How to Start Selling on eBay
If you are looking to make extra money online, you need to learn how to start selling on eBay. You can declutter the items around your house, pick items from dumpsters, buy to resell from garage sales or thrift stores, buy liquidation pallets, check goodwill bins/salvation army liquidation outlets, buy wholesale, or even sell items from nature, like polished stones or tumbleweeds.
It is very simple to start- what stops most people is the feeling of being overwhelmed by a new process, so I will break down the steps simply and concisely so you can start your online resale businesses as soon as possible. There are other options besides eBay, like Mercari, Etsy, Amazon, Depop, Poshmark, any many, many others.
The first step is signing up for an ebay account. When you sign up for an eBay account, eBay will ask for your first name, last name, email and password. You can also use your Google, Facebook, or Apple account to sign up, if you have one. It is very simple to create an account and you only need to follow the steps. You will be asked to link a bank account so you can get paid as well as pay for fees or postage. There is no mandatory minimum monthly plan to sell on ebay, although there will be fees associated with listing items and final value fees when an item sells.
The second step is creating your first listing. It is very simple. You can do it all from your phone, or you can take pictures with a camera and import them to your computer and create listings that way. In my experience, it is much faster to take pictures and import them, in bulk, to your computer, but for beginners, it might be easier to completely use your phone.
To take good ebay pictures, make sure your item has a plain background, there is good lighting around it without shadows being cast onto the image or colors not being shown true to how they look, and make sure that every important aspect of the item is pictured. For a low value trading card, this might only be one side of the trading card. For a t shirt, this might be the front, back, tag, and any holes, stains, or imperfections that exist. It is very simple and, when in doubt, offer more pictures than fewer. The pictures do not need to be perfect, they just need to accurately represent what you are selling. The last thing you want is a buyer to think you tried to trick them and transparency is always the best policy.
As you prepare the listing, you will need to figure out how to price your item. The best way to figure out how much your item is worth is to look at what the price your item recently sold for is, and then take into consideration what the current market price of the item is. This is easy to do on ebay using the “sold” search function. Watch this video to see how to see how you should price your items on ebay to get the most money.
Once your listing it live, you need to be patient while you wait for your item to sell. In demand items with many recent sales will sell faster if you are the lowest price, but less in demand items might take much, much longer. The best way to make sure your items sell faster is to make sure that your items are at the market price and that you are listing items several times a week. I try to list at least 5 items 3 or more times a week. This signals to eBay that I am engaged in my business and am more likely to offer good customer support.
A good rule of thumb is to know how you are going to ship the item before you list it. IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT SHIPPING CAN GET EXPENSIVE. You can purchase shipping through ebay, and the best rates will most likely be light/small items shipping USPS and large, bulky items shipping FedEx or UPS. If you are worried about this, offer free shipping on all items that weight under 1 lbs (increase your price by $5 to account for this), or have buyers pay for calculated shipping if items are heavier than that. This makes it easier but, keep in mind that there are some buyers who will ONLY buy free shipping items, so it may impact how quickly your item sells.
This is the basic outline for how to get started selling on eBay. There are more advance strategies that you can learn about as you sell more but the most important thing is to GET STARTED!
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