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Selling On eBay

If you are considering selling on eBay there are some things to consider in order to make it a positive and profitable experience. This is a guide about selling on eBay.


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10 found this helpful
September 10, 2007 Flag

Just a word of advice: I see a lot of articles and feedback on many thrifty websites suggesting that a great way to make extra money is to sell on Ebay. PLEASE PLEASE be careful that you are actually MAKING money in the long run! I have sold and bought off Ebay for quite a while now and there are times when the cost of driving to the post office, or the packing materials, or even the time involved in listing an item negates the earnings.


And PLEASE watch out for Ebay's fees. They can mount quickly and then you discover that after selling a ton and cheering for your windfall, half of it goes right back out the door to Ebay. I think Ebay is a great sales tool but some things are really better sold on craigslist (no fees), private chat boards (like Diaperswappers for us cloth diapering moms) or at a yard sale. By all means, use Ebay but please be careful.

Victoria from Carpentersville, IL

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May 22, 20120 found this helpful

I had a mixed experience selling on ebay. I didn't make a lot of profit, but I enjoyed taking the photos and writing descriptions. I had one buyer that was just a "crazy lady" and she emailed me a lot! I purchase quite a bit on ebay and love it.

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March 6, 20170 found this helpful

A jar of homemade vegetable relish.

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If your home kitchen passes an inspection by the Health Department, you can become eligible to sell your homemade food products to the public. This is a guide about selling homemade food on eBay.


Kelly Ann Butterbaugh1 found this helpful
August 11, 2006 Flag

An avid fan of eBay, I often wondered about the opportunity that eBay stores offer. For those who are new to eBay, a store is just like what it sounds. Rather than post random items on the site for sale, one opens a "store" and posts all the items there. They are still auctioned like any other item, but the store offers a constant place for the sale of items and a potential source of constant income. In order to fully understand if this option for extra income is for you, look at the points of operating an eBay store.
Related Content(article continues below)

When Am I Ready for a Store?

When does one move from being an eBay seller to being an eBay store owner? Most stores began as websites or small businesses that needed more exposure. Website sales are great for small businesses which cannot afford the rental of a concrete storefront. They also allow the option of working from home. However, websites are at the mercy of the search engines and self-promotion which can be either hit and miss or costly.

What Type of Profit Can I Make?

No matter how much fun it might be, selling is all about the bottom line. In order to maintain a store, one must keep an inventory which means up front costs for items that may or may not sell. Evaluate the items for sale and watch the market. By keeping a keen eye, you will be able to accurately price your items and promote them in the best possible way. Like any place or web host, there are fees involved in an eBay store. The flat fee of $14.95 per month is charged regardless of sales. From there, each item which is listed is charged $.02 rather than the typical auction listing cost which ranges from $.20 upwards. The items remain listed for thirty days or until sale. When an item sells, it is subject to eBay's Final Value Fee just as any other item on the website. Vic Yosco of Schleich Collectibles Figurines on eBay estimates earning a 33% profit on each of his items. Selling Schleich collectible animal figurines, Yosco needed more exposure for his website and eBay stores offered just that. "An eBay store has the advantage of buyers being able to see all of your items together in one location," Yosco says.

So, Should I Go for It?

Yosco's advice for new store owners is to be patient. "It takes time to set everything up and for buyers to find you. Some weeks are great selling weeks and other weeks you may not sell anything." If done correctly, an owner can build a profitable store. This occurs over time when customers become repeat customers. From there, they refer others to a store, and eventually the customer base builds. In the meantime, store owners are investing money in the store even during the low selling periods. Yosco adds, "It is definitely worth it, and I think it's a good way to earn some extra money."

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January 13, 20060 found this helpful

Let us know if you have ever sold items on Ebay. Also, feel free to share you ebay selling tips.

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0 found this helpful
July 3, 2007

July and August is the time to get your things ready to sell on Ebay. Ebay shoppers shop during these two months for school clothes and they might purchase some things for Christmas too!

