Selling on Ebay

I wrote a guide to buying on ebay, so here is a companion guide to selling. Be it selling unwanted gifts, items after a declutter or selling as part of a business, this guide should prove useful.

You use these tips at your own risk.

Preparation and Research

If time is not of the essence I recommend you follow auctions similar to what you intend to sell. Follow a varied selection and see which sells best. It’s not fool proof but you might pick up some tips for better results and ideas you might not of thought of. Plus that item you thought would sell, might not or your initial starting price could be set higher.


I am not the greatest at taking photos. Okay that is an understatement, but using a tripod to elimate shaking, plenty of light, natural is best and cropping the image to remove unwanted border space helps. This should produce a photo that looks better, sharper and the item fills up the space.


Try and provide as much detail as possible when presented with the default ‘item specifics’ categories to fill in. Unsure of a piece of information, research it, try not to skip a category. This will help cut down on possible questions.

Then for your main description make sure there are no spelling and grammar mistakes. Plus the layout and length of description is suitable. What works for one type of auction, won’t necessary work for another. For items that don’t require much in the way of description and are cheap I tend to increase the font size, use a different colour and bold for a heading, and centre the text. However for expensive complex items I might choose a completely different layout.

Whatever the layout, keep it clean and smart.

Type of Auction

Choosing to sell via ‘buy it now’ and / or choosing the set amount of days isn’t as tough as you would think. Your earlier research on how well similar auctions sold can help you choose which auction is best for you. Where possible I avoid selling via ‘buy it now’ auctions. However if I had numerous amounts of the same item, I would consider. I prefer choosing long auction times and for popular items this attracts ‘watchers’ early and helps maximize selling price.

Starting Price

Again your initial research would of helped here. Setting a starting price can be tricky and not always fool proof, but setting the wrong starting price can mean the difference between not selling at all or not achieving a decent selling price. Research, research and research.

Time of Auction

To save on listing fees, I always sit down between 7pm and 8:30pm to start my auctions. I prefer to make sure my auctions finish on a week night also. This method saves me money and I believe means more people will be available to bid.

Postage and Packaging

Do you sell only within your country or worldwide? How much should you charge and what type of postage is suitable? I always source the packaging before I start an auction and roughly work out what postage will cost me and decide on postage type. That way I can provide a realistic P&P price that Is not there to make money, but to guarantee all parties involved are happy with P&P.

Type of payment

I stick to one payment method these days. Yep Paypal only. I don’t want the hassle of cheques etc.


I always try and monitor my email for new questions regularly. I then quickly and importantly politely respond asap. Plus I choose the option to have the Q&A posted on the auction. This helps other prospective buyers not only see the Q&A, but also shows your communicative and approachable.

After the auction

Selling can be fun. It’s great to watch people out bidding each other and then hopefully the money arrives quickly. However make sure once you have the payment you post when you stated you would and communicate any problems and liaise with the buyer when necessary. Then leave feedback when the time is right. You want the positive feedback as when you next sell, this could make the difference.

Have fun.

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