Ebay

How to Sell on eBay For Beginners

This post may contain affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.

Updated for 2020

My eBay business has grown a lot during the last few years. I receive multiple questions including how to sell on eBay for beginners at least once a month. I’ve decided to compile that information into one article. In today’s post, I will go over how to sell on eBay for beginners. It should answer some of the questions that you have about eBay.

Get Started

You want to sell on eBay, but you haven’t made a move yet. It’s time to make a move. The first thing that you need to do is sign up for an account.  Signing up for an eBay account is free. To get started, you just need to include your name, email address, and password. Follow the instructions and you should have your account live within 10 minutes.

 

Sign Up for PayPal

The 2nd thing that you should do is sign up for a PayPal account. A PayPal account is an online service that allows you to send and transfer money electronically. As of this writing, it is the best way to get paid using eBay (That may be changing in the middle of 2020. If it does, this article will also be updated). PayPal is also free to register with. Make sure you add a checking account or credit card to your PayPal account so that it gets verified. The sooner you do that, the sooner you will be able to make money and transfer it to your account on file. It usually takes 3-4 days for your money to transfer to your checking account once you’ve withdrawn it.

 

Quick tip: If you’re new to PayPal I wouldn’t add my regular checking account to my account. I would open a separate one.

There are a few fees that you have to worry about with eBay and PayPal. I will discuss the basic fees. The 1st 50 listings are free on eBay depending on the category. After those free listings, the price goes to $0.30 per listing.  There is also a final value fee. That fee is 10% of the total amount of the sale. PayPal’s fee is 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. You may think those fees are high. In my opinion, they are not. They are worth it. EBay is one of the top online marketplaces in the world. Just by listing on eBay, you have a chance to get your items seen by millions of people.

What Do You Want to Sell

Next, you have to decide what you want to sell. There are thousands of things that you can sell. I tell people to start with what they know. If you know shoes, start with shoes. I know sports, so I started selling sports-related items. People are making money on all types of crazy items. Below is a list of a few things that I’ve sold.

  • Shoes
  • Sports Jerseys
  • Bobbleheads
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Tools

That list can go on forever. Figure out what you want to sell and then start listing.

If you are having a problem finding inventory subscribe to my newsletter and get a free list of 45 Items that you can flip. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can get the list for $0.99 here.

Before you list your items, make sure you do your research. This will let you know if you have an item that will sell or not. There are items out there that sell, but the seller doesn’t make a profit. That’s not why I’m on eBay. The goal is to make money. The main way I research an item is by searching for it on the eBay website. You want to make sure that it’s an item worth selling. I’ve made a mistake thinking that some items would sell, but they didn’t. Taking an “L” isn’t fun. My eBay flops, as I call them can be viewed here.

Take Good Pictures

The next tip on how to sell on eBay for beginners is to take good pictures. This is arguably the most important thing to do. Potential buyers will see your pictures and title first. You want to make sure that they buy, so have great pictures.  Your pictures should be clear and have plenty of lighting. You can also add up to 12 photos for free on eBay. For most of my listings I post between 10-12 photos. That should be more than enough pictures for a prospective buyer to know if they want to buy your item or not. I typically use my cell phone light or lights that are in the house. If you want to get next level, you can use a lightbox like the one in the highlighted link. It will help your pictures look more professional.

Auction or Buy it Now

The next step is to decide how to sell your item. Do you want to list it as an auction or do you want to sell it for a fixed price (Buy it Now)? If you list your item as an auction people get the chance to bid on it. The highest bidder wins the item. With a fixed price listing you choose the price. The person can then buy it without bidding. Auctions can be listed for 3, 5, 7, or 10 days. Fixed price listings are listed for 30 days. If the item doesn’t sell it will be automatically relisted for another 30 days. Most of my items are “Buy it Now”. I like getting my money sooner than later.

Before you set a price for your listings, make sure you check the sold listings to see what your items are currently selling for. Below are a few pictures that can show you how to do that. The example that I used was Air Jordan IV sneakers.

I typed "Air Jordan IV" in the search bar.

I typed “Air Jordan IV” in the search bar.

Next, you can click on sold items and you can see what the items have sold for.

As you can see most of those Jordan’s sold for over 100 bucks. You can compare any item this way. Once you do that you gauge your starting price.

Shipping

This is where a lot of eBay sellers get frustrated. Hell, I used to get frustrated a lot with shipping too. When it comes to shipping, you have two options. You either can charge a flat shipping rate, or you can calculate the shipping. If you are a beginner, I highly suggest you ship everything flat rate. You can find more information about this on the USPS website.

If you plan to calculate shipping, make sure you research this especially if you have a large or heavy item. I’ve charged too little for shipping a few times and came out in the negative with a few items. Losing money is not a good feeling. To be honest, you should buy a mini scale and weigh items so that you can get an accurate shipping price. It’s better to be safe and sorry. I’m actually in the process of getting a scale. Once I get it, I’ll make sure that I do a thorough review.

