The Ultimate Guide for getting started on Ebay

So, you want to sell on Ebay? That’s great, because selling on Ebay has the potential to create some serious extra income on the side or even full time. It all depends on how much time, effort, and work you want to put into it. With even a few hours a week, you can make a great side income selling on Ebay. In this post I will show you some of the resources and tips that I used to get started and to hopefully point you in the direction of how to get started selling on eBay with less than $100 in your pocket.

    • Gather some merchandise. If you don’t want to spend any money starting out, I guarantee you have 20 things laying around your house that you could quickly gather up and put in your “to sell” pile. If you want to immediately turn this into a bigger business from the get-go, you could purchase your merchandise, from second hand stores, thrift stores or discount stores. We will go into depth on that in a different post.
    • Internet Access. If you are reading this, then you already have this one covered. You don’t need unlimited data either, because we are on a plan with limited data access, and I am still able to do everything I need to do each month to get my listings uploaded to Ebay. Internet Access allows you an infinite amount of resources to gain knowledge for learning what to do to get started.
    • Gather some basic resources. There are so many things that you can use to make selling on Ebay fast,  efficient and generally a better selling experience. I recommend starting with a few helpful things and then working from there. Check out my resources page for a complete list of products that I use to provide the best experience for Ebay buying and selling.
      • A good postal scale.  Make sure you get one that can weigh up to 50 pounds. Even if you think you are only going to be selling lighter items, it will come in handy. This is very similar to the one I use and it weighs up to 86 pounds.
      • A Tape measure. If you are selling clothing, a dress-makers tape is best because you need to get fluid measurements and be able to measure waist lines etc. A contractors tape measure is also good for just getting measurements from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’.
      • Scotty Peelers. I didn’t find out about these right away, but when I discovered them I quickly realized I could never go without them! It really makes peeling labels off items unbelievably easy. Trust me on this one.

    • Set up your accounts.
      • You will obviously need to set up an Ebay account. It is 100% free and you don’t pay anything until your item sells. Go here to get started. For now get started selling and then you can decide if you want to set up an Ebay store.
      • Set up a PayPal account and link it with your Ebay account.
      • Set up an account with the United States Post office at . This is where you will be able to get free Priority mail packaging supplies. You will also go here to schedule postal pickups if you need to do that.
      • If you have a smartphone, set up the Ebay app on your phone. You can list right from there or your home computer. Having the Ebay app is super convenient too while you are out and away from your desk. You will get notifications right away if a customer has a question, if something sells or if there is any issue with your account. You want to be able to address things as soon as possible in order to keep your selling rate in a good place.
    • Research your Items. Be sure to check out what you are planning to list in the Ebay “sold items” section. See what it sold for, see when it sold, how often etc.. This is called doing research! If you try and sell something for $39.99 and someone else is selling it for $19.99 you may be waiting a long time for it to sell. The bottom line is that people come to Ebay for a deal! I’m not saying to undersell, or short change yourself, but make sure you see what your competition is, and price accordingly.
    • Take Good Quality Pictures. Since this is the only way your buyer will see your item, the images need to be as clear as possible and free of any distracting backgrounds that take the focus away from it. Be sure to take measurements! If a customer doesn’t have all the information when they look at your listing, chances are they will go right on to the next one. Make sure they stay on your listing by providing them with awesome pictures from every angle, measurements and as much information about the item as possible. Think about what YOU would want to know when purchasing something.
    • Take thought and time to build a great title. Your item needs to be searchable. You can have the best item with great pictures, measurements and information all ready to go, but if people cant find your listing, you will never sell it. Be sure to make your listing Title as clear as possible with keywords like the brand name, size, color. Use as many characters as possible to be as descriptive as you can. Here are two examples of the same item. The first one has limited information in the title, and the second has a much more searchable title.
      • Women’s J.Crew Dress Pants Size 4s
      • Womens J. Crew Chambray Pants Pockets Drawstring Blue Denim Size 6

