If you’ve never sold an item on eBay, you may not know where to begin. Selling on eBay can be intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite easy (if not addictive). Whether you’re new to eBay or a seasoned seller, there are several things to remember when posting an item for auction on eBay.
Register an eBay Seller’s Account
First and foremost, you need to sign up for an eBay account (link in Resources). Being a seller on eBay doesn’t cost any money until you post a listing or make a sale. Often, eBay offers special discounts for listings, meaning you won’t have to spend a dime to post your item. To sign up for eBay, you need your contact information, a password and an eBay user ID of your own creation.
Register for PayPal
Along with an eBay account, it’s also recommended that you set up an account with PayPal (link in Resources). PayPal works much like a free online bank, acting as the middleman in money transfers. Most eBay sellers accept payments through PayPal, because it’s easy, safe and instant. To transfer PayPal funds to your bank account, you will need your account and ABA routing numbers; these numbers are found at the bottom of your personal checks.
To help buyers feel more secure in their purchases from you and to answer any general questions they may have pertaining to all of your listings automatically, set up a Q&A. Go to the Q&A setup page by clicking the “My eBay” tab, signing into your account, hovering over “Account” and clicking “Site Preferences,” selecting “Selling Preferences” and clicking “Show” near the “Manage your communications with buyers” section. Then click “Edit” to edit and make changes to your Q&A. Remember that correspondence with buyers is essential to being a trusted seller; if someone asks a question not covered by the automatic Q&A, answer the questions as soon as you can with answers that are as accurate, clear and concise as possible.
Research What You’re Selling
Knowledge is power; research your item thoroughly before you post it on eBay. Check previous and current listings by shopping around on eBay for the same item. This will give you an idea of what your starting price should be, what buyers are looking for in this item, category classifications and potential shipping costs. When you create your listing, you’ll have the option to set a specific amount for shipping or use a shipping calculator. It’s also important to know the rules and regulations sellers need to follow in order to stay within eBay’s guidelines and to avoid having your account or listings taken down. Read the eBay Policies page for more information (link in Resources).
Create Your Listing
Here’s the tricky part; creating your listing requires tact and cunning. You need to be persuasive while maintaining honesty with your buyer. To create a new listing, click “Sell” on the homepage and choose “Start selling.” After signing in, you need to enter as much information as you can about your item. Choose a category, describe your listing and choose your auction settings carefully. You can also upload a picture of the item to show buyers what they’ll be getting. Make sure you choose the wording in your item description and return policy carefully and cover all the bases; if a buyer receives the item and isn’t satisfied, it may be due in part to an inaccurate description. As you create your listing, you’re also offered a number of features that cost a bit extra, but could increase the chances of buyers looking at your post.
Manage Your Listing
Visit eBay regularly to check in on your listing. On the My eBay or Seller page, you can see messages from potential buyers and learn how many page views you’ve had. The amount of time remaining on the listing is also shown. Make sure to respond to messages promptly to get a more positive response from buyers. Your listing can also be edited, though certain rules apply.
Complete the Transaction
After the auction ends and you receive payment, it’s time to ship the item. Make sure you accurately write the buyer’s shipping address on the package to ensure it reaches its destination. PayPal and eBay also offer label printing services that can save you time in the long run. Be sure to use bubble wrap, padded envelopes or packing peanuts to prevent damage during shipping. Maintain correspondence with the buyer throughout shipment and leave positive feedback for paying buyers to encourage others to shop from your eBay store.
Remember that successful selling on eBay takes practice as much as patience. Take your time, pay attention to what you post and be careful. Don’t ship items until after receiving payment. Maintain honesty with the buyer and stay communicative if you want to see the best outcome for your auction.