Learn to buy and sell antiques and collectibles

Learn How To Sell On Ebay

I get a lot of questions from beginners wanting to learn how to sell on eBay. Since I have answered this question so frequently I have decided to compile all the answers into one article and put it on the web.

How To Sell On eBay For Beginners

The best way to learn how to sell on eBay is to begin by selling unwanted items from around your home. This allows you to get some basic eBay selling skills while converting dust collectors and closet fillers into cash.

Begin by going around your home and collecting 15-20 items you no longer want in a clothes basket. Anything you think is worth at least 5 dollars. Look for small items that will be easy to ship. That unwanted couch is going to be a bit hard to ship. You will be better off giving it to Goodwill.

You will need a scale with a range up to 50 pounds. I use a postal scale I bought at an office supply store for $50. Set the scale at 1 pound so you can factor in the weight of the packing material, and weigh each item. You can get a trifold rate card at your local post office to figure shipping costs, or use the free eBay shipping calculator with the ship to zip code the set to the zip code farthest away from you in the continental U.S. I use 10100 as the zip code to check rates because I live on the west coast, if you live on the east coast use 98001.

While you are at the post office get an order form for some priority mail boxes. Order an assortment of boxes suitable for the items you will be selling when you get home. This is done online or on the phone. You won't need the boxes until after the auctions end, but you do need to order them now so you'll have them when needed.

You will also need a table adjacent to your computer with adequate lighting. See my eBay Images Made Easy Free Report for instructions on how to put pictures on eBay.

At this point you should have a scale and a basket of unwanted items on a table adjacent to your computer. Group the items into similar groups. This will make listing them faster because they have similar attributes and go in the same basic eBay categories.

Pick up an item, weigh it, figure out the postage cost to the farthest point away from you in the continental U.S., take a few pictures, then sit down with it at your computer. Look up similar items on eBay to find the category it belongs in and relevant keywords.

After selecting the most relevant eBay category - that's the one with other items similar to yours that are getting bids, log into eBay and click on the Sell Your Item link. This is the word SELL near the top.

If you don't already have an eBay account, here's instructions for opening an eBay account. Actually, you should have two eBay accounts - one for selling and one for buying. For more information see Multiple eBay Accounts.

Muddle through all the sell your item pages. Just do what you think is the best choice on each screen. The eBay Selling Summary contains a list of all the steps of listing your item on eBay.

For now, ignore all the optional items with extra costs. Remember, you are selling junk in order to learn how to sell on eBay and anything you get is free money. The object here is to learn the selling steps. You need practice to get fast. Later when you are selling good items, you can use some of the added options if they are relevant.

Work through all the sell your item screens on eBay. Spend some time now learning about images and your auctions. Pictures are extremely important, but you can skip the information in the eBay seller's guide, and just use eBay's picture service for now. Later, when you have learned how to sell on eBay, you will have to host your own pictures. Using eBay's picture service is a waste of money both in extra fees and lower ending prices.

Remember, right now you are selling unwanted junk. You don't have to do a great job, you just have to get it done. Later your your skills will increase as you learn how to sell on eBay, allowing you to get the highest possible prices on eBay.

After you have listed your collection of junk, answer questions from bidders as needed. Do not bid on your own auctions. This is called shill bidding, and will result in your being thrown off eBay.

When the auction ends, pack everything and send the buyers invoices with your address. If you are taking Paypal send them your Paypal email address. Here's an eBay Seller's Guide To Paypal.

When you receive payment, ship the items to the buyers. Include a note thanking the buyer for his purchase with your address on it within each package. This way if the label comes off the package, the post office can return it to you.

After the buyer leaves feedback for you, leave feedback for him. Here's an article about eBay feedback. Some people argue with me about when to leave feedback. I am not interested in the "feelings" of want-a-bees. You shouldn't be either.

Selling on eBay is a business. Make your decisions based on what is in your best interests. Forcing your buyers to leave feedback for you before you leave feedback for them is good business sense.

The only way to learn to sell on eBay is to do it. Track and measure your results. You don't need to buy my books, or anyone else's books for that matter. You can learn by doing. However, if you do choose to buy books, look for current ones. There are a lot of old crap ebooks that are not worth the space on your hard drive. eBay has changed a lot in the past six months. Anything over two years old will contain material that will get you in trouble with eBay.

Read a bunch of the free material you can find online, but set a firm date to start selling on eBay. Try to list at least 10 items this week on eBay. After you have sold on eBay for a month, go take the eBay Seller's Quiz. The quiz is designed to help you improve your results.

If you want to get a really fast start selling on eBay go take the quiz now. Then buy the Auction Revolution package and use it to start selling on eBay. The package contains step-by-step instructions for creating your first eBay auction.

I see a lot of people who spend a lot of time learning how to do something, and then never do it. If you want to learn how to sell on eBay, do it. Sell some unwanted items. Then do it again next week, but spend some time research the listing upgrades. Spend some time improving the things you had problems with.

Over time, you will get good at it.

Terry


Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.

Ted at his desk.

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