Selling on eBay can be a great way to gain some extra income and experience. Becoming a seller is quite easy, but getting there can seem daunting at times. Many fears can go through our mind before we start selling. There are so many ways to talk yourself out of doing something but only one way to find out if you can. I consider this a mini guide on helping you get started the way I did. I will cover the basics but will be adding more to this article over time.
Get to know eBay
I hope you aren’t completely new to eBay. If you are, you really need to order some (cheap) stuff and get a feel on how it works. This not only helps you see how it works, it will also boost your feedback which is very important for your account to have. Feedback is really what eBay is based on. If you start selling with a feedback of zero, you probably won’t get many sales. Try to learn as much as you can about eBay before you rush into things. eBay provides great resources to look into, and I highly recommend you do. Check out the Seller Information Center to find all sorts of useful information.
Start your business (optional)
You may want to keep business separate from personal stuff. Therefore, it might be a good idea to get a business set up before you become a seller. There are many benefits with having a business such as having a company title, having tax deductions, and having a tax ID. Once the business is set up, you can get a business checking account to manage transactions or even get a business loan for start-up costs. Selling on eBay isn’t free and we’ll be paying quite a bit of fees. With a business, we are able to deduct any of these fees. This includes shipping supplies, eBay fees, PayPal fees, etc. To create a business you will have to find your State’s information.
Get a PayPal Business account
PayPal is owned by eBay and is trusted worldwide. It’s free to create an account and you must have a PayPal Business account to receive transactions through eBay. Buyers and sellers are required to use PayPal for transactions to ensure safety and simplicity. Although it’s free for buyer transactions, sellers have to pay a small fee for every transaction that goes through.
Know what you’re selling
You need to know everything about the items you’re selling. If you are going to sell a tool you know nothing about, learn about it. If you’re selling clothing, know how it’s measured. Be able to answer any questions if someone were to ask. Google is our best friend when it comes to research. Investing time to research the products we’re selling can go a long way.
Learn about shipping
Shipping was probably the thing that I was most worried about. I knew nothing about shipping rates or who I should be shipping with (USPS, UPS, FEDEX, etc.). Considering USPS (United States Postal Service) is really the only option in my area, I began my research checking out their options on usps.com. eBay does a great job of making the shipping process pretty easy. Once an item sells, you can simply print shipping labels from your account. Shipped items can be viewed by both buyers and sellers through tracking. You need to keep track of shipments to make sure they make it to their destination.
Make a website (optional)
It may be a good idea to get your own website set up. Having a website can be a great way to direct traffic to your eBay listings. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of having a website, you can always have a presence on social sites like Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Presenting items on sites other than eBay can potentially lead to more sales.
Don’t be lazy, go the extra mile
You absolutely cannot be lazy when it comes to selling on eBay. Before you list items for sale, make sure to provide great details, descriptions, and pictures. This will take time, but things will look so much better. As a seller you need to regularly check your email account for sales or questions. It’s a good idea to set up an email client on your computer or phone for instant access on incoming emails. eBay even has an app that will notify you when an item sells. When an item sells, don’t procrastinate! It’s good habit to prepare and ship the item as soon as it’s paid for. If your item sells at 9pm, get it ready to mail out in the morning. Quicker shipments = happier customers.