It’s easy to make money selling on eBay. I know because I’ve been doing it for five years. eBay has been my go-to money maker and is now one of three ways I consistently earn a work from home income. Honestly, it’s great way to earn money from home, whether it a one-time virtual yard sale to clean out the closets or to start a home-based business. Are you ready to start?
Sign up an eBay account if you don’t already have on. When you sign up you’ll also set up your PayPal account. While there are other ways to accept payment, PayPal is the primary one and the easiest to set up. In addition to accepting payments, as a seller you’ll need a way to pay for your selling and shipping fees. Your PayPal account is tied to a credit card, so be aware of that. For more information on eBay selling requirements, check out this page.
Take a look eBay to see what’s already selling. It’s mind boggling what’s sold on eBay. Take a look at the current listings and what has sold to get your creative selling juices flowing. “Sold” items are what you really want to spend your research time on. You can add a specific product in the search box or choose a category to browse. There’s a drop down category box between the eBay logo and search box or use the navigation bar right below. You might have to dig deeper into the category, but Once you land on the new page, scroll down the left sidebar to find “sold and completed listings.” Check those two boxes. On the new page you’ll find the most recent sales. The prices should be in green.
Now that you’ve seen what others are selling on eBay, decide on what you want to sell. There’s a lot things you can sell, but some may have restrictions. Check out the A to Z Index Polices for more information. My suggestion is to start with what you already have and no longer need. Yup, that clutter.
Understand the selling fees. eBay is one of the cheapest home-based businesses I know of, but there are fees involved. The two basic ones are the Insertion and Final Value Fees. The Insertion Fee is the cost of your listing. Fortunately, basic sellers are allowed 50 listings per month before being assessed an additional $0.30 per listing. There are restrictions and exclusions, so make sure to read them here. The Final Value Fees are charged when an item sells (and it varies by category). It includes shipping costs, too. Also, be aware that there are PayPal charges on that end. When you’re ready, upgrade to an eBay Store with a monthly subscription fee that reduces the Insertion and Final Value Fees.
Choose your selling format. Most people think of eBay as an auction site, but there’s a number of ways to use this platform. For most of us, however, it comes down to Auction-style Listings or Fixed Priced Listings. There are pros and cons for each type, but it really just comes down to what you feel most comfortable with. And sometimes, that decision is based on your overall fees. You list and item for 30 days on fixed price for a one time listing fee. Or up to 7 days on a auction. But if it doesn’t see on the first listing, you’ll have to relist for an additional free. Here’s a little more info from eBay about selling formats.
Take great pictures of your items. eBay lets you put 12 pictures, so try to use as many as you can, if not all. You’ll want front, side and back views, along with lots of close-ups. Think of these photos as a way for your buyer to virtually touch the product. Try to take your pictures on a neutral, light background without distractions as use the best lighting as possible. Good, natural light is always the easiest.
Create a listing for each items you are selling. This is the heart of selling your items so take the time to hone this skill. You know those “sold” listings I wanted you to look at in Step #2? Go back and take at look at how they were structured. They should have very descriptive title. It’s not about cleaver but about what the buyer is looking for. Use the brand, style, color and any specifics that buyer may be looking for. Do the same for the descriptions and used lots of bullet points for the item specifics (don’t make your buyer hunt for the information. [Don’t forget to document defects, in pictures and words. It’s best to let buyer know upfront than have to deal with an unhappy buyer and returns.
Price your items competitively. Go back to Step #2 to see what similar items have sold for and base your pricing on that information. If it sold on auction, you will have to dig into the bidding results to see what it started at. eBay would love if you started all you auctions at $0.99, but that’s not always realistic. Some items do get multiple bids that push the final price up, but there are lots of times an item gets only one big. Remember, you can always lower the price if it doesn’t sell.
Choose your shipping options. Let your buyers know how the purchased items will ship and the costs. eBay sellers have lots of options, from the United States Postal System to other carriers. You can charge the exact amount due with calculated shipping, determine the shipping yourself and specify a cost that may include handling, or offer “free shipping.” If you decide on the later, make sure you calculate that the overall pricing.
Send out sold items fast. In your selling terms you will specify how soon you will ship after a sale, but keep in mind buyers like fast. Generally 24 hours to 2 days after payment is a good ideas and generates good comments (and we like to get lots of those to make us preferred sellers).
Yes, there’s one more step. Rinse and repeat.
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