Sell on Ebay

Beginners Guide To Getting Started

This basic guide to selling on ebay provides step-by-step instructions and tips in order to begin making sales on ebay. The following steps are in order of what you need to do to begin to sell on ebay, although you don't necessarily have to do them in this order.

Taking photographs

When taking photographs of your items to sell on ebay, you may want to experiment with different props to make the items look more attractive, but you will want to be careful about this. Any photograph of your item should display it clearly regardless of whether you have used props or not. Using props can cause confusion about what is included in the listing, or props may be distracting from the item that it is you are selling. Personally i think that it is usually best to photograph an item on it's own, but many successful sellers include props in their photographs.

If you are intending on selling a lot of items, ideally you will have a designated an area in your home for taking photographs specifically. For this you will need some kind of back-drop, you could use anything from a screen, to a sheet, or paper. You may want to experiment with different color schemes, white or black are usually the most affective in making an item stand out and displaying it clearly.

Take several pictures of your items, experimenting with different angles and close ups of the items features.

Deciding on a price for your listed items

When selling on ebay, take into consideration listing fees, final valuation fees, shipping costs, and also paypal fees if you will be accepting paypal as a method of payment. Furthermore consider the value of your time.

Ebay listing fees vary, beginning at .50cents for items priced under 19.99. You can view a graph of ebay listing fees on the site.

Final valuation fees will be charged at a rate of 7% of the proceeds from a sale.

Paypal will also take a small percentage when the buyer deposits funds into your paypal account.


If the cost of shipping your items is low you might want to add the cost of shipping your items to the actual price of the item, and advertize as 'free shipping'. Offering free shipping is generally appealing to potential buyers, but obviously not necessary. Either way don't make the mistake of offering free shipping if it is to leave you less than satisfied with the profit from a sale.

Keywords & Writing Listing Titles

Initially i was a bit stumped when it came to writing up listings, wasting advertizing space with meaningless words as many do. As i was selling jewelry these meaningless words i am referring to were words like 'Gorgeous', 'Beautiful', 'Awesome', 'Cute'. It is unlikely that a person searching to buy any type of jewelry would use such keywords. Make every word count when attempting to attract ebay sales, this is extremely important.

Consider the obvious aspects of your item to sell on ebay that are instantly noticeable such as color, shape, style, what the item actually is. Use as many appropriate words as you can in the title, title is the most important place for keywords. This does not mean to simply string a bunch of relevant words together, format is equally important.

Describe your item as accurately as possible, don't present your item as something it is not. Otherwise you will not be targeting your intended market and buyers will be likely to hit the back button upon clicking on your listing for a larger scale picture of your item to load, to realize that it's not exactly what you say it is.

To ensure that the listing title is clear and easy to read, Use commas where necessary, capital letters for the first letter of each word, and the & symbol rather than the word 'and'.

Don't use full stops, apostrophes, asterisks, or words that are written completely in capitals. These things are likely to cheapen the look of your listing, they are meaningless, distracting and sometimes plain annoying.

Writing descriptions

The opening lines of the description you should repeat several or all of the listing title words. repeating these key words will give your items a higher page ranking when someone uses them in a search. Also this might reinforce for the potential buyer that the item they are viewing is specifically what they are looking for.

Secondly, state the condition of the item accurately. Is the item Brand new or used? With or without original tags or packaging attached? If the item is second hand you should accurately state the condition of the item so that the buyer is not disappointed when they receive the item, in which case could result in negative feedback for you.

State the obvious aspects of your item; dimensions, color. Sell your item, suggest why it might be a desirable item and what you can do with it.

Be sure to promote your other items for sale on ebay also when writing a listing description. Keep it short and sweet, something along the lines of "Check out my other listings for more great bargains", will do just fine.

Listing Durations

You may run your ebay listings for either 3, 5, 7, 10 or 14 days. One can only speculate about what is an ideal duration and when to end a listing. Experiment with this to see what seems to work for you.

Completing Sales

Once your auction has ended with a sold item result, it is a good idea but not necessary to send an invoice to the buyer. Ebay will automatically generate this invoice for you to send, which you can add to if you wish. Include any details that might be necessary in order for the buyer to make payment, such as bank details if you accept that method.

Once payment has been made by the buyer, leave feedback and send the item as soon as possible. Being efficient will result in positive feedback for you, and it is important to maintain a good reputation as a seller on ebay, if you wish to continue to sell on ebay.

To conclude..

You should now have enough information go get started selling on ebay. If you are unsure of anything concerning how ebay works, you can check out the FAQ's on the ebay site. Happy ebay selling!