Top tips for selling on eBay

I love selling on eBay. It can be a great way to recycle some of your old, unwanted goods for cash and have a good old de-clutter at the same time! I usually have a clear out of both mine and the kids closets twice a year – once during the autumn and once during the spring – and while I was in the process of doing it this time around, I thought I would take a little time out and share some of my top tips for selling on eBay with you guys today.

Top Tips for Selling on eBay

01. Find out what you want to sell
Have a rummage through you wardrobe/room and take out everything you no longer like, will never wear, or doesn’t fit. Separate them into two piles – one for things that are in good condition and can be sold on, and one for things that aren’t. These you can either chuck into your recycle bin ready for the next time it’s emptied, or taken to a local charity shop, who will always be happy to take unwanted goods off your hands for free.

02. Photograph your items
Once you have a pile of items you want to sell on, it’s time to photograph them. I always find that I get more bids on items that have lots of good quality pictures on the listing. A good rule of thumb is to take one picture of the front and back of each item, and then close ups of any details such as labels, zips, fancy stitching etc. On most listings eBay will allow you to add up to 12 pictures free of charge, so make the most of it!

03. Create your listings
Make sure you include as much information about your item as possible in the title of your listing. With clothing items for example, always include: the brand name, dress size, colour, a basic description and condition. So, you could go for something like ‘Quiz Cream Floral Print Playsuit with Zip Back. Size 10. BNWT (brand new with tags) £24.99’. The more info you manage to cram into your title, the better, as it will catch the attention of potential buyers. The amount of times I’ve seen listings come up with just one word, such as ‘Playsuit’ is unreal. If I can’t see the size written clearly in the title when I’m shopping eBay for some new clothing items then I don’t waste my time looking at the listing trying to find the information I need. And if I’m like that, I’m sure there are millions of other people who are just the same!

Once you have your attractive title sorted, it’s time to think about the main description. Here is where I always try to go into as much detail as I can about the item I’m selling. Don’t be scared to parrot what you’ve already said in your title, but make sure you add some extra information such as what material the item is made from, or how many buttons it has up the back. It pays to be honest when listing items for sale as well. If something looks a little bobbly then mention it. Buyers can easily claim their money back if they believe they’ve been sold an item that wasn’t as described, and this will leave you out of pocket. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.

04. Think carefully about your starting prices
Don’t be over ambitious with your starting prices when selling on eBay. The higher the starting price, the less likely people are to look at your listing. I almost always start my items at 99p, as this is completely free to list, and eBay charge a fee for any listings that start above this. If you don’t want to start so low, make sure you look out for free listing weekends, where you can list a set number of items at any starting price for free. Either way, I still suggest keeping starting prices as low as possible, as people always look at the cheapest items first.

05. And think even more carefully about your postage costs
These days postage costs are a lot higher than they were even just a couple of years ago. I would highly recommend looking at Royal Mail’s website to get an idea of how much your parcels are going to cost before deciding on a price. I usually send my items second class because it’s cheaper for the buyer. And don’t forget to take into consideration things such as how much the postage materials are going to cost you too. If I’m selling clothing items I like to use the grey plastic postage bags, which come in at around 10 for £1.00 on eBay. I then add 10p on to my postage costs to cover the price of this.

06. Sell your items at the right time
When selling on eBay, I always like to list my items for sale in the evening, as this means my listing will end in the evening. And it goes without saying that that’s the time when most people will be online and shopping for bargains. After all, the working day (for most) is over, and the kids will be in bed. For some reason I didn’t click on to this when I first started selling, and I would list in the mornings. Needless to say, I didn’t get as much money as I probably could have done on those first few items!

The same goes for listing clothes and shoes that are designed for specific seasons. For example, now would be a great time to sell those flip-flops you bought last year and will never wear, or that bikini that is a little too small, but it wouldn’t be a good time to list a thick winter jumper or coat.

07. Try not to panic if your item doesn’t get any bids right away
Many of the items I list don’t get their first bid until the day they’re due to end! Many bidders like to wait until the last minute to bid. I like it when 2 or 3 people decide to do this on the same item and then end up having a little bidding war! Make sure you check your eBay account regularly while your items are listed as well, as people may send you questions about them. It’s good practice to  answer as quickly and as politely as possible, as doing so can lead to an extra bid or two.

Don’t worry if your item doesn’t sell first time either. It doesn’t mean that nobody wants what you have for sale, just that the right person hasn’t seen it yet! If an item doesn’t sell straight away, I usually tweak the title and description a little, and check that my photographs look OK, then I relist it. Sometimes I can list an item up to 6 or 7 times before it sells.

08. Communicate with the buyer
When an item sells I like to let the buyer know what is happening, so I always send them a thank you message once they’ve paid, and then update them again once I’ve sent the item out. You don’t have to do this of course, but I just think it’s polite and adds value to the sale.

09. Post the item out as soon as possible
I think this one goes without saying. I always try to post my items to the buyers within 3 working days of receiving their payment.

