As you may have noticed, I love selling things! One of my favourite things to do is go through our belongings and see what we can sell to make some money.
Basically I try to imagine everything that’s hanging in my wardrobe as pound signs £££.
I am most definitely not a hoarder! I love to de-clutter and be organised. I have already mentioned on here about selling on Gumtree and at car boot sales. My next topic is covering selling on eBay. A LOT of my friends and family are a bit nervous about selling on eBay for the first time – they find it daunting and think that it will be really confusing. Hopefully this post will help at least one person sell some of their things that they have collecting dust in their home. eBay is great for things that are of more value such as designer clothes, electronic devices etc.
Before you start, you will probably want to set up a Paypal account if you haven’t got one already. The majority of people will want to pay via Paypal and receive money via Paypal – it’s really simple but there are fees you have to pay. The reason that I say to set up Paypal before you set up an eBay account is because it can take a few days to set up. They like to check your bank details so do this by depositing a small amount into your bank which you then have to type in on Paypal. It’s not complicated don’t worry!
Next, set up an eBay account. Go to http://www.ebay.co.uk if you are in the UK or everything will come up in dollars if you use eBay.com.
At the top left of the screen, you can see it says “Sign in or register’.
Click on register, and fill in your email address etc.
Once you are logged in, go to ‘Sell’ which is at the top left hand corner again.
This will take you to another screen where they just want you to put a rough idea of your listing in so that they can select the correct selling category. So I can show an example I will just pretend that I am selling a dress from Topshop. So I just type in ‘Topshop dress’ where it says to type in a title for your listing. Click the blue box ‘Get started’.
This will then take you to the main page where you will be filling in all of the details to sell the item.
At the very top of the screen you will see that it says ‘Your item will be listed in this category’ – check that it is correct. You can change it if it is not if you look to the far right it says ”Change category or product’. You can see on my example listing above it says that my dress is to be sold under ‘Clothes, Shoes and Accessories – Women’s Clothing – Dresses’ which is correct. There are LOTS of categories of things that you can sell, I recommend checking it out.
Now you can edit your title. This is very important as it will bring buyers to you and then encourage them to click on your item. As an example I would put something like:
Topshop black dress – size 8 – bodycon – RRP £40
Make sure you include the brand, what the item is, the size (if it’s clothes or shoes for example) and I always find the RRP helps it attract buyers. You only have 80 letters to use when doing the title so use them wisely.
Next is where you select the condition of the item. It is very important that you don’t lie – it will be tempting to say it’s new without tags for example but if it’s actually been used then the buyer will most likely be able to tell and this will reflect badly on you (more about this later).
Another really important part of your listing is the photos. You are allowed to upload 12 for free so make sure you upload lots of pictures from different angles, close ups etc. If there are any defects make sure you upload photos of these.
My tip: I find clothes sell really well if you have at least one or both of the following: a photo of the outfit on the website that it’s been bought from and a photo of you wearing it. So in this example, if it’s a recent purchase from Topshop, go onto the Topshop website and use the photo of it. It’s a professional photo so showcases the outfit really well.
Also at least one photo of you wearing the outfit. The buyers can see what it looks like on and this can encourage them to buy it because sometimes it can be difficult to tell what it looks like. I often find myself sending messages to sellers asking if they have a photo of the outfit they are selling on, because I want to see how it fits.
As you can see above, the next part is the description of the item. I’m not sure how many characters you can use as it doesn’t say but I know that you can write a lot! So make sure you include as many details as possible. As mentioned before, make sure you point out any defects in here and direct the people to the photos if this is the case.
Add information about the size, colour, and the condition of the item e.g. if it has only been worn once this will make it more attractive.
Select format and price. This is important. It’s easy to get this wrong and it depends entirely on what your item is and how well you have listed it.
You may want to look at what other similar items have sold for on eBay. The most popular way of listing is the auction. The best thing ever as a seller is when a bunch of buyers get into a bidding war and it sells for a lot more than you thought it would! However this doesn’t happen every time. If you list as an auction and start at 99p, the listing will be free. However if only one person bids on your item, then you will have sold it for only 99p!
So sometimes it is better to sell as a ‘Fixed Price’ even though you will pay additional fees. For example a Fixed Price of £10 means they can only buy it for £10. HOWEVER you can add ‘Add Best Offer’ which means the buyers can contact you with an offer and you can choose to accept or reject this.
