Selling on eBay
A Checklist

Selling on eBay is easy for anyone to do. It's a great way for those who don't have a website to sell their products. It's also available to people who might not have a consignment store nearby, or who perhaps can't get a booth at a craft fair.

Basically this sales avenue is open to anyone who has a computer and internet access. Also, eBay is a worldwide medium for people to try to sell their crafts or whatever they want to sell. Amazing!

There are a few things you should do before you try selling on eBay, especially if you're going to start to craft your own products to sell.

Here's a few pointers to get you headed in the right direction...

  • Always do research before you try to sell. You need to find out if there is a market for your products or crafts. If there's nobody selling them already, then chances are people either don't want them or only if you're very lucky, nobody has thought about it yet.
  • Look at what has already sold in the eBay archives. You can find valuable information there about starting prices, descriptions, and final selling prices. This can help you discover the prices you can reasonably expect to receive, and figure out if selling on eBay might be worth your while.
  • Check out the quantities of the items you're thinking of selling on eBay. If there are already a hundred versions of the same hat listed and they don't seem to be selling - don't make any! Try looking for some other item, as unless your version is particularly wonderful, you'll likely be just wasting your listing fee.
  • Look carefully at the descriptions of the best selling items with the highest prices. This will give you a good idea of the keywords that people are using to find these items and also how they are promoted. If you like the way they sound, make notes and form your own version of these sales listings in your own 'voice'.
  • Think of how you would describe your item. How would you make people excited to see, touch, hear, taste, smell your product? What are your items' best features? Make people think they can't live without your product.
  • Choose an appropriate starting price. Some people choose to start at $00.01. Would you be prepared to let your item go for that price? Yes, the listing fee is cheaper, but you may end up paying out more than you make and that's the exact opposite of what you want, right?
  • Describe your item as clearly and fully as possible, but don't be too long-winded! In other words don't write an essay - pick out the best points and elaborate a little. EBAy buyers have no way of experiencing your product before they buy, other than by your photographs and descriptions. It's so different from a regular store, as you just can't pick the things up and have a good look.
  • Show your items using photographs from several angles if appropriate. Photos are a great way for people to see what you're selling on ebay. Everyone sees a written description differently in their mind, so photos are the next best thing to being there. They're also great for showing accurate colors and the fit of a garment.
  • Give your potential buyers the dimensions they need to know. If you're selling clothing - give the size, who it's appropriate for - baby/girl/boy/woman/man/unisex, etc., chest size, leg length, head size for hats, length/width (scarves, etc.), etc., etc., whatever the customer might need to know before they buy.
  • Be up front about your shipping fees. Once you set your shipping fees they cannot be changed. Don't forget to consider any packaging costs (boxes, peanuts, tape) that you might need to pass on you the buyer. Weigh your item, check at the Post Office about mailing your item. Be aware of any regulations about the item you're shipping.
  • Decide on your policies before you develop your listing. People will want to know if you will accept personal checks, money orders or just Paypal or credit cards. Decide on your returns policy - will you accept your product back in the same condition if the buyer doesn't like it once they receive it? Make these decisions before you try to do your selling on eBay.
  • Lastly - be honest. There's no reason to overstate things. That just makes the buyer angry if they don't get what they expect, and it makes you look bad if you didn't give a fair and accurate description. Also - buyers can leave feedback for sellers and vice versa, so you don't want to get a bad reputation or nobody else will want to do business with you.

Check out the different types of auctions available and decide which is right for you, then try selling on eBay.

You could also open an eBay store. For a small monthly fee you can open your own storefront at eBay where you can list all of your items together. This is a great idea if you have lots of items to sell that are similar as you can use a 'turbo-lister' so you don't have to key in each one individually.

Also, if someone particularly likes your products you can send information about your store with the product they purchased, letting them know you have other products which may be of interest to them. Enclose a few business cards too - you never know - if they really like your product they may be willing to recommend you to others. Selling on eBay can be both fun and very rewarding.

Check out this information as an eBay alternative.

You can sell your own crafts or products, buy in small amounts of items to sell at a profit, or make an arrangement with a drop shipper to have them mail out the products you sell.

Worldwide Brands is an excellent place to research what you might want to sell. They have a wonderful program called Market Research Wizard. All you do is type in what you're interested in selling and it comes back with a report saying whether it's a good prospect or not. Amazing!

They also have a Drop Ship Directory and a Light Wholesale Directory. There you can find legitimate companies who are prepared to work with small businesses. All the legwork has been done for you and you can just search for the company which has the products you need and then sign up to do business. What could be easier?

I hope I've given you at least a small insight into selling on eBay. Go on - why not give it a try. It might be just what you've been looking for.

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Find out more about selling in consignment stores.

Have you tried selling at craft fairs?

Read about what to consider when selling your crafts.

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