How to sell on eBay for Beginners in 2023
You’ve probably heard of people becoming millionaires on eBay, and you also want to sell on eBay and make money online but don’t know how to do so.
Well, eBay is one of the most popular online marketplaces with millions of active buyers and sellers. You can sell items on this platform and make lots of money.
The good news is that you can sell a vast range of products on eBay, including arts, collectibles, electronics, fashion items, industrial equipment, and health and beauty products.
But before you start selling on eBay, you must understand the basics and master essential skills like product listing. So don’t feel overwhelmed because here is where I come in to help.
I’ll show you how to create a seller’s account on eBay and start making money on this eCommerce platform. You’ll also learn the tips to boost your sales on eBay.
Here are the topics I’ll cover in this guide to help you start selling on eBay.
- Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sell Things on eBay
- How to Choose the Best Products to Sell on the eBay Marketplace
- Best Practices to Increase Sales and Profits on eBay
That said, let’s dive straight into the facts!
Is it too late to sell on eBay in 2023
We are in mid-2023, and as an aspiring new seller on eBay, you may be worried about time.
Well, it’s never too late to sell products on eBay in 2023. All you need to do is create an account and start building your eCommerce business as soon as possible.
You just need to familiarize yourself with the selling tips for beginners, including how to optimize listings, manage shipping costs, and choose highly marketable products.
Besides, I’ll show you how to double or triple your eBay sales and catch up with competitors who have been selling on the marketplace for a long time.
How to sell on eBay (Step by Step)
Selling on eBay is straightforward when you understand how it works.
But before you open an eBay store, you must familiarize yourself with the basics, including:
- Types of Product Listings on eBay
- eBay’s Selling Policies
- Cost of Selling on eBay
- How Buyers Find eBay Products
Types of Product Listings on eBay
In 1995, eBay started operating as a bidding platform.
But with the changing trends in digital marketing, the auction style is slowly becoming outdated. Buyers don’t want to wait up to 10 days to purchase a product.
Besides, buyers are unsure if they are the highest bidders, and the wait may not be worth it. For that reason, eBay introduced the fixed price or Buy-it-now listing option.
eBay sellers can now set a fixed price and ship the items whenever they receive an order. It also saves the buyers time since they don’t have to wait longer to receive their goods.
eBay’s Selling Policies
Every eCommerce marketplace has policies that sellers and buyers must fulfill when selling or buying products on an online platform.
If you want to sell anything on eBay, it’s imperative to understand eBay’s terms and conditions. Otherwise, your account may get suspended when you break the eBay rules.
The good news is that eBay’s selling policies are easy to understand.
Here are some tips to help you stay within eBay’s guidelines.
- Ship Sold Items Quickly: Many buyers consider the estimated delivery dates of a product before purchasing. So, deliver your goods on time to improve buyer experience.
- Provide Tracking Details: Since buyers always want their goods delivered as soon as possible, you can share the tracking details for better customer service.
- Resolve Conflicts Faster: If a buyer gets unsatisfied with your products, find out why and resolve it quickly before giving negative reviews.
- Sell Within eBay: Selling off eBay is against the marketplace’s terms. Instead, ensure that you communicate and sell products within eBay’s ecosystem.
- Stay Ethical: If you list a used item, mark it as “used” and not “new.” Maintaining ethics can boost your customer experience and earn you positive reviews.
- Avoid Selling Banned Items: One way to get your eBay account suspended is by selling banned products. Therefore, familiarize yourself with eBay’s prohibited items.
Cost of Selling on eBay
Like any other eCommerce platform, eBay charges fees for selling on the marketplace. Although some eBay fees are optional, you must familiarize yourself with them.
Before selling, you must know two common eBay fees: Insertion and final value fees.
Insertion fees apply when creating a listing. However, eBay guarantees every seller with an eBay store up to 250 zero insertion fee listings every month.
Upon finishing your zero insertion fee allowance, you’ll have to pay an insertion fee of $0.30 per listing. The insertions fees are:
- Charged per category and per listing
- Non-refundable if you don’t sell your item on eBay
- Charged once per listing for a listing with multiple products
- Charged for original listings, and every time you want to relist an item
- Charged per listing when creating duplicate auction-style listings for similar items
Final Value Fees
As an eBay seller, you’ll pay a final value every time you sell on the online marketplace. eBay calculates this fee as a percentage of the total sale plus $0.30 per order.
The total sale amount of a sale includes the product’s fixed price, handling charges, shipping service, sales tax, and other applicable charges.
However, the final value fee depends on the category you listed the product. In most cases, the percentage for the final value fee will be 12.35 percent.
