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Selling on ebay a Beginners Guide

Updated on August 30, 2011

Selling on Ebay a Beginners Guide


Is a world wide market place where you can sell anything form a dollar store pencil case to a multi million dollar work of art, most times though people use ebay to clear space in their houses by selling items that they don't need anymore or selling unwanted gifts.

I have used ebay for some time, some times to sell things I have no use for anymore or toys that my children have grown out of, I have also used ebay to buy some things at low prices which I couldn't afford to buy without bidding for.

Selling on ebay is not difficult but the first time can be a bit daunting, we are only human after all and it is very easy to make mistakes that could cost us money because fewer people bid on items that are wrongly listed, or have a lot of spelling mistakes.

Below you will find my top ten tips for selling your items on ebay.

10 Ebay Selling Tips


Your title is limited to 80 characters, use them wisely, if you have a digital camera for sale using the title, "Digital camera for sale" doesn't really tell you anything about the camera. But the title "Canon EOS 40D SLR Digital Camera with w/17-85mm LENS KIT NEW" tells you a lot more about the camera that you are trying to sell. Make sure you have a title that describes the item that you want to sell.


Chose a category for your listing carefully, it can be difficult as there are hundreds to choose from, if you think your item fits into more than one category then add another category.


Adding a picture of your item is a must; around 30% more people look at items with pictures than items without, the more people who look at your item the better chance you have of selling it. Use a digital camera and check that your picture is a good one before you post it.

Description Box

List everything about the item that you wish to sell is it brand new? Is it in good condition? Does it have any defects?

Be completely honest because it can affect your ebay standing if you send out a broken item that you listed as in perfect condition.

List payment methods, cash, or cheque, PayPal.

List how you will ship the item and postage details including how much postage will cost. State who is responsible for the postage costs either you or the buyer.

Pricing your Item

Be sure to have a price in mind when you list your item if you would accept no less than $20.00 for your item then start the bidding from that price, if you are willing to let the item go for a few dollars over your lowest acceptable price then use the "Buy it now" option and set it for $30.00 or what ever value you would let the item go at for a quick sale.

Timing your Listing

A lot of sellers believe that ebay has a higher traffic at the weekends, some think Sunday afternoons are best and others feel that you should time your auctions to close late on a Friday or Saturday night.


After listing your item, you may receive some email from potential buyers looking for more information about your item, be prepared to send them extra pictures of your item and always answer their questions honestly and as quick as you can.

End of the Auction

When the auction is over you will receive an email from ebay, giving you the details of the winning bidder, write to the buyer with the details of your item and find out what method of payment they will be using, let them know that you will send the item out as soon as you receive payment, if the buyer is paying by cheque let them know how long your bank will take before the cheque is cleared.


After you have received the payment for your item, ship the item as soon as possible by the method stated in your original ad, then email the buyer to let them know it is on it's way you can leave feedback on the user as soon as you receive payment or you can wait until the buyer lets you know that he/she has received your item.

In my ebay ads I have sometimes over estimated the cost of shipping when I do this I always refund the difference when I send the item to the buyer, with a note stating why the money is in the package, this helps build your reputation for honesty.

I have also underestimated the cost of shipping and instead of asking the buyer for more money to cover costs; I send the item to the buyer at the price agreed at sale without saying anything about postage. Hopefully the buyer looks at the stamps and realises what I have done and will comment in his /her feedback to me.

If you plan to do a lot of selling on ebay it would be a good idea to set up a pay pal account, this helps your reputation as you get the money quicker and the buyer gets the item quicker, it is also good insurance against fraud.


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    • Dave Powell profile image

      Dave Powell 

      7 years ago from Winchester, MA

      Hi jimmy, A nicely organized into to eBay selling! I've been selling since eBay was born, and yours is a great overview of the process. I'm a brand new hubber myself, and just published my first eBay article... so the community is expanding!

    • iamageniuster profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. I will apply these techniques when I'm selling on ebay.

    • profile image

      Penny Auction 

      8 years ago

      You took an overwhelming project for a first time ebay seller and summarized it very well. Nice hub!

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 

      8 years ago from London

      Great hub! I've been looking for some information about how to use Ebay as I have some things to sell and didn't really know where to start. I think this will help me a lot, thanks!

    • U Neek profile image

      U Neek 

      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      You took an overwhelming project for a first time ebay seller and summarized it very well. Nice hub!

    • Entourage_007 profile image


      8 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      great hub, appreciate the information!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The subject of a valuable and useful

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks for your comment Shari, i am glad it can help, good luck selling your things.....jimmy

    • wavegirl22 profile image


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      jimmy- you come to the rescue with this Hub. I recently found some things that I really want to sell and this Hub is sure going to help me get started with Ebay. How is it that you always explain everything that someone like me can actually understand and follow!

      Thanks for sharing;)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for your Tips - most helpful.

      God Bless,


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      nice hub

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is really good information I really was daunted by Ebay . I must pay it some attention.thank you

    • stuart747 profile image


      9 years ago from Colchester, Essex, UK

      A very good hub that I found useful, I will add this as a link to a similar article that I have done,

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      I am getting addicted to your articles. Every Hub is so informative and yet understandable written. Thank you.

    • kiwi91 profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Great beginners guide, you've hit all the bases that newbies should keep in mind. I see a lot new sellers that don't optimize their title or put a description in the listing and it kills their auctions. Nice work!

    • profile image

      Hot Desi Beauties 

      10 years ago

      Great Tips and advice

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      10 years ago from Scotland

      ebay can be a good way to earn some extra cash.....jimmy

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      11 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Excellent. I've got a long way to go before I can think about trying to use Ebay, but your information has given me a good start.

    • cgull8m profile image


      11 years ago from North Carolina

      I agree excellent tips. This must be the first one any new Ebay seller should read. Nicely done.

    • profile image

      Marye Audet 

      11 years ago

      Great tips!


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