3 Simple eBay Selling Tips

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Ok, a day late per my weekly to-do list, not too bad. Now, I know there are a billion eBay tips out there, but here are the ones I always tell my friends when they ask me about eBay. (In a previous life, I was a eBay Powerseller.)

1) Don’t dawdle. Just list it. – The most common mistake I see people make is put off listing their items for sale, whether locally or on eBay. I’m guilty of this myself. Unless you are listing antiques, your stuff is losing value by the second, especially electronics like laptops and other gadgetry. I’m selling an old laptop this week that I haven’t used in over a year, and it’s probably lost over $300+ in value already. Set yourself a deadline, and just list it, even if you don’t get the perfect listing time, description, or picture.

2) Take a good, clear, digital picture. – If you have to borrow a buddy’s camera, do it. This is key to selling something on eBay for a decent price – wouldn’t you rather see the actual thing you are buying? I would say this is even more important than a fancy detailed description.

3. Make your description honest, clear, and concise. There is no need for big red flashing letters, fancy animations, a big fat Powerseller logo, etc. People just want to know what it is, and if there is anything wrong with it. I’ve seen so many auctions that have plain straightforward text with a good picture sell for much more than a gawdy listing that’s 3 screens long.

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  1. Very true advice.
    Be honest, describe it as well as you can, and just sell it.

    Placing it on a good category and using good keywords on the title helps. Look for similar items before posting yours, it will help you understand how people will search for it.

  2. I’ve sold quite a few things on ebay, and I think it helps to use the “gallery” feature, as well as to start the auction in the evening. By starting the auction in the evening, you will ensure that it ends in the evening, when most people are available for bidding. Ebay will schedule your start time for .10 per listing.

  3. I am selling some Japanese war medals now. Bidding is at $15 with a day to go. I was hoping to get around $100 for them.

  4. All good tips. Yeah the scheduling thing is cool, that wasn’t around “back in my day”. I always had to be online at a certain time to list things. =)

    Mike, these days all the bidding happens during the last hour. Also, are you selling to people in Japan? I hear eBay isn’t that big in Japan. If you are selling to the US, maybe people are wary of international sellers…

  5. Also check out this link, regarding their relationship with PayPal. Looks like they are changing their terms.


  6. First off, I totally agree with listing your stuff ASAP because you never know who’s looking for what you have. I listed a few textbooks on Amazon and two sold within one day of posting…let’s just say I was very surprised.

    With regards to selling your things on-line, I’m curious to know what people think about eBay compared to Amazon. As I said, I’ve listed stuff on Amazon but haven’t on eBay. I like Amazon because you only pay when your item sells, but you can only sell stuff that Amazon sells too. It’s also good for textbooks where a lot of people are selling them and you know the minimum price for the general item (no bidding). What about posting items on both sites and just removing the item from the other once it sells/expires?

  7. I totally agree. I’m currently selling close to 200 items a month. My listings are keyword rich but very short. A few sentences describing the object, return policy, shipping info., done- Miriam @ the eBay Life blog.

  8. Hi there!
    Great blog post and sum up for eBay sellers. I have one tip to ad, in relation to how you can best price your items.

    I’ve just signed up to be a beta user for a startup called Statricks, and I see myself using this site in online marketplace trading. You get price trends and fair market values for almost all used goods, so you’ll know what the going price is for an item. I find this very useful and reassuring, as I’ll know I’m not overpaying or underselling my stuff.
    You should check it out, I highly recommend this site!



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