How Buyers Find eBay Products
Before you list an item on eBay, you must figure out how potential buyers can find your product on this popular marketplace.
eBay users can find products in two ways: eBay’s feed and search function. eBay’s feed is a formatted homepage that recommends daily deals and trending items to site visitors.
On the other hand, potential buyers can type keywords for the products they want on eBay’s search engine to find the products they have never heard of before.
Most people visit eBay to search for specific items, prompting them to leverage eBay’s search function. It makes it easy for buyers to find products, streamlining the purchase process.
How to Sell on eBay: Steps to Follow
Now that you understand how eBay works, you can start selling items on this marketplace.
Here are the steps to follow to sell products on eBay.
Step 1: Choose Your Business Model
The first step of selling on eBay is deciding how you want to do business on this eCommerce platform. That’s where your business model comes in handy to help.
A solid business model is essential because it helps you provide value to customers as you make more money online.
Here are the business models to consider when selling on eBay.
- Reselling Model: Involves buying branded products from other stores and reselling them on eBay through arbitrage. This business model is ideal for sellers who don’t want to engage wholesale manufacturers or sell goods in fewer quantities.
- Wholesale Model: Involves purchasing large quantities of products at a lower price, then selling them individually at a relatively higher price to earn profit. Since wholesalers discount large purchases, buying in bulk saves you more money.
- Private Label Model: Involves buying non-branded products and then customizing them with your brand. Sellers can outsource the items overseas at lower prices or contact private label manufacturers to resell the products.
- Dropshipping Model: Involves obtaining orders from clients and coordinating the orders with third-party suppliers to package and ship the items directly to the customers. You don’t have to deal with inventory management or actual shipping.
Source: Ecommerce CEO
Step 2: Think About the Products to Sell on the Platform
Once you have selected your business model, decide on the products you want to sell on the platform. The good news is that you can sell almost anything on eBay.
Look for the top-performing categories and select one that you are enthusiastic about. This will make your selling experience more exciting and profiting.
Some of the product categories to consider are:
- Arts and crafts
- Home and Garden
- Health and beauty
- Computer and networking
- Mobile phone accessories
Pro Tip: Research your preferred product category before listing any item on the platform. Later, I’ll show you how to decide on the best product to sell on the eBay marketplace.
Step 3: Create an eBay Account
Creating an account on eBay is super-easy when you understand the process. You can do it on the eBay app or website.
Here are the steps to follow when creating an account on eBay.
a). Visit eBay’s homepage and click the Register button on the page’s top left corner.
b). Decide whether you want to open a personal or business account. A personal account is suitable for selling small amounts of products at specific times. However, a business account is ideal if you plan to sell many items regularly.
c). When creating a personal eBay account, provide the required details, including your first name, last name, email address, and password.
d). To create a business account, select the Business account option and provide the required details, including your business name, email, password, business location, and phone number. Finish by clicking the “Create account” button.
Pro Tip: Upon creating an account, eBay will verify your new account. Ensure that you provide correct details to avoid inconveniences while selling.
Step 4: Set Up Your Payment Methods
You have created an account to make sales and earn profits, so you must set up a payment method to receive proceeds or payments from the sales.
Besides, you’ll need to pay eBay’s seller fees using your preferred payment method. While eBay accepts several payment methods, PayPal is the standard option.
Here is how to add a payment method to your eBay account.
a). Sign in to your eBay account and click “My eBay” on the home page’s top right corner. Next, click the “summary” on the drop-down menu to move to the summary page.
b). Click the “Account” button on the summary page and see the “Payment Options” button.
c). Click the “Payment Options” button, and you’ll find a list of added payment options. Select the “Add Payment Option” and provide the required details.
Pro Tip: eBay will credit your sales in your PayPal or bank account, depending on your preference and schedule. If you plan to set up a PayPal account, follow this procedure:
a). Sign in to your account and click the “Account” tab, and you’ll see two options: Open a PayPal account and Link an existing PayPal account. Select a suitable alternative.
b). If you already have a PayPal account, click the button to link it to your eBay account and follow the procedure. However, if you don’t have a PayPal account, create a new one by clicking the “Sign Up” button.
Pro Tip: Ensure that your managed payment accounts are active to allow eBay to deduct insertion and final value fees before depositing the sales proceeds into your bank account.
Set an automatic payment method that eBay will use to charge you for any fees related to your selling activity, buyer reimbursements, and other future charges.
Step 5: Complete Your Profile Upon Registration
Now that you’ve created an account and set up your payment method, you must complete your profile to improve your credibility as a seller.
