How To Make Money On Ebay International Success

International Success
How To Make
Money On Ebay
Fast Start
Welcome to the Auction Master System Fast Start Guide. As a new ISI member, your
goal should be to sell at least 3 products on eBay within your first 90 days. This guide
will give you the information you need to do just that, and open your eyes to a world of
As you are likely well aware, eBay is one of the biggest success stories in the Internet
age. Over 100 million registered users are buying and selling on eBay every single day
and that number continues to grow as the popularity of eBay explodes around the globe.
Literally everyone has something they can sell on eBay and there is no easier way to
find a Buyer for your item at a fair price than by listing it for sale on eBay. Whether
you’re looking for a way to turn a few unused items around the house into some extra
spending money or looking for an exciting business, you can work full time from the
comfort of your own home. eBay is the answer.
This “Fast Start” guide has been designed to help you get registered as a Seller and
begin listing your items for sale on eBay. You’ll also learn the simple process of
completing a successful transaction.
We would like to congratulate you on your decision to build a solid foundation and
expand your opportunities to make money selling on eBay. On behalf of ISI and Auction
Master System, we want to wish you great success in your eBay business.
eBay Overview
With over 100 million registered users, eBay continues to amaze everyone with their
astronomical growth.
2003: $23.8 billion in gross merchandise sales
Q4 2003: $894 in goods sold every second
Since 1999, the number of eBay users, Listings, and Gross Merchandise Sales has
continually grown at an accelerated pace.
Perhaps the greatest reason for this growth is the fact that you can sell virtually anything
on eBay, from rare collectibles to the most basic household goods. Just take a look at
the community you are joining when you become part of eBay:
At any given time, 19 million items are available worldwide
2 million new items are added every day - up to 6,000 new items per second!
A digital camera sells every 90 seconds
A musical instrument sells every 30 seconds
To date, the most expensive item sold was a Gulf Stream II business jet -- $4.9M
in August, 2001
eBay is Safe and Secure
eBay was founded on a handful of simple values. In a sense, these are eBay’s “Golden
Rules.” When you join the eBay community, you’re agreeing to abide by these simple
common-sense values:
People are basically good
Everyone has something to contribute
An honest, open environment brings out the best in people
The fact that 99.999% of all eBay transactions occur without a formal fraud complaint is
testament that community values and all the systems and safeguards that eBay has put
in place to protect both Buyers and Sellers, really work. It’s also important to note that
99.95% of all payments made through eBay’s PayPal payment service are successful.
Safety Nets
eBay has put in place numerous safety nets to make eBay a safe place to do business.
Each time a transaction is completed, the Buyer and Seller are asked to leave feedback
about the transaction. Feedback is optional, but all Buyers and Sellers are encouraged
to leave feedback for each completed transaction. Your feedback rating is basically your
reputation at eBay. It’s critical to keep a positive feedback rating if you want to become a
reputable Seller. It’s also wise to check out sellers’ feedback ratings before placing a bid
as a buyer.
eBay Security Center
There is a link at the bottom of every page on eBay that takes you to the Security
Center. This is where you can learn about how the eBay team is working to keep eBay a
safe and secure place to do business.
eBay Policies
All of the eBay policies can be viewed on the Policies page. These policies were
developed by eBay’s policy creation and enforcement team.
Safety Precautions for eBay Members
In addition to the safety nets eBay has put in place, each eBay member must also take
appropriate precautions to limit the chance of fraud and avoid being taken advantage of.
You should NEVER give another person your password. If you ever get an email asking
for your eBay password, even if the email looks as if it is from eBay, DO NOT send it.
eBay will never ask you for your password in an email. The same common-sense rules
you apply to passwords you should also use for other sensitive personal information.
eBay Site Pages
Every eBay page will have “” as part of the URL. You should NEVER click on
a link in an email to get to the eBay site. Always start your session by going to and using the links on the eBay website to navigate through eBay.
You can be part of a fast-growing phenomenon
People are buying and selling almost everything on eBay
eBay and PayPal strive to keep eBay a safe environment, and have a proven
track record.
Getting Started
Becoming a Seller
Before you can buy or sell on eBay, you need to open an account. You can open an
account to be a Buyer only, or to both buy and sell on eBay. Most everyone starts out on
eBay by buying something. Buying is a great way to learn the basics of how eBay works.
Buying at eBay isn’t like going to the local department store and picking up an item and
heading to the checkout stand to pay for it. It’s a little different, but just as fun and almost
as easy. After you’ve had the experience of buying a few items, if you’re like most
people, you’ll want to start selling, as well. Both buying and selling on eBay are easy and
This Fast Start guide will take you through the entire selling process, from A-Z. Although
your goal should be to complete these steps for 3 separate products within 90 days, it
will be possible to complete them in as little as 7 days, from start to finish.
1. Open a Selling Account. You’ll learn how to set up your account at eBay so you
can begin buying and selling. You’ll learn how to complete the Seller registration
process and become ID Verified. You’ll also learn how to accept payments from
customers through PayPal.
2. Find items to sell. The best place to start is “right in your own backyard”.
3. Research. You’ll learn how to do research on eBay to determine the best way to
list your product.
4. Pricing. One price does not fit all situations. You’ll learn how to make pricing
decisions when listing your items.
5. Prepare & List your item. You’ll receive helpful guidance through the 6 steps of
the listing process.
6. Close auctions & collect payment. An auction isn’t successful until you get
paid and know your customer is happy.
Now, set aside some time to sit down at a computer connected to the Internet, and
follow the rest of this guide. Let’s get started!
Open a Selling Account
If you are already registered as a seller on eBay, move on to the next section.
Otherwise, continue below.
