Know All About What You're Selling on eBay - dummies

Know All About What You’re Selling on eBay

By Marsha Collier

Before selling your merchandise on eBay, do some digging to find out as much as you can about it. Here are some ideas to help you flesh out your knowledge of what you have to sell:

  • Hit the books. Study historic guides and collector magazines; perhaps even check your local library (yes, they still exist) for books about the item. Even out of print books will give you valuable information.

    Even though collectors still use published price guides when they put a value on an item, so much fast-moving e-commerce is on the Internet that printed price guides often lag behind the markets they cover. Take their prices with a grain of salt.

  • Go surfin’. Conduct a web search and look for info on the item on other e-commerce sites. If you find a print magazine that has some good information, check to see whether the magazine is available on the web by typing the title of the magazine into your browser’s search window.

  • When the shopping gets tough, go mobile. If you’re out and about searching tag sales or resale shops, use eBay’s handy smartphone app and see whether (and for how much) the item is selling on eBay.

    When you understand the demand for your product (whether it’s a collectible or a commodity) and how much you can realistically ask for it, you’re on the right track to a successful auction.

  • Call in the pros. Need a quick way to find the value of an item you want to sell? Call a dealer or a collector and say you have one to sell. A merchant who smells a good deal will make an offer, and then ask them what it would sell for in their store.

  • Bing to the rescue. Run a search of your keywords on You can run a search on Google, but Bing provides more Internet-wide results. When I ran a search on Google, the entire first page consisted of eBay results.

Be certain that you know what you have — not only what it is and what it’s for, but also whether it’s genuine. Make sure that it’s the real McCoy. You are responsible for your item’s authenticity; counterfeits and knock-offs are not welcome on eBay. In addition, manufacturers’ legal beagles are on the hunt for counterfeit and stolen goods circulating on eBay — and they will tip off law enforcement.