    • Check your Filters. Make sure your item’s Category, Condition, and Item Specifics are filled in. These are the filters that buyers can use to narrow down their search to your product.  The more you fill in, the better chance it’ll get seen.
    • List, List, List. Ebay is a numbers game, so try to list as much as possible within the first 30 days as you can.  If you have a sell through rate of 20% per month and you have 10 items listed on eBay, you will only sell 2-3 items. Now if you have 100 items listed,  you have the same sell through rate of 20% per month, you have a chance of selling 20-30 items. It takes more time to list more items, so you have to decide on what kind of time you are able and willing to devote to Ebay each month. Once you get a feel for selling vs closing you will know how much you want to do. Check out this post here on making “funny money” with Ebay.
    • Sell your item. Hopefully all the time and effort you have already put in will start paying off with some sales. But just be patient. Patience my friends is a virtue, it just is!! Don’t be concerned with views and watchers, when the right person comes along and is looking for your item, they will purchase it.
    • Package and Ship. Once your item has been sold, there are several things you must/should do.
      • You will need to pack up the item for shipping.  But don’t just shove it in an envelope or box. Take some time to wrap it nicely and make it presentable. You are competing with millions of other Ebay sellers not to mention retailers out there. THEY PICKED YOU!!! Make sure they pick you again with a few nice touches at the shipping level to make you stand out. Wrap the item in tissue paper and secure with a ribbon.  Slip a thank you card in with a quick ‘Thank you for your purchase note.  Put it in a box/envelope and seal it. Try not to use recycled envelopes for clothing, it just looks bad. Especially when you can get padded flat rate mailers from the USPS for FREE!
      • Weigh the package.
      • If you want to purchase and print the shipping from home, go to eBay and select your shipping option. Print it out and tape it on your package.
      • Mail it out, by either dropping it off at the post office in person, or by scheduling a postal pickup through USPS.
      • Leave feedback for the buyer on eBay. It is important to start accumulating positive seller feedback because it shows buyers that you are someone they can trust. You can set your Ebay settings to send an automatic feedback as soon as they pay. Keep in mind once the buyer pays for their item, their job is done. They deserve their feedback now. Its up to you to earn their feedback by finishing out the process with a good shipping experience. Don’t hassle your buyer into sending you feedback. Keep in mind that you may get more then you asked for. If your buyer wasn’t pleased with their experience in some way they may choose not to send feedback at all. If you hassle them into it, you may end up getting a negative feedback.
      • If you print labels through Ebay and Paypal (which I definitly recommend) tracking will automatically be updated. This is essential to good feedback, good seller rating and a good overall Ebay experience. There is an option to manually add tracking information to each sold item. Be sure to do this, it will also cover you in case a package gets lost or delayed.

  • Get Paid. The best part of working is getting paid, right? Friends this is the part we have been waiting for. All of the time and effort that went into listing and selling your item has finished and now its time for you to get paid. There are fees associated with selling on Ebay, so in addition to the shipping cost, there are a few fees that must come out before you get paid.  If you use PayPal to receive your money, there is a PayPal and an EBay fee.
    • PayPal charges their 2.9% + $0.30 as soon as the money from the buyer hits your PayPal account.
    • The Ebay fee (10%) will be taken out at the end of each monthly period, so keep that in mind when you see the amount that’s in PayPal.
    • The money for each item sold will be held in PayPal until the item has reached the buyer (according to the tracking number). This typically takes 1-3 days. If you are a new seller, with new accounts, Paypal may hold your funds a little longer until you are more verified. Again, just be patient and play by the rules. Before you know it this will all start running very smoothly and easily.
  • Grow Your Business. Once you start making sales you will be making some extra money. So instead of spending it… reinvest it into your business. Make some smart purchases at thrift stores or garage sales and watch that money double and even triple. Pretty soon, you will be able to maintain a very nice side income.

There is a lot of information to cover when it comes to selling on Ebay. This is a basic guide for getting setup, but check out my resource guide to see what else you can do to make this a fun and profitable business.

Read more here:

The Ultimate List of Ebay Selling Tools

How to make an extra $500 a month selling on Ebay

Making a Collection in Ebay

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