How To Sell Stuff On Ebay For Beginners
There’s a lot of people that sell stuff on eBay but to be honest most of the listings totally suck because the sellers are missing out on the most money that they can get because they’re not optimizing their listings correctly.
In this article I’m going to teach you my five steps on how to sell stuff on eBay for beginners so that you can get the most money from your listings. If you stick around to the end I’ve got a cool little bonus tip that’ll teach you how to get more feedback from your buyers.
I’ve sold stuff on eBay for about five years, now so that doesn’t make me an eBay guru by any means but I can say that I am an expert when it comes to selling normal items to normal people.
Whether you’re a beginner or if you’ve done eBay for a while I want you to read this post because I’m going to teach you how to optimize your listings so that you can make the most money you can on eBay.
I’m going to break this up into five different parts so that you can follow along. I’ve broken it down into research, title and description, the photography, the selling format and then the shipping.
How to Sell Stuff on Ebay for Beginners – Do Your Research
I’m going to teach you how to optimize all of these different areas so pay attention and we’ll start with the first one which is your research. Now I don’t need to elaborate much here but you do need to do a little bit of research before you decide to list an item.
You need to get an idea of what the items are selling for so that you can tell if it’s even worth listing the item.
A few months ago I found a Marilyn Monroe doll in its original box so I instantly thought that it was going to be worth a ton on eBay. I quickly did some research and found out that it was only worth 20 bucks so in my opinion that really wasn’t worth very much at all.
I mean 20 bucks is just easy cash but you’ve still got to understand that it takes time to list an item and eBay is still going to charge their fees so just do a little bit of research before you list an item that way you can actually tell if it’s worth it or not.
As a general rule if I’m listing stuff on their own I’m only going to do that if they’re worth about $40 or more because then it’s worth it to me. If they’re worth less than the 40 bucks then I’ll just wait till I have a bunch of that kind of stuff so that I can group them all together.
For example, if you’ve got a bunch of DVDs that aren’t worth very much money then it’s probably better to just group those together and sell them as one listing.
If you’re batching stuff that just means that you’re gonna list a bunch of different separate things at the same time so that your time management is a lot more efficient.
Batching items will also make shipping a lot easier too because if you run them all as auctions then they’re going to end at the same time therefore they’re gonna ship at the same time.
Now once you’ve done your research and you know for sure that you want to sell the item then it’s time to work on my next step which is the title and the description.
How to Sell Stuff on Ebay for Beginners – Optimize Your Title and Description
This is really easy to do but I still need you to pay attention because I feel like there’s a lot of listings on eBay where people do not follow any of these rules.
As an example I’m going to be using an older Apple watch 1 so that you guys can make sense of what I’m talking about. If it were me I’d list it as an Apple watch series 1 42 millimeter sport in space gray that’s in fair condition.
So why exactly did I title it like this? Well I titled it on purpose like that because you want the viewers to know exactly what they’re buying before they actually have to click on the item.
I mean think of it like this, if you were looking for a TV wouldn’t you want to know the size of the TV before you had to click on it to find out.
If you’re looking for something on eBay it just sucks to have to guess what certain specs are because the last thing you want to do is to go into the description only to find out that it’s not even the size that you wanted in the first place.
Trust me you’ll get a lot more bids and traffic on the item as long as you title it with the specs that are important. You can also list the specs and all that kind of stuff inside of eBay and I would recommend doing that.
That way if the buyers are using a filter then he can find your stuff as well and that’s just because the more information you have in your listing the easier it is for eBay to serve it to those people that are looking for it.
As far as the description goes you’re going to want to put your title in that again and then you’re going to want to give an honest description of the condition that the items in.
I’d say something like, it’s a used Apple watch with plenty of scratches from normal use but it works just fine. You can elaborate as much as you’d like about the item but just make sure that you’re being honest about it and tell it like it is.
