This article will guide you through the process of selling your collection on eBay. It’s full of tips that will save you time, money, and heartache! We’ll cover how to sell an item on eBay from start to finish… from looking up what the item is and how much it’s worth… to printing out the shipping labels after it sells. Read this article to become a pro eBay seller!
Step 1: Look it up on Mavin
The first step is to figure out what you have… and how much it’s worth. Sometimes I think I know what I have only to look it up online and discover my item is slightly different… or people list the item using different terms. Doing a few quick searches on Mavin.io will show you how people typically list items. For example, by looking up this 1876 quarter I discovered people list it as 1876-CC but also include the words “Carson City” and “Seated Liberty Quarter”. I want my listing to match the way other people are listing their items, so I’ll include those words when I list my item.
The other thing I want to look at is how much they’ve sold for in the past… and what they’re currently selling for. Remember they’re two different things. People can ask for any price, but I want to know at what price does it actually sell for. Use the “Sold” and “For Sale” links at the top to see the difference.
Step 2: Take Good Pictures
Take good pictures! Take pictures with really good lighting. Use natural lighting if possible. If the item is shiny, use multiple light sources so you don’t get a reflective glare. Take pictures of the item at different angles, front and back, and any imperfections or details that are important to a buyer. Don’t hide anything! Take close up pictures to highlight these imperfections… transparency and honesty are important to your eBay seller rating! Use a high contrast background behind your item… white or black work best.
Make sure to inspect your pictures after you take them. Are they nice and crisp, no blurry details? Is the lighting good? Do they need to be cropped? I recommend not trying to resize the images or compress them at all… you want to use high quality, high resolution photos of your item.
Step 3: Create the eBay Listing
You need an eBay account to buy or sell stuff on eBay, so if you don’t have an eBay account, sign up for one already!
Start by entering the title for your item… we covered how to create a good title in step 1. After you enter a title eBay will show you similar items. Be careful choosing an item that eBay recommends… it’ll copy all the details and use them for your listing… it’s very easy to choose something slightly different than your item resulting in a listing that is inaccurate. Buyers will not be happy and you risk getting a negative rating or a returned item!
Upload the pictures of your item… select the best picture as the main image, this is what will show up in the search results. The more images the better. Remember to include pictures that show any imperfections.
Add details that help buyers find your item. These details allow a buyer to filter their search and find items with certain details. The more details you add the better, but be accurate… messing this up means your item might now show up in a search.
Include more details in the description… for example where you got the item, it’s significance, the history of the item, any details about the sale of the item, etc. Some sellers don’t include any details in the description. This is a big missed opportunity. Buyers will read the description, so use it to educate the buyer or provide further details that will get the buyer to make that purchase decision!
Decide on pricing… do you want to sell the item as an auction (sells quick but maybe for less) or do you want to set a fixed price and wait for the right buyer?
If you decide to sell it in an auction, set a starting bid that is lower than what it’s actually worth. If you set the starting bid too high it may discourage buyers from even looking at your item. Buyers will be attracted to an item with a low starting bid. You want to get a lot people bidding on your item… as the auction is about to close a bidding war could drive up the price.
Choose a shipping option that makes sense for you. If I’m selling a high value item that is small and lightweight, I’ll choose free shipping. For big, bulky, heavy, or fragile items I’ll often enter my own shipping costs that include the cost to properly package the item. You can play around with the eBay shipping calculator to get an idea of how much it’ll cost to ship your item given it’s dimensions and weight.
Step 4: Wait for someone to buy it!
The eBay mobile app makes it easy to get alerts when someone bids on or buys your item. It also will alert you if someone has a question about your item or makes you an offer. I recommend downloading the mobile app so you don’t have to check your email or log into eBay to see what’s going on. Providing a quick response to customers is an important part of providing excellent customer service. Having a good seller rating is important to buyers!
Don’t ship the item until the buyer has paid! You’ll get a notice from Paypal informing you that the buyer has paid and it’s time to ship. I like to double check by logging into my Paypal account and verifying the money has been deposited. I also like to immediately transfer the money from my Paypal account to my checking account… for some reason I don’t like the idea of having money sitting in my Paypal account.
Step 5: Ship it!
First you want to pack the item up. It’s a balancing act between making sure the item is well packed… And not overpacking it where it ends up costing a fortune to ship. Remember, size and weight effect the shipping cost. Breakable items will take more time to properly pack. Bendable items will need reinforcement to prevent bending. There’s nothing more frustrating for the buyer (and seller) to receive a damaged item.
Print the packing slip and stick it in the package. If you’re a serious eBay seller you may also want to include a business card or other promotional material.
After you pack up the item it’s time to measure and weigh it. I use a kitchen scale for small items… and a scale to weigh people (or whatever) for larger items. Plug the measurements into the eBay shipping calculator and it’ll give you a shipping price.
Use eBay to pay for and print the postage label… it’ll save you money on shipping! If you go to the post office you’ll pay more money. The cost of shipping is less when you purchase postage from eBay.
When you purchase postage from eBay it’ll automatically generate a tracking number. The buyer is notified so they can track the package.
Don’t wait to drop it off at the post office. The buyer will be tracking the package, it’ll be frustrating for them to check the status and see it still hasn’t shipped.
Step 6: Get and Give Feedback
Buyers and sellers depend on positive feedback for their reputation. I like to circle back about a week after the item has shipped to give the buyer feedback. If the buyer didn’t give you any feedback you may want to message them and ask for a positive rating. I don’t normally do this but if you’re a serious eBay seller it may be worth your time.
That’s it! If you follow these tips you’ll become faster and faster at selling your stuff on eBay, make more money, and become a trusted seller with a positive reputation. Let me know what you think in the comments section!