How to Sell on eBay – 20 Tips That Will Ensure Success!

How to Sell on eBay – 20 Tips That Will Ensure Success!

By at - 15 Minutes

If you want to learn how to sell on eBay, the process can seem overwhelming. The best route is to start with one step at a time and learn as you go. The more you refine and test your listings, the better they will become. We’ve compiled 20 tips for how to sell on eBay for beginners. These tips are all things you can start working on today to become a better seller and boost your ratings!

1 – Sign up for an account on eBay

You can’t be successful selling on eBay until you sign up for an account. It is free to register on eBay, and your account will authorize you to buy and sell on the platform. You can create an account using your Facebook or Google profile or your email. You can also set up a personal or business account depending on your needs. Keep in mind that you will have to verify your account through a verification email and set up a payment method before you can fulling use your eBay account.


Open a second eBay account

If you want to sell on eBay without using your personal account, you can set up a new account. You will have to use a separate email address and username and sign out of your current account. You cannot use your accounts to interact with the same listings. For example, you cannot use your second account to bid on a listing you posted from your first account.

 You can view eBay’s policy on second accounts here.

2 – Add your PayPal account

Once you start to successfully sell items on eBay, you will need a way to access the money you earn. PayPal is a trusted way to link your eBay account to your bank account or credit card. You can customize your eBay seller account to send funds directly to your PayPal account for easy access within one to three business days. If you are wondering how to sell stuff on eBay, getting paid is an important step.

Watch this short video to link your eBay account to your PayPal account:


Incorporate PayPal fees into your listings

PayPal is the payment processing method of choice when it comes to eBay, but you will incur some fees for each transaction. You will pay a 2.9% processing fee and $0.30 for each eBay transaction. International transactions can carry higher fees. Incorporate these charges into your item listing cost to cover the additional payments.

3 – Optimize your listing titles

Incorporate SEO practices in order to rank your listings higher in eBay’s search. You have to optimize your listing titles to perform best with eBay’s algorithm, Cassini. Research keywords to find the words and phrases your target audience is searching. Then, incorporate those keywords into your listing title. You should also include item specifics and avoid using acronyms to optimize your titles. 

Spy on your competitors

One strategy for optimizing your listing titles is to spy on your competitors. Search for products that are the same or similar to what you will sell. Note which listings rank high in the search results and write down any keywords you see frequently among top results. An example of a descriptive product title, optimized to appear in the first page of results

4 – Use the correct categories

Categories should be specific for your item and focused. It is not best to try to put your items into multiple categories to increase exposure. Adding your listing to categories that are not relevant will only hurt your rankings and overall listing exposure. If someone searches for a book but they find your suitcase in that category, they won’t click on your listing. Using categories properly will optimize your listings.

Should you use subcategories?

Yes, it is important to include relevant subcategories on your listing. Subcategories can help consumers find your products if they filter through results. Some searches can yield thousands of results, and consumers would rather filter out items that do not match their needs.

5 – Provide accurate descriptions

The more information you can provide in a listing description, the better. Consumers who are purchasing products online often do extensive research. Before spending their money, they want to have a full understanding of what they will be getting. Give detailed information about the condition of your products as well as all brand, make, and model information. 

Example of a detailed product listing

Honesty is the best policy

Always be upfront about any issues with your listing. If you have a product in less than perfect condition, it is best to tell potential buyers in the product description. This will prevent returns or refund requests later on and help maintain a higher seller rating.

6 – Set the right price

Price an item too high and no one can afford it. Price an item too low and consumers will worry it is poor quality or be distrustful of you. Optimizing your pricing for listings is key to how to sell things on eBay. You should price your items in a way that is competitive with other listings for similar items. Be sure to factor in your listing costs and shipping fees so you can make a profit on your items.

How much does it cost to sell on eBay?

If you are new to selling on eBay, it is important to realize the costs associated with listings and sells. You will pay an insertion fee and a final value fee. Review the fees for eBay listings here.

7 – Add high-quality images

Images can make or break your listings. Consumers want to see high-quality images that show every angle of your products. Listings with detailed photos convert better and build trust with potential buyers.

Pay attention to lighting

Make sure your photos are well-lit and provide a vibrant look at your products. If you do not own professional lighting equipment, try taking your photos outside. Avoid the temptation to edit your photos significantly or apply heavy filters. This can make your products seem fake.

8 – Auction or Buy It Now

Decide how you want to sell your items. If you have a set price in mind, opt for the “Buy It Now” route. If you are willing to let your item be auctioned, you will have to set your auction duration. At the end of your auction, the product will go to the highest bidder.

What is the best auction duration?

You can set an auction for as little as one day. However, most people who set up auctions choose a one-week duration. You want to give enough buyers a chance to view your product, consider their options, and place a bid.

9 – Stay connected

If you want to be successful on eBay, stay connected on the platform. You should be regularly checking your messages. It will help your seller ratings and feedback if you are able to answer questions from potential buyers in a timely manner.

