When it comes to Internet success stories, eBay.com most certainly falls in the top five list.  Launched in 1995, today it is a NASDAQ-listed multi-billion dollar corporation.  It has made its founder and many of its shareholders wealthy.

However, one of the factors that distinguish it from other successful Internet ventures is that it offers the opportunity to make regular members of the public wealthy too.  Whether you have lots of Internet business experience, or your Web experience is limited to surfing, you, too, can make money on eBay.

There are two major ways to sell items on eBay: by single listing(s) and through creating your own eBay “store.”  In this tutorial we’ll examine both of these ways, giving you step by step instructions on how to sell, and describing the benefits of each method.

Listing Single Items

This option is perfect for those who don’t necessarily intend to make eBay selling an ongoing business, or for those who only have a few items to sell on an occasional basis.  Listing a single item is free to minimal (depending on eBay’s current promotions), although you will be offered the opportunity to add “enhanced” selling features which cost a little extra.  These extra fees are usually nominal and may increase your chances of selling your item(s).

With a free, auction-style listing, eBay.com makes its cut at the back end when you successfully sell your item.  eBay has changed its cut over the years, but as of 2011, its fee stood at 9 percent.  In other words, eBay.com keeps 9 percent of the final selling price, the cost of the item to the highest bidder.

If your item fails to sell within the specified auction period, eBay charges nothing.  You may re-list your item if you choose to.

There is no limit to how many single items you can list this way.  There is also no limit to how many times you can list your item, should it fail to sell within the specified bidding period.

Here are your step-by-step instructions on how to list single items on eBay:

1) If you haven’t already, you must create an account.  Go to eBay.com and click on the “register” link.  You’ll be redirected to a page where ebayyou provide your basic information, like name, address, email address, phone number and date of birth.  You’ll also create a user name and password at this time.

If you are already registered as an eBay user, you need only sign-in with your user name and password.

2) Click on the “Sell” link.  You’ll find it in a number of different places throughout the Website.  On the eBay.com home page, it’s typically listed in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

3) Once you’ve been re-directed to the appropriate page, click on the appropriate link or icon.  eBay changes its format from time to time, but generally you should be able to see a very prominent link and/or icon somewhere near the top of this page that reads “List Your Item.”

4) On the next page, fill in the field which asks you to describe the item that you’re selling.  Once you do, eBay.com automatically generates a list of categories that you should list your item under.

The list may contain one or more categories.  Select the appropriate category and click.  You may list your item under more than one category, but each additional category you list in will cost extra, so choose carefully, or stick with just a single category.

5) Currently there are two options for listing your item, which will show up on the next page: the “More Listing Choices” and the “Keep it Simple” version.  First-timers should use the “Keep it Simple” version.  Once you’ve sold a few things successfully, you can try the other option.

6) After clicking on “Keep it Simple,” you’ll be directed to a form that you’ll need to fill out describing your item.  You’ll need a creative title.  For example, “Prada Designer Handbag” would be a better description than simply: “purse.”

7) Next, on that same form, add a photo of your item.  This is optional, but it’s almost impossible to sell an item on eBay if you don’t include a photo of it.  eBay keeps a limited number of stock photos of items which you may be given the option to use.  Otherwise, either take a digital photo of your item, or find a stock photo online of the same item.

You’ll have the option to add more than one photo (i.e. to display different angles of the same item or to increase the size of your photo).  These features do cost extra, so use them wisely.

8)  Next you’ll be asked to describe the condition of the item you’re selling, using a drop-down menu of choices.

9) Depending on the kind of item you’re selling, you may be asked for further details regarding the size, color or style of the item.  You’ll also find a large field with editing features to describe the item in detail.  This field is crucial to the success of your sale.  Be as descriptive as possible, playing up the best qualities of the item you’re offering.

Don’t get carried away, though.  It’s more effective to pack a punch with fewer words than to write a very long, wordy description that viewers may end up skipping over because it’s too long.  Strive for quality over quantity when it comes to the item description, and DEFINITELY use proper grammar and spelling.  There is a spell-check feature: USE IT!

