Yeah.... so I've been meaning to write this post forEVER. Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I used eBay to sell a bunch of my stuff before we moved. I wanted to go a little deeper into how I sold things on eBay, because I know it was a HUGE hurdle for me (I really through it would be super difficult and stressful to sell things online). I hope this helps you get started selling your stuff on eBay!!
First things first: you'll need to get an eBay seller account, link your paypal to your account, etc. That part is pretty easy- just go to eBay and sign up. They'll take you through the prompts to get up and running.
Step 1: Decide what to sell.
Gather up all your sellable items. It's easier, in my opinion, to do this in a big batch. If you're in doubt about whether to try to sell something, look it up on eBay and see what prices it's going for. If it's being sold very cheaply, it might not be worth it to put in the effort of listing it and then shipping it out if you're only going to make $2.
Step 2: Make it look pretty.
Wash stuff, wipe electronics clean (both physically so there's no smudges, and also the kind of wipe where you delete all your personal info from the electronic device), find all cords, instruction manuals, etc. Charge electronics so you can turn it on and take pictures of it in working order.
Step 3: Take pictures.
I did this on a sunny day near a window to get natural light. I laid things out on the carpet and used my iPhone to take the pictures. Take LOTS of pictures- all angles, include pictures of tags, any imperfections... the more pictures the better! If it's an electronic device, take a picture of it on and working.
Once you're done, download the pics to your computer and get them ready to be uploaded to eBay.
Step 4: Prepare your shipping methods.
I know it seems weird to talk about shipping before even listing the item, but it is REALLY important to figure this out first. I was so excited to list my first item that I just guessed at what shipping method I would use… turns out I was totally wrong and barely broke even on that sale (made a whopping $0.31) as a result. Figure out the shipping NOW so you don’t have to guess on it :)
My personal preference is to use USPS (United States Postal Service) Flat Rate boxes/envelopes to ship my stuff.
I prefer the flat rate boxes and envelopes (I don't have a pic of the padded flat rate envelope, but it is PERFECT for clothes) because they are SO EASY to use and you can stock up on them in advance. (they give them out for free at the post office, or you can order them online- for free- and they’ll ship a pack of 10 to you) There are a few different sizes; I usually ship fairly small items so I’ve been using the smaller sizes that cost a little under $7 for continental US shipping.
I could probably save a bit of money by shipping things myself in my own packaging, but I’m going for EASE here so the flat rate boxes/envelopes are a winner.
If you are not going to use flat rate boxes, WEIGH YOUR ITEM BEFORE YOU LIST IT ON EBAY! Weigh it with the box and packing material you're going to use. This is very important. This is the part that screwed me over on my first sale. I guesstimated that the dress I was selling weighed 6 ounces... nope, it weighed 2 pounds. If you don't have a scale to weigh the items (I definitely don't) take it to the post office and they should have a scale you can use. Jot down the weight (again- remember to include all the packing material and box too!) so you'll know what to input when you list it on eBay.
Step 5: List the items.
Finally! Now it's time to list the item. I just follow eBay’s prompts to do this. Find your seller page, and there should be a link there to "sell an item". Click on that and start following their prompts.
For the section where you include details about the item, I usually pull up a similar item’s listing on eBay to get an idea of what to include in my listing.
For shipping, I select the option to have the buyer pay for shipping. Then I enter the shipping method- I choose which flat rate box I'm going to use. If you're shipping it with your own supplies, you'll enter the weight of the item in this step. You can also list the item with free shipping, but I don't usually do that unless I'm having a hard time selling an item.
When you get to the part where you list the price of the item, eBay is pretty awesome and usually suggests a price range. For the most part, I go with their suggestion. I haven’t done an auction listing yet so I can’t speak to that, but you can auction things off too. (let me know how you like that method if you try it!)
Step 6: Wait.
Once you've listed the item, it's waiting time. I usually take a look at my seller page a few times a week to see how my listing is doing. On the seller page, you can see how many views your item has, how many people are watching it, etc. If after a week the item hasn’t sold, I usually drop the price a little bit. After another week, I drop the price a bit more… and so on. I mostly just want my items to sell quickly so I would rather drop the price a bit to get things to sell rather than waiting around to hopefully get full price.
Step 7: Sell!
eBay will send you an email if someone has bought your item OR if they offered you a different price for your item. If they offered a different price, you can haggle with them or just accept the price they offered- whatever floats your boat!
Once you officially sell the item, eBay will send an email saying that your item has sold and it's time to purchase shipping. I buy the shipping through eBay. It's super easy, again, just follow their prompts since when you listed the item, you already chose the shipping method you want to use.
You don't have to buy shipping through eBay; you could also go to the post office/ups/fedex and pay for the shipping there. I like the ease of using eBay because 1) you get a 10% discount on shipping and 2) the tracking number is sent to the buyer so they know when their item will arrive! (I think otherwise you have to log into eBay and manually enter the shipping info)
I also print off the packing label and include that in the shipment, and sometimes a little note from me, and then I ship it off. Make sure you ship it out fairly quickly; people like to get their items fast!
The money from the sale is usually available after a week or so. When you’re getting started, eBay will probably hold your money for a bit longer just to verify that you’re really a legit seller. Once you make a few sales, you start to get money faster.
And that's it! Really, it's just taking some pictures, figuring out how to ship the stuff, and then following eBay's prompts. SUPER EASY.
As you can see in the table above, I've so far sold 10 items and made almost $180! The highest profit items were definitely my phones and other electronics, but even the clothes that I sold made a bit of money. Seeing that profit number makes me want to go find more items to sell :)
So. This was a very long post but I hope you get 2 things out of it:
1. Selling on eBay is NOT that scary. I had been contemplating it for YEARS and can't believe it took me that long to finally take the plunge. Just do it.
2. Flat rate shipping is the way to go. Don't stress yourself out with figure out another shipping method... just get a flat rate box and go with it.