8 Steps on How You Can Make a Living Selling on Ebay


I am sitting here at my desk after just selling my old Lego set and started thinking, can you make a living selling on Ebay?

Can you make a living selling on Ebay?

Yes, if you have let’s say 400 items in your Ebay inventory and your average sale price is around $30 and of those 400 items at $30 a piece average. You sell a 100 a month which is totally doable, that’s selling 25% of your inventory a month. So if you’re selling 100 a month at $30 each, that’s $3,000 a month on Ebay alone.

So, yes you can definitaly make a living selling on Ebay.

How to make a living selling on Ebay step by step guide

1. What accounts to open when selling on Ebay

You are going to want to open an Ebay account and you’re gonna wanna open a Paypal account. Now when you’re just getting started on Ebay you do not need to open an Ebay store and then on Paypal you do not need to open up a bussiness account.

The trick here is just to get your accounts open, everything can change as you grow but if you end up starting an LLC you can change everything over to your business.

If you want to open up an Ebay store you can open a store in the future and all of your feedback transfers, so you don’t need to open an Ebay store and you don’t need a Paypal business account to begin with.

So again, the first step is to open those accounts.

2. Know that you are gonna have limitations on that account when selling on Ebay

When you first open an Ebay account more than likely you’re going to be limited to only being able to post 10 items or $1000 worth of value on that on that account.

You can ask for inqreases on your accounts but again it’s important to know here that there are going to be limitations on your Ebay account and getting an Ebay store, signing up for an Ebay store will not take those limitations away.

People ask sometimes that they open a regular Ebay account and they’re like “Oh I have limitations, let me just pay for an Ebay store”, doing that will not take those limitations away.

Paypal will also place seperate limits on your account as well. So, Paypal has it’s own limits and Ebay has it’s own limits, on Paypal they’re typically gonna hold the money that you’re paid in you’re Paypal account for two to three weeks depending.

It’s kinda like a probationary to make sure that you’re actually shipping the items out to your Ebay customers.

Yes, Paypal is gonna place limits on your account where you’re not gonna be able to use the money in your Paypal account for two to three weeks so be aware of that aswell.

After those initial few weeks when Paypal fully activates your accounts then you’ll have instant access to your money so don’t be scared it’s not always gonna be like that it’s just for the first couple weeks.

3. What items should you list to start selling on Ebay?

Well, remeber you’re more than likely going to be limited to 10 items in total so the first items you list you want to list items that are in high demand and items that will sell very fast.

The first thing you should do when starting an Ebay account

Typically what you should do when you first start an Ebay account is to take a look around your house. Look out for stuff like video games, video game consoles, electronics, camera equipment sells very fast on Ebay.

You want to look out for things that’s desirable to people, stuff that sell on a daily basis. The reason why is becuase with those types of items buyers are more likely to look past your feedback if the deal is good enough.

If I’m listing for example, a camera lens then I know that the lens is a highly desirable item and even tough I start a brand new Ebay account with zero feedback, if I give a good enough deal on the camera lens because it’s such a desirable item, buyers will look past my feedback and still be willing to purchase it.

Those are really the types of items that you want to look out for and start listing. Espacially with those first 10 you want to items sold as fast as possible so you can start building your feedback and start building your reputation.

So again, step number 3, what items to look out for, make sure you’re only listing highly desirable items and again electronics, camera equpiment, video games, things like that really good and Apple products also sell very fast on Ebay.

4. How should you list your items?

There’s two ways to list on Ebay, you can list items as ‘Buy It Now’ or you can list tiems as an auction.

Now where we are currently in our Usually succesful business owners have 99% of their items on Ebay listed as ‘Buy It Now’, the only time they run auctions is if they want to clear out old inventor and just sell it for what they can get.

That being said, auctions can be a great way to becasue you’re guaranteeing a sale instead of listing ‘Buy It Now’ and then waiting around for the buyer to come to you. So if you list something as ‘Buy It Now’ it could take 30 days for me to sell that item whereas if you listed it as a 7-day auction and I get a bid, that item could be sold in a week.

Auctions can be good when you’re first starting out if you want to make sure that you’re gonna get those sales.

But going back to what I mentioned before, listing highly desirable items for a good price. I still feel that even when you’re first starting out on Ebay, if you’re listing as Buy It Now and you’re listing for the correct price with the right items will still sell.

Do your own reserch before selling on Ebay

I suggest that you do your reserch, look for the right price, look for the right items and then I still suggest that you list as Buy It Now.

