Times are unprecedented and have been challenging this year. More than ever people are looking for alternative ways to make money. And with good cause. Selling on eBay can be a lucrative and worthwhile venture to create an additional income. It can also be confusing for a new seller. How do you decide what to sell and for what price? How do you make sure you are selling hot ticket items that will make money? Should I sell internationally?
How does the eBay platform work and how can I make sure that I am maximizing my sales potential?
These are questions that every new seller has. As a seasoned eBay seller, I will try and break it down as much as possible and show you my tips and tricks to success.
The first thing to consider is how many items you plan to sell. If you are listing under 200 a month, then the best option is to have a personal account. There is no need to open a storefront if you are listing under 200 items a month. If you are listing over that amount a month, an eBay store is the way to go. There are different tiers for storefronts on the platform. From my personal experience, it is always better to start on the lowest tier you will need and then upgrade as you grow your business and your sales.
Once you have established your account name and store, it is time to start listing.
eBay has lots of resources and tools to help you with listing. You will need to decide pricing on your items. I do a search of the exact item when I am researching current pricing on an item. To do this, go to advanced search and enter your keywords that describe the item you are selling. Chooses completed listings and search. This will show you auctions that are completed for the same item you are selling. If there are none, you can try not clicking completed listings to see if there are any current listings that might not completed but will show you if people are bidding and what the starting price is for each one. This information can be valuable as well. It can show you how many there are of any item and whether people are bidding based on the prices listed.
If your listing is obscure or there aren’t a lot of other listings to compare it to, the best way to check on current prices is through a quick Google search. I usually check Kijiji and Craigslist for standard items and specialized sites for other items such as antique listings or car parts sales sites.
Some other things to consider when you are pricing your item are whether you are doing an auction style or fixed price style listing. An auction style listing does mean you can start the bidding lower to attract attention. I personally don’t find this beneficial unless the item you are selling is an extremely hot ticket item. Certain auction style listings allow you to add a reserve price which means that you don’t need to sell for a price you are not comfortable with, even if there are bids on an item. You can also add a ‘buy it now’ button to an auction style listing. This allows buyers to buy the item on the spot for a price that you set. The buy it now price must be listed at 30% higher than the starting price.
For certain items, eBay will offer price suggestions in the listing flow. These recommendations are based on items that have sold on the platform recently.
In my experience, pricing when using a fixed price or buy it now listing is a better option for long term sales.
Using a fixed price auction is my preferred way to sell. It allows you to leave the listing up until it sells and it ensures that the item sells for exactly what you are comfortable with. You can also add a best offer option to a fixed price listing. This allows potential buyers to send you their best offers on an item and you have the option to accept them or reject them.
As with the auction style listing, eBay will offer price suggestions for certain items.
Another tool eBay offers for sellers is the business tool.
This tool is used by high volume sellers or people with bulk items to list. It allows a seller to create streamlined listings faster and more effectively. It also allows a seller to see daily sales trends and to identify your top performing items. It also offers listing guidance and marketing tips to ensure that potential buyers know how to find you.
If you are a new or occasional seller, there is a quick listing tool to use. It allows you to automate quantities, reserve prices, duration and even schedule listing. The tool is easy to use. Go to the top of the listing form and click on “change listing preferences”. Next you will check the “enable more options” box and click save. Finally, you can see more listing options by clicking on “more options”.
Selling internationally – Is it worth it?
For me personally it is absolutely worth it to sell internationally. It allows a larger audience to find my listings and to bid on them. To sell internationally, you must have an eBay account in good standing with a minimum of 10 feedback points from buyers. You also must have made your first successful sale longer than 90 days ago. There are certain categories that cannot be sold internationally but my experience is that most can.
You will need to specify what areas you will ship to and what the shipping costs are.
It is easy to add international shipping to your listings. Click on “show international services and options” on the listing and click save. Choose either “flat rate” or “calculated shipping”. Flat rate means you choose the price, and it is the same for the entire area or country you pick. The calculated tool allows you to put in the dimensions of the package your item will be shipped in and it will calculate the cost for you.
Lastly, add the countries you are willing to ship to from the “destination” section and then choose your preferred shipping carrier from the service section.
The final thing you will need is a verified PayPal account and you must be willing to accept PayPal for payment.
eBay can be a lucrative way to make some additional money provided you do the research and use the tools provided. This blog is a brief overview to get you started on your eBay selling journey using some of eBay’s tools. This ensures that you are not making some of the errors I made in my early days of selling. I will be posting more tips and tricks to sell successfully in my next post as well. Until then, happy selling!