Disadvantages of Selling Online

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If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I love side hustling. It’s helped me generate money to pay off debt and start an emergency fund. As you probably know, selling things on sites such as eBay & Mercari is one of my favorite side hustles. I’ve made a small business out of it for the last couple of years. I’m consistently bringing in over $800 per month with this business.

Besides eBay & Mercari, I also sell items on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Bonanza, Poshmark, LetGo, and Offer Up. The sales on these sites don’t compare to eBay, but I like selling on them anyway. Crossposting helps my items get seen by more people. That gives me more opportunities to sell them.

Some people might think that every day will be great for sales. I want to let you know that there are some ups and downs. In this post, I want to go over some disadvantages of selling online.

Slow Days

When it comes to selling online, there will be some slow days. For some reason, not everyone gets this. They list an item and expect it to sell within the hour. In most cases, it doesn’t work like that. I’ve built my business to where I get at least 10+ each week. There was a time when I only sold a couple of items per month. I fixed that by listing more items, creating better descriptions, and taking better pictures. For the last couple of years, I’ve been reaping the benefits.


This one grinds my gears the most. I hate flakers. A flaker is a person that says they are going to do something, but they don’t. When it comes to selling online, you will get notifications or messages from people saying that they’re interested in an item. You message once or twice, and all seems well. Then you try to set up a meeting date all you hear is crickets. I hate that sh*t. I don’t understand why people waste your time if they are not seriously interested in the item. I’ve experienced flakers on every single site that I sell on, even eBay. That’s part of the reason that I don’t do many auctions anymore. People would win the auction and never pay. Who does that? It’s very frustrating. The amount of flakers that I get varies on every site. Hands down, I get the most on Offer Up. I honestly think people are just bored or love to troll on that site.

Low Ballers

Low ballers are damn near as bad as flakers. I’ve gotten to the point where I ignore most of them. I’ve had people offer me $30 for an item that was listed at $100. I don’t understand that logic behind that. I’m all for giving people deals, but don’t low ball me. People will try to low ball you on every site. As a seller, you can counter, but most of the time it’s not even worth it.


Unless you have an exclusive one of a kind item, there will someone else selling the same thing that you are. How do you make sure you can sell yours? You can do a few things to make sure that your item sells.

Price – You can list your item for a slightly lower price than your competitors.

Shipping – You can offer free shipping on your item.

Pictures – Take better pictures of the item than your competitor. You can also take more than them as well. eBay allows you to post up to 12 photos per item. You might as well take advantage of that.

Multiple places – List your items on other sites. I list many of my items on various sites. You can find them listed on eBay, Bonanza, and Craigslist. The more places that you list, the sooner that they will sell.


Next up on the list of disadvantages of selling online is returns. You can choose whether or not you want to offer returns on your items on most sites. I don’t offer returns, but I do get a return request every once in a while, on eBay. If the item is an article of clothing that’s too small or if it’s something that breaks due to me not packaging it correctly, I’ll accept the return and give a refund. When you list your items make sure that you describe it accurately. That way you can eliminate the chances of returns.

Under-Estimating Shipping Costs

In the beginning, I took a few losses on shipping charges. I didn’t know any better and thought that my estimates were going to be on point. Unfortunately, I lost money a few times. I don’t want that to happen to you. If you want to make sure that you don’t lose money shipping, get you a scale. Here is the scale that I use. Hands down, it was one of the best investments that I made this year for my business. (Check out some of my other shipping tools here). If you offer free shipping, make sure that you raise the price of your item by a few bucks to offset that shipping charge.

Mistakes With Postings

From time to time, you will make a mistake or two with your listings. One big issue that I see on listings is spelling. People have words spelled wrong in the title. That’s a huge no-no. With your listing, having misspelled words, there’s a chance that it won’t show up when people are searching for your item. I also see misspelled words in the description. You have to take the time and review those things once or twice. Something that helps me with my spelling and grammar is a tool called Grammarly. It checks every sentence for spelling and grammar errors. For more info about Grammarly, click on this link.

Another mistake that I see is that people don’t take the best pictures. They are too dark, or they don’t have a solid background. You want to make sure that you’re pictures are bright and that they look good to your potential buyers.

I hope that you enjoyed this post on things they don’t tell you when selling things online. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how it works. Every day won’t be a big selling day, but if you stay with it and don’t give up, you can make some money.

If you are new when it comes to online selling and you’re interested in making money on eBay, check out my course, How to Make Money in Your Spare Time with eBay. I created the course to help people sell more and make more money on eBay. Currently, I average $800 – $1000 per month selling on eBay in my spare time. I believe that you can do the same thing too. The course has six modules full of information that will have you selling in no time. For more information visit here.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this post that goes over some disadvantages of selling online. Realize that these things do happen from time to time, but you can still make money. Don’t give up.

Do you know any other disadvantages of selling online?