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How to sell on eBay: A beginner’s guide for online retailers

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In 2011, Justin Dube, a bike fanatic, misplaced his job as a comfort retailer supervisor and was struggling to make ends meet, so he began a facet enterprise dismantling bikes and promoting the components on eBay. He made his first sale on the identical day he posted his first itemizing, and by 2012, he was transport greater than $5,300 value of components to folks worldwide every month.


“That’s how our business on eBay came to be,” he told eBay in 2013. “Every month, we increase our inventory and make more money than the last.”

Selling on eBay, Dube was ready to not solely do what he liked, but in addition make a dwelling off it, and his success illustrates simply how user-friendly eBay’s system could be — even for first-time sellers. If you’re not aware of {the marketplace}, you simply want a little bit of foundational information to begin promoting objects to eBay’s 182 million lively patrons.

Everything you want to find out about efficiently promoting on eBay

Selling on eBay doesn’t want to be laborious, however you do want to make sure you observe just a few steps, together with:

  • How to arrange an account
  • How to create a list
  • How to handle and optimize your listings

Let’s dive in.


Part 1: Set up an eBay account

You can arrange your eBay account in only a few steps.

Step 1: Register for a private or enterprise account

Register on Ebay example

Visit and click on “register” within the high left of the menu to create an account.

The web page defaults to registration for a private account, which is good should you plan to sell small quantities of things sometimes. However, should you plan to sell giant portions frequently, decide for a enterprise account, as illustrated beneath.


Exampled of Create an Account Page on Ebay

Step 2: Create a person ID

Next, you’ll be requested to select a person ID. Your ID might be displayed to each person who views your listings or interacts with you, so select knowledgeable person ID title that displays your online business. For instance, two of eBay’s high sellers, thrift.books and musicMagpie, sell books and compact discs, respectively.

Step 3: Set an computerized cost methodology

After making a person ID, you’ll be prompted to present an computerized cost methodology: PayPal, a checking account, or a credit score or debit card.

Example of Ebay Automatic Payment Method

eBay will use this cost methodology to cost you for any charges relating to your vendor exercise, comparable to purchaser reimbursements.

Part 2: Selling on eBay: Create a list

Now that you simply’ve created a vendor account on eBay, it’s time to record your first merchandise.

Creating a listing example on Ebay

Log in to your account and click on “Sell” within the high right-hand nook to get began.

Step 1: Identify your product

There are two alternative ways you possibly can record an merchandise for sale: eBay’s fast itemizing instrument or the superior itemizing kind. The fast itemizing instrument generally is a sensible choice for your first itemizing as a result of it’ll present steering on how to worth and ship your merchandise based mostly on earlier gross sales of the identical or related objects. However, if in case you have numerous stock or are going to be promoting on eBay usually, it’s your decision to use the superior itemizing kind due to its extra options.

To establish your product with the short itemizing instrument, merely enter phrases that describe your merchandise or its UPC or ISBN code within the search bar. eBay will routinely present itemizing ideas based mostly on related objects which have offered. For instance, should you’re itemizing a pair of Nike males’s sneakers for sale, the short itemizing instrument will begin populating data for you, as illustrated beneath.

Tell us what you're selling form on Ebay

If you see a list that matches the product you’re promoting, click on “select” as illustrated beneath.

Tell us what you're selling form on Ebay with shoes

This will populate your itemizing with data from the chosen itemizing, and also you’ll then have a chance to edit any fields to customise your specific product.

Create your listing on Ebay with shoes

To establish a product by means of the superior instrument, kind the key phrases for your product into the search bar and click on “Get started.” If you’re uncertain which key phrases to enter, establish your product by clicking “Browse categories” and choosing the class and subcategories that greatest match your merchandise. For instance, should you’re promoting a ebook, you possibly can then choose the ebook’s style.

Tell us what you're selling form on Ebay with books

Once you’ve made your alternatives, a kind might be generated with quite a lot of fields to fill in about your merchandise.

