Getting Started on Ebay?

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What are the pros and cons of using eBay? I am wondering if it is worth it to set up a PayPal account and is it confusing? We don't want it connected to our regular checking account since it goes so low at the end of the month. Even a small mistake or debit would result in insufficient funds. What are your opinions and experiences of using eBay?

By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

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February 1, 20100 found this helpful

Okay, EBay can be good and bad. So can Paypal but I think I trust Paypal more than I do EBay. And it definitely is a plus for just about any transactions on the internet. Depending on what you are trying to sell you may want to check out alternatives. Really put some thought into HOW you want to sell.

There are options like Amazon, Craigslist, OlX, iOffer, thefind and many others. USFreeAds and Tri-State Connection (which is local for you).

Like I said, it depends on what you want to sell. But Paypal is highly recommended but caution! it utilizes your bank account as well. I would say, if you are worried about money in the account you should find ANOTHER bank that will give you free checking an open an account specifically for you internet transactions. That way your primary account is totally safe.

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February 2, 20100 found this helpful

It sounds as if you are planning on selling often on ebay. I only buy, and use a pay pal account linked to my checking account; it goes through immediately and I get notices in my email account within minutes.

I agree you don't want to risk bouncing anything; it's bad for business as well as non-thrifty in spirit. It really depends on your self discipline and whether you have an account that allows overdraws.

I decided some years ago, after having to declare bankruptcy that I would never use credit again, and never have an account that demanded overdraft coverage to sign up. I use only debit with no overdraft; it is with a credit union and I am delighted with the service.

I also reconcile my accounting 3-4 times a week, and sometimes daily, depending. If I had a business, I would reconcile daily. Any transaction I sent out, I would count as spent, and NEVER try to float anything.
The banking game is rigged against depositors, and they take out before they put in any deposits, so never count on things going your way.

If you open an account just for your ebay stuff, and tell the bank it is for business, you get charged differently for that kind of account. But one can overdraw from any account. The real issue is diligence, do you have the spirit, energy, and willingness to be diligent, regardless of how tired you are. You could also keep an account ledger of anykind [spiral notebook to real ledger] by the computer, and the minute you complete a transaction, enter it, and compute your balance. I assume ebay takes out their percentage immediately as part of the whole operation, so if you entered you transactions as they occurred, your account should be good.

The daily tally approach has many benefits one would not expect: you have a strong sense of where you are financially; denial doesn't creep in, in fact if you are not tallying daily, you are probably trying to deny/daydream.
None of that will get you where you want to be.I found by keeping daily accounting, I was doing better than I thought, I could count on my judgment, and I was reassured I wasn't being wasteful almost all of the time.
You will also have a better sense of how you are being treated, business wise. You will realize anyone spinning lovely tales with no figures to back it up is best a friend at most, but never a business partner.

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

email me at debniet AT for ebay info. deby

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

I love paypal. I have a bank account for that purpose that is backed with my credit card. I wish I could use pay pal for all my on line purchases.

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

Ebay used to be a good way to make money but not so much anymore. The paypal account is free but if you notice that anymore people only take a credit card. It used to be you could take check or money order but it has all gone to credit because PayPal gets a cut of the final price.

So first of all, you have to pay a site like Auctiva (that used to be free) to put your photos and information on Ebay, then you have the Ebay insertion fee and after the pay a % of the final price. Everyone has their hand out so the only way to make money is if you have a ton of stuff to sell and sell often. It can be a hassle because if you do not show every little spot on something you are selling people will complain.

Also, people cannot understand weight measurements. I once sold some B.E. mineral makeup and put the gm weight on the listing with a photo and they did NOT understand how large or small it was. You have to also put on there if you will or will NOT sell out of the country. I put please do not bid if out of the country and had one person from Italy and one from Japan win auctions which then messed me up and I had to post all over again.

People put one address on their PayPal account and their Ebay account shows something totally different. PayPal will NOT cover a problem if you don't use the address THEY have verified and people will try to get you to use the Ebay address. No way. I got enough problems without being "taken".

Also, if you use a "stock" photo from a website, which most everyone does, someone selling the same item who wants to knock out competition can rat you out to Ebay who will then cancel your auction even though they themselves have used the same photo. Ebay is not what it used to be. It used to be fun.

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

All good advice. I'd say if you have an estate to sell, or a lot of stuff and a lot of time, go for it. Otherwise it probably isn't worth it. You have to monitor constantly to answer questions. Also, be sure to weigh your items with packaging so you can be ready to ship and get the cost right.

