Sell what you know. If you are good at finding bargains or rare items in a particular category, consider specializing in items that you know a lot about. Know what you can't sell. Obviously, illegal and hazardous items like human body parts, drugs, live animals and illicit services are not allowed. Other items may be sold, but are restricted, such as those sold in the "adults only" category.
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Check eBay's policies on banned and restricted items  to avoid having your account suspended or even permanently banned. Minimize risk by selling what you already have, or by starting small. If you're not sure what to sell, it's risky to build up inventory without conducting a few sales first.
Try listing a few small items to get a feel for what sells and the logistics involved. You can start by selling things you have around the house that you are no longer using, or by picking a few items to experiment with that you can either return or keep for yourself. It's important to experiment before loading up on too much inventory. You may not be able to sell your items at a high enough price to make a profit, or you could end up with a lot of extra inventory that's hard to move.
If you already have some inventory from your existing collections or business, you're ready to go! Making a few sales can help you figure out the best approach to selling your goods on eBay. Consider how you will source your items. Often, what you sell is determined by what you can find. It can take time and effort to source things for eBay, so it's important to find a sourcing method that you enjoy and that you're comfortable with. Some people look for items that are underpriced, badly presented or have misspelled titles.
If you enjoy thrift stores or garage sales, this is a great place to start. Just remember that you usually can't return what you buy, so you may end up with items that cannot sell. Discount, warehouse and outlet stores are good places to find bargains, and often have a return policy you can take advantage of if your items don't sell. Consider how long you will spend listing each item. Remember, you have to take pictures, write descriptions, and figure out how to ship every single item you sell.
This takes time, so it's more efficient to sell similar items, and items that are easy to photograph and describe. Try to find things in bulk, or with similar features. That way you can create listing templates for yourself, or even just create one listing for multiple items. Look for items that are easy to describe, photograph, and ship. Look for items that you can easily ship in the same manner, so that you can pack things quickly and get bulk discounts on shipping materials. Consider shipping and storage logistics.
Bulky and heavy items can be difficult to make a profit on, because they can be expensive to ship, and take up a lot of space. Buyers look at the total cost of the item, including shipping, so the shipping cost always has to be factored in when considering if an item can be sold at a reasonable price. Think about space as an important issue. Working from home selling things can reduce overheads but if your stock starts taking over the space, your life won't be the same.
Do you have room for your products and room to wrap, pack and store purchased items? Consider how quickly you can move your inventory, and how long you are willing to wait.
How to Sell on eBay for Beginners!
Be aware that trends can pass quickly, leaving you with stale stock. For other items, you might have to wait longer for the collector or other interested buyer to turn up. Know what's hot. Obviously, the more popular an item is, the more people will be searching and bidding for it. This requires a certain knack, and often successful sellers are people that intuitively know what will sell. However, eBay does have some tools for pinpointing what is popular.
Check out eBay's hot items page . Items commonly listed here include brand name clothing, electronics, gold jewelry, fashion accessories and football shirts.
How To Sell on eBay
Look at completed listings. This allows you to see how many of a particular item has sold, when they were sold, and how much they sold for. If you have the eBay app on your mobile device, this can be particularly useful if you're at a store or garage sale and are unsure about whether to buy something. Type your query into eBay's search box, then check the boxes next to "Sold listings" or "Completed listings" in the "Show only" section of the menu on the left of the page. For the mobile app, enter your search words, then tap "Refine.
Be aware that if something is popular, there will be many sellers selling the very same things as you. It can be difficult selling in a category that is already saturated because it's so easy to get lost in the sheer number of search results, and prices are already so cheap that it's nearly impossible to make a profit as a small seller. Also, your low feedback rating puts you at a disadvantage. Popular items attract scammers who prey on inexperienced sellers who do not know how to protect themselves. Research your market. Search eBay for items like those you want to sell, and read the listings, especially completed listings which have sold for a good price, or current listings that have attracted a lot of bids.
Take note of what sort of information or photos you find most helpful to you as a potential buyer — the same type of information will be helpful to your potential buyers. Consider what makes you think a seller is trustworthy and how you will manage to convey that same sense of trustworthiness through your sales and profile.