Upload a professional image and your description to the profile. Then, you must log into eBay and click your account name on the upper-left corner of the site’s page.
If you click your avatar, you’ll be able to change any details on your profile.
One way to optimize your profile is by changing your eBay user ID. eBay always issues a Random user ID when creating a new account.
You can update your user ID by adding a business name that matches your brand. Also, adding your photo and description to your seller profile makes your eBay store trustworthy.
A good username will also increase your sales significantly. Potential customers will take you more seriously and trust you to deliver their items on time.
You must log in to your account, click “My eBay,” and select “My Account.” Next, navigate the menu and select the “Personal information” section.
In the Personal Information section, you can update your username and even integrate links to your social media pages, where customers can find more information about your brand.
Step 6: Set Up an eBay Store
If you want your brand to become successful on eBay, you can sign up for a store subscription. Although it comes with a monthly fee, you will enjoy numerous perks.
So, how do you set up an eBay store?
First, you must upgrade your eBay seller account to an eBay store, an excellent strategy to show customers that you mean business when selling on eBay.
However, setting up an eBay store will cost an additional monthly subscription fee. For instance, the store plans start at $4.95 per month when paid annually.
eBay has many subscription plans, including the Starter Store, Basic Store, Premium Store, Anchor Store, and Enterprise Store. Each store plan charges a different fee.
Despite paying the fees, the good news is that you’ll qualify for discounts on selling fees and gain access to adequate seller support and other business tools.
Besides, you’ll find it easy to create a personalized and branded experience to help potential buyers navigate your listings on eBay.
eBay provides several marketing tools to help store owners locate new customers. Also, you’ll save money on selling fees and get more free listings every month.
When you subscribe to any eBay store packages, you’ll also get the chance to name or brand your eBay storefront how you want it. That way, you’ll win your customers’ loyalty.
However, the perks you’ll receive from eBay store subscriptions depend on your subscription plan. For instance, the Enterprise Store plan has the highest number of benefits.
Step 7: Set Your eBay Store’s Policies
Your store policies matter a lot because they influence how you carry your business. The procedures work like terms and conditions that your customers should fulfill.
When listing an item, eBay requires you to provide details about product delivery, payment, and returns. Formulate policies around your shipping, payment options, and product returns.
However, you must be careful with these policies because they will significantly impact your costs, profits, customer satisfaction, and reviews.
Here are the three areas that your eBay policies must cover:
Most eBay sellers accept payments using different options, especially after eBay introduced managed payments system to sellers.
You can now allow your customers to make payments for purchased products through Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, credit cards, and debit cards.
Whenever you sell an item on eBay, you must deliver it to the buyer’s preferred destination, and that’s why your shipping policies must be clear.
Specify your delivery services and dispatch time, considering buyers prefer faster delivery services. However, you must be realistic to win your customers’ trust and loyalty.
At some point, you can provide free shipping to help your customers save money on delivery services. About 71 percent of goods sold on eBay get shipped for free.
If you sell heavy and oversized items, providing free shipping can be costly on your side, eating up your profits. Instead, consider offering combined shipping in such a case.
Not every customer will be happy with the products you sell. Some buyers may return the purchased products to your store, calling for clear returns policies.
State whether you accept returns or not. If yes, specify the days one can take to return an item and the person to pay for the shipment cost during returns.
A favorable returns policy will increase sales, customers’ trust, and chances of appearing at the top of eBay search results. You can also consider eBay’s return policies.
The good news for buyers is that eBay also supports the Money Back Guarantee policy that prompts sellers to refund money for damaged items, missing packages, or wrong things.
Remember to specify in the return policy that customers must return the items in their original condition. Also, the return policy must align with eBay’s ready-set return policies.
Step 8: Invest in High-Quality Photography
Selling on eBay involves uploading pictures of an item on your eBay store or seller account.
Potential buyers will judge the quality of a product based on the photos they see in your store.
If your product photos are low-quality, potential buyers will misperceive the item even when it’s new or in perfect condition.
Since the quality of photos can influence your ability to make sales on eBay, you need to take high-quality images of your product before listing.
However, you must not be a professional photographer or hire another person to take pictures for your listings. You may hire someone, but be ready to incur extra costs.
As a seller, you must practice and put more effort into taking decent product photos. But, of course, you’d also do the same when selling on Amazon or other eCommerce platforms.
Here are the tips to help you take high-quality product photos for your listings.
- Use Natural Light: Photos generally look best when taken in good natural lighting. Flashes from cameras and other lighting sources can create hotspots or glare, reducing photo quality. You may only use a camera’s flash when there’s not enough natural light.
