Yes, eBay CAN be your job. It can be your small hobby or full time job depending on how much time you invest and how knowledgeable you are about your items. I personally have been using eBay since 2002 and have learned many things and made many mistakes. Read my tips and you can soon be working from home.
- Hopefully if you are reading this, you at least know what eBay is and have purchased something before. If you’ve purchased something, most likely you have ‘good feedback’. Good feedback is something you will definitely need to have so that customers will feel safe purchasing from you. Good feedback says you pay/ship fast, are honest and/or mentions communication skills. If you don’t have any feedback, buy a couple of things and get some people to say good things about you!
- Start by selling things you already own. This way, you have nothing to lose if it doesn’t sell. Start small, eBay can be overwhelming at first. I recommend listing 1 thing you think will sell. When it sells, you will go through collecting payment and shipping. Start with one thing so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
- Look items upon eBay BEFORE listing. If 1000 people all have the same book listed for $2 and only 1 copy sells on eBay per month, it’s probably not worth it to list. Don’t look at the prices people are asking for. You need to refine your search to SOLD ITEMS so you can see what people actually paid.
- Just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s valuable. There are plenty of ‘antiques’ that are worth nothing. Research before purchasing anything or wasting your time making a listing.
- Sell things you know about. If your passion is clothing and you know a lot about it, sell clothing. If you know a lot about electronics or games, sell those. Don’t try to sell things you don’t know enough about. People want a detailed description and will ask LOTS of questions. If you sell something to someone that you didn’t know enough about and something was wrong, you risk getting negative feedback. Pick your passion.
- You will be able to choose whether you would like to create an auction and let people bid or have a set price ‘Buy It Now’. There are pros and cons to both. Auction pro: Sometimes people just want to win and over pay for an item which is more money for you. Auction con: Some people win and don’t pay. Then you have to file a report with eBay to get a credit for eBay’s fees. No fun. Buy It Now Pro: You can request that customers pay immediately after clicking buy it now. Buy it now con: There really aren’t that many cons to Buy it Now. Just think of a price and then they pay and you ship. You can also add ‘Best Offer’ to your item and let people submit offers to you for your consideration.
- Take lots of pictures and describe EVERYTHING!! Even if there is a spot but it’s not that noticeable…… Say there is a spot but it’s not that noticeable. Point to flawed areas in your pictures so they can see every single angle and flaw. Take pictures of tags and describe. Tag is warn, tag is mint etc…. You get 12 pictures with every listing. USE THEM ALL. Describe the flaws as if you were describing to someone who was blind. ie: Minor pilling of fabric, discoloration in area, faded area, marks, scuffs, odors, stains. Let people know if your home is smoke or pet free.
- Keywords in your title and description are important. Describe completely in title leaving out short words that people won’t use to search. (ie: Apple iPhone 6S 32 GB ATT silver w/ accessories & Box) You will have a limit to the amount of characters in your title. So, omit the unnecessary words, use & instead of AND. Use words like MINT, RARE, OOAK (one of a kind), VINTAGE etc. Use every character in that line. Example of what NOT to do: ( Apple smartphone ) Nobody will ever see your listing.
- Don’t offer free shipping unless your item is super light. I’m talking less than 15oz AND only offer free shipping if you are getting a decent amount of money for your item. People constantly ask me to lower the shipping or offer free shipping. Then I have to explain to them how I can’t. If eBay is your job, you have to make money. Don’t let people convince you to lower your prices or remove shipping cost. If they can’t pay the shipping, they should not buy your item. Also choose the calculated shipping method. Let eBay figure out how much to charge the customer. You just enter the size and weight of box and choose shipping method (ie: Priority Mail) and eBay will calculate the rest.
- You can print your shipping labels at home and get a discount on Priority or First Class Mail. You can either purchase a scale to weigh your boxes (at Staples or Walmart) or you can bring your packages to the post office and just ask them to weigh for you. Once you print your shipping label, just tape to the box and bring to the post office and drop off. I strongly suggest choosing USPS (Post Office). The prices are much better and I think it is more convenient.
- Open up a PayPal account if you don’t already have one. Just about everyone on eBay uses PayPal. Its safe, fast and convenient. I personally only accept PayPal as a form of payment. Checks can bounce, money orders can be counterfeit. PayPal is the best way to go. If you accept Paypal, customers can also pay safely with their credit card without the hassle for you!
- Provide great customer service! Communicate, ship quick, offer a return policy, give them feedback etc… Even if the person is not happy with your item, if they were happy with your customer service, you may still get good feedback!
- If you are selling a TON, open a store. You will save money in eBay fees but will pay a monthly fee. This is only a good option if you are selling a lot. Once you commit to a store, its a year commitment. So don’t do it unless you are making a lot of money!
Selling on eBay can be a lot of fun once you get the hang of it! Feel free to comment with any questions!