How to Sell on eBay for Beginners

There are countless ways of selling stuff online, but without a doubt, one of the best and most popular of these ways is definitely selling on eBay.

If you haven’t been living under a rock since 1995, you’ve probably heard of eBay.

It’s an e-commerce platform that allows users to buy and sell items with ease.

There are many platforms similar to this, so you may be asking yourself,

Why eBay?

The question is why not eBay?

With over 150 million active users, 50 free listings a month, and a fairly easy to use service, I don’t know why you wouldn’t.

However, there are a couple things I need to make you aware of that eBay does.

First, eBay takes 9% of what your item sells for (final value fee), which does add up quickly, but you have to remember you are using their service and people are seeing your item scrolling through their website.

Another thing I recommend you do is use a PayPal account, which is a much safer way of transferring your money.

However, PayPal also takes a cut of 2.9% of the payment plus $0.30 of each transaction before putting the money into your account.

Sourcingwhere to look for inventory

If you already have the inventory you want to sell and aren’t interested in getting anymore, skip this step.

For those of you who want to make a business out of this, you will need to know where to get your inventory.

I use eBay for nearly all the purchases I make. However, when I buy on eBay I almost always buy in bulk.

What it means to buy in bulk is to buy a lot of items for cheaper than the contents of that lot are worth if sold separately.

When I want to figure out how much an item can sell for, I head over to eBay, search what I’m looking to sell, scroll down and on the sidebar there should be a box that says “Sold listings”.

Once you check it, you will see the prices that item sold for recently to get a good idea of what you could get for it.

Please note that when you are making this calculation, do NOT put the highest it sold for, look at the lower prices it sold for, because if you calculate with that low ball estimate, you may make a little more than what you were expecting, rather than being disappointed when you didn’t get as much as you thought.

But there are definitely some alternatives to shopping for inventory on eBay.

  • Simply to talk to your friends. They may have some stuff laying around that they don’t want anymore, and may give it to you.
  • Check garage sales.  At garage sales most of the time people don’t know what they have and are just looking to get rid of it, so you can occasionally get things for a really good deal.
  • Try going to thrift stores.  Most of the time they won’t have much, but occasionally you will find a gem that will make you a lot of money.
  • Go to the actual stores (Walmart, Target, etc.), because sometimes they have really good sales going on.

Get your item(s) Listed on eBay

So now that you have some stuff to sell, it is time to get it up on eBay.

I will be breaking it down into 3 steps to make it a little easier.

Step 1: Pictures

When you list your item it is very important to use your own pictures.  Buyers prefer actual pictures of the item, rather than the stock photo.

You don’t need to have a professional camera to get some nice pictures.

The camera on your phone should be fine, but when you are taking the pictures be sure to find a clean space that has a lot of light.

Also make sure that you clean the item before taking pictures, no one wants to buy something that’s dirty.

When taking your pictures, try to make sure that you take plenty of pictures that show everything that is included, you want the potential buyer to know exactly what they are getting.

When you’re done, they should look something like this:

product picture number 1product picture number 2product picture number 3

Step 2: List It!

With your pictures ready you are finally ready to list it.

To start, go to eBay and if you are logged in, you will be able to hit the sell button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

It will bring you to a page, where it will say “What do you want to sell?” and in the box, enter what it is you want to sell.

Then based on what keywords you type, it will bring up a list of items and you click on the one that best matches your item, as seen below.

find your product
If it doesn’t appear in the list, make sure you spelled it right, and if you did, then hit the Create a new listing button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Then of course you hit the “Sell one like this” button and select the condition of your item.

It will then bring you to a page where you can customize your listing.

First things first, you are going to want to give your listing a title. For example:

title
Then, you will insert your photos. Make sure that you use the photo you want people to see when they are scrolling through eBay for the main photo.

The details section usually comes semi-filled, and just fill out what you know.  Please note that you don’t have to fill out all of these, just what you can.

Then write your item description.  Just state exactly what it is you’re selling and don’t overthink it.

For example:

description

Up next is the pricing.

As you can see by my description I will be doing an auction. I would highly recommend doing auctions, because you could end up getting more than you were hoping.

I usually start all of my auctions at $0.99 and I set it to 7 days.  I know what you are probably thinking; “Why would you set the starting price at $0.99?”.

My answer to that is because more people will see it and bid on it at that low price, which will create competition for it, which will lead to the price going up because of a bid war.

And if you are selling something expensive and are worried about it not going for a lot, then just hit the more options button, which will then show you the option of setting a reserve price, and all you do is set that reserve to what you are looking to get.

For example:

starting bidlist time
There is a small fee on setting a reserve price, but it is only charged if your item sells.

Finally, we are at shipping.

