How to sell on eBay for beginners
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We want our customers to succeed at selling on eBay, whether they save money on eBay postage, reach new markets, or simply sell those old items that have been hanging around for too long. We have some general eBay advice to help you get signed up, selling and shipping!
Get on eBay
The potential is there for anyone to use eBay, whether you want to get serious and make multiple sales or you have just had a spring clean and have some old items to sell to get a few dollars. eBay is used for selling not only second-hand items but millions of brand new items are bought and sold every day.
80% of sellers recently surveyed cited that eBay had enabled them to start their own eCommerce business, whilst many sellers run an eBay account alongside their traditional brick and mortar store.
It’s free to sign up for an eBay account and it only takes a couple of minutes, but there are fees for listing and selling items. Consider at the start whether you need a private or business account.
If you intend to be a regular seller, frequently buying up items to sell on for profit or selling a lot of new items - opt for the business option.
List your item
Think about which category suits your item best and see what your categories your competitors list their items. Consider if you are only going to be selling in the US or whether you are willing to reach out to new customers all around the world.
You can sell your items as an auction listing, where the buyers bid the highest amount they are willing to pay, or if you want to sell at a set price - choose 'Buy It Now'.
Pricing and Postage
Don’t price yourself out of a sale or leave yourself short when you put a price on your item. Check against items that are the same or similar to yours and see how much they are being sold for. It is also important to check the fees eBay at the price you are selling at too.
You will need to include information about postage when you think about the price. Free shipping will entice more buyers to your listing so consider;
Marking up the sale price so the consumer pays for some of the delivery cost
Using economical mail services so shipping prices are kept to a minimum
If a buyer is getting free shipping they are more likely to be more patient on delivery times, so economy mail is perfect leaving both the buyer and seller happy. You can access some great economy shipping services for eBay using Parcel Monkey.
Learn more about what a courier can offer you.
Sell, sell, sell!
The best bit about eBay is the buzz from making a sale. Be on top of any questions that potential buyers might have and once the auction has finished get that item out to the buyer as soon as possible!
eBay selling tips
Over 1 billion items are currently listed on eBay, so it sure is a competitive space! With so many merchants listing their products, it can be hard to appear in front of your potential customers but we are here to give you a helping hand.
1. Don’t keyword stuff your listing title.
Search engines are optimised to home in on titles, so incorporating keywords into the title of your listing is important, but you should always be descriptive and clear. Be natural in how you word the title - it will result in more clicks, as opposed to squeezing in as many keywords into the title as possible.
2. Use unique titles for your items
Fresh, unique content - be creative describing your products and don’t recycle the same old titles and descriptions. It might take a little extra effort to make your items sound different, but it will be worth it when the money comes rolling in.
3. Provide descriptive detail about your product
Page and product titles are just one part of your eBay shop window. You have plenty of room to add more information - add a detailed product description alongside eBay’s item specifics.
A descriptive listing can boost your click-through rate and stand you out from the crowd - plus it will make it clear what you are selling and why it is so great.
4. Research your rivals
eCommerce moves quickly, so when you are listing your items take some time to research what images they use, what their product description says and see how much they are selling their items for.
eBay has a tool allowing you to grab the descriptions of items like yours, make use of this improve upon it. It’s no good just copying - our guide is designed to help you sell more, step up and be better than the rest!
5. A picture says it all.
Let’s face it, we are getting lazy - photos are much easier to consume than text. Some great quality camera work will do a better job than even the most excellent product descriptions. Clear, crisp and high-quality images will get the buyer to put their trust in your products.
7. Sell-more on Sundays
eBay traffic soars on Sunday evenings when people have free time to browse the web and indulge in some retail therapy. Set your auction to end at a time when everyone’s online and ready to engage in a bidding war.
