How to sell on eBay and make money

Name:  eBay


Price:  Advertising FREE for first 20 ads per month.  Selling fee is 10% of final transaction

Owner:  Pierre Omidyad

Rank:   90 out of 100


There have already been tons of training and reviews posted on how to use eBay, and to whether eBay is a valid selling tool. With this article today I’d like to offer you tips on how to sell on eBay and make money. I mean real money!



We have talked about old ways to make money.  Selling is the oldest of all trading arts, and possibly the most straightforward – there is no messing around there with digitally based invisible things there, but a concrete stock of products which you aim to sell for a profit.

eBay does just that for you.  On eBay you sell and buy a variety of different products at auction.  Since it was founded in 1965, eBay has also introduced different buying options other than auction, hence increasing the chances for you to sell your product more quickly and for a higher profit.


How it works

Simply put, you create a log in account on eBay.  This account will allow you both to purchase and to sell.  You click on the ‘Sell’ tag up the top of the home page, go through the user friendly steps to list your product, click the button and your item is listed down, ready to buyers to put their bid on by the deadline by you selected – or to purchase there and then, if you again have chosen this option.

One of the good aspects of eBay is that it proposes to you so many different preferences of how you would like to advertise your stock, that it makes it extremely versatile and feasible for you to set up a successful selling business by simply listing your items consistently.

Naturally, in order to do so you must ensure to have a regular stock of items available to sell.  Which begs the following question.


What can you sell on eBay

Primarily on eBay you will want to sell new stock of products.  eBay is ideal as it enables you to sell items that you feel passionate about.  However, there are categories of products that sell particularly well on eBay.  Where Amazon excels and in a way over time has specialised on electronics, I would say eBay’s customer base goes well beyond that and uses this website for absolutely everything.  You can expect to find listed here from fashion items to home-ware, from furniture to even cars!!

I believe however, the strength of eBay remains in the possibility it offers to sell second hand items – which in a way is the ethos the company was originally founded on, along with the idea of creating an online auction market.  For this reason, eBay remains successful with sellers of collectables.  I particularly find it unbearable in prices and deals when it comes to antiques.


So how to sell on eBay for a profit

The secret is in where you get your stock from.  Buying from a retailer, albeit an online one, with the aim to make a profit, is never the ideal solution.

Let’s not forget that the strength of eBay is in selling items at a bargain.  Your buying price therefore must be competitive enough for you to promote your merchandise at an equally competitive price, but in such a way that you can still make a margin from the sale.

Ideally you should find a reliable wholesaler that offers you the most competitive rates on the range of items you want to sell.  Initially you may want to test the online market by trying selling different items.  Eventually you may want to specialise in a particular category of items, so that over time and with the build up of hopefully positive feedback, you can build a reputable image of reliable seller, which will attract more buyers.

Especially when it comes to collectables, however, many sellers on eBay find their stock at boot sales and local seasonal fairs, where with patience and a keen eye for a deal, you can find a bargain yourself.  At the end of the day, selling is all about that: you have to be a buyer yourself in first instance!


Who can succeed on eBay

Surely you’ve got to acknowledge that these days setting up a stall in your town market is not the only way of selling. Selling online has become much diffused, as it reaches a wider range of potential customers, and because it helps you sell more quickly.  So, who is eBay for?

eBay is most suitable for those of us that enjoy selling merchandise as opposed to virtual services.  It is suitable for those of us that also enjoy the thrill of the auction.  For this reason, you must be prepared, especially at first, to bear some losses as much as well as to see your earnings grow slowly.

!! Click here to start selling on eBay !!

I do believe you can make an actual living from selling on eBay, but like with all businesses, it will take you a little while to establish yourself as a reputable seller.  But, the beauty of eBay is that it does not have to be your sole full time business.  I have been using eBay whenever I find some item in the house that I no longer want to use and I do believe can find a buyer.  I also like antiques, and when I have the time to go to some local fairs, if I find an object that catches my attention and which I can get at a reasonable price, I will then chance my luck by listing it on eBay and see how profitable the online auction will turn for me.

And that is the beauty of eBay: the fact that is most suitable for everybody that has something to sell, whether you are student, unemployed, full time worker or retired.


Tools and training

Again, the key in learning how to list your items is to follow eBay selling page step by step, which you find when you click on the ‘Sell’ tab on the top left hand side.  There you are taken through the process of listing your items, with easy to understand options, from inserting pictures, to adding the description of your item, to pricing it and whether you only want to put it up to auction or whether you also want to add the ‘Buy It Now’ option, and of course how much the whole thing is going to cost you – more of what eBay charges you later on.

Most importantly, eBay also guide you wisely through the method of payments you can propose to your potential buyers and how you can post the items.

In other words, eBay ‘holds your hand’ safely.  It is up to you which direction you want to take.  And if at the beginning you may think that the whole process is far too long and not worth the effort, it is like with all things, the more items you list, the more conversant you become – till in the end you find the formula that best suits your selling modes, and the listing process becomes second nature!


The price

The price structure of eBay is again very easy, and particularly advantageous if you are only a newbie at this.  eBay will not charge you for the first 20 ads you place in a month.  After the first 20 ads, it will charge a small fee of 35p per listing.

eBay will then also charge 10% of the selling fee, with a maximum cap of no more than £250 per item sold.

Once you are aware of this, and you are also aware that if you opt for payment via PayPal, PayPal will charge you an additional minimum 2.9%, you will know what mark up to apply to your item when pricing it.  You want to ensure that your costs are fully covered, and that the buyers also pays for postage and delivery.

