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The Best Way to Make Money Selling on eBay

eBay logo shown on a desktop monitor
EBay is the world’s largest online auction provider, allowing you to make money by selling just about anything to people worldwide. The concept of selling items you can get at a discount price and then selling them for profit on eBay seems easy but there is a learning curve. All you need is a computer, digital camera, Internet connection, and willingness to learn.

There are some general rules to success that most experienced eBay sellers are aware of. While eBay is not guaranteed to make you rich, but through careful research and planning, there are ways to bring in the highest amount of profit.

What is the best way to make money on eBay? What to sell on eBay to make money? To answer these questions and more, keep reading.

Here are 10 steps to increase your chances of success to make money on eBay:

1. Sign up for an eBay account

Go to and click the “Register” link to sign up for an eBay account. Complete the registration steps by providing the requested information such as your name, contact information, and to create a username and a secure password.

You also need to have a PayPal account in order to accept payments from online buyers. You can visit PayPal website and enter the required information to sign up for an account. Link your PayPal account to your eBay account. Click “Link my PayPal” in the “Account” section of eBay.

2. Identify items to sell on eBay

You should first check eBay’s list of restricted and prohibited items to make sure items you decide to sell is not on this list.

Take your time to research eBay and try to find items that sell well in order to increase your chances for success. Some items sell fast on eBay and others do not. Some of the top selling items on eBay that generate the largest profit include electronics, musical instruments, brand name clothing, rare antique, arts and collectible items.

Search eBay to see if you can find similar items for sale. If you cannot find similar items, it is probably not a good eBay item to consider.

Forget about very low-cost items because it doesn’t worth your time. Also forget about selling large and heavy items such as furniture, refrigerator, and so on. You can try to sell these items locally on Craigslist or at garage sales.

3. Search top-selling products

Sign into your eBay account and search for top-selling products by typing “top selling items” in eBay search field, and then select a category from the pull-down menu. Check the results to see if a seller has sold any items, how many items are sold, number of bidders and watchers, and whether the item is popular.

You want to find out whether the market exists for the items you plan to sell. Click the “Advanced search” button and enter the keywords that clearly describe your item. Click on “Completed Listings” and a list of items that fit keywords to see what item sold and what didn’t.

4. Select items to sell on eBay

In order to increase your chances for success, your long-term goal should be to become an expert in certain product, such as collectible items or whatever that sells well and you’re passionate about.

Try to choose a specific niche in the eBay market and select specific type of item to sell in order to attract repeat buyers. Being specialized in selling specific items to your niche can help make your business more successful.

When you become an expert in certain items, you can describe your products clearly, set your price for maximum profits, and answer any incoming questions.

Look for items from wholesalers or manufacturers which you can buy at discount prices to re-sell on eBay. Also look for garage sales, Goodwill, Salvation Army, thrift shops, auction sales and places that people donate items they no longer need.

Remember to always check everything closely on used items. Nobody wants something defective, broken or discolored. Always try to look for the best you can find even if it costs you a bit more.

Your short-term goal is to become familiar with how eBay works through practice. Start with your home for unwanted items and pick out the ones that are still usable.

As you become familiar and get a feel for which items sell well on eBay, you can begin to purchase items for resale. This is a process that needs careful research and planning in order to increase your chances for success.

laptop displaying pictures of items to be purchased or sold on eBay

5. Include good pictures of your item

Good pictures are essential in selling on eBay. Buyers decide whether to buy your item based on the pictures, your price, and descriptions that you provide.

You can have a dozen of photos for free on eBay listing. Be sure to take pictures of all sides of your item in good natural lighting to reassure buyers that your item is not damaged. You may even zoom in and take close-up of your item. Your goal should be to always receive positive feedbacks and full customer satisfaction.

Set up an area to take photographs of your item under natural lighting condition. Use attractive background that will complement and provide contrast with the item.

Be sure to include multiple photographs of your item and select the highest quality pictures before you load it to your computer. If you sell clothes, try to use a model to show how it fits. Multiple high-quality photographs will provide the buyers more information about the quality, condition and details of the item.

6. Set a price

Your selling price will depend on:

  • The condition of your item, and whether it is used or brand new.
  • The current market.
  • Time of the year for your specific item.
  • The way you describe your item, including your photos, return policies, delivery time, eBay feedback, and price of your item.

