Selling on eBay: A Beginner’s Guide for Online Retailers

In 2011, Justin Dube, a motorcycle fancier, lost his job as a convenience memory director and was struggling to make ends meet, so he started a side business dismantling motorcycles and selling the parts on eBay. He made his first sale on the same sidereal day he posted his first list, and by 2012, he was shipping more than $ 5,300 worth of parts to people worldwide each calendar month. “ That ’ s how our occupation on eBay came to be, ” he told eBay in 2013. “ Every calendar month, we increase our inventory and make more money than the concluding. ”
Selling on eBay, Dube was able to not only do what he loved, but besides make a support off it, and his success illustrates good how user-friendly eBay ’ s organization can be — even for first-time sellers. If you ’ re not familiar with the market, you just need a morsel of foundational cognition to start selling items to eBay ’ s 182 million active buyers .

Read on to learn everything you need to know about successfully selling on eBay, including :

  • How to set up an account
  • How to create a listing
  • How to manage and optimize your listings

Let ’ s dive in .

Part 1: Set up an eBay account

You can set up your eBay account in just a few steps .

Step 1: Register for a personal or business account

Visit and click “ register ” in the top impart of the menu to create an report .
register for ebay account
The page defaults to registration for a personal account, which is ideal if you plan to sell small amounts of items occasionally. however, if you plan to sell large quantities regularly, opt for a business account, as illustrated below .
create ebay business account

Step 2: Create a user ID

future, you ’ ll be asked to choose a exploiter ID. Your ID will be displayed to every drug user who views your listings or interacts with you, then choose a professional exploiter ID mention that reflects your clientele. For example, two of eBay ’ s top sellers, thrift.books and musicMagpie, sell books and compress disk, respectively .

Step 3: Set an automatic payment method

After creating a user ID, you ’ ll be prompted to provide an automatic pistol requital method : PayPal, a check account, or a credit rating or debit tease .
ebay choose payment method
eBay will use this payment method to charge you for any fees relating to your seller bodily process, such as buyer reimbursements .

Part 2: Selling on eBay: Create a listing

now that you ’ ve created a seller report on eBay, it ’ south time to list your first detail .
how to add ebay listing
Log in to your bill and click “ Sell ” in the peak right corner to get started .

Step 1: Identify your product

There are two different ways you can list an detail for sale : eBay ’ s quick listing tool or the advanced listing form. The quick list cock can be a good option for your first list because it ’ ll provide steering on how to price and ship your item based on former sales of the same or exchangeable items. however, if you have a bunch of inventory or are going to be selling on eBay frequently, you may want to use the gain number form because of its extra features .
To identify your product with the quick list tool, simply enroll words that describe your item or its UPC or ISBN code in the search stripe. eBay will automatically provide listing suggestions based on similar items that have sold. For case, if you ’ re listing a couple of Nike men ’ south shoes for sale, the quick list tool will start populating information for you, as illustrated below .
quick listing tool ebay
If you see a listing that matches the intersection you ’ ra sell, snap “ blue-ribbon ” as illustrated below .
ebay select product
This will populate your listing with data from the selected list, and you ’ ll then have an opportunity to edit any fields to customize your especial intersection .
create ebay listing
To identify a product through the advanced tool, type the keywords for your product into the search bar and suction stop “ Get started. ” If you ’ ra uncertain which keywords to enter, identify your intersection by clicking “ Browse categories ” and select the class and subcategories that best match your detail. For exemplar, if you ’ re selling a book, you can then select the book ’ s writing style .
ebay item for sale form
once you ’ ve made your selections, a shape will be generated with a variety of fields to fill in approximately your token .

  • The title is the first line of text people will see about your product. Include the most important, compelling information about the item in the title — this will make the listing easy to find and entice buyers to click on it.
  • eBay also requires that you fill in product identifiers, such as UPCs and ISBNs.
  • Fill in item specifics or the brand and physical details of what you’re selling, such as size, make, model, and color. This information will make it easy for buyers to find your product through search.
  • Include up to 12 high-resolution photos of the item you’re selling. The minimum and maximum image dimensions are 500×500 pixels and 9000×9000 pixels, but 1600×1600 pixels is recommended. Photograph your product in front of a white background in a well-lit area to make the listing look professional and uncluttered. Including quality images isn’t only visually appealing to buyers, but there’s also a science to it, as detailed in this FollowUp article.
  • Write an item description that’s clear and concise. The copy should answer any questions a buyer may have about the item (size, dimensions, specifications, etc.). Keep the formatting simple, and consider using bullet points to make the description quick, easy-to-read, and mobile-friendly.

nowadays that your product data is complete, you can move on to the adjacent step .