Becasue more than likely if you continue to go with this, if you continue to build this to an actual Ebay business then more than likely that’s going to be the way that you’re going to be listing in the future anyway.

And I don’t want you to get too used to only running auctions.

Here’s a video for reference:

5. How to reserch item value when selling on Ebay?

This is actually fairly simple on Ebay because you can go to ‘sold comparable items’ on Ebay, I call them sold comps.

It’s very easy you can just look for the actual item, if your listing something like, again, a lens then you can just type in exactly what the item is, look at the ‘sold items/completed items’ on Ebay and see how much those items have sold for.

When you do that you want to sort the items by recently sold first and just look at the most recent sales on the exact item.

Make sure that you’re noting the condition as well, if the item is used make sure you’re looking at the used comparable sales.

If the item is brand new, again, make sure you’re looking at new comparable sales but the first thing you want to do is go to those sold listings, sort by recently sold and start looking through those.

Once that’s done, once you kind of have an average price range there than you want to look at what’s currently active, what’s currently being sold on Ebay and look at what your competition is selling something for.

Why should I look at the competition when selling on Ebay?

Because if something sold for example, $1500 but it’s listed currently for $1200 and there’s a bunch of people selling it for $1200 bucks, more than likely you’re gonna wanna list around that amount.

Again, becasue you’re gonna be a brand new Ebay seller at this point you kind of have to give a better deal than other sellers becasue you’re not gonna have the reputation, you’re not gonna have the feedback there to warrant a higher price.

If something’s listed for $1500 by a very reputable seller with a lot of feedback you may want to come in and list that item for a hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars less to, again, give that buyer a better deal so that they look past your feedback and purchase from you.

6. So what is feedback when selling on Ebay?

I know I touched upon it a little bit but let’s get into it a bit more. When you first open an account on Ebay you’re gonna have a total of zero feedback and feedback is your reputation on Ebay. It’s what buyers look at to make sure that to make sure that you are a trusted seller.

Again, if you have zero feedback, and it’s not a bad thing, it just means that you are a new seller but just be aware that becasue you have zero feedback you may not get those higher prices.

How do you get good feedback on Ebay

A few ways to start getting good feedback, you need to make sure you’re listing your items well. Describe them as they are, don’t sell something that’s used as new that’s a big no-no.

So, describe your items well, take very very good clear pictures and if there’s any flaws on the items make sure you’re taking good pictures of those so the buyers aren’t expecting something and then getting something that isn’t described.

Pro Tip: when selling on Ebay

Other things you can do: Make sure your shipping is very fast, sometimes yo can also list items as longer shipping and then ship it to them much faster than they expect which is a sure-fire-way to get great feedback. Just going a bit over and above for the buyer shipping it to them fast, that’s a good way to do it aswell.

You can also include a thank-you note in all of your packages just saying ‘Thank you for your purchase, if you have any issues reach out to us and if everything is as expected please go and leave us positive feedback’.

To reiderate, include a little thank-you note in your packages and you can actually print them out into like colured postcards. But you can also just type it out and print it out on a white sheet of paper, cut them out and put it in the package.

You just want to make sure you have something going in the package saying thank you so that the buyer knows that you are an actual person and they’re not buying from some large corporation.

Is there another way to get positive feedback on Ebay?

So that’s how you can get positive feedback but another way that I suggest you do if you have zero feedback is to go on Ebay and buy some shipping supplies or whatever supplies you need, tape or poly bags because you are gonna be shipping things in bags like that.

Buy your supplies on Ebay from sellers that have large accounts, large amounts of feedback.

The reason why is becasue most of the time when you purchase stuff from a large seller like that they’re gonna leave you automatic positive feedback as soon as you pay for the items.

Even though that feedback coming in isn’t seller feedback, it still does count toward your little Ebay feedback score.

So your score does go up and it shows as 1 positive feedback, not a seller feedback but still shows as one positive feedback which adds to your overall reputation on Ebay as a good seller and a good buyer.

That’s one way to inqrease that feedback is to buy your supplies, the supplies that you need first starting, buy them on Ebay from sellers with a good reputation.

7. How to take good pictures when selling on Ebay?

Pictures sell the product on Ebay, that 100% true.

You want to make sure you’re taking clear, good quality pictures, don’t take it in a dark, dim area, don’t hang shirt’s on your door and take a picture that way.

Don’t lay items on your dirty bed sheets and take pictures like that, you want to make sure you’re taking clear pictures and you don’t have to go and buy a ton of expensive equipment to do that.

