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How To Sell on eBay ~ eBay Tips, Tools and Strategies for new sellers

by Skip McGrath

Learning how to sell on eBay is pretty easy. The trick is learning how to sell on eBay and make money doing it. I have been selling on eBay profitably for just over ten years. Let’s take a look at some of the key strategies I use:

How To Sell on eBay ~ Product Selection

If you want to learn how to sell on eBay, the first thing you need is something to sell. Most new sellers start by selling items they have around the house or in their garage or attic. Its easy to find things to sell but not all of them may actually have a market on eBay. The problem with listing things that don’t sell is that you waste listing fees. But there is a simple answer to this problem –and it is a free eBay tool called The Completed Listing Search.  Here is how it works:

First type the name of a product you want to sell into the eBay search box.  Once the results come back, look in the left hand column for a radio button that says: Complete Listings.

How to Sell on eBay



When you hit that button, the page will reload, but now it will show you all of the listings for that item that have ended in the past 30 days. Here is a screenshot of how it looks.

learn how to sell on eBay

Completed Listings for Used Cowboy Boots

How To Sell on eBay ~ Listing your item

OK – now you have some idea of what that old pair of cowboy boots you found in your closet are worth. Also, you can see that there have been sales so this looks like a good item to sell. You are ready to list your item.

Before you start a listing, stop at the Seller Information Center. You can find it by clicking on the Sell tab at the top of any eBay page.

Getting started on eBay

When you click on that link, you will go to a page that looks like this:

Learn about eBay

When you click on the link that says Get Started, you will go to a page that offers you different tutorials including how to set up your account.

How to Sell on eBay

I won’t take you through all of these steps as they are pretty self explanatory right there on eBay. Instead let’s focus on making your first listings successful. By the way, one of the things that helps you learn how to sell on eBay is the List your first 5 free every 30 days. This is a great gift from eBay to help news sellers learn how to sell on eBay.

How To Sell on eBay ~ picking your category

Once you start your listing, one of the first decisions you have to make is what category to list your product in. This is an important choice.  Over 80% of people find products on eBay by searching. But the search engine lists products by category. If you are in the wrong category, your listing may not be found by searchers.

How to Sell on eBay ~ Writing your auction title

The auction title is what is displayed when someone searches. If you go back to the illustration on the cowboy boots search results, what you see are the listing titles that are displayed next to the photos.  eBay gives you 55 characters (including spaces) to write your title.  You should treat those spaces as very valuable real estate. Make the most of every character.

Be sure and include exactly what you are selling including brand names, model, color, size etc. Think of what you would type into a search engine to find that product and use those words.  Do a search for the item and see what words your competitors are using.

How to Sell on eBay ~ Use a sharp photo

After your title, the photos you use are the next most important item. Take the time to take a good photo. Use a tripod so your image is sharp. Place your item on a neutral background and be aware of anything else in the photo except your item. Avoid using your flash if possible as it causes deep shadows and reflections.  You can get plenty of free digital photo tips at

How to Sell on eBay ~ Write a complete description

Writing incomplete descriptions is one of the most common mistakes made by new sellers on eBay. Here are the steps to writing a description that sells:

  1. First state clearly what you are selling
  2. Next describe the item in detail
  3. List any features, accessories, etc.
  4. Describe the benefits
  5. Try and give the item a value – for example, “These Cowboy Boots sell for over $200 new.”
  6. Always put your shipping cost in the auction description. Although eBay has another place to list it, buyers often don’t see it unless you state it right in the description.
  7. Ask for the sale. At the end of your listing ask for an action such as: “Place your best bid now so you don’t lose out to a last minute sniper.”

How to Sell on eBay ~communicate with your customers

One of the secrets to success on eBay is good communication with customers.  Check your email twice daily or more often if you work from home. Be sure and answer any questions quickly and politely. Use the person’s name if you know it. Sign the email with your full name and check your spelling and grammar before you hit send.

There is a lot more to learn about how to sell on eBay, but these tips should get you off to a good start.  If you want to learn how to start and run a professional eBay business, take a look at our flagship product, The Complete eBay Marketing System.


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