How to Sell on eBay? [2024 Update]

Guide to start selling on eBay
Table of Contents
Selling online is many people's idea of easy money (at least since Covid). Millions of people buy their needs (even daily groceries) from online marketplaces. One of the best marketplaces for small sellers is eBay. eBay was one of the first ones, and people have been using it for over 20 years. Using this platform, you can showcase your products to many buyers (almost 100 million unique visitors per month). Selling on eBay can be a challenge for beginners, but the good news is with a detailed, step-by-step guide, you can get the handle on it. Here is the guide to begin and continue selling on eBay. If you plan to start an online business and sell products, make sure you read through the end.

Why Should Sellers Choose eBay?

Besides a large number of buyers, there are many more reasons you should choose eBay as your online marketplace (as a seller). Here are some of them:

  • It’s relatively easy to set up: it takes only a few minutes to set up your seller account. Also, you can get your listings quickly and start the process of becoming a seller.
  • It has a good interface: eBay is very convenient and straightforward on the mobile app and the website. The interface is well-designed, and you probably won’t experience any challenges navigating.
  • It has strong customer service: sellers and buyers are primarily satisfied with eBay support, and issues get resolved quickly. So as a seller, you can be sure your time will be well-spent trying to solve problems.
  • You can get better deals: more than 200 million people use eBay worldwide, which means a lot of eyes on every product. As a seller, you can sometimes set higher prices (for particular products) and make more money compared to other platforms.
  • You get to choose the shipping cost and method: sellers on eBay can set the shipping cost themselves. This way, they make more profits and can offer free shipping or design promotions.

What to Consider Before Start Selling on eBay

Packing products to sell on eBay.

One of the first things you need to consider when starting your business is what you will sell. The spectrum is extensive, but some restrictions exist (adult products, drugs, firearms, etc.). It is good to think about “who” you will target and then study that exact niche. Is your audience in their teen years and cares about trending fashion? Is it mothers who want to exercise at home conveniently? You can use “eBay Explore” to discover popular products.

You should also set up a budget for yourself. See the subscription fees and ensure you can pay them in the beginning. You may also need an inventory (based on what product you sell), which also requires cash. Being short of money means lacking products, and lacking products means late shipments and, finally, unsatisfied customers. 

Good, detailed photos of the product (whatever it is) are imperative. So make sure you have the space and means to take good pictures and videos to show the buyers. You can Take photos at home with your phone and white background or leave them to a professional (if you can afford one).

How to set up a seller account on eBay?

To Sell on eBay, you first must sign up on the platform. Here is a step-by-step guide to starting your journey:

  1. Go to eBay sign-up page and click on “Create an account.”
  2. Fill in the fields (email, password, etc.). You can also sign up with your Google, Facebook, or Apple account.
  3. If you want to create a business account, click “create a business account.” After your account is made, you will be logged into it. Your default username is what the platform chose for you, but you can change it later (select wisely because changing it affects how the buyers find you).
  4. Now you are in the “Seller Hub.” This is a dashboard given by eBay to every seller. You can add listings, set payment methods, shipping details, etc.

You can manage everything here. There are multiple ways to navigate the Seller Hub and start Selling on eBay, which we will discuss later in the article.

Cost & Fees of Selling on eBay 

Selling on eBay can be an excellent opportunity to make money, but you also need to pay fees.

  • Listing fees: Listings are free initially, but you will have to pay a fee as you list more items. Every month, you get up to 250 free insertion listings. After that, you must pay a 0.35$ insertion fee per listing (this price can also depend on the product type).
  • Final value sales: this is a fee you must pay when your items are sold. When you sell a product, eBay keeps a portion of the money. This also depends on the product type and sales volume, but the final value fee for most categories is 12.9% of the sale price (plus 0.30$ per order).
Fees & costs of selling on eBay.
  • Classified ads: insertion fees for classified ads on eBay are 9.95$ for a 30-day listing, and there are no final value fees.
  • Real estate listing fees: these listings include an insertion fee, a notice fee, and fees for the upgrades you choose to do. The formats of these listings can be different, but no matter which one you select, you should pay fees starting from 35$ up to 300$.