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July 6, 20060 found this helpful

If your kids need extra cash this summer, help them sell their old and unwanted video games on eBay. After a few months of play most video games are put on the shelf never to be played again. There are always people looking to buy used video games on eBay.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
July 27, 2015 Flag

I only have a very few items to sell, but would like to sell them on eBay. Do I need to have a web site and a store to do this? I do not want to go that far just sell a few individual items. Can someone help me with this?

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July 28, 20151 found this helpful

No. Anyone can sell on eBay without the bells and whistles. As long as you have an email address and it's good to have a paypal account, you can sell. Keep in mind though that sometimes, Craigslist is easier. You get cash, it's local and if the photo is good, usually sells quicker. Be careful however...if you have smaller things that can be moved quickly you should meet people in a public place. Good luck!

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October 1, 20151 found this helpful

If your items are collectibles I would recommend ebay to have a large amount of viewers/auction bidders. You can also put a Buy it Now option for your desired price. Remember there are possible fees for listing, selling, and shipping. Craigslist has zero fees. It all depends on what you are selling. You don't need a store but I would recommend you get a good Feedback score first by buying something. That way you will be trusted as a seller to potential buyers. Good luck ! :)

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0 found this helpful
November 11, 2005 Flag

I am interested in selling Gymboree Clothing on Ebay. Does anybody know where I can find out free information for buying the clothing wholesale? Everywhere I seem to look, it costs money for an e-book download. Also, can anybody tell me where I can find out the "lines" that Gymboree has sold over the years. Same as above, everywhere I look, it costs money to subscribe. Thanks in advance :-)

Julie C. from Park River, ND

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October 16, 20080 found this helpful

There is no gymboree wholesaler. E bay sellers buy items on clearance at the stores and online ( and use gymbucks) and resell it. It is against Gymboree policy for employess to sell clothes they buy, on Ebay. if you want more advice GOOGLE selling clothes on E bay, or go to ebay and search articles. They are now selling kits on how to sell on Ebay but, you can research good info yourself on the web.

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January 14, 20090 found this helpful

I sell gymbo on ebay and here's how I do it: only shop at your local gymbo store when they are offering that you earn gymbucks. Go to the CLEARANCE rack. Purchase mainly girls clothing in sizes 2T-6, these are the most profitable. List them at 30% of the retail value as start bid and 60% retail value as buy it now. Then when you are eligible to use the gymbucks, shop again, on the clearance rack. Same pricing strategy as above. Hope this helps! :)

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February 12, 20090 found this helpful

There is no such thing as gymbo wholesalers. As previous people mentioned most seller purchase past season clothing w/ coupons or with gymbucks. I sell all different brands of children's clothing on ebay http://stores.s  verland-Boutique

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0 found this helpful
March 27, 2013 Flag

I have about 10 gift cards that I am going to be selling on eBay. I have the value of each card and I will list that in the auction. How do I know that the person who buys it from me wouldn't come back and say that the amount stated in the auction is different on the card. In other words, they could easily say I gave them the wrong amount.


By Cindy

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March 28, 20130 found this helpful

It would be a bit of trouble (but worth it to avoid trouble), but you can go to each of the gift card 'stores or shops' and get a print-out of what is on the card. Make them a copy and mail with the card and keep a copy (you keep original.) Also keep your receipts for mailing, a good many buyers claim "never got it". (I have sold on ebay many years.)

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March 29, 20130 found this helpful

Most of the stores have websites or 800 numbers that you can go to or call to access the amount left on your gift cards. It will take a little time, but it will be well worth it. Good luck!

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March 31, 20130 found this helpful

Why dont you give them as gifts to friends or to senior citizens. I mean lots of senior citizens live on a strict budget and would probably like to get a card to use somewhere. You could also volunteer to take them to that store. I am like you people could say you said there was more on it, personally I would not go to all that trouble for gift cards especially when there are people around you that could use it. Ask around!

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0 found this helpful
October 13, 2009 Flag

I keep hearing that if you want to sell successfully, you need to find your "niche" on what to sell on eBay. For those of you that do sell on eBay, how did you find your niche? I'm trying to sell and I seem to be floundering. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

By Karen from Charleston, SC

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October 13, 20090 found this helpful

Forget Ebay or at least give Craig's list a try and sell local. I've successfully sold a mountain bike, a bunch of Legos sets, and a set of golf clubs. Each time I met the potential buyer at a business parking lot and never got turned down (or even asked to lower my price.)

