How to Sell on ebay – Make money by Selling on ebay – How to Guide – Part 1
Selling on eBay can be very profitable and rewarding but, more importantly, it can be a fun venture for those of us with a penchant for treasure hunting. There are many reasons people turn to eBay. While some dabble in selling just to get rid of clutter or to make a little extra cash, others may actively pursue eBay as a primary source of income. Circumstances and motivations differ greatly from individual to individual. If you’ve lost your job or been hit with unforeseen expenses, your motivation and strategy will be much different than that of an upcoming entrepreneur.
Whether you fall into the category of dabbler or entrepreneur, you want to know, “How do I get started on eBay?” Following are the basic steps that must be taken for anyone interested in selling on eBay:
- In order to sell on eBay, you must have an email address. You probably already have an email address, but if you plan to grow your eBay business, you will benefit from having a separate email dedicated just to your eBay account. If you do not have an email address, go onto Google to establish one. Make sure you have a safe place to store all of your passwords associated with your eBay business.
- You will need to set up a PayPal account to conduct business on eBay. Go onto the PayPal website and follow the directions. You will be required to link your bank account, debit card, or credit card to register. Keep your passwords and user IDs associated with this account in a safe place.
- After you have set up your email address and registered on PayPal, then it’s time to go to eBay. If you have never bought anything on eBay, you will first register to get an account started. Tip: Buying on eBay can kick-start good feedback which will help generate sells. I assume you have a phone, but just in case you don’t have one, you will be asked for a phone number to become an eBay member. To become a seller on eBay, you will need to set up a seller account by following the directions on the eBay website. You will be asked to provide your name as well as come up with a Seller ID. This name will appear on the page where you have an item listed for sale so make sure it is an ID name you want to represent you well. Once you have filled out the necessary information needed by eBay, you will be on your way to becoming your own boss.
- Ebay wants to make money so they are there to help you make money. So much information is available on the eBay seller site, so if you are serious about becoming a great eBay seller, you can make it work for you. The Seller’s Hub is one of the areas you will have access to where you can see how many listings you are allowed, selling amounts, limits and the like and this is all contingent on the level at which you start. You will not need a store if you are just planning to sell occasionally or if you’re just trying it out. You don’t have to have a store even if you plan to sell “big time.” The store choices are explained in detail on the eBay site. Promotional offers are found on the Seller’s Hub and should be taken advantage of where insertion fees are waived for a number of listings. By the way, when you post an item for sale, it is called a listing.
- The cost of doing business depends on you. There is no monthly charge for just basic selling without a store. Ebay will take a percentage (called a final value fee) once an item sells. PayPal also takes a small share of each sale. As stated above, the fees for listing are free for a certain number of listings (depending on your seller level). There are three different levels of stores on eBay presently from which to choose. The stores do require a monthly charge (from $24.95-$349.95 or less if paid yearly). You will know when the time is right to upgrade.
- The first 5 steps get your foot in the door of eBay. Now the fun begins. You have get supplies together so you can begin listing. A few basic supplies to aid you with listing are as follows: Camera or phone with camera, white and black poster boards to use for backgrounds in pictures, well-lit area in which to take pictures (preferably daylight or good supplemental lighting), shipping boxes, poly mailers or envelopes (size dependent on items), shipping tape, scissors, and notebook or computer spreadsheet. If you sell clothes, you will need measuring tape for measurements. If you sell breakables, you will need bubble wrap and/or other protective fillers. Another must have if you plan to grow your business is a scale to weigh your packages so that you can charge the correct shipping fee. If you are not planning to go full throttle, you will have to be content with paying full post office prices and have them weigh.
- So now you have your eBay account and your supplies to get you started. How do you determine whether or not an item is worth selling and how much to sell it for? Obviously, you want to have as little investment in an item as possible and sell for the highest amount the market will allow. To get a good idea of how to price your item you will need to “research” the item on eBay but don’t make the mistake of looking at just the items listed for sale. Anyone can place any price on any item so to get an accurate and realistic amount to price for the item you are researching, you will need to call up your item, then narrow your search to only those items that actually have sold. You will soon see a range of prices for which you can realistically expect to sell your item. To sell fast, price at the lower scale of solds. If you are willing and able to wait a bit for your item to sell, you can price at the higher end of the spectrum. Want to grow a profitable eBay business? Be willing to do the research and open your mind to the many possibilities for profit. Become knowledgeable about the things that you like to sell first, but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to grow and expand as time goes on.