When I fill this out, I charge a fixed amount of $3 (it costs $2.66 to ship a game) but you could also raise the item price and offer free shipping, which will usually work better, because a lot of people search under free shipping.

I also check “I don’t know the package details”, as shown below:

shipping items
There you have it!

Now all that is left to do is click the “List It” button, and your listing has started!

Step 3: Check on it

To check on your listing, simply hover over the “My eBay” button and a list of actions will appear and you need to click on the “Selling” button.

It will then bring you to your eBay Selling Overview.

This page will show your bids received and items that sold and need to be shipped, which is what we will be talking about now.

Shipping

Do NOT ship the item until the payment is received.

It is finally time to send your item to the buyer.

Go to your eBay Selling Overview (explained in Step 3) and scroll down and select “Sold”.

When you find the item you are looking to ship, select “More actions” and click “Print label”.

It will then bring you to a Purchase postage page, where you can configure your printer, select what type of shipping you would like, and then set the weight (games like this are usually 3-4 ounces) and dimensions of your package..

Once you have done that, click Purchase postage.

It will then bring you to a page that will allow you to print the label, by simply pressing the Print Label button.

Once your label is printed, cut across the dotted line.  Put your item in your box and seal it shut.

Then you need to tape the label to the package by grabbing your Packaging Tape, and taping the label on, covering all sides, but NOT covering the bar code.

Once your package is ready, take it to the post office, mail it, and you are done!

—> Click Here for the Bubble Mailers I use! <—

—> Click Here for the Packaging Tape I use! <—

If you live in the United States, USPS offers FREE boxes and envelopes, which is really awesome, and will save you tons of money.

Feedback and Moving Forward

There is one more thing we need to talk about here and that is feedback.

Feedback is when the buyer of the item leaves a review of their experience they had with you.

If you get the item shipped fast and have it packaged securely, then you will most likely get a positive review.

Positive feedback is a very important part of moving forward with your business and it will either lead to many more sales, or lead to scaring away potential buyers.

So congratulations, on taking your first step toward building a successful online business and I wish you the best of luck with your business looking forward!

You are allowed 50 listings free listings in a month, but maybe that 50 just isn’t enough for you, and if this is the case, you may want to consider upgrading and getting a store.

Not only does a store give you more listings, but it also makes your final value fee go down drsactically, and you get ranked higher in search.

If you want to find out more about an eBay store and how it can help your business grow, Click Here to read my post all about it!

Thank you very much for reading!

If you have any questions or comments about anything explained, be sure to leave a comment in the comment section down below and I will reply.

If you liked this post want more, be sure to follow me on social media, so you can be notified whenever I release something new.

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12 thoughts on “How to Sell on eBay for Beginners

  1. This is really helpful and can assist anyone with selling any item on ebay. Brilliant diagrams that show you what to do. Look forward to selling on the ebay site.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thank you very much for reading and I hope this article helped you very much. I wish you the best of luck moving forward!

  2. Great techniques here! I’m a huge believer that getting your pictures right is one of the biggest sellers. People just want to know what they are getting so having everything in one picture AND separate items shows them exactly that. I’ve used this technique for many months now and have seen sales increase drastically. You’re ideas here are amazing so thanks for everything.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading! I think that pictures are key to selling a product, and that is awesome that you have been getting more sales. Thank you very much for reading!

  3. This is a super in-depth step by step breakdown of how to sell video games online!

    Selling on ebay can seem like a pretty overwhelming process. (I’ve tried selling online but haven’t had much success yet.)

    I’m going to bookmark this page to revisit later. It’ll definitely come in handy the next time I list some of my old games online. The section about shipping and packaging will be the most helpful, for me anyways.

    P.S. Metro Prime is a classic.

    Thanks for the info!

    1. I believe you will achieve your desired success selling online, and wish you luck in doing so. If you ever revisit and need help with something, or something explained, leave a question and I will answer! I love the Metroid Prime series!
      Thank you for reading!

  4. These are great ideas that you have here! Often times people just post a lousy pictures on ebay and call it a day. If you have more people who do these tips that you are talking about, the buying experience would be way more enjoyable/

    1. Pictures are the main feature of selling your product. They are what make people click on your listing. Bad picture equals bad amount of people clicking.
      Thank you for reading!

  5. Great information. I have often thought about selling on eBay. Seems like a pretty simple process. I have one question, how do the fees compare to Amazon fees? Their fees just seem to go up and up. I have only ever sold on Amazon, time I investigated eBay!

    1. To answer your question, eBay has less fees than Amazon. Amazon has a 15% final value fee, while eBay only has a 9% final value fee.
      I really think you should look into eBay!
      Thank you very much for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed!

  6. I liked the introduction, lol. Incredible as it may seem, a lot of people still live under the rocks. We are one step ahead of them so it is good to seize opportunities and tips like these. Thank you.

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