I’d also list exactly what’s going to be shipping to the customer so that they know what they’re going to be getting. With the Apple watch I just tell them that I have a charger but I don’t have a box and that’s exactly what’s gonna be shipping the watch and the charger.
If you do have the serial number I’d write that in the description as well that way you can protect yourself and the buyer from any scams.
If you want to add in the description from the manufacturer go ahead and do that but just make sure it’s from the manufacturer and not a reseller.
So if you were selling a GoPro you can’t just hop onto Cabela’s website and steal their copy, you have to make sure to go to GoPros website that way you get the correct copy that you can use on your eBay description.
How to Sell Stuff on Ebay for Beginners – Get Your Images Right
Now on to the photography. This is so easy but I feel like a lot of beginners on eBay don’t do this right. You don’t need to be a fancy photographer to sell stuff on eBay but you’ve just got to make sure that your photos aren’t underexposed and that they’re not blurry either.
Basically your photos just need to show everything that’s going to be shipping to the customer without a distracting background. Just remember that a lot of the stuff we buy on eBay is used.
You don’t want to get the vibe like the jacket you’re buying was used on a farm all because the photo was taken on a bale of hay.lol
Just make sure to take all of your photos on a white or a neutral background and then give it enough light so that everybody can see what you’re trying to sell.
You also need to take pictures of every single angle of the item that way the buyer can see exactly what’s on each side if that matters to them.
Now once you’ve taken all the photos that you need for the item just make sure to take a picture of the serial number if you can find it.
That’s going to protect you against scams because trust me it’s a lot harder to get scammed on eBay when you have authenticity proof in your photos and your description.
If you bought my Apple watch and then you sent me back a broken one I’d have proof that you were full of crap because the serial numbers wouldn’t match.
Buyers also like to see the serial numbers too because that way they can check the date, when it was manufactured and all that kind of stuff. eBay has both a cropping feature and an exposure feature so feel free to use those if you’re not too savvy with Photoshop.
I will tell you right now the eBay does not care about fancy photos for the type of stuff that we’re selling. You actually want to leave the images pretty candid on purpose. If you take too nice of a photo people are going to think that you stole them and that they’re not the real images.
Make sure to crop it in as tight as you can because what you’re selling should take up all the space and the buyers just want to know exactly what they’re looking at.
Just remember to take the photos on a white or a neutral background, make sure the exposure is good, make sure that they’re not blurry and then crop in the image as tight as you can and that is all you have to worry about.
Make sure not to fix anything in Photoshop because you’re selling a used item so you need to show it in as is condition so that you’re not lying to anyone.
How to Sell Stuff on Ebay for Beginners – Which Way Should You Sell Your Item
Now on to the selling format which is really not that complicated if you just take this advice. There’s basically two ways that you can sell your stuff. You’ve got buy it now and you’ve got the auction and they’re both really good in their own ways.
But if you want to get the most money that you possibly can from your listings then you’re gonna want to do a seven-day auction because statistically that one’s gonna get you the most cash.
Now if you’re in a hurry to sell your stuff then I would use the Buy It Now option but if you want to make the most money then I would run the seven-day auction which is what I’m gonna be talking about.
Plus the good thing about running an auction is that if you list a bunch of different items they’re all gonna end at the same time which if you have a Buy It Now you have no idea when they’re gonna be selling.
Now here’s the important stuff about running an auction so pay attention. If you want your listing to get the most money and the most bids then you’re going to want to list the item for a dollar with no reserve.
This strategy does work but only if the item is going to get bids. So if the Apple watch I know that that’s gonna get the bids that I need so I would 100% list that at $1 with no reserve.
The reason is if you end up with zero bidders because your starting price is too high or you’ve got way too ridiculous of a reserve price then that means that nobody is gonna get notifications from eBay.
You’ve got to understand the eBay gives automatic notifications to all of your bidders and watcher so you’ve got to have as many of those as you can to get all of those notifications out because how in the world are you gonna end up having a bidding war if you only have one bidder on your item.