10. Obtain proof of postage for your Post Office
And last but not least, when you send your items at the Post Office always ask for proof of postage for each item. And keep them safe until you have received positive feedback from the buyer. This is to protect you, as if the buyer claims they haven’t received the item, you have no choice but to refund them. If you keep the proof of postage however, you can then claim the cost of the item and the postage costs you lost from Royal Mail.

Wow … that was one long post! I hope it helped if you were thinking about having a clear out and selling on eBay. If you can think of any other questions you’d like answering though, please leave me a message in the comments below.

Have you been buying or selling on eBay lately?
I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading.

With love from Lou SignatureTwitter | Facebook | Bloglovin | Instagram | YouTube

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  1. 15/04/2015 / 11:03 am

    Lovely post! I need to sell some bits on eBay so will definitely be paying attention to these tips!

    Emma x

    • Louise x
      15/04/2015 / 10:13 pm

      Aww, thank you Emma 🙂 And good luck if you do decide to try selling some bits X

  2. 15/04/2015 / 11:15 am

    This post is filled with lots of great tips, but I no longer sell anything on ebay. I sold lots of things when my little one was young, but as the post and packaging went up, ebay seemed to penalize people who didn’t offer it for free. I think it is more about big businesses and companies now, and some of the stuff coming from China is no match for the images either.

    fashion-mommy recently posted…Men’s style focus – cardigansMy Profile

    • Louise x
      15/04/2015 / 10:15 pm

      I do know what you mean with this actually. I felt the same for a good 18 months or so. My personal sales have picked up a lot recently though. I think people are realising that we can’t realistically offer free postage on goods that may not make very much in an auction 🙂 X

    • Louise x
      15/04/2015 / 10:16 pm

      That’s fab Hannah! I always wanted to be a Powerseller back in the day. I never got that good though 😉 X

  3. Nafisah Atcha
    15/04/2015 / 9:12 pm

    I am going to share this with my cousin who has been selling on EBAY . Thank you for sharing your tips! xxxx

    • Louise x
      15/04/2015 / 10:16 pm

      Thank you Naffy 🙂 X

  4. 15/04/2015 / 9:23 pm

    I’ve never sold on ebay and I can admit its from being intimidated, but great tips!

    • Louise x
      15/04/2015 / 10:17 pm

      Aww bless you Jena! It can be a little scary when you first start. And listings seem to take forever. But once you get into the swing on things it’s a fab platform to sell your unwanted goods on X

  5. 15/04/2015 / 11:08 pm

    Great tips! I don’t use eBay to sell anymore had many problems over the years, still enjoy buying from there though.


    • Louise x
      16/04/2015 / 10:45 am

      That sucks that you’ve had a lot of problems with selling on there Sophie 🙁 X

  6. 16/04/2015 / 4:10 am

    Great tips! I have a huge pile of items that are unworn, or gently used, that I want to sell and these tips will come in handy!

    • Louise x
      16/04/2015 / 10:46 am

      Thanks Julie. Good luck if you decide to have a go at selling on eBay!X

    • Louise x
      16/04/2015 / 10:47 am

      I love it for having a good old clear out Laura!!X

  7. Michelle
    17/04/2015 / 6:34 pm

    Great post lovely. I’m a keen ebayer and agree with all your points 🙂 xxx Thou Shalt Not Covet

    • Louise x
      17/04/2015 / 7:11 pm

      Aww, thank you so much Michelle 😀 X

  8. 08/09/2015 / 10:11 am

    Great tips here. i actually have quite a few things I am getting ready to put on eBay at the moment so will be using some of these tips. x
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  9. 08/09/2015 / 12:11 pm

    This is a fantastic post. You have covered everything. So many things I hadn’t thought of when I sold things on ebay in the past, like packaging costs etc . Brilliant guide for everyone, well done 🙂

  10. 08/09/2015 / 4:18 pm

    Really great tips here! Having appealing photos is so important, I think people are drawn to the product when scrolling along. Top tips about starting the bid at 99c & checking postage ahead of time.
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Who’s Hungry? Book ReviewMy Profile

  11. 08/09/2015 / 4:26 pm

    I like selling on Ebay as it’s so easy. I always find the product on their own brand website and take some of the wording from there for describing the item. I usually start the items off at lower prices too to attract more bidders and like you said, end my auctions at the evening time once more people are online x
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  12. 08/09/2015 / 8:32 pm

    I used to sell (and buy) all the time on ebay, but ever since the seller’s ability to leave negative or neutral feedback has been removed, I’ve pretty much given up. It’s too expensive (they don’t seem to have as many free listing events now as previously), you end up paying fees for ebay and paypal, the buyers are starting to take the mickey claiming things or not paying, and then the seller has no way of telling others about the bad selling experience. I don’t think it’s fair to sellers anymore.

    I also find that womens clothes don’t sell on the whole, unless they’re sought after brands like Monsoon etc. Mens gear goes better, although can be heavier to post.
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  13. 08/09/2015 / 9:56 pm

    Thanks for this – I’ve only tried to sell once before on ebay and had a bad expereince – got charged for listing the item and it didnt even get one bid. Can you start it at 99p but have a reserve on it? I’m not sure. But would be interested as I do sell other items through different Irish online channels. Thanks for posting.
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