- Don’t forget customer service. Once you become a seller, you are in essence a business owner. Successful business owners offer excellent customer service and you should do the same. When a customer is dissatisfied, be courteous and as helpful as you can be to resolve any issues. There will always be the occasional disgruntled, angry, unhappy person out there who will cross your path. Don’t take it personal! If you are selling a good product (which I am assuming), shipping it with care, and giving honest information in your descriptions, you would think you should have no problems, but in time there is always the “unhappy” and sometimes dishonest customer. I would suggest to you to communicate with your buyer to resolve any issues in a professional manner and do your best to rectify any problems. If there is no pleasing, don’t argue, just stop communicating and ask eBay to step in to help resolve issues. Be professional and to the point with eBay, offering the pertinent information, and not whining and complaining about an unreasonable buyer. More than likely you will come out a winner. And if not, just chalk it up and move on.
- Where can you find items to sell on eBay? To begin with, you can sell what you have already, especially if you don’t have money to spend. After gathering items from around the house, check the sold listings on eBay to see what they sold for and go from there. Surprisingly, many things sell for good money that you may think are worthless. There is a buyer for almost everything! Anything from old pencils to high-end shoes can be found on eBay. If you are not already a treasure hunter, you will turn into one, if you decide you want to make it big on eBay. Yard sales, estate sales, auctions, Goodwill outlets, The Salvation Army, Savers, and other thrift or antique stores in your area are good places to buy items for resell. Even department store products on clearance can be a good source.
- So now you may have more questions. How do I list an item for sale from start to finish? What is feedback and how important is it to succeed on eBay? What sells on eBay? Should I have a niche? How do I sell clothes? What are the advantages of having an eBay store? How do I manage inventory efficiently? Shipping tips? These are a few of the subjects we will cover in detail in upcoming articles.
Tips to get more traffic to your listings:
- Research titles and think about what your buyers would type to find your product.
- Put the most important keywords at the very beginning of the title as this helps with rankings for those as eBay sees the first keywords as more important
- Make sure you put a very detailed description in the title and not just a vague description. Include size, color, etc…
- Add more products on a constant basis and try to scatter them out rather than do them all at one time. The more active you are the more eBay will take notice.
- Start your prices at a fairly higher level than you really want to sell them for and after a week or so have a sale on your product or store at 30% off (or whatever percentage you feel comfortable) but I would make it 20% at a minimum to get attention
- Even if you have an ebay store make sure to create some auctions. Auctions will get more traffic and this will lead more traffic to your store.
- Write some content on your ebay blog as this contains a link to your ebay store. Ebay blog pages have high power and are indexed high in Google rankings. This will bring traffic from Google outside of Ebay to your store.
- Try to reach powerseller level as quickly as possible as ebay will give your listings preference to normal accounts. Here is the ebay requirements to become a power seller:
- Be registered with eBay for at least 90 days.
- Have an account in good standing.
- Maintain a positive Feedback of 98% or higher over the past 12 months.
- Follow all eBay policies.
- Have a minimum of 100 transactions and $3,000 in sales with US buyers over the past 12 months.
- For all transactions with US buyers, have no more than 0.30% of transactions result in the eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Purchase Protection cases closed without seller resolution.
- Give free shipping and just add a decent shipping amount into the cost of the product. People hate getting surprised about shipping costs.
- Take amazing pictures that show every detail. Don’t try and hide blemishes. The better the picture the more enticing it will be to click on.
- 80% of buyers use “best match” option when searching because that is the default filter so try and make sure your listing would show up as if you were searching for the product yourself
I hope you have found valuable and useful information in this article. This post was written by the owner of the eBay store: Becki’s Place
What to Sell on eBay
So, you want to sell for profit on eBay and you’re not sure what will sell. There are actually two questions to ponder, not just “What sells on eBay?” but more importantly, “What should I sell on eBay?” I am passionate about being a reseller on eBay and love what I do, so I believe it is important to know your motivation before starting out on, what to me, is a great adventure and not just a monetary venture.
Many things sell on eBay – from vintage pencils to the latest Apple product. Collectors are more than willing to pay a pretty penny for what is rare and/or desirable and meaningful to them. The latest fashion and technical trends will always be big sellers. And if only I could predict the next super fad…. sigh.
Where do we start? I sell a variety of items in my eBay store but there are those who specialize in a particular niche and do quite well. That is a choice for you to make. I personally think it is more fun, interesting, and profitable to sell a variety of things. If you limit the types of items in your inventory, you will need to sell in quantities that make it a worthwhile enterprise. Dropshipping may be a feasible method for you, but this article only addresses selling new or used goods that you will be shipping yourself. There is not a simple “one size fits all” answer to the question of what to sell but we will explore the many factors to consider so you will know where to start. While you might find Google articles with lists of items to sell on eBay or informative YouTube “haul” videos where eBayers show their latest purchases for resell, to be honest, there is more to it than just heading out the door with a shopping list.
