Selling on eBay

Got something to sell?  Join the millions who use the Internet. 

eBay terminology

Auction - traditional sale format

Fixed-price (Buy it now) - buy items at fixed price

eBay store - Sellers pay month fee to get separate 'rental space'

Reserve price - lowest price a seller will accept for an item

Escrow - Service that holds payment until buyer receives item from seller

eBay, which started on Labor Day in 1995, has quickly grown to be one of the most popular Internet auction sites.  Over 100 million registered users on eBay buy and sell a variety of items, eveything from furniture to automobiles, to computers to concert tickets.

eBay income : how anyone of any age, location, and/or background can build a highly profitable online business with eBay
by John Peragine and Cheryl Russell.
Ocala, Fla. : Atlantic Pub. Group, c2011.
Anyone can learn the ins and outs of eBay with this new book from Atlantic Publishing Company. They have spent a year putting together this exciting new book for all those who want to join the ranks of selling on eBay. eBay has changed the way products and services are purchased all over the world. Daily over 1.5 million online customers and providers log on to bid and sell virtually anything that can be bought or purchased. In 2006, eBay sellers are estimated to post $22 billion in sales. There are businesses earning $1 million a year selling products on eBay today. It is estimated that more than half a million people make full-time incomes just with their eBay business. eBay also allows you to run a business that requires no advertising costs. eBay is a level playing field-it doesn't matter how old you are, what nationality or income level, whether you own a business now or not, what your background is, or where you are located. Start making money on eBay today! The book starts with a complete overview of how eBay works. Then you are guided through the whole process of creating the auction and auction strategies, photography, writing copy, text and formatting, managing auctions, shipping, collecting payments, registering, About Me page, sources for merchandise, multiple sales, programming tricks, PayPal, accounting, creating marketing, merchandising, managing e-mail lists, advertising plans, taxes and sales tax, best time to list items and for how long, sniping programs, international customers, opening a storefront, electronic commerce, buy-it now pricing, keywords, Google marketing, and eBay secrets; everything you will ever need to get started making money on eBay!
The complete idiot's guide to eBay
by Lissa McGrath and Skip McGrath.
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha Books, c2010.
eBay users, new and experienced, also need a clear, convenient reference for optimum results. In this revised edition, readers will find: tips on how to set up an account; buying and selling; protecting one's identity; finding the best deals; and making fast and profitable sales.--Revised version includes major changes to eBay(r) as of July 2009, which change users' experience.-Authors deeply involved and influential in the eBay(r) community, as sellers and educators.-Tens of millions of people use eBay(r) every day and three quarters of a million people earn their living with it.(USA figures) 
EBay for dummies
by Marsha Collier.
Hoboken, NJ : Wiley Pub., c2009.
The bestsellng guide to successfully buying and selling on eBay, fully revised and updatedeBay is the world's #1 shopping and selling site, where millions find bargains and make money with their own sales. Marsha Collier is the #1 eBay expert and bestselling author, with more than a million copies of her books in print. And eBay For Dummies has been the bestselling book on eBay since the original edition in 1999.Thoroughly updated to cover all the changes in the eBay site, eBay For Dummies, 6th Edition gets you started with information about signing up and navigating the site. It shows you how to find the best bargains, bid to win, and complete your purchase securely. Then it guides you into become a successful eBay seller, showing you how you can pick up extra money in a tight economy with eBay sales. Covers how to find bargains on eBay, bid successfully, and pay for your purchases safely Helps new users become comfortable with the site and shop with confidence Shows you how to set up a seller account, list items, offer customer service, ship merchandise, and receive payment securely Prepares you for other issues that may arise Explores eBay's special features, showing you how to work within the rules, use the community, and even set up a charity auction Includes insider tips on becoming a better buyer and sellereBay For Dummies, 6th Edition prepares you to save money on your purchases and make money on your sales, all from the comfort of your home.
Three weeks to eBay profits : go from beginner to successful seller in less than a month
Skip McGrath.
New York, NY : Sterling Pub. Co., c2009.
The essential guide to building an eBay business and making money in just twenty-one days-now with information on the company's new modified fee structures, feedback system, and other changes.
The 4th 100 best things I've sold on eBay : home run, my story continues
by Lynn A. Dralle.
Palm Desert, Calif. : All Aboard, Inc., 2009.
The eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the "100 Best Things I've Sold on eBay" series is here! Four bases make a home run and four books makes a series. You'll be hooked by Lynn's engaging stories of her most interesting eBay transactions. While many marvel at the prices people will pay for the strangest things on eBay, Lynn understands that for many it is because of an emotional connection with the object up for auction. It is that connection that makes for the entertaining, touching and inspiring stories of the author's eBay adventures. Lynn Dralle is the granddaughter of Cheryl Leaf, an antiques dealer for over 50 years and a larger-than-life personality. Over the years, Lynn came to depend on her grandmother's knowledge of antiques, business insights, wisdom, strength of character and humor. Lynn has woven memories of the time spent with her grandmother into her stories.

eBay requires that sellers register by creating an account before they can put items up for bid.  Sellers are also charged a fee for every auction.

Once an item is sold to the highest bidder, the buyer and seller communicate through email to determine payment and shipping options. 

Credit card, debit card, personal check and money order are some of the most common payment options.  Many members prefer to use Paypal, an online payment service that is easy to access and prevents financial fraud.

Tips for Beginner Sellers

  • When listing an item, choose keywords carefully, selecting words that buyers will be most likely to search for
  • Place items in appropriate categories; research to see which categories have the most activity for the items you are selling
  • Provide clear images of your products
  • Give detailed item descriptions for the products, anticipating any questions that buyers might have
  • Clearly state the return policy, including who is responsible for shipping costs if an item is returned
  • Stage auctions for 7 days, ending on a weekend between 6:00-8:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Test the waters with your products using the regular eBay service; if you are successful you might consider opening an eBay store to reach more users.

With these tips in mind, eBay can be a safe, efficient and fun way to do business!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff