Selling on Ebay usually starts because you want some extra cash selling unwanted items from around the house. Tips for selling on Ebay will help you to recycle and get something for your unwanted items than just dumping in the garbage. My son, being tennis player, we have unwanted lightweight tennis rackets, as he upgrades to heavier ones. They have been sitting around the place, so onto Ebay and sold them for $50 each ! That’s $300 thank you very much !
So a great way to move your ‘done with’ stuff, even empty perfume bottles or fishing tackle and make some money at the same time. But its much more than that, its also an opportunity to build a business, build followers on ebay by offering quality products, with great shipping.
If you have a penchant for PURE drink ware or Tervis Tumblers or even marbles.. items you can pick up at a car boot sale or charity shop that you can sell on, or maybe you have hunting gear, or perhaps you make candles…. Choose items that are easy to ship, that don’t take too much packing but are quality. Don’t be tempted to go for cheap rubbish, you want to build up a good reputation and particularly with items that are resellers, get those followers back for more.
How To Start
If you haven’t sold on Ebay before, then you need to set yourself up a business account. This is very straightforward, form-filling… routine.
Once your details are filled in, and they ask various, including your address, Ebay requires confirmation and this can be either a phone call or a text with a code to authenticate your details.
They ask details about your business too, they’re not to catch you out, just to understand more about who you are and what you do.
Once you have your account set up and it takes only minutes to do, you need to attach a form of payment to your Ebay account. This is not only so your customers can pay you but also for you to pay your sellers fees. These are minimal, but depending on the type of sale you decide on, determines how much.
Paypal is a very well accepted form of payment for both sides of a sale. It offers protection to both the seller and purchaser.
- Convenient for your purchaser as they can pay with one touch without having to put their card details in every time.
- Offer buyer protection for your purchasers, so they can be reassured that they are covered by Paypal when paying.
- The account can be used across millions of websites worldwide, you can pay friends through it.
- Use on any device.
- Its free to send money to friends and family within your country but there may be fees for other transactions such as currency conversions.
Paypal also offers specific features that will assist a business in keeping track of invoices and payments, gives you the ability to sell internationally as Paypal supports this. Paypal also offer small business funding, so something to think about going forward.
Ebay has very strict regulations on how to sell, what to sell, how bidding should be, payment of selling fees, seller performance policy. Theyre not divisive but there for the smooth running of the platform but also should something go wrong, there are safe guards for both sides, the seller and the buyer.
So first off there are things that you cannot sell on Ebay so best get them out of the way. It makes a safer and fairer trading experience for everyone.
- Partially Used Cosmetics – Clearly this would create a major health and safety issue apart from the obvious issue of them looking not new.
- Electronic Surveillance Equipment – This includes equipment for subterfuge – jamming phone paraphernalia. There are complex rules surrounding this type of product.
- Human Remains/Body Parts – Medical research bones/ skulls/ wigs from human hair are permitted. No Native American parts.
- Firearms/Weapons/Knives – This includes collectible items, firing pistols.
- Personal Information – Goes without explanation ! So many rules now about what you can and cannot do with this kind o information.
- Items Encouraging Crime – Even if you are locksmith, no lock picking equipment can be sold but spare parts for key cutting can be sold.
- Used Underwear – Even if washed, not for sale on Ebay.
- Animals or Related Items – Pets banned including endangered species (ivory included) but insects/crickets/bait can be sold, including live shellfish.
- Adult Only Paraphernalia – Anything for over 18’s not allowed, including nudes unless referred to as art.
Other Ebay Regulations
Shill Bidding – This is when bids artificially increase the price of the item, or its desirability, is prohibited. This might happen whether the buyer knows the seller or not. It creates an unfair advantage.
Ebay Fees – Trying to avoid paying ebay fees is not allowed.
Copyrighted Items – There is control on what copyrighted items can be sold.
Don’t get too bogged down with what you can and cannot sell… Sounds like a huge plethora of rules and regulations to navigate but they’re not so bad if you consider that there are hundreds of thousands successful transactions on Ebay every day. There are only a small number of people who try to buck the system.