8. Learn the Lingo
eBay is such big deal, it even has its own language! There are some key terms that are useful for buyers and sellers. The abbreviations you should know as well as your ABC include;
BN: brand new
BNWT: brand new with tags
BNIB: brand new in box
BIN: buy it now
VGC: very good condition
NWOT: New without tags
NWOB: new without box
HTF: hard to find
PayPal is the easy, secure way to get your money faster so ensure you set this up correctly to ensure you get paid. eBay provides plenty of guidance on this topic and you should take the time to make sure you get this right.
eBay shipping service
Once you have sold an item online you are going to need some cheap shipping, as you won’t want to pay out all that money you have just made on shipping costs. If you have multiple packages to ship, our bulk shipping tool can save you considerable time.
Parcel Monkey has a shipping calculator just like eBay one, that calculates how much it would cost to send a package either domestically or internationally. You can enjoy discounted shipping rates with reliable companies such as DHL, USPS, FedEx and more.
For those who need cheap services in the US, you can enjoy discounted pickup or Drop Off Ground services provided by FedEx.
eBay International shipping
63% of sellers sell cross-border on eBay so keeping international shipping simple is very important. We collect all the required customs information in the booking process and we have cheap international shipping services designed to help eCommerce retailers keep the costs of shipping cross border down.
Some items are of greater value and need a expedited shipping and we have courier services available to help those eBay sellers too.
By going international you can reach new customers the world over with ease but there are some considerations to think about.
Find your best shipping rate, there is more to global delivery than the Post Office. Parcel Monkey have huge discounts on shipping rates with reputable international couriers as well as some hybrid services using best in country couriers.
Calculated shipping is best for beginners. Avoid any unexpected charges by listing your package weight and dimensions accurately. We will generate accurate shipping costs based on the details you give us - ideal for those who are new to exporting.
Remember to turn on international shipping! There are more buyers outside of the US who would love to buy from you. Select ‘Sell to international buyers’ when you list your item on eBay. Exclude any regions and countries that are too expensive to ship to.
Refunds and returns are part and parcel of the world of eCommerce so consider offering this to your international buyers if you want to make more sales - after all only 1% of items sold internationally are returned.
Be clear about Customs and Duties when shipping overseas, these are the responsibility of the buyer.
Always provide accurate contact information for the recipient to be contacted via no matter which courier you ship with.
Provide tracking numbers to the recipient so they can see when the package is set to arrive and give them confidence in your service.
eBay shipping pickup and delivery service with Parcel Monkey
We only need a few pieces of information about your package before we provide you with a range of courier services to choose from. Supply us with the package weight and dimensions plus where you are shipping to, and we will compare a selection of couriers with a variety of shipping rates and transit times.
You can print the shipping labels off at home, plus any other shipping documentation and then track your item to delivery once it has been picked up or dropped off.
Some other benefits of using our shipping calculator for items sold on eBay include;
Protection cover available to add to your booking
Tracked services so you can share the delivery information with the buyer
Pickup and Drop Off services
No sign up fees - pay only for the packages you ship
No monthly volume requirement
Heavily discounted Express and Economy courier services
Cheap cross border shipping - access cheap shipping rates for returns
CSV uploader for multiple shipments
If you are selling multiple items on eBay, you can get quotes for all of your items by using our new CSV uploader tool designed for bulk shippers. Save time when booking a courier as we match you up with the cheapest services based on your package weight, dimensions and destination.
The Power of eBay
eBay has over 6 million commercial sellers, entrepreneurs and part time individual sellers in the US and more than a third of US eBay sellers live in more rural areas. Being able to book an eBay pick up service can save you time and a long drive to the Post Office.
63% of sellers use eBay to expand their global reach to new markets and eBay has always been a trailblazer when it comes to eCommerce. It allows merchants to reach customers anywhere around the world. $90 billion worth of merchandise was sold on eBay last year - forming the vibrant and important ‘eBay economy’.
Hopefully, our guide has given you more understanding on how eBay works, how to sign up and a overview of eBay shipping options available for you to book, so you can find a reliable courier service to fulfill your eBay orders.