Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Successfully Sell on Ebay

Hello Lovelies! Before I get started with today's "how-to" I want to remind you about the 200 Fabulous Followers Giveaway!  The entry period ends tonight, so if you'd like a shot at winning the biggest prize package ever offered on Haute Lunch, enter now before it's too late!

Last week I gave you all some tips on how to buy on ebay, so today I want to follow-up by helping you learn how to sell! While taking your clothing, shoes, and accessories to a consignment shop is a good option, these type of stores often keep over 50% of the selling price. If you want to get top dollar for your possessions, selling them yourself is usually the best way to go!

While ebay and PayPal both keep a percentage of your profits, you still get to keep at least 85-89% of your selling price, making ebay a much more lucrative option than consignment or resale shops. Of course, your items have to sell for your to take advantage of this, so my goal is to not only help you get started, but also provide tips that will help you sell your items for top dollar!

Getting Started:

1. Register for a seller account. Even if you have a buyer account on ebay, you need to register as a seller. To do this, you will need to verify your identity (with a credit card or checking account), set up how you would like to pay your ebay seller fees (I use PayPal), and select what types of payment you are willing to accept from buyers (I only accept PayPal as it is the safest way to get paid).
2. Link your seller account to PayPal. During setup, you will be prompted to link your PayPal account to your ebay seller account. If you don't already have a PayPal account, you can set one up here.
3. List your items. Once your account is verified and linked up to PayPal, you're ready to start listing your items and make money! Auction-style listings (including those with buy-it-now options) are free to list, while fixed-price listings cost $0.50.

Creating an Eye-Catching Listings:

The key to selling your items for top dollar is to create a listing that catches people's attention. Here are some tips to drive traffic to your listing and make buyer's want what you're selling.
  • Create an informative listing title. Use words in your title that will drive searches to your listing. Avoid unnecessary words such as "great deal" and include item specifics such as "Wide Leg Low Rise Citizens of Humanity COH Jeans."
  • Choose the right selling option for your item. I usually sell using an auction style listing with a buy-it-now option. However, the type of listing you create will depend on what you are selling. Items in high demand with high selling prices will do well with a auction style only listing, while items that are less sought after may do better with a buy-it-now option added to the auction. If you have a set price that you are not willing to reduce, consider fixed price listings, but be aware that it may take longer for your item to sell using this method.
  • Research what similar items are selling for. Don't expect to get your money back on a used item, but also don't under-price your items because you are naive. Many items I have listed had an average selling price that was higher than expected. Search completed listings to see how much you should expect for your goods.
  • Keep shipping prices low. Research exactly how much it will cost to ship your item before listing it. If you have a kitchen scale, find out how much the items weighs (when packaged) and use ebay's shipping tools to find the estimated shipping price. I usually round down the estimate to the dollar value below, or offer free shipping for items that are cheap to send (e.g. cosmetics, shirts, inexpensive jewelry, etc).  If you don't have a scale, look up how much other people are charging to ship similar items. Tip: Save packaging from your online purchases to reuse when selling items on ebay.
  • Be descriptive. One problem I see with a lot of listings on ebay is that they don't give enough details about the item. State exactly what condition your item is in, if there are any flaws and where they are located, and any other information you can provide. Here are some specific details to list for different types of items.
    • All clothing, shoes, and accessories- List the brand, item/style name (if known), size (if applicable), and a description of the appearance. Consider including where you bought the item and how much it originally sold for if this will help your listing (I typically do this for high end items to emphasize the discount buyers are getting).
    • Clothing- When listing clothing, you should also list specific measurements. For pants, include the waist, inseam, front rise, back rise, and leg opening measurements. For tops, include at least a length and chest measurement. Dresses should include a bust, waist, hip, and length measurement, while skirts should include a waist and length measurement.
    • Shoes- When selling shoes, you should also mention if the size is smaller or larger than usual.
    • Accessories- Accessories such as handbags should include length, width, and height measurements as well as any hidden features (such as pockets, zippers, etc). Belts, necklaces, and other such accessories should also include specific measurements.
  • Include Multiple Photos. Photos should be taken in bright light on a white or light colored background. It is important to include several photos, including a photo of the item from the front, back, and close ups of key features (such as back pocket detail, hardware, etc). Here are some photo examples I took to give you an idea of what to include:
Front full view.
Back view showing pocket detail.
Front pocket detail.
Tag to help show authenticity of high-end items.
Completing a Sales Transaction:

Once you've successfully sold an item, be sure to follow-up properly. Ship the item within a day or two of cleared payment and leave positive feedback for good buyers. PayPal offers a service in which you can print and pay for shipping labels online. This is both more convenient and slightly cheaper than paying postage at the post office. Contact the buyer to let them know you've shipped their item, and be sure to provide a tracking number. Doing these things will ensure that you receive good feedback, which is very important to your success. Often, buyers are willing to spend a little more for an item to get it from a trusted seller than one who has little feedback or less than 100% positive feedback.

After your transaction is complete, you can save your profits in PayPal to use for online purchases, or you can transfer them to your back account! The entire selling process takes a little work the first time around, but after you've sold an item or two, you will find that listing and selling on ebay is quick and far more profitable than other options! It's also safe thanks to ebay's seller protection!

If you have any other questions about selling on ebay, feel free to ask! I've been selling for a couple years now, and usually bring in at least a few hundred bucks a year from clothing, shoes, accessories, and other items I no longer want/use. Also, if you have any other tips, please feel free to share below! I hope this tutorial helps you feel confident selling on ebay and increases your profits as well! Have a fabulous weekend!


  1. Wow very informative and useful. Thanks for the comment, new post up :)

  2. Super useful post, I've always been scared to sell thing son eBay but now you make me want to do it! Thanks x

  3. Amazing post and so informative - I so wish I had this information when I first started selling items on eBay - would have been so helpful! Have a fabulous weekend :)

  4. Glad you ladies like the post! Gaby, you should totally sell some of your stuff on ebay! It's pretty simple, and then you have an excuse/extra cash to buy some new clothes! :)

  5. i'm an ebay seller and love it! i use the money i get from selling to shop, and save my paychecks from work. its a great way to get rid of old things!


  6. Fantastic! Very inspiring!!
    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the visit. :)

  7. Awesome post, darling!
    Thanks for all your amazing comments!


  8. The only thing stopping me from selling on ebay is the shipping costs.. it's so weird when I calculate it. It usually says it cost $30 for a small envelope package...

    Oh and I have a ques, do you have a PO box address or do you put your personal address for the return address on the package?

    Thank you!

  9. Hey Jenny! Thanks for the comment- as for the shipping, try to use the shipping calculator that allows you to input the exact weight and shipping method you prefer. When I send small items 1st class, it usually only costs a couple dollars, while heavier items that have to be sent with parcel may cost $7-$15.

    As for the return address, I just use my own.