How To Sell Well On Ebay
The decisions you make about how you are going to sell your products on Ebay will have an effect on your success. Consider each of these points and decide how you are going to approach this.
- Price Items For Most Profit – Work out how to price your items for profit by looking at completed auctions for the same or similar item. Don’t look at those that are for auction, your item is only worth what someone will pay for it. So look at completed listings not live ones.
- Avoid High Risk Items – There are unscrupulous con artists on Ebay and whilst they have rules and regulations, they do sometimes slip through the nets so stay clear of iPhones/handbags/autographed items without certificates of authenticity/event tickets – I once got so stung buying event tickets for my daughters to see One Direction in concert. I even rang up the seller to speak to them first, sounded so convincing, was totally taken in.
- Things To Sell – You have two choices… You can sell from what you have within your home…or choose a niche theme and sell within that. This could be in conjunction with a website you have. But within your home, you will have a huge number of items that will both declutter but also bring in revenue, someone’s crap is someone else’s crown. Check out completed listings to see what you can get for your used items – toys&collectibles/ lego/ barbie/ star wars/ vinyl records/ board games/ teacups/ leather shoes/ sporting..outdoor.. athletic clothing/ game consoles/ games/ poloroid cameras/ car parts/ power tools/ airplane amenity kits.
- Presentation – Choose a good, neutral background to take photos of your items. This shows the care you have taken to present it well, rather than some random photo with crumbs on a carpet or rubbish in the background. Shows the little regard you have for the item and therefore have not taken care of it, and potentially not take care packaging and shipping. Give a good impression to your potential purchasers.
- Selling Limits – You need a positive selling history for your selling limits to be increased – what you can sell and how many items you can sell. The easiest way for you to do this is to purchase some items, around 20 purchases. This increases your feedback and in turn improves your selling limits. Don’t purchase anything you don’t want, but small priced items – stocking fillers/ school supplies / dog treats… all perfect for improving your feedback and so increasing your selling limits. Once you have improved it, you can request your limits to be increased and go for it!
- Do Not Be Greedy – When you sell, your items are only worth what someone will pay for them, just like anything … houses – of course 2 years ago it was worth less/more.. but really its only worth what someone is prepared to pay, works for anything. So double check the completed listings and an honest, saleable price for your items.
- Supplies – Get shipping supplies, a scale weight so your items are correctly weighted and packaged. That goes a long way when your purchaser receives the item. If it looks like you’ve taken little care to ensure the parcel arrives shipping safely, you will suffer with the feedback.
Choose The Right Listing
Auction or Fixed Price ?
Both have their pros and cons.
Start your Auction at a decent price, one that you are happy to accept, if its an item that is in short supply, you will do well. If there are lots being auctioned, think carefully about what you want to do, maybe keep it for another day when its not up against others, or reduce what you will accept for it. Remember to take a look at completed sales to see what previous ones went for, it will give you a good idea of what you can expect.
Fixed Price sales may take longer to achieve a buyer but generally you will get a better price. It depends on how long you are prepared to wait.
Free Shipping – Well I suppose we all know that when free shipping is offered, its usually already been added to the cost of the item. So this is something you can accept and swallow into the price of the item.
Alternatively you can Charge Shipping – and be upfront about how much it actually is. If its calculated correctly, no one minds paying it and shows a genuine attitude to your sales. Weigh your parcel, list the dimensions and accurately charge for shipping, if you want, you can offer different modes of shipping so your buyer can choose how fast they want their purchase.
If you have listed your item accurately with various images of the item from different angles, then you are likely not to have many if any returns. If the item is damaged or scratched, don’t ignore it, show images of the scratch, making sure the listing details it, you have nothing to hide and no point in thinking you can sell something as ‘mint’ condition when its scratched, people aren’t going to accept it, and you will have to refund.
I once, accidentally, sold a dented racket, by mistake. Absolutely no point in trying to get out of issuing a refund. It was a mistake, and people are very happy if you are upfront with them and do not argue about it.
List your returns policy clearly on your Ebay account so there is no ambiguity. Ebay give details on how to write a returns policy so don’t stress about it, but cover yourself from those unscrupulous buyers who will try to swindle you. Possibly one thought to have is that if an item has to be returned, that it is at the purchasers expense… Consider it….
