a confirmation email which contains a link you must click to complete the process.
Listing your item
Once you’ve confirmed your account, it’s time to list your BlackBerry. As I said yesterday, you might find a bit of trouble at first. Many buyers are wary of sellers with no history, especially when it comes to expensive electronics. The tips which follow will include ways to make your listing most attractive to potential buyers. In the menu on top you’ll see a link for Sell. When you hover your cursor over it, it drops down into a menu. You might want to read tips for selling before going any further. To get to the selling part, click Sell an item. On the next screen you’ll see a big blue button that says Start selling. Click it.
Three steps to sell your BlackBerry
The first screen has you selecting a category for your item. Since I’m listing my 8830, I typed in “BlackBerry 8830 smartphone”. That brought up the screen you see to your right. Cell Phones & PDAs is the right category, and under it I checked the box for Cell Phones & Smartphones. Once the box is checked, scroll to the bottom and hit the Continue button. The next step, Create Your Listing, is where you’ll fill out all the specific information. Under Phone Brand, select BlackBerry from the drop-down menu. Under Carrier you’ll enter in yours. Mine is Verizon, so that’s what I picked. You need not enter anything into the Keyword box on the right if you fill out this part properly. You might get a “not found” error after clicking Search. If this is the case, as it was with me, click Skip this step. On the next page you’ll see a listing form. Since this guide is for beginners, I’d suggest the option on the right, Keep it simple. That brings you to the custom listing page. You have a 55 character description, so getting in all the keywords in a short span is crucial. Obviously you’re going to want the word BlackBerry, the device model number (e.g. 8830), any model name that might go with it (e.g. Pearl), and the carrier on which the service runs (e.g. AT&T). Here’s my headline: BlackBerry 8830 World Edition Verizon Simple and to the point. That leaves 18 characters remaining, and I don’t think there’s anything I can add which will be under 18 characters and will help me sell the phone. After you write your headline, it’s time to add a photo. This is crucial. Without a picture, you probably won’t sell the BlackBerry. People tend to trust listings with pictures over those without them. I also suggest photographing everything you intend to sell with the device. For instance, if I were to sell my 8830, I’d include everything that came with the device from the factory — data cable, charger, manual, leather holster, software, etc. So my one picture would include all of these items. You can add more photos for a 15 cent fee each. Next, you’ll have to describe the item. Be honest about the item condition. Used is probably what you should select. Then click on “add important details about this item.” This is where you can select the type of phone (smartphone), your carrier, contract information (hopefully there is none), and any features that come with the phone (GPS, MP3 player, etc.). After that, it’s on to the Camera, the brand (BlackBerry), the model, and the technology (CDMA, GSM). Finally, you’ll have to describe your item. Some marketers say that long copy sells more, but I’d go for short and sweet here. You’re not running a business; you’re just trying to sell your old model. Make sure to include all relevant details. For instance, here’s what I wrote for the 8830:
BlackBerry 8830 World Edition smartphone from Verizon Wireless. The phone is a year old, but has only been used for 10 months. The device is completely wiped, so a new user will start anew. The item comes with the original package and materials, which include a USB cable, charger, CD-ROM with software, leather carrying case, user manual, and international plug adapters.
I could use more keywords, sure. But I want to keep this nice and simple. Just a description of exactly what I’m selling. If the item doesn’t sell the first time, I might tweak the listing the second time around by adding more keywords to the description (SMS, GPS, email, Web browsing, etc.). Next up is the starting price. As I noted yesterday, starting lower is usually a better idea. You don’t want to overshoot the market and get no bids. Then again, if you’re adamant about getting a certain price, you might as well start around that. If it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t sell. Just know that if you start your auction at a high price, you do run that risk. I’m starting mine off at $50, as I noticed a lot of items getting bids at that price. I’m also setting it for three days, since most BlackBerry auctions I observed didn’t get any bids until the last day, anyway. You’ll have to pick a shipping method and price here, too. They have a shipping calculator which can help you make your decision. You’ll get to pick your shipping method. I prefer FedEx, but that’s because I have a FedEx mailbox outlet right around the corner. You might prefer U.S. Mail if you’re closer to a post office. You should also accept returns, which gives the buyer a seven-day trial period. You might see your item returned, but you’ll attract more bidders if you offer a return policy. Also, don’t overcharge for shipping. That can deter many potential bidders. Free shipping, if you can justify the cost, can really jump start your auction. Finally, it’s time to pick your method of payment. PayPal is by far the easiest way. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can sign up by clicking the above link. It’s a ton easier than this eBay process, I promise. After you do this, you’ll hit Save and preview.
Reviewing your listing
The initial fee is $1.00 for insertion, unless you brought up the price with additional pictures or other extras. You’ll get a chance to review your listing in this screen. This includes the main screen of your listing, plus how it will appear in the search results. If you’re happy, click the Continue button. Otherwise, hit the “Edit listing” link next to the button. Even though you’re technically signed in, you’ll have to log into your seller account. Do this, and you’ll be prompted for payment. You can choose PayPal, credit or debit card, or bank account. Select and continue. The next screen will have your phone number with a prompt to have eBay call you. This verifies your seller account. If you prefer another method, click “no thanks, verify my identity another way”. However, by phone is the easiest method. You’ll get a confirmation code in the phone call, which they will repeat three times. Once you enter your PIN and click continue, you’ll head to the payment screen. This is where you enter your PayPal account information, create your PayPal account, or else enter in your credit/debit card information. Once you finish getting all of that filled out and verified, you’ll be back at the Review your listing page. Click List your item, and you’ll be ready to go.
Now it’s time to sit back and wait for the bids
Once again, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get bids on your item the first time around. Bidders can be cautious when dealing with a new seller. Hang in there and see what you can get. If you have other, less expensive items to sell, you might consider auctioning them off in order to get a better seller rating before you sell your BlackBerry. If you do go through with this, be sure to leave the results in the comments. If I ever decide to sell my 8830 for real, I’ll let you guys know how it goes.