First of all, it’s important to know that registering to be a buyer and a seller on eBay is
absolutely free. It’s also extremely safe and secure. To become a seller on eBay, you
need to be able to sit down at a computer connected to the Internet for about 30
minutes. Although there are several steps involved, it will go quickly if you take it one
step at a time and follow these step-by-step instructions.
Steps to become an eBay Member
1. Go to and click on the “register” link at the top of the screen.
2. Enter your personal information in the form provided on the next screen,
including your name, contact information, email address.
3. On the same screen, choose an eBay User ID and password. A User ID is the
unique name you use to identify yourself on eBay. For example, you might use
your favorite collecting area, your business, or occupation.
If you're a teacher and like to collect toys, your User ID might be:
Because spaces are not allowed, use a hyphen (-) or underscore (_) to represent a space
in your User ID.
Business Owners: If you already have an online business, you may consider using your
domain name as your User ID. If you do this, however, DO NOT include “www.” or
“.com” portions of the address. For instance, if your business URL is
“”, choose “pensandpaper” as your User ID.
4. eBay also asks you to select a “Secret question” that they can ask you if you
forget your User ID or password. You select the question and provide an
answer. Make sure you choose a question for which only you and people close
to you know the answer.
5. eBay collects your birth date, as well, to verify that you are over 18.
6. Agree to the Terms & Conditions, and click “Continue” to go to the next step.
If anything was entered incorrectly, for any reason, on this screen, the system will ask
you to correct it, usually outlining the errors in red color. Usually an error here will mean
that you chose a User ID that is already taken, or that your password is not formatted
correctly. Follow the instructions to correct any errors.
7. Check your email. Once you have completed this step successfully, eBay will
send you an email to the email address you submitted. When you receive it,
follow the instructions in the email to complete registration. This tells eBay that
you can access emails from the email address you provided.
Steps to become an eBay Seller
8. After activating your membership from your email, click “Start selling” on the
confirmation screen.
9. Follow the instructions. You’ll be asked to provide information for a credit or
debit card first, then to provide information for a checking account. None of
these accounts will be charged. They are required to keep on file, however, to
verify your identity and to pay for listing and seller fees when you actually sell an
10. To finalize your seller account, assign a credit card number as your payment
method for listing and selling fees.
This completes your seller account registration!
Becoming ID Verified: An optional part of the registration process is to become ID
Verified. This is accomplished by filling out a simple questionnaire with some information
that is used to verify your identity. It only takes a few minutes to do and has several great
Allows you to become a Seller without a credit card
Lifts some restrictions placed on new sellers
Allows you to use different selling formats
Gives Bidders confidence in you
Steps to opening a PayPal account
Although you are now officially registered as an eBay Seller, we recommend you
continue with the following steps to establish a PayPal account for sending and receiving
With PayPal, you have an online account that makes it easy to send and receive money
money from a variety of sources (like your credit card or bank account) – without sharing
your financial information. Although eBay does not require sellers to have a PayPal
account, we strongly recommend you get one. Paypal is not only eBay’s preferred
payment method, but it is also completely safe and secure using high quality encryption
to protect sensitive information.
1. To open a PayPal account, go to Click on “Sign Up” at the top
of the screen.
2. Select the type of PayPal account that’s right for you. There explanations on this
page to help you decide.
3. Select your Country and click “Continue”.
4. Filling out the next screen is very similar to what you did in registering to be an
eBay seller. PayPal may ask for additional security information, however, to
keep your information secure. One of these features is a “security code” and
shows you a picture with letters and numbers that you need to type into a
separate box. This helps PayPal know that you are a real person, typing on a
real keyboard, and that your visit to their site is not a malicious attack.
5. Read the User Agreement, and then click “I Agree” to establish your account.
6. PayPal uses a similar email confirmation process to activate your account.
Check your email and follow the instructions to complete registration.
7. Once you have activated your registration and you are logged in to PayPal, click
“Auction Tools” from the menu at the top.
Go through the steps for the following Auction Tools, by clicking on the following
“Offer PayPal On All Your Listings (Automatic Logo Insertion)”
“Seller Protection”
“Buyer Protection”
“End of Auction Email”
These tools offer added protection and help automate certain steps in listing and ending
Find Items to Sell
In a recent survey of eBay Sellers conducted by the AC Nielsen company for eBay, it
was determined that the number one problem faced by eBay Sellers was finding
profitable products to sell. Here we’ll show you how to:
Decide What Product To Sell
Find The Best-Selling Products On eBay
Source Products On eBay
Source Products Off eBay
Deciding What Product to Sell
Deciding what to sell is a personal decision. If you’re like most Sellers, you probably
don’t care much about what you sell, as long as it’s profitable and you can get as many
as you can sell. However, you will do better if you stick with something that you have
some experience with.
Product knowledge is an edge. Some experts in certain fields, like antiques or coins, are
able to spot items for sale on eBay that are listed at below market prices by
inexperienced Sellers. Their experience and knowledge helps them spot these items to
make a quick purchase before others even find them. Often they are able to turn right
around and relist the same item on eBay and sell it at a profit.
What type of products do you have a better-than-average knowledge of? The answer to
this question is where you should start. The next challenge is to find the source of the
product to get the best price.
There are two primary approaches to becoming a serious Seller:
Sell expensive products with high margins
Sell inexpensive products in volume
On eBay, t takes almost the same amount of time to sell a $2 baseball card as it does to
sell a $1,000 computer. Be sure to factor this into your decision of which products to sell.
When you’re selling items with very small margins you have less room for errors in your
shipping and other areas of your business. With high margin and higher priced products,
you may be able to make just as much money on few Listings.
eBay Is Changing
When eBay first started, it was primarily a place for buying and selling collectibles.