Download the eBay app

If you are on-the-go, consider downloading the eBay app. This can help you monitor your listings and answer questions. You do not have to be tied to your desktop computer in order to stay on top of your listings.

Download the eBay mobile app for Apple or Android devices.

10 – Provide favorable shipping options

Shoppers love free shipping. Free shipping can help raise your conversion rates and help your listings appear in more searches. Potential buyers can filter search results and only see listings that offer free shipping.

Incorporate shipping fees into your price

If you are worried about offering free shipping and still making a profit, there is an easy tip to follow. You can factor the shipping costs into your listing price to offset the difference. You may be surprised to find that some customers will pay a higher price for a product if they can get free shipping.

11 – Take a minute to review

Go over any listing before you post it. It is important to preview your listings before making them live. You can see how they will appear to consumers and edit any errors that you find.

Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes

If you were shopping for your product, what would you think of your listing? It is important to view your product photos, listing title, and description through the eyes of a customer. Ensure you are giving them all of the information they need to confidently buy from you.

12 – Sell items you own for practice

You can test the waters with selling on eBay by selling items you own but do not use. This is a low-risk way to practice setting up listings, shipping products, and receiving feedback. Don’t expect to make money off of these products, though.

13 – Record your sales and expenses

Once you receive some traction on your eBay selling account, it is crucial to track your sales and expenses. If you make more than $20,000 in a year, eBay has to report your earnings. You may have to pay taxes on your eBay income, so keep a record of your sales to anticipate this cost. You may be able to factor in your business expenses such as mailing, packaging, and mileage. 

14 – Handle a difficult customer

If a buyer is refusing to pay, you have some options on how to handle the situation.

  •     Send an invoice through eBay. This alerts the buyer they won the auction and need to pay for the item.
  •     Wait to ship the item until you receive payment.
  •     Open a dispute with eBay if the buyer does not submit payment within a few days.

In the rare case that a buyer never pays for the item, you can alert other bidders that it is still available.

15 – Handle a refund request

Ensure your listing is accurate and that you properly package all items for shipping. These practices will help you handle refund requests. If a buyer requests a refund, you can decide whether or not they need to return the product. If you believe a product arrived in good condition, you can open a dispute with eBay to deny the refund request.

Clearly state your refund policy

You should put your refund and return policy in your listing descriptions. Buyers trust sellers who offer a refund policy because they get a safety net on their purchase. However, if you want all sales to be final, you need to clearly state this before buyers purchase an item.

Return policy stated on product listing:

16 – Give feedback, request feedback

You can provide feedback on a transaction whether you are a buyer or a seller. Give feedback on all of your transactions to earn points within eBay’s system and build your credibility. Request feedback from buyers to help improve your ratings and build trust with potential customers.

17 – Handle unfair feedback

You cannot remove negative feedback yourself. However, if you feel that a negative review or comment is unwarranted, you can dispute it. Your options include:

  •     Ask eBay to remove feedback that violates eBay’s terms of service and rules
  •     Ask the buyer to revise their feedback if you have made steps to improve their experience

Everyone will see your seller rating

Your rating appears on every single listing you post. Shoppers on eBay take the feedback rating very seriously when considering their options. Make maintaining your feedback and ratings a top priority as an eBay seller. 

Example of feedback rating on a listing:

18 – Learn eBay through buying

If you are brand-new to eBay, consider making a few purchases before setting up your own listings. You can get a first-hand look at the process by purchasing items, contacting sellers, and leaving feedback. Think through what went well, what you expected, and what you actually received.

19 – Consider the ease of shipping

You will have to ship all physical items to buyers. It is important to consider the shipping process when you list a new item. If it is large, heavy, or oddly shaped, you may have a hard time packaging it. Shipping could also cost a small fortune, making it difficult to offer favorable shipping rates.

20 – Keep learning

eBay is constantly making updates and adjustments to their platform. They want to provide the best experience, so buyers keep coming back and sellers continue to list items. Stay up to date with the latest news for eBay to take advantage of new features.

Research best sellers

You can also improve your listings and rating by keeping up with trending products and categories. Search for what is trending on eBay to get an inside look at what consumers want to buy. This can help you improve your own eBay shop by offering popular products.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Learning how to sell on eBay is a process. You will likely make mistakes from time to time, but you will learn as you go. The more you practice the 20 tips listed above, the more you will improve your listings and seller rating. 


Mallory Peek

Mallory Peek is a copywriter and digital marketing specialist from Texas. She is an active Subivi Times blog writer and specializes in eCommerce including but not limited to eCommerce marketplaces, how to sell on eBay, eCommerce news and eCommerce customer service. Her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are in strategic communication and has a background in journalism & creative writing. She has been a content writer for the better part of 5 years and has a deep passion for helping eCom sellers grow their business.

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