Finally, remember that eBay will charge you additionally if you opt to sell now the item at a fixed price with the ‘Buy Now’ option.  This is an option preferred by many, as it avoid the risk of the item remaining unsold or to be sold at a far too low price to cover all the costs.  In such cases, like with ‘real’ auction in auction houses, you can list your merchandise applying a reserve, which again will ensure if the bidding price is below the margin you want to apply, you do not have to honour the winning bid.

All the above pricing options, in other words, are to illustrate to you how flexible eBay makes it for sellers to go for the pricing and listing method that best and most conveniently suits their needs and wants.


The downsides of eBay

If I may start with the cons,I have to say that I struggle to find any.  I stirred right clear of eBay for a number of years, for fear to be conned myself.  There have been rumours – but sometimes more factual than tale-telling – about buyers paying for items which they never received.  And at the same time it was reported that sellers never got paid at times after an auction reached its deadline.

I believe those days are truly been and gone.  eBay has ironed out such problems by putting in place extra safety tools, such as advising sellers to choose the PayPal method of payment.  Yes, this may mean that you end up paying a fee to PayPal at the end of the month.  But, provided you take this extra cost into account when pricing your merchandise, this additional security is worth the additional fee.

Finally, there is the risk element of the auction, and the fact that your item may not find a purchaser.  Or that your purchaser may bid for far too low a price, which would make it unprofitable for you.  There are many items sold for pittance, admittedly.  It the item you have listed is an unwanted present, however small a figure the auction is won at will still make it a profit for you.  But if you have actually bought the item with a view to reselling it at auction, you want to ensure that you make a margin on it.

On the pro side, well where to start!  As mentioned, eBay makes it so easy for everyone to try and sell absolutely anything.  All it asks is that you have access to the internet and the necessary equipment to work online, it asks that you take a few pictures of your item, it asks for storage space if you decide to grow your selling business to such a level to require a regular stock, and it wants you to have an account (preferably PayPal) for you to receive payment.  The game is on!


In conclusion

eBay is equally ideal if you want to get rid of single items every so often, and for those of us that aim at a little higher in terms of profitable avenue.  If you approach eBay with a view to make a regular income out of it, especially at the beginning however, you need to be prepared to allow time for your business to steadily grow.  In this, eBay is none the different from any other online businesses: you can aim high, just with time.

Name:  eBay


Price:  Advertising FREE for first 20 ads per month.  Selling fee is 10% of final transaction

Owner:  Pierre Omidyad

Rank:   90 out of 100

My verdict

It is my opinion that, with time, eBay will enable you to make a steady income from selling online at auction.  And you can do it all from the comfort of your home.  I recommend eBay, therefore as an extremely feasible way of making money working from home legally and stress free!!

If you are still not sure about the advantages to selling online through eBay and would like to find out more, or if you have already had a go with eBay, or indeed if you are one of eBay Power Sellers, and would like to share your experience with us, by all means leave a comment below!!

8 thoughts on “How to sell on eBay and make money”

  1. Giulia,
    Ebay does have its good points, I have been selling on there for more than three years. The fees that they charge is OK if you price your items correctly. Paypal and shipping fees should also be included in your final cost also. You can make a full time living if you put in full time work. The more items that you list and sell, the better you are seen as a seller and your adds do get moved up. Having enough things to sell is a problem sometimes, I do sell things for friends for a handling cost.

    1. Handling goods for others at a small cost is a great idea, John, one idea that I hadn’t thought of myself. I am going to research on reputable wholesalers with the aim to write a blog about it, as like you so far I have only sold item son eBay whenever I came across what I thought to be a good deal. So watch this space. And thanks for reading!

  2. Hi Giulia, very informative and interesting post.
    Last year, I placed the orders on eBay from a merchant from China, but till now I don’t have the products deliver yet.
    Btw, your post is extremely helpful. I want to start selling on eBay and want to know what kinds of merchandise is best to start listing on eBay?

    Any suggestion is appreciated. I will come back for more information.

    1. Hi Maun, I have just responded to a comment from John below, promising just that. I’m going to do a little more search into which may be trustworthy and reputable wholesalers to get regular supplies from. I did get tempted to go for a Chines supplier at one point, but I ended up not wanting to chance it – now you tell me about your experience, I glad I didn’t go through with it. So yes please, keep an eye on my site, as I should blog about wholesalers soon!

  3. Wow, great guide! I’ve thought about selling used items I just have around my house on eBay but haven’t really thought about getting products from wholesalers and then reselling them on eBay. I know someone who sells on amazon and does really well. What would you say the biggest difference between selling on eBay and amazon? Does one have an advantage over the other? Thanks!

    1. Now, that’s a very good question Brianna, as only recently I found out you can sell from Amazon. I know small business advertise and sell via the Amazon marketplace, but was not sure whether anybody else with the odd items every so often could use Amazon marketplace. I’m going to look into this and will,probably blog about it shortly.
      Thank you.

  4. Thanks for sharing your insight on this. What I love the most about ebay is that it’s reliable (from my opinion) and I never second guess it, especially if the reviews on the product is great. Though tried selling through ebay several years ago…just could not get my head around it (i guess it was just lack of knowledge back then).

    Great insight, thanks for sharing.

    1. Aisha, you are most welcome. I find with eBay, like with all other selling tools available online, as you say, you need to keep trying, until you learn through experience. I’m not a regular seller yet myself, but I’m planning to start using eBay more actively.

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