As you can see it has a tip that the fixed price listings have a greater chance of selling if you list them for 30 days.
Another really important step is selecting the postage. I always click the tab ‘Select postage myself’. When you click on the service, it will bring up a whole bunch of different options. It’s handy to know how much the postage will roughly be so you don’t end up losing out on money.
You are able to offer local collection only or as well as postage which is good for heavy or bulky items that would cost a lot to post.
Also please note the international postage option. I personally never send internationally as it is a pain to sort out.
My tip: I always use Royal Mail 2nd class recorded or signed for. I choose 2nd class because it is cheaper so it is more appealing for the buyer.
I would always recommend sending it recorded or signed for as that is your proof that the buyer has received the item. Unfortunately I’ve had friends before sell something and the buyer says it never arrived so they have to refund them.
And finally, how you will be paid! This is why setting up Paypal is important.
The item location – put in your postcode.
Dispatch time – this is the time that it will take you from the buyer paying you (make sure you have the money before you send) and the time it takes you to post it. 3 working days is the general norm, I always select this but try to actually post it within 1 day.
Returns – I would recommend selecting Returns Not Accepted. It is not worth the hassle!
And then you are finished! C’est fini! Click ‘List with displayed fees’ at the bottom and you have listed your item.
If you go back to the home page, hover over ‘My eBay’ at the top and select ‘Selling’. This will take you to a page with all of your listed items for sale on. You can see how many people have viewed/watched your item and if you have any bids. eBay will send you an email once you have sold (or not sold) your item. Make sure you wait for the money to reach your Paypal account before sending!
Please note that you will have to pay eBay fees and also Paypal fees. They are only small but make sure that you factor them in. eBay fees are invoiced monthly and will be emailed to you. You are guaranteed protection through eBay and Paypal – for example I bought an outfit the other week and it didn’t arrive. I sent the seller a couple of messages and she didn’t reply (annoying!). I escalated this to eBay and they refunded me that day.
When you have sold and sent off your item, you will get feedback from the buyer. You will also have to give feedback to the buyer as well. This is very important because people may not buy off you in the future if you have bad feedback.
I hope this How To helped anyone who was feeling a bit nervous about selling on eBay. It may still look a bit scary but that’s just because I had to do a lot of screenshots to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I promise it’s really easy and I do it in no time at all now. Some people buy things cheap at car boot sales etc, and sell onto eBay for a profit, so even if you have nothing personally to sell, this could be something to look into doing. I will definitely be attempting to do this myself soon.
If anyone has any questions I am happy to help!
Want to start your own website? Check out my blog post ‘How to Set up a Blog Using WordPress & Bluehost‘ for a step-by-step guide.
You clearly have a skill that I don’t seem to have! I just moved and tried to sell multiple things, to no avail! I’ve always heard about ebay being easy to use, but somehow I blew it (maybe some of it was the urgency of the situation).
Anyway, I’ll have to keep an eye on your blog for more posts on how to maximize the profit from your ebay sales and see what else I can learn!
Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Aw no! What were you trying to sell? It really does depend on what people are buying at that specific moment in time, but the listing is SO important.
If you still have them to sell, I can take a look and see if I can help if you like? 🙂
I’ve sold a few items on eBay that I no longer needed. As I write this comment, I actually have two listings up on eBay. You can definitely make money this way.
I love eBay! I have one thing on there at the moment. Hope your items sell! 🙂
Great tutorial! I use ebay off and on to make some extra cash. I recently bought two pairs of name brand men’s shoes at Goodwill for a total of $8.98 and listed them on ebay. Total profit, after cost, shipping and ebay/paypal fees was $48. So, I went and picked up a few more pair of shoes this week to list – hoping for another healthy profit!
Thanks Amanda – wow that’s amazing well done you! What a fab profit. Fingers crossed for you that the next lot sell for the same 🙂
These are great tips! We had a garage sale about three years ago and whatever was left over my wife sold on eBay. It was shocking how much some of the clothes would go for – I’m talking $15 for a used brand name shirt! eBay can be a great casual side hustle.
Thanks DC! Yes it can be crazy can’t it. My favourite was a skirt I had put on starting at 99p, but no-one bid. Someone messaged me and asked me to re-list it, so I did and a bidding war started and it sold for about £25. Madness seeing as it didn’t even sell at 99p previously! And it was more than what I had bought it for about 4 years before!