Of course, consideration number one is your financial situation. If you’re strapped for cash, you may not be in a position to just go out to buy a huge inventory for resell. You may need to start slow and see what resources you already have, such as what you have around the house to sell or just ask friends and relatives if they have unwanted clothes or items that want to get rid of. Even with limited resources and a slow start, if you are willing to think outside the box and mentally position yourself for success, you can succeed. You can find loads of clothes, household goods, collectibles, electronics etc. at yard sales, thrift stores, estate sales, on Craigslist, Facebook selling groups, and even dumpsters (more to come on places to source in future articles). America is a land of abundance and generosity so be optimistic about finding goods to sell. Both new and used items are out there that require little or no investment.
On the other hand, maybe you have money to invest and you are ready to make your mark selling on eBay, you just want to know what to buy to make the most money. Again, in my opinion, not one size fits all. First of all, think about your own life – your interests, your hobbies, your daily activities. Are you mechanically inclined? Handy around the house? Artsy? Do you read? What do you enjoy? Do you attend sporting events or engage in sports? Love music? Are you a good cook? You may be asking, what does this have to do with selling on eBay? Well, if you are passionate about or just knowledgeable about a particular area of interest, this could serve you well and launch your eBay business. I am assuming, if you are reading this, that you are pursuing eBay as a means to make income long-term, not just clean out your closet. With that premise and being totally foreign to the world of reselling, my advice is to first search out valuable (good selling) products connected to your interests or area of expertise.
I will give you a list of categories with best selling items within each list at the end of this article, but I would like to stress that loving the thrill of the hunt and its rewards should not be overlooked. The enjoyment factor can be the catalyst of your success – the impetus that keeps you motivated to do the work (the kind of work that doesn’t feel like a job). If you take pleasure in learning, researching, and treasure seeking you can grow a profitable business and thrive in the eBay world. Finding your “niche” and making the kind of money you desire can be scintillating and personally satisfying. So how do you practically go about discovering “your’ niche or method of operandi.
Getting started is simple. Let’s say you love tennis but no longer play. You have an old tennis racket in your closet and you decide to give it a shot on eBay. You know that this particular tennis racket was the very best back in its day, but you don’t have a clue what it’s worth today. This is where research comes in. And to digress a bit, if what you research is something you have experience with or have an affinity to, you will like doing the research.
We are now going to research your old tennis racket to determine what to price it on your listing. Go onto eBay’s website and type in the exact brand along with any other relevant information. A list of items will pop up showing prices for which other sellers expect or desire to fetch – and while this might give a glimpse of this market, it does not provide an overall view of true market value and does not give the entire picture.
Narrow your search to “Sold Listings.” This is where you can ascertain a more accurate picture of what your item sells for. The list will show this tennis racket and/or others similar to it that either sold as a bid (Auction) or outright (Buy It Now) – (listing your items on eBay will be discussed in an upcoming article). I tend to price my items at the upper average of what is shown. You can always reduce the price if it doesn’t sell in a timely manner. You can learn so much by researching sold listings. You will see if your tennis racket is worth selling and be able to set a realistic selling price. You can also use this same technique to see if you have other similar items worth selling. You can take this opportunity to learn about other brands and search other sources for more detail on other money-making brands. Then when you’re out there sourcing for items to sell, your memory bank will be triggered and you won’t leave behind an item that will make you money.
Unless you have a fantastic memory, you may want to make a list so that you can keep your eyes open for good finds. If you want an idea of what sells best in a general category, that search is conducted in much the same fashion. I will spend a few hours a week now just researching a category or a brand that I am curious about. When I’m out sourcing (shopping for items to resell) and I see an item that I think is unusual or for reason it causes me to take a second look, I will take out my phone, get on the eBay app, and do a quick search for that item (either by brand or by general description). Then I can decide whether to purchase this item. Sometimes I just take pictures of items (especially the brand, model number, etc.) that I will research later at home and add that to my BOLO (Be on the Lookout) list for future reference. If you are so inclined, you may do a Google search and go onto other selling platforms to find comparables or you can learn from websites that provide history or other interesting and important details and facts about your search. Knowledge is valuable and is at your fingertips.