In fact you can go to the Dollar Store and you can get a white poster board and use that as your background.

White backgrounds is what Ebay wants, so that’s the best way to do it, just spend a couple bucks and and get a white poster board and use that as your background.

Do I need expensive equipment when taking pictures for selling on Ebay?

I suggest taking your pictures using an Iphone to start, you can use an Android as well but I think Iphone takes really good pictures and I suggest taking them in the ‘square mode’.

Ideally you want a one by one aspect ratio and when you’re taking the pictures click on the item, scroll up with it so that you can adjust the brightness while yo’re taking the picture just to make the items kind of pop.

You can get great pictures as long as you have good lighting, good background and a decent camera you are gonna get good pictures.

How many pictures should I take on Ebay?

Just a couple more tips when you’re taking pictures, make sure that you at least take four. Ebay want’s at least four pictures, do not use stock images, don’t go and Google something, don’t Google the item and use that picture off somebody else’s website.

Make sure you’re taking pictures of the actual item that you’re selling and then again if there are any flaws make sure you’re taking pictures of that and notating it in your item description.

Again, clean, clear pictures sell the product, make sure you’re taking good pictures on Ebay.

8. How does shipping work when selling on Ebay?

Probably the most daunting thing for most new Ebay sellers is shipping. Usually it’s hardest thing for most to learn and I could probably make a 7000 words long blog post about just shipping but I am gonna give you a short explanation with the most detail possible.

One thing that I suggest when you first start selling on Ebay is to keep to keep things simple so that it’s not overwhelming because there’s 50 different shipping options on Ebay.

Keep things simple when selling on Ebay

What I suggest for a brand new Ebay buyer or brand new Ebay sellers to keep things simple is, try to fit everything into three categories, either first class mail = items that weigh under a pound that you can put in your own poly bags or in your own box and ship out.

Try to keep things in there or go for flat rate envelopes or flat rate padded envelopes and then the next step up from that would be medium flat rate boxes which are a litlle bit more expensive.

There’s cheaper ways to ship than that but for those of you who are just starting out if you just can keep those three in mind it’ll make things easier for you and then you can learn as you go from there.

Are their cheaper alternatives when selling on Ebay?

There’s definitely other ways like regional A boxes which are really good and are gonna be a little cheaper but a little bit smaller than like a medium flat rates.

You can use Fedex, you can use UPS, there’s other cheap ways to ship I understand that but for the sake of beginners I want you to focus on those 3 ways to ship that I mentioned.

You can ship in a poly bag or box under 16 ounces, it has to be under a pound to go first class mail. Flat rate envelopes or padded flat rate envelopes and medium flat rate boxes.

The flat rate envelopes and the medium flat rate boxes you can get for free on USPS.com.

Should I use free shipping when selling on Ebay?

So when you’re listing on Ebay you are only gonna be choosing one of those free options and again I suggest when you start out that you use free shipping.

Make sure your items fit in your packaging, if it’s under a pound make sure you’re sticking the item in the packaging, weighing it before you list the items so that you know it’s going to be under a pound.

If it’s not under a pound see if it fits in one of those flat rate envelopes, if it dosen’t fit in there move on to, again, you can do the regional A which is cheaper or move on to that medium flat rate box.

What fees are their when I use free shipping when selling on Ebay?

Keep in mind that when you’re doing free shipping, whatever price you list at that there are fees involved so Ebay is gonna take 10% out of that, Paypal their 3% out of that and then you still have to pay for shipping on top of that.

So, if you sell something for $100 and you put it in a padded flat rate envelope you’re gonna be paying 10 dollars to Ebay, 3 dollars to Paypal and another 8 bucks to ship that item out.

Just keep that in mind when when you are listing. But to make it easy I like to tell people to do free shipping but make sure it fits in one of those methods.

You can also check out this video on how you can ship stuff on Ebay. It’s a much more comprehensive video but I just wnated to give you those three options to make more simple:

Conclusion

As with any business, this takes time but I hope I have been somewhat helpful with this article.

Also, check out this video to motivate you a little bit if you’re feeling unsure about this Ebay thing:

Sources

https://books.google.se/books?hl=en&lr=&id=5U5koCsp5rEC&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=Selling+on+Ebay&ots=aEC5JPxh_I&sig=nggt-NCYMHBwrgt4ZUg1eto92_A&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Selling%20on%20Ebay&f=false

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=531702

https://www.proquest.com/openview/cffcafe6ece86fd13169b41539333174/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=38874

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cb.295

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261517710002153

Kevin

This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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