- Take Photos from Several Angles: Take multiple product photos for your listing, as the buyer will need all the images to judge your product’s condition. Take pictures from different angles and a few close-up shots focusing on some parts.
- Ensure the Background is Clean: Taking photos on a clean background improves your listing’s integrity. So, ensure there is no clutter in the background when taking pictures. You can also use mini photo studios with white, black, or other colored backgrounds.
- Edit the Photos if Needed: After taking multiple photos for your listing, you may want to crop them to improve clarity. There are many photo editing apps and programs to help you. You may also outsource photo editing services, but that may be costly.
Step 9: Create and Optimize Your Listing
Now that your product photos are ready, it’s time to create your first listing on eBay. The bottom line is to develop and optimize a listing that can rank top in search results.
But first, let me show you how to create a listing on your eBay store or seller account.
a). Log into your eBay store or seller account and click the “Sell” button on the top right corner of the page.
b). In the “Tell us what you’re selling” box, type the name of the item you want to sell. Then, as you put the title in the box, eBay will give recommendations to help you select.
c). If you don’t select any recommendations, eBay will suggest a list of categories related to your product entry, as shown below.
Pro Tip: Select a category that matches your product. Choosing an unrelated category to get your product top of search results won’t lead to sales. Customers won’t trust you.
d). Specify the product’s condition, whether used or new with tags. Next, upload the item’s photos from your computer. You can upload up to 12 pictures per listing.
e). Provide the item specifics, including its brand, style, size, type, color, material, and region of manufacture. For example, if it’s a top or shirt, specify its sleeve length.
f). Describe the product in the description box. Ensure that you display every information that potential buyers would want to know about your item.
g). Provide your selling details, including whether you sell the item for a fixed price or auction style. If selling at a fixed price, provide the “Buy-it-now” price. For auction-style, give the starting price and the bidding duration.
h). Provide the shipping details, whether domestic or international shipping. Specify the shipping cost, handling time, and item’s location. You may also offer free shipping for domestic purchases. Free shipping can be costly for international shipping.
i). Confirm if the provided information is correct. After listing the item, you may preview the listing to see what it will look like. If everything is right, click the “List Item” button to get the product live.
Ways to Optimize Your eBay Listings
Now that you know the steps to follow when listing an item on eBay, you also need to familiarize yourself with the optimization tips to make your listing rank top in search results.
Optimizing a listing can help to boost your conversion rate, increasing your eBay revenue.
Here is how to optimize an eBay listing.
Add Relevant Keywords to the Title
When listing an item on eBay, optimize the title with relevant search terms. If the title has valuable information that describes what buyers look for, it will receive more clicks.
Your listing will get more views when you include information like the brand, color, size, model, specs, condition, or other details that apply to the listing.
List the Product in a Relevant Category
When selling on eBay, you want your listing to reach your target audience. You can only achieve that when you list the product in its most relevant category.
If unsure about the specific category, you can identify the item by clicking the “Browse Categories” link. Then, select the category and subcategories matching your item.
Use Relevant Keywords in the Description
The description allows you to convince potential buyers to purchase your product. Provide every information you think the buyer needs to make informed decisions.
Write at least 200 words and include relevant keywords throughout your text to rank your listing high on search engines. Highlight key selling points and keep sentences short.
Step 10: Ship the Product and Get Paid
Once you’ve created and optimized your listing, the chances are high that someone will buy your product.
If that happens, you will get a notification requesting you to complete the transaction. In other words, you must arrange how you’ll deliver the product to the buyer.
At this step, you need to build your seller reputation – by shipping the item as soon as eBay verifies the payment.
But before booking any shipping labels, confirm if the shipping address provided by the buyer is correct. You may even contact the buyer for more details.
Shipping the product safely and faster is an excellent way to earn positive feedback, increasing your store’s attractiveness to future buyers.
Once the product get’s delivered, follow up to ensure everything went well. Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied clients to leave positive feedback or reviews upon receiving their items.
What Should You Sell on eBay (Here’s How to Decide)
Choosing what to sell is one of the most challenging tasks for many sellers on eBay.
The good thing is that eBay allows sellers to list many products, except for restricted and prohibited items. But, of course, you need to sell what you understand best.
According to Edison Trends, “Electronics & Accessories” are among the top-selling product categories. Examples include smartphones, headphones, and Bluetooth speakers.
If you are uncomfortable selling electronics on eBay, you may also sell clothing and accessories. Other best-selling categories are “Health & Beauty” and “Home & Garden.”
