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How to Start Selling on eBay

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

Start Selling on eBay
Ever since eBay went public in 1998 many people wonder how they themselves can start selling on eBay to make extra money. You may be intimidated to start selling on eBay due to the strong, well known, image of such a huge online business but don't be! Anyone can start selling on eBay and make a good living doing so, if you do it right! Below you will find a step by step guide to help you start selling on eBay and start making extra money which could eventually turn into an online business of your own.

Open a PayPal Merchant Account
The first thing you will need to do is sign up for a PayPal merchant account. You need to do this before opening an eBay account because you will be asked for this information when you do create an account so that the two accounts can be linked. PayPal is one of the most convenient ways to accept online payments for your items and also to pay your eBay seller fees. PayPal allows buyers to make payments with their PayPal balance, a credit card, or their bank account. PayPal allows you to accept credit cards with no merchant account they will do the online credit card processing and the funds are usually put into your PayPal account immediately. PayPal is the most convenient was of accepting payments online and is a very important factor to start selling on eBay. It is a proven fact that your auctions will be much more successful if you accept PayPal. Your buyers need a way to pay you and you need a way to be paid, PayPal is a great solution. Please note PayPal like any other online business merchant account does charge a fee. The fee is based on the amount of payment, look into fees when you sign up for a PayPal account so that you are aware. A few other options for accepting payments when you start selling on eBay are: ProPay, Paymate, Moneybookers, or personal online business merchant accounts.

Open an eBay Account
The second thing you will need to do to start selling on eBay is open an account through the eBay website. This is a relatively quick and easy process. Once you register you will need to create a sellers account in order to start selling on eBay. Both are free. During registration you will provide information to verify your identity, select the way that you would like to pay for your seller fees, and also select how you will accept payments from your buyers (this is where your PayPal account information will be needed). Check out the eBay website for further detailed information.

Decide What You Will Sell
This is one of the most important components when you start selling on eBay. You can't make money if you don't have anything to list and you won't make money if you are selling the wrong items. You could always start out selling things around the house that you no longer need: Baby clothes, antiques or collectables, well kept home decorations,etc… However these things will run out so you will need a plan. Decide what your specialty item or items will be. What would you ultimately like to start selling on eBay? You could frequent garage sales to find great treasures, you could buy RC cars to pull them apart and auction off the pieces, you could list designer bags, discount electronics, scrapbook supplies, homemade crafts, the options are really endless when it comes to what you can start selling on eBay. The trick here is you will need to find where you can purchase items for at least 60% off so that you can make a decent profit off of them.

Auction Management Services
When you start selling on eBay you are going to find it extremely helpful to sign up for an auction management service. These sites will make selling much easier. They have 1000's of templates to use on your auctions, allow you to store photos, pre plan listing times, and much more. Seller Sourcebook, Auctiva,and Vendio are all great sites for this and they link directly to your eBay account. They do charge a nominal fee but it is well worth the services they offer and it will make business much easier when you start selling on eBay.

If you chose not to go with an auction management service when you start selling on eBay you will have to list directly from the eBay website. They will walk you through the process. However, you will only be able to list one picture for free and they do not offer template designs like the other sources. You will also be charged to schedule auction listings.

The Layout
Starting with your title the layout of your auction listing is extremely important when selling on eBay.

Titles
Your title is the most important thing to draw buyers to your auction; this is a crucial tip to know when you start selling on eBay. This is how buyers will find what you have listed. Make sure you are as descriptive as possible. Use the words buyers may type in when searching for your item and be sure to as many words as are allowed. For example if you were selling a purse you would not want to enter, "Black Coach Purse". Instead you would want to use something that offers as many details as possible like, "NWT Madison Black Leather Sabrina Purse #12949". A detailed title is much more likely to get buyers to your auction, bottom line.

Pictures
Next, when you start selling on eBay you will quickly learn the importance of pictures! Always take good quality pictures of your item and a lot of them. Take your time with this, especially if you are selling something that has the potential to make you a lot of money. Pictures are the best way to actually show buyers what they will be getting and therefore are the greatest tool when selling on eBay. Do not just throw items on your bathroom floor or have your hands in the picture holding up the items, try to be as professional as possible!

