How to Become a Successful eBay Seller

Whether you just want to have some fun, use eBay to clear out your attic, make a few extra bucks, or even start an eBay business, you will have to master the "basics" of selling successfully on eBay. The following tips are a good start, but you will need to keep learning to master the techniques of eBay success.


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    Decide what types of products to sell. Everyone wants to sell the latest consumer product but the truth is there is a lot of competition from established sellers and even big online companies that have discovered eBay. The best item to sell on eBay is something used or a very specialized (niche) products that few others are selling.
    • If you are going to sell new goods, make sure you can buy them cheaply enough to sell and make a profit. One source is the closeout and liquidation companies that sell overstocks and seasonal items returned by department stores.
    • Consider consumables. The idea here is to get repeat business via your web site from customers who buy from you on eBay.
    • Search Listings on eBay to see what is selling. Go to to see what is being listed and sold. The number in parentheses after the category title is the number of auctions for a given item. In general, the higher the number the more action and sales.
    • Find a niche. This will help determine the type of person you’re going to be selling to and the types of product you want to sell. You will also have less competition. Forget trying to sell computers, digital cameras, iPods and plasma TVs. There is no way you can compete with the big guys unless you have tons of money.
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    Become an expert in your product. If you know more about your product area, you will be able to buy at better prices and people who sense you specialize in something will be more comfortable buying from you. When you become an authority in your field, a whole new universe of business and opportunity is opened up to you. People tend to buy certain types of things on eBay from the same sellers over and over.
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    Continue your auction education. Read books and training manuals, visit the chat and message boards, attend an eBay University when it comes to your town, go to eBay Live, and keep learning all the time.
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    Get a sales tax number. This will allow you to buy from many wholesale companies that would not deal with you otherwise. If you are not sure who to contact in your state, just call your local chamber of commerce and they will advise you or give you the phone number or web site address to register.
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    Automate your auctions with an auction management service. They provide auction templates where you type in your headlines and text, insert your images, set your price, terms, length of auction and upload your auctions at any time or day you specify. These services also track your inventory and sales, send automated emails to customers, provide a PayPal or credit card gateway and automatically post feedback once payment is received.
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    Build credibility. Be trustworthy. Remove every doubt about your credibility. You can do this through presenting yourself positively through your feedback, being passionately devoted to your business and by being an expert. Create a professional About Me Page. A photo of yourself will humanize the online experience can bring amazing results. Your auction headline and item description is where it all begins.
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    Create a powerful listing. Your headline is your advertising and your item description is your salesperson. On the web, how you're potential buyer perceives you and your product is everything. Be sure to use power words in your auction title (headline). Rare, Unique, Powerful, New, Unusual, Stunning, Top Notch, First Class, etc. Just be sure not to exaggerate. Don’t call something "rare" if it is not. A carefully crafted sales letter (item description) can increase you results exponentially without having to spend an extra penny.
    • Remember that 65% of eBay bidders find what they are looking for by using the search function. Be sure to use carefully chosen and accurate key words in your title and description. eBay gives you 55 characters in your headline. Be sure to use all of them. This will help you get hits. Important keywords include the brand, color, size, and model number.
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    Stand behind your product and service. Offer an unconditional money-back guarantee on every thing you sell. If you are selling cars or houses, or "as-is" used goods that may not be a good idea – but the simple offer of a satisfaction guarantee will dramatically increase your sales. Even unhappy people rarely go to the trouble of sending something back. The cost of providing the few refunds will be far out weighted by the increased volume of your sales. At the very least offer a guarantee that your items are exactly as described and you will give a full refund if they are not. If you have a return policy (and you should) be sure and spell it out clearly at the end of your auction description or in the form eBay gives you to do this.
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    Consider advertising on outside sites. Begin advertising on forums or other sites that have members who relate to what you're selling. Just don't spam. Eventually, once you begin making profit, consider pay ads on websites like Facebook.

Things You'll Need

  • A computer with internet access
  • Products, whether niche or used, to sell

Article Info

Categories: Sales Occupations