How to sell on eBay: step by step guide to earning online

How to sell on eBay? This could be the right solution for you, whether you want to clear out your wardrobe of unused clothes, have a business in need of a digital storefront, or have crafted items you’d like to sell.

Here are some helpful tips to increase your online sales.

eBay is a marketplace that, compared to an e-commerce platform, has some important peculiarities:

  • In e-commerce, the manufacturer sells their goods and services directly on a platform they own and is legally responsible for the entire sales process. The economic investment to create this type of platform is more significant, but it offers complete customization freedom and higher profit margins.
  • The marketplace is an intermediary site between the seller, who can showcase their products in a virtual storefront, and the buyer, who has access to a wide selection of products similar to a virtual shopping mall. The investment costs are lower than an e-commerce platform, and there is significant visibility provided by the site, but there are fixed costs, including commissions for each sale.

Of course, depending on your strategy and budget availability, the two channels can coexist, ensuring their respective advantages.

how to sell on ebay for beginners

To help you with this choice, I will delve into why and how to use eBay to sell online.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to sell on eBay by maximizing the opportunities of the platform! Explore the topic and I recommend How to start an E-Commerce Business Course to discover how to triple your revenue!

How to sell on eBay step-by-step

The essential prerequisite for selling on eBay is detailed knowledge of the products you intend to sell and the strategy you plan to implement.

Before starting concretely, you’ll need to consider some elements:

  • Business type: do you need a space to occasionally sell personal items or an online store to showcase your brand/company?
  • Available budget: do you want to keep expenses low with the free tools included in the packages? Or can you manage higher fixed costs for better visibility and more effective advertisements?
  • Nature of goods: crafts, fashion, jewelry, vintage, games. Identify the category of the items for sale to plan the most suitable selling method, whether “fixed price” or “auction”.

Remember that the more careful your planning, the more effective the positioning and communication of your listings will be!

How to create an eBay account

The first action you must take, for new or used items, is to register a private account.

You can register either from your PC or the eBay app downloadable on mobile:

  • From the eBay homepage, click on “register”.
  • You will land on the registration page, which will prompt you to enter your personal information to sell on eBay as an individual.
  • In the middle of the page, you will find the link to register a professional account, which we will see later.

ebay homepage

I recommend creating a private account if you are taking your first steps in online selling or if you plan to open a sales activity for specific and occasional situations, such as selling vintage, new, or used items that you want to get rid of.

Private account fees

Once the account is set up, you can immediately start creating listings. You’ll need to plan their use, taking into account the costs and fees on sold items.

Although the private account is much cheaper than the professional version, you still need to consider the listing fees and selling commissions:

  • Every month, you can create up to 150 free listings. If you exceed this limit within the same month, you will be charged a listing fee of $0.35 each. Listings for cars and motorcycles will have different rates.
  • You can add additional information to your listings, such as a “subtitle” ($0.50) or add a “second category” ($0.35). Additional details will increase the visibility of your listings.
  • When you sell a product, you’ll need to pay 10% of the final sale price, excluding shipping costs, up to a maximum of $200 for a single item. Again, commissions for cars and motorcycles will be different.
  • In case of non-payment by the buyer or return of the item, eBay will refund the previously charged commissions.

 

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How to create listings to sell on eBay

After clarifying the fees you’ll need to consider, I’ll explain how to sell on eBay by creating listings!

listing an item in ebay

Listings are an important tool to communicate the sale of your items to buyers, along with relevant information and purchasing details:

  • To create a listing, click on the “sell” option at the top of the homepage.
  • A window will appear, as shown in the image. In the search bar, enter a descriptive title for your listing, such as “necklace, (brand name), 925 silver”. Suggestions will automatically appear to help you integrate information into the description.
  • Remember, the more information you provide, the easier it is for users to find your product, enabling you to sell on eBay quickly.
  • Once you’ve entered the description, click the blue “sell” button.

item description

  • A window will appear suggesting items similar to your description. Click “sell a similar item“.
  • If you don’t find any results similar to the description, you can instead click “Create a new listing” at the top of the window.
  • In both cases, you must indicate the item’s condition: new, used, or with defects.

sell similar items

  • In this window, you can enter any missing information in the “item specifics”. As I mentioned earlier, one of the tricks to selling online on eBay is to provide more information to strengthen the visibility of the listing.
  • Below, you can upload photos of the item. Uploading multiple photos builds more trust with users. You can also add an optional description with unique features of the item.

item specifications

In the price section, you can set the selling mode to “online auction” or “buy it now”:

  • The “online auction” mode, exclusive to eBay, allows you to set the “starting price“. I recommend aiming for lower figures to attract users who will subsequently bid higher.
  • By clicking the “additional options” popup, you can set the auction’s scheduling, duration, and reserve price, indicating the minimum amount to win the product.
  • Alternatively, you can also choose “buy it now“, allowing you to specify a fixed price for immediate purchase.
  • In “additional options”, you can, once again, specify the scheduling and quantity available for the item.