That’s awesome! I had clothes that literally were 6, 7, or even 8 years old that sold. I love it!
Also there is a new affiliate program for eBay. I’d consider checking it out. It’s on FlexOffers. It’s on my list to check out but haven’t had time yet. Might work well for this post.
It’s great isn’t it. My husband has given me a couple of his old tops today to sell on there so hopefully they will do well.
Thanks – that’s really kind of you to let me know, I will take a look!
This is a very good tutorial for someone looking to sell on eBay. Although I don’t sell things (I keep things until they are either worn out or they go to my local hospice boutique) in this way, I can appreciate how helpful it would be to some people who are needing to sell items.
Thanks Margaret – you could always do as Amanda above and sell on some cheap items bought for profit!
The way we ‘save’ is by not having holidays abroad. We are retired and live in a beautiful holiday area so our needs for a holiday are far less than for some people. OK, a lot of retireds go on cruises, but that sounds hell on high water (sorry, couldn’t resist that) to me. We just prefer to take a picnic into the countryside or simply have a stroll along our sea front. This costs us nothing, bar shoe leather and perhaps coffee somewhere (or we take a flask.) We are also careful not to waste water – not only because we have to pay for every drop and we live in the most expensive water region in the country, but because the supply on the planet is finite, it’s not wise to waste it. The way we save is (a) being careful what we spend our money on (we don’t buy knick-knackery for the house, never have, although we buy flowers every week which are life-enhancing) and we have always, in all our 51 years of married life, bought the very best we can afford, because as the saying goes, buy cheap, buy twice. Also, I have never been tempted into buying what’s “in fashion”. Regardless of interiors or clothes, fashion quickly dates. Fashion and style are two different things. I like to think I can look stylish, but some of my clothes are now in excess of 12 years old. Still, a super cream woollen Artigiano blazer received some compliments when I wore it recently. It had been a little long so to make it more 2016 I had a seamstress take it up a bit and wowze, with jeans and a Breton top, it’s the business. As I say, buy fewer things but buy good ones. That, I think, is always the way forward.
This confused me then, is this a reply to my post today? 🙂 all great ideas! I meant really specifically today what have you done to save or make money? So each and every day by asking myself that, I’m hoping to give myself a kick up the bum!!
Thank you for the break down! I recently dropped off clothes at a second hand store and they told me that I would get way more money just selling them online. Looks like if I put in a bit more effort, I can get a lot more for my clothes. Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome! Aw did they still take the clothes off you even though they said that?!
This is a fantastic guide! I was so confused as to all the options when I started selling. That ‘select your own postage’ tip is great. I hate when I sell 3 items in one day and realize two are USPS, one is UPS – two trips, or Ebay calculates the weight badly and I spend more than the person was charged!
Yes it’s so important to not sell yourself short on postage fees. Thank you!
Oh this is great! I haven’t sold on ebay ever but I definitely want to! This is such a great side hustle idea and I will definitely be using your tutorial if I ever start selling on ebay!
Thanks – have you ever bought on eBay? It’s fab – but be warned it’s very addictive.
No I haven’t. I don’t mind shopping sites that offer an ability to save on things I need, so I probably will be checking it out soon. I just haven’t yet
That was a really good, step-by-step guide. Nice job. We do use the Australian version of Ebay, as well as Gumtree (bought by Ebay, lol). But the main thing we use to buy and sell are local Facebook groups. At least we have no fees that way, not as many buyers or sellers though.
Thanks Tristan, that’s very kind. Yes Facebook selling groups are great! No postage fees too.
I just started selling some old items on ebay. But because I have never sold anything before paypal won’t release the funds (£260) for 21 days. So I have had to pay postage for 14 items out of my own money (£3.80 per item so £53 total) when I thought it would come out of the money the person buying has paid. Just something to be aware of if you are a new seller (I have had both my ebay and paypal account for years as a buyer)
Even though I uploaded the tracking info, all are registered as received and the buyers have all left me positive feedback paypal still won’t release the funds until the 21 days are up. I get why they do it but I also feel they could release it earlier when the item is registered as received and they have left feedback.
Is this all one person that you’ve sent it to? That sounds like a scam to me. Did you get an email through that said that to you? 🙁