How to Sell Stuff on eBay: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Elena Hudgens
By Elena Hudgens 31 Min Read

You may be wondering if people still use eBay to buy and sell stuff; heck, yes, they do!

Did you know that eBay has 182 million active users, and 78% of that traffic is from the US? So when I was thinking about all the businesses we’ve started over the years, we never really talked about eBay, so today, I’ll show you how to sell stuff on eBay.

Before you start selling on eBay, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the eBay market and acquire some eBay sales tips because it operates differently from other marketplaces.

Let’s get started!

Research And Developing A Business Model

Using eBay to sell items is an excellent way to declutter your home, generate additional income, and embark on a small business venture.

Select A Niche 

First things first, you need to decide what you want to sell and pick a niche for your business.

If you want to sell a few antiques, collectibles, and vintage, you should know that those items tend to command higher prices on eBay. 

Still, it’s important to set realistic expectations, as items generally sell for less than their original purchase price.

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You’ll rarely see items selling above their retail value. Nonetheless, in the case of high-demand items put up for auction, the final selling price can be unpredictable, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Taking an interest in the items you sell on eBay increases your chances of success. 

For instance, if you have a passion for fashion but opt to sell bike parts, maintaining enthusiasm and dedication for your online business may prove challenging.

You can identify popular products by analyzing trending items to get a head start. Moreover, eBay’s homepage can be valuable for generating product ideas.

eBay Watch Count is a specialized tool designed to display the most-watched and popular products of the day, offering valuable insights to aid your decision-making process.

Suppose you want more detailed data for your shop. In that case, I’d highly recommend using analytic tools as they can help you find everything from price analysis and competition. 

One of the most popular tools I found is ZIK Analytics; this platform provides information on competition levels, the number of products sold, and average prices, helping you make informed choices.

But if you’re just new to the platform and don’t want to invest in analytics tools just yet, you should try Google Trends to gather valuable market insights.

Designated Workspace

Next, you need to establish a dedicated workspace to efficiently manage and organize your inventory and safeguard items from damage or misplacement.

If you have a spare bedroom, you can get organized there or use your garage for additional space.

As your business expands, consider acquiring an additional storage unit unless you’re operating on a dropshipping model where products are directly shipped to customers, bypassing the need for physical storage.

Selecting A Business Model

Here are the business models you can choose to sell stuff on eBay:

  • Sale of Pre-Owned Items – Discovering profitable items to sell on eBay. Opt for selling gently used items that remain in good condition, and if there are any slight damages, it’s advisable to disclose these details in your listing description.
  • Venturing into White-Label Product Sales or Private-Label – Selling private-label or white-label products involves buying items from a manufacturer and rebranding them with your unique branding. While white-label products have the potential for significant profitability, they do necessitate an initial investment.
  • Operating a dropshipping business model – Dropshipping presents a highly effective business model for resellers seeking to minimize inventory and overhead expenses. Thus, streamlining the process. However, it’s important to note that eBay’s policy prohibits dropshipping from alternative marketplaces or retailers.
  • Participating in retail arbitrage activities – Retail arbitrage involves a strategic approach to profit-making, wherein one buys inventory at lower retail prices and resells the acquired products at higher prices for a financial gain.
  • Dealing with wholesale product distribution – If you’re purchasing items in large quantities and building up stock to offer them at discounted rates for resale, the wholesale business model might be ideal for you. You can acquire products directly from a supplier or explore wholesale marketplaces.

How To Sell Stuff On eBay: Signing Up For An eBay Account

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To sell on eBay, you must sign up for an eBay account. Here’s how to do it:

1. Go to the eBay homepage and click the “Register” link. You’ll be asked to provide your name, email address, and password. Choose a strong password that you’ll remember but that others won’t be able to guess easily.

2. Once you’ve created your account, you must choose whether you want a personal or business account. You’ll want to select a personal account if you sell items individually. You’ll want to choose a business account if you’re selling items as a business.

