How to Sell on eBay?

Are you thinking about turning your closet clutter into cash or starting a side hustle from the comfort of your home? Selling on eBay might be your golden ticket. This comprehensive guide dives into the essentials of listing your items on one of the world's largest and longest-running online marketplaces. 


Whether you're clearing out your garage or aiming to launch a full-fledged online store, we'll guide you through the process step-by-step, from setting up your account to managing your listings effectively. 


A Detailed Process of Becoming a Successful eBay Seller


Follow this step-by-step guide to setting up your eBay store and launching your first listings fast and smoothly.


Step 1: Set up your eBay account.


If you don't already have an eBay account, go to and click "Register" at the top left of the homepage to create one. The website URL must have the correct country-specific top-level domain (TLD)—for example, .us, .au, or .uk. You'll need to provide your name, email address, and password.


Next, set up your seller account. You can do this by clicking "Sell" at the top of any eBay page. For seller fees, you'll be prompted to enter additional details like your address and payment method (PayPal, bank account, or credit card).


Before eBay and PayPal decided to separate, aspiring eBay sellers were required to create a PayPal account to be eligible to sell on eBay. Now, PayPal is just one of several optional payment methods available.


Tip: As you grow your inventory and become capable of listing at least 50 items per month, consider subscribing to a Starter or Basic Store. This will afford you a better storefront to promote your brand and other perks, such as free listings, final value discounts, and a quarterly coupon.


Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the restrictions. 


When you create a new seller account, eBay automatically limits the number of products you can sell. For example, you might be restricted to selling only 10 items or achieving $500 in sales during the first month.


You can request to raise your eBay seller limits each month. Approval depends on your performance, including timely shipping, positive feedback, and a clean record of returns or complaints. Sometimes, eBay automatically lifts the restrictions, especially if it notices consistency in a seller's performance.


Important: Consider investing in tracking software to monitor your sales and ensure that your taxes are calculated correctly and that the profit you see is after taxes and other deductions. 


Step 3: Decide on what to sell.


You can sell almost anything on eBay, even old items in your home that you no longer use. In other words, you don't have to source your items from thrift stores, warehouses, and wholesale retailers immediately. You can start by selling your own stuff that still holds value, like old electronics, accessories, clothing, and furniture.


Managing and shipping inventory can be tricky for beginners, so start with items that are easy to pack and ship. Avoid selling large and fragile items. Not only are they difficult to pack, but they're also costlier to ship. Focus on small, lightweight, hard-to-break, and desirable items.


Eventually, when you're finally able to grow your inventory, you can start adding products from outside sources. At this point, you should already know how to conduct product and market research using advanced tools like Terapeak and Zik. 


You can decide which products to sell based on your preferred selling format. Do you want to auction or sell your items for a fixed price? Auctions can be suitable for items that might incite a bidding war, whereas fixed prices give you control over what you earn.


Tip: Look for desirable items or those with a high sell-through rate (STR). The eBay app lets you check which products have sold in the last 90 days. If many listings exist for the same item but only a few have sold, that item isn't a profitable choice. Look for products with few listings but many sales.


Step 4: List your item.


There are two ways to list products on eBay: auction or "Buy It Now." When you auction an item, you set a meager price, and potential buyers bid on it. The highest bid after a pre-determined period wins the sale.  


When you sell an item as a "Buy It Now," you sell it for a fixed price. You can also list your item as "Buy It Now with Best Offer." This means buyers can negotiate the price. Asking for "Best Offer" is ideal for new eBay stores because it promotes engagement. 


Tip: Both listing methods can help build your account fast, but if you want to build your account while making a profit, it's better to look for desirable items and list them as "Buy It Now" for competitive prices. 


Regardless of your chosen listing method, your listings should have detailed and honest descriptions, crisp images from multiple angles, competitive prices, a shipping method, and a return policy. 


How to Price Your Items


Reopen your eBay app and look for items similar to yours that have recently sold. Check the average selling price and set your price slightly lower to attract buyers and sell your items faster, especially since you're a new seller. 


As your business expands, you can gradually increase your prices until selling at higher rates becomes easy. This becomes possible once your listings start to receive positive feedback and high ratings.


What is "Sell one like this"?


eBay helps sellers list popular products quickly by offering a "Sell one like this" option under the product title. Clicking this takes you to a pre-filled listing form with the product details, which you can then adjust for your price, shipping method, and other specifics.


Step 5: Manage your listings.


Don't just set up your listings and forget about them. Keep an eye on them, especially if they are auctions, and interact with potential buyers by answering their questions and responding to comments.


If you're new to selling, consider paid ads. This is a great way to make your products more visible. You can also use free marketing options like social media and email marketing.


Step 6: Complete each sale.


Once your item sells, send an invoice to the buyer through eBay. Wait until payment is received before shipping the item. eBay will notify you when the buyer has paid. Package your item securely and ship it promptly. 


Use the shipping method you listed and provide the buyer with a tracking number. Once the transaction is complete, leave feedback for the buyer, and encourage them to leave feedback for you.


Tip: Get your shipping supplies, such as polybags, bubble wrap, and shipping paper, ready before you start making sales. This way, you won't have to wait two to three days to ship an order after it's placed.


How to Get Feedback from Buyers


Positive feedback helps build trust with potential buyers. A seller with high feedback scores is generally considered more reliable and trustworthy, which can attract more customers. But how do you ensure your buyers will leave positive feedback on your listings?


  • Use high-quality photos for your listings, including any defects.
  • Write clear, detailed, and honest descriptions, especially about any flaws.
  • Ship items quickly—preferably the same or the next day—to avoid negative feedback.
  • Include a thank you note in each package and politely request positive feedback if appropriate.


Step 7: Manage after-sales activity.


If you accept returns, be prepared to handle them professionally—refund promptly after receiving the returned item. In addition, keep records of your sales, expenses, and any customer communications for your records and future reference.


Kickstart Your eBay Adventure Now!


Selling on eBay can be a rewarding experience if you approach it with diligence and strategy. By setting up a professional eBay account, understanding platform restrictions, and carefully selecting what to sell, you lay a strong foundation for your online business. 


Remember, the quality of your listings, promptness of your shipments, and your interaction with customers all contribute to your success. Embrace these best practices, and you'll be well-equipped to grow your presence on eBay and achieve sustainable sales.


Finally, always look to improve by actively managing your listings and seeking feedback from buyers. This ongoing process of refinement and responding to customer needs will help you build a reputable eBay store. Whether auctioning items or setting fixed prices, your focus on detail and customer service will set you apart in the competitive online marketplace.