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How To Sell On E-bay

Updated on October 21, 2012

How To List Items On E-bay

I have been selling “stuff” on E-bay for 12-years now. I usually list men’s designer clothing and miscellaneous guitar gear but I will sell anything if I think it's viable. From time to time people ask me for help setting up their E-bay accounts so I’ve come up with this list which is some years old, but so far, not out of date. Since joining HubPages several months ago I finally decided to take the advice of the learning center’s first suggestion and write something people might find useful. So here it is. I’ve sent these instructions to dozens of friends and family over the years. Some of them are doing quite well. Let me first say that E-bay isn’t the boon it once was before the economy went south. Finding Mesa Boogie amplifiers for under $1000 was unheard of back then but now I’ve seen them go for as little as $400. Sometimes an item you might think is worth a lot might be going for pennies on the dollar on E-bay. E-bay has become a buyer’s market. Remember, an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. There is money to be made out there but it’s up to you to do the research. I hope you will find this step by step tutorial useful.

Let’s Get Started

1. Go to the bank and open a new checking account and ask for a credit/debit card. A $25 deposit will usually do the trick. This is the account where all of your E-bay transactions will flow through. Don't use it for anything else.

2. Use this card which will probably be either a Visa or MC to open your E-bay account at, A credit card is required.

3. Go to and open up a pay pal account. To become a verified PayPal member/user you will have to list a bank account(Same one as above) where you will do business with PayPal. When you list your account information from your new account, PayPal will make two deposits into it usually in an amount from $.04 to $.06. When these amounts are posted to your account you will be required to report the deposit dates and amounts back to PayPal. When you do this you will become a verified member.

4. You're ready to start listing your goods/stuff. Don’t list anything too large in size or weight. Remember the shipping costs. Large items are hard to ship and costly.

5. Take pictures of what you are going to sell. I usually take several pictures from different angles etc. If the item has a defining label or logo you'll want to include that.

6. Download your pictures from your camera to a folder of your designation. I put mine in My Documents/E-bay and delete them after they are sold. You will want to rename those files to correspond with whatever it is you are selling. Type in the name of the thing in the picture. Be specific per each picture like: Gene Simmons Doll Front, Gene Simmons Doll Back, etc. Renaming the pictures will help when you are uploading to E-bay because you won't see the picture in the upload screen only the name of the picture.

7. When you go to the E-bay site log in. You'll see a tab at the top of the page that says SELL. Click on that and it will take you to a page where you will have to designate where you want to list your item ie. what kind of item it is and which category it fits into. For instance, Clothing; Men’s;Suits; Brand. You’ll have to list item specifics such as size, measurements, type of cloth, etc. It's self-explanatory and easy. E-bay makes it easy.

8. When it comes time to upload your pictures you will click on the "Browse" button which will give you a view of your computer. You will have to navigate your way to the location (Remember My Documents/E-bay from before) of the folder where your pictures are stored. I don't think you'll have any trouble. You will have to pick your photos by file name, that's why you had to rename the files. You'll pick your photo file and click on it and hit the upload button and that's it. If you have multiple pictures you have to do this for each. The first pic on E-bay is free. Each additional pic costs $.15 but, you can pick a multiple picture package after your pictures are uploaded which may be more cost effective. You can also add other miscellaneous features to your auction which cost more money but not much and in some cases it's worth it. The choice is yours. There is one option you might want to consider which is the "Gallery Plus" feature for an additional $.35. It shows a big picture of your item on the listings page. I use it. Start your listing at the lowest price you are willing to sell it for and take it from there. There is a “Buy It Now” feature that allows buyers to purchase an item like they would in a store.

9. You'll be asked to designate shipping where you can opt to include a shipping calculator that allows your customers to punch in their zip code to determine their cost. When you are setting up the calculator you'll have to choose the size, weight, etc. of your box. You can opt to set the shipping cost yourself but this is tricky because you don't know where your potential buyer might be from. I usually use U.S.P.S. Priority Mail. You can go to the U.S.P.S. website and have any number of boxes, envelopes or shipping labels sent right to your home and it's FREE! You can also print shipping labels directly from the E-bay site if you choose.

10. As soon as you see somebody has bought your item, i.e. when you have a bid on the item, package it. It's ready. Now all you have to do is fill out the shipping label and go to the post office and mail it when the auction is over.

How Much Is My Item Worth?

I have found the best way to determine what something is worth is to punch it into the E-bay search and see what comes up. It’s only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. There is a “Sort by” drop down menu on the upper right side of the listing page. It will say, “Best Match” when you first get there. The menu lists, Best Match, Time: Ending Soonest, Time: Newly Listed, Lowest, Highest etc. Check out the highest and lowest and that should give you an idea of what it's worth. Then you’re going to want to go to the top of the page and choose the “Auctions Only” only tab. The Best Match drop down menu will then give you an additional choice which is “Number of bids: Most First”. You'll want to see if people are even interested in buying what it is that you are selling. Check it out and make your determination from there.

Where Can I Find “Stuff” To Sell On E-bay?

The answer to that question is: Everywhere. Thrift stores and garage sales are the best. I walked into a little Christian thrift store on the west side of Youngstown a couple of years ago and found 5-Hermes ties on a rack with price tags on them for $.50 each. I made $250 on E-bay as each sold for $50. Hermes is a brand name you might want to remember. Before you take your children’s clothing(Especially designer clothes) and shoes that they have outgrown to Goodwill, list them in lots on E-bay for $9.99. It’s my favorite starting price! The buyer pays for shipping and the shipping supplies are free from the U.S.P.S. All it takes is a little work from you. Compile a list of things to look for such as popular brands and collectibles that you know through research are selling. Your knowledge base will grow and hopefully so will your sales.

Happy E-baying!

Zegna is a great men's Italian designer.  Remember the name.  I paid $2 for this gem and sold it for $20.
Zegna is a great men's Italian designer. Remember the name. I paid $2 for this gem and sold it for $20.
It's as easy as hanging it on your door and taking a picture but don't forget the all important  logo.
It's as easy as hanging it on your door and taking a picture but don't forget the all important logo.
Here's the all important tag that sold this one. Saks sells!
Here's the all important tag that sold this one. Saks sells!
Vintage tube guitar amplifiers are a hot item but expensive to ship.  The buyer paid $65 shipping on this 1983 Laney AOR Pro Tube amp head.  I kept the Marshall cab.
Vintage tube guitar amplifiers are a hot item but expensive to ship. The buyer paid $65 shipping on this 1983 Laney AOR Pro Tube amp head. I kept the Marshall cab.


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    • GuitarGear profile imageAUTHOR

      Walter Holokai 

      6 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

      Thanks Al!

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I love buying and selling stuff on ebay. My greatest sale was a small brass trolley that I bought at a swap meet for $10 and sold to furious bidding for almost $500. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • GuitarGear profile imageAUTHOR

      Walter Holokai 

      6 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

      Thanks, I was hoping someone would find this useful.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I'm an eBay seller, and I thoroughly loved reading your very well-written primer on eBay selling.

      Thank you very much for sharing it, and I in turn am voting it up and then some, as well as passing it on via the social media.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very useful info and worth looking into especially with your 12 years of knowledge behind it all.

      LOL Ghaelach


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