Enter a title for your listing. The title is the front line in getting your auction noticed. A good title will not only give potential buyers enough information to know whether the listing is worth their time to look at, it will also attract people searching for your items. Include all relevant words and spell them correctly.
Keep the words relevant. Exclude fluff such as "cool" or "excellent". Include alternative spellings and phrasings if you have space. For example, if you're selling an iPod, put " MP3 player " in your title. However, eBay's search will automatically account for variant phrasings; it will also sometimes check category names in addition to the auction title. Do a search on specific terms and look at the titles of the auctions that come up.
Take good photographs of your item. Photographs which clearly illustrate the item to be sold can make a listing; bad photographs can actually repel customers. Get a cheap digital camera or a camera phone if you don't have one already.
You are required to include at least one photograph with your listing, and having more than one photo definitely boosts buyers' confidence. You can have up to 12 photos per listing. Use good lighting. Where possible, turn off your flash and use natural light. Go outside, or take a photo by a window.
Rotate or crop any photos that might need it for a better appearance, and use photo editing software or eBay's photo editor to improve the picture. Get as many photographs as your buyers will need. Take photographs of your item from every angle that you think someone will find useful. Get photographs of any unusual feature, any defects, and so on. The extra confidence that this will give buyers is almost always except on the lowest-valued items worthwhile.
Of course, some items only need one photo; use your judgment here. Don't use a distracting or dirty background and get rid of any nearby clutter. A simple sheet of white paper may be used to provide a clean, neutral background for smaller items. Don't copy photographs from other listings or anywhere else on the Internet, ever.
Apart from being dishonest and fraudulent, this will almost always be copyright infringement ; nearly everything on the Internet, and elsewhere, is copyrighted, whether it has a copyright notice or not. See how to take better product photos for free for more ideas on producing good photos for eBay sales. Enter a description for your item.
Include any and all relevant information. This includes things like the manufacturer, compatibility for items intended to be used with something else , size, weight, color, condition, measurements, and so on. Be careful when adding too much information. A buyer can skim through information they do not need to know, but will likely hit the "back" button if they don't see the information they want. Extra information can also help search engines find your listing. Put the most important information at or very near the beginning of the listing.
Keep the design simple, if you see the need to design a listing at all. Some sellers clutter their listings with unrelated elements that that it makes the listing itself more difficult to read, and display improperly on mobile devices. Let the pictures and your text speak for themselves. Choose moderately large, easy to read text fonts for your listing and don't overdo animation, clashing colors and other distractions. Remember some buyers have poor eyesight and prefer large print.
Think of "large print books" as an example of text size. Be clear about any defects in the item. Buyers will find this out anyway, so let them decide for themselves what is a significant problem and what is not. However, if your item has flaws, consider not selling it at all on eBay. You don't want to get a reputation for selling junk. On negative feedback can seriously hurt or even destroy a small seller. Pick a selling format. You can choose whichever is convenient for you and best suited to your item The online auction.
Auctions last from days, and can sometimes allow you to get a higher price for your item, because it encourages buyers to become competitive with each other, and enjoy the thrill of winning an item as much as the item itself. This is good when you have something to sell that people frequently search for and seem inclined to fight over, such as a rare piece of sports memorabilia. The auction format is also useful when you're uncertain as to what price you should sell at, and can help you determine the price for similar items in the future.
Buy It Now items are fixed-price items. They allow the buyer to buy something and have it shipped to them immediately, rather than having to wait for the auction to end. This is great for items that people either buy routinely or on impulse, or for items where the supply already outstrips the demand, and where you want to offer a competitive price. Items which people need immediately are unlikely to attract many bids in an auction.
Set your price according to how much you paid for the item, your time, eBay fees, and how much it costs to ship. Remember that once someone buys an item from you or the auction ends, it constitutes a binding agreement to sell, and it is difficult to get past this unless both parties agree to cancel the sale. See how to determine what to price your eBay items for more details. You can change the price at any time with fixed-price items, or before the first bid is placed for auction items. Lower starting bids attract more bidders and interest in your item, and may well result in your item selling for more, but if an item doesn't generate enough interest or isn't visible enough, you may get a very low final selling price.