  • The title is the primary line of textual content folks will see about your product. Include crucial, compelling details about the merchandise within the title — it will make the itemizing simple to discover and entice patrons to click on on it.
  • eBay additionally requires that you simply fill in product identifiers, comparable to UPCs and ISBNs.
  • Fill in merchandise specifics or the model and bodily particulars of what you’re promoting, comparable to dimension, make, mannequin, and shade. This data will make it simple for patrons to discover your product by means of search.
  • Include up to 12 high-resolution photographs of the merchandise you’re promoting. The minimal and most picture dimensions are 500×500 pixels and 9000×9000 pixels, however 1600×1600 pixels is beneficial. Photograph your product in entrance of a white background in a well-lit space to make the itemizing look skilled and uncluttered. Including high quality photos isn’t solely visually interesting to patrons, however there’s additionally a science to it, as detailed in this FollowUp article.
  • Write an merchandise description that’s clear and concise. The copy ought to reply any questions a purchaser could have in regards to the merchandise (dimension, dimensions, specs, and so forth.). Keep the formatting easy, and think about using bullet factors to make the outline fast, easy-to-read, and mobile-friendly.

Now that your product data is full, you possibly can transfer on to the subsequent step.

Related: How to write product descriptions to improve gross sales

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

Next, you’ll have to choose which sort of promoting you desire to to use on eBay: public sale or mounted worth.

Selling details form on Ebay

In auction-style listings, patrons bid on objects till the tip date you set. You also can embody an “accept Best Offers” possibility, which permits patrons to make a proposal on an merchandise that you would be able to then select whether or not to settle for. While you possibly can set a set worth on auction-style listings, do not forget that it should be 30 p.c increased than the beginning worth.

It’s greatest to use auction-style listings in circumstances whenever you’re uncertain of the merchandise’s worth, whenever you need to sell an merchandise shortly, or when your merchandise is uncommon or distinctive.

In fixed-price listings, also called Buy It Now listings, you set the value for the merchandise. This promoting methodology is greatest to use when you already know the value you need to get for an merchandise, when you might have numerous stock, or whenever you need your itemizing to seem in search outcomes for greater than 10 days.

Now that you simply’ve chosen your promoting format, you possibly can resolve how lengthy your itemizing will final.

Step 3: Set your itemizing period

Next, you’ll be requested to set a begin date and period time for your itemizing.

Selling details on Ebay Duration

Consider the next elements when deciding what the beginning date and period of your itemizing needs to be:

  • Your kind of promoting:
    • Auction-style listings can final for one, three, 5, seven, or ten days.
    • Fixed-price listings are thought-about “Good ‘Til Canceled,” meaning they’ll be re-listed each month till the merchandise is offered otherwise you cancel the itemizing.
  • When patrons might be online: Think about when customers are almost certainly to place bids on your merchandise, and take into account that the extra people who find themselves online when your public sale is closing, the extra bids you’re possible to obtain. For instance, should you record an merchandise for sale at 3 a.m. on Saturday and choose a three-day itemizing period, it’ll finish at 3 a.m. on Tuesday when your itemizing gained’t be in entrance of as many potential patrons, so on this state of affairs, it might be greatest to schedule your listing for a later time.

Now you possibly can transfer on to really placing a worth on your product.

Step 4: Price your merchandise

The fields for pricing your merchandise seem slightly below the itemizing period.

Price your item example on Ebay

The significance of pricing can’t be overstated on eBay. Setting a aggressive charge not solely impacts patrons’ willingness to pay, nevertheless it additionally impacts how seen the merchandise is in eBay’s search results.

Pricing isn’t a guessing sport, so do a little bit of market analysis to discover a aggressive charge for your product by looking eBay’s accomplished listings to see what number of related objects have offered and at what charges. To see this search filter, scroll down the left-hand panel on a search outcomes web page till you attain the Preferences part. Under “Show only,” test off the field for “Completed Items.”

Completed items example on Ebay

Listings with a inexperienced worth are people who offered, whereas listings with a pink worth are objects that ended with no sale.