3. If you’ve chosen a business account, you’ll need to provide additional information about your business, including your business name, address, and phone number. You’ll also need to provide your tax ID number.

4. Next, you’ll need to link your eBay account to a bank account. This is how eBay will pay you when you sell items. You can also link a debit card if you prefer.

Finally, you’ll need to choose a user ID. This name will appear on your eBay profile and in your listings. Choose a name that’s easy to remember and reflects your brand or the types of items you’re selling.

Once you’ve finished these steps, you can start selling on eBay!

Product Research

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Hold your horses before you start slapping any ol’ thing up for sale. We’re on a mission to conquer eBay, and that means we’ve gotta be smart about it.

Don’t just pluck a product out of thin air and hope for the best. Oh no, we’re way more strategic than that. To be a real eBay superstar, you’ve gotta dig into some detective work. 

We’re talking Sherlock Holmes level! You’ve gotta snoop around, do some investigating, and figure out which products are the real money makers and what price tag they should rock.

Product Demand

Alrighty, let’s break it down in a way that’ll make your brain do a happy dance! When you’re trying to figure out if a product will be the next big thing on eBay, you’ll want to be a bit of a detective. 

And guess what? eBay hands you the clues!

There’s a little thing called the “sell-through rate.” That’s just a fancy way of saying: “How much of this stuff is actually flying off the virtual shelves?”

To identify items with high consumer demand, pay attention to the sell-through rate, which represents the percentage of sold listings compared to the total number of active listings for a specific product.

A strong sell-through rate indicates robust demand for a product, and eBay provides data on active and sold listings spanning the last 90 days to assess this. 

You can also tap into eBay’s secret weapon: the Product Database tool. 

Imagine having a magic wand that lets you peek at a bazillion Amazon products and then, presto, shows you the ones that could be gold mines on eBay. 

That’s like skipping all the boring bits and diving straight into the good stuff.

Take note of the Monthly Revenue and Sales figures as you assess products. Look for the top-selling items and conduct searches for them on eBay. These products often perform exceptionally well on both platforms.

High Competition

Each seller on eBay builds their own product listings, differentiating themselves from other sellers’ listings with unique combinations of photographs, descriptions, and delivery options. 

As a result, a single item may have thousands of different listings on eBay.

Because of this, you need to increase the visibility of your listing & attract more potential customers. Doing so will ensure your listing is optimized with relevant, competitive keywords and high-quality images.

Having lots of competitors can show that a product is in demand. But if you’re thinking of selling something that’s got a bunch of other sellers in the ring, it better be flying off the shelves to make it worth your while!

Your Profit

When you’re gearing up to invest in products to sell on eBay, making sure you’re getting your money’s worth and turning a nice profit is the name of the game. 

And don’t you forget, eBay’s got its own set of fees that you need to keep in mind while you’re crunching numbers and planning your moves.

So, let me give you the lowdown: There is an “insertion fee” when you list an item for the first time. Think of it like getting your ticket to the eBay show. 

But wait, there’s a catch – if you choose to re-list that item, create a duplicate listing for an auction-style bid, or move it into a different product category, guess what? 

Yep, you’re paying that fee again.

And if you’re running a big eBay store with over 250 items, there’s this flat charge of $0.35 for most of your goodies. 

It’s comparable to the entrance fee for the market extravaganza.

The fun part is about to begin: making a sale! Hold on, though, because those “final value fees” start to knock when the deal closes. 

They represent a portion of the overall sale price, including shipping. Additionally, there is an extra $0.30 for each order to keep you on your toes.

You can estimate that eBay’s fees will take up about 13.25% of your sale by doing some quick math. 

There are some very useful fee estimators out there that will take care of the hard work for you. They help by letting you know the truth about the amount of money that will be coming your way.

Trending Items On eBay In 2023

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Here are the best-selling items to sell stuff on eBay:

  • Men’s Clothing
  • Computers
  • Wireless Charger
  • Supplements
  • Socks
  • Women’s Clothing
  • Action Figures
  • Cables
  • Fragrances
  • Car Phone Holder
  • Necklaces
  • Vitamins
  • Fans
  • Bracelets
  • Smartwatch

Creating Listings

Creating a listing is the first and most crucial step when selling items on eBay. This section will cover the basics of listing, including the price and shipping options and optimizing your listing for maximum visibility.