There is an option to set a "reserve" price for your item while offering a low starting bid, but eBay charges extra for this and some buyers find it annoying. Don't overcharge for shipping and handling. While it's sometimes helpful to tweak the shipping price a bit to be able to offer a lower price, and account for handling and supplies, most buyers will be put off by obviously inflated shipping charges. These days, buyers expect free shipping, and eBay boosts items' visibility in the search if they offer free shipping. Unless your item is particularly heavy, increase your opening bid or Buy-It-Now price and offer free shipping.
Keep an eye on the invoices that eBay sends you and be a timely payer. You will owe commission fees and other fees over time from listing and you need to make regular, full payments in order to be able to continue listing your items for sale. While the fees might initially surprise you, treat them as very much a part of your business expenses and soon you'll remember that these need to come off the costs of your products and efforts.
Choose when to start and end your auction. Auctions end 1, 3, 5, 7 or 10 days after you start them. When the auction ends and how long it lasts can make a difference in how much your item sells for. By scheduling your auction to end at a peak buying time, you can often get a higher selling price.
Auctions ending on weekends tend to catch high traffic, therefore increasing the chances of better end prices for your items. For example, beach gear does better in summer while skis will do better in winter. You can check out eBay's planned promotions for certain categories [pages. Check this out and plan your sales for when these categories will be highlighted. Keep a friendly tone. Many sellers seem to go to extra efforts to intimidate potential customers; they seem to think it's essential to leave scream threats invariably in huge, colored fonts to report non-paying bidders, and so on.
Don't do this! You wouldn't want to buy from a brick-and-mortar store wherein the owner watched you every move, nor would you want to shop at a store wherein the sales clerk complained about other customers. The Internet is no different; it's insulting to your potential buyers to treat them as potential thieves or wrongdoers; drop the bad faith approach.
If you must include additional information on your policies, ensure the length is shorter than your item description. Consider offering a return policy. Not only does this help you to qualify for discounts on eBay, some sellers believe it makes buyers more likely to commit to buy.
Very few buyers actually return their purchases, so you are likely to profit more from letting buyers feel secure than to lose money from returns. On the other hand, the discounts eBay gives to Top Rated Plus sellers who offer discounts is small enough that a single return can cost more than the monthly discount for small sellers. If you offer a return policy, all buyers are allowed to return everything they buy from you for any reason; you can never refuse a return, even for buyer's remorse. If you officially don't offer returns, you can still take them on a case-by-case basis.
Answer questions from your buyers as the auction runs its course. Be prompt about it, and always be patient, clear, professional and friendly. Buyers don't like to see unanswered questions and it impacts your professionalism, so don't hesitate to respond. Double-check everything before saving.
Be sure that when you're done with everything at the end you're at the "overview" page to double check and press "Submit. You'll then get an e-mail confirming that your product was placed on eBay. Check your spelling. This won't make up for a bad listing in other respects, but it still goes some way.
Proper capitalization and punctuation makes listings much easier to read. Fix any mistakes. You can continue to fix mistakes in an auction until the first bid has been placed, after which, it is what it says! Watch the auction. You'll get an idea of interest by watching the counter change and if few people are looking, you might need to make adjustments to the auction to make it more appealing to those browsing about the site.
Learn by observing what works and does not work, and apply changes as needed. End an auction if needed. You have the ability to end an auction up to 12 hours before it's due to end. This should be used very sparingly though, as watchers may well have been excited about making bids and will be disappointed to see this as habitual. Keep it for exceptional circumstances such as broken, lost or stolen items. Once you have listed products for sale, keep them in a safe place.
Lower the reserve price. Prior to the last 12 hours of an auction, it's possible to lower the reserve price if you find that you're not getting bids. Keep an eye on buyers. It is possible to block some buyers for certain reasons such as buyers who don't have PayPal , buyers who are in countries you don't ship to and buyers with two or more unpaid item strikes. And you can also set up Approved Buyers lists that automatically allow some buyers to bid.
