When’s the last time you cleaned out the garage or attic? There could be some true hidden gems in there…and some ways to make money! For ages, eBay has been a giant in the reselling business, allowing everyone from stay-at-home moms to full-time collectors the opportunity to make some money online. If you love scouring yard sales or second-hand stores, learn the basics of how to make money selling on eBay. You’ll be listing and shipping in no time!
How to Sell on eBay for Beginners
The first step in learning how to make money selling on eBay is getting the basics figured out before you master a specific strategy. If eBay is brand new to you, you need to understand how to set up shop and sell your items.
1. Set Up Your Account
If you have bought on eBay before, great! You can use the same account that you’ve set up for buying to sell as well. This way, you can use the positive feedback you already have on your profile.
If you are brand new to the site, you will want to set up your profile and account. You might also want to do some shopping of your own first, so you understand the process.
In order to get paid, you need to make sure that eBay has your information. It is completely safe to link your checking account directly with eBay for easy payment.
You can also install the app to access eBay on your phone. This is the easiest way to create listings and manage your account. The app allows you to take pictures of products, upload them directly, and receive notifications for items selling, messages, and more.
2. Make a Listing
It’s free to list most items on eBay (with the exception of a few categories). You are charged a final value fee of the total price once the item sells. This includes shipping and handling but not sales tax.
You can list from a desktop or the app, whichever is more convenient for you.
When listing, you want to first come up with a great title for your product. Think about what keywords a buyer would look for when searching for your item.
Get as specific as possible and avoid any filler words (adorable, used, etc.). Use the entire amount of space to cram in as many details as possible.
You can post as many as 12 with your listing. Use as many as you can! Take photos from all kinds of angles, so the buyer has a good understanding of size and appearance. Take closeups as well as full “body” shots.
Also, be sure to capture any flaws and defects the item has for complete transparency (this will avoid any bad reviews and refunds). Ensure you take your photos in good lighting, so the item looks its best. Finally, crop your images to a square if possible, as they will appear the best on the eBay search feed.
In your description, include any additional information that may be of importance, such as measurements, brand, notes on flaws, and more. Make sure the category is correct and you’ve given enough information about your product.
On eBay, you have two options for selling:
- When you select auction, people will bid on your item after you choose a starting bid.
- Buy it now means you price it for how much you want it to sell.
You can click see how other sellers priced it to get an idea of the market price for your item.
You will also want to consider shipping when pricing your listings. eBay will provide an estimate for the item, but it tends to be wrong. Instead, enter the weight and dimension of your package as accurately as possible. Select your desired carrier based on who is the most convenient for you to drop the package off come shipping time.
Finally, select how you will charge for shipping. You can calculate it based on location, select a fixed rate, or offer free shipping. Note: this will come out of your pocket, not eBay’s.
You also have the option for international shipping, but you probably want to avoid this until you have made a few sales.
4. Shipping Your Item
Once everything is good to go, you can list your item. It can take a matter of days to months for your item to sell. Hopefully, you know the demand and have the right price for it to go quickly. When your item sells and eBay has received payment for the item, it will send you an email.
In the email, it will prompt you to print the label. Attach it to your package, get it to your selected carrier, and then you’re done!
Top Tips on How to Make Money Selling on eBay
Of course, anyone can list items on eBay. The key is to get them to sell! These tips on how to sell something on eBay should hopefully ensure you not only have an eBay-worthy product but that you also get enough views to sell it.
1. Research What to Sell
Every product you see, new or used, has its own market. If you are out and about and see a potential item for reselling, do a quick search as if you were trying to buy it. Is there a demand for it? Are there already too many resellers selling a similar item? You can also look at the competition and see how they are advertising it. Do you see a gap or potential for the item to sell?
One of the main things you also want to keep an eye out for is the price. Look everywhere and see what it’s selling for. This means on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and even your local pawn shop for larger items. Check new and used prices. This will help you give a fair price to attract buyers but also ensure it’s a profitable sale and worth the effort on your end.
2. Nail the Photos
Your pictures will be your product’s biggest selling point, so take time to do them right! A dark and grainy photo shows the buyer nothing, and they won’t feel confident purchasing from you. Once you have made a few sales and know that selling on eBay is for you, consider investing in some equipment to elevate your listings.
For example, you can invest in a backdrop, professional lighting, a bust for clothing, a tripod, a quality camera, etc. Until then, your phone camera and an empty background with household lights should work just fine. Make sure it looks clean and in good condition.
3. Niche Down
When it comes to selling, you could spend hours researching products. Try to stick to one or two categories before moving on to the next. Understanding the demand, price, and value of one category will help you truly master it and get the most sales possible.
4. Understanding Demand
So how do you know if there is a demand for an item? Check out how many views it has! You can see how many watchers there are and sometimes how many people have viewed per hour.
Take a peek elsewhere on the web and see how many sales and reviews there have been on places like Amazon or how many people have it saved to a wish list.
Best Things to Sell on eBay
The options for selling on eBay are endless. But here are some sure-fire items that consistently tend to do well!
- Anything tech-related that is relatively recent (the past few years). People want new stuff that works well but don’t want to pay full price to purchase it from a store.
- iPhones and other cellphones as well as smartwatches.
- Game consoles. The latest game consoles or “vintage” versions sell well.
- Gaming keyboards
- DSLR cameras and accessories
- Educational supplies. Scoop up textbooks when students are selling them at the end of the semester and resell them when classes resume again. This also works well for Texas Instrument calculators as they can be pretty pricey to buy new.
- Lego sets. If you have a complete set, they sell at an average of 20% a set. The rarer the set, the higher it goes.
- Women’s handbags. Luxury brands such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel all sell well. Make sure you are selling authentic purses.
- Guitars, from Fender all the way to beginner level. Get insurance for these high-value and large items.
- Every day jerseys from Nike and Adidas are always popular, as well as collectible jerseys (especially if they have a signature).
How to Make Money Selling on eBay: A Success Story
Melissa Stephenson is a full-time flipper who posts regularly on eBay. In fact, she says that 80-90% of her items are sold via eBay! eBay is the #2 highest trafficked e-commerce website, and the number of people who can see the listing is much higher than on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and other local selling platforms.
She says her ROI is also so much higher! Melissa was kind enough to share with us some of her top tips on flipping items.
If you want to learn more about how to make money selling on eBay and other platforms, be sure to check out Melissa’s Flipper University course. Maybe you, too, could turn flipping from a side hustle into a full-time business!