Are you ready to join the 19 million current sellers on eBay? If so, this is the perfect guide for you.
This post is filled with tips and tricks to seamlessly get started turning your household items into cash. We will go over how to find items to sell, how to prepare, list, and ship items, covering every aspect of being a successful eBay seller.
Finding Items To Sell
The first step to getting started on eBay's online marketplace is finding items to sell. If you’re new to this, one of the easiest ways to find items is simply by looking around your home. You’d be surprised at the value of some items in your closet that you never wear anymore!
That dress you wore once but are too fashion forward to be seen in again? eBay. That Christmas gift that your aunt got you that still has tags on it? eBay. Your little ones' clothes that are now outgrown? eBay!
Another great way to find items is by hitting up the thrift store. This is the perfect place to find high quality items for a fraction of the price, allowing you to flip for a profit.
We all have our favorite staple pieces, and we all have occasions where we are looking for the perfect item at the right price - and you never know who out there is looking for exactly what you have. Turn your donation pile into a money pile (hello, extra cash!) by following this guide to selling your used clothes on eBay.
Preparing The Item
Clean the item so that it is free of any stains, smells, dirt or dust (if any rips/holes- repair or just disclose the flaw in your listing!)
Wash the item and consider steaming out any wrinkles so the item looks nice and crisp.
Taking High Quality Pictures
Pictures are what sells an item. I repeat - pictures are what sells an item! So here are some tips:
Set Up The Perfect Shot:
Make sure you take high quality photos in a well lit area against a plain, neutral background.
Consider taking your items outside for some (free!) natural light. This will captures the true color of the item the best! Then, use the Photoroom app to remove the background so your pictures look nice and crisp, popping on the plain white background.
Alternatively, you can utilize a ring light for a rainy, hot, cold, or otherwise bad weather day for indoor pictures.
Styling The Picture Aesthetic:
Lay flat, hang, model, or mannequin?
There is no right or wrong way to style a photo. Play around with these different ways of setting up the shot, and see what you like best.
Once you’ve found what you like, try to stick to that. Having pictures in your eBay store that have the same look will give it a branded feel, just like shopping any other clothing website.
Take A LOT of Pictures:
eBay allows for 12 pictures to accompany the listing, so do your best to try to fill these spots.
Take pictures from all sides/angles, any tags including the label, care tag, style number, measurements, close up shots of fabric/patterns, and imperfections (if any).
eBay also allows you to upload a video to your listing. This is another helpful tool for sellers to show even more detail about the item. This will likely increase your engagement with potential buyers and lead to a quicker sale.
Filling Out The Marketplace Form
eBay helps its sellers out with their listing tool by first having the seller type in a few keywords for their item. This populates suggested categories which helps the seller save time filling out the quite lengthy marketplace form.
Additionally, it populates a few related listings to see if your item is a match to something already on the marketplace- which may save even more time. But if not, you can continue without a match and input your item manually by filling out the following:
Writing a Title
eBay titles allow for 80 characters. Just like the 12 picture slots, use this description character limit to your full advantage. Each word in your title is searchable - so use your words wisely. Include things like:
- Item type: Dress, shirt, jeans
- Brand: Free People, Lulu’s, Torrid
- Type: Neckline, hemline, length
- Silhouette: Bodycon, a-line, midi, v neck
- Style: Grunge, preppy, vintage
- Age: Mature, juniors
- Size and fit: Maternity, tall, plus
- Color: Red, multicolor
- Pattern: Paisley, chevron
- Material: Silk, linen
- Occasion: Wedding guest, casual
Creating a Description For Your Item
Every word in your description is searchable, just like your title. Definitely keep using this exposure to your advantage! Describe the item as if your buyer could not see the item.
Add details that describe the item like where you can wear it, how you will feel when wearing it, how it fits, and a call to action telling the buyer why they NEED this item in their closet.
Pricing Your Item to Sell
eBay has yet another helpful tool for sellers embedded into their marketplace form for the price category. eBay shows the average sold price for listings in the last 90 days with the keywords you used to describe your listings.
While helpful, this is one piece in the puzzle of pricing your item. Make sure to do market research to see what your specific item (style, color, etc) has historically sold for in the past
Shipping Your Item
eBay offers both domestic and international shipping. Domestic shipping is a no brainer, but a lot of times I see resellers can be intimidated by international shipping. Trust me, it's not as scary as you may think.
Like we talked about earlier, eBay is in over 180 countries. Don’t miss a large part of the marketplace by limiting yourself to domestic shipping! International shipping is actually quite easy with eBay's Global Shipping Program.
When an item is sold internationally, the buyer pays all extra fees associated including taxes, customs, and any other fees. Next, eBay will prompt you to purchase a label to ship the item domestically to their U.S. shipping center in Erlanger, Kentucky. From there, eBay handles the rest to get the item to your buyer.
In recent times, it has become the norm to see free shipping (thanks, Amazon!). In fact, 71% of eBay purchases were shipped free in 2019. This is a strategy I encourage resellers to experiment with and see which listings tend to sell quicker - ones with free shipping or ones without.
Once your item sells on eBay, you can use their integration with different shipping services (USPS, UPS, Fedex) to price compare and save money on these costs. Lastly, pack up your item and ship it out to your buyer.
In summary, I hope this post gave you a few insightful tips and tricks to start building your eBay empire!
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