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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2017)

I have a few eBay rituals. It wasn't always his way, but carelessness in the past in the past means that I've been smart about every eBay listing I make. If you're not going to do it right, you may as well not bother at all. Otherwise, expect returns or poor profit margins. We're not into that vibe, so follow these for simple steps to ensure that your eBay listings go to plan:

1. Inspect

I tend to sell used products on eBay, rather than new. Second hand items may have a few imperfections that need to be noted in the description. Certain things can be overlooked, but others might render the item unsellable.

It's vital to do through this step before you start listing, so you don't waste time doing the other steps before you've even decided if you're definitely going to sell it on the site.

Make this as thorough as possible, not only because you don't want customers to be the one to find issues, but also if the customer decides to make a fault claim about the condition of the product.

I once made the mistake of selling a shaver I thought was unused; just unboxed. The customer told me the score afterwards. Luckily a quick refund meant I could escape bad feedback, but that should never have happened.

2. Research for Price

This comes so early in the process, because it will determine whether or not the item is even worth selling.

It's always good to have minimal profit or ROI thresholds to work from, as this will make the decision earlier whether you go to the effort of listing or not. I usually with free delivery, so I have to ensure that would be covered, as well as my profit criteria. 

Price research usually involves checking just the sold eBay listings. However, I may sometimes include the original RRP of an item, to show potential customers that they're getting a deal with my listing. 

In the process of hunting down prices, you may also find that your product is a less common variation of a more popular item, so could potentially be worth a little more than the average one.

3. Decide whether to Auction or sell as Buy It Now

Your account type may determine whether you're more or less likely to go down the Buy It Now or auction routes. If you don't have a particular preference, there are benefits and drawbacks to both of them.

Auctions give you the ability to schedule stock turnover. You know that if you have set a 7-day auction on a definite seller, you're going to be posting that product in a week's time. However, auctions are notorious for leading to underpriced sales. 

Buy It Now, on the other hand, means that you have lots of power over the price (and your profit) on the item, but far less control over when it sells. A lot of people say that they get more money by selling this way, but it's not so great if all of your money is tied up in slow moving inventory.

4. Compare prices

eBay isn't the only marketplace out there, and nor is it the only place that your customers shop. They may frequent Amazon, Bonanza, Gumtree, local Facebook groups, Craigslist, Depop and loads of other places.

Sometimes items are better suited to one marketplace than another. Experienced sellers may know that, for example, Facebook is the place to sell all of their clothes rapidly, whereas local pick-up for their electronics are better on Gumtree.

At least see what the prices on other sites are like before you settle for your favourite marketplace. There's also no harm in cross-listing, so long as you remember to remove listings once they've sold on another platform.


Now Get Down to It

Everyone aims to maximise their profit potential and turn their stock over as soon as it hits their eBay store. Make sure you do these things as a bare minimum, and adapt your strategy as you build up your knowledge and experience as a seller. 

Research is by far the most important factor, no matter what form it takes. Whether you aim to price your stock high to get serious ROI or low to just get rid of it quickly, know your what you're working with and list accordingly.


27 / Nottingham, UK. Trying these things since 2007. Writing about these things since 2014. Doing this full-time since 2018.