Listing Basics

To create a listing, log into your eBay account and click the “Sell” button. 

From there, you will be prompted to describe the item you are selling, including the title, brand, model, size, color, and other relevant details. 

Adding clear and detailed item descriptions, including keywords and UPC or ISBNs, can help your listing appear in relevant search results.

Regarding images, eBay allows you to upload up to 12 photos per listing. Be sure to take clear, well-lit photos that accurately represent the item you are selling. 

You can also include a video in your listing to give potential buyers a more detailed look at the item.

Price And Shipping

Think about things like the item’s age, demand, and condition when deciding on a price. 

eBay offers tools to help you find the best price, and you can list the item as a fixed price or an auction. 

Your listing may be more appealing to potential buyers if you provide free shipping or multiple shipping options.

Optimizing Listings

Think about search engine optimization if you want to make your listing more visible. The inclusion of pertinent keywords and items in your listing’s description can help it show up in pertinent search results. 

You can monitor the performance of your listing using eBay’s listing analytics tools and make any necessary adjustments.

The ability to pay close attention to detail and a willingness to optimize your listing for maximum visibility are necessary for creating a successful listing on eBay. 

You can increase your chances of making a successful sale on eBay by adhering to these best practices & tips.

How To Sell Stuff On eBay: Selling Strategies

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When selling on eBay, having a solid strategy can make all the difference. This section will cover key selling strategies to help you maximize your sales and profits.

Selling Formats

The two primary selling formats on eBay are fixed-price and auction. The difference between fixed-price listings and auction listings is that fixed-price listings let you set a price for your item, whereas auction listings let potential buyers place bids. 

Selecting the best format for your item is crucial because each one has advantages and disadvantages.

Fixed-price listings are excellent for items with a specific value because they let you set a fair price and draw interested buyers. 

As buyers can determine an item’s worth through bidding, auction listings can be great for items that are difficult to value.

Promoting Listings

Promoting your listings can help them stand out and attract more buyers. eBay offers several tools for promoting your listings, including promoted listings, listing upgrades, and eBay’s search engine optimization (SEO) tools.

Promoted listings allow you to pay a fee to have your listing appear at the top of search results, while upgrades like bold text and extra photos can help your listing stand out. eBay’s SEO tools can also make it more visible to potential buyers.

Negotiating With Buyers

Negotiating with buyers can be a great way to close a sale and ensure both parties are happy with the transaction.

eBay offers several tools for negotiating with buyers, including the best offer and the ability to negotiate after the sale.

The best offer allows buyers to make an offer on your item, which you can accept or counter. Negotiating after the sale will enable you to resolve any issues with the buyer, such as shipping or payment details.

Completed Listings and Sold Listings

You can gain important knowledge about how to price your items and what kinds are in demand by looking at completed and sold listings. 

Sold listings display the final selling price for each item, whereas completed listings display the number of items sold and their respective prices.

Search Terms and Search Engine Optimization

Using the right search terms and optimizing your listing for eBay’s search engine attracts more buyers. You need to use relevant keywords in your listing title & description and fill out all the relevant fields in your listing form.

Using these selling strategies, you can increase your chances of success on eBay and maximize your sales and profits.

Managing Sales

Managing your eBay sales is essential to running a successful eBay business. 

In this section, we’ll cover three important aspects of managing your sales: Shipping and Delivery, Payment and Payouts, and Handling Customer Service.

Shipping And Delivery

When it comes to shipping and delivery, you have several options. You can purchase shipping labels directly from eBay, offer local pickup for your items, or use a shipping carrier. 

Make sure to factor in the cost of packaging supplies and your budget when deciding your shipping method.

It’s essential to keep track of your shipments and delivery status to ensure that your customers receive their items on time. You can use eBay’s tracking system to monitor your shipments and provide your customers with updates.