Take a have a look at the costs for each offered and unsold objects, and take into account how the objects’ pricing may need performed a task. Were the unsuccessful listings priced exceptionally increased, or may one other issue, comparable to excessive transport prices or poor vendor suggestions, have prevented an merchandise from promoting? You also can use this data to decide how a lot an merchandise sells for on common and to see if different sellers had extra success promoting the merchandise with a fixed-price or public sale format.

Keep in thoughts that should you’re promoting a high-priced merchandise, an vintage, or a collectible, it may be useful to embody knowledgeable valuation or authentication paperwork to justify the merchandise’s excessive worth and enchantment to bidders. You can embody a picture of any such paperwork within the itemizing photographs.

Now that you simply’ve decided the right worth to get patrons’ consideration, you possibly can choose transport choices for your merchandise.

Related: How to worth merchandise — 7 aggressive pricing methods to make a revenue

Step 5: Set up transport choices

Once you’ve set your worth, you’ll want to arrange transport choices for your product. Aim to make your transport coverage as engaging as potential, whether or not that’s providing two-day transport or free returns.

In the world of Amazon Prime, handy transport is an expectation of online patrons that you will need to ship on to keep worthwhile.

Beyond assembly patrons’ expectations, providing a powerful transport coverage will increase the visibility of your merchandise on eBay. With {the marketplace}’s search engine, patrons are ready to type merchandise with quick transport instances that meet eBay’s Guaranteed Delivery (EGD) tips. To qualify for EGD, a list should have a same-day or one-day dealing with time.

To set your transport coverage, fill out the next data within the itemizing instrument:

  • Type of charge: Select a flat charge for all patrons, a calculated charge based mostly on the customer’s location, freight transport for giant objects that weigh greater than 150 kilos, or “No shipping: Local pickup only.”
  • Carrier providers: You can select from quite a lot of carriers and their providers, together with USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

Calculated shipping example on Ebay


If you’re providing worldwide transport, you’ll even have to select a sort of charge, however you’ll have solely two choices: flat charge or a calculated charge based mostly on the customer’s location.

Flat cost shipping example on Ebay

If you want help with sending orders on time, take into account signing up for eBay’s Global Shipping Program (GSP). With this program, sellers ship offered objects to eBay’s international transport heart in Kentucky. From there, eBay handles any customs paperwork and ships the merchandise to patrons throughout the globe.

Because eBay is caring for the transport, eBay might be accountable for any supply mishaps which will happen.

There’s no payment to be a part of GSP. However, normal eBay promoting and PayPal charges apply, together with PayPal’s transaction charges for cross-border funds. The ultimate payment is calculated based mostly on the overall quantity of the merchandise sale, together with any home transport charges.

Part 3: Manage your eBay itemizing

As quickly as your itemizing is stay, you’ll obtain an e-mail informing you that it’s posted, however your function as the vendor is way from over. You’ll nonetheless want to interact with patrons who’ve questions, probably promote your itemizing, and full the transaction in case your merchandise sells

While eBay will e-mail you if a purchaser asks a query, you can even preserve a watch on your itemizing by logging in to eBay and clicking on “My eBay” within the high right-hand nook of the menu. From right here, you possibly can view your lively listings, see how many individuals are watching your itemizing or have positioned bids, and reply any purchaser questions.

Build a optimistic vendor fame

It’s essential to preserve a optimistic vendor fame. This will increase your credibility as a vendor, encourages patrons to store with you, and even boosts your search rating.

How to develop a optimistic vendor fame:

  • Offer aggressive pricing and transport
  • Answer purchaser questions promptly
  • Provide wonderful customer support
  • Keep monitor of stock to keep away from canceling gross sales
  • Track shipped objects and supply clients with supply dates
  • Promptly report any points you might have with a purchaser
  • Leave optimistic suggestions for patrons and ask them to depart you suggestions as nicely

As you possibly can see, constructing a optimistic vendor fame includes taking motion at each step alongside the way in which, from creating your itemizing to transport a bought merchandise.