However, eBay is rapidly changing.
There are now more new items than used items, and over 60% of all items listed on
eBay are non-collectibles. Shoppers are finding that they can buy literally anything on
eBay - from auto parts to brand-name clothing. This expands your potential sources of
products to almost anything you can find that can be marked up and resold on eBay.
Finding Merchandise
So what types of products and/or services are you going to sell? This is the first major
decision you must make as an eBay Seller.
If you already have a good source for products, you’ve overcome the single biggest
obstacle on your path to success in your eBay business. If you’re like most Sellers,
you’re always going to be looking for the next “hot” thing to sell on eBay.
Keep reading to learn more about the variety of sources available to you for finding
merchandise you can sell on eBay.
Used Items
One of the easiest to acquire and least expensive types of products are used items, and
the best sources for used items are:
Garage and Moving Sales
Flea Markets
Estate Sales
Thrift Stores (where people donate unwanted items)
Local Items
Every part of the world is known for some specific type of merchandise. Often these
“local” products or brands are not as easy to find outside of the local market. Many
people who are familiar with these products seek them out online, especially on eBay.
Distressed Merchandise
There are many companies that have “extra” merchandise that must be sold quickly to
free up space or money for new merchandise. This is called “distressed” merchandise.
Examples of distressed merchandise include custom order over-runs or mistakes, out-ofseason clothing or merchandise, bankruptcy sales, store moving sales, lost lease sales,
and discontinued styles, colors, or models, etc.
Have you ever wondered what happens when a delivery truck gets into an accident and
the merchandise it is carrying spills out or is damaged? Normally, this load would be sold
“as is” to a liquidator for that liquidator to turn around and sell it. This is also true of
unclaimed freight, store returns, and refurbished merchandise.
Other Online Wholesale Sources
A few popular websites for finding wholesale or bulk items are listed below. You can also
find a frequently updated listing of wholesale sources in the Member area of the Auction
Master website.
Telephone Book
Get out the phone book and do some research on product sources in your area. Look
under the listings for wholesalers, liquidators, auction companies, estate liquidators, and
close-out merchandise. You may be amazed at the product sources you can find just
"down the street."
As a ISI member, you’ll also have access to other product suppliers. If you’d like to learn
more, ask a ISI representative for more information.
Before you can create a Listing, you need an item to sell. Doing research on eBay is a
great way to discover what items are selling best.
Once you decide on an item to sell, you’ll want to do some research on eBay to
determine the item’s value.
New users usually start by listing an item they already own. This may be something you
no longer use that’s in good condition.
If this is your first Listing as a Seller, you will probably want to start with an item that’s of
modest value. Save valuable collectibles and antiques until you have a bit more
experience so that you can get the best possible price for them.
Research Considerations
Once you have decided on an item to list, go to eBay and conduct a search for that item
to see what you can find.
Looking at a list of results, pay close attention to the categories the items are listed in,
what titles the Sellers are using for the item--especially the keywords that helped you
find the item--and then focus on those Listings that are generating the most bids and the
highest prices. Look at those Listings and read the descriptions carefully to see how
other Sellers are describing the item. You will also want to look at the shipping
information from these Listings to get an idea of how much others are charging to ship
such an item.
Finally, before you list an item you own, you have to determine the item’s value to you.
The item may only have a modest value in the eyes of others, but if it’s a priceless family
heirloom, you must factor that into your decision to sell the item and how to list it. Some
things have great sentimental value and would be impossible to replace at any cost. Be
sure you’re willing to part with an item before listing it on eBay because chances are, it’s
going to sell.
Searching for an Item on eBay
To conduct a search on eBay, enter the name of the item, or several keywords that
describe it into the search field. Then click on the “Search” button to begin your search.
There is a Search option at the top of every eBay page, as well as a search option inside
each eBay category page.
All of the items that come up in your basic search are live Listings that have not yet
ended. Researching these listings will help you get an idea of how popular your item is
and help you determine the best category to list it in.
The most valuable piece of information you need to find is the final selling price of your
item. To do this, you must conduct a “Completed Listings” search. This search will only
show you Listings for items that have ended so you can see the final selling price of an
Before you can conduct a Completed Listings search, you must first do a basic search
for your item. On the results page of the basic search you will see a yellow-shaded bar
on the left side of the page. Under the “Search Options” heading is a check box for
“Completed Listings.” Select this box and then click on the “Show Items” button to begin
a search of Completed Listings for the same item.
This displays search results showing all the Completed Listings from eBay over the past
two weeks, starting with the “oldest.” Using the drop-down menu at the top of the list,
you can sort these results according to the lowest or highest price. To see the maximum
price this item has sold for over the past two weeks, select “highest priced.”
Reviewing the results list according to “highest priced” is the best way to learn what the
highest possible price for your item is, according to the Listings that have ended with the
best selling price. See what these Sellers did differently than those Sellers who didn’t get
as high a price for the same item (i.e., compare the titles, descriptions, pictures, etc.).
Make some notes and use this information to help you write a description for your item
that hopefully gets you the same results at the highest price . . . or better.
ALERT It’s not appropriate to steal another Seller’s description or picture to use in your own
Listing. Instead, use eBay to conduct research, like you would use an encyclopedia to
gather information on your topic for a report. You wouldn’t just copy the words from the
encyclopedia into your report; rather, you would write them in your own words. Use your
research to learn what works, but don’t steal other Sellers’ descriptions or pictures.
Restricted Items
There are certain restrictions about what you can and cannot sell on eBay. You should
become familiar with these restrictions so you don’t waste time trying to sell something
that is not allowed. You should be aware that if you list a prohibited item, your Listing will
be cancelled by eBay.
