How to Make Money on eBay

Want to learn how to make money on eBay?

It boils down to three basic steps:

  1. Buy low
  2. Sell high
  3. Repeat

It’s the same formula we use when investing, but there’s no guesswork required.

Anyone can make money on eBay if they’re are willing to work hard finding quality products to sell, and then put in the effort towards creating listings that draw people in and seal the deal.

If you have an eye for deals, whether you’re shopping at the mall or at flea markets, you can make a lot of money selling on eBay. 

Even if you have no experience selling online, this article will provide valuable tips to keep in mind when creating your listings, as well as a brief tutorial to help you get started in no time.

Five Effective Strategies to More Sales


Before we discuss setting up your account, here are the most important tips to keep in mind anytime you create a new listing:

  1. Use lots of clear, attractive pictures
  2. Write an irresistible description and title
  3. Price appropriately through market research
  4. Expand your offerings around your niche
  5. Correctly time your listings

1. Use lots of clear, attractive pictures

Let’s be honest; looks matter. 

Whether we are browsing products online, flipping through a magazine, or looking for love on Match.com, we start by quickly scanning the photos of the available options and only read the title or click the link when something catches our eye.

Similarly, your pictures must be eye catching if you want to make money on eBay.

Add more than one picture too. Consider adding different angles, on different surfaces, and a picture of the product alone with a white background so that the buyer knows exactly what they are going to get.


2. Write an irresistible description and title

After your pictures, your title and description are most important.  

You piqued their interest, now explain to them why this is an offer they can’t refuse.

Be as detailed as possible and include attributes, like the size, weight, color, brand, version, etc. 

Remember, price is what you pay. Value is what you get. Help someone to see the value in your product and they will be more likely to pay the price that you want.

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

- Warren Buffett

Pro Tip: Anyone can list a basic description and physical attributes.

For greater success, try to “sell” it a bit by explaining how this product will solve the customer’s problems or how it will make them feel. This will help them to visualize themselves using it, create an attachment to it, and want to buy it.


3. Price appropriately through market research

Pricing your products can be tricky because it really depends on how important, useful, or valuable an item is to someone else.  

In an episode of Narcos, Pablo Escobar was throwing stacks of $100 bills in the fireplace to light a fire.  While most of us would cringe at the thought of using Benjamins as firewood, keeping his family warm was more important to him than the value of the money.

Since price is subjective, you’re free to choose whatever price you want; however, in order to successfully make money on eBay, try to keep your emotions out of the decision-making process.

Instead do some research online to find the price of similar products, and set your price accordingly.


4. Expand your offerings around your niche

Ever been to one of those discount stores that sells a little bit of everything?  

They’re usually a mess and its hard to find stuff.  

How about a restaurant that sells both burgers and sushi?

I don’t know about you, but I often find that stores that specialize in one thing are usually better quality.

Your customers might have a similar view about your various offerings.  Once you list your first product, consider expanding your selection with similar products.

For example, if your first product is a Nike shirt, consider adding other athletic apparel to your online “store”.  This will help you to present yourself as an authority in your niche and lead to more sales.


5. Correctly time your listings

Should you set the timer for your listings long or short?

A short timer can help to create a sense of urgency if your buyer believes its on sale and someone else could snatch it up if they don’t act fast.

On the other hand, a longer timer gives more people the opportunity to see your product, attract more bids and find the right buyer.

Pro Tip: Go with the longer duration. You put all this work into creating the listing, so give it a chance to reach more eyeballs and fetch the price you want.

Also, consider setting a 10-day timer starting on a Thursday.  People have more free time to browse products online during the weekends, and a 10-day timer starting on Thursday gives your listing two full weekends of activity and a greater chance to make money on eBay.

Create your account


Now that you know how to structure your listings, its time to make it happen!

First, go to the eBay website, and create your account with a unique username. Just know that whatever username you choose, it will be visible to the public whether you buy or sell. 

Once you have created an account, be sure you link it to PayPal.com so you can send and receive funds. 

PayPal is a secure payment tool that eBay uses so both parties of a transaction will feel safe that their money will go to the right individual.

Find something to sell


We all have something sitting around the house that hasn’t been used in a while which we could sell and make money on eBay.

Maybe some lightly worn shoes?

A designer handbag?

Or collectible items that you’ve lost interest in?