Description
When you start selling on eBay it may take some time to get the hang of writing a great description. This will become easier with time. Just make sure to offer as many details as possible. Be very descriptive; include the details that you would want to know if you were buying the item.

Buy It Now or Auction
When you start selling on eBay you will have two basic options of listing your items. You can list it as "Buy it Now" which allows you to list with a set price for the item. This way a buyer must pay what you are asking unless you opt for "or best offer" which allows a buyer to offer you a lower price. Your second option, the most popular and your best option to start off with, is an auction style listing. Auction style listings allow people to bid on your item. You will start the action out at whatever price you would like. Be careful here as there are fees attached to starting listings out at higher prices. Be sure to carefully review the fees before you start selling on eBay.

Shipping
You will need to decide what type of shipping you will offer and how much you will charge. It would be a great investment to purchase a shipping scale when you start selling on eBay as you will live by it, at least for the first few months. Shipping gets tricky as there are so many options. Will you ship internationally or not? Will you ship through USPS, UPS, or Fed EX? These are all things that need to be determined before you start selling on eBay. If you know the weight and size of the box you will be shipping your items in you can play around with the shipping rate tools offered on all of the above shipping service sites, this will give you a better feel of what to charge. Everyone has a different preference. I prefer USPS, they will send you priority mail shipping boxes for FREE, this can save you tons of money on boxes. No matter what, never overcharge on shipping, this will lead to a bad reputation when you start selling on eBay.

Staple Sentences
There are a few details you will want to save to your master auction templates that you will want to use in each and every listing. These are things that will never change and need to be established when you start selling on eBay. Here are a few things you may want to include to get you started on a basic format to be included with each auction:
A return policy-Do you offer one? What are the details, restrictions, etc…
Payment details-When is payment due? What will happen if payment is not received? Be very clear and professional.
Problems- Let your viewers know that if they have a problem at all you are willing to work with them and prefer they contact you ASAP to work things out.

These are all things that can be locked in to your auction templates so that you do not have to write them out each and every time!

Time to List
Now you are ready to start selling on eBay! You will now need to list your item. Set up a time and day or list immediately, the choice is up to you. You will soon start to learn the best times to start and end your auctions. Sunday evenings are typically a great time to end auctions. Remember that with auction service sites they do not charge you to set up future listing. You simply create you auction through there site, set up a day and time, and they will automatically list it for you. eBay on the other hand charges a small fee for this.

Questions
Once you have listed your items it is important to remember to check on your auctions at least twice a day. This is an important aspect to remember when you start selling on eBay. People will have questions and so you will need to check up and see how things are going! You want to be prompt in responding to questions of potential buyers. Make sure your responses are clear and professional. This is a great tip to remember when you start selling on eBay. It will help to build your reputation as a good seller.

When to Ship
When the auction ends and the buyer pays be prompt in shipping. But DO NOT ship the item until the buyer has paid. You can print shipping labels directly from Pay Pal this is very convenient and a tool many are unaware of when they start selling on eBay. Package the item nicely. Include a packing slip with a personal note thanking them for their purchase.

Feedback
When you start selling on eBay feedback will be a downside for you as you are likely to have very little. Don't worry this will build with time. The best way to build your feedback is by leaving feedback. As soon as you know all is well leave feedback for the buyer. They will, most times, leave feedback in return. If you are concerned send them a quick note asking if they received the item and all is well. NEVER ask them to leave feedback for you this is very rude and will turn buyers away.

Once you get the hang of things you will be well on your way to making money. A few weeks after you start selling on eBay you will find that things get easier as you start to form a routine and see what works for you and what doesn't. No matter what don't get discouraged! If you find that what you're selling isn't working, try something else- that's the great thing about selling on eBay; you can change your mind, you're not locked in to one idea. So play around with it until you find what works, what sells, and what makes you money. Good luck!

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Comments

Jan 5, 2010 11:28am
reynoldsrap
Great article! By the way, I was bumped from ehow, despite my charm and good looks, ha.
Jan 5, 2010 11:57am
EmyLu
Are you kidding, what happened? You had so many articles over there, not to mention that everyone loved you, lol! Are you going to move your articles over here? Check out this thread on the Info Barrel forum about eHow: http://www.infobarrel.com/forum-topic.php?id=149 you might find it interesting! Do you still have my email?
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