Selling items on eBay is fast and easy. To sell on eBay, open an account, choose a selling method, create a listing and set your price.
To sell on eBay, you’ll need some way for eBay buyers to pay you. Generally that’s with a PayPal account. PayPal accounts are quick and easy to set up. Once you have an eBay account and a PayPal account, choose a selling method. You can either let eBay sell the items for you for a 20% to 40% fee, or list the item and sell it yourself for a 10% fee.
Next you’ll list the item, describe it and add photos, and choose whether to sell the item with a fixed price or in an auction. See below for seven easy steps to sell on eBay.
1. How Sell on eBay: Open an Account
The first thing you’ll need to do to sell on eBay is set up an account. To do that, go to eBay.com. At the top of the page, find where it says, “Sell” and click it. We’ve highlighted it in blue in the image above. Clicking “Sell” will take you to a page where eBay will ask you to open an account. That’s as easy as typing in your email address or making up a user ID and then making up a password.
eBay passwords should be between 6 and 64 characters long. They should have some special characters too. There’s a screen grab of eBay’s registration form below. Click the screen grab to be taken straight to the form on eBay’s website. We’ll explain more about how to sell on eBay below.
2. How to Sell on eBay: Payment Method
When you create an account to sell on eBay, you’ll need to choose how buyers pay you for your items. Generally, the easiest way to get money for items on eBay is with a PayPal account. A PayPal account lets buyers pay instantly for items they buy from you. eBay’s account registration form will walk you through the steps to set up a PayPal account.
3. How to Sell on eBay: Choose a Selling Method
Once you’ve signed in and clicked “Sell” at the top of the eBay home page, it’s time to choose a selling method. eBay has two selling methods:
- Let eBay sell your items for you.
- Sell your stuff yourself on eBay.
eBay recently added a new feature to their site that a lot of people will love. eBay users can sell their stuff in the traditional way, by selling it themselves. Or they can sell in the new way, by letting eBay do the selling for them. We’ll cover both eBay selling methods below.
eBay Selling Method #1: Let eBay Sell Your Items For You
Those who don’t want to list items and deal directly with customers can let eBay sell their items with eBay’s “Sell for Me” program. It’s fast, easy, and you still get to keep 60%-80% of the money from the sale. It works like this:
- Send in your stuff. You can mail used or unwanted items to eBay or bring them to an eBay drop off center in person. eBay pays for the shipping.
- Relax. eBay “valets” list and sell your items on eBay.
- Get paid. When the items sell, eBay will pay you between 60% and 80% of the sale price, depending on how much the item sells for.
To have eBay sell your item for you, just click, “Sell it For Me” from the eBay selling page, or click here.
It’s really not that much harder to list the items yourself and save the 20% to 40% fee, but this method is excellent for those who don’t want any hassle at all.
For more info on letting eBay sell your items, see our full article on effortless eBay selling by clicking here. The rest of the steps in this article will deal with listing items on eBay yourself.
eBay Selling Method #2: Sell Your Items Yourself on eBay
The traditional way to sell on eBay is by listing the items yourself. To sell an item yourself, just click “Sell it Myself” on the eBay selling page, or click here.
To sell an item yourself on eBay, you’ll need to find your item in eBay’s database, describe it, add photos and decide whether to sell it outright or in an auction. You’ll also need to decide on a duration for the listing of anywhere from one day to forever. Finally, you’ll choose a shipping speed. When the item sells, eBay will deduct a final value fee of about 10%. Make sure to ship the item quickly once it sells.
4. How to Sell on eBay: Find Your Item
The next step to sell on eBay is to find your item in eBay’s database. To do this, type in the name of your item where it says, “Tell us what you’re selling.” It’s important to be as specific as possible and as brief as possible. For example, let’s say we’re selling an iPad. Just typing in “iPad” is not ideal because there are several different versions of iPads. By contrast, typing in too many details might narrow the options needlessly.
If you’re selling an iPad 4th generation, you can simply type in “iPad 4th generation.” eBay will bring up several options to choose from. Click the one that best matches what you’re selling.
You can also find items on eBay by entering their UPN, ISBN or part number.
Sell on eBay: Item Name Tip
One problem with how eBay lists things is that anyone can create a new product name. What can happen is that there can be several different names for the same item. For example, someone might create an item called, “Apple iPad 4th Generation White 16GB” and someone else might make one called, “Apple iPad 16GB White 4th Generation.” While eBay has standardized this some recently for major items like the iPad, some identical items may have several different names.
The problem with having many names for the same item is, what if you pick a name that doesn’t naturally float to the top of the search results? For example, let’s say you pick, “Apple iPad 16GB White,” but when people search on eBay for an iPad 4th generation, the other title comes up first? Shoppers might scroll through dozens of other listings before they get to yours. That can make your item languish for a long time without selling.
It’s a good idea to check for the most popular item name first by going to eBay’s home page and typing in the product name. For instance, a product search on eBay turns up “Apple iPad 4th Generation 16GB Tablet w’ Retina Display, Wi-Fi Black/White A1458” first.
Generally though, whatever item eBay suggests first in their seller section is a good bet when listing an item.