Many successful eBay sellers shop yard sales, clearance sales, and thrift shops for products that are underpriced and still offer great value to the right person.

Your ability to consistently make money on eBay will largely depend on the perceived value in the eyes of your customers.  

You could have a top-quality, brand new product that never sells if you have terrible pictures.  At the same time, you could also have a slightly used but still in good condition product with a killer description and juicy photos that sells in a few hours.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

- English proverb

As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  A little work in presentation of your product could help it find the right buyer and sell fast.

Research pricing of your product


Pricing your item appropriately is key to getting it sold.

Just because you’re emotionally attached to that sweater you’re trying to sell, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else will love it just as much.  Remember, it’s all about perceived value.

So, in order to price your product appropriately, start your research by searching google for the product. Take a look at the results and try and find the exact product or something similar.  Calculate the average price if there are a few matching results.

Another great option is performing a search on eBay or Amazon to find the prices that others have listed similar products.

List your first product


Once you have set up your account, it is time to list a product and make money on eBay. 

On the top right of the website, you will see a button that says “Sell”. Follow the simple steps provided by the website and you’ll be on your way to successfully creating a listing and starting to make money on eBay.

Be ready to enter the price for your product, an irresistible description, the shipping option, and mouth-watering pictures. 

Make sure your descriptions are detailed enough to dully explain the type/fit/function of your product.  Some of the key attributes to include are:

  • Brand (“Calvin Klein”)
  • Size (“Men’s Large”, “Women’s 7”)
  • Color (“White”)
  • Model (“iPhone XS”)

The more detailed your product description is, the more confident the buyer will feel, and the more likely you are to making a sale.

Pricing

When eBay launched in the mid-90s, it was originally introduced as an online peer-to-peer auction marketplace. Over time, it evolved to include a “buy it now” feature where a buyer could pay a fixed price and skip the auction process entirely. 

Both options are still available today, and you can choose which style works best to help you make money on eBay.

Auction-style

In auction-style pricing, you list an opening bid and the end date of the auction.  Typically, sellers set their opening prices low to encourage buyers to bid and compete to win your product.  At the end of the auction, the highest bidder wins.

Pro Tip: Consider setting a reserve price when creating your listing.  This allows you to determine the minimum amount you’d be willing to accept for an item.  Now you won’t have to worry about losing your product to someone bidding $1 like they are on The Price is Right.

Fixed price

For fixed price listings, the buyer only has the option to buy that the price you are asking for. Many buyers prefer this method as they know the price up front, can skip haggling, and avoid waiting for the auction to end. 

There is another option that allows the buyer to make an “offer” that may be lower than what you are asking for. It is up to you to decide whether their offer is fair or too low. You can also submit a counter offer asking for something higher.


Shipping

There are a variety of shipping options on the website. You decide whether you would like the buyer to pay for shipping, or to provide free shipping. You can choose to ship quickly, or to ship at a slower speed. 

Just know that the price will differ based on the shipping style you offer. You can have eBay calculate the ship price based on the buyer’s location, or you can choose a “fixed-price” option so no matter where the buyer is located, the shipping price remains the same. 

Pro Tip: More buyers are looking for free shipping nowadays so strongly consider this option.

Fulfill the order


Once someone purchases your item, it is now time to fulfill the order and send it to the address specified by the customer. 

Select a properly-sized box and consider wrapping the item in bubble wrap for protection.

Then place a shipping label showing the both the sender’s and recipient’s addresses. eBay also provides a service where you can print out a label at a discounted price.

Pro Tip: Be sure to ship within the expected time frame. No one likes waiting and wondering where their package is long after the expected due date.

Provide feedback


After the sale transaction is complete, both parties are given an option to provide feedback. 

It is highly encouraged to leave feedback for the other person, because this helps to let others know how the transaction went. Honest feedback is always appreciated whether you are the seller, buyer or a prospective buyer.

Strive to quickly respond to customer questions.  Providing excellent service not only leaves your customers satisfied, but it also increases the likelihood of them leaving you a positive review.  

The more positive feedback that you have received, the better you appear as a member of the eBay community, and the higher your future sales will be.

Share your knowledge on how to make money on eBay


Hopefully this tutorial helps to get your eBay journey off to a great start. 

If you are an experienced seller do you have any tips to share on how to make money on eBay?

We’d love to hear from you!


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