Payment And Payouts

eBay offers several payment methods, including PayPal and credit cards. Select a payment method that works perfectly for you & your customers. 

Regarding payouts, eBay typically releases your funds after the transaction is complete. However, familiarize yourself with eBay’s payout policies to avoid any delays.

Handling Customer Service

Excellent customer support builds a good reputation on eBay. Respond to customer inquiries and feedback promptly and professionally. 

You need to keep track of inventory and demand to avoid overselling items. So be aware of scammers and take precautions to protect yourself and your customers.

In summary, managing your eBay sales involves choosing the right shipping and delivery method, selecting a payment method that suits your needs, and providing excellent customer service. 

By following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and successful eBay selling experience.

Fees and Policies

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When selling on eBay, it is essential to understand the fees and policies that come with it. Here are some key things to keep in mind:


eBay charges two main types of fees: insertion fees and final value fees. First up, we’ve got insertion fees. These are the fees that pop up when you’re crafting your listing. 

Think of it as the cost of getting your item onto the eBay stage. Then, we’ve got the final value fees, and these come into play when your item scores a sale. It’s like a little high-five to eBay for helping you make that deal.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. The amount of these fees isn’t set in stone – it’s like a little fee puzzle. 

It depends on a bunch of things: how much your item is priced at, the fancy format and category you choose for your listing and how well you’ve been playing the seller game.

For most casual sellers, it is free to list on eBay. However, if you list more than 250 items monthly, you will start paying a $0.35 insertion fee per listing. 

Some categories also have category exclusions that may affect your fees. Private and business sellers without an eBay store subscription receive 50 free monthly listings.

Final value fees are typically 12.9% – 15% of the total amount of the sale, including shipping costs. 

This fee is capped at $750 for most categories, but some have different caps. Be sure to check eBay’s fee schedule for more information.


As a seller on eBay, it is essential to follow its policies to ensure a positive experience for you and your buyers. Here are some key policies to keep in mind:

  • Listing policies: When creating a listing, follow eBay’s listing policies, which include guidelines for item descriptions, photos, and more.
  • Selling practices policies: eBay has policies to ensure sellers provide a positive experience for buyers. This includes policies around shipping, communication, and handling time.
  • Feedback policies: eBay’s feedback system is essential to buying and selling. Be sure to follow eBay’s policies around feedback, which include guidelines for leaving feedback and responding to feedback left for you.
  • Legal requirements: As a seller, you must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. This includes laws around taxes, customs, and export controls.

By understanding eBay’s fees and policies, you can ensure a successful selling experience on the platform. Review eBay’s policies regularly to stay up-to-date on any changes.

How To Sell Stuff On eBay: Advanced Selling Techniques

Here are the advanced selling techniques for selling stuff on eBay:

Expanding Your Business

Once you have established yourself as an eBay seller, it’s time to start thinking about expanding your business. One way to do this is by increasing your inventory. 

You can do this by sourcing products from other marketplaces like Amazon or Walmart or finding new suppliers. 

Another way to expand your business is by offering more shipping options, such as international or expedited shipping.

Utilizing eBay Tools And Technology

eBay offers a variety of tools and technology to help sellers manage their businesses more efficiently. 

One of these tools is the eBay app, which allows you to manage your listings, track your sales, and communicate with buyers from your mobile device. In addition, you can utilize the eBay mobile app to scan barcodes and list items.

Another tool that can help you grow your business is eBay’s laptop program. This program allows you to purchase a laptop at a discounted price, which can be a great way to save money on your business expenses. 

Additionally, eBay offers a variety of templates and tools to help you create professional-looking listings and optimize your listings for search engines.

Ratings And Inventory

Maintaining high ratings is crucial to your success as an eBay seller. Respond promptly and accurately to customer inquiries, and provide detailed descriptions and high-quality photos of your items. 

You should also keep track of your inventory and restock popular items before they sell out.

