eBay Tips for New Sellers

Updated on May 19, 2020
wordsmith2418 profile image

I LOVE refinishing vintage wood furniture!! And doing it with chalk paint makes it so much easier.

How I Got Started Selling On eBay

I started selling on eBay because of the Rosie O'Donnell show. I remember her mentioning auctions featuring celebrity items being sold, and I wondered if I could sell on that venue.

My first sale was a cute pair of high heel shoes that looked great on me but made me feel like I was walking in torture devices. Instead of tossing them, I listed them on eBay and was shocked when I received a bid in one day! After that I was hooked.

One of my hobbies in 2000 was crocheting baby clothing. A doll collector emailed me and asked if I would consider making doll clothing for her "reborn dolls." She advised me that I could make more money if I sold doll clothing instead of baby clothing, and she was right. I wrote my own patterns for doll outfits to fit 1.5-inch to 14-inch long dolls. My biggest seller was for the five inch Berenguer dolls that are easily purchased online and in Walmart stores. They are often sold naked so there was a constant demand for handmade clothing. I could barely keep items listed because they sold as quickly as I could make them. The income supplemented my husband's income. I was a stay-at-home mom to two toddlers.

Transitioning From Crafts to Reselling

After a few years, I went back to work and drifted into buying vintage items at thrift stores, estate sales and Goodwill and then selling some items on eBay. Nowadays, though I work full-time, I sell because I love vintage glass (especially Pyrex as seen in photo below), ceramics, and other interesting treasures from the past. I am a collector, and selling a few items on eBay supports my antiquing habit while keeping my house from looking like I belong on an episode of "Hoarders."

Part of My Pyrex Collection

Some I sell. Some I keep. But selling on eBay supports my hobby!
Some I sell. Some I keep. But selling on eBay supports my hobby!

Why I Keep Selling on eBay After 20 Years

The things I like about selling on eBay as opposed to some other venues are listed below:

  • With eBay I usually get lots of traffic shortly after listing.
  • I am able to customize my listings by composing my own descriptions.
  • I get paid immediately with Buy It Now sales through my Paypal account.
  • I can easily upload my own photos using my phone and the eBay app.
  • My items can be new; used or broken. I can list non-working items for parts only. Partially used items like perfume can be sold. I listed a partially used bottle of Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume and was still able to sell the rest for almost retail value.
  • Auctions provide the opportunity to sell items without knowing the actual value. For instance, I sold a copper platter for quite a bit of money. I had no idea how to value it as I was unable to find another one up for sale anywhere online.
  • With eBay's global international shipping I don't have to worry about shipping outside of the United States. I just send it to the global shipping center in Kentucky and eBay does the rest.
  • You can check out your competition by viewing the active, completed and sold sales of other eBay sellers.
  • eBay handles sales tax automatically by calculating, collecting and remitting sales taxes to the appropriate states.

10 Tips For Beginners

  1. Purchase a digital scale for postage. You do not want to lose money by not calculating your postage correctly.
  2. Learn how to take excellent photos. There are tons of tutorials on Youtube.
  3. Order free Priority packaging from USPS.com
  4. Get shipping supplies for free whenever possible. You can get clean, strong boxes at dollar stores. If you work, find out who orders supplies and you can often get boxes AND packaging. My family orders from Amazon constantly and they know not to throw away the packaging.
  5. If selling items from home see how well the items sell before listing. Do a search and use filters including Completed Listings and/or Sold Listings.
  6. Join a Facebook group where they don't mind newbie questions.
  7. Upload the eBay app to your phone use it to scan any thrift store or retail item bar codes to find the average selling price eBay.
  8. Watch Youtube videos of people who are successful at selling on eBay.
  9. Try to end your listings on Sunday afternoons if possible. That's prime time for getting your items sold on eBay!
  10. The first three words in your listing title should be the same words a potential buyer will search for if looking for the item you are selling.

Getting started is a simple process. Once you register with ebay, start Paypal account and upload a payment source you are ready to get started.

Be patient. It takes time to build any business. Don't quit your day job!

Most of all, have fun!!

© 2020 Veronica Lewis

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    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      4 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Very informative and useful. Excellent guidance.

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