As you can tell, I truly believe a successful eBay seller is a seller whose interests can be integrated into their business. From experience, I can say, I get super excited about shipping items out to buyers when it is an item that I have a fondness for and there is nothing more boring to me than shipping out items that I know nothing about and have no interest in. I know, I know — it can also be exhilarating when an item sells for a heap of money even one you would never buy for yourself. However, it is important to note that shopping for, listing, and shipping things that are thrilling and interesting to you has its own rewards. On the other hand, to grow as an eBay seller, you must be willing to stretch outside your area of expertise, be willing to research, listen to the experiences of other eBay sellers (search out YouTube videos for info on what sells well for others). Look for fellow resellers that show what sells for them and not just what they buy. Also don’t fall for the ones that offer a “get rich quick” scheme. There are communities of eBay sellers on YouTube and Facebook to join which share valuable information. I am continuously learning and enjoy the comradery of these groups. The Thrifting Board is one of the best Facebook groups. Scavenger Life YouTube channel , especially their earliest videos, taught me so much. Another favorite YouTube weekly video is Thrifty Business with Jay and Nay and Thrifting Over Fifty. Check out the eBay stores of the people you choose to follow on Facebook or YouTube so you can see for yourself what they have sold and make sure they are legit.
Buy low, sell high is a common mantra of resellers, but the margin of profit that is beneficial for you is what matters. If I pay a quarter for a hat and flip it on eBay for $12.00, I’m a happy camper. The profit margins that you are happy with is a determination you will make for yourself.
As you can see, selling on eBay requires work but it doesn’t have to be a job – here’s to making it your passion!
Check out my next article, that will give step-by-step instructions on how to list on eBay. Also, check out Kent’s upcoming Road to Online Riches eBay Research Tool that will make it easy to research the best selling items online.
Ok, here is a list I promised you with eBay’s current top selling items. This gives a general idea of the types of things to look for to sell. I will go just a little further in each category and give you specific brands, where applicable, that in my opinion are worth seeking out.
Sell a suit
New and Used $100-$800
High-End Brands To Look For: Loro Piana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Canali, Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry.
Other Good Brands ($25-200) Hugo Boss, Jos. A. Banks.
Sell a handbag
New and Used: $200-1000.00+ (Beware of fakes – If you come across very high-end brands such as Gucci, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Michael Kors – Do not attempt to sell if you are not certain of their authenticity).
Other Brands to Look For Selling From $20-$200: Kate Spade, Fossil, Betsey Johnson, Brighton, Tumi.
Sell a wedding dress
New and Used: $200 and Up.
Brands to Look For: Mori Lee, Pronovias, Justin Alexander, Wtoo, Enzoani, Stella York.
New and Used: $200.00 – 900.00
Brands to Look For: Nike, Cole Haan, Brooks, New Balance, Adidas (Style determines price).
Sell a backpack
New: $56 – $66 Used: $40 – $58
Brands to Look For: Oakley, Tumi, Jansport, Burberry, The North Face
Sell a dress
New and Used $200 and Up:
Brands to Look For: Tadashi Shoji, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana, Kate Spade, Burberry, M Missoni.
New and Used Selling for Less than $200: Boden, Free People, Kate Spade, Oscar de la Renta.
Sell designer shoes
New and Used $200.00 and Up
Brands to Look For: Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton (Beware of fakes); Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Giuseppe Zanotti, Bottega Veneta, Miu, Miu, Stuart Weitzman, Adidas (Yeezy Boost, Ultra Boost, Porsche).
New and Discontinued Selling Over $200.00 Tom Ford, Creed, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada, Chanel, Christian Dior.
New and Discontinued: Selling Between $20.-50.00 Victoria Secret, Estee Lauder. Also look for vintage perfume bottles empty or partially full.
Sell RC cars
New: $177-$299* Used: $76-$142*
New and Used from $50.00 – $200.00+
Brands to Look For: American Girl (including minis), Barbie, Madame Alexander, Franklin Mint. Antique and Vintage Porcelain dolls must be authentic for highest prices. (Some specific dolls are more desirable than others within each brand and this changes over time which may require more research).
Sell Lego sets
New and Used sell from $20.00 to $300.00
Brands Include Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Batman, City Sets.
Sell action figures
New and Used $20-$100
Current Sellers: Star Wars, Transformers, Power Rangers, GI Joe, Batman, All Super Heroes; Toy Brands: Bandai, Hasbro, Hot Toy, Kenner, Mattel, McFarlane Toys, NECA.
Sell Playmobil sets
New and Used $15-125.00: Castles, Police, Train, Victorian, Western, Zoo, Christmas (Loose accessories also sell well).
Sell stamp collections
Used: $10-$100+ (Dependent on rarity, age, type, etc).
Sell trading cards
New and Used (Price depends on rarity, age, condition, of course) – Best Sellers at Present Include Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon (Large Lots $200+), Sports.
Sell toy airplanes
New and Used $20-100+
RC planes including kits and accessories, Model kits, Vintage toy planes, Metal and Cast Iron also sell well. Top Flite is one of the best-selling brands.
Sell coins and bullion
New: $17-$36 Used: $301-$468 (Selling price dependent upon current market, rarity, etc) I have no expertise in this market – Prices are taken from eBay’s website.