I sold on ebay for a while, but now it seems the prices are much lower, more stuff not selling at all.

Be sure to check completed listings, not current auctions, to do your research. You'll see right away if the stuff actually sold and for how much. You have to be signed in (joining is free) in order to be able to see completed listings. You get there through advanced search.

Read a lot of stuff before you start, online blogs, forums, even library books.
Your Title line is the most important, be sure to do your research to make that right, especially on valuable items.
Sunday auctions always did best for me. Good luck.

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with everyone. eBay used to be different, and as a rule, I don't sell on the site anymore.

Craigslist is different, too. It used to be that I could sell something, meet someone at the fast food joint next to my home and always be safe. They got a soda purchase, I got the cash, and they got the item.

However, and this is in no way saying it's their fault, but CL has been hit by spammers, too.

If you put up an item, and keep in mind if it's heavy and too large to ship, you can set it up to be listed only within 25 miles of your city, you will get someone who will be interested and ask you if the item is still there? You get excited for a prospective sale and then...

When you answer them, they have your email address and then within seconds (computer generated for sure), you get something like this: "oh, don't sell your precious (fill in the blank), money is tight all over, visit my website for an exciting offer..." you get the picture.

I have responded with my opinion of their choice of careers and have reported them to CL, but both fall on mail rejection software or the attitude of "we can't do anything about them...simply put them into spam and go on..."

I still prefer CL, for the legitimate people and the sales I have made, over eBay. For one thing, it's free, you can refresh it every 5 days so it's the current day that people look at first, and you can get cash. For another, there is no shipping. For a person who can no longer drive, it's a godsend not to have to take a bus to the post office all the time.
eBay used to be fun, I agree, but they got greedy.

Here are some other options you might consider.

If you have a garage, or know someone who does, host or rent one for a bi-monthly garage sale. In the winter months before Christmas, you might find someone who is selling ornaments or small gifts. In the spring, invite someone who has plant starts. In the summer and fall, just about anything sells. If you advertise well, and you can advertise on CL for these, too, you can make a nice little bundle and then plan for two months for the next one.

The other option is to open a simple website which you can advertise on here, to sell small things that you can ship easily. Good luck and let us know how you do.

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

Another thing to keep in mind is that you're charged by eBay to post each item and there are 'add ons' like a photo, etc. and if the item doesn't sell the first time you have to pay the same amount to post it again. They'll give you a third try for free but then if you need to post a fourth time the charges start all over again.

PayPal is awesome! I applied for their business debit card long ago and was approved and there is no attachment to my checking account or any credit cards. I can choose to place money in that account (small fee) or receive money from anyone else in to that account (small fee) but you are also given a bonus reimbursement for using the card just about every month so the original small fee becomes even smaller.

The best part of this debit card is that 'you can not go over limit'! If you don't have enough money in the debit account for any given purchase the sale will simply not be approved and so you don't have to worry about being overdrawn ;-)

Hope this info is helpful and just about everyone else who has posted so far has given you great information :-)

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

Stay away from Paypal! There is no protection for the seller. We sold a pageant dress for over $200.00 and had proof of shipping before paypal would release the funds. After the buyer knew we had shipped the dress, she did a reverse and paypal refunded her money and now paypal wants their money back from us. No way. So please be careful if you use paypal. I dropped my account with ebay and now use craigslist in our local area.

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

I use both ebay and paypal and have had no problems with either. I mostly sell books. My husband has a paypal account that is tied into our checking account, so I had to get my own checking account - one that I use only for paypal. When I sell my books, I let the money sit in my paypal account and it automatically pays my fees for me. I then also have money ready to use if I want to buy something. I keep a small amount in my checking account that I use only for paypal, but usually less than $20. If I need to, I can always transfer money from our regular account into that small account.

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February 1, 2010

Do you have to pay a fee to join eBay? How do you sell products on it? Do you need a digital camera or can you describe your product?




Getting Started on Ebay

You don't have to pay a fee to join eBay, however, for each item that you list (sell) in an auction, you will be charged a small fee. The total charge will depend on how you list your product. For example, if you want to use "extras" to make your item stand out, such as bold captions, extra photos, etc., then your listing fee will go up. Overall, it is really a very small fee, just a couple bucks for a standard listing. You will still be charged the fee regardless of whether or not someone buys your item.