It would be well worth your time to visit the “Policies” area of the eBay website to
familiarize yourself with the guidelines of the products you intend to sell. (At the bottom
of every eBay page is a “Policies” link which will take you to a list of these topics.
Copyright Infringement
Another sensitive area is regarding copyrights. You can’t sell products that might infringe
on the copyrights of another. eBay has a group of people dedicated to protecting these
rights called VeRO, which stands for Verified Rights Owner Program. You’ll find
copyright guidelines in the same “Policies” section referred to above.
Before you sell an item on eBay, first check to make sure it is allowed. If you list a
restricted item, eBay will immediately remove your Listing and there may be additional
Researching an item is the first step in selling on eBay.
• Start by picking an item you already own
• Find out how others are listing similar items
• Find out how successful different listings are
• Determine what value your item has for you
Armed with the information from your research, you’re now prepared to determine your
pricing strategy.
You can choose from the following pricing strategies:
Starting Price
Reserve Price
Buy It Now Price
Fixed Price
Multiple Item Auction (Dutch Auction)
Starting Price
The Starting Price is the price you set as the “initial bid” for your item, and should be the
minimum amount the item is worth to you. No bids will be accepted below the Starting
Price. The lowest allowable Starting Price is one penny.
The insertion fee charged by eBay is based on the Starting Price you choose for your
item. A lower Starting Price will result in a lower insertion fee. A low Starting Price will
also encourage bidding.
ALERT While a low Starting Price will encourage bidding, you must remember that if only one
person bids on your item, they will get it for the Starting Price. Set a Starting Price that
reflects the minimum amount you are willing to accept for the item so you won’t be
disappointed if it sells at that price.
Reserve Price
The Reserve Price is the lowest price at which you are obligated to sell. To avoid selling
an item for a price less than you are willing to accept, you may wish to use a Reserve
Price. This is an optional feature a Seller can use to set a minimum selling price for an
The Reserve Price is different than the Starting Price. You may set a Starting Price that
is below your Reserve Price and the item will NOT sell unless the bidding reaches your
Reserve Price.
The Reserve Price is hidden from the bidders. They will only see the current highest bid
price for your item. A message next to the bid will tell them if the Reserve Price has been
met or not.
A Reserve Price assures that your item will not sell for less than you want; but be
advised, it may discourage bidding. If you use a Reserve Price, you want to be sure to
set it at a reasonable level.
Buy It Now Price
Many eBay Buyers don’t want to wait until the end of a Listing to purchase an item. To
allow Buyers the opportunity to buy your item instantly, you can set an optional “Buy It
Now Price” (or BIN). This is an excellent tool for quick sales.
You should think of this as your “retail” price for the item. You should set it at what you
think is the value of the item.
The Buy It Now Price is a “one time offer,” meaning that once a bid is placed or the
Reserve is met, the BIN is no longer available.
Sample Buy It Now Price
How Buy It Now Works With A Reserve
If there is a Reserve Price on your listing, the Buy It Now button will remain on your
Listing until the Reserve Price is met and then it will disappear.
Although Buyers may place bids below the Reserve Price, unless a bid exceeds the
Reserve Price, the Seller has no obligation to sell the item and the Buyer has no
obligation to purchase for their high bid amount.
ALERT The Buy It Now Price is NOT your lowest acceptable price. It is the price at which you are
willing to end the Listing early. The lowest acceptable price is either your Starting Price if
you’re not using a Reserve Price, or the Reserve Price if you have chosen to use the
Reserve Price selling feature.
Fixed Price
A Fixed Price Listing is an alternative selling format to an auction. A Fixed Price Listing
is basically a retail Listing. This selling format is often used when Sellers have multiple
items to sell and would like to sell them all at a set price. This feature is only available to
Sellers with 10 or more Feedbacks.
Multiple Item Auction (Dutch Auction)
A Multiple Item Auction or Dutch Auction can be used to sell many of the same items in
the same Listing. This is a more advanced selling format.
Not every Seller knows the true value of the items they puts up for sale. If you’re
experienced in a certain type of item, like collectibles or antiques, you may be able to find
a bargain by checking the new Listings for below-market Buy It Now Prices. Some novice
Sellers may list a valuable item for a below-market price that you can snap up before any
other Bidders find it. Once you get the item, you may even be able to re-list it on eBay for
the current market price and make a nice profit.
Pricing Advice
The best way to determine the appropriate price for an item is to do the research in
advance of listing your item. Know what the market is for your item before you list it.
You must also factor into your pricing decision what the item is worth to you. Make sure
you select a price for your item that is reasonable and allows you to cover the cost of
your eBay fees, as well as your time and any other costs, should it sell.
The easiest way to price your item is to pick a low Starting Price and no Reserve Price
and let the market determine the value of your item. This approach will usually increase
the likelihood of selling your item, but you run the risk of selling your item for less than
you want for it.
Prepare & List your item
Once you’ve selected your selling format, there are five simple steps to listing an item on
1. Select the Listing Category
2. Select a Title and Description
3. Enter Pictures and Details
4. Enter Payment and Shipping Information
5. Review and Submit
At this point, you can start this section doing one of two things. Either…
…complete the following steps using an item you’ve already found to sell
- OR -
…practice by completing the following steps EXCEPT actually posting the listing
to eBay, using any item you have lying around.
Select a Selling Format
If you are not already logged in, do so now. Once logged in, click “Sell” at the top of the
Before you begin, you will need to select a selling format for your item. There are a
variety of selling formats you may choose from when creating an eBay Listing. The first
screen of the Sell Your Item process asks you to choose the selling format you wish to
use. Once you select the format, click “Sell Your Item”.