5. How to Sell on eBay: Describe Your Item
Let’s say we’re selling an Apple iPad 4th Generation 16GB, Wi-Fi, 9.7in – White on eBay. That name came up first when we found the item in eBay’s database. Click “Sell one like this.” eBay will take you to a form where you can describe the item.
The form lets you choose the item’s condition, add up to 12 photos and add other details. For new items, eBay has stock photos you can use. For used items, you’ll need to upload your own photos.
To add photos, just click the “Add Photos” button. eBay will let you select images stored on your computer and upload them. Items with photos sell better on eBay.
To add photos from an iPhone or other mobile device, you’ll need eBay’s mobile app. Get the eBay iPhone app by clicking here. To get the eBay app for Android, click here. The eBay mobile app also lets you scan in a product’s bar code for faster product listing.
6. How to Sell on eBay: Choose Auction or Fixed Price
eBay lets people sell in two ways: auction and fixed price. Fixed price is the best method when you know exactly how much you want to get for something you’re selling. In the case of a high-demand item like an iPad, a fixed price is easiest and most reliable. Auction selling is best for items that are rare in some way, such as antiques and collectibles. Sometimes an auction can bring in a lot more money than a fixed price sale.
How to Sell on eBay With a Fixed Price
To sell on eBay with a fixed price, click the “Fixed Price” button and then fill in the price. If you’re not sure what price to charge, eBay will recommend a price for your item. When you list an item, eBay will check its database for similar items that have sold recently. eBay will suggest a price based on those recent sales. You can accept eBay’s price or choose your own. In the case of our iPad, eBay suggests $209.
Note the tip at the bottom of the image above. Although eBay suggests a price of $209, you can see that similar items have sold for as much as $275.
Double Checking eBay Prices at Amazon
eBay purists may balk at this, but you can double-check your item’s price by looking for its exact name on Amazon. For instance, go to Amazon.com and type in “Apple iPad 4th Generation 16GB, Wi-Fi, 9.7in – White”. When your item comes up, click the word “used.” We’ve highlighted it below in yellow.
Amazon will take you to a page with lots of people selling the same item outright. Check the prices to see if there seems to be a trend. In this case, everyone seems to be selling the same iPad for around $225. Choosing that fixed price on eBay will probably sell the item relatively fast. By contrast, eBay suggested we sell the item for $209. That’s $16 less.
Listing Duration for Selling on eBay With a Fixed Price
When you sell on eBay with a fixed price, eBay will ask you to pick a duration for the listing. An eBay listing can be set to expire in 3 days, 5 days, 7, 10, 30 or “Good ’til Cancelled.” 30 days is the default listing duration. That’s generally your best bet because it’s long enough to give your item a decent amount of time to sell, but short enough that if it doesn’t sell, eBay will prompt you to re-list it at a different price.
eBay notes that most items sell better when their duration includes a weekend, since that’s when more people shop online.
How to Sell on eBay With an Auction
To sell on eBay with an auction, click the auction button.
With an eBay auction, the item is sold to the highest bidder at the end of the auction. Selling on eBay with an auction is a good choice for items that might be in high demand and limited supply, such as antiques and collectibles. With an auction, eBay sellers choose:
- Auction starting price.
- Auction duration.
- Reserve price (optional).
Generally, you’ll want to set a low enough starting price to attract a lot of bidders. However, don’t set the price so low that if only a few people bid, you end up selling the item for a lot less than you wanted to.
The auction duration can be anywhere from one to ten days. Seven days is a good round number and ensures the auction will last through at least one weekend. Weekends are when more eBay shoppers look for online deals.
7. How to Sell on eBay: Shipping and Final Details
Whether you sell on eBay with an auction or a fixed price, you’ll need to pick a shipping speed. eBay sellers pay for the shipping themselves, but eBay generally gets reduced shipping rates from the U.S. Post Office.
Sellers can also provide a handling time and returns policy. Providing a PayPal email address can make it easy for eBay to send payments directly to a seller’s PayPal account.
One big question lots of eBay sellers ask is, “What are eBay’s fees?” The short answer is, “About 10% of the item’s sale price.”
For more detail, use their handy eBay fee calculator to see the fees for each item you want to sell. To visit the fee calculator on eBay’s website, click the image below.
eBay charges “insertion fees” of about 30 cents per listing, though your first 20 eBay listings are free. Also, antiques and collectibles get up to 20 free listings per month per person. eBay insertion fees must be paid at the time you create the listing.
eBay also charges final value fees of about 10% of the item’s final sale price. eBay final value fees get paid when the item sells.
When eBay sellers use listing upgrades to promote a listing, they may get charged additional fees for these upgrades also.
For eBay’s fee calculator on their website, click here. For our in-depth article on eBay’s fees, click here.
eBay Customer Emails
When you sell on eBay, some potential buyers may contact you to try to talk you down. You don’t have to agree, but you should always be polite. A simple, “No thanks, I’m waiting to get a higher price” should do the trick.
How to Sell on eBay: After the Sale
Once your item sells on eBay, make sure you get paid before you ship the item. Ship the item quickly to avoid negative seller feedback.
If the item doesn’t sell, you can relist it. eBay may give you an insertion fee credit.
If the item does sell but the buyer doesn’t pay, open a case in the eBay Resolution Center by clicking here.