Angles And Templates

Finally, it’s essential to consider the angles and templates you use in your listings. Make sure to use high-quality photos that showcase your items from multiple angles, and consider using templates optimized for mobile devices. 

Additionally, you should experiment with different pricing strategies and see what works best for your business.

How To Sell Stuff On eBay: Tips & Advanced Strategies

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Here are the tips and strategies for selling stuff on eBay:

  • Thoroughly research the demand and pricing for your items by reviewing completed listings to see past sales.
  • Utilize clear, high-resolution images that showcase your items from various angles to attract potential buyers.
  • Furnish accurate, detailed descriptions of your products, including size, condition, and special features, while being transparent about any flaws or defects.
  • Consider offering free shipping to enhance the appeal of your listings. If free shipping isn’t feasible, be upfront about shipping costs.
  • Choose between fixed-price listings or auction-style listings based on item demand and characteristics.
  • Optimize your listing titles with relevant keywords to improve search visibility, providing a concise and specific item description.
  • Set competitive prices for the products, & use lower starting prices or auction-style listings to attract more bidders.
  • Leverage social media platforms to promote your eBay listings, expanding your reach to a broader audience.
  • Instill confidence in buyers by offering a clear return policy, potentially leading to increased sales.
  • Analyze your eBay selling data to identify trends and patterns, allowing you to adjust your strategies accordingly and enhance your selling performance.

How To Sell Stuff On eBay: Pros And Cons

Here are the pros and cons of selling stuff on eBay:

+ Has a massive user base

+ Sell a wide variety of items

+ No physical store required

+ No technical knowledge

+ Easy to set up
– Competitive market 

How To Sell Stuff On eBay: Benefits

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Here are the benefits of selling stuff on eBay:

  • Offers a broad selection of products, including new, used, and vintage items
  • Reaches a massive and diverse audience, enabling access to millions of potential buyers worldwide
  • Grants sellers access to promotional tools and features to boost visibility.
  • Allows sellers to conduct their eBay business from the convenience of their home
  • Provides valuable data and analytics on seller performance
  • Enables sellers to manage their business on the move and monitor sales through eBay’s mobile app.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On How To Sell Stuff On eBay

1. Is it worth it to sell an item on eBay?

Yes, it is worth selling an item on eBay. eBay offers individuals & businesses a convenient and accessible platform to initiate and expand their online sales. By tapping into a vast global marketplace with immense potential for profitability, sellers can capitalize on numerous opportunities for growth and success.

2. What is eBay’s fee for selling?

After your item is sold, eBay keeps a sale portion as a final value fee. This fee is approx. 13.25% of the sale price or less, with an additional $0.30 per order.

3. How do I sell my first item on eBay?

You can sell your first item on eBay by following these steps:

  • Commence the listing creation process
  • Inform eBay about the item you are selling
  • Include photos and a video to enhance the listing
  • Craft descriptive titles and select the appropriate category
  • Specify item specifics and variations, if applicable
  • Thoroughly describe the item and indicate its condition
  • Choose the listing format and set a price for the item
  • Finalize shipping details to complete the listing.

Final Thoughts On How To Sell Stuff On eBay

Approaching eBay selling strategically and with the right mindset can lead to a profitable and fulfilling venture.

Before listing items on eBay, conducting thorough research is essential. It is crucial to identify in-demand products, assess their potential profitability, and determine an appropriate pricing strategy.

To entice potential buyers, ensure your product listings are descriptive, well-written, and accompanied by high-quality images. Providing accurate information about the item’s condition, specifications, and other relevant details builds trust.

Pricing is a key factor in attracting buyers. Consider starting with lower prices for new or unproven items to gain traction and encourage positive feedback.

I hope today’s article on how to sell stuff on eBay sounds helpful!

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Elena Hudgens is an entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience. She started her journey by building her own e-commerce website on Shopify and turned her $1000 savings to millions in just 2 years. Soon she started different ventures in which she failed and succeeded. And now, she's on a mission to help other entrepreneurs with her life and business lessons.
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