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Top ten tips for selling on eBay

Free tools, building feedback, jargon buster and more. We hope you find these tips useful when selling on eBay.


1. Free Tools


Turbo Lister

A free tool from eBay to help you create and upload thousands of listings in bulk. Turbo Lister is a piece of software you download to your computer, it's provided free of charge from eBay.

click here to visit the eBay Turbo Lister page


Free eBay Calculator

Fees Calculator

Work out roughly what it's going to cost you before you try to sell it. The last thing you want to do is sell something and then realise you've actually lost money (it happens!).


There's loads of free calculators online to help you work out a rough total for selling fees, one of the more accurate calculators is...




GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

visit www.gimp.org for full details



2. Build Feedback


Would you buy from a seller with zero or low feedback? Maybe you would, but most people won't.


Regardless of whether the items you're selling are high value or cheap, the first thing you need is a good feedback rating. You don't only get feedback from selling, you also get it from buying!


When selling on eBay (and online in general) you need basics such as packaging, envelopes, tape, boxes, etc. All of those things are available on eBay so why not kill two birds with one stone? Get the supplies you need at the same time as building your feedback!




3. Research



See how well your competitors are doing or how much a particular item sells for by using the search completed items feature on eBay.


Simply search for an item and on the results page look down the left hand side and tick the box next to 'completed items'.


If the price is listed in red it means the item didn't sell, to remove those results tick the 'sold listings' box.


Warning: Don't copy other sellers titles, description text or images. Doing so infringes other sellers rights and you risk being suspended if you copy them.




4. Title and Description


The right title is crucial, get it wrong and you'll lose sales.


The majority of eBay buyers use the search tools rather than scrolling through endless category pages, so be sure to get the right words in your titles and avoid using terms that people won't search for.


Example for selling a brand new DVD box set of the The Sopranos...

Bad Title = Sopranos DVDs. Great program. Very entertaining.

Good Title = The Sopranos DVD Box Set. Brand New. Factory Sealed.

Get the title and description right


Think about it for a moment. Who searches for "very entertaining"? Nobody!


Make the description clear but brief, especially at the start. Most people are lazy, they don't like to read long pieces of text so get to the point as quickly as possible.


Start with the highlights like this:

Every episode.

All seasons.

Brand new in retail packaging.


If necessary you can then move on to a more in-depth description. To write a good description think about what you'd like to read if you were thinking about buying the product.


Don't exaggerate the truth, if it's not brand new and it's slightly damaged make sure you say that in the description. If you don't you risk negative feedback and possible payment reversal.


One last thing - run your title and description through a spellchecker! Listings with spelling errors, especially in the title, sell for lower amounts.



5. Photos


If selling brand new products you'll usually get away with stock photos - these are the ones made available from your supplier or various other sources (ie. the manufacturer of the product). But it doesn't hurt to use your own photos, it shows potential buyers you actually hold the stock.



When taking photos of your products:


Ensure there's enough light.

If taking outdoor photos wait for a sunny day.


Take shots from different angles.

Show off the item, the good and bad bits.


Photograph the product on it's own.

Don't have a load of other stuff behind or around the item.


Show close-ups as well as distance shots.

For close-ups put a ruler next to the item.


Caution: Be careful if you're using a mobile phone for taking photos. Even though most come with good cameras the photos don't always look as good on a computer as they do on a mobile.




6. Jargon


A lot of sellers on eBay use abbreviations and initials to shorten specific phrases. Doing so is useful for squeezing in additional info without exceeding the character limit for titles, but you should be careful not to use too many as new buyers won't have a clue what you're saying.


The most commonly used jargon:

BN = Brand New.

BNWT = Brand New With Tags.

BNIB = Brand New In Box.

BIN = Buy It Now.

VGC = Very Good Condition.



7. The price is right


It can be difficult to get the price right, using the search completed items advice given above will make it a lot easier especially for used and/or rare items.


Buy It Now

With eBay Buy It Now listings setting the price is fairly easy, just work out your total costs and check completed listings to see how much you can get as profit.



Start it too high and you risk not getting any bids.


Consider starting the auction low, even right down at one pence. Not only does it usually save on listing fees, it also attracts more attention from bidders which can result in a better than expected selling price. Most bids come in the last minutes of the auction so don't start worrying too early.



8. Time it right


It'll end at the same time you start it, so don't start a listing (especially an auction) at 4am just because you're bored and want something to do. If you do that the listing will end at 4am when there's not many people online, usually resulting in a low selling price.


According to various pieces of research, the best time to have an eBay listing end is between 7pm and 9pm, Sunday to Thursday. Other factors need to be considered, for example if you're selling a football make sure the listing doesn't end during the World Cup final!


If you're too busy during the best times to list you should consider using the scheduled start feature on the eBay listing form (also in listing software such as Turbo Lister and others).



9. Postage


Get it right!

True Story... I once heard a woman in the post office complaining to the cashier saying something like "you're charging me 3 but I've sold it on eBay and I only charged the buyer 1 for delivery".


Weigh your parcels

Have a bit of common sense or you risk losing your profits. Simply weigh the item along with all the necessary packaging and use the Royal Mail Price Finder before you list it for sale!


Be wary when factoring in packaging costs (for the box, tape, etc) as most eBay buyers begrudge paying more than the actual stamp price and they might leave you negative feedback if they think you've ripped them off - even though you haven't, they'll still think you have.


If you sell a large volume of items you might want to consider one of the business options from Royal Mail, you could easily save 's a year if sending enough volume.


Get proof of delivery, not just proof of posting.

Especially for high value items, you should consider using a trackable delivery method such as Recorded Delivery or Special Delivery. To qualify for eBay seller protection you must use a service that comes with "online trackable proof of delivery". Proving you sent it isn't enough!


Deliver to the registered address.

Only post items to the address eBay gives you.


Beware of common scams such as "please send it to my friends address". Whilst those sort of requests can be genuine you must show caution, if the buyer claims they didn't receive it you probably won't be covered by seller protection - even if you have proof of delivery.



10. Rules


eBay has a vast array of rules and regulations for sellers, if you fail to follow them you risk being suspended or banned. Keep yourself up to date by regularly checking the rules...

click here to visit the listing policies pages on eBay



Turbo Lister

Free eBay Calculator

GIMP - Free image editing software










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