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Whether you’re looking for long-term success on eBay or just hoping to make a few extra bucks these critical, yet simple tips for selling on eBay will provide you the building blocks to succeed. There is so much to learn, that it can be overwhelming at first.
Knowing where to source products, how to list products on eBay and understanding shipping costs/rates are all important aspect of success on eBay. Don’t stress yourself out trying to learn it all at once. Instead, just take it one day at a time.
Over time you will start putting the pieces together and eventually have a good routine worked out. Learning these tips on how to sell on eBay is totally feasible with a bit of work. So, make sure you check out these incredible tips to sell on eBay.
Related Article: Clever Tips For How to List Items on eBay to Sell Fast
#1 – Positive Feedback is King on eBay
Fortunately, my husband had an eBay account I was able piggyback off when I started selling on eBay. See, if you’re brand new to eBay and have no reviews it may be hard to get people to buy from you. Would you be comfortable spending $20 on an item that you couldn’t return when you know nothing about the seller?
Reviews are critical to getting started with how to sell stuff on eBay. If you are starting a brand new eBay account and have no reviews, I recommend buying a few items on eBay.
Most sellers will give you a positive review when you buy something from them if the process was smooth. They want you to in turn give them a positive review, so it’s only in their best interest to give you a positive review.
This can help boost your account as not everyone reads reviews, so they may not know you are new to selling on eBay. Some people just look at the overall ranking on an account and as long as it has a positive standing, they feel comfortable enough buying an item from that account.
#2 – What to Sell on eBay Tips
Sell Items Around Your House on eBay
I’ve read and heard the best way to get started making money on eBay is to sell stuff around your house. It’s true going this route will help develop the building blocks to be successful on eBay. However, it may be slow moving if you don’t have enough items in demand to sell.
Everything and anything will sell on eBay. For example, a set of 50 empty toilet paper rolls just sold for $16.99 (think craft projects). So those gently used non-designer jeans you’ve listed may sell for $10 dollars but after shipping, eBay and PayPal fees you won’t turn much of a profit.
Pick a Niche
I suggest picking a niche (even if it’s not one you’re too familiar with just yet) and sticking with it for a while. I’ve been selling shoes and clothing from the beginning and had no baseline to start with. I watched lots of YouTube videos and read many blog articles on how to make a profit selling these items.
Slowly, over time, I have learned:
- What brands don’t sell and which brands sell at a high profit margin.
- How to find flaws with products quickly.
- Best ways to take photos.
- How to provide product details consumers want to know.
- The fine balance of paying for fast shipping at the best price.
#3 – Tips for Selling on eBay to Make Money
In the early days of learning how to sell things on eBay, while you’re still building your brand, you may not make a huge profit margin. You want to avoid losses though and have a plan in place to increase profits.
You should always be looking for ways to increase your profit margin. You can do this in one of two ways:
- Lower costs in product sourcing, shipping fees, etc.
- Increase sales price through establishing your credibility (positive reviews), improved listings (expanding your consumer pool), etc.
This will not happen overnight. It will take time and patience. The good news is you can work on all these at the same time.
#4 – How to Price Your eBay Items Competitively
In the below video, I walk you through several tips on how to sell on eBay when listing items.
#5 – Don’t Use the Word “Velcro” in Your eBay Description
Using the word “Velcro” in your eBay description is a violation of the Verified Rights Owner (VeRo) program. Learn more about VeRo on eBay.
#6 – Returns When You Sell on eBay
When deciding out how to sell stuff on eBay, the seller can select not to accept returns. This doesn’t mean a buyer can’t request and require a seller to take an item back.
Unfortunately, there are not good people in the world and they will find ways to return items. The return policy on eBay says a buyer can return an item if it’s not as described. This includes sellers that do no accept returns.
Not that long ago I sold a green purse which had some damage to it. The flaws were illustrated in pictures and noted in the description. My guess is the buyer hadn’t noticed the flaws when they purchased the purse.
The day after the purse arrived at it’s location I got a notification that the seller was requesting a return. At first, I thought I could reject the return.
However, after a little research I learned that when a buyer marks an item as “not as described” a seller has to accept the return. So, what about the item was not as described?
The buyer said the shade of green was different than what the pictures showed. There were multiple pictures that showed the exact color of the purse. Also, nowhere in the description did I note what shade of green the item was.
I probably could have tried to fight the claim, but it didn’t seem worth the effort. I’m sure the buyer knew that though. In the end, I had to pay for the shipping costs to them (even though the listing had shipping as an extra charge) and shipping back to my place.
