How to Be a Great eBay Seller

With some experience, you can become a great eBay seller.
With some experience, you can become a great eBay seller. (Image: Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you want to make money on eBay and maybe start your own eBay business, it is indeed possible. You can become a great eBay seller following a few simple tips, from choosing the right words for your item descriptions to knowing what to sell and when. It may take some trial and error, but with practice you will know what people want to buy and you can make those products available.

Establish whether you want to sell items as eBay auctions or with the Buy It Now feature. The latter is great if you have an item that you want to sell at a set price and are not willing to sell for less.

View everything you sell, even if it is only one item, as part of your eBay business. Your goal is to make the maximum profit. To do this, you will need to do a few things, beginning with using the right keywords for your item. Use words that describe your item clearly (short sleeve, black Alice + Olivia dress) and also words that describe a general category (couture, high fashion). This way you will attract buyers looking for a particular brand and others who just want fashionable clothing.

Advertise. If you are selling to a particular audience, like fashion fanatics, post a link to your eBay store or eBay listings on fashion forums or other online venues for fashion fanatics to view.

Keep yourself and your buyers happy. Do your research and find out exactly how much it will cost to ship items. This way, you can break even on shipping costs and guard against overcharging customers or shortchanging yourself.

Establish reasonable reserve prices. Perhaps make the reserve a bit lower than the amount you want to make, because it is likely that bidding will go higher and a high reserve price may turn off potential buyers.

Package items well and ship quickly. Buyers frequently expect fast shipping so ensure you act accordingly so you will earn repeat customers.

Be honest. If you know there is a flaw in an item you are selling, include it in your item description. If you are not honest, you risk getting lots of negative feedback, returned items and unhappy customers.

Do not lie about your items. If your item is a fake designer item, do not claim it is real. Some people may not know the difference but you must act with integrity. Some will indeed know the difference which can get you in big trouble for the misrepresentation.

Leave positive feedback for good buyers. If a buyer pays immediately, leave feedback immediately. Positive feedback will make your eBay buyers happy, and in turn, they will likely leave you positive feedback.

Accept returns if customers have a valid reason for the return. However, be strict with your rules. Make it clear on your auction that customers have a limited time to process their return and the item must be in its original shipped condition.

Accept several forms of payment if you are running a large eBay business. You may attract more customers if you accept different forms of payment. However, accepting PayPal should be enough for most eBay buyers.

Communicate with your customers. If they have questions about an item they are considering, provide timely answers. This will build trust, leading to repeat customers.

Keep your expenses low. You can get free or cheap shipping boxes when you use shippers like the United States Postal Service. Printing your shipping labels from home also saves money as opposed to a conventional shipping location.

Keep a budget. If you find you are losing money, reevaluate your business strategy. Think about how you can increase sales, make more money and keep your business afloat. If you are making money when you sell on eBay, keep up the great work.

Resolve any complaints to the best of your ability. Happy eBay buyers mean more income, more referrals and more free advertising.

Tips & Warnings

  • Think positive: you can earn money on eBay! It may take time and practice, but you'll be an eBay expert soon!

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