eBay has humble beginnings in the 1990s as a simple auction website for laser
pointers. Since then, it has evolved into an international internet market place,
bringing together billions of people and companies. One of the beauties of eBay is
that it allows regular people like you and I to sell our own goods. You can sell brand
new merchandise, things that you made, or used merchandise. The possibilities are
almost limitless. Here are some very general, quick tips on getting started as
a seller on eBay.
eBay.com. Really familiarize yourself with it. Do this to avoid breaking any
rules and inadvertently getting your account suspended or listings shut down.
Also, you will want to have a thorough understanding of the bidding process
for auctions and other listing formats.
- If you have not already done so, go ahead and register with eBay.com.
You don’t need much more than your name, address, e-mail, credit card, and
a PayPal account to start. The registration process is fairly simple and
shouldn’t take more than five minutes.
- Find something to sell on eBay. If you are clueless about what to sell,
then go through your closet or garage. You might be able to find things that
are no longer useful to you, but might be useful to another person. As the
saying goes, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. College textbooks, video
games, toys and clothing are good examples. Other very popular ways of
finding things to sell are to checkout garage sales, swap meets, thrift shops,
local auctions, and liquidation sales. Some sellers buy at wholesale, once they
develop a niche and can afford to purchase in volume. I wouldn’t recommend
starting of buying wholesale merchandise unless you have quite a bit of
experience and market research under your belt. Otherwise, it can be very
- Understand any upfront costs involved with items that you plan
to sell. There may be costs for packaging the merchandise, shipping,
storage, fuel, etc. Also, eBay charges listing and final value fees for listing
each item. Then, you will have a fairly good idea of how much to charge for
your products and shipping in order to cover your expenses.
- Understand what the product that you are selling is worth. It is
important to know what it is that you are selling in order to know what it is
worth. Some items require more research than others. You would feel like
crap if you sold a $10,000 piece of artwork for $30, all because of ignorance
and inadequate research. Do your research by checking completed listings on
eBay.com. Completed listings tell you what similar items sold for on eBay and
the selling format. Also, if you are selling something of considerable value, you
might want to have it appraised before listing it on eBay.
- Get a good digital camera and take pictures of the item you are
selling. Most buyers skip over listings without photos. Most people aren’t
willing to buy, when they have no idea what an item looks like. You really
don’t need an expensive camera for taking eBay listing photos. The idea is to
take pictures of good enough quality to show potential buyers what they would
be getting for their money. A decent digital camera can be bought for less
than $100 nowadays. Make sure that you take pictures of any flaws of the
item that you are selling. Some sellers edit photos for a more fancy and
- Create listings for what you are selling. Write as much detail in the
item listing description as possible. This is the place where you can upload
photos, as well. If there is a flaw with the product, then it needs to be
included in the description. Sellers have the option of listing items at auction
or for a fixed price. The listing title, item price, selling format, color, shipping
costs, refund policy, shipping times, etc., should be included in the listing.
Don’t leave the customers guessing about or assuming the important
details. Make yourself available for questions from buyers.
- Watch and wait for any sold items. eBay usually sends automatic emails
to inform sellers that their listings have ended, and whether items were
sold. Be ready to promptly ship merchandise. Remember to thank your
customer. If an item does not sell, you have the option to relist it.
- Package your sold items and ship. Before you list your item, find out
what type of packaging is required for shipping. Some items are delicate and
special care is required in packaging and shipping. Visit usps.com, ups.com,
and fedex.com to find out what it will cost to ship the item and compare costs.
Shipping costs depend on certain factors, such as the weight, size, package
dimensions, and destination that the package is being shipped to. Costs vary
from carrier to carrier. Do your homework before hand so that you won’t be
surprised at shipping costs when you are ready to ship the package.
- Leave feedback for your buyer. This lets everyone know what your
experience was with a particular buyer. As far as I know, sellers can’t leave
negative feedback for buyers. This is really screwed up. However, sellers still
have the option of leaving detailed comments in feedback. Sometimes buyers
forget to leave seller feedback. Gentle reminders are helpful.