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How To Sell On eBay - A Quick Guide

Ok so you want to start selling on eBay right? There are many reasons why people want to start selling - whether looking for a bit of extra income or to create some space by selling all those things you swore you needed when you bought them. Whether your aims are to grow an existing business, start a new one or to pay for life's little luxuries then you will find eBay provides opportunites for all.

Whatever the reason this quick step-by-step guide below should you give you a good start and get you on the road to creating an additional income. eBay has without question become a phenominal success with millions of items bought and sold through it every year. You may have seen on the TV or in the local press of the incredible success stories of some eBay sellers. Many have started with no or very little knowledge of the eBay marketplace - yet despite this have developed very profitable businesses. Still more sellers use eBay simply as an avenue to earn extra cash to pay for holidays, cars etc.

Understandably, as with anything new, starting selling on eBay can be a daunting prospect. However with just a few tools, a bit of hard work and a busy marketplace you could well be on the road to earning extra cash!

[1] Getting Started - The Basics

The first step is very simple - free registration on eBay. If you haven't opened an account yet then it is a quick, free and pretty painless starter. eBay has nearly thirty country specific sites so you should register on the appropriate site for your country. We have compiled a handy list of eBay International sites that you should find helpful. Register now by Clicking Here then click on the flag that relates to your country - don't worry it will open in a new window.

[2] Deciding What To Sell?

Whilst it is true that a lot of people start off selling bits and pieces that they have around the house and garage this will not always be possible. It is a good place to start though and you will be amazed at the returns you can realise for items that you thought had no value.

Over a million unwanted Christmas presents were listed on eBay(UK) in the week after Christmas 2007
Over 500,000 unwanted Christmas presents were listed on eBay(UK) on Christmas Day 2010

For many of the sellers of these items this will be the first time they have sold anything on eBay.

Once you have exhausted selling the things that you own though you may wish to expand and look at finding additional sources to purchase items from. But what to sell? Well my first tip would be not to sell only the things you like or know about - this can be a restrictive approach. There are lots of profitable product lines out there and you do need to spend a little time researching and finding out what these are. If you have an idea of what you would like to sell then search to see if it is currently available, also see how many people are selling the same or similar items. Of course with such a big marketplace it will be unusual not to find someone else offering the same item. You goal though is to find a product line (or lines) that are not currently on offer by loads of other sellers or are more expensive than you can offer it for.

Info: See Popular Searches On eBay: eBay Pulse UK | eBay Pulse USA

Finding deals on eBay that you can resell can sometimes be difficult - especially if the item(s) are popular as you will likely come up against competition from other sellers. One way of avoiding the competition is to use a free ebay tool that lets you locate last minute closing auction lots that have no bids like:

This site will let you search by price, closing time and category so no waiting around and as buying well is the most important aspect of sales it's a site worth bookmarking.

[2] Where To Buy Items For Resale?

If you are going to resell an item on eBay then it follows that you have to purchase it for the very best price to make a profit. Some sellers continually look for one-off products whilst others look for items that can be repeated many times. For one-off items here are the top 10 places to look that have been recommended by users:

  • Charity Shops
  • Car Boot Sales/Table Top Sales
  • Second Hand Shops
  • Traditional Auctions
  • Church/Charity Fayres
  • Jumble sales
  • Closing Down Sales
  • Garage Sales
  • Local Classifieds
  • eBay* & Other Online Auctions

* Of course buying on eBay to resell is pretty difficult unless you get a bargain. You may have to be creative and as well as looking for last minute bargains you may want to look for misspelt ebay auctions. Thousands of auctions are incorrectly spelt which means that they cannot be displayed to those searching for that specific item. Finding eBay misspellings can be profitable but some people are actually selling software that you have to download to your pc to do this! Why Pay? You can use this free web based eBay misspelling tool which does exactly the same thing without having to download a thing: AuctionSpeller

Searching for misspellings & typos can be a great way for the savvy shopper to pick up a bargain... but what can you search for? It's a good question and one that we were asked many times by auction buyers - what are the most common ebay misspellings? Unfortunately eBay don't provide that information and popular misspelling suggestions were difficult to come by.... until now! Find the 150 Most Popular eBay Misspelling Searches List Here

It's worth noting that in the UK alone there are over 50 alternative auction sites which could be worth visiting in your hunt for products to sell. Time is money though so rather than wasting yours spending time on Google trying to find them all we've created this handy list of Online Auctions.

[3] How Should I Accept Payments?

There are many different ways to accept payment with the simplest (and slowest) being by cheque. Most people like to pay for winning bids via Credit or Debit Card though simply due to it been a quick and safer method of payment. To be able to accept creditd/debit cards from your customers you will most likely have to have a merchant account. This will likely attract monthly fees from the providing bank so you may not wish to initially go down this route. A more cost effective approach certainly in the initial stages is to open a free account at one of the following popular Online Payment Providers:

The above reputable companies offer services that are affordable for businesses of all sizes. Fees are applied only when you accept a payment - if you don't receive money, you don't pay a penny.

[4] What About Packing & Shipping?

You need to find out how much you will be charged to ship the goods to the winning bidder. You will be asked for the cost when you create your listing so it's always best to be prepared in advance. For larger items there will be many couriers available in your local area to choose from. You may be asked to provide the weight and/or dimensions of the package before they can provide a quotation. For smaller items I always recommend the Royal Mail - they have a good selection of services on offer and are usually very cost effective & reliable. Please do remember to use an insured service with whomever you should choose as this will cover any damages or should the parcel be lost. It is imperative that the item arrives in the same condition that it was sent and therefore proper packing is essential. You may need to purchase bubblewrap, boxes, tape etc - please remember to include a small charge on top of the delivery charge to cover the packing costs.

[5] Getting Started - The Final Steps

So are you ready... well not quite - we are not finished just yet ;-)

You need to write a clear, concise and appealing description for each different item that you are going to offer for sale. You don't have to be a wizzard on the computer to put together a presentable and attractive description. At it's most basic you can simply type in a description and leave it at that. That's not however going to attract many buyers and it's worth spending a little time on this to boost your potential sales. Adding some HTML to the description can make things stand out without going over the top. A few boxes to highlight say the features of the item, and detailed description, your delivery terms etc will work wonders in getting your message across clearly. Stop!! I hear you shout - I don't know what HTML is and have never used it! That's ok - we have created a really simple point & click auction template creator for you to use -

A good clear picture of the item will definately increase your chances of not only a sale but at a better price than if you have no picture. Research proves time and again the importance of including a picture - if you don't have a digital camera then a manufacturers stock photo will suffice. Better still why not add a few piccies? It certainly can't do any harm and will show prospective buyers that you have nothing to hide. eBay will allow you to upload images but you can save money on adding additional images by hosting them yourselves. If you have some spare webspace then that is easy enough to do - but what if you don't? Well you can pay for image hosting at various sites or you can use those sites that offer it for free! Again to save you typing we have listed a good selection of Free Auction Image hosts at

You may also wish to review the info links below for some further tips on Selling on eBay.

Finally Good Luck!! We hope that the above information, although basic, helped to get you started and wish you the very best!

Additional Free Tools & Links To Help

Listed below are a small selection of free auction tools & links to further information that should help you getting started on eBay:

Article Written By: Steve Durkin
2008 - 2012 - All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Article Updated: 01/11/2012

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