Selling on eBay can be a lucrative side hustle if you you know what you’re doing.
eBay makes it easy for just about anyone to start buying and selling items for auction online. And, I’m sure you’ve heard the success stories of people making $1,000 – $2,000 or more per month selling on the platform.
Is that really possible? If so, what are these sellers doing differently?
It turns out there are some strategies to getting the highest price for your old baseball card collection or those pair of designer jeans that no longer fit.
Here are the five things you need to maximize your profits as a seller on eBay:
- Good quality photos
- A persuasive item description
- The right timing
- The right price
- Low shipping costs
I’ll go into more detail on all these in a second but first let’s review how selling on eBay actually works.
How to Start Selling on Ebay in Under an Hour
Step 1: Sign Up for an Ebay Account
Go to the website and click sign up. Follow the sign-up process — it should take you less than 2 minutes to complete.
Step 2: Find Something to Sell
Look in your garage, closets, attic, basement and bedrooms. You’re bound to find something you no longer use or want to get rid of.
Even things that are broken can sell well on eBay because buyers that know how to fix it will scoop it up. So don’t discount broken laptops, old TVs, typewriters etc.
Step 3: Research the Price of Your Item
Go to Google Shopping and type in the search bar your item. Use somewhat generic keywords like “[Brand] leather purse”.
You should be able to get a rough average of what that item is selling for brand new or used on the market today. Use these prices as a guide to price your own listing.
Step 4: Market Your Item
Remember those tips I mentioned above?
First, you want to take good quality photos of your product.
Take different angles on a neutral background and make sure you have at least one photo that shows the size of your product relative to something else (like a $1 bill or your hand).
Next, you need to write a persuasive description.
Use the bit of market research you did in step 3 to guide your efforts.
Figure out what makes your product different and unique to the other products selling on the market today.
Does your product have a different color? Is it a special edition? Try to find something that distinguishes your product from the rest and call it out.
Also, your title is very important so make sure you write one that grabs the buyer’s attention and uses the same keywords people would use to search for your item. Look at other product descriptions that have bids and try to copy what they’re doing.
Step 5: List Your Item on eBay
This should take less than 5 minutes.
Use the photos you’ve taken and the description you just finished writing to list your item on eBay. Follow the steps outlined on the platform. Next, you’ll choose between your options for shipping and pricing.
To begin, choose the “free shipping” option. This will attract more buyers to your listing and you can simply build the estimated shipping cost into your price.
Once you get comfortable on the platform, you can explore alternative shipping options and play around with pricing and costs.
Step 6: Time Your Listing
Timing is everything. Your goal is to get the most amount of exposure in a short window. When you’re ready to list, I recommend listing on a Thursday and running a 10-day auction.
This way you get to take full advantage of two weekend’s worth of shoppers looking at your listing. You don’t want your auction to run for too long because then there’s no urgency to bid.
Step 7: Fulfill Your Order
Once you successfully sell your item, you need to fulfill the order by packing and shipping your product as soon as possible to the highest bidder. You want to ship items promptly to ensure your seller rating stays high.
Buyers will look at your seller rating and judge your reliability to deliver when they consider bidding on products you list in the future.
You also need to make sure you package whatever you’re selling well. You don’t want your item to arrive damaged.
Just be mindful of packaging costs. If the item is a piece of clothing, you can typically get away with a bubble-wrapped envelope.
More breakable pieces should be boxed and stuffed with packing material so they don’t break. Use your best discretion when packing but always keep costs in mind.
Lastly, be respectful and always provide excellent customer support. Some buyers will contact you with special requests like wanting to package multiple items in one shipment. Try to be flexible but also realistic in your approach.
Selling on eBay is a good opportunity for anyone to make a little extra cash on the side. The investment is low and you can start selling in less than an hour. If your sales grow quickly, you can even sign up for an eBay storefront to scale your side hustle even further.
To a richer life,
— Nilus Mattive
Editor, The Rich Life Roadmap