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John Mendoza Profile
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Writing an eBay Ad 101, Part Four, Final Installment


Well, if you've stayed with me, we are now ready to wrap up the ad with just two more steps. These two are the easiest and the first one can, in fact, be omitted if you don't have suitable text.

First, at this point in the ad, if you have any interesting stories about the prop or your actual on-hands experience with it, this is the place to put it. Keep it brief and be sure it is interesting. You don't want anything like, "I did this before a group at the such and such Corporation and they all burst into applause. I found myself with eight more bookings just because of this one trick!" Experiences like that are lame. They can't be substantiated and, true or not, they sound phoney (and usually are.)

You want something that is interesting, maybe has a twist, and places emphasis on the item you are selling and not you or your performance of it. For me, the Educated Pencil does, in fact, have an interesting story and if you've read my ads, you all probably know it. I would add this at this point:

"I'll tell you how good this puzzle really is. Years ago during a visit to Harold Martin's magic shop in Peoria, IL, he showed me this and then handed it to me with the statement, 'If you can figure this out in 15 minutes, I'll give you my store, and I am not kidding!' Well, needless to say, I tried and tried, but could not figure this great puzzle out and I never owned Harold Martin's Magic Shop on Jefferson in Peoria. It is that clever."

Okay, so now our ad reads:

"This is Amac's Educated Pencil from England. Created around 1938, even some 70 years later this is still, in my opinion, the best magic puzzle of the "I-can-do-it-you-can't" genre ever created. I have owned one for years and have yet to meet anyone who could figure this out unless, of course, they knew of it beforehand. Yes, it is that good. Here's the effect.

The magician shows a small pencil, a chrome tube and two brass caps. He then inserts the pencil into the tube and caps both ends and gives it a little shake. He then removes the pencil and stand it on its end. He then challenges a spectator to do the same. No matter how much he tries,he cannot make the pencil stand! The magician may immediately take the props back and repeat, but nobody else can do it!

Keep in mind, this uses no magnets, no threads, no sticky substances and no outside gimmicks of any kind. It is entirely self-contained, only the caps, pencil and tube are used, nothing added or taken away. Absolutely no amount of examination will reveal the secret of this ingenious mechanical pencil!

I'll tell you how good this puzzle really is. Years ago during a visit to Harold Martin's magic shop in Peoria, IL, he showed me this and then handed it to me with the statement, 'If you can figure this out in 15 minutes, I'll give you my store, and I am not kidding!' Well, needless to say, I tried and tried, but could not figure this great puzzle out and I never owned Harold Martin's Magic Shop on Jefferson in Peoria. It is that clever."

As I said, if you have nothing interesting to tell at this point in the ad, simply omit this step. It won't detract from your ad. The final part is simply descriptive and tells exactly what's included, the condition of the item and any other necessary information. For example, this would not apply to our example here, but if it was a heavy item you might say something to the effect of warning bidders to be sure to review the shipping charges as they will be high due to the weight or size of the item. If you can avoid any unexpected surprises, you want to do so here.

After you make these points, add a closing statement. That statement can be a sort of "thanks for reading and good luck if you bid statement," or a final statment to appease the readers into making a bid. The ending to this ad would be as follows:

"In perfect mint condition, this includes the pencil, tube and caps, and full original instructions. If you love puzzles, don't miss this gem."

Okay, that last part should be direct and to the point. Simply state the condition and what is included. Be absolutely sure to clearly state here if your item is missing instructions. That is one of the big headaches of selling used props. Instructions are important to everyone whether they are buying it to perform or just collect, so if they are not included, be sure to clearly say so here. The closing statement I chose for this ad is the final appeal type and emphasizes who the market might be and ends the ad on a positive point for the item by describing it as a "gem." The final ad reads:

"This is Amac's Educated Pencil from England. Created around 1938, even some 70 years later this is still, in my opinion, the best magic puzzle of the "I-can-do-it-you-can't" genre ever created. I have owned one for years and have yet to meet anyone who could figure this out unless, of course, they knew of it beforehand. Yes, it is that good. Here's the effect.

The magician shows a small pencil, a chrome tube and two brass caps. He then inserts the pencil into the tube and caps both ends and gives it a little shake. He then removes the pencil and stand it on its end. He then challenges a spectator to do the same. No matter how much he tries,he cannot make the pencil stand! The magician may immediately take the props back and repeat, but nobody else can do it!

Keep in mind, this uses no magnets, no threads, no sticky substances and no outside gimmicks of any kind. It is entirely self-contained, only the caps, pencil and tube are used, nothing added or taken away. Absolutely no amount of examination will reveal the secret of this ingenious mechanical pencil!

I'll tell you how good this puzzle really is. Years ago during a visit to Harold Martin's magic shop in Peoria, IL, he showed me this and then handed it to me with the statement, 'If you can figure this out in 15 minutes, I'll give you my store, and I am not kidding!' Well, needless to say, I tried and tried, but could not figure this great puzzle out and I never owned Harold Martin's Magic Shop on Jefferson in Peoria. It is that clever.

In perfect mint condition, this includes the pencil, tube and caps, and full original instructions. If you love puzzles, don't miss this gem."

Beyond what we have here, the ad should now state specific terms for the purchase. These terms, other than the actual shipping charges, should never change. For my ads, I use a template which has the terms already in. The only thing I ever need to change within the terms are the amounts charged for shipping and, sometimes, the length of the auction from 3 days to 5 days. If you dont want to ship internationally, clearly state that here.

This ad is very similar to the one I originally wrote for the first Educated Pencil I sold on eBay about four years ago. As outlined in Part One of this study, the ad resulted in high bidding activity and an exceptional price. Even though it takes me about 35-45 minutes to compose, set and post each ad I list, I find it worth the time expended. It nets results.

The most important thing is to make your ad interesting. Even if an ad is lengthy it WILL get read if it is interesting. Emphasize the item, not yourself. Make the benefits of the item clear to the bidders. Try to make every sentence count. Each one should provide some new information about the item.

And, I do hope this final instruction is obvious to everyone reading this, be absolutely honest. It will result in problem-free selling. Thanks for reading, everyone!




2/2/2007, 2:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to John Mendoza   Send PM to John Mendoza
 
Tom Jorgenson Profile
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Registered: 01-2007
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Re: Writing an eBay Ad 101, Part Four, Final Installment


Many thanks for the series. I try to write tights ads, but you've helped alot, and probably put money in my pocket.

Owe ya a beer for that!

Tom
2/11/2007, 9:01 am Link to this post Send Email to Tom Jorgenson   Send PM to Tom Jorgenson
 


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