I'm very proud that the ninth edition of eBay For Dummies has published. This fully revised edition is based on the previous editions and my 20 years buying and selling on eBay. My store is open every day that I am in town and I ship items to buyers every week.
Selling on eBay can be a way to make a part time or full time living. For me, eBay sales enabled my daughter and I to run a business together and to subsidize the many things we needed when she was growing up. I even paid for her college tuition with eBay sales. She graduated debt free.
Here are a few tips - although this short post can't begin to get into the depth of the full book - it will give you a taste of what you'll find (there's even a chapter on how to source low cost items for selling)!
- Research first: When listing a new item, research it online (not just on eBay) and be sure that you know its current value and the going price. If it’s a collectible, find out as much as you can about the item’s importance, history, and condition. (The book gives you places to look).
- Figure out shipping: Before listing an item for sale, weigh your item and estimate the shipping cost. If it’s not cost effective to offer Free Shipping, accurately represent shipping costs in your listing whether you use a flat rate or the shipping calculator for heavier packages.
- Get a discount on your USPS shipping: Print your postage electronically and get the Commercial Base price. This way you can charge your postage to your credit card in order to keep a separate record (for taxes) of your shipping costs. Click here for these features and get a 60 day trial of Endicia Internet Postage.
- Answer eBay messages quickly: Questions from prospective bidders and buyers should be answered within 24 hours, and when running auctions, check your messages hourly the day before the close. (Doing so can pay off in higher last-minute bidding.) Good customer service goes a long way in promoting and building your eBay business.
- Do people want your item: Double-check to see how many other sellers are selling your item (and for how much). Also, check "sold listings" to see how much people are actually paying). eBay is a supply-and-demand marketplace. When too many people are selling the same item, the price may go down. If you decide not to sell right now, save a search on eBay for the item so you will be notified when new items that match yours are listed on the site.
- Follow the rules: Verify that your item isn’t counterfeit, prohibited or considered questionable by eBay. If you’re in doubt, read eBay’s guidelines and check your local laws.
- Add lots of pictures: eBay lets you post 12 photos for free, so add multiple pictures to make your listing more attractive and search friendly. Shoot closeups; show every possible angle.
- Write a title that sells: Be sure that your title highlights the item’s keywords — adjectives get you nowhere.
- Descriptions make a difference: When writing your description, be direct, informative, and concise. This shows potential buyers that you’re honest and easy to work with. Also be sure to fill in as many item specifics as you can, including EAN, UPC, MPN, Brand, and/or ISBN to assure better placement in search.
- The eBay mobile app is feature full: Stick to the basics and when on your smartphone, use the app to price items when you’re out and about.To see all the features of the app, tap the “hamburger button” (three parallel horizontal lines) on the top-left corner to reveal an easy-to-navigate menu (shown above), which gives you many options. If you list via the app, be sure to double check how your item looks on a computer later and make any necessary changes to make it more attractive.