Be sure to check the current prices and review completed listings. EBay has a “Completed Listings” feature that you can use to check the prices of similar items. To get an accurate list of sold items and their prices, be sure to enter a complete description. You can get some idea of what to expect before setting the price.

Auctions generally get more traffic than Buy It Now option. If you’re selling high-value items through auction, you can use a reserve bid price to avoid underselling. If the reserve price is not met, your item will not be sold. However, many buyers are reluctant to waste their time bidding on an item that may not actually sell.

In most cases an item start off at a low price and get bid up to a high price. Use reserve price if your item is specialized and you are not sure the right buyers will see your item during the auction. For a valuable item, set a low starting price and a higher reserve price. However, for most items a reserve price is not useful.

Before setting your final price, don’t forget that you have additional fees like shipping costs, eBay sales fess, and PayPal transaction fees.

7. Describe your item

Buyers want to make sure the seller will ship the item as it was described and advertised before they bid. The more detail and information of the item you include, the easier you make it for people to bid on it. Anyone bidding on an item wants to know exactly what they are getting.

You should provide details such as make, model, dimensions, color, year, condition, etc., clearly describing the item on your page listing. Use the space to convince potential customer to buy your item by listing as many selling points as possible.

Try to list your item with as many useful keywords as possible. People use different keywords when they are searching for the same product. Describe enough information without using unnecessary words or repeating the same word. This is an important skill to learn for listing your item with as many useful keywords.

You may wonder whether to place an item as an auction or as a fixed price. You should spend time and even try to become a buyer by participating in a few auction sites to see the whole process. Auctions usually do better for items with many interested buyers than as a fixed price.

8. Shipping your item

Prompt shipping is critical in generating positive feedback and increasing of repeat customers. People want to buy again from a seller they know they can trust.

Free shipping can increase your sales but can also reduce your profits if you don’t factor it into your selling price. In general, avoid free shipping for heavy items due to high cost of shipping.

Always follow through with your eBay auctions and ship the items as soon as buyers pay for the item. Request the buyers to leave eBay feedback.

Dealing with returns can be unpleasant experience. However, you need to be prepared if you are going to be selling in your online eBay store. Always stick to your return policy and provide refund as soon as possible.

In order to reduce the number of returns, provide accurate description of the item; mention the condition and making clear of any defects. In addition, include multiple quality photos and close-up images of all sides including any defects will keep returns at a minimum.

business woman listing her items on her laptop computer to sell on eBay

9. Create your listing to sell on eBay

When you are ready to sell your item, use the following steps:

  • Log on to your eBay account and click the “Sell” button to create your ad. Select a category for your item.
  • Make the title for your item clear and list the essential facts about the item, such as brand name, style, size, dimension, color, condition, etc. Look at the title and keywords other successful sellers using for items similar to yours to get a clear idea and to be competitive.
  • Upload your own high-quality images; eBay allows 12 per listing for free.
  • Choose a shipping method and the cost. If your item is very light, you may want to use free shipping.
  • Post your listings on Thursdays and run 10-day auctions for an adequate time to generate interest and accumulate bids. By posting on Thursday, you’ll get two weekends for your 10-days auction. Weekends are peak time for eBay auctions.
  • Check your auction at least two times a day and respond to any buyer questions promptly.
  • Send an e-mail to each winning bidder once the auction has ended to let them know they have won the item. EBay also sends an e-mail to the buyer along with the payment instructions.
  • Make sure to ship the item as soon as payment is received. In addition, send a personal email to the buyers to let them know their items are shipped along with a tracking number.

10. Build your feedback score to increase your chances on eBay

If you follow all the steps, you shouldn’t have any problem building your eBay feedback score. Having a good feedback score will help you sell more.

Whenever you have a successful transaction and your buyer leaves positive feedback, your score improves. Most eBay buyers pay close attention to feedback score and are reluctant to buy from a seller with no feedback score.

Excellent customer service, quick response to questions, and prompt shipping will provide you with positive feedback. Make sure to communicate with the buyer, answer any questions, ship promptly, include an invoice, thanking the buyer, and leave feedback on eBay.

Once you have a feedback score of more than 10, it becomes easier to sell items on eBay. As with anything in life, the more you practice selling, the easier it will get.

By Paul Ziglar – 2019 – Update 2020
Copyright © 2019-2020 Allied Publishing
Provided by
Allied Publishing

For additional articles written by Paul Ziglar, see Paul Ziglar is the author of How to Make Money With Your Personal Computer From Home.

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