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Anonymous Flag
October 15, 20090 found this helpful

Unless you're wanting to be a serious seller with money to burn then forget eBay! You have to pay complicated fees to post up front and if the item doesn't sell you're out that money and you'll have to pay to post it again if you really even want to post it again. It could cost you a lot of money to find your niche in the first place and there's no set formula to find a niche. Sorry, just being realistic.

Yes, try Craigslist but be careful and meet during normal business hours in a very public place to sell your items if someone is interested.

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September 28, 20100 found this helpful

I can't really help with finding your niche. You may find it very difficult to find something unique anyway, but it can help if you have a hobby that produces sale-able items. Otherwise, I don't know. I would advise you against electronics if you're just starting out. Have you ever tried to find something on eBay that you expected to be there and wasn't? If so, look into that, see if there's a demand. Then see if you can track down a wholesale outlet that can supply you with it.

(For research into what's generally available, you could look at http://www.makr  1_l2/index.html, sorry about the huge URL. Then if not, you can look at specialist suppliers.)

And for general advice, as other people have said, make sure your returns policy is rock solid and very clearly visible. Don't try to make money on the postage, work out a business model and take it seriously. If you view it as a hobby, it's unlikely to go anywhere.

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August 18, 2009 Flag

As the only child of only children, all the family heirlooms have passed down to me, and I'm buried. I want to list items on eBay, but I'm concerned about knowing the value of an item before I set a starting bid or reserve for any of it.

A great deal of it is porcelain figurines and china, not stoneware, real china. What sources can I refer to to make sure I'm in the ballpark? Most particularly, is there a really big book of porcelain and china marks that will let me look things up easily?

By pollylev

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

You could go to ebay and search for items similar to what you want to sell, and see what other sellers are charging for their items.

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

Oh, there's lots of things you can do to find out what you have and its pricing in today's market value.

You can take it to a reputable antique dealer to have it appraised or browse through antique shops and see if there's anything like your china pieces. You can do your own internet research and check out library books on china. Usually if they don't have it on their shelves, you can request certain books. By doing the internet first, you can get some leads as to what books to look request or buy.

If there's a mark on the bottom of the porcelain or china, do research on such. Learn about marks and what they mean. This will help you find out the circa or period of manufacture. Browse antique websites for china too. Perhaps you'll come across the exact photo as your item is. I've done this and was very successful. Learn about "Occupied China" too. You may have some of that in your collection.

You may also want to ask some elderly people who have been glass collectors or know about time frames on some of your china. Don't sell until you are sure of its worth. Many people have let unknowingly expensive items slip out of their hands for little to nothing.

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August 27, 20090 found this helpful

Hi - you can go to eBay help center or site map and go to the discussion boards. They will let you post pictures in different categories and experts will tell you about it. You can get a lot of info.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

0 found this helpful
October 13, 2009 Flag

Are there any eBay sellers on here? I am trying to begin selling on eBay, but I am wondering about setting the price for shipping. How do you figure the shipping cost?

By onetigger67 from OK


Selling on Ebay

I don't sell on eBay, but had to mail some stuff to Alaska for my son. The place I took it to was a 'pack your stuff for you' place, and they did that for eBay sellers as well.

They will weigh your stuff, and tell you how much it costs, before you actually ship it. You could try that, before you post your items. (08/07/2009)

By fatboyslimsmom

Selling on Ebay

I advise all newbie eBay sellers to crawl before they walk. In other words, register and learn how to bid on a few auctions before you jump in feet first and start selling.

Also don't set your own cost for shipping, be honest and don't make profits on shipping. I add the following disclosure on all my auction pages.

