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Selling Items on eBay - List Your Item for Sale

Updated on February 7, 2013

Picture on eBay

Photosmart Printer listed and sold on eBay
Photosmart Printer listed and sold on eBay

How to List an Item for Selling on eBay

This will probably be the most important lesson for selling on eBay. Once you have decided to put an item up for auction, the next step is to list it.

Go to the eBay website. At this point it is good to do some research on what your item is worth. Before signing in to your account, do a search for the item you want to sell by typing in the name of the item and clicking on “Search.“ A list of similar items listed for sale will come up and you can see what other sellers are listing such items for. If you also want to know what they are charging for shipping and handling, click on one of the items to go to that listing. If you want more information, click on “Advanced.“

Sign in to your account on eBay using the Username and Password that you created earlier and select “Sell” and under that “sell an item.” Type in what article you wish to sell, click on “search” and a list of categories will come up for you to decide what category your item belongs to. Depending on your article, sub-categories might come up for you to choose. If you are selling a book, you can type in the ISBN number that is on the back of your book. eBay might have that book in their catalog already, and, if so, the information needed will come up along with a “stock“ picture. If you are listing something else, type in a short description and search. A list of categories will appear and you need to choose the closest category to your item. Once you have chosen your category click “Continue.”

Next there are a series of questions to answer, including a title for your item. These questions are quite self-explanatory. Now you come to inserting a picture of your item. To me, that is one of the most important items in your listing. I don’t think that I have ever purchased an item on eBay that did not have a picture since I like to see what I am buying. This is where a digital camera comes in very handy. If you don’t have a digital camera but do have a picture of your item and a scanner, you can scan that picture, save it and upload to your computer and then upload to your eBay auction. The first picture you upload is free. After that, you have to pay .15 per picture.

Now you want to describe your item carefully and accurately. Be precise, but very truthful. I don’t usually use the “extras,” since they cost. One of the “extras” I am talking about is a “listing design.” I do use the “basic counter” because that shows me how many people have looked at my listing. Next you decide how to sell your item--either basic auction or buy it now. I almost always use the basic auction. But when I am buying, I look for “buy it now” items so I guess I am contradicting myself here. You will notice here that you can click on a “fees” link and see what the fees are going to be to list your item. Here is where you have to decide what your “starting bid” or your “buy it now price” is going to be, and this is where your earlier research into similar listings helps you. Next the length of time you want your listing to run--either 1 day, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, or 10 days. I have always chosen the 7-day listing time, and always try to make my listing end on a weekend. I just feel more people are checking the eBay listings on weekends when they have more time.

If you have set up a PayPal account and that is how you want to be paid, here is where you check that and make sure your email address you used for PayPal is listed because that is where the payment will be sent. I only use PayPal for payments--either selling or buying. It costs but I feel the cost is well worth it just for the convenience and confidence, and time of payment.

Now you come to what you want to charge for shipping and that is always a problem area for me. The buyer has to pay the shipping, but still you want to be close to the actual cost, and not discourage the buyers. It helps to have a scale to weigh your items and packaging to estimate shipping costs. I do have a scale and it seems to be quite accurate. I usually estimate shipping costs on the post office website by “estimating the cost.” I enter my zip code and another zip code, the type of package, the weight of the package and see what it will cost. Then I usually add $1 for “packaging and handling.” (Just in case I am not quite right on my shipping estimate.) You can also estimate your shipping costs on the eBay listing site. I just feel more confident using the postal service website. I don’t want to lose money on shipping. It does cost more to ship a package to some states, i.e., California, Texas, and New York. Those are the states I am familiar with. You can offer “free shipping” and that is something buyers look for. But then you might want to make your “starting bid” a little higher. For selling books, I use USPS Media Mail to ship, and I charge a “flat fee” of $4. That is the most eBay will allow for shipping a book.

You can enter a “return policy” but I don’t have one. My listings always say my items cannot be returned, and I don’t think it has hurt my listings too much. It probably has cost me some sales, but I feel the hassle of returns isn’t worth it. That is a personal preference for sellers.

After entering this information, you will be taken to a second page and here I very seldom enter anything. These are “extras” and cost extra and I very seldom use any of them so I will not explain them. Once you get proficient in listing items, you probably will use some of the “extras.”

Once you get to the bottom of this page, you can either “preview your listing,” “edit your listing,” or “list your item.” I usually just list my item, and then I can go to view it and “revise” it if I want to after checking how it looks.

No doubt I have left some steps out but this is the basics. It may sound intimidating, but is really quite simple.

Good Luck to All!

©joaniebaby - 3-05-12

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