How To Sell On Ebay For Beginners: Core Fundamentals

Selling on Ebay can be an exciting, money making adventure when done right but if you jump in head first without any foundational forethought, you’ll likely end up scratching your head in a corner somewhere wondering what the hell went wrong. In this article I will outline a few fundamental principles that if practiced, will lead any seller, veteran or beginner, to Ebay success. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme but rather sound principles that will provide the basis for long term profitability.

It’s A Seller’s Market!

Anyone can sell on Ebay. The way the platform is set up from creating listings and uploading product photos, how you get paid and everything in between, is relatively user-friendly.

There is no investment or fee due up front and no training hurdle required to get your products listed and in front of the eyes of customers. So, really anyone with a product worth selling and a cell phone has a fighting chance to make it on Ebay.

In today’s world, where traditional job opportunities are either non-existent, unattractive or downright demeaning, Ebay provides a legitimate opportunity to make money when and how and in a manner that benefits you, the person doing the work.

Don’t Let The Cost Of Shipping and Packaging Be Your Downfall

One of the quickest ways for an Ebay Seller to cut into the profit from a sale is to underestimate or otherwise mis-figure the cost to package and ship the sold item to the customer who purchased it. I’ve seen it countless times, working the window in my previous career at the post office, a seller in tears because they actually lost money on a sale after the cost of shipping was taken into account.

When you list an item, you should already know how much it will cost you to ship. For this reason, when considering what sort of products you are going to sell, it would be helpful to place added priority toward sourcing smaller, more easily and less expensively shipped items.

Not all products are small and lightweight, so if you’re already selling bulkier, heavier items, all is not lost. There is a way over, under or around every hurdle, fear not but you could simplify many things about your Ebay business from the outset by listing only small, lightweight items that when packaged for shipping will not weigh over a pound. This way, they can be shipped First Class Package with the U.S. Postal service, which would cost no more than about five or six bucks on the high end.

I offer free shipping on all my listings. One of the reasons I do that is it helps with overall customer satisfaction, which we’re going to talk about in the next section. It is very difficult to offer free shipping when you sell heavy and/or bulky items. The heavier it weighs, the more it’ll cost to ship. The bulkier it is, the greater likelihood of oversized and dimensional weight surcharges.

A Paying Customer Always Deserves Your Appreciation

I love the sound of the Ebay notification on my phone every time I make a sale. I check my PayPal account and make sure the money is there, thank my Lord Jesus and then I am off to leave the buyer the best possible feedback that I can. My quickly leaving feedback lets my buyer know that I’m aware of their purchase, appreciate them for it and am in the process of getting their item sent to them.

Feedback is very important to the sustainable success of your Ebay business. Every Ebay seller should be taking full advantage of the opportunity the feedback function at Ebay provides. It is an invaluable tool you can use to increase customer satisfaction and let your customer know they are appreciated.

While difficult customers do exist on Ebay, they are far from the norm. Most customers are just as happy to spend their money as you are to take it but they may not stay that way, if you don’t make every effort you can to ensure they are happy with their purchase.

Going out of your way as a seller to show appreciation for your buyer requires very little actual effort on your part. You can copy and paste the same message every time, if you like, just as long as it is positive. I like to mix it up and sometimes personalize in hopes to endear myself to the buyer.

Set Your Standards High and Exceed Them Every Time

Your goal as an Ebay seller should NOT be simply making sales. Selling a buyer a piece of junk today is NOT going to make them want to buy from you again tomorrow or leave you good feedback for the transaction. Your goal is to sell a quality item for a price that both you and your buyer are happy with in a way that fosters future consideration for similar endeavors.

I started my business(rather naively, knowing nothing about the collectible nature of vintage cigarette lighters) thinking if I could double my money, I could make it. And I have but I am extremely careful about what I list. I do not list anything that I do not have 100% confidence in.

I sell old, vintage, sometimes antique items, so there is plenty of subjectivity involved. The key is to describe your item honestly, feature photos and videos that highlight your item and price it optimistically. You can always adjust the price down if interest for an item is light at a steeper price. By the way, my business model had me aiming at a $15 average sale. Last time I checked, I was just pennies under $60 per sale.

Is Your Business Built On A Firm Foundation?

We would love to hear from you. Do you already own an Ebay store? Please share any tips you may have learned or comments about selling on Ebay in the section below. If you’re just considering opening an Ebay store, leave any questions you may have below. Success on Ebay is available to those with a commitment to detail and not afraid of hard work.

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Author: Joseph

Be cautious when anyone tells you what you need or have to do...

2 thoughts on “How To Sell On Ebay For Beginners: Core Fundamentals”

  1. Great article Joseph.  I do not have an Ebay shop, but if I did this article would greatly come in handy.  

    You outline the basic questions any beginner would have about moving forward in this line of business.  

    It is a seller’s market for sure, and people do pay attention to appreciation messages, I know I do.  

    1. Thank you Jenny, I appreciate your insight as usual! Ebay is a tremendous platform that allows anyone to start developing a business today and all that is really needed is a decent idea for what you want to sell and the motivation to get started. You can ship your sold items using money that Ebay collected at checkout from your customer, so there is no requirement to have a bunch of money setting aside already to be able to run your business.

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