And whatever you do, DON’T misrepresent yourself or the item.  eBay allows buyers to give public feedback about sellers, the item they purchased, and their overall experience with you.  If you exaggerate or outright lie, your feedback rating will drop and you’ll be less likely to be able to make a subsequent sale.

10) The next step, found on the same form, is to choose a minimum bidding price and the length of time (between 1 and 10 days) you’d like your item to remain open for public bidding.

Choose a sensible price, which will depend on the type of item you’re selling and its condition.  Newbies sometimes tend to over-value (and therefore over-price) their items.  Decide what you think you’d pay for a similar item and then start your bid lower than that.  The lower the opening bidding price, the more attention your item will attract.  If it’s really worth what you believe it is, the bidding will get driven up very quickly.

11) eBay used to allow buyers multiple payment options.  Today all transactions must go through PayPal.  You’ll have to submit your PayPal address at the bottom of the form so that you can receive payment from your buyer.  If you don’t already have a PayPal account, it’s easy to create one at PayPal.com.  Make sure you familiarize yourself with PayPal’s service options so you don’t get hit with PayPal fees you weren’t prepared for.

Once you’ve finished filling out the item form, you’ll get to see a proof of how your item will appear.  You’ll also see be shown any fees that apply to your listing if you’ve chosen any of the non-free options.  You’ll be able to edit your listing at this time if necessary and pay any fees that apply.  If it looks fine, then you need only click on “List Your Item” and your item immediately goes live.

Here’s a great video on adding items to EBay and Selling them:

Creating an eBay Store

This option is recommended for experienced eBay sellers and those who have an inventory of items and plan to sell on an ongoing basis.  An eBay store is appropriate for someone who wants to make this his or her business, or another facet of an existing sales business.

Users have three options when it comes to creating an eBay store: “Basic,” “Premium” and “Anchor.”  Below is an overview of each.

A “Basic” eBay store:

This option costs $15.95 per month.  A “Basic” store gives you:

  • An insertion fee of 20 cents per item.
  • 12 photos per listing, including super-size pictures, plus a zoom feature.
  • Daytime phone support and all-day email and live chat support.
  • A single, branded place on the web where all your listings live.
  • 15 customizable pages.
  • A customized URL.
  • 300 customized categories for listing and a custom store header.
  • Free sales management tools, markdown manager, vacation hold and several other helpful marketing features to promote your store.
  • Limited information tracking reports.
  • eBay.com recommends the “Basic” store to users who plan to list between 50 and 250 items per month.

The sign-up process for acquiring a “Basic” store is the same as the process described in the first section.  The method for listing your items is also similar.  The difference is the number of enhanced features you get which are included in your monthly package fee.

A “Premium” eBay Store:

This option costs $49.95 per month.  Most of the features it offers are the same as the ones for a “Basic” store, with the exception of these extra benefits:

  • Insertion fees of 5 cents per item.
  • 24 hours-per-day telephone, email and chat support.
  • Free enhanced sales software.
  • A text link at the center of your page.
  • More detailed analytical reporting, including access to search terms that visitors are using to locate the items in your store, the pathways they follow to get to your store, how often visitors are returning to your store, and details about how visitors are able to view your store on their computers (browser type, window size and language setting).
  • The ability to list items at a fixed price as well as auction items.

eBay recommends a “Premium” store for users who plan to list more than 250 items per month.

An “Anchor” eBay store:

The benefits of owning an “Anchor” store are the same as those of a “Premium” store, with the exception of these added features:

  • Insertion fees of 3 cents per item.
  • Your store’s logo at the top of your page.

eBay recommends an “Anchor” store for users who intend to list hundreds to thousands of items per month.  An “Anchor” store is very similar to owning your own Website with a catalog of items for sale.  It is intended for businesses that intend to do a high volume of business.

Hope this helps,

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(2) comments

nikita willy says:

September 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I must try selling something on ebay with this tips, good post bro!

Toni Adams says:

April 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Since everybody is already using internet in every thing that they do. I think this would be a very effective approach in earning some extra cash. There are a lot of advantages of shopping online than in store. There are a lot of great deals and we don’t have to wait in line just to pay what we bought. Maybe, I would sign up in ebay now and post the products I would like to sell. Thanks for posting this and for the great tips!

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