Best Products to Sell on eBay

Here are some items that sell very well on this platform and help you make more money with fewer challenges. These items are the best sellers in 2020 and 2021:

  • Phones and their accessories: things like phone cases, glass protectors, in-car phone holders, etc., are among the things that everyone always needs. Also, phones are pretty popular. Since iPhone is the most in-demand phone brand in US and Europe, its accessories are also sold a lot.
  • Video games: games and consoles are among eBay’s best-selling items. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are popular among game lovers and geeks.
  • Health and beauty products: although sourcing, keeping, and selling them can be challenging, you must remember that they are very trendy and needed, especially for young women. Vitamins, skincare products, shampoos, etc., are in this category.
  • Home and garden goods: these products are trendy, especially in spring when people start thinking about decorating their houses and yards. Furnishing items, coffee tables, pots, and garden furniture are things that almost everyone buys.
  • Computers and tablets: everyone’s cup of tea. Laptops. PCs, scanners, etc., are top selling on eBay. The most popular brands include Apple, Asus, Samsung, and Ghia.
  • Fashion: most searched category by shoppers. Especially around the new season, people always search for new and trendy items to wear. To start selling fashion items, you should study the trends and know the market.
  • Crafts: jewelry-making beads, stone beads, and paper crafts are also sold on eBay.

Product Research on eBay

Man is product researching on eBay.

Based on user searches and data analysis, sellers can learn what is sold best. But Selling On eBay needs more research and data gathering, at least if you want to get serious about your online business. Things like phone accessories, crafts, and clothing are doing really well on this platform. Making a profit on eBay is all about buying low and selling high, and the first step is to find the right products.

If you know how to do product research and make a sourcing list, you can spend time looking for the best items in different places. You must have basic keyword and product research knowledge to sell on eBay. This way, you can find well-solved items with fewer competitors. Some paid and free tools do this work for you.

It might be interesting for you to know that Amazon has its research methods and tools, just like eBay. Sourcing lists become vital if you plan to start an online business on Amazon or do online arbitrage and make money. In OABeans, we make valuable and actual sourcing lists that business owners can rely on. To gather the best online arbitrage deals on Amazon, start reading about our listings now.

Methods of product research on eBay

Here are some ways to do keyword research on this platform:

  • Review completed listings: this is a fundamental and cheap way to start your research on eBay. Review the listings that other sellers have made. See their final prices, their shipment methods, their guarantees, etc. Now compare the product data to your own.
  • Use tools: third party tools can help you track trends and gather the best listings and sourcing lists for your business. Some of these tools are free, and some require a fee.
  • Use eBay’s free Listing Analytics application: eBay provides a tool that helps you search listings by keyword. It lets you learn about your potential buyers’ behavior and search journey.

Step-by-Step Guide to Start Selling on eBay 

To start your journey as a seller, here are the steps to follow:

  • Choose your account type: there are two accounts on eBay: Personal and Business. Personal accounts are suitable for beginning sellers who want to sell casually. But you should make a Business account for more extensive sales and analytics tools. Listing and selling in business accounts require fees.
  • Register your account: to sign up and register; you should provide your legal business name, email, and phone number. Fill out the sign-up form and submit it, select a username and go on with the registry process.
  • Customize your account: log into your account after signing up and add the needed information. Using the “Account Settings” option, you can update your preferences like addresses, communication preferences, shipping, and returns. You can also edit these after creating the listings.
  • Make listings: after you get your account’s basics in order, you should create listings. eBay has forms you can search in and fill their descriptions. Make sure you write a detailed description and high-quality photos.
  • Complete and optimize: after creating your listings, you can go on and refine your process. Optimizing listings for SEO, matching eBay algorithm, optimizing the return and shipping process, and increasing your visibility are all things you can do in your seller account.

Where to Source Products to Sell on eBay? 

Selling on eBay can help you make more money, but what you sell and where you get the product is also essential. Here are some ways you can source on eBay: 

َArbitrage: simply put, arbitrage means buying your items in sales for a lower price and then listing them on a marketplace (here, eBay) for a higher to make a profit.

Dropshipping: you list an item without necessarily having it in your inventory. When someone orders it, you also order from the supplier or manufacturer, and they will send it to the customer. 

Wholesale: in this method, you have to buy the product bulk from the manufacturer (which is usually cheaper) and then list it on eBay for a higher price. This can help you make a good profit. 

Private Label: in this method, you search for popular products on the platform, buy them, and brand them on your own. Like when a particular headphone brand is a best-seller, you buy it from the manufacturer and rebrand it.

How to List & Ship Items on eBay? 

Packing eBay products to send them to the customers.

