How to sell on eBay

This is just what I have found has worked for me. There are many ways to do it and since I do not do it full time or as a real source of income/business there are probably many ways to improve what I do, but so far these things have worked for me.

Check out the item

I have a bit of an idea now what will and won’t sell, but when I am thinking about it I look it up on eBay. Then I can see how many of a similar item are listed and what they are going for. Next I check the completed listings. You can do this by checking a box in the column to the left where you can customise your search more.

By checking completed listings you can see if the items is actually selling and for how much. Just because there is a lot of them on eBay doesn’t mean they are selling which is why I always check completed listings.

Photograph the item

Try and take a good picture of it. Depending on what you are selling you may need to do it from more than one angle, such as front, back and side. If there are any marks it can be a good idea to show these so people have a clear idea of what they are buying.

Photograph the items in good light, so they show up clearly. If they are clothes having them on someone (if being sold as used) gives a better idea of how they will look rather than laid flat, but I have never personally done this.

Write the description

I tend to write my descriptions in word, so I can spell check, then just copy paste. You need a very clear and accurate description of the item. If you are a bit funny or something in your listing it will stand out a bit more and will be more likely to be remembered as it was more personal.

I also add something like the following to my posts

Items come from a smoke free pet free home.

Items must be paid for with in 5 days of auction end.

I do combine postage, so check out my other items.

Things like that, as well as adding in a link to my other items, which is easily done with one click when listing.

List your item

Then just go on ebay and list your item. It helps if you are selling similar items, as it is easier to list them at the same time rather than have to go through the entire listing process for every item.

There are a few things to consider when deciding on the time you are lisiting. More people are on in the evenings than during the day, so you are more likely to get higher bids, Sunday evenings seem to do very well. Also, check to ensure it is not school holidays, as this can greatly affect your listing. Items such as toys and mystery packs do well in the lead up to Christmas, summer clothes leading up to summer, winter clothing or ski gear in the lead up to winter etc… To be successful you need to think about the timing of your listing.

Once it is listed, keep an eye on it, answer any questions and if/when it sells post is as soon as payment is received.

A few other tips:

  • Always check the cost of postage before listing. It is very easy to under quote (especially since they keep putting up their prices here in Australia. It is beyond a joke expensive now!) Some items can be posted cheaper as a large letter, or in prepaid satchels rather than as packages.
  • Make sure the items are as clean and presentable as possible
  • If you don’t want to pay for the extra pictures you can create an album elsewhere online such as photobucket and link to it in your listing
  • Only list things with a starting price of 99cents if you are willing to sell it for that price. Otherwise you will be disappointed.
  • The time it takes to list some things on eBay makes it seem not worth your while, so consider this when you are selling. You need to wash, photograph, list, answer questions, then post once payment is received, then usually transfer the amount from PayPal to your bank. Often after eBay and PayPal fees you might not be left with much cash, but if times are tough a little is better than none.
  • If your item doesn’t sell, eBay will still take their listing fee, but you can relist and if it sells, the relisting fee is waived.

2 thoughts on “How to sell on eBay

  1. Found your blog through Scathing Weekly, and just in time too! I’ve just started struggling trying to sell things on ebay, but your post has given me ideas and confidence! Thank you! 😛

  2. Hi Kylie,
    Thanks so much for all the work you put into this blog. I’m really enjoying it, and look forward to getting the book at some point.

    I jusr wanted to check something I’d noticed above –
    “I tend to write my descriptions in word, so I can spell check, then just copy past.”

    Is that meant to be “copy paste”? I had a little giggle, but wasn’t sure if I’d misunderstood.

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