Selling on eBay

Hints and tips

15 messages
16/07/2010 at 15:50

Inspired by the moving house thread, I now feel the need for a declutter, and rather than bin stuff, I thought I'd test the widely held theory that people will buy anything from eBay.

I've never sold anything that way before, so I'd appreciate if anyone has any fabulous tips to make the process an easy one, as I can imagine there are lots of pitfalls.

My first thoughts were:

Pack everything before listing it, so that they can be sent out quickly once they sell.

Ditto re working out postage costs

Take lots of photos, in case anyone wants more info

Look out instruction manuals for anything that has them, as an additional selling point (yes, I do tend to keep them).

I'd especially like some advice on the best way to take payment - is Paypal as good for the seller as for the buyer?

16/07/2010 at 15:55
16/07/2010 at 15:57


I sell collectibles on ebay nowadays.

Tips are

1/decide on the minimum you will accept for an item and take into consideration the fees. Add a tidgy bit to post and packaging for time spent wrapping. DO NOT PACK EVERTHING BEFORE LISTING> SOME DO NOT GO! Pack as soon as there is a bid on.

2/ Try to avoid buying new packaging if you can and ask supermarkets for bubble wrap-it is expensive if you pack lots of stuff.

Do not overdo photos -if one will do, use one and  describe accurately.

Books sell very cheap. Start them at 99p . If they are worth more you will get more.

Paypal is good for sellers. Both me as business seller and my wife who sells stuff she doesn't want have had no problem.

good luck


Edited: 16/07/2010 at 15:58
16/07/2010 at 15:57

Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Send stuff by recorded delivery so you can see that it gets delivered.  I normally use second class postage as most people don't care about it arriving 1 or 2 days earlier.

Time auctions to end when people are likely to be at computers at home (evenings, particularly weekend evenings).

Paypal is a great way to take payments as it's really easy.  The only issue is the charges but you can always factor those into the costs.  If I'm ebaying stuff I tend to leave the money in my Paypal account then I use it up if I pay for stuff via Paypal.

16/07/2010 at 15:59

on cheap items you can use a proof of postage certificate. Anything over a fiver I send recorded.

If you want to sell an old scrabble set-just sell the tiles . You can get £7-10 for just them (or sell em me for a quid)

Edited: 16/07/2010 at 16:03
16/07/2010 at 16:04

Fab, thanks guys!

Is it sad that I'm quite excited?

16/07/2010 at 16:39

Only sell to UK buyers with history.  Don't trust emails you get purporting to be from eBay or PayPal saying you've been paid.  Always check the account, but not by clicking through the emails.  It's pretty easy to spot fake emails though - they are too formal.

Check other auctions for what you are selling.  Someone else is bound to be selling one so you'll get an idea of what to charge and how to describe it.  Copy and paste if the description is good.

16/07/2010 at 16:40
Oh, I never leave money in my PayPal account.  The buyer could withdraw the payment within a couple of days and you could be left out of pocket.
17/07/2010 at 15:57
Just don't go bidding on your own stuff from another account to oomph up the bidding - someone got a court order against them a while back because of it!
Edited: 17/07/2010 at 15:57
19/07/2010 at 08:10


Packing Advice

Carrier bags and newspaper make excellent substitues for bubble wrap

Always write a return address on the package, along with the buyer's address

If not sending recorded, take a photo of the senders address on the packet and ask for a 'proof of postage' at the post office

Don't accept the excuse 'must have got lost in the post' especially for UK packages, despite what everyone says, the Royal Mail are blooody good.

Selling Adivce

Be honest. That's the one way to stop anything coming back your way, list scratches, dent, imperfections, discolourations - it may reduce the end selling price by a few percent, but you won't have to pay for and accept returns due to mis-listing the item

If you home is pet and smoke free, let people know

If an item is heavy, offer to let people pick-up, or if you want to make a little turn, offer to deliver for say £1 a mile (one-way) and you can sell off furniture

As said before, listing the the evening or on lunch hour - so more people are watching when it ends

Don't take the piss on either the starting price or the postage - it's very noticeable

Pack the tem with the protective wrapping, but don't tape it up, this will give you the weight of the package, the go to Roayl, and use the price finder for postage - add about 20-40p for paypal fees and the cost of packaging and you've got your postage price

19/07/2010 at 08:53

Do your reasearch. How much have similar items gone for?

Start them at the right time - and by that I mean get them to end on an evening - I find that ending around 9pm is handy - gives peeps the chance to get home, have a couple of glasses of wine before logging on.

Be honest in description, good photos are handy - more than one usually gives the impression that you are a serious seller.

Personally I don't wrap anything until it is sold.

19/07/2010 at 09:15
I've a pile of things that I've been planning to Ebay for ages.  Main drawback for me is the faff of getting to the post office to send the stuff but I must get round to giving it a go.
20/07/2010 at 07:09

If not sending recorded, take a photo of the senders address on the packet and ask for a 'proof of postage' at the post office

 get a "Proof of p[ostage Certificate if not doing recorded

I use this

all good advice here

20/07/2010 at 08:53
To echo the comments about auction end times, I find Sunday evening to be the best as the item will have been near the top of any search for the whole weekend.
23/07/2010 at 12:51
if it's clothes take a pic of it being worn, you get far more interest - especially womens undies! they look terrible on me mind!

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