Step 1 - Select the Listing Category
The Select Category screen allows you to select the category(s) in which you will list
your item. In the “Sell Your Item” section of eBay, you can search the available
categories by entering the name of your item or a few keywords that describe your item.
The keywords should be words that a potential Buyer might use to locate an item on
eBay like the one you wish to sell. In this first step of the selling process, it helps to think
like a Buyer.
When you enter keywords, a new window comes up with the results.
A second way to select a category is to browse through them. To browse the categories,
simply start by clicking on one of the top level categories listed in the box on the left.
This immediately brings up the next level of sub-categories for that category. You then
select a category from that list and, again, a new more detailed list appears in the next
box on the right of the page.
Continue this process of “drilling down” to a category until you find the specific subcategory that you feel your item best fits in, then click the “Continue” button at the bottom
of the page to select that category for your Listing.
You may also choose a second category to list your item in from this page. An extra fee
applies when listing in more than one category. However, listing in two categories has
been shown to increase the final price for an item on average by 18%.
Step 2 - Select a Title & Description
The first part of Step 2 is to create a title for your item.
Create a Title for Your Item
The title of your item is one of the most critical parts of your Listing. The title is what a
potential Bidder will see along with the titles for every other Listing for an item like the
one you’re selling. Your title needs to immediately capture a Buyer’s attention and
motivate them to click on your title to learn more about your item.
The title is where the search engine on eBay looks to find matches to keyword searches.
It’s important to include in your title the most popular keywords a potential Buyer might
use to locate your item.
You may also add a Subtitle to your Listing for an additional $0.50. The subtitle is only
searchable by item description.
Because of the way potential Buyers search for items using keyword searches, you
would include as many appropriate keywords in your title as possible in the space
allowed. It’s less important to write a title with perfect grammar than it is to write a title
that may not be perfect English, but has more searchable keywords. Also, don’t waste
space in your title with lots of non-searchable words.
Review: Descriptive Title
Use as many searchable keywords as possible
Good Titles
• SWATCH Watch Men Black Metal Rim Wristwatch
• Czech Clear Etched Leaded Crystal Wine Glass Set 12 NR
A less effective title might be:
[email protected]@K at My Watch . . . Wow!
The only searchable word in this title is “Watch” – and there are over 85,000 Listings for
“Watch” on eBay.
When creating a title, focus on the name and specific features of your item. Also, be as
descriptive as possible, using keywords Buyers may use to locate your item.
Item Condition
To help buyers understand more about the item you're listing, you should indicate
whether or not the item is "New." ("New" means that the item has never been used, has
no marks or scratches, and is not damaged in any way.)
Write Your Item Description
This is where you can go into great detail describing everything about your item that a
Buyer would want to know, including the features, benefits, and condition.
You can enter your description by using the simple text editor found under the
“Standard” tab at the top of the page, or enter your description as HTML (Hypertext
Markup Language) using the “Enter your own HTML” tab.
The text editor works just like a simple word processor.
Before you send your description, it’s a good idea to use the built-in spell checker to
catch any misspelled words. There is nothing more noticeable than a misspelled word
and it will almost certainly reduce your credibility with potential Buyers. To run the spell
checker, click on the “Spell Check” button just above the text box.
Click on the “Save Changes” button when you have finished with the spell checker.
Writing a great description helps increase the number of bids your item attracts, which
can ultimately lead to higher selling prices. Don’t feel constrained by space. The more
expensive your item, the more detail you should provide to give potential Buyers every
important piece of information they need to make an informed decision.
Review: Good Description
In review, a good description will do much to help you attract bids for your item. Make
sure you include all the important details (features) of your item and their specific
benefits to the Buyer.
Full name of Item
Payment Options
Shipping Terms
Return Policy
Make sure your description is complete and accurate. If there is a flaw in your item, be
sure to point it out.
It’s also a nice idea to thank those who take the time to look at your Listing and
encourage them to ask questions by directing them to your email address. An email from
a prospective Buyer is a solid sign of serious interest.
The following illustrates a poor description and a good description for the same item:
Ladies swatch watch in neon colors with flowers.
Brand new, looks great. My daughter loved it so
much we bought an extra one just for you.
Poor Description
Ladies Swatch Watch
Brand New
"Pop" Style
Neon Flower Design
Good Description
Make your descriptions easy to read. To do this, break up big blocks of text into
paragraphs or indentations. You can also vary the type style or text size on important
sections of your description to make them stand out.
Step 3 - Enter Pictures & Details
In this step you will select all the details for your Listing (such as the Starting Price,
Reserve Price, and the duration of your Listing) and upload any pictures you want to
include in your Listing.
Starting Price, Reserve Price, Buy It Now Price. As you enter these amounts,
please refer to the section on Pricing.
Donate percentage of Sale. This new feature is optional, allowing you to
donate a percentage of your sale to the charitable organization of your choice.
Duration. You can select the length of time you want your Listing to run (i.e.,
when you want it to end). The available choices include:
o 3 days
o 5 days
o 7 days
o 10 days ($0.40 fee)
Private Listing. Private Listings are used to keep the identity of the bidders
private. There is no additional fee for a Private Listing. Private Listings are often
used for very expensive items to allow the bidders to remain anonymous.
Start Time. There is no charge to begin your Listing for the selected duration
immediately upon submission to eBay. However, if you would like to schedule
your Listing to start at a specific time, there is a $0.10 fee.
Quantity. Next enter the quantity of items you want to list. If this is your first
time, you’ll most likely be entering “1”.
Item Location. When buyers search for products, they can specify geographic
locations. This is often used by potential Buyers who may want to personally
inspect an item before bidding or only bid on items they can pick up to save on
shipping. To use this feature, enter the City and State where the item is located
(i.e., Dallas, Texas). Finally, select the country where the item is located. (Note:
The default is the United States).
