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

In 2011, Justin Dube, a motorcycle fancier, lost his job as a convenience store 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 base sale on the lapp 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 business on eBay came to be, ” he told eBay in 2013. “ Every month, we increase our stock and make more money than the last. ”
Selling on eBay, Dube was able to not alone do what he loved, but besides make a live off it, and his achiever illustrates precisely how user-friendly eBay ’ second system can be — evening for first-time sellers. If you ’ re not conversant with the marketplace, you fair need a act 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 equitable a few steps .

Step 1: Register for a personal or business account

Visit and click “ register ” in the crown leave 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

next, 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, so choose a professional drug user ID name that reflects your business. For exercise, two of eBay ’ s peak sellers, thrift.books and musicMagpie, sell books and compact magnetic disk, respectively .

Step 3: Set an automatic payment method

After creating a exploiter ID, you ’ ll be prompted to provide an automatic rifle payment method acting : PayPal, a check account, or a credit or debit card .
ebay choose payment method
eBay will use this payment method to charge you for any fees relating to your seller natural process, such as buyer reimbursements .

Part 2: Selling on eBay: Create a listing

nowadays that you ’ ve created a seller explanation on eBay, it ’ sulfur time to list your first item .
how to add ebay listing
Log in to your score and click “ Sell ” in the top 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 tool can be a good option for your first list because it ’ ll put up guidance on how to price and ship your item based on previous sales of the lapp or similar items. however, if you have a set of armory or are going to be selling on eBay frequently, you may want to use the advance list class because of its extra features .
To identify your product with the immediate list tool, merely enter words that describe your item or its UPC or ISBN code in the search barroom. eBay will mechanically provide listing suggestions based on exchangeable items that have sold. For example, if you ’ re listing a pair of Nike men ’ second shoes for sale, the agile list tool will start populating information for you, as illustrated below .
quick listing tool ebay
If you see a listing that matches the product you ’ ra deal, cluck “ blue-ribbon ” as illustrated below .
ebay select product
This will populate your listing with information from the selected number, and you ’ ll then have an opportunity to edit any fields to customize your particular product .
create ebay listing
To identify a product through the advanced cock, type the keywords for your intersection into the search bar and click “ Get started. ” If you ’ re uncertain which keywords to enter, identify your intersection by clicking “ Browse categories ” and select the category and subcategories that best match your detail. For exemplar, if you ’ rhenium selling a book, you can then select the book ’ sulfur genre .
ebay item for sale form
once you ’ ve made your selections, a form will be generated with a variety of fields to fill in about your item .

  • 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.

now that your product information is complete, you can move on to the following mistreat .

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

future, 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 ” choice, which allows buyers to make an crack on an detail 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 begin price .
It ’ second best to use auction-style listings in circumstances when you ’ ra diffident of the detail ’ sulfur value, when you want to sell an item quickly, or when your token is rare or alone .
In fixed-price listings, besides known as Buy It now listings, you set the price for the item. This selling method is best to use when you know the price you want to get for an item, when you have a batch of inventory, or when you want your listing to appear in search results for more than 10 days .
now that you ’ ve selected your selling format, you can decide how retentive your list will last .

Step 3: Set your listing duration

following, you ’ ll be asked to set a begin date and duration clock time for your list .
ebay sell duration
Consider the follow factors when deciding what the depart date and duration of your number 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 price on your intersection.

Step 4: Price your item

The fields for pricing your token appear just below the list duration .
ebay price item
The importance of price can ’ thyroxine be overstated on eBay. Setting a competitive rate not only impacts buyers ’ willingness to pay, but it besides affects how visible the token is in eBay ’ second search results .
Pricing international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate a guess plot, therefore do a bite of grocery store research to find a competitive rate for your product by searching eBay ’ mho completed listings to see how many similar items have sold and at what rates. To see this search filter, scroll down the left-hand gore on a search results page until you reach the Preferences section. Under “ Show only, ” check off the box for “ Completed Items. ”
completed iPhone sale on ebay
Listings with a green price are those that sold, while listings with a crimson price are items that ended without a sale .
Take a look 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 gear ship costs or inadequate seller feedback, have prevented an item 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 heed that if you ’ rhenium selling a costly token, an antique, or a collectible, it can be helpful to include a professional evaluation or authentication paperwork to justify the item ’ mho senior high school price and attract to bidders. You can include an double of any such paperwork in the listing photograph .
now that you ’ ve determined the perfect price to get buyers ’ attention, you can select transport options for your detail .

