4 Simple Steps to Earn Money on eBay

​​ebay make money

If you want to make some extra money or start a new career, selling on eBay might be for you. There is a lot of money to be made as part of the eBay community. Take your time and read through the following steps, it could be really worth it for you.


Create an eBay account. 

If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to go to the eBay site and create one. Creating an account is free and allows you to buy and sell things.

  • Once you have an account, you can log into My eBay and monitor your auctions, bids, and messages.
  • Give some thought to what you want to call yourself on eBay. This is the name you will be known in the eBay community. It’s best to choose something that’s memorable but not weird or offensive.

Check the fees. 

If you want to sell something on eBay, you can either do it with normal standard fees, or you can choose a subscription. The two variants differ, among other things, in how many free auctions you can post and what additional fees you will have to pay.

  • As a newbie, you’ll probably want to get started with the normal fees first. You can use it to start 100 auctions per calendar month without setting up fees, but only if you start them with a starting bid of 1 euro. After the end of the auction, a seller’s commission of 9% applies.
  • There are 3 different subscription types on eBay so-called shops. Among other things, they differ in the monthly costs (€29.95 – €299.95), their free auction settings per month (20 – unlimited) and the auction fees for successful auctions (from 1 cent – 5 cents).

Open a PayPal account. 

PayPal allows your buyers to pay by credit card or checking account. It also gives you the chance to sell worldwide. The buyers pay via PayPal and PayPal, in turn, transfers the money to you.
  • You don’t necessarily have to have a PayPal account to sell on eBay, but it’s sometimes a lot harder to be successful without one. Almost 90% of all eBay users have a PayPal account.
  • There is the possibility on eBay to search specifically for auctions that offer PayPal as a payment method. This is a preferred method for buyers who want to buy something quickly and securely without writing a wire, check, or anything else.

Think about what you want to sell. 

It’s best to start with things you already have at home. Search room by room looking for things you no longer need, wear, or never used anyway.

  • For inspiration, you can also browse eBay and compare what other people are selling and what the prices of those things are. Also, check the number of bids to gauge the popularity of goods.
  • Sell ​​what you know. You need to create detailed descriptions of the things you want to sell. In addition, potential buyers may contact you with specific questions. It can be difficult to describe a subject in detail and to answer technical questions if you are not familiar with the subject yourself.
  • Find out what’s selling well and look for more of it. Local garden sales or flea markets are an opportunity to buy things cheaply that are sold more expensively on eBay.

Start small.

Even if your ultimate goal is to become an eBay power seller, you should take things one step at a time. Start with a few sales at the same time and