eBay Basics: Learn How to Sell on eBay in 7 Easy Steps

In You, Your Guest Writers on May 10, 2010 at 10:51 AM

by Sandra Schmidt

Do you have extra items sitting around in your house? Or do you have a collection that you would like to get rid of? Unwanted items can make money for you on eBay. Do you want to sell on eBay but don’t know how? I am going to talk about the basics of eBay selling. 

Step 1 Research: The first thing that you should do is research what your item has been selling for on eBay. In the eBay search box, type in the key words that describe your item.  You may need to increase the number of words or change words until you find your item. Then check the box for completed items. Now you can see the prices that other sellers have received for the item. Pay attention to whether the item consistently sold high at auction or if sellers sold their items using a Buy It Now/Fixed Price. 

Tip: remember that you can change the sorting order of the items. On the right hand side of the page, right before the auction listings, there is a sort by box. You have a choice of sorting items by different criteria. I like to sort my items by “Highest first”. You can see it on the screen shot below. (Click image to enlarge.)


Step 2 Selling Fees: Now you should have an idea of a price range of what your item is worth. See how much you have to pay in eBay and PayPal fees. There are several sites that let you calculate how much your fees will be. The great thing is that you can play with the different options such as Fixed Price or Auction and see what the difference is in fees.

Here are my two favorite eBay calculator sites are:

Tip: remember that PayPal fees are based on total amount of sale which includes the shipping cost. 

Step 3 Evaluate: Now you know what you can expect to receive for your item and the fees that it will cost you when you sell the item. So you need to evaluate if your item is worth selling. Personally, I try to not sell an item that is worth less than $10. 

Step 4 Photos:  A good photo can help sell your item. You can a make a backdrop by covering a large box with a sheet. If your item has any defects then make sure to take photos of the defect. People want to see the damage for themselves. 

Tip: If you have a large amount of items, cover a smaller box with a sheet and set some items in front of box and other items on the top. See the example photo below. 


 Step 5 Shipping:  Before you list your item, you need to decide on your shipping method. Shipping costs have increased so much that an incorrect shipping amount can really decrease your profit. Find a box that your item will fit in easily with some room for packaging. Add your item and packaging then weigh the box. 

Tip: Flat rate boxes are great for small heavy items. You can get free Priority Mail boxes from the Post Office. 

Step 6 Return Policy:  eBay now requires that you state your return policy. There is a special section on the eBay selling form that will help you with your return policy. You need to consider if you want to accept returns or not.

Step 7 Sign up for PayPal:  Most people need a PayPal account in order to sell on eBay. According to eBay policy: “All sellers offer at least one of the approved electronic payment methods—PayPal, ProPay, Moneybookers, or Paymate—or accept credit card payments through their merchant credit card account.”

Now you have the basic elements to list your item on eBay. Just click on the “Sell An Item” and you will be able to start!

Ssandra Schmidt is a blogger and an advid lover and collector of Trolls.  To learn more about her and Trolls, please visit her site, World of  Troll Dolls .

  1. These are great tips and useful info.
    I’ve never done business on Ebay before, but with this guide, it’ll definitely be easier to pursue in the future. Thanks!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Live Well For Less. Live Well For Less said: eBay: Learn How to Sell in 7 Steps : […]

  3. Hi Jen! I have an eBay account, but have always been too intimidated to use it. Armed with these easy tips, I’m going to give it a try.

    Thanks for dropping in.

  4. Sandra,
    Thanks for contributing your article on eBay basics. I’m sure many readers will find it useful and like me, venture out into the unique world of eBay selling. 🙂

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