Complete a transaction

When an merchandise sells, eBay notifies the vendor instantly. Once you get that message, full the transaction shortly and precisely to preserve a optimistic vendor fame.

Here are a few ideas for finishing transactions in a manner that’s each safe and thoughtful of the customer:

  • Ship the product as quickly because the cost is verified. eBay will inform you as quickly as cost is obtained. Sometimes funds can take longer to arrive based mostly on the kind of cost a purchaser makes use of, however you possibly can at all times test cost standing by means of “My eBay account.” If you see {that a} cost is pending or on maintain, PayPal or eBay could have positioned a temporary hold on it. This is frequent should you’re a brand new vendor who hasn’t established a promoting file but. You’ll change into a longtime vendor after it’s been greater than 90 days since your first profitable eBay sale or should you’ve had greater than 25 transactions and made $250 in gross sales.
  • Take motion should you don’t obtain cost inside a few days. Start by contacting the customer to verify once they plan to ship the cost. If the customer doesn’t reply to your message or bill, report the unpaid item to eBay. You should report your case inside 32 days of your itemizing ending. Once a case has been opened, the customer has 4 days to reply or pay for the merchandise. After 4 days have handed, go to eBay’s Resolution Centerto shut the case by choosing “receive fee credit” after which “close case” on the next web page. The unpaid merchandise will then be recorded on the customer’s account, the payment might be credited again to you, and you’ll re-list your merchandise.

If you discover that your itemizing isn’t producing a lot curiosity although, you may get it in entrance of extra potential patrons by doing a easy promotion.

Promote your listings

Selling on eBay generally is a problem merely due to the billions of listings that exist on {the marketplace}.

By selling your itemizing by means of eBay promoting, your product has a greater likelihood of standing out and attracting patrons. In truth, in accordance to eBay, the publicity of promoted listings is 36% greater than non-promoted ones.

Promoted listings seem on the high of search outcomes when a purchaser searches for your specific merchandise. The itemizing might be recognized as “Sponsored,” as within the screenshot beneath.

Cat tree condo listing on Ebay

To create a promoted itemizing, you should be an eBay store subscriber. To arrange your promotion, go to and select the way you need to arrange your marketing campaign: by choosing particular person listings or choosing them in bulk.

Create your own campaign example

Once you’ve chosen the itemizing you need to promote, an advert might be routinely generated. Now you merely have to resolve how a lot you’re keen to pay for promotion. This is known as the advert charge.

The advert charge is a proportion of the merchandise worth, and sellers can set their charge to as little as 1%. This proportion is what you’ll pay to eBay if a purchaser clicks on your promoted itemizing and purchases your merchandise.

The advert charge you select primarily helps eBay resolve if it desires to promote your itemizing when a purchaser searches for your merchandise or one thing related. The increased your advert charge, the extra possible it’s that eBay will promote your itemizing. You can view eBay’s ad rate trends by nation and class.

Now that you simply’ve created a promoted itemizing, you’re nicely on your manner to changing into an skilled vendor.

Experiment to always enhance as an eBay vendor

Selling on eBay is continually evolving, and this guide offers solely foundational information. Once you’re snug with the fundamentals of promoting on eBay, it’s time to experiment to find out how to make your listings extra aggressive and uncover new methods to attain clients and assist your online business thrive.

Start by analyzing your account knowledge with this guide to monitoring and making use of metrics for higher progress; it would assist you establish areas the place you possibly can experiment with new concepts.

For instance, should you at all times create fixed-price listings, attempt public sale listings to see in case your income improve. Or, in case your itemizing isn’t producing a lot curiosity, tweak your merchandise description or take a look at out a promoted itemizing to see if it will increase gross sales.

You also can experiment with transport choices like Justin Dube did. As he accomplished increasingly more eBay gross sales, he discovered that utilizing eBay Labels and providing free transport on all orders reworked his enterprise and, in the end, made it sustainable.

Don’t be afraid to attempt your individual assessments to decide what makes your individual listings simplest when promoting on eBay.

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