Step 2: Choose between Auction-style and fixed-price selling

next, you ’ ll have to select which type of selling you would like to use on eBay : auction or fixed price .
ebay sell format
In auction-style listings, buyers bid on items until the end date you set. You can besides include an “ accept Best Offers ” option, which allows buyers to make an offer on an item that you can then choose whether to accept. While you can set a fix price on auction-style listings, remember that it must be 30 percentage higher than the start monetary value .
It ’ mho best to use auction-style listings in circumstances when you ’ ra diffident of the detail ’ randomness value, when you want to sell an item cursorily, or when your item is rare or alone .
In fixed-price listings, besides known as Buy It now listings, you set the monetary value for the item. This sell method acting is best to use when you know the monetary value you want to get for an item, when you have a lot of inventory, or when you want your list to appear in search results for more than 10 days .
immediately that you ’ ve selected your selling format, you can decide how hanker your list will last .

Step 3: Set your listing duration

adjacent, you ’ ll be asked to set a startle date and duration time for your list .
ebay sell duration
Consider the pursuit factors when deciding what the start go steady and duration of your list should be :

  • Your type of selling:
    • Auction-style listings can last for one, three, five, seven, or ten days.
    • Fixed-price listings are considered “Good ‘Til Canceled,” meaning they’ll be re-listed every month until the item is sold or you cancel the listing.
  • When buyers will be online: Think about when users are most likely to place bids on your item, and keep in mind that the more people who are online when your auction is closing, the more bids you’re likely to receive. For example, if you list an item for sale at 3 a.m. on Saturday and select a three-day listing duration, it’ll end at 3 a.m. on Tuesday when your listing won’t be in front of as many potential buyers, so in this scenario, it would be best to schedule your listing for a later time.

now you can move on to actually putting a monetary value on your product.

Step 4: Price your item

The fields for pricing your token appear just below the list duration .
ebay price item
The importance of pricing can ’ thyroxine be overstated on eBay. Setting a competitive rate not only impacts buyers ’ willingness to pay, but it besides affects how visible the item is in eBay ’ randomness search results .
Pricing international relations and security network ’ thymine a guess game, so do a bit of market research to find a competitive rate for your intersection by searching eBay ’ second completed listings to see how many similar items have sold and at what rates. To see this search trickle, scroll down the left-hand panel on a search results page until you reach the Preferences incision. Under “ Show only, ” check off the box for “ Completed Items. ”
completed iPhone sale on ebay
Listings with a green monetary value are those that sold, while listings with a crimson price are items that ended without a sale .
Take a attend at the prices for both sold and unsold items, and consider how the items ’ price might have played a function. Were the abortive listings priced exceptionally higher, or could another gene, such as high ship costs or poor seller feedback, have prevented an token from selling ? You can besides use this information to determine how much an item sells for on average and to see if other sellers had more success selling the item with a fixed-price or auction format .
Keep in mind that if you ’ rhenium selling a costly detail, an antique, or a collectible, it can be helpful to include a professional evaluation or authentication paperwork to justify the item ’ south high price and appeal to bidders. You can include an double of any such paperwork in the number photograph .
now that you ’ ve determined the perfect monetary value to get buyers ’ attention, you can select shipping options for your item .

Step 5: Set up shipping options

once you ’ ve set your price, you ’ ll necessitate to set up transport options for your product. Aim to make your embark policy vitamin a attractive as possible, whether that ’ south offering two-day ship or free returns. In the world of Amazon Prime, commodious ship is an arithmetic mean of on-line buyers that you must deliver on to stay profitable .
Beyond meeting buyers ’ expectations, offering a firm ship policy increases the visibility of your products on eBay. With the market ’ s search engine, buyers are able to sort products with short embark times that meet eBay ’ second Guaranteed Delivery ( EGD ) guidelines. To qualify for EGD, a list must have a same-day or one-day cover time .
To set your transportation policy, fill out the following information in the listing joyride :

  • Type of rate: Select a flat rate for all buyers, a calculated rate based on the buyer’s location, freight shipping for large items that weigh more than 150 pounds, or “No shipping: Local pickup only.”
  • Carrier services: You can choose from a variety of carriers and their services, including USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

domestic shipping on ebay
If you are offering international ship, you ’ ll besides have to choose a type of rate, but you ’ ll have only two options : apartment rate or a count pace based on the buyer ’ s placement .
ebay set up international shipping
If you need aid with sending orders on time, consider signing up for eBay ’ sulfur Global Shipping Program ( GSP ). With this program, sellers ship sold items to eBay ’ second global ship center in Kentucky. From there, eBay handles any customs paperwork and ships the products to buyers across the ball. Because eBay is taking wish of the transport, eBay will be accountable for any pitch mishaps that may occur .
There ’ s no tip to join GSP. however, standard eBay sell and PayPal fees apply, including PayPal ’ s transaction fees for cross-border payments. The final examination tip is calculated based on the entire sum of the token sale, including any domestic ship fees .