You can narrow your niche by estimating the profitability of the things you want to sell.
The following tips will help you find which products sell faster on the eBay marketplace.
Look for Top Trending Products
The first and best way to figure out what sells faster on eBay is to check what trends on the eCommerce platform. Thankfully, eBay offers tools to help you with that.
You can use eBay Explore and Google Trends to research and explore trending items. This gives you an insight into what many buyers are looking for on eBay.
Check the Product’s Competition Level
Since eBay is home to thousands of sellers, you should check the level of competition in a particular niche market as it will influence your eBay revenues.
The less competitive your niche market is, the higher the chances that you’ll make more money from your sales. So, consider selling products with a low level of competition.
Select Products that Solve a Particular Problem
Customers always want to purchase products that add value to their lives and can solve some of the problems they face every day. Therefore, product research is essential.
If your product is helpful to customers, they will become enthusiastic about it and keep buying the item from you. You will be helping people and making money at the same time.
Select Highly Profitable Products
Every sale on eBay comes with extra costs, such as selling fees. You may also incur additional costs when you opt for an eBay store subscription.
The extra costs can reduce your profits. However, you can maximize profits on eBay by selling highly profitable items and factoring in the costs when setting up product prices.
eBay Best Practices
Like other eCommerce platforms, eBay also requires sellers to implement specific tips to increase sales and maximize profits in the marketplace.
Implementing the best practices gives you a competitive advantage over other sellers on eBay. As a result, it sets your online business apart from those selling similar products.
Here are the best practices for eBay sellers.
Price Your Products Competitively
The first thing that most buyers look for when shopping on eBay is the prices. You can set lower prices than competitors to increase the chances of making sales in the marketplace.
However, you must protect your profit margins. Therefore, the final price should account for the final value fees, insertion fees, and managed payment fees.
Also, check the prices of similar items already sold on eBay. This will give you insights into what a potential buyer pays for your product.
Provide Faster, Low-Cost Shipping
Most eBay buyers consider speed and cost when shopping on the platform. So, you must process orders and ship items within expected timeframes to get positive reviews.
You may also leverage the shipping costs by providing low-cost or free shipping for domestic orders. About 71 percent of items sold on eBay get shipped for free.
Set Favorable Return Policies
eBay requires you to choose a return policy for every listing you add to your eBay store. Therefore, you should select a return policy that favors your target audience.
The return policy options for eBay sellers include:
- No returns accepted
- 30-day buyer-paid returns
- 30-day free returns
- 60-day returns paid by the buyer
- 60-day free returns
To attract more potential buyers to your store, provide free returns for products listed on eBay. Conversely, buyer-paid returns may keep away some potential customers from your eBay store.
Selling on eBay FAQs
So far, you know how to sell things on eBay, including the best eBay practices to implement and increase sales. However, you may still have a few questions that require answers.
Here are the frequently asked questions about selling on eBay.
1. Is it worth it to sell on eBay?
Yes! Selling on eBay is worth it because the eCommerce platform is home to millions of potential buyers. This increases the chances of making sales in the marketplace.
You won’t pay any fees to list an item on eBay since eBay offers up to 250 zero insertion fee listings monthly. You will only pay insertion fees after depleting your zero-fee listings.
2. Is it Better to Sell on Amazon or eBay?
I’ll not provide a specific answer to this question as every eCommerce marketplace has unique strengths and weaknesses. However, you should sell on a platform that suits your needs.
For example, eBay is ideal for selling rare handmade stuff on the market, while Amazon is ideal for big brands with a vast customer base.
3. How Much Does eBay Take Per Sale?
You’ll pay two fees when selling on eBay: insertion and final value fees. Every time you sell an item, eBay deducts the final value fee from the paid amount.
The final value fee is a percentage of the total sales and an additional $0.30 per order. Although it depends on the product category, the standard fee deduction is 12.35 percent.
4. Is it Profitable to Sell on eBay?
Yes! Thousands of sellers are earning real profits by selling products on eBay, as seen on eBay’s community forum. You can also become one of the most successful sellers.
You need to sell highly-profitable items on eBay to make more money on this eCommerce platform. Also, don’t forget to offer exceptional customer support to maximize profits.
Selling on eBay is a reliable way to earn extra cash online. You can start an eCommerce business on the platform now that you know how to create and optimize listings.
The good news is that eBay has a few requirements and a streamlined listing process. All you have to do is find a niche market you are enthusiastic about and invest in it.
eBay allows you to sell products you won’t easily find in other marketplaces. So, you must research the products you plan to sell on the marketplace to maximize your store’s potential.
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