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Four Selling Tips To Help You Make the Most Out of eBay

Updated on April 21, 2015
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eBay is a great tool to make money from home and find deals.

I highly doubt that there is anyone out there left that has not heard of eBay. It is a great site to get a wide variety of items for a great deal. I have bought several things from: toothpaste, body care products, organic spices, coffee and accessories cheaper on eBay when compared to what I would have purchased at my local stores. Plus, if you are a college student, eBay is a great site to get textbooks cheap and sell them for a profit when you are done with them. People are practically giving things away for free on eBay at times, so it is always one of the first sites I check out when looking to buy something.

Plus, if you shop on eBay frequently, you may be interested in joining their eBaybucks program. You can earn 5% cashback on certain purchases. The money you earn can only be redeemed on eBay, but it is still free money to spend. It is definitely worth checking out!

What is best about eBay is that it allows anyone with internet access to make money by selling items. Do you have things lying around the house that you have not used in years? Potential money may be lying around your house and you don't even know it! Do you have old books, clothing that you got as gift but have never worn, or did you buy toothpaste in bulk on Amazon and decided that you don't like it? All of these items are worth money and can easily be sold on eBay. Here are a few tips to get the best out of selling on eBay.

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Four tips to help you sell on eBay

1. Watch your shipping fees and get your shipping materials as cheap as possible.

Anyone who owns an online business knows how ridiculously expensive it is to ship an item. This is something you need to keep in mind when selling an item on eBay. Let's say you are shipping an item that is five dollars, you offered free shipping, and it costs $3.50 to ship. After taking into account eBay and Paypal processing fees, you did not make much of a profit. In order to keep shipping costs as low as possible, try to sell things that can easily fit in shipping envelopes. An envelope is much cheaper to ship than a huge, bulky box. Also, keep in mind potential shipping costs when deciding whether to offer free shipping. It may be tempting to offer free shipping when so many listings contain free shipping, but that does not mean that a buyer will not be willing to pay for shipping for an item. This is especially true of unique items. Keeping the price of shipping, potential profits and listing your items for a competitive price is something that will get easier as you gain experience selling on eBay.

Another factor in shipping that can potentially be expensive is buying shipping materials. Packing tape, bubble wrap, envelopes, etc. can add up. A great way to save is to keep shipping materials you get from online purchases. I frequently buy things from Amazon, and I am always sure to save the bubble wrap and cut up the cardboard boxes for free protective shipping materials. Also, look at several sources for finding a good deal on envelopes. Places like Walmart or Target are not always the best places to get a deal on items like this. Don't be afraid to buy in bulk either, especially if you have many items to sell!

2. Be on the lookout for cheap things to sell.

Places like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, yard sales, auctions and local Facebook selling groups are great places to find valuable items for cheap. Recently on a Goodwill trip, I found an antique bell that I bought for a dollar and sold it for 40 dollars plus shipping. You may have to do a bit of research to figure out what is worth buying and what is not worth your time. But again, once you gain experience selling on eBay, this will become easier as well.

3. ALWAYS practice good customer service.

Being rude and snarky to customers can get your kicked off eBay permanently, so though it may be tempting to smart off to rude customers, always be polite. I know it is hard at times (I worked in retail for four years, so I know how stupid people can be) but it is not worth losing your eBay selling privileges because of one rude customer. Also, be quick to answer customer's questions and always ship an item on time. Getting negative feedback because you did not ship the purchase in the two days that you promised can break your chances of being successful on eBay. Staying on top of customer service is a must, there is just no way around it.

4. Never list your items for an auction.

While eBay will tell you that you your item will be more likely to sell as an auction, don't waste your time with it. For example, you may sell an antique book for auction starting at 99 cents. This book is worth around 20 dollars, but you feel that if it is listed as an auction, people bidding on it may bring the price up to 30, maybe 40 dollars. However, nobody bids until the last 5 minutes making the book cost only $1.29 instead of the $20 that you would have potentially received if you would have just listed a base price.

For more info, here is a video that discusses mistakes to avoid while selling on eBay.

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