Add Pictures
The next part of Step 3 is to select your pictures and upload them to eBay. You can host
your pictures with eBay or use your own picture hosting. If this is your first time, you’ll
most likely host your pictures with eBay. If you choose to use eBay Picture Services,
your first picture is free and each additional picture is just $0.15. To add a picture to your
Listing, simply click on the “Add Picture” button in the first picture box.
This opens a window on your computer that allows you to locate the digital files of the
pictures you want to add to your Listing.
Once you locate the picture you wish to add, simply double-click your mouse on the file
name to add it to your Listing.
Edit Pictures
eBay Enhanced Picture Services includes several simple editing tools that will allow you
to make some simple edits to your picture if it’s not just right. To use the eBay Enhanced
Picture Services, follow the on-screen instructions. We will not spend time in this Fast
Start Guide to show you how to edit photos. However, here are some guidelines for
making sure your pictures are as effective as possible.
While you have the option of adding additional pictures to your listing (for a small
fee), one picture may be all you need.
As a reminder, keep any background a neutral color and free from color.
Keep in mind that natural light works best, but under the right circumstances,
using a lamp works just as well, as long as there are no shadows. Remember,
the use of a flash is discouraged because it can cause glaring.
Always use a “.jpg” format picture that is about 300 x 400 pixels.
Finally, when you give the picture file a name, don’t use spaces.
Increase your Item’s Visibility
Here is a list of optional features for your Listing (fees apply). Notice that you can see an
example of each feature by clicking the associated "See example" link.
Gallery. Adds a small thumbnail picture of your item and displays it to the left of
your title in the keyword search results table. This provides potential bidders with
a quick way to see your item without clicking on it.
Bold. Displays your entire Listing title in bold text, which draws the Buyer’s
attention when reviewing the list of his/her keyword search results.
Border. Outlines your Listing with a frame, which draws the Buyer’s attention
when reviewing the list of his/her search results.
Highlight. Displays your Listing in a colored band to help it stand out.
Promote Your Listing on eBay
Additional options help you to promote your Listing.
Featured Plus! Displays your Listing at the top of the category you list your item
in. Depending on how many other Listings have this feature, you can get pretty
close to the top of your category with this option.
Gallery Featured. Same benefits of a Gallery listing, plus additional exposure in
the Featured section of “Picture Gallery”, which is a special section that displays
only those Listings where the Seller has selected the Gallery option.
Home Page Featured. Get maximum exposure for your Listing by featuring it on
the eBay home page.
Step 4 - Enter Payment & Shipping Information
The fourth step in the listing process is to select your payment and shipping options. You
can improve your chances of success by accepting as many forms of payment for your
item as possible.
Payment Options
The preferred method of payment on eBay is PayPal, as has been explained already.
When you select PayPal as a form of payment, you must also enter an email address
where you would like your money sent. PayPal uses your email address to notify you
that you have money to collect after someone pays for an item using PayPal.
You can also require immediate payment by checking the check box next to this option.
Many Sellers choose this option for Buy It Now listings.
You should check all the other forms of payment you are willing to accept for your item
(e.g., personal check, money order, cashier’s check, COD, etc.).
The advantages of using PayPal are that it’s fast and easy for both the Buyer and Seller.
Also, there is no charge to send money using PayPal and only a small charge to Sellers
for the ability to accept payments through PayPal.
Money Orders and Cashier’s Checks are also a good form of payment, but you will
have to wait to get the check in the mail. Funds sent by money order or cashier’s check
will clear the bank immediately upon deposit and allow you to ship the item to the Buyer.
Personal Checks also must come in the mail. The difference between a personal check
and a cashier’s check or money order is that you will need to wait (usually 7-10 business
days) before the bank will verify the check is good. You should never ship an item that
was bought with a personal check until you are sure the funds have cleared the bank,
otherwise you run the risk of sending your item and accepting a bad check in return.
The choice of which method of payment to accept is yours, but keep in mind that the
more methods you accept, the more Buyers who will be qualified to bid on your item.
Ship-to Locations
The final part of Step 4 in the listing process is to specify where you are willing to ship
the item. The more countries you are willing to ship to, the larger the potential pool of
Buyers for your item. Check all that apply.
If you’re willing to ship to other countries, you’ll want to take this into account when
calculating your shipping costs.
Selecting Shipping Rates
Typically, the Buyer of an item will pay for the shipping costs. Providing free shipping
may get your Listing more attention, but you also run the risk of not collecting enough
extra money to cover the cost of shipping.
If you’re unsure what the shipping costs of your item will be, you can leave out the
shipping costs from your Listing. When you select this option you will still have the
obligation to calculate the shipping costs for your Buyer, it’s just that you’re putting it off
until after the Listing ends.
From the Buyer’s point of view, it’s nice to know the exact shipping cost of the item
before they place a bid. You can allow the Buyer to calculate the exact shipping and
handling costs right from your Listing.
Shipping Options
Shipping is an important part of selling on eBay. Take the time to learn how to do it right
and make shipping one of your strengths. Good shipping helps to generate good
feedback and repeat business from Buyers.
You need to select a carrier. Options include (but are not limited to):
United States Post Office (
United Parcel Service (
Federal Express (
Determine your shipping costs. If you are offering multiple shipping options (such as
regular and expedited/rush), you will need to determine the shipping costs for each
option you offer.
Weigh your item in its packaging
Determine the cost for packing materials
Check shipping fees to farthest zone from you
Choose fixed or actual cost for shipping
Even if you stated the shipping terms in your Description, you need to enter them here
as well. There are two methods to provide shipping and handling; Flat shipping rates
and Calculated shipping rates.
