How To: Sell Your Products on eBay
June 23rd, 2008 · 2 Comments
by Robyn Volker, Ladies Who Launch member, New York City
There isn’t any reason to be intimidated by eBay—it just takes a bit of planning to be a successful seller. You will need some basic tools: a digital camera that takes good, clear photos, a seller account on eBay, a listing tool to make managing your listings easier, and a PayPal account or merchant credit card account. Just follow these steps and you’ll be on your way … Step 1: Register and set up an account on eBay. It’s free, fast, and easy. If you will only be selling a few things from around the house, one account will be just fine. If you’re thinking of selling for others, selling item(s) that you will have regular access to, or of selling regularly, you should consider having two accounts—one for buying and one for selling. This way, if a transaction goes bad on your buying account, it will not affect your selling status. Two helpful articles from eBay: “Creating a Seller’s Account” and “Knowing the Rules for Sellers.” Step 2: If you’re setting up a new account for selling or only have minimal feedback on your existing account, start buying some inexpensive items (like CDs or eBooks, or other items you need and will use) to build up feedback about you on the site. Buyers have more confidence in a seller who’s a “regular” on eBay and who has more than 10 feedback ratings. Step 3: If you don’t have a PayPal or merchant credit card account, you will need to set one up prior to selling. PayPal lets buyers and sellers exchange money via e-mail. Buyers make payments online through credit cards or bank accounts, and PayPal relays the funds to sellers’ accounts. Basic usage is free for online buyers, but sellers who use added features (required by eBay) must pay fees based on the amount transferred. Rates may change, but it currently costs 30 cents per transaction plus 2.9 percent of the transaction value.
Step 4: eBay has a simple “Sell Your Item” form within the Web site, but it’s time-consuming to use (you can only do one item at a time) and you can’t take advantage of using multiple photos for free. It’s best to use one of the many free listing and management tools available. A couple that are very popular are Turbo Lister, a desktop interface which is owned by eBay, and Auctiva, a Web-based service. You can research others by Googling “free auction management software.” Step 5: Photo hosting is the next consideration. Products with multiple pictures sell better and for higher prices than those with just one. eBay charges for every photo after the first, so a free or low-cost hosting service is essential! If you don’t choose a listing service that offers free photo hosting, there are photo hosting Web sites that make it easy. I have heard good things about both the free Photo Bucket and inexpensive Ink Frog. You can Google “free photo hosting” for additional resources. Step 6: I can’t emphasize enough that you must have a good digital camera. Not expensive, but one that takes clear photos and is easy to use when you might have to stand at an awkward angle to get the best shot. Easy-to-use photo editing software is also crucial. That’s it! Good luck selling! Robyn Volker is a member of the New York City Incubator and has been selling on eBay for 10 years. She’s been a full-time Power Seller since 2003.
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