When the item sells and has been paid for, be ready to ship promptly. Package your items neatly and securely. If items are fragile, improper packaging can result in broken items and unhappy customers! Conversely, excellent packaging can really improve a buyer's impression of the sale.
It's a good business practice to leave positive feedback for fast-paying customers. You can also use it as a promotional opportunity by saying something like "Thanks for shopping at My eBay Store! Please come back soon! If you're selling original art or handmade goods of any kind, participate in eBay groups for your product. Some hobbyists sell in order to fund their purchases.
Read threads, be pleasant and friendly, don't engage in flame wars and compliment anything you like. It's a good way to make friends and get involved in a thriving niche community. Use the power of social networking to promote your listings. Blog about your listings, for example, especially if you're an artist or crafter. Share them on Facebook and Twitter. Include the shipping price in the total price or minimum bid.
People will look at things that have cheap or free shipping, which in turn may make them more inclined to buy.
How to sell on eBay
Sell inexpensive items to build up your feedback. Your feedback score is an oft-overlooked component of buying and selling on eBay. Buyers deciding between identical or near identical listings will usually opt for the one whose seller has a higher feedback rating. Boosting your feedback rating, as a result, is very important.
After you have become an established seller, consider opening a store or shop on eBay. This may be attractive if you want people to be able to search via your own distinct URL on search engines , you want to group sales items together under unique categories of your own making and if you want to build a really interesting profile for your regular and other buyers.
Do not sell anything on eBay that you cannot afford to lose. Describe your item as if there were no pictures, and photograph your item as if there was no description. Read a book on selling before you get started. At best, eBay is a get-rich-slow scheme. Unfortunately, many new sellers get scammed and find it's a get-poor-quick scheme. Do not open an eBay account to sell your iPhone or designer handbag.
Professional scammers are looking for new sellers offering popular items, and they will take both your item and your money. It's best to sell items like this though craigslist, letgo or another app that facilitates face-to-face cash transactions. The best way to avoid being scammed is to be as knowledgeable as possible about selling. There is no foolproof way.
Even sellers with decades of experience get scammed occasionally. That's why we say never to sell anything on eBay that you can't afford to lose. So, how do you become knowledgeable about selling on eBay? These benefits help increase potential sales and increase your profit margins. If and when merchant status is achieved you could change the percentage portion of this fee drastically to:.
Be extremely picky who you have dealings with and always request preferably in writing your suppliers to commit to:. This will help separate the wheat from the chaff and save you both time and money in the short and long term. When performing this test keep in mind the following aspects:. A good real life example is when we worked with a supplier from China — we were ordering an average of 10 items a day but around February of that year our sales tripled.
The best way to find reliable dropshipping suppliers is at exhibitions.
- The Five Thousand Year Leap;
- How to Sell on eBay For Beginners - wikiHow.
- Shop by category.
Meeting them in person has great advantages:. One of the most powerful habits you can adopt is working in bulk. Over time, sellers who master the bulk listing technique will gain a significant advantage by saving huge amounts of time which can be dedicated to further expanding your business and gaining a competitive advantage. He or she is looking for a specific:. It is in this way that you will be able to get more clicks on your listings and sell more merchandise.
As most of you know, when searching in Google, a number of options appear in order to complete your sentence with the top search queries out there related to the key words which you have typed in. This is a very powerful free tool which can help you understand what consumers are currently looking for in your item category.
Do note that this function is currently available on eBay. Shoppers on eBay are looking for different things, some want the cheapest item possible and others want the hottest new product no matter the cost. But at the end of the day, every client wants to be sure they are making a purchase from a trustworthy merchant who will supply a good quality product in a timely manner. In order to gain trust, consider adding:. By taking advantage of the most modern technologies and tools, you can create professional looking listings at a fraction of the cost and beat the competitive curve by standing out and exuding professionalism.