Shipping boxes can be hard to come by if you don’t know where to look. You can get some from the post office for free. Believe it or not, you don’t even have to go to a physical location to do that. You can order them online at the USPS website. You can also purchase them from a store like Walmart. I get most of the boxes that I ship shoes and bobbleheads from there.

I hope this post on how to sell on eBay for beginners answers some of your questions. If you need some specific help feel free to join my Facebook group, My Money Chronicles, Inner Circle. We talk about eBay in there all the time.

This post is pretty much a beginner’s guide for eBay. I know that you may need more info. I recently recorded a webinar titled eBay for Starters. In the 30 minute webinar, I go into more detail on how to sell on eBay for beginners. The webinar is free. Go here to view it today.

I hope you enjoyed this post on how to sell on eBay. I believe that you can make money today. You just have to start.

Below, I have a few more eBay resources for you.

eBay Resources

Boxes

I get a lot of my boxes that I use for shipping at the Post Office. They don’t always have the right size. If I need a box that’s a different size, I usually get it somewhere else. You can purchase them from a store or order them from Amazon. Below is a good pack of boxes.

Bubble Wrap

If you sell certain items like mugs or glass, you will need to get some bubble wrap. Here is some bubble wrap that is priced reasonably.

Tape

Tape comes in handy. You can never have enough of it. Here is an example of the shipping tape that I use.

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22 Comments

  1. great tips, Jason! I’ve never sold anything on e-Bay, but. Do use Paypal regularly. One tip you might want to include re PP is that there are a lot of PayPal scammers out there. I regularly receive e-mails from scammers asking me to verify something on my PP account by clucking a link. Always check the email address on these, and you will see that it is not from PayPal, but rather someone else attempting to gain access to your details.

    1. You’re right about those PayPal scammers. I receive random e-mails from time to time but they don’t even come to the e-mail that is connected to my PP account. They come to one of my other e-mails. They are deleted immediately.

  2. Great eBay tutorial! I will admit that I am intimated by selling on Ebay. I did, recently, sell some stuff on Craigslist which I was super excited about. Now I have mad Craigslist skills =) Okay, not really but hey, I sold some stuff!

    1. Thanks! Selling on eBay can be intimidating in the beginning. I’m sure if you give it a try you will be fine and make decent money.

  3. Great tips, Jason! My wife has sold quite a bit on eBay, but I haven’t dabbled in it. I’m always impressed at your ability to flip things you buy at garage sales or the thrift store.

  4. I have used Ebay a few times.
    I admit to viewing it as overwhelming in the past but slowly getting the hang of it.

    I am cautious of buying clothes online as if they do not fit, I have the hassle of returning them.

  5. Thanks for the wonderful information. I never thought of using EBAY before but I thought it was complicated. You really broke it down into steps and made it simple to understand. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  6. Fascinating Jason! I’ve purchased a few things on eBay (mostly for my computer) but never sold anything. A few of my fellow authors sell their books on eBay but I’ve never taken the time to research it. You’ve inspired me to at least take a looksee. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for the tips Jason. I’ve never sold anything on eBay bnt I certaijnly have a lot of stuff I don’t use and would love to get rid of. By the way, keep playing that Billy Joel album. Its’s pretty good.

  8. You’ve got me–I’ve only ever glanced at EBay a few times. I’ve found it too intimidating for shopping or heaven-forbid, selling. Now I know it’s not nearly as scary as I’ve made it up to be!

  9. Jason, these are great tips – I especially like the one about doing a selling price research. Sometimes when I was busy I’ve made the mistake of just listing the item with a random picked price – usually didn’t work. One other thing that maybe you could mention: You can list an item for auction and at the same time add a buy it now price.

  10. I haven’t sold on Ebay but I know where to find out how to do it now! Thanks.

  11. When selling items on Ebay, do I have to use my home address on the shipping label, or can I just use my P.O. Box? Which shipping option is best for beginners, automatically calculate by distance or use a scale to weigh items before going to the post office to determine the cost of shipping? I’m trying to create a store on Ebay, but need some clarification on some things before beginning. Where do you get boxes/containers to ship your items in? Does the computer automatically assign your items SKU/Item #’s or do you make up numbers for this? How do you create e-mails with confirmation #’s to let customers know their items have been packaged/shipped/delivered?

    1. Those are a lot of questions. I don’t have an eBay store so I don’t know the answers to those. You can use either address. It’s better to weigh your items with a scale. The items are automatically assigned an item number. Have you checked ebay.com? They have some forums that should be able to help you with those tougher questions.

      1. Thank you! I’ll look for more FAQ’s & forums for Ebay.

  12. MORE QUESTIONS: What items can be sold without pre-approval from Ebay? I want to start listing items right away. Is it better to list items for “bid” or “buy now.”

  13. Great tips. I’ve registered and got my items in one box, got a Paypal account and now at the stage of doing my research. Will let you know. Thanks

    1. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

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