Tuesday, 15 April 2014

EBAY: How To Price and List to Sell on Ebay

I thought I'd share some of my ebay wisdom, I've occasionally done things like this on the blog in the past, but it's high time for a bit of an in depth look on how to word and list your items so that they actually sell. To give you some background I run an ebay store and generally spend hours on the site daily listing, researching to relisting items, I've come across ways and means to get the most from your listings and hopefully they'll help you regardless of if you're an active ebay seller or you just list when ebay throws some free listing safter you've had a clear out.

So many times people share or I see listings that just lack the key information buyers are actively searching for they basically tell you nothing and it's any wonder the item sells. There are millions upon millions of listings upon ebay at any one time, you need to know how to make yours stand out through great photographs, full descriptions or free shipping.

So let's start at the beginning with the listings title. 

Full, concise key word heavy descriptions are your way to get your items into the search results. You need to cram everything in - colour, size, brand, date (if applicable), fabric, company. Take for example your selling an Old Navy tee - simply saying "Old Navy tee" might get you some views, but "Old Navy Tee Green Striped Medium 36" Bust Cotton" probably will get you more.

Next up are photographs, you can never have to many. Photograph the front and back of everything, tags and all flaws or issues - all of which need to be noted in your selling pitch - the description. You're photographs should be taken in a well lit place, keeping the item as true to the real colour as possible, this isn't the place for showing off your photograph editing and effect skills.

So you have your photographs and you're ready to get to the meaty part of the listing itself.

Selling on Ebay

Ebays made a push the last couple of months to make sure sellers are filling out the category listings. While they can be a pain to fill out and ebay often forgets them when you're relisting, they are basically the mini searches buyers can click (say colour, used/new) to narrow down their searching for a specific item. Sometimes there will be categories you just can't fill out because you don't have the information, just do all that you can or type in unknown.

Now the description - you'll find some sellers cram this with every piece of information, some barely say anything. What I do is repeat and elaborate what's in the title, but what else should you include? Well think about;
  • Measurements - not just the clothes size, actually measure and mention the length, waist- actual figures are better then just saying "medium" as as all know how much store size differs
  • Colour - now colours don't always sure up true in photographs so describe the colour as best you can - not need to be all fancy just pale, dark, medium
  • Issues - noting any issue is super important, it pays to be honest - mention tears, scuffs, stains etc
  • Extra details - is it still sealed? New in it's original box? New with tags? Heavily used? With or without instructions?
Selling on Ebay

While I know it's super tempting to start everything at 99p/c or lower, you really might be underpricing your items, especially when you factor in both ebay and paypal fees alongside the cost of buying your shipping materials - you might end up loosing money. And do you really want that dress going for 99c/p?! Make sure to use the search facilities yourself that ebay provides to check the price of what an item, or similar items have sold for in the past, or if they sell at all. Start the bids at a price you would be truly comfortable at parting with the item.

If you're in it for the long haul, becoming a top rated seller is another way to grab a buyers attention by getting your listings higher in the "best match" offerings, but that takes time and is also dependent upon your return policy (you have to expect returns), feedback scores and your handling time. Free shipping can attract some buyers however you need to factor in the costs in the selling price, but in honesty, if you have high price items you might be better off considering selling via the buy it now option. That's probably too much of a gloss over with regards to stores and buy it now options but if you're interested I can whip out a post about those alone just let me know!

Do you sell on ebay? What are your tips and experiences? Feel free to ask me any questions below or through twitter!


  1. I sell from the U.K and use Recorded Delivery where a parcel has to be signed for. I do this for my own peace of mind having been scammed more than once in the past! I charge the buyer the postage and I pay for the extra to send it recorded and make that clear in the listing.

    1. It's always good to be able to track a package. In the US we have delivery tracking, which is free when you purchase shipping through ebay although I haven't myself ever used the recorded delivery. Luckily never had too many issues with parcels going MIA - only a couple a year luckily *touch wood*.

  2. I often hear about people using ebay to find great deals, but I rarely think to even look at it-- I think it's because I'm overwhelmed, so this post definitely helps!

  3. Touch wood, I haven't had anything lost in the post yet. I am terrible for forgetting to leave feedback straight away and I've had a couple of extremely nasty messages asking why and how I was there to ruin their score. I somehow don't think little old me could do that. Great tips though, it's always handy to have as there are always people asking how to use ebay x

    1. I actually have more issues with buyers using the wrong mailing address than parcels going missing sometimes.

      But feedback, that's a huge topic for discussion isn't it. There's even debates on ebay forums and such about who should leave it first - the seller or the buyer. I alter my position on this every couple of months. Admittedly I suck at leaving my seller role feedback (I'm like 200 sales behind and can never keep up sigh) because with my luck I leave it and then something happens and I have no come back - especially when people blame me for the speed of the Post Office. It's actually an unfair system with only buyers being able to leave negative feedback as it is now, I think about this too often lol.