eBay is Awesome!
eBay works great because it is such a popular site that people use all over the world. There is usually always someone who is interested in what you’re selling, no matter how unique it is. It is a tricky game to play though. I wrote this guide on How to Sell Everything on eBay after my wife and I sold everything we owned to travel around the world.
There are so many different skill levels of people selling on eBay. They may not always want to buy it for a reasonable price and you lose money with the shipping, but they get an “A” for interest and attention. There are entire books written on how to sell effectively on eBay. This webpage has a few key-points to maximize your income that I learned from mistakes I’ve made or seen others make.
How to Sell Everything on eBay – The Key is in the Posting
You need a good title, keywords, and details about what you’re selling in order to attract customers. People need to be able to find your specific widget when they search among millions of posting. A specific posting with lots of keywords, pictures, and details is much better than a general posting with only one sentence.
When to Post on eBay?
It’s also super important to post it at the right time of day and right day of the week because the auction ends on the same time and day of the week as you posted it (for a 7 day posting). The most bidding action happens during the last minute to 5 seconds of the posting, no matter if it is posted for 7 days. So,you want that time to be during a convenient time for people to bid. The best times for postings to end is when people are home from work and school and surfing the web – usually in the evenings during the week.
[Nerd Alert] There has been a lot of research on this, and people have found the best times for the bidding to end is on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, from 6-8 pm PST (9-11pm EST), and also Sunday evenings 4-7 pm PST (7-10pm EST). Many people are usually busy on Monday, Friday and Saturday, so these days aren’t the best.
eBay protects both the buyer and seller, so you can be fairly confident that the deal will go smoothly IF you have an accurate posting, read the rules, and play the game right.
Be sure you ship with a delivery confirmation service
This is important! If you don’t have delivery confirmation the buyer can just say he never got it and eBay will suck the money right out of your bank account – there’s nothing you can do, even if it was really expensive.
Watch out for eBay fees and shipping charges!
eBay has a long list of fees for selling on their website, and they change for every listing you sell. Lately they have been waiving the insertion fees (to post the listing) for 50 or more posts per month, so that was pretty sweet! Then, they take 10% off the top of the final value. It’s not a huge amount, but it adds up. You can see how Craigslist might be better only for more expensive things that are easy to sell.
You can choose any shipping cost to include in the sale total, and this is added onto the final bid. Some sellers entice buyers with FREE SHIPPING, but that can bite you if you set your initial sale price too low. You may think you’re selling your old roller skates for $10, but eBay’s fees and your free shipping may leave you in the red for some lucky buyer :(
For the beginner who’s just starting out, there is one rule that I’ve seen many people get in trouble from: Once you post your item, you’re committing to ship it to someone if they bid on it before the time runs out. You can’t say “Hmm, not enough money – we’ll try that again.”
How to Sell Everything on eBay – Best for selling:
Specialized things that only you and a small following know about, trinkets that are popular, antiques, collectables, electronics, smartphones, high-end camping gear in good condition.
Don’t try to sell:
Clothes (give those to your friends), half-working (or half-broken) things, big heavy things that have shipping costs over $12, old roller blades, fragile things that are difficult to ship safely.
Our best sale:
4 year old electric toothbrush that was bid up by some over-excited ebay buyers – sometimes you get lucky and make a few extra bucks! (Pretty random, right!?)
Sell your used textbooks here. Ideally, you could get the best price if you sold them right after you finished the class. Maybe it’s been a few years, but give it a try. All you need to post a book is the ISBN number, the condition, and the price you want for it. Some of my engineering books were a few editions out of date, so getting $4.99 for a $150 book was a little disheartening. The best part is that I can re-buy whichever books I might need for the same price when I return.
For a simple no-hassle way to sell your things, just trade them in to Amazon. You can trade-in your used things using their website and they’ll send you money to use on Amazon. It doesn’t matter where you bought it originally. They even pay for the shipping to send in your used books, smartphones, and accessories!
Click here to try out Amazon Trade-In today.
Be sure you ship with a delivery confirmation service!
I had an unpleasant experience with a buyer who knew how to work this rule from the other side. He asked if I had shipping confirmation information for the book a week after I had shipped it, which I didn’t have. He then claimed that he “never received the book” and forced half.com to refund the money. This is the only time in my life I have heard of something being lost in the mail… So, in the end he got a $100 used book for free. Avoid this with shipping confirmation – it’s cheap.
You can also easily post common/popular electronics, cell phones, etc. on amazon.com. They come up with the ad and all the details about a specific product and all you have to do is say you have one of the exact same things that you want to sell. You just put a quick note about its condition and how much you want to sell it for. This is a great timesaver for when you don’t want to type up an entire ad and find all the details for every single thing you want to sell.
More book-selling websites:
There are loads more places to sell books if you search on google. Some offer to buy your book from you right away and will sell it for you. They don’t pay very much, but it may not be worth your time to ship them separately.
Another popular option is to have Amazon sell your books for you with their trade-in program. They pay you as soon as they receive your books and take care of selling your books themselves – FREE shipping too!
Trade-in your books on Amazon here.
Good luck and have fun with it! Post a comment if you’ve had good luck with learning how to sell everything on eBay and have some tips.