Messages you receive from current as well as potential customers are extremely important as they highlight something which can more often than not be used to optimize your listing. If something is not clear in your listing for instance this is a sales deterrent even if you are moving a lot of merchandise, customer concerns are a flashing light informing you what you can and need to improve. A personal example of this comes from a repeated question we received regarding a GPS we were selling. We received a constant stream of questions whether the system included a map of Australia. We had clearly stated that it did, in our listing but apparently this was not sufficient — people needed to see a visual and so we added this image:.
The results were incredible as inquiries decreased and sales skyrocketed. Always take what consumers have to say into consideration even if at the time their concerns seem unreasonable! Bottom line: Treat listings as if they were advertisements and imagine you are paying per word — in this case you would attempt to be as precise and captivating as possible.
As most of you know, eBay works based on a search algorithm. This is especially true when customers filter for items. If you do not fill in item specifics, your products are very likely to appear low in search results or not at all when filtered. Do yourselves a favor and fill these in! When trying to sell something, especially if it is used, people often tend to try and make said item sound better than it actually is.
If a product is:. Or otherwise flawed, you should take full ownership of this and make it abundantly clear both with pictures and in your listing description. If you mislead a customer you will tarnish your reputation and risk having negative feedback and low seller ratings which is the equivalent of being dead on eBay. Honesty is the best policy especially since many people are actually looking for damaged products they can fix up and refurbish.
Building a list of emails in order to promote repeat business is a very elementary and crucial business tactic. It is always healthy logic that someone who has purchased from you once will be very likely to purchase from you again and safely falls within your target market. Your conversion rate is determined by the number of sales divided by the number of people who have viewed your product listing.
Consequently the higher your conversion rate the higher eBay will rank you in search results as this is a key indicator of your relevance to what shoppers are looking for. The main reason is that as a business you have other overhead expenses such as:. And as such need to maintain this ratio in order to maintain your profit margin.
There are three main instances in which you should be promoting listings:. You should not be wasting any of your marketing dollars on slow-moving inventory! It is simply an ineffective waste of resources. It is therefore a very good idea to try and tap the international market by:. Listing descriptions are as important to potential customers as they are to search engines.
Take both into account and write a minimum of words in your listing description and:. This is due to the fact that many shoppers are price driven and therefore choose to display results based on which item is cheapest. If you keep a close eye on this, once you are at the top or at least close enough you can then start raising prices and reaping the rewards of patience and strategy. Some sellers take advantage of the option on eBay to donate all proceeds from a sale or auction to a charity. Once in awhile you can offer an item for sale where all the proceeds go to charity and simultaneously offer free combined shipping meaning that once someone buys an item for charity they may want to take advantage of your free combined shipping offer by perusing your items.
Even if they do not buy an additional item this is a great way for people to become familiar with your items and may very well become future customers.
How to Sell on eBay – For Beginners!
Consider downloading the ebay app which will allow you to scan the barcode of any item new or used and determine its value based on recent sales. Many people are not aware of how useful this app is and can be used as a great tool which fits into your pocket and can allow you to hunt for bargains and receive up to date, real time data which can help you determine if a product has good profit margins and resale value. In this instance you want to focus on the benefits your item provides for a customer and not the features your product possesses.
For example, if you are selling an insole for shoes focus first on the comfort this will provide and only after discuss the fact that it is comprised of three layers of padding and injected with orthopedic gels. Good quality images are crucial in a generation when people are addicted to visuals on everything from Instagram to Facebook. Long gone are the days of grainy images taken with disposable cameras. Make sure that your pictures are:. As I mentioned above, your conversion rate is the number of items you sell divided by the number of people who view your listing.
So always sure to know what your conversion rate is and aspire to improve it! As I said, product specifics are crucial to the discoverability of an item in search results but not all of these identifiers need to be added manually all the time. Business policies are details specified by yourself in listings regarding:. Instead of creating these policies manually, each time you list a new item you can mix and match these policies which you have already created and apply them to your new listing. A key aspect for potential clients on eBay is your returns policy.
If you do not have a return policy or if your return policy is less than generous you will:. Another aspect which both eBay and consumers consider extremely important is fast dispatch time.