Selling on eBay: 8 Strategies and Tips

By Marsha Collier

Part of eBay For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When the eBay selling habit becomes profitable, there’s a good chance selling can morph from a hobby to the desire to build a full- or part-time eBay business. Becoming a great eBay seller means there’s a financial reward for a bit of work — and a lot of fun — ahead of you. Follow these tips to become a successful seller on eBay:

  • Answer all eBay messages like questions from prospective bidders and buyers within 24 hours, and when running auctions, check your email hourly before the close. (Doing so can pay off in higher last-minute bidding.) Good customer service goes a long way in promoting and building your eBay business.

  • When listing a new item, research it online (not just on eBay) and be sure that you know its current value and the going price. If it’s a collectible, find out as much as you can about the item’s importance, history, and condition.

  • Before listing, weigh your item and estimate the shipping cost. If it’s not cost effective to offer Free Shipping, accurately represent shipping costs in your listing whether you use a flat rate or the shipping calculator for heavier packages. Refer to the book for money-saving tips.

  • Double-check to see how many other sellers are selling your item (and for how much). eBay is a supply-and-demand marketplace. When too many people are selling the same item, the price may go down.

  • To encourage bidding in the case of auctions, set the lowest possible starting bid for your item.

  • Verify that your item isn’t prohibited or considered questionable by eBay. If you’re in doubt, read eBay’s guidelines and check your local laws.
  • Add multiple pictures to make your listing more attractive, and make sure that your title highlights the item’s keywords — but don’t gloss over its flaws. Being direct, informative, and concise shows potential buyers that you’re honest and easy to work with.
  • Be sure to fill in complete as many item specifics as you can, including EAN, UPC, MPN, Brand, and/or ISBN to assure better placement in search.