Step 5: Set up shipping options

once you ’ ve set your price, you ’ ll indigence to set up shipping options for your product. Aim to make your ship policy deoxyadenosine monophosphate attractive as possible, whether that ’ south offering two-day embark or free returns. In the worldly concern of Amazon Prime, convenient shipping is an expectation of on-line buyers that you must deliver on to stay profitable .
Beyond meeting buyers ’ expectations, offering a solid shipping policy increases the visibility of your products on eBay. With the marketplace ’ s search engine, buyers are able to sort products with shortstop ship times that meet eBay ’ randomness Guaranteed Delivery ( EGD ) guidelines. To qualify for EGD, a list must have a same-day or one-day wield time .
To set your transport policy, fill out the following data in the listing instrument :

  • 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 transportation, you ’ ll besides have to choose a character of rate, but you ’ ll have lone two options : flat rate or a forecast rate based on the buyer ’ south location .
ebay set up international shipping
If you need aid with sending orders on clock time, consider signing up for eBay ’ second Global Shipping Program ( GSP ). With this broadcast, sellers ship sold items to eBay ’ randomness global ship center in Kentucky. From there, eBay handles any customs paperwork and ships the products to buyers across the earth. Because eBay is taking caution of the embark, eBay will be accountable for any delivery mishaps that may occur .
There ’ s no fee to join GSP. however, standard eBay sell and PayPal fees apply, including PayPal ’ second transaction fees for cross-border payments. The final fee is calculated based on the sum sum of the detail sale, including any domestic shipping fees .

Part 3: Manage your eBay listing

ampere soon as your list is live, you ’ ll receive an e-mail inform you that it ’ second posted, but your character as the seller is far from over. You ’ ll hush need to engage with buyers who have questions, possibly promote your list, and complete the transaction if your detail sells
While eBay will email you if a buyer asks a doubt, you can besides keep an eye on your list 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 ’ randomness authoritative to maintain a positive seller reputation. This increases your credibility as a seller, encourages buyers to shop with you, and even boosts your search rank .
How to develop a incontrovertible 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 repute involves taking military action at every footfall along the way, from creating your number to shipping a buy token .

complete a transaction

When an detail sells, eBay notifies the seller immediately. once you get that message, arrant the transaction cursorily and accurately to maintain a positive seller reputation .
here are a couple of tips for completing transactions in a way that ’ s both impregnable 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 list international relations and security network ’ metric ton generating much matter to though, you can get it in presence of more potential buyers by doing a elementary forwarding .

promote your listings

Selling on eBay can be a challenge plainly because of the billions of listings that exist on the marketplace.
By promoting your list through eBay ad, your product has a better find of standing out and attracting buyers. In fact, according to eBay, the exposure of advertise listings is 36 % greater than non-promoted ones .
Promoted listings appear at the acme of search results when a buyer searches for your particular detail. 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 storehouse subscriber. To set up your promotion, go to and choose how you want to set up your political campaign : by selecting individual listings or selecting them in bulk .
promoted listing ebay
once you ’ ve chosen the list you want to promote, an ad will be automatically generated. immediately you just have to decide how much you ’ rhenium bequeath to pay for forwarding. This is called the ad rate .
The ad rate is a share of the item price, and sellers can set their rate to a low as 1 %. This share is what you ’ ll give 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 item or something like. The higher your ad rate, the more likely it is that eBay will promote your list. You can view eBay ’ s ad rate trends by area and class .
immediately that you ’ ve created a promote list, you ’ ra well on your way to becoming an expert seller .

Experiment to constantly improve as an eBay seller

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

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

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