Your first step towards sales on eBay should be creating a listing. To create your first listing on the platform, follow these:

  • In the seller hub, find the listings tab (in “My eBay”). Click on it, and you will be redirected to a form called “Sell your item.” We suggest you open this form on a new screen so you can read the guide and go on.
  • You see a search field here. Type the name of the product (or identifier number) and search. If one of the suggestions matches your item, select it, and the system will automatically pre-fill the rest of the details. 
  • This step is critical. Use detailed descriptions and high-quality images and videos to fill in the information for your listing. This way, your buyers will know exactly what they are ordering. Your images should be jpeg, png, gif, tiff, heic, and bmp, at least  500px on the longest side. Also, you can’t upload videos longer than 1 minute or larger than 150MB.
  • Go on to the “Pricing” section. You can set the prices and the available inventory. Also, offers and sales dates can be set here. 
  • As we said before, you can specify your shipping terms. By this time, you should have researched the international shipping services available in your city and what shipping methods they offer (if you still need to, start doing it now). Now calculate the product shipping price based on their weight and intended region.
  • After setting up your shipping cost and methods, it’s time to read more about promotions and ad offers. You can turn on “Promoted Listings Standard” or “Promoter Listings Advanced.” You can also change your listings’ appearances to make them more attractive for buyers (for example, Bold titles).
  • In the next section, you can set up your payment method, return policy, etc. All options can be customized, and you can change them anytime in your sales journey.
  • The next step is charity. eBay allows you to do it if you like to support a good cause or give back to society. You can choose to automatically donate a certain percentage of your item’s sale price.
  • Your listing is ready. At the bottom of the page, the total fees are available for you to see. If you are eligible for free listings, you will see the “list it for free” option.
  • By clicking “preview,” you can check your listing’s final look after being. If everything is OK, click on “List it.” You can also click “Save for later” and come back and do more edits.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which One is Better in 2024? 

Amazon vs. eBay

As you read, thousands of shop owners are working on both platforms and making money. Amazon vs eBay comparison, however, can be helpful to you based on your needs and budget. Here is a quick comparison:

  • Unlike Amazon, eBay doesn’t have its own product lines. This means that third-party sellers are the leading players there. Amazon has brands and products made and sold by itself.
  • eBay doesn’t offer sellers Fulfillment services. Unlike that, Amazon has a whole FBA program where the platform takes care of shipping and customer service. 
  • eBay offers its sellers complete control over shipping methods and prices. You can also customize your return policy. eBay might be a better option than Amazon if autonomy is crucial to you.
  • Amazon is more popular than eBay regarding the share of visits. Amazon makes 14.12% of shopping website visits worldwide, and eBay has a 3.46% share.

Advanced Tips for Selling on eBay 

Some sellers are making so much profit on eBay you might as well call them super sellers or heroes on the platform. What exactly are they doing? Here are some advanced tips to consider when you become an eBay seller:

  • Provide international shipping: by going through the “Global Shipping Program,” you can turn on worldwide shipping at no extra cost or challenge. You can provide shipping services for a wider audience and make more money. eBay will manage the international shipping and customs process for you.
  • Search for more profitable deals: search about what you should sell and where to find it. You can use tools and websites or search online and physical shops on your own. The trendier the product, the bigger your profit margin.
  • Sign up for the eBay store: your first account on eBay would be free, but after your sales grow, you can upgrade to an “eBay store subscription.” These stores have different levels of benefit (starter, premium, anchor, etc.), but they all offer you access to additional tools, discounts on fees, promotion management, etc.
  • Get feedback: getting more feedback means getting more knowledge about what you are doing right or wrong. Encourage your customers to give feedback by caring about them and following up on their orders. You can buy small items from other sellers and leave kind feedback. This way, they will probably visit your shop or may buy. The more positive feedbacks are, the easier buyers will trust you. 

Final Thoughts

eBay is a large marketplace, and just like any other big website, you need to research and gather data before entering it. The more you know about the products you sell, the less you can get in trouble and lose money. If you haven’t sold before, and this is your first online shop experience, there are a lot of guides and how-tos you can follow. The main part, however, depends on you. Search thoroughly and know the platform.

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  1. Amazon FBA can help you gain a competitive advantage over other sellers who do not offer the same level of fulfillment services.

  2. I appreciate how your website takes a holistic approach to Amazon selling, providing guidance on everything from product research and sourcing to customer service and post-sales support.

  3. By taking advantage of Amazon FBA, you can free up your time to focus on other important aspects of your business.

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  5. By utilizing Amazon FBA, you can improve your operational efficiency and reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions.

  6. The competitive marketplace on Amazon keeps resellers on their toes, constantly seeking out new products and strategies to stay ahead.

  7. The flexibility of Amazon online arbitrage allows you to work on your own terms and schedule, making it a great option for those seeking a flexible income source.

  8. The FBA program offers sellers the opportunity to participate in Amazon’s marketing initiatives, such as Lightning Deals and Prime Day promotions.

  9. The competitive storage and shipping rates offered by Amazon FBA allow sellers to optimize their costs and maximize profit margins.

  10. Reselling on Amazon provides access to valuable data insights and analytics that can help optimize pricing and inventory management.

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