How to Sell on e-Bay

By Joe Waynick
October 17, 2012

Learning how to sell on e-Bay is a great way for making money in online auctions.

This is especially true when you're selling items you no longer use or want. Booksellers can use e-Bay for selling other types of merchandise that are not books to diversify their income streams.

As an added bonus, you get to free up space in your home, garage and attic at the same time.

You can actually make a lot of money selling on e-Bay if you understand the basics. In fact, many people earn their living selling and buying items online of all kinds. Customers from all over the world can buy your merchandise so your market is vast no matter what you sell.

Setting Up Your Account

Before you learn how to sell on e-Bay you'll need to open an account. It doesn't matter if you're planning to sell a couple items or setting up an entire business. Take your time and do it right.

You'll need a credit card for account approval. A credit card is necessary so you can be billed for listing fees and other charges when you launch online auctions.

e-Bay is one of the largest online marketplaces on the Internet!

You'll have to choose a company name too. Try to choose a name that inspires confidence in buyers. These days, it's all about presentation so you want to make sure that you look as good as possible in your e-Bay auctions.

I also advise you to establish a separate eMail address just for your business. Having a dedicated business eMail makes it easier to filter incoming messages into special file folders away from your personal mail.

Learning the Basics

After setting up an account, you'll want to read up on how to sell on e-Bay. The best way to get started doing that is to go to eBay's seller guidelines and learn the do's and don'ts of being an eBay seller.

Pay particular attention to the various buyer payment options, auction return policy, grievance procedures, and shipping guidelines.

From the very beginning you want to follow customer service best practices so you don't get very many claims filed against you.

Although you want to always do your very best to take good care of buyers, the reality is that you'll never please everyone all the time. Inevitably, you're going to get a claim filed against you but at least you want to push that event off as far into the future as possible.

Preparing to Launch an Auction

Before listing your first item for sale, you'll want to spend some time researching the market to discover what the best products to sell online are.

In your research on how to sell on e-Bay, use the "Completed Auctions" link to learn what has recently sold successfully.

Some products are banned on e-bay so the completed auctions research will help steer you clear of taboo items.

Note the category of items, the total bids, the amount of the winning bid, and how long the auction ran. How many of those bids was last minute, as a result of eBay sniping? All of this information is available on eBay's website.

Can you find suppliers for similar products? Can you manufacture them yourself? If so, are they the kind of products you'd like to sell? Also, do you have the necessary start-up capital to purchase starting inventory for that type of merchandise?

You're Ready to Launch Your First Auction

After doing your research and you've not only identified the top selling products online, but have acquired inventory to sell, you need to prepare product descriptions for your listings.

You can usually find plenty of detailed product descriptions on the manufacturers' website. Look up the item and include as much of that information as possible.

Include one or more photographs of the items you're planning to sell. There are many guides on how to sell on e-Bay that will teach you the basics of photographing items for your listing.

However, a good rule of thumb is to photograph the item from each side. You should always include a close up of the item’s most notable features.

Finally, if you're selling used merchandise you'll want to photograph any defects the item may have and make sure to note them in your listing. Buyers will appreciate your honesty and you'll build a solid reputation as an honest seller.

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