Follow the suggestions in my article and you will have only good experiences selling on Ebay. Don’t cut corners, build up a good following with excellent feedback. If things go wrong, be up front and sort it out, you can resurrect a problem and make it a positive one again. A great place to sell with minimal costs and send your followers to your website for more great deals !
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Hi and thank you for sharing this article about selling on ebay. I know some people make great money selling on ebay because it’s so popular and millions of people go on ebay and buy or sell each day. The only thing I don’t like about when I am buying on ebay is all of the china sellers, yes they are cheap but the delivery time is so substantial. How can I avoid seeing all of these china sellers?
You can filter your views so you only see sellers in your location or continent. It is frustrating when you find something you want, to find its from China and will take 3 weeks to get to you.
One of my friends came over to my house and he met quite a number of unused appliances and wares. He told me to get them up on eBay and sell them and make some money off them so I needed to know how it worked. Well, I’m definitely not going to sell used underwear. Lol . Thanks for all the tips, thank goodness I have a PayPal account, it’ll be very easy to get paid. Thanks again.
This has come in handy to me at thus particular time since we just moved to a new apartment, I want to depart with most of the not so used equipments and wears at home but I also want to make extra cash with them and I got told that I can only do that with eBay. Seriously, you’ve given me complete overview as to how I need to go about the process of selling on it, means of payment and also the various factors to consider before selling. Thanks for this help
Thanks for the thorough guide to selling on eBay. It does not seem to be too hard to get set up, but if you do not follow the guidelines, you can get into trouble. I know that we have sold on that platform in the past with success. It ended up being too competitive and expensive (low-profit margin) so we started our own e-commerce store.
It has been a while since we have worked with that platform but the rules are pretty much the same. Is there only the PayPal payment gateway or can you use Stripe or Authorize dot net or similar? I like to have payment options for clients as some do not want to or cannot use PayPal.
The rest of your advice is spot on, and selling on eBay can be a lucrative venture if you follow the rules and do not get greedy or try to cut corners. Customer service is king, no matter what platform you use, and eBay is no different. We worked very hard to make sure there were no unhappy customers. I would use the platform again if needed…
Thanks Dave, great to hear your experience with Ebay, I would recommend it in conjunction with an e-commerce store, more irons in the fire. There are other ways to pay but Paypal is by far the easiest.
I’ve worked in the past for a while, I had some sales.
It’s a platform well known across the globe where there is a lot of competition
Quite rightly list some categories that can help you sell, with the appropriate keywords having a good percentage of sales
I like what you mentioned to create a list of products we want to sell a very important step
Another important thing you mentioned is that we should sell with ” Free Shipping ”
Thanks a lot for this interesting post
Awesome post, this is a very useful information. I never knew I could make money from selling these items. I have quite a number of electronics which are just there in my house filling spaces. I’ll log on to eBay and register so I could sell them and make some cash. Seem like nothing is a waste after all.
Thats the spirit ! Nothing is wasted… 😁
What a well detailed and informative post. You definitely gave me all the basics that I need to get started selling on eBay.I really enjoyed your list of things to watch out for. I didn’t realize eBay was even still a thing but your $300 says otherwise! Sorry about the concert tickets though. does eBay offer buyer protection?
Thankyou Ginger, I am pleased that you find it comprehensive and I hope it will be useful to you. Ebay offers some buyer protection as does Paypal but this was in the days when concert tickets were not quite so regulated as they are now.
What a great comprehensive guide to selling Ebay! I appreciate it.
Arbitrage is the oldest most effective way to earning profits and the digital world has made that business model so accessible. I actually recommend any one selling a collection of something to do it online through Ebay and having Paypal mediate the transaction. We live in very opportunistic times!
I really appreciate the in depth explanation of the rules and terms of service. I can imagine that people try to sell anything and everything on there. There is a niche for anything you can imagine, afterall lol.
Have you sold anything else beside your son’s tennis rackets on Ebay?
Thanks Wilson, Ebay is definitely a positive experience if you know the regs at the start off. Avoids so much of the unnecessary arguments that can occur. I have sold lots of things on Ebay over the years, with great success and fun!