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The Beginner’s Guide to eBay Selling


Anyone who thinks they are going to have instant success and make money on eBay immediately is living in a dreamland I’d like to visit.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t make money on eBay, only that to be truly successful, it takes a long time, and a WHOLE lot of sales!

Successful, established eBay sellers are not going to tell you where they get their merchandise.

It’s a sad, but true fact. You have to research and do your own legwork.

But before you get to that point, you have to get started!

Read this beginner’s guide to eBay selling and learn to sell like a pro.

Getting started is as simple as registering on the site. eBay requires your name, address, email address, phone number and credit card number. If you do not want to register with your credit card, eBay provides an “ID Verify” service, which matches your personal information with the information in your credit file. There is a $5 fee for this and it is valid for one year.

Ok! Now you’re registered! Time to start bidding to your little heart’s content, right? Whoa Nellie! Back up a minute. Feedback is one of the most common “safety nets” on eBay. This is a number that lets you know the reputation of the other party.

You are a 0.  You want to look at the PERCENTAGE, not necessarily the number. ANY seller with a score of less than 98% should be passed over! 98% is good on an algebra test, but this isn’t high school! Read what the comments for those negatives are. You can usually tell if it is retaliatory (i.e.: buyer did not pay, so the seller left them a negative, and now they are “getting back” at the seller) or deserved (i.e.: Seller never sent item, item was not as described, etc…).

“Alright,” you say, “I won’t buy right now…let me get to work selling!”

Good luck with that. Few experienced buyers will feel totally comfortable with buying from a seller with a “0” feedback rating. So yes, you do need to buy to build up your feedback. Buy small, inexpensive items, and pay instantly with Paypal. When you receive your item, make sure to leave your seller feedback. If there’s a problem with your item, feedback is NOT the place to bring it up. Let the seller have to opportunity to fix the situation. Once you have reached at least a score of 10 (with 100% positive), you can list your first item.

So now you’re a seller! Bring in those reigns again! I strongly recommend visiting the community message boards, in particular the on called “Seller Central”. Read everything! Every thread, every response, at least the first 20 pages. There’s a search feature on the boards. USE IT! If you have a question, I can almost guarantee you that you are not the first, and it has probably been answered at least 100 times before!

Don’t ask where people get their inventory. The only answers you will receive are sarcastic ones, such as the ‘eBay Warehouse”. You will have to do your own research to find what sells, what sells WELL, and where you can get it at the best prices! Learn from these people. They have been doing it a long time. You’ll learn after a couple of hours of reading who is truly helpful and which members are just there to cause trouble. Keep your fingers off the keyboard while reading, and absorb the information!

Ok…NOW you can list your first item. Make it small and relatively inexpensive. It’s best if it’s something you have lying around the house. That way, you don’t lose any money. Research it. Under the advanced search button, you can enter in a term and check a box that says, “Completed auctions”. Check that. This is a seller’s best friend. This will tell you what sells, and for how much. Or if it doesn’t sell at all. Anything you want to sell – look for it here first!

Here are some tips for you to keep in mind when listing:

  • Write a good title with great keywords! You have 80 characters – use them all!
  • Write a great description! Use your adjectives! Tell how wonderful it is and how different from the other items that are listed! Make sure to state any flaws, but overall be very positive about your item!
  • Photos! Having high quality and high detail photos can really make your item strand out form the others!
  • State Shipping charges! State your return policy! But sound friendly when you do it. No need for it to look rude!

And most importantly, have fun! Make a great listing, provide superior customer service and doing your research will ensure your success as a seller and help you make money on eBay!


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