eBay's Sell Your Item Page - dummies

By Marsha Collier

Begin by clicking the word Sell in the navigation bar at the top of the eBay page. Once clicked, you will need to sign in and then the Sell Your Item form appears. Filling out this virtual paperwork requires a few minutes of clicking, typing, and answering all kinds of questions. The good news is that when you’re finished, your listing is up and running.

You have lots of choices for selling an item on eBay — three, in fact. Here’s what you need to know about each type:

  • Auction: This is the tried-and-true traditional sale format on eBay. This is what the newbies look for, and you can combine this with a Buy It Now for those who want the item immediately. Often, if you’re selling a collectible item, letting it go to auction may net you a much higher profit — just remember to do your research before listing.

  • Fixed-price: As with shopping at the corner store or any e-commerce shopping site, a fixed-price sale is easy for the buyer to comprehend and complete. The only problem is that some potential buyers may lean toward an auction because of the perception that they may get a better deal. This includes items you sell in your eBay Store.

  • Classified ad: If you don’t want to put your property or other valuable item up for auction and you’d like to correspond with the prospective buyer, this is the option for you. Although this option originated with eBay real estate sales, the ad format is available in many categories. The cost of your ad is $9.95 for a 30-day listing.

Say, for example, that you want to list a good old-fashioned eBay auction. You want to sell your item for a fixed price but are willing to take a chance on an auction.

To find eBay’s Sell Your Item form from the eBay home page, you can use either of these methods:

  • Click the Sell link on the navigation links at the top of the page. eBay allows you to select your category and download the Sell Your Item page in seconds.

  • Start your listing from your My eBay page. Just click the Sell Similar link (on the Sell page) next to one of your existing items. Using the form that appears, you can change the item data.

When listing your item, here’s some of the info you’re asked to fill out:

  • Category: The category where you’ve decided to list your item (required).

  • Title: The name of your item (required).

  • Description: What you want to tell eBay buyers about your item (required).

  • eBay Picture Services or image web address: Upload your images that you want to appear at the top of your listing. You are allowed 12 for free (the first picture becomes your Gallery photo, which appears in searches). If you are selling a very rare item, consider adding more to your description (there’s no extra charge for this).

  • Item location: The region, city, and country from which the item will be shipped (required).

  • Quantity: The number of items you’re putting up for sale in this listing. In an auction it is always one (required).

  • Starting price: The starting price (sometimes called a minimum bid) you set (required in an auction).

  • Selling price: If this is a fixed-price listing, you have to post the selling price of the item.

  • Duration: The number of days you want the auction or fixed-price listing to run (required).

  • Reserve price: The hidden target price you set for an auction. This is the price that must be met before this item can be sold (optional). eBay charges you a fee for the reserve-price feature.

  • Private auction: You can keep the identity of all bidders secret with this option (optional). This type of auction is used only in special circumstances.

  • Buy It Now: You can sell your item directly to the first buyer who meets this price (optional).

  • List item in two categories: If you want to double your exposure, you can list your item in two categories. Note that double exposure equals double listing fees (optional).

  • Free counter: If you want to avail yourself of a free counter that keeps track of how many prospective buyers view your item, indicate so here (optional).

  • Ship-to locations: Here’s where you can indicate where you’re willing to ship an item. If you don’t want the hassle of shipping out of the United States, check that option only. You can individually select different countries as well (optional).

    You may want to consider whether you really want to be in the international shipping business. Buyers pick up the tab, but you have to deal with customs forms and post-office paperwork.

  • Shipping and handling charges: eBay requires you to show your shipping charge in the listing. Buyers are more likely to bid or buy right then and there if they feel your shipping costs are reasonable or free. Consider that when you list a flat shipping charge (or even free shipping) on your listing, eBay will take that into account when deciding how your item shows up in search results.

  • Payment instructions: Here’s the place you put any after-sale information. You are required to accept PayPal or at least one electronic payment or Internet merchant credit card option for your items. (These are the safest options anyway.) If you want to offer the option to pay with a different electronic payment service, mention that as well.

  • PayPal and immediate payment: Fill in this area if you want to require the high bidder to pay through PayPal immediately when using Buy It Now. Add the Immediate Payment option if you want the winner to pay with a click of the mouse (optional).

  • Return policy: You are required to state whether you are willing to accept returns. You can give the customer as few as three days to return the item (that cuts down on spurious returns). It’s okay if you don’t accept returns, but you must post that information in your listing.