Trust me you want a Ebay to send out those notifications to the bidders and the Watchers because that’s free advertising for you. If you want to get as many bids as you can and you want to make the most money on your item then start it at a buck and don’t have a reserve.
Now if you know the item you’re selling is not going to get very many bids and it’s not going to get very much traffic then I would just start it at a fair price that you’re willing to settle with.
If you end up with only one bidder on the item then at least you’ll get paid something. I actually had to sell a few items for just a buck because they only got one bid and that totally sucked because they were worth a lot more than that.
What I’m trying to say here is that if you list an item for $1 just make sure it’s going to get enough traffic and if it doesn’t just list it for a price that you’d be willing to settle for.
If you want to get the best results on your auction then you’re going to want to be listing your auction on Sundays between 6 and 9pm.
Sunday night is the perfect time to start your auctions because it’s gonna end the next Sunday night which is statistically the time when the most people are on eBay.
Think of it like this, if you’ve got a pair of shoes on eBay that’s going to end at 3 a.m. then nobody’s going to be bidding on those shoes because most of the people that actually want them are probably asleep.
Learn more about: Ebay Buyer Scams & How To Avoid Them
How to Sell Stuff on Ebay for Beginners – Understanding Shipping
When it comes to shipping stuff on eBay all you’ve got to do is have a fixed rate and then have it go economy. The reason you want to go with a fixed rate shipping fee is because the buyers know exactly how much they’re going to be paying.
Nobody likes to guess how much they’re going to have to pay for shipping so just stick with a fixed rate fee and it makes it easier for everyone.
The cool thing about using the economy shipping is you can go with any carrier that you prefer using. That way if FedEx ended up being cheaper than UPS then you could just choose them instead.
I’ve done some testing on running items for free shipping and I am not convinced at all that it’s any good for normal sellers like us. I’ve just found that running free shipping on your items just means that you’re leaving money on the table.
Most people are willing to pay a reasonable amount for shipping so all you need to do is charge a fixed rate amount that’s going to be easy to go anywhere in the country.
On eBay you have no idea where the buyers going to live when you actually ship it so you just have to have a fee that’s going to be fair for anywhere in the country.
Sometimes you’ll make some money when you ship stuff and sometimes you won’t but the goal here is that you’re close. You can get shipping prices from eBay by giving them dimensions and weight but overall it’s just going to take a bit of practice to know how much to charge.
The next thing about shipping is that you’re going to want to put the item in the smallest box possible but still keep it safe. You will be charged by size and weight so just make sure to keep it as small as you can.
Also if you buy a lot of stuff online keep those boxes and shipping materials because you can use those on eBay and that’s gonna save you a lot of money.
eBay does a great job at providing boxes and shipping materials and stuff like that if you want to buy them on your own but if you’ve already got boxes at your house then just use those instead because it’s a lot cheaper.
At the end of the day eBay is going to charge you about thirteen percent in fees so you need to keep things as cheap as you can so that you can make the most money.
Now here’s the bonus tip on how to get more feedback from your buyers and it is so easy. All you have to do is put a physical note inside the box asking them to give you some feedback.
Just say something like “hey, I’m new on eBay and I could use some feedback if you had a good experience with me and if you didn’t just try to resolve it with me first.”
Trust me, leaving a note in the box is so much better than trying to get a hold of them online because it’s real. So try this out and I guarantee you’ll get more feedback from your buyers and it’s so easy to do.
How To Sell Stuff On Ebay For Beginners – Conclusion
I hope this has helped give you some insight on how to sell stuff on eBay for beginners. The toughest part is growing your feedback. Once your feedback starts building your sales will start improving.
If you’re looking to add more products to your store you might want to checkout Salehoo. They have a wide variety of wholesalers which means more profit for you.
If you found this post useful please leave a comment and share with your friends. Take some time and check out some of my other posts that will help you shorten your learning curve and if you have a topic you’re interested in let me know and I’ll cover it in my next post.