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5 Selling Tips to Make a Profit on eBay

Posted by MoneyKey on August 12, 2019
eBay selling tips

If your house is filled with clutter and you’re living on a tight budget, you may be able to help both problems by gathering up your unused items and selling them on eBay to make some extra money. But this process might involve a little more work than simply gathering a few items to sell, posting a few pictures, and waiting for the bids to start rolling in. You’ll need to take good pictures, package and ship your items, write good descriptions, and have the write selling tips in hand to make a profit.

Don’t forget that eBay will charge you a fee to use their platform, so you’ll have to have a strategy it you want to maximize your profits. By being smart about the items you list, how you go about listing them, and dealing with potential buyers properly, you can put your best foot forward to make this process as profitable as possible. Whether you’re an eBay veteran or listing items on this platform for the first time, these five selling tips may be able to help give you a leg up on the competition in a very competitive marketplace.

1. Pick your items carefully

Before you start the process of listing your unused things on eBay, ask yourself if this is really the best place to be selling them. There are all sorts of places for you to sell your things, like Craigslist, garage sales, online consignment stores, or Amazon. If you’re trying to decide if eBay is the best place for you to be selling what you have, ask yourself if they’re:

  • Permitted to be sold on eBay. There are all sorts of things that you won’t be able allowed to sell, like living animals, drugs, and weapons. Some are simply too unsafe to sell, while others are banned because they would be illegal under certain local laws. Make sure to review eBay’s selling policies to make sure your items are allowed to be sold.
  • Too difficult to ship. Smaller items like clothing and books are simple to pack up and ship, but larger items like furniture will give you a much harder time. You can use the “local pickup only” option if you’re selling something larger, or you may have an easier time selling it on Craigslist. This will save you the cost of shipping as well as the hassle.
  • Rare. eBay is typically a place where people look for items that are a little harder to find. They aren’t usually looking for things that they can easily buy in a store. If you have collectibles and rare memorabilia, eBay can be a great place to list your things.
  • In high demand. If people really want what you’re selling, you may be able to drive up the price of your items by having multiple bidders.

2. Use the right keywords in your listings

listing out keywords

eBay is an extremely competitive marketplace, so if you’ve decided to sell your things on this platform, you’re going to have to do your best to make your listing standout. One way to do this is use the right keywords. This is particularly important for the title, as you should do your best to include as many descriptive terms as possible without overcrowding it.

You’ll want to:

  • Do the proper research. List out all the terms you think might be relevant, and then search for your item on eBay. If you find some listings that have a lot of activity on them, make note of their title and use it as a starting point for yours.
  • Make a catchy title. Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to make a title. But don’t just stuff all your keywords in at random. You need to make sure that your title is actually digestible for the human eye.
  • Put your keywords in your description. Someone may click on your item because of your great title, but if they’re not seeing what they want in your description, they may click away. Make sure you include all the relevant terms and keywords in your description.

3. Make a professional-looking listing

If your keywords drove people to your listing, you’ll want to hold their attention with a good overall listing. If you can manage to put together a professional-looking listing, your items may seem more appealing to potential buyers.

make your listing look professional

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Write a well-rounded description. We’ve already touched on this, but you’ll need to include everything your buyer wants to know. This can be things like the color, size, brand, condition, and model. You should also talk about all the benefits they’ll get from buying your item.
  • Take good pictures. Make sure you take the best pictures you can. Include at least one image that has the entire item in view, and maybe add in a few pictures of it from different angles. Don’t just throw up an image of a similar item from a catalogue. People will often be able to spot this trick and you could lose the trust of buyers.
  • Don’t write a single block of text. This could make it harder for people to read your description, so split your text up into paragraphs.

4. List items at the right time

Selling items successfully doesn’t just depend on how good of a listing you create, but also when you list them. For example, listing Christmas-related items leading up to this time of year would probably yield better results than listing those same items in June.

Even if the listing of the item doesn’t seem time-sensitive, there are certain periods of time where more people are browsing through eBay. For example, Sunday evening is typically one of the best times to begin and end your listings. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings are also a good time to start. These options work better than a Friday or Saturday night when a lot of people are out of the house. If you don’t want to sit around and wait to list your item at the exact right time, you can pay $0.10 per listing to schedule it in advance.

5. Set the right price

set the right price for your items

If you’re going to have people bidding on your item, you should start the price low. Even if your hope is to sell your item for $80, if you set the starting price at $40 you may lose people’s interest right away. Even if you start the bidding at a low price and it doesn’t manage to get as high as you expected, you probably wouldn’t have been able to sell it for that much anyways.

Picking the appropriate price for a “Buy It Now” will take a little more research on your part. Do a quick search for items that are similar to yours and see what the general price range of listings is. Even if you don’t feel totally sure of the price you’ve set, you can check a box that will allow potentially buyers to make counteroffers. So, if someone isn’t willing to pay the entire $80 that you’ve listed your item at, they’ll have the option to offer less. If you’re happy with that amount, you can accept.

Use these selling tips to help you make a profit on eBay

The process of actually starting to sell things on eBay is simple, and anyone can sell an item here and there as it suits them. But if you’re looking to turn this into a side hustle or have a significant number of things you want to sell, these selling tips may be able to help you maximize your profits.

Whether you have all sorts of items you need to get rid of after organizing and decluttering your home, or you’re just trying to make a little extra money, make sure to go through this process carefully and put in the work to be successful!


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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