How to sell on ebay first steps


New member
Jun 6, 2012
Selling items on eBay is simple and fun. eBay allows everyday people to sell practically anything by offering an easy to follow selling format. Regardless of whether you have a few items to sell or a lot of merchandise to put up for bid, you will find that listing your things on eBay is quick, and it requires no knowledge of HTML coding.

Do you have an eBay account?

The first step in selling products at eBay's online marketplace is to register with eBay. The process of registering with them actually takes longer than listing items up for bid. It is free to register, and it does require personal information about you, including a credit or debit card number. Your credit or debit card number is used to pay for the fees associated with buying and selling items in their auctions. Rest assured, the eBay web site is secure.

PayPal is the preferred payment method of many people who buy and sell products on eBay; in fact, eBay recently bought the company. With PayPal, you can receive credit and debit card payments for your auctions. When you have a positive PayPal balance, you can then choose to transfer the funds into your checking account or you can get a PayPal debit card. Setting up a PayPal account only takes a second, and it will attract more buyers to your eBay auctions.

How to get started selling on eBay

Once you have set up your eBay account, and possibly your PayPal account, it is time to collect the items you are planning on listing. It is a wise idea to research items similar to yours on eBay to see how much they are selling for, and to get a feel of how other sellers describe their products.

When you have a good sense of your asking price, there is a button at the top of the eBay page that will direct you to a Sell page where you can list your item.

You will start by selecting the most appropriate category for your item. You will see that eBay allows sellers to choose a main category and a more detailed category to better serve buyers who are searching for an item. You may choose to list your item in two categories for more exposure for a higher listing fee, if you choose.

Next comes the description of the item. If you are selling books or video games, listing your item will be quite simple. There is an option to enter a UPC barcode or ISBN number from the item. This will call up the exact description and a picture of the cover.

If you are selling products that do not have the UPC barcode or ISBN number option, you will need to provide a detailed description of the item. The more descriptive you are in the listing, the better your chances of selling the product. Include colors, wear on the item, the date is was created, and other valuable information. Imagine you are the buyer and include what you would want to know about the item.

The description can be entered in HTML, the web design language, if you know it. If not, eBay provides a short list of codes that you can enter to change the font color, size, and paragraph breaks. If you choose to simply enter the text with no additional web codes, that will work fine as well.

Throughout the next few pages, you will fill in boxes with information pertaining to the sale of the item. For instance, you will be asked to provide shipping information. eBay offers a shipping calculator that will allow you to determine the cost of shipping the item to different locations. You have the option to pay for shipping yourself, but buyers normally pay to ship the item. When shipping books, magazines, DVDs and videos, it is wise to offer United States Postal Service Media Mail shipping - it is very affordable, yet slower than First Class postage. Also, any mailing insurance you wish to offer buyers can be listed here.

It is recommended that you bring the item to the United States Post Office if you are in doubt of the insurance costs and shipping options prior to listing it on eBay. This will help you to become familiar with the mailing process if you are not used to mailing packages.

You will also be given the option of how long the auction will last, providing your location, and the methods of payment you will accept. You can choose to accept checks and money orders that will be mailed to you and PayPal. If you choose to accept personal checks, make sure they clear before shipping the item out. Many eBay sellers do not accept personal checks due to liabilities.

How much should I list my item for?

When pricing your item for a sale, remember that you want to price it fairly. Keep in mind that you should list it lower so that you will encourage bidding on it, but do not list it so low that you won't get the price you want for it if the bidding is slow.

You can set a reserve price on the item. Reserve prices are the minimum price you will accept for the item; if the bids do not go higher than the reserve price, you are not obligated to sell the item. For example, you list your wedding ring on eBay and you really want $1500 for it but the bidding only goes up to $250. You do not have to accept the highest bid.

Should I include a picture of the item?

If you have access to a digital camera, you should include a picture of the item. Buyers like to see what they are bidding on, and a picture of the item helps to ease their mind about the condition of the item. Also, they may not know exactly what they want, and a picture will help them make a decision. The first photo you include on an eBay auction is free - why not add one?

If you do not have access to a digital camera, you can find a similar picture on the Internet and add it to your auction. Your description should state clearly that the item is similar to the photo. You don't want to misrepresent your product.

Should I use the additional eBay selling features, such as bold lettering?

If you really want to draw attention to your item, you can by using the additional eBay selling features, but it is not mandatory. The highlighted and bold listings are useful when you are selling a popular item that many other people are selling. Overall, your auction will probably sell fine without them.

What happens after I list the item for sale?

Once your item is listed, buyers will visit your listing and possibly bid on it. You can track the number of bids and the winning bid amounts in the My eBay section of eBay. The item will be listed for as long as you specified in the original listing information.

When the auction is over, you will need to contact the winning bidder, get the payment, and ship them the product (once it has been paid for). Upon receiving the payment, it is customary to leave feedback about the buyer. They will usually do the same for you.

Should the item not sell, you can choose to relist the item at your My eBay page. It is free to relist the item if it doesn't sell the first time.
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