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How to sell on eBay

The top 10 selling tips for eBay beginners 🙌

Illustration of an eBay seller account

Aside from helping you make money from selling items you no longer want, eBay can also help you declutter and have that much-needed spring clean. What’s more, it’s environmentally friendly.

Think about it… if people are reusing your goods rather than you dumping them, it’s a win-win situation ♻️

In 2021, there were 1.6 BILLION listings on eBay and it’s likely that figure’s going to increase this year (depending on how many people receive gifts they’ll never use 👀). And that means competition between sellers is hella tough.

So, if you're wondering how to sell on eBay, we’ve rounded-up 10 top tips to help you get your items sold 🤑

#1 Make purchases to help build your profile 👖

The best way to get started as a seller on eBay is to become a buyer first so you can start to get feedback from sellers.

People need to be able to trust you in order to make a purchase and without trust, you may have a hard time selling your items – especially if they’re expensive.

Think of some things on your shopping list and see if you can find them on eBay, even if it’s just a pair of $2 socks.

Once you’ve made a few purchases, you’ll soon start to build feedback on your profile.

Hint: leaving feedback for the seller increases your chances of receiving it.

#2 Not used it for a year? Sell it 🤔

If you’re similar to how I used to be before I started seeing the cash roll in, you’ll have a truck load of clothes in your wardrobe which you no longer wear.

I know what you’re thinking… “ok, one day I’m actually going to wear this”, the likelihood is, you probably won’t.

It’s hard to part ways with stuff you think you’ll wear or use, but if it’s been a year and you’ve found no use for it, sell it. Just think, this extra cash could fund your weekly night out (or, you could be sensible and add it to your Cleo savings account 👀).

Earlier this year, Love Island announced its recent partnership with eBay, making the all-important decision to steer away from unsustainable fast fashion companies and instead, dress contestants in second-hand clothes.

We know how huge the TV series is, maybe it’ll persuade more people to start buying more second-hand clothes… which means more money in your pocket. Sustainability for the win 🌎

#3 Take good quality photos 📷

When you're listing your items, make sure the photos you add are high quality – it’s good to have a clear visual representation of how they actually look.

Just make sure you hide any unnecessary things lingering around in the background 😬

And basically, just don’t waste time trying to sell items which should have been thrown out 100 years ago.

Exhibit A:

A pair of old worn out vans

Take a look at eBay’s ‘Take great photos’ guide for help on getting the best shots.

#4 Check other listings for inspo 🔎

If you’re unsure of how much to list your items for, you can easily check completed listings for items similar to yours so you can get a rough idea of the price you should be selling at.

To see how much a particular item sold for, you can type the item into the search bar at the top of the page, scroll down the filter bar on the left-hand side until you find the ‘Show only’ section, then tick the box which shows ‘Sold Items’.

This will show you how many bids similar items have attracted and how much the items sold for 💃

Image of sold Carhartt rucksacks on ebay

Don’t miss out on sales because your competitors are listing the exact same item for $1 or $2 less than you 👀

A gif showing Jim Carrey with an angry expression

If you manage to spot an item which is identical to yours, you can select the ‘Sell one like this’ option which is underneath the image on the ad.

Clicking it will automatically fill the listing form for you, just make sure your description is relevant to your item and your photos are original.

#5 Describing your items 🗒️

Avoid negative feedback on your profile at all costs 🚫

An easy way to do this is to be super honest about the condition of the items you’re selling – which means being upfront about any tears or faults they may have.

The product description is also your chance to really sell your item but keep it short ‘n’ sweet, use clear language and bite-sized bits of easily-digestible information.

There’s nothing worse than having to read through a load of unnecessary text before getting to the information that really matters 😴

Check out eBay’s description policy for some helpful tips.

#6 Master the acronyms 🎓

As character limits on eBay titles are a thing, it’ll help to learn a few of the most common acronyms so you can cram extra information in without exceeding the limit.

  • BN: Brand New
  • NR: No reserve
  • BNIB: Brand new in box
  • BIN: Buy it now
  • NWOT: New without tags

See the full A-Z list.

Don’t go OTT (or make any acronyms of your own) otherwise people won’t have a clue about what you’re actually selling.

Gif shows Joe Biden looking confused

#7 How to list items on eBay 🚀

You want your items to get as many views as possible – so, how do you do this?

When you’re creating a listing, ask yourself what words people are likely to type into the search bar when they’re looking for what you’re selling.

Pick three to five keywords that are relative to your item and include the most important in your listing title (keywords are the words that people use to search for what they want to buy).

Don’t include prices, conditions of sale or text which is overly salesy and make sure there’s no misleading information in the title.

Tip: Include the main keyword in the beginning of the title – in this case it’s ‘Steve Madden.’


❌ Steve Madden black boots, size 6, new without tags

✅ Steve Madden Women’s Black Suede Lace-Up Ankle Boots, Size 6, NWOT

#8 How to get feedback as a seller💡

If you’ve made it this far into the blog, you should know by now feedback from your buyers helps you become a trusted seller – which can get you closer to the top of eBay’s search results – which will help you get 💸 even more cash 💸

Sometimes people won’t leave feedback, they’ll just buy your items and then just totally disappear. Make the first move and leave your buyers feedback by thanking them and then reach out to see if they’re happy with their purchase and ask if they can leave you feedback  💅

Key pointers for growing positive feedback:

Clear communicationalways keep people updated and reply to their questions

Dispatch your orders quickly – don’t let your buyers wait longer than necessary

Make sure items are well-packed – no one wants to receive a t-shirt stuffed in an old sour cream pringles tube (hoping this hasn’t actually happened before)

#9 Shipping fees ✉️

Sometimes it can be tricky figuring out how much you need to charge for shipping. Do a search for similar items to see what other sellers are charging for shipping to give you a rough idea.

Also, try adding the price of shipping into the overall cost, so you can offer it for “free” – it’s way more attractive to buyers.

Try eBay’s ‘Shipping calculator’ to estimate how much it costs to send your item through various carriers.

Beat the cheats and always make sure you used a tracked shipping option.

Check out eBay's guide for help with how to ship on eBay.

#10 How much are eBay fees?💰

If your item sells, eBay keeps a portion of the sale. The final value fee for most categories is 12.9% of the sale price or lower, plus an additional $0.30 per order. However, fees vary for some categories – see eBay’s seller fees guide for info on how much you’ll be charged.

And if you ever make an order and instantly regret it (well all know how this feels), here's how to cancel an order on eBay ✌️

Looking for more easy side hustles? Here are other ways you can make some extra cash.

Enjoy this post? Give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference. And of course, if you want to try the best money app in the world for free, just hit this link right here.

Big love. Cleo 💙

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