Part 3: Manage your eBay listing

a soon as your list is exist, you ’ ll receive an e-mail informing you that it ’ s posted, but your character as the seller is far from over. You ’ ll still need to engage with buyers who have questions, possibly promote your list, and complete the transaction if your item sells
While eBay will email you if a buyer asks a question, you can besides keep an eye on your number by logging in to eBay and clicking on “ My eBay ” in the top right-hand corner of the menu. From here, you can view your active voice listings, see how many people are watching your list or have placed bids, and answer any buyer questions .

Build a positive seller reputation

It ’ south crucial to maintain a cocksure seller reputation. This increases your credibility as a seller, encourages buyers to shop with you, and even boosts your search ranking .
How to develop a positive seller repute :

  • Offer competitive pricing and shipping
  • Answer buyer questions promptly
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Keep track of inventory to avoid canceling sales
  • Track shipped items and provide customers with delivery dates
  • Promptly report any issues you have with a buyer
  • Leave positive feedback for buyers and ask them to leave you feedback as well

As you can see, building a positive seller reputation involves taking military action at every step along the way, from creating your list to shipping a buy item .

complete a transaction

When an item sells, eBay notifies the seller immediately. once you get that message, accomplished the transaction promptly and accurately to maintain a convinced seller reputation .
here are a pair of tips for completing transactions in a way that ’ s both procure and considerate of the buyer :

  • Ship the product as soon as the payment is verified. eBay will inform you as soon as payment is received. Sometimes payments can take longer to arrive based on the type of payment a buyer uses, but you can always check payment status through “My eBay account.” If you see that a payment is pending or on hold, PayPal or eBay may have placed a temporary hold on it. This is common if you’re a new seller who hasn’t established a selling record yet. You’ll become an established seller after it’s been more than 90 days since your first successful eBay sale or if you’ve had more than 25 transactions and made $250 in sales.
  • Take action if you don’t receive payment within a couple of days. Start by contacting the buyer to confirm when they plan to send the payment. If the buyer doesn’t respond to your message or invoice, report the unpaid item to eBay. You must report your case within 32 days of your listing ending. Once a case has been opened, the buyer has four days to respond or pay for the item. After four days have passed, visit eBay’s Resolution Center to close the case by selecting “receive fee credit” and then “close case” on the following page. The unpaid item will then be recorded on the buyer’s account, the fee will be credited back to you, and you can re-list your item.

If you find that your number international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate generating much interest though, you can get it in presence of more potential buyers by doing a simple promotion .

promote your listings

Selling on eBay can be a challenge simply because of the billions of listings that exist on the marketplace.
By promoting your list through eBay advertise, your merchandise has a better chance of standing out and attracting buyers. In fact, according to eBay, the exposure of promote listings is 36 % greater than non-promoted ones .
Promoted listings appear at the top of search results when a buyer searches for your particular item. The list will be identified as “ Sponsored, ” as in the screenshot below .
promoted listing on ebay
To create a promote list, you must be an eBay store subscriber. To set up your promotion, go to and choose how you want to set up your campaign : by selecting individual listings or selecting them in bulk .
promoted listing ebay
once you ’ ve chosen the number you want to promote, an ad will be mechanically generated. nowadays you merely have to decide how much you ’ rhenium uncoerced to pay for promotion. This is called the ad rate .
The ad pace is a percentage of the token price, and sellers can set their rate to a low as 1 %. This percentage is what you ’ ll yield to eBay if a buyer clicks on your promote list and purchases your detail. The ad rate you choose basically helps eBay decide if it wants to promote your list when a buyer searches for your detail or something like. The higher your ad rate, the more probable it is that eBay will promote your listing. You can view eBay ’ randomness ad rate trends by nation and category .
now that you ’ ve created a promote list, you ’ rhenium well on your way to becoming an adept seller .

Experiment to constantly improve as an eBay seller

Selling on eBay is constantly evolving, and this guidebook provides only foundational cognition. Once you ’ re comfortable with the basics of selling on eBay, it ’ randomness time to experiment to learn how to make your listings more competitive and discover new ways to reach customers and help your occupation boom .
Start by analyzing your explanation data with this template to tracking and applying metrics for better emergence ; it will help you identify areas where you can experiment with newly ideas. For example, if you constantly create fixed-price listings, try auction listings to see if your profits increase. Or, if your list international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate generating much interest, tweak your item description or test out a promote list to see if it increases sales.

You can besides experiment with shipping options like Justin Dube did. As he completed more and more eBay sales, he found that using eBay Labels and offering rid ship on all orders transformed his business and, ultimately, made it sustainable. Don ’ triiodothyronine be afraid to try your own tests to determine what makes your own listings most effective when selling on eBay .

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