Flat Shipping Rates
When you use the Flat Shipping rate method, you simply set a flat rate that will be added
to the winning bid on your Listing to cover the shipping and handling costs, regardless of
where the item will be shipped. You can also add a fee for insurance and make it
required or optional. You can also have the system collect sales tax from the Buyer if
you are required to collect sales tax on the transaction.
The challenge comes when you have an item that will have a variable shipping cost
depending on the location of the Buyer. You may choose to set your flat rate at or near
the highest expected shipping cost for your item, but this might put you at a competitive
disadvantage with Sellers who offer lower shipping rates.
ALERT You may be required to collect state sales tax for all purchases by Buyers residing in your
state of residence. You can enter the rate to be charged and the tax will be automatically
added to the transaction when a Buyer residing in your state is the winning bidder. If you
have questions about collecting sales tax, contact your state tax commission.
Calculated Shipping Rates
To use this method of shipping, click on the “Calculate” tab in the shipping section of the
Sell Your Item page.
You will be asked to enter some information about your package on this form and then
eBay will include their shipping calculator on your Listing to allow potential Buyers to
instantly calculate the expected shipping cost of your item. When Bidders see your
Listing on eBay they can enter their own ZIP code and see the expected actual shipping
charges for your item.
Buyers will not see the details you entered for your package when they use the eBay
Shipping Calculator, they will simply see the calculated shipping cost based on the
destination ZIP code they entered.
Payment Instructions & Return Policy
In the space provided here, you can write a detailed description of your payment
instructions and your return policy. However, please note that there is a 500-character
limit to your description.
Be sure to include:
• your preferred form of payment,
• how you handle personal checks and money orders, and where to send payment
• what communication the Buyer should expect from you after the purchase
• which shipping service you plan to use
• how quickly you ship after being paid
A good solid return policy will boost the confidence Buyers have in you and your Listing.
If you have a return policy, state your terms specifically in this area. Make sure you
clearly state what reasons are acceptable for a return and who will cover the shipping
costs of returning the item. You should also state how any refunds would be issued.
The best advice here is to be as specific as possible.
Step 5 - Review & Submit
The final step in the listing process is to review your Listing and submit it to eBay. When
you get to this step you will see in your browser window all of the information you have
entered in each of the four previous steps of the listing process. Read through the entire
Listing and look for errors.
Personalized Recommendations.
One helpful feature is the Personalized Recommendations section at the top of the
screen. This area contains recommendations that can help to enhance your Listing and
increase your sales.
Review your Listing
A quick glance won’t usually help you catch a spelling error or a mistake in your shipping
policy, so read each word carefully to make sure it is correct. If you spot any errors in
any part of your Listing, use the “Edit” link for that section to go back and correct the
Once you’ve finished editing any part of your Listing, you will need to review it again
before submitting it to eBay.
At the bottom of your Listing you will see a box that shows the calculation of the eBay
fees for your Listing. This total price is for the Listing fees only. If your item sells, you will
be charged an additional “Final Value Fee” based on a percentage of the final selling
price of your item.
If everything looks correct, submit your Listing by clicking on the “Submit Listing” button
at the bottom of the page.
Fees: Insertion & Final Value
Fees are based on the greater of the Starting Price or Reserve Price. Make sure that
you’re aware of where the price breaks are in this fee schedule so that you use a
Starting Price that helps you save on your insertion fees. Keep in mind that it’s up to you
to know the fee schedule and select your Starting Price and listing options accordingly.
(See for a fee schedule.)
PayPal Fees
There is no charge to send money using a PayPal Personal Account. However, the
disadvantage to a Personal Account is that you will not be able to accept credit card
payments from your Buyers.
A Premier Account allows you to accept credit card payments. For this service. PayPal
charges 2.9% of the total sales price (including shipping), plus a $0.30 transaction fee.
ALERT The PayPal fee is based on the total amount of money exchanged in the transaction. The
eBay Final Value Fees are only based on the final selling price of the Listing. Thus, the PayPal
fee includes the shipping costs in addition to the final selling price of the item.
Gather all the information you need before you start the listing process:
Write the title
Write the description
Take the picture
Decide on terms ahead of time
Use the Sell Your Item form
Pick the Category and Attributes
Fill out the information
Review the Listing and correct as needed
Submit the Listing
Use the simple 5-Step process to list your item for sale on eBay. If you’ve never listed an
item to sell on eBay before, now is a great time to start while all these important points
are still fresh in your mind.
Close items & collect
So, you've submitted your listing. Now go online and use the eBay search engine and
see if you can find it!
Put yourself in your potential Buyer's shoes: use the keywords you included in your title.
Is that really how you would look up your item? Browse the Category where your item is
listed. Can you find it there as well? If you can't find it, and you know that it's there, your
potential customers won't be able to find it.
You can go back and edit anything in your Listing until you get a bid. However, once you
get a bid on your item, you can only make limited changes to your Listing. If you do, a
notice will be placed on your Listing alerting potential Bidders to the fact that you’ve
made a change to your Listing.
Let’s now review the steps of monitoring, closing and collecting payment on your Listing.
When monitoring your Listing, please consider that most of the bidding action often
takes place in the last 24 hours of the Listing, so don’t be too discouraged if your item
doesn’t get any bids for the first few days.
Some potential Bidders may send you an email requesting additional information about
your item. You should make it a habit to check your email each day while you have an
active Listing so you can respond to any question within 24 hours. A quick answer to a
question will show the potential Bidder that you are a responsible Seller who takes your
business seriously.
My eBay
My eBay is designed to help you monitor and stay on top of your eBay business. Once
you log in to eBay, clicking on “My eBay” will display a screen that looks something like
Using My eBay to monitor your Listing
My eBay is like your personal “dashboard” that allows you to monitor all your
eBay activity. My eBay has logically grouped links on the left side of the page
that allow you to navigate easily to the information you need to access.
