I have recently began a total closet makeover. I kept thinking of the strict rule to: “make three piles”: 1. Keep, 2. Throw, 3. Donate. Anyone who is in the process of doing a closet edit, or going to do a closet edit, my advice to you is, before you rush to do number three on this list, I highly encourage you to look through this pile for what you may be able to still sell on eBay. I actually used to do a version of this by brining my items to the consignment store, until I had a shocking experience (which you can read about in my blog post, A Case for Selling on eBay vs. Consignment Selling). If any of you are like me, you have items that you spent a lot of money on, and donating them or giving them away seems like you are throwing money down the drain. If that is the case for you, read on!
Fundamentals of Selling on eBay:
- Set Up an eBay Seller Account and a Paypal Account:This is actually quite easy to do. You can use these two videos to get you started: How to set up an eBay seller account (3 minutes and 37 seconds). How to set up a Paypal account (3 minutes and 50 seconds-but the video doesn’t really start until 1 minute-ignore the silly voice).
- Search on eBay for the Item You Want to Sell and Either Use This Listing, or Create Your Own. I am a big fan of using the “Sell Now” button on eBay. To get to this, type in what you are intending to sell. This will bring up all of the items similar to your item, so you get an idea of about how much your item is worth, and also you can see the full product name and description of your items. You can find the “Sell Now” button when you scroll right beneath the picture of the item listed, you will see a box that says “Sell Now”. Simply click on Sell Now and you eBay will populate a new page with some of the details from the listing similar to yours.The great thing about using this box, is that you can use the already set up template provided in eBay for this item. You will need to include your own pictures, description, pricing and shipping information, but pretty much everything else is set up for you. *Below is a sample template after clicking “Sell Now” on the above listing.
- Taking, Filtering, and Posting Photos: Set up an area in your home (something simple like a white wall will suffice) to take your pictures. However, make sure you have good natural lighting-natural lighting is best. Quality pictures of your clothing is the key to getting sales and making more money. Also, remember, you must use your own photographs when uploading photos to eBay, it is never ok to copy and paste someone else’s photos of the same item for your item. This type of activity will get you suspended and possibly banned (forever) on eBay really quickly!
Take at least 4-5 quality photos of each of your items. I always like one of the front, one of the back, one of the side, and then a close-up of the brand tag and size (these are just suggestions), but in my experience, the more photos you have the more likely you are to sell something. Finally, filtering: whatever you do, do not over-filter a product. Using a filter is not necessary, and if you do use one, make sure that it doesn’t change the color or vibrance of the item. Again, this is is a bad idea, because your buyers can open a case after purchasing your item, saying your “Item doesn’t match the photos listed” which will (almost always) be ruled in the favor of your buyer. Here is a link to a good article about taking eBay photos.
- Description of the Item: This is one place, when I first started selling on eBay, that I was “lazy” with. I couldn’t be bother, so I basically would copy and paste my title (or some version of it) into the description box. This was a big mistake. This box is for any details that your buyer may need to know about the item, such as, “worn twice” or “has fraying on the shoulder strap”. Any detail that you haven’t shown in the photos, or even if you have shown it in the photos, reminding your buyer that this is a defect, or that it is in perfect condition, either one are important to let your buyers know before they purchase the item, so that it doesn’t come back to bite you after they receive the item. The description area is also the place where you should include the measurements of your item. I didn’t do this in the beginning, and boy was it a hassle when several potential buyers emailed me later, asking me for the measurements of the same item. I certainly spent more time repeatedly responding to the same question with multiple emails, then I would have if I had just included the measurements in the beginning. There are other things you could include in your description box: like your shop payment or shipping policies; however, I typically include only the two aforementioned items in my listings.
- Shipping and Pricing: Shipping, this was definitely one of the biggest “hurdles” I had to overcome before starting to sell on eBay. Actually, shipping has become a breeze now, but it would have been helpful to have more information about this before I started to sell. Everything I sell on eBay, I sell using the Flat Rate Shipping option on eBay (see screenshot below). I also only sell items domestically, no international shipping, as things then become too tricky. From there, once I have selected Flat Rate Shipping Basically, I have two types of shipping that I use, and that is it. I either price the item as “First-Class Mail” or “Priority Mail“. Most of the items that I sell are under 13 oz. In this case, I always choose first class shipping and charge the buyer a set fee ahead of time (between $3-$4). You can not mail an item heavier than 13oz with a First Class Mail shipping label. The $3-$4 that I charge the buyer will basically cover the cost for shipping and the mailer that I am using to ship the item. Now if an item I am selling is over 13 oz, I will list the product with Priority Mail pricing and list the item with an $8 cost for shipping. Basically $8 will cover a medium sized flat-rate USPS shipping box, and you don’t have to pay for any mailers if you use Priority Mail shipping products from the Post Office. An added bonus of Priority Mailing is that you can order the Priority Mail boxes and supplies free of charge (the postal service will even drop them off at your house if you order through this website)! That is it, I typically don’t offer free shipping on items (for various reasons) and I DO NOT try to gouge more money out of my buyer in the shipping fees. There are sellers out there that do this, and buyers don’t like this at all. Plus, I am much more likely to personally buy something that has a reasonable shipping rate. Pricing is easy, look around what other sellers are selling similar items for, and price yours around their prices (or just a little less;)). I don’t typically sell many of my items in Auction (even though I have read that you can make more money this way) I don’t personally feel like this is true. I find that if you are patient and willing to wait for someone to buy your item, then the Fixed Price or Buy It Now option is much better than the Auction option. I feel this way for 2 reasons: 1. With an auctioned item, you may not get what it is worth, or what you wanted for it, as auctions typically start much lower than the Buy it Now option. 2. Some buyers don’t actually purchase the items that they bid on, and if this person wins your auction, there is no guarantee that they will pay you. I simply find it “safer” to sell most of my items with the Fixed Price or Buy It Now option on eBay.
So now you have the basics of how to start selling on eBay. There are mort tips and tricks for selling, but if you have these basics, you have the fundamentals of what you need to actually start making money.
If you like this post, found it useful, have a questions, want more, etc.. etc… post in the comment section below please!
Thank you for reading friends.