pricing strategy

Now, you can enter shipping preferences:

  • Select “ship the item“, indicating the service to use, the suitable package format, and the fixed shipping cost borne by the buyer.
  • Alternatively, you can choose to offer free shipping or “local pickup“, specifying your home address or a preferred location.
  • By clicking “edit” in this last section, you can specify accepted payment methods, packing times, and whether the item is returnable with a refund.
  • Clicking the “preview” button allows you to check the final appearance of your listing.
  • Once you’ve confirmed the completeness of the information, you can finally publish the listing by clicking “highlight at the displayed rates”.
  • The ad will be published according to the times and methods you have indicated. You’re prepared to commence your eBay selling journey!

ship items

Selling on eBay as a business

By applying with a private profile, you can assess the need to give more visibility to your business by choosing to open an eBay store.

The professional account is particularly suitable for merchants and artisans who want a showcase to expand their existing business or start a new one.

ebay business account

Below, you will discover how to sell on eBay with a business account:

  • You can click “register” from the homepage and “create a professional account”.
  • Next, you will need to specify the type of store you want to purchase, choosing among “basic”, “premium”, and “premium plus”. Each package offers different advantages and services with variable fees, which I will explain later.
  • An eBay store will support you by providing effective tools to reach a higher number of customers, manage orders, and grow your business.

Opening an eBay store – fees

Depending on your goals and the budget you have available, you can express a preference among the following types of online stores:

  • Base Tariff: $19.50 per month. The most economical and accessible solution, especially suitable for those approaching an eBay store for the first time. Includes, from April 1, 2021, 400 free monthly listings and discounts for additional ones.
  • Premium Tariff: $39.50 per month. Suitable for experienced professional sellers. Includes 10,000 free listings and a cost of $0.10 for each additional listing.
  • Premium Plus Tariff: $149.50 per month. A perfect option for sellers with a well-structured online business. Offers unlimited free listings and includes 250 “online auction” listings.

The choice of the subscription tariff can be changed at any time. Evaluate and analyze your sales performance periodically to measure the need for an upgrade.

 

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Monitoring sales on eBay

After publishing your listings, it will be crucial to monitor their progress, as well as the status of sales and payments already concluded:

  • Access the “sell” section of your account.
  • Click on “my eBay” and you will access the page “Sales in my eBay”.
  • You can view your “seller status”, promotional offers to purchase listings, offers received from buyers, current listings, scheduled ones, and completed sales.
  • Once you have sold an item and verified the payment, you can indicate the start of shipping according to the methods set earlier.
  • After marking the item as shipped, you can finally leave feedback on your selling experience with the buyer.
  • Once the feedback is recorded, you have officially completed learning how to sell on eBay with a private profile—congratulations!

 

track sales on ebay

Why sell on eBay

But what are the advantages of selling on eBay?

Each platform has its approach to user experience, more or less competitive, highlighting services sometimes exclusive to the site.

Clearly understanding the most advantageous aspects of eBay will help you develop a winning business strategy tailored to your needs, from occasional sales to professional ones linked to an online store:

  • Global Visibility: with over 72 million registered users worldwide, distributed in 26 countries, including private sellers, professionals, and artisans, with the possibility of exporting goods internationally.
  • Customizable Seller Profile: choose between “private seller“, favored by most users for selling new or used items, and “professional seller“, suitable for merchants or businesses with a VAT number who want to open an online store to sell their products.
  • Low Economic Investment: depending on the purchased service package and the selected store type with variable fees.
  • Flexible Selling Methods: allow publishing an item with a “fixed price” or a purchase method with an “auction”, enabling the seller to plan the most effective selling strategy.
  • Feedback Culture: allows giving negative feedback to non-paying buyers and prohibiting access to purchases or participation in auctions. The seller is also evaluated by the buyer, ensuring equally correct behavior.
  • Quick Payment Reception: thanks to the inclusion of PayPal, the professional seller to quickly collect the money paid by the buyer.
  • Ad Posting: promote the visibility of your items for sale. In addition to periodic free ad allocation, you can purchase additional packages to enhance your communication.

Of course, eBay does not claim to be the perfect marketplace. You will need to carefully analyze your needs and the type of your target audience to optimize the tools and services available for the conversion of your sales.

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Conclusion and free consultation

Selling on eBay is a flexible activity, based on a system capable of adapting to the needs of your business.

Whether you’re a beginner seller or an experienced merchant, I recommend setting goals and carefully structuring a strategy to achieve them.

Digital transformation involves businesses of different natures and sizes, responding to a global trend toward communication and accessibility.

Training to work independently online can also provide you with competitive tools and knowledge to enhance the growth of your business.

The evaluation of the most suitable marketplace for your needs, up to the construction of e-commerce, requires analyses that span various disciplines.

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Request a free strategic consultation and start selling on eBay!

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