You know what you are going to sell and the basics about eBay. Now it is time to list your item for sale. The eBay platform is easy to use and is user intuitive. There are some common challenges that new users have though which I will address in this article. I will show you the basics of creating auctions, selling limits, selling through auctions, revising, and relisting, along with how to get paid. I will also show you where on the platform you can access the list of your sold items and when and how to end a listing.
How to create a listing.
Creating a listing is the first step you need to take to get your item in front of potential buyers. You will need to create a listing that details what you are selling in detail with pictures. The first step is to pick the category to sell your item in. eBay will prompt you based on the auction title to choose a category. You can list in two different categories; however, fees do apply for the second one.
The description is one of the most important parts of the listing. This and the pictures will help the potential buyer decide if they want to purchase your item. The description should be as detailed as possible listing the condition of the item, any defects, serial or identifying numbers, sizes, and anything else that is relevant to the seller. If you are selling clothing, it is a good idea to list the measurements of the item as well. Take the measurements when the garment is laying flat.
Pictures are also important. Make sure you have clear pictures of all angles of the product against a neutral background. You will want to have pictures of any labels, identifying features and flaws. I always make sure that the item takes up most of the screen when I shoot. Remember, people, want to see what they are buying, not the lovely background you have put it on.
You will need to decide on where you will ship to and with what carrier on the listing. You can do flat rate shipping, or it can be calculated with the USPS tool on each auction. It calculates based on the weight and dimensions of the package when the potential buyer types in their zip code. In some cases, sellers do offer free shipping, which I am also using for many of my listed products, but not all of them, just to the products that makes sense to have free shipping.
You can sell internationally as well once you have a minimum of 10 positive buyer feedback. I always sell my products internationally as it means there are even more potential buyers being reached for each listing. You can choose which countries to sell to and what the shipping methods and prices to the potential buyer are.
Creating a listing is really that simple. I’ve gone over some of the tools eBay provides in my previous post and eBay’s policies for sellers are listed here. Seller beware though, not everything can be sold on eBay. The site has a list of prohibited items here. Failure to comply with their rules can result in warnings and account suspension. Although a lot of it is common sense, I found reading through it helpful, nonetheless.
Auctions versus Fixed Price Sales
There are two ways to sell, either through a set time auction or through a fixed price listing.
Auctions are best for letting the buyer decide the price of items. You can have a reserve price though to prevent the item for selling for less than you are comfortable with. An auction-style listing can last a set number of days. The most common is 7 but you can do as few as 1 or as many as 10. The one-day actions are for items that require a fast sale such as concert tickets. The longer ones make it easier to reach as many potential buyers as possible. An auction listing has the option of being automatically relisted if it doesn’t sell
Here are a couple of pricing tips for auction-style listings:
- Set a low starting price to attract buyers
- Adding a “Buy it now” button to an auction allows a buyer to buy it for 30% or higher than the starting bid. Once the first bid is on the listing, the buy it now option goes away
A fixed price listing is just what it sounds like. You set the price and wait till someone buys it at that price. I use this more than auction-style listings. The sale can be slower, but I get exactly the amount I want for the item and it allows the item to be seen by many potential buyers. This can drive customers to my other listings, and I believe that if you are planning to sell for a long time, this is the way to go for most items. The only time I use auction-style is if an item is time sensitive or a hot ticket item that I know will fetch a large sum of money.
Can I sell as many items as I want on eBay?
The short answer to this is yes but you may have to upgrade your account. If you have a personal account, you can list 200 items for free per month. There is also the option to open a business account and these profiles run on tiers. Your seller limits and an analytical view of your activity on eBay can be seen in your seller’s hub. Buy it now and fixed price auctions count towards your overall limit.
If you think you are going to go over your limit for one month, eBay does offer the option of requesting a limit increase for the month. They will only let you do this if you have a current track record of positive sales on the site, but it is sometimes a better option than moving up a tier before you are ready.
There are also category limits if you are a new seller. eBay does this to help new sellers manage their inventory and to learn the rules for selling in a particular category. The limits will increase as you get more comfortable selling and receive positive feedback from buyers.
The easiest and most efficient way to get paid is by setting up a PayPal account. The method is straight forward and easy to use and guarantees that buyers can pay you from around the world. I use PayPal exclusively when I am selling on eBay. You also have the option of accepting credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. It never hurts to have more than one payment method just in case someone doesn’t have PayPal.
Whatever method you choose, it is always important to make sure a buyer’s payment method has cleared before you ship the item. You will want to ship it as soon as you can after the payment clears to receive a positive feedback score from the buyer.
I made a mistake on a listing. Can I revise it?
Some things can be revised on a listing if there are no bids on it and it has longer than 12 hours left. In the seller hub, you can click on “revise” from the “selling activity” button. It is located under the “more actions” section. With an auction-style listing, you can revise title, description, pictures, and you can add optional upgrades. In a fixed price listing, you can edit pretty everything on the listing.
Sold and unsold items – Where do I find them?
When your listing ends, your sold and unsold items will both be in your seller hub. Unsold items will be under the tab of the same name and the sold items will be under the “orders” tab.
Unsold items can be relisted from this tab or revised and then relisted. As I mentioned above, some of the categories allow you to automatically relist but not all. Categories like tickets and events need to be manually relisted.
In the orders tab, you can see items awaiting payment or awaiting shipment. It is from here you can send payment reminders or mark items as shipped once they are paid for. You can also print shipping labels and see what items are awaiting your feedback for the buyer.
Ending a listing
There are times you might need to end a listing early. This can only be done on items that don’t have bids on them for the most part although there are some exceptions to that rule. It is possible to cancel bids and then end a listing, but I would not recommend this unless you absolutely must. I had to end an item once because the item was stolen from me so was no longer available for sale.
eBay is an easy platform to use and selling on it has great potential for additional income. It is my preferred platform to use because of the simplicity of it. With practice, there is the potential to get really good at selling on it and to generate a decent amount of money. Online sales have been my primary source of income for many years and I believe that anyone can have the success I am having with a bit of practice.