Monitoring your Listing
A few quick reminders about monitoring your Listing:
Check your Listing
" While your Listing is active, be sure that Bidders can find it easily by using the
search and browse tools.
Communicate with Buyers
" Make sure that you are checking email on a daily basis while your Listing is
active to respond to questions from Bidders quickly.
Monitor your auction
" Prompt communication will enhance your reputation and credibility. Use My eBay
to track all your eBay activity.
Completing the Transaction
When your Listing ends successfully, there are five simple steps to complete the
Calculate the shipping costs, including packaging.
Contact the winning Buyer with the shipping information and costs.
Collect your money from the Buyer (PayPal, cashier’s check, money order, etc.).
Ship the item to the buyer - the sooner the better.
Leave Feedback regarding your experience with that Buyer.
Contacting the Buyer
At the conclusion of a successful Listing, eBay will send you an email that includes the
Buyer’s contact information. It’s a good idea to send the Buyer an email directly to
establish contact, confirm his/her ship-to ZIP code, and remind them of your payment
and shipping policies.
Once you have been paid for an item, you’ll need to ship it. This is an important part of
the selling process. The package you send your Buyer will have a big impact on your
image—how that Buyer will portray you—and will help you get great Feedback. Take the
time to package your item safely and neatly.
Leaving Feedback
On eBay, a transaction is not complete until an item has been received by the Buyer,
and Feedback has been left by both parties. Feedback is eBay’s system for rating
Buyers and Sellers and it’s taken very seriously.
Try to give others the benefit of the doubt when leaving Feedback. Negative Feedback
should be viewed as your last resort. Leave negative Feedback only after exhausting
other means to resolve conflicts, as Feedback stays with a person forever.
Use My eBay to keep track of leaving Feedback. There is a link after each completed
transaction that will take you to the Feedback form.
ALERT If you leave Feedback for a buyer right after you receive payment, you may not have an
opportunity to respond, should they leave you negative Feedback for any reason. If there
is a problem with an item and you resolve it to the satisfaction of the Buyer, you may get
even better Feedback as a result of how you handled the problem. However, when you
leave Feedback is up to you.
What if Your Item Didn’t Sell?
Eventually you’ll have an item that doesn’t sell. Some reasons why an item might not sell
include a Starting Price or Reserve Price that is too high, the item was placed in the
wrong Category, the Listing was incomplete, or the item is simply not in demand.
Whatever the reason, there are several things you can do when your item doesn’t sell.
Check your Listing one more time to see if you notice any mistakes. Look closely at your
Starting Price and Reserve Price. Also check the completed Listings for your item to
make sure your prices are reasonable and competitive.
Was your item listed in the right Category? Conduct several searches using your chosen
keywords and see if there might be another Category that would get your item more
exposure than the one you chose for the first Listing.
Consider relisting the item. This can be done by clicking the “Relist” link in My eBay.
There is a constant flow of potential Buyers shopping on eBay every day, and perhaps
this week your item will sell.
What if the Buyer Doesn’t Pay
There might come a time when someone buys an item from you and doesn’t pay for it.
This rarely happens, but when it does, here’s what do to:
1. Communicate: First contact the Buyer and see if there is a simple problem that
can be quickly resolved. Most non-paying Buyer problems are the result of
confusion about how to complete a transaction.
2. Send a Payment Reminder: Next, give the winning Bidder one last chance to
respond. Check the email address of the person you are sending the reminder to
in order to make sure it’s accurate.
3. File a Non-Paying Bidder Alert: If sending a payment reminder does not work,
use this formal process that is intended to provide a workout period to help
Buyers and Sellers resolve their problems. You must file this form no earlier than
7 days and no later than 45 days after the Listing has ended.
ALERT Please use care when filing a Non-Paying Bidder Alert. This form should only be used if
the high Bidder is unresponsive. Using this form to intimidate or coerce your Buyers into
completing the transaction may be cause for suspension of your eBay account.
4. Request a Final Value Fee Credit: You must first file a Non-Paying Bidder Alert
before you can request a refund of your final value fee, which is the final step. If
you have been unsuccessful in resolving things with your Buyer for 10 days after
filing the Non-Paying Bidder Alert (NPB Alert), you are eligible for a Final Value
Fee credit. Once you file your request, the credit will be issued within 48 hours. If
you ever have to deal with a Non-Paying Bidder, you’ll want to make sure you
follow the Non-Paying Bidder Policy, found in the “Policies” section.
Tracking Your Sales
Record keeping is an important part of managing your eBay business. There are a
number of ways to keep track of your sales. The simplest way to keep a record of every
transaction is to print off the email you get from eBay immediately after your Listing
ends. This email will have all the contact information for the winning Bidder and the
details on the final selling price of your item. Keep these emails in a simple file called
“Completed Listings.” You can also log this information in a simple spreadsheet
Remember, after your Listing ends, there are still a few things to follow up on. If you
don’t sell your item, consider re-listing it. If the winning Bidder does not pay you, you
might consider a Second Chance offer, or if you have more than one of the items
available for sale.
Communicate with your Buyers upon completion of the Listing to let them know the
shipping costs and make sure they are familiar with your sales policies.
Be sure to set up a PayPal account to process your payments.
Congratulations on developing new knowledge and skills to sell on eBay. We’ve
covered some strategies in this guide that are just the basics to get up and running. In
order to really grow your eBay business, we recommend you learn advanced strategies
through our Auction Master Workshop Series, a 6 DVD live workshop with an
accompanying workshop manual. For more information, please contact your
representative at ISI…