How to Sell on eBay 

 Originally Written: September 2, 2009

By  Hanna Trafford

draft_lens2079950module10523195photo_1216522593postcard_1_forweb-fullThere are a lots of guides on how to sell on eBay – how to make few extra dollars to supplement your income or even make a living doing it. I can’t tell you which is better than the other, but I can give you a guide that is based on years of doing the actual selling. I have never done to replace my real job, but I do believe that it can be done if you give it the time and the effort that it needs. eBay makes it easy to understand and guides you through the process very nicely – here is the information I can give you:

How to Sell on eBay:

  • The ideal situation is to be able to offer a product that is or is perceived as being unique
  • The eBay buyer is looking for a bargain – either in a sense of price or in finding that unique product
  • To achieve the desirable unique status, product is the key. But equally important are the factors that will influence the buyer and raise your product over the one your competitor is offering. This is achieved by spending time and effort on perfecting the description copy, creating quality photo images, quality packaging and prompt delivery.
  • The description is absolutely crucial to the selling success – that is the first picture the buyer makes of the product and the seller. It is important to remember that the intent here is to describe the product – long and arcane terms do not work. Accurate description is a must n eBay. Carefully research your product, give detailed but to the point specification and stay focused and actual.
  • When listing the product, it is good to know that the exact category is not as important as making sure the product has the right name and description – that is how the buyers will find it.
  • Similarly – selling term and conditions have to be considered carefully – unclear description or vague terms can easily label the seller as one to stay away from.
  • It is a great idea to always include tracking and insurance with shipping. The biggest reason is that buyer can get impatient, request a shipping update and return email with status is worth gold. All buyers love to get answers to their questions and faster that gets done, the more loyal the buyer will be.
  • eBay success demands quick responses – whether it is to email requests from potential buyers or quick delivery services. As a seller, it is important to offer payment options that will not extend the delivery time – that mean PayPal or credit cards. Money orders or cheques take time and it is almost certain that buyers will add that time to the delivery service and potentially complain about long waiting time to receive their product. And C.O.D’s are definite trouble.
  • A companion website is an absolute must for eBay success. The website should have the products moderately higher prices. Crucially important is the website content – it should have lots of “free stuff” in a way of genuinely useful and unique informational pieces or tools for buyer assistance. The object here is to set up a two way street. One that sends buyer to the website and website visitors to eBay.
  • Very important part of gaining buyer confidence and loyalty is a good About Me page on eBay. That page should have detailed information about you, about your products – anything that will interest the buyer and help them to get to know you, increasing their comfort level.
  • Refunds can be a sensitive issue in eBay selling. That is why it is so very important to set clear rules on each listing. Full refund should be offered within a reasonable time and given when buyer requests it with a good reason. It is a fact that the offer of refund will guarantee the sale will stay sold. One thing is not recommended – and that is a partial refund. It just never satisfies the buyer. Another recommendation is to complete the refund and then block the buyer from future purchases – it would only get worse on second purchase so it is better to prevent that buyer from repeating the situation.
  • Considering eBay charges – some of them are not very cost effective. Especially the ones with higher cost – like special placement charges. They could be considered similar to ego trips – just for the sake of seeing your own item in a prominent place. As far as the buyers go – they will go check out comparable items, so save your money on this one. The gallery listing is definitely worth the quarter it costs – picture is worth a million words. It is important to have a good image for the listing – that will certainly make a difference.
  • Auction listings get the most traffic and the important things here is to find the right starting auction price. The best way is to use Advanced Search for completed items feature and check comparable items that recently sold on eBay and use that as a guide to set the price. Without a doubt – lower auction start prices will attract buyers – and once they start bidding, the game is won.
  • Feedback is completely voluntary and it can cause a lot of problems if you get a buyer with a bad attitude. Feedback is difficult to retract and it is never a good idea to respond to the negative one. If you must respond, it is absolutely critical to not be negative, keep it brief, factual and unemotional.
  • eBay is the best way to sell on the internet – and those who complain about the high costs of listing, final value charges or PayPal charges do not understand the process, the value or the cost of business.

If you are thinking about selling on eBay, I hope this guide was helpful. I will be happy to assist you along the way if you need to – please feel free to contact me by posting your comments, suggestions or questions!


You can also check out my eBay store at:



Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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