You don't have to post photos with your description of the product, however, a lot of people who buy on eBay will only really look at item with photos, so I personally think it is well worth posting photos with your item. To list an item for sale, you will basically go through a series of questions and categories to decide on your item. You'll choose a title, write a description about it, choose which category it is part of (clothing, fine art, etc.), and then have the option to post photos, add extras, etc.


Normally each auction is seven days long. You can choose the lowest price that you are willing to sell an item for, or offer a "buy it now" option to buyers so that if they are willing to pay x amount then they can get the item immediately, without leaving it on auction for the duration of the seven days. (12/01/2005)

By Guest

Getting Started on Ebay

I buy quite a bit on eBay. I refuse to invest in an item that does not have a photo or if the photo is poor quality. I find 99% of the people there very enjoyable to deal with. I have dealt with both private sellers and companies that sell through eBay and I have bought from the United States and UK. I would highly advise to get PayPal. Anything you buy is instantly paid for and I am finding more and more, sellers accepting "only" PayPal or an equivalent.


There are drawbacks, though. Feedback. Always check feedback. Even if it is a little low (98% or lower) check out why. Sometimes you can catch a pattern such as charging too much for postage, or doesn't send straight away, or whatever. Sometimes, someone is just vindictive and leaves a negative feedback just to lower a score. So check out why the negatives are there. Also, not being able to hold and inspect the item before investing money is a minus, but more often than not, sellers are honest enough to say in their ad if the item has any nicks, chips, dents, scratches, etc. Get insurance on your item. It costs very little if the seller is honest. I have never paid over 1.50 for insurance in the U.S. and never paid over 2.00 or so for UK. Sellers will say they are not responsible for damage done if insurance is not taken. They mean it.


If you buy worldwide, you can and sometimes will pay higher prices, and be careful buying DVDs overseas. If I am not mistaken, their DVDs will not play here in the US. Make sure that the codes are right and compatible (US and Canada are code 1 and Thailand is code 5, I think.) You may see Disney DVDs for like 3.00 or less, but S and H are like $20, and then they don't play here. Watch out.

I have never sold on eBay, but have been considering doing so. I have two kids outgrowing their clothes, toys, etc, at an alarming rate. But, as a buyer, I cannot stress enough of taking good pictures of what you want to sell. If need be, taking a couple of pictures from different angles or front and back. Be as thorough and honest about any imperfections as you can. I have had a very good time buying online with very few disappointments. Good luck.



By KLS8800

Getting Started on Ebay

I've been selling and buying on eBay for years. As the two previous posts stated, there is no "joining" fee, but there are fees for listing. If your item sells, eBay also takes a small percentage of your profit from the sale, but it's usually pretty small. I agree that you'll want to add photos. Most listings have a picture of the item, and when I'm buying, I like to actually see the item, even if it's a good description. Your first picture is free. You don't have to do a seven day auction you can do as little as one day, or as many as ten days, but I usually set my auctions at three or five days. Be as descriptive as you can, and as said, honest. If the item has a flaw, let buyers know.


I've seen other sellers charging some ridiculous shipping rates lately, and I automatically steer clear of those auctions. Keep shipping costs reasonable; it'll most likely draw more people to your item. eBay can be a lot of fun and addictive. It is really a great way to get rid of some of the things you don't want or need anymore and make a little money at the same time. As the adage goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure". (12/01/2005)

By Lisa Kless

Getting Started on Ebay

When I list items on ebay I only post the free picture. I always add a note that I am happy to email additional photos if needed. This saves money by not paying for a bunch of extra pictures. I agree with keeping your shipping low. The people that have very high shipping amounts and very low auction amounts are taking advantage of ebay. eEbay doesn't take commission from shipping charges. They take their commission only from the selling price. So if you sell your item for $1 and charge $20 to ship it they only get money from the $1. Before you know it we will have to start paying eBay for the total amount of the transaction instead of product cost. I normally have buyers contact me for shipping quotes. I then can charge actual charges without marking them up. You can use to get their charges by putting in the 2 zip codes and the items weight. (12/02/2005)

By Pattie Hartley

Getting Started on Ebay

The best way is to get a PayPal account. That will help you with both buying and selling. Most sellers like it because they can see the money in their account right away and they will ship quickly.

You can attach a credit card or bank account to your PayPal account and use either or both to fund your PayPal.

There are a few vendors that will take credit or debit cards, fewer that will take money orders, even fewer that will take checks, but most will take PayPal.
Hope this helps,
Susan from ThriftyFun (12/02/2005)

By ThriftyFun

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