Five Tips for Selling on eBay


So you want to sell on eBay, but you have no idea where to start. While selling online takes time and patience, it can pay off in the long run if you’re looking to make a little extra cash on the side — so long as you’re willing to put in a little work from time to time.

Here are five tips for beginners from someone (me) who has been using eBay since 2012.

1. Describe. Give your listings descriptions that you yourself would find helpful—pictures don’t always show everything. Describe any snags, wear and tear, missing pieces. If an item of clothing runs small or large, let the buyer know.

2. Suggest. If you’re selling clothing, suggest in the description what the garment would be appropriate for or look nice with, because sometimes it’s difficult to visualize through photographs. Example: “This dress would be cute layered with some tights and a sweater for the coming fall months!”

3. Photograph. Provide adequate photographs of the item. Keep in mind the kind of photos you yourself would want to see if you were buying this item. I try to use a white background (whether a counter, rug, or wall) so that the color of the item pops and doesn’t have anything in the background to compete with.

Natural light is also a must (in my opinion)—no one likes dark photos where they can barely see the detail of the product. For clothing, I also like to snap a picture of the tag, so the buyer knows they’re getting the exact brand and size listed.

4. Respond. Answer questions from potential buyers within a reasonable amount of time. (I try to respond within 24 hours.) Don’t wait until the listing is about to end before replying—buyers like to have time to process whatever information you’ve provided them before bidding or using the buy-it-now feature.

5. Provide. Give feedback to your buyers. Buying also generates a score, and frequent buyers appreciate good feedback so that other sellers know they are reputable and will pay for their purchases in a reasonable amount of time.

These guidelines are a solid foundation for for establishing a reputable shop on eBay. There are many additional practices you can employ to add to the success of your shop, but if you start with these guidelines and work your way up, and you’ll be well on your way toward attaining pleased buyers.

Happy selling!

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