A reader sent the following question on how to sell items on Ebay:
I bought a Kelty K.I.D.S. Day Diaper Pack at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The original price was $59.99. I got it for $2.73 on sale! Yes, that’s right…$2.73. So I went back and bought 5 more (the rest remaining) because I figured that I could sell the 5 for a decent price on Craigslist or Ebay. Then I could put the money towards our hardwood floor fund. Now, if I wanted to sell it on Ebay, how would I go about that? How does Pay Pal work? How does shipping come into play with the cost? What would you recommend starting the bids out as?
Craigslist or Ebay?
- Go ahead and list it at a higher price on Craigslist, and then put up one of the items on Ebay – just to see how much you can get on it. If your Craigslist item sells for more, just go with Craigslist.
- Don’t list all of your items on Ebay at the same time because you will create your own competition. Wait at least 2 days.
Do you have a seller rating?
If you have never sold anything on Ebay and you have only a small inventory to sell, you might be well served to find someone with a good reputation who as been selling on Ebay to see if they will sell it for you. Every transaction on Ebay is rated for quality. The better your seller ranking, the more people will naturally trust you as a seller.
However, it might not be worth the hassle, so you just need to decide.
How to Sell Items on Ebay:
Remember the following important factors that impact your price:
- Product Quality
- Product Descriptions
- Payment methods
- Seller Reputation
Step #1: Create and confirm your new Ebay account. I’m not going to walk you through the process because all you need to do is follow the instructions.
Step #2: Set up your PayPal account (see instructions below).
Step #3: Take pictures of your item. No distracting background. Light colors in the back. Don’t hide major flaws, but show them. Get shots from different angles.
Step #4: Sign into your Ebay account, and click the “Sell” tab at the top. Follow the prompts.
Random tips to help sell items on Ebay:
- On Ebay, search for the item you are trying to sell. Put your item in the same category.
- The length should be at least 3 days, but beyond that you typically won’t improve your price. Most of the bidding happens in the last 24 hours. A rare or expensive item would be an exception.
- Price your item (in the case of this example) somewhere around $9.95. Products that start lower will have more bids and look more competitive. In the end, people will pay what they want to pay regardless of where you start the pricing.
- Always include a buy it now price. Some people will only buy products they can buy now. Buy it now means that a person who pays that amount can get the item without waiting for the bidding to end. Once anyone bids on the item, the buy it now price will disappear.
- Title: Carefully craft the title – that is the first thing people will see.
- Pictures: I would add at least one picture.
- Description: Read the description on similar items and see what appeals about that description. Incorporate some of those concepts in your own description (don’t copy it). Since this product is brand new, let people know it is new and the regular retail price is $59.99. People love feeling like they are getting a great deal.
Step #5: Enter Your Shipping Price
I know I skipped a few steps there, but I think you can figure them out with the Ebay tips.
To calculate the shipping price, you will want to visit www.usps.com and get an idea of the cost of shipping. Remember, your price includes shipping and handling, so take your shipping price and add a few dollars. This way you will cover the cost of your shipping and a trip to the Post Office.
For shipping, I always use boxes I have around the house instead of buying boxes. Just another way to save a few extra dollars.
Step #6: Follow up after you sell items on Ebay.
Once the item is sold, ship it promptly and send an email saying it is on its way and leave feedback for your buyer.
Want more information on how to sell items on Ebay?
How Does PayPal Work?
Signing up for PayPal is relatively easy. Just visit PayPal.com and click on “sign up” (you’ll probably just want a personal account). From there, you can just follow the instructions. PayPal will ask you to put a credit card on file. That might seem like a strange request if you just plan to use PayPal as a seller, but many people also buy things with their PayPal account and they always want to have a card on file in case your bank account doesn’t have enough money to cover the cost of an item.
While there are other alternatives to PayPal, PayPal is the largest and most trusted way to transfer money. I’ve been with PayPal for over 10 years, and I’ve never had an issue with fraud, so I feel comfortable with their level of safety.
In the end, PayPal just makes everything so much simpler.
What fees should I expect with PayPal? For your purposes, when selling smaller items, you will pay a 2.9% service fee plus .30 cents per transaction (that applies for transactions up to $3,000 USD).
How do I get my money with PayPal? When you set up your PayPal account, you can link it to your personal bank account. When your Ebay item sells (if the person pays you via PayPal), once the money is there in your account, click on “withdraw money”. You can then transfer that money into your bank account at no cost.
Photo by Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale.
Do you have any other tips for someone trying to sell items on eBay?