I don't make money on shipping, only on my sales. When you set up your auction and add the weigh of the item + all packing materials, eBay will set the cost of shipping for you automatically. (08/08/2009)


Selling on Ebay

Craigslist is a good alternative to Ebay. However, be VERY careful! I have had someone withdraw money using my debit card information from craigslist. Had to do the whole police report and deal with my bank, cancel my debit card, and finally got my money back. The local police told me to only deal with local people and only accept cash or pay in cash only. I still look on craigslist but haven't really tried to sell on there since that whole ordeal. Wouldn't it be nice if people were just honest?! (08/08/2009)

By tambri

Selling on Ebay

I buy on ebay occasionally, and recently I bought something then took it straight back to the post office and mailed to a family member. I found out that I had been charged double the cost of the shipping. That has made me look a little closer at the shipping cost because it made me feel ripped off when I found this out. I will probably not buy anything else from this seller. (08/09/2009)

By notwrong

Selling on Ebay

The easiest way to figure shipping is either use flat rate boxes or buy a postage scale and weigh the items, then look up the shipping weight etc. on the USPS website to figure the charges. (08/09/2009)

By crunchberry

Selling on Ebay

First get a postage scale from eBay. They are cheap and so very handy for a lot of things. Next go on the internet on and look up the weights and how much each costs. Remember if you are selling books you can use media mail, and it is much cheaper but takes approximately 2 more days to get there. Sometimes a box or envelope that is just a certain price that you can get at the PO is great and sometimes it is not cost effective.

Then sign up for a PayPal account. They will help you print a postage label to tape on the package. Look at some ads in the categories in which you would sell and go for it! It is fun but don't expect to get a million tomorrow. Good luck and good ebaying. (08/11/2009)

By sassier299

Selling on Ebay

I suggest looking into pay pal if using eBay, it protects your identity. (08/11/2009)

By newmom429

Selling on Ebay

Hi, selling on eBay is a lot of work but it is usually rewarding. Several things come to mind:

1.) Read ALL of the help subjects on eBay site. Do not waste your money on a "course" or book as everything is right there. Many sellers write about "how to" do everything on eBay. So read some of those also.

2.) Try to buy a few small items to get the hang of it and start selling with small inexpensive items. Buyers do not always like to buy from someone with no background (feedback).

3.) Go to the eBay Answer Center and read some of their posts and ask questions there also.

4.) New rules coming up with eBay and buyers cannot be required to purchase insurance as the SELLER is always responsible for getting the item to the buyer. PayPal has lots of rules and these HAVE to be followed. So read, read, read.

5.) It does NOT matter what you put in your ads about buying "as is" or "payment must be made in 2 days" as none of this will hold water when the buyers file a complaint with PayPal or eBay. Their rules are the only ones that apply. PayPal has all of their "rules" listed, so read.

6.) EBay does have a way to "block" certain bidders but you cannot block bidders with "less than 10 feedback" as someone stated. You can only block bidders that have things against them. This is complicated and as before - READ before you jump in.

7.) Shipping is very important and can be costly if not done properly. Use a scale and have the item in a box or envelope to get the correct weight. You can charge a modest fee (like .50 to .75 for your supplies AND should) because you will lose money quickly if you do not. Buyers expect to pay something above the actual cost. Just use calculated shipping and add a small fee. You will do well if this rule is followed.

There is too much involved to help you very much, so I wish you luck but the best plan is to read and follow rules. (08/11/2009)

By cybergrannie

Selling on Ebay

I am a pretty active eBayer. For postage, I look in the closed auctions to see what others have charged for a similar item. I was told that some folks start bidding real low, but jack up the postage price because eBay doesn't get a cut of the postage, they only get a portion of the sales (and the insertion fees.) I agree - do some research (lots of helpful info on the eBays site), start small, make a few purchases (there is ALWAYS something good to buy on eBay- trust me- I am over 300 items, and most of those are purchases), get some good feedback, and you will be on your way. You can find such interesting things on eBay- I love it! (08/11/2009)

By Claudia-MD

Selling on Ebay

I am an avid seller/buyer and all the previous advice is very good. I sell on Craigslist all the time, and have never been burned, while I have on eBay. Don't ever take a transaction other than cash, and never EVER let anyone come to your home. I used to sell a lot and met people next door at the KFC or if the item was too big, told them my hubby was making a change run.