#7 – Re-list Items Not Selling on eBay
One of the most beautiful tips for selling on eBay that I’ve learned happened by accident. My family and I were heading out on vacation for a week which meant I wouldn’t be able to ship any packages during that time. So, I took all my listings down.
When we got back, I started re-listing items. Some of the items had previously been listed for months and hadn’t seen any promise of being purchased.
However, when the items were re-listed they were new and fresh listings again. This provided a new chance to make a sale and luckily, a few items sold quickly.
So, if something is not selling and has been listed for awhile take it down. Then, wait a few days and re-list the item. Hopefully, someone will snatch it up quickly this time!
#8 – Shipping Tips to Sell on eBay
There is a lot of options when it comes to shipping your eBay packages. USPS and eBay have partnered together and offer reduced pricing when you purchase your shipping label through eBay. In my experience, this is the best route to go.
Here are your options with USPS (they should all get your package to its destination within 3 business days):
- The best option for any package under 13oz is First Class Mail. The size of the package doesn’t matter but the number of ounces and distance makes a difference. Expect to pay less than $6.
- If you’re item is over 13 oz but can fit into a flat rate envelope, your next best option is using a flat rate Priority Mail envelope that the post office provides. This should cost between $7-8.
- For larger, heavier items that are traveling far, the post office offers a variety of box sizes to ship your items for one flat rate. Pricing varies between $8 and $20, depending on the flat rate box size.
- You can always use your own boxes to ship items via USPS but then they charge you based on the distance and weight which can add up quick. Flat rate boxes are your best option.
#9 – Buy a Digital Kitchen Scale for eBay Selling
This is a must. You definitely want to weigh your packages at home. The roughly $20 you will spend buying a small digital kitchen scale is well worth the money.
There are 3 reasons for this:
- The discounted shipping rates eBay has with shipping carriers can only be purchased online through eBay.
- An ounce or two can make a big difference in the final shipping costs.
- You probably don’t want to waste your time standing in a long line at the post office.
So, grab a scale and weigh your packages at home!
#10 – Essential eBay Selling Shipping Supplies
There’s only a few shipping items I actually buy. For starters, save boxes and shipping supplies for items you have delivered to your home. Then, reuse them when shipping items you sell. This will save you money.
For the most part though, I get my shipping boxes from the post office as I like their flat rate options. However, for light weight items under 1 pound, like shirts, I like these poly mailer envelopes bags.
The only other shipping supply must is packaging tape. Make sure you buy heavy duty packaging tape that will hold up during its journey. The last thing you want is your package opening up halfway to its destination and falling out of the package. That would be a disaster!
#11 – How to Create an eBay Selling Spreadsheet
The best way to understand how successful your eBay side hustle is going is to create a tracking spreadsheet. Numbers don’t lie.
So, the best way to know if you are doing well is to record all your expenses for an item and compare that to what each item sells for. You will want to see a gradual increase in profit month over month.
These are the items I suggest tracking:
- Purchase Date
- List Date
- Sold Date
- Where the item was bought (name of store, garage sale, basement, closet, etc.)
- Brand Name
- Gender (if clothing item)
- Size (if clothing item)
- Weight of item
- Purchase price
- Tax on purchase price
- Sold price
- Paid shipping (if you offer free shipping this would be $0.00 as the customer doesn’t pay)
- Shipping fee
- PayPal fee
- eBay fee
In the beginning, all these items may not seem important. Over time though, they will provide very useful trending information that will help increase your eBay sales.
Wish you could get a spreadsheet ready to populate? You can. Snag your free Ebay tracker here.
Use These Tips to Sell on eBay Today!
If you are new to learning how to sell things on eBay, there’s a steep learning curve. I don’t say this to discourage you, as the skills required to be successful on eBay can be learned, but you likely won’t make big bucks right away.
These tips on how to sell on eBay will get you headed in the right direction though. Your goal early on should be to increase your profit margin month over month. The best way to do this as a newbie is to cut costs.
Explore your town and find the best places and ways to find cheap merchandise. Also, educate yourself on all things shipping.
As you provide quality merchandise to your buyers you will start seeing positive reviews come through. This will help build your credibility and allow you to charge a bit more.
Growing a business takes time, perseverance and patience. I hope you found these tips for selling on eBay useful and wish you luck!
If you are using your eBay side hustle as a vehicle to help grow your money, make sure you are investing your hard earned money wisely.
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