How to Start Selling on eBay – Tips and More for Beginners

how to start selling on eBay

eBay is a vast and one of the oldest online shopping platforms. Selling on eBay can be an experience in itself. We have been asked many times by beginners who are looking for an opening in the eBay world that what it takes to be a seller on eBay. So, today we have decided to impart some good tips on how to start selling on eBay. However, our first trip to any new beginner would be to go slow and start steadily. There is no rush to any new business; learn the rules, understand the pattern and slowly grow your business.

Begin by Understanding What Sells on eBay?

You can sell anything on eBay – from a pencil eraser to a diamond necklace. Anything that is aesthetically appealing, that is rare and that is trending can be sold on eBay. However, the latest tech stuff and fashion trends are always the blockbusters.

It is up to you from where you want to start. There are people who sell a variety of stuff and there are people who specialize in a single niche. You can also target to sell a lot of things from a single line of products, such as cosmetics or types of kitchenware and crockeries and so on. Although there is no particular answer to this question, you can take account of certain factors to help you know where to start.

Factor 1- Your Financial Situation:

If you have limited cash, you cannot buy a lot of things and start forming your inventory. So, you may have to find out a low budget and home-made stuff that you can easily begin to sell. Items that can be sold with no investments include clothes, antiques, collectibles, electronics, and household goods.

There are also items that you can plan and sell with a very sizable investment. This is possible only when you are considering this line of business a permanent and long-term source of income, and not a way to clean your home. Our suggestion is to find out your interest and then look for products connected to your interest or expertise.

Your interest or passion about a niche will drive you to become a top seller on eBay. So invest in something that defines you and your choice.

Factor 2 – Profit Margins

You will need to decide how much profit margin do you desire? What your financial goals and needs are is also an equally good question. If you desire to have a successful profit margin, you will gradually become pickier with your choices of products and strategize your every move. You will into a savvier seller as you become more experienced with each brand or products from your specific niche.

It is very important for you to remember: sell what sells in the market to double your profit margin. You should also make sure to research what is selling currently, the trend changes every year. This will lessen your risks and you will know what to avoid.

Understand What eBay is Not

eBay is not a ready-to-sell business.

This means, unlike Amazon or any other e-shopping platform, eBay doesn’t have a “Start a Business” Link. There are no rules and regulations elaborately written for sellers, no training guide or catalogs and definitely, no particular amount mentioned that costs to start a business on eBay.

In reality, eBay is a venue where sellers offer their stuff and buyers go through them and buy. Selling on eBay is like renting a store in a mall or a kiosk in a fair. It may also seem like a flea market sale or a yard sale.

Everything – from the goods, the price and delivery and packaging – is determined by you. Unlike Amazon, eBay doesn’t provide any FBA kind of services in this sector. eBay just provides an online space and a name. You will be in charge of attracting customers in your own ways and terms and make your sales profitable.


Now let’s move on to how to begin the process

How to Start Selling on eBay

You will have to think like a businessman, lead like an entrepreneur, enhance your communication skills and probably have the good cash flow to begin selling – just like any other home-based business.

Step 1 – Join eBay

Get an eBay account, if you aren’t a member already. It is similar to opening a shopping account on eBay. The registration is free of cost.

Step 2- Learn How eBay Shopping Works

Before you become a seller on eBay, learn how eBay shopping works by purchasing a few things from the site.  Try different formats and different listings. Try two or three combinations of search to find your listings. You will also need to understand what eBay bidding is and carefully analyze how people buy on eBay.

eBay bids

There are two types of items, one is fixed price and another, auction. Fixed price items will have the ‘buy now’ button on their page. You will pay the price that is mentioned in the product details.

Auction items usually have a ‘Place Bid’ button on their page. The box will also show the current bid price. The auction is open for a predetermined amount of time, say 15 days and 16 hours. When the time is up, the item will be ‘sold’ to the bidder who bid the highest.

A few items have both ‘buy’ and ‘bid’buttons. If you ever win a bid, you must purchase the item from the seller.  Learn more about bidding on eBay.

Step 3 – Gain Experience by Making Simple Sales

Before jumping, take baby steps. Before you begin selling full-fledged, sell one or two small items on eBay to get a grasp of the entire process. List one item for sale. Look at the lists of common first-time sellers’ items or find something that is worth selling in your house that you don’t need any longer.

You will have to fill up the selling form to post items for sale. You will find the ‘Sell’ link at the right upper hand corner of your eBay account page. Make sure your listing is compelling and attractive. Packaging and shipping also play an enormous role in your business journey. Don’t go cheap on it. Pack professionally and ship as earliest as possible.

Don’t forget to ask feedback from your customers for better service. Ensure you connect with each customer at a personal level to provide them with a personalized eBay shopping experience.

The process is simple enough. Hence, we would like to provide you with a few good tips for you to sail smooth.

Important Tips for New eBay Sellers

1. Understand how to price your items. Don’t price anything in retail value. Look at completed listings on eBay which shows historical data. This works like real estate; sell your home according to what homes have sold for.

2. Sell things you already have in your home. You will be surprised to find that you have more valuable things that you have ever imagined. Craft supply, empty perfume bottles, lids, broken jewelry, watches, unopened cosmetics, batteries, and school supplies are few items that have value on eBay.

3. You need at least 25 feedbacks to begin as a seller. The more feedback you have the more authentic and trusted seller you will be. You can earn feedbacks by buying a few inexpensive items. Buy things you actually need and get sellers to rate you.

4. Understand seller limits for new sellers. The limits prevent fraudulent activities on eBay. New Sellers will have account limits and item limits. You can request higher selling limits after few sales.

5. Don’t fall victim to scams. Therefore, avoid selling problematic items that can put you into trouble. Stay away from risky items, such as smartphones, iPhone, designer stuff, electronics, commonly counterfeited items, and even tickets and autographed items without COA.

6. Choose listing type best suitable for you. Fixed price listings may take longer to sell, but you can often sell it at a higher price from the right buyer. Make sure auctioned items are priced acceptably, for you may sometimes end up with only one bid.

7. Get the right tools for your sales. You will probably not need a lot of equipment or services to start selling on eBay. Basic supplies will take you far and wide, affirm the veteran sellers. All you need is a good HD camera, a scale to weigh the items, shipping supplies, a plain white background for your photographs and that’s it. Yes, really.

8. What kind of shipping is a good idea? You can charge a flat rate for shipping if your items will fit into a padded flat rate mailer or box. Or offer free shipping if you can cover the shipping price in the sales cost. However, never offer free shipping on heavy and delicate items. Enter dimensions when listing items, so buyers will make an idea about the shipping charges.

9. Package aesthetically and ship items on time. There are thousands of YouTube tutorials that teach you how to pack different items creatively and professionally. Use the information and enhance your skills. Also, to provide a fair return policy to outperform your competition. eBay boosts those sellers in search results who offer a 30-day return policy. So act smart and choose smartly.

We have hopefully covered everything basic about how to be an eBay seller. There are no barriers to entry and it is agreat way to make some money as a newbie. If this article fulfilled what you were looking for, do give a thumbs-up in comments.