Ebay has become too big for me. I don't like the fees, etc. However, you can learn from our mistakes and while it's great to sell across the globe, here are some things I have learned:

1. If your item is heavy, try just advertising within 50-100 miles of your city and offer to have people come and get it. You can do that on the left side, and people will only see it within those parameters. Of course, if you sell jewelry, that is better to sell nation or world wide, as shipping would be minimal.

2. Same thing with breakables. If you sell something that is fragile, you will no doubt come across the amoral people who will say the item is broken so they can get their money back. DO NOT send them a refund until they send you a photo. This way, the item is either not broken and they have to break it if they want their refund, or it really is broken and you give them a refund, or it's a scam and they won't bother you again. When you set up your account, make sure you put your refund policy in the auction, so no one is surprised.

3. You can make insurance optional, or required. Ebay will help you determine what to charge, etc. Here are some helpful points for selling.

If you sell, say fabric, please remember NOT to do this. I bought 6 fabric vest panels once, and the gal just folded them up, stuffed them (literally the envelope was ripped at the seam) without plastic protection. Anything that is vulnerable to dirt, water, or being caught on something sharp should be sealed in Ziplocs or at least a plastic bag then put in a box or waterproof envelope. When you do everything you can to protect the item you sold, your feedback will be very positive. If you get a negative, if they even do that anymore, you have a chance to rebut the comments.

Always spend the .35 for a gallery view. I never click on anything I can't see first. It would be like buying a book with no cover. If your item is small and you have a flat bed scanner, take a nice clean and close shot of it on the scanner. Fuzzy photos don't help us to see what we are buying, and we won't buy it for the most part.

There are two mistakes the newbies make; They either don't describe the item enough, or they make you read a book before they get to the good parts. Here is something I do that might help.

WHAT: Gold tone snail brooch with diamondelle eyes. It's 2.5" long with no flaws or defects.
WHERE: Anyone in (your town) is welcome to come get it.
WHEN: This auction is for 10 days.
WHO: This is a rare Hagen Renaker piece and can be seen in a value list book.
HOW: There is no reserve on this item and I ship within 3 days of final payment. Insurance is required on this piece.

If you end up selling say...15 pieces of jewelry, Ebay lets you sell a similar item, and you can keep this format but just change the photo, item description, etc. This can be like a template.

Read Feedback! Before you buy anything, look at their feedback. If they have 15 and have just started, read their feedback. New people are suppose to make mistakes. Nice people will steer them right and you will learn right along with them. Or, find someone who is knowledgeable and let them help. I have taught eBay to gals who paid my cell phone bill that month and took me to dinner, gift cards, etc. Barter is smarter so ask someone to help you out in the beginning for a nice dinner out.

Getting back to feedback, believe it when you read it. Ebay won't let someone get away with it, but they can't control everything. If someone has say 500 feedback but only 95% positive, read what the problems have been and be mindful. If their shipping is slow and you need it fast, keep looking. If they pay slow, don't sell to them. BUYER BEWARE is also SELLER BEWARE, so do your homework.

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD MONTHLY. I can't be too clear on that. I just sent 4.00 to a person who, unbeknownst to me, had hacked into someone else's account and I am out the money, and the item. Now, you might be thinking it's only 4.00, but you multiply that by all the people who bought in that 5 days, and that person made a killing that the seller will never see.

Don't believe everything you read. I can right click on the eBay logo and send anyone a letter stating I needed personal information. If you send it to me, you will be hacked. Ebay never sends notices to you that they don't call you by your first name, and they don't need information that they already have, so if you get something that makes your eyebrows go up, forward it to ebays fraud dept. They are relentless and will find them.

And yes, start out slow. Dip the toe in before you cannonball! Good luck and happy selling. (08/12/2009)

By Poor But Proud

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August 7, 20090 found this helpful

I am new to eBay and I was wondering if anyone could tell me the best time of day or night to target buyers by age, gender, and sex? I am so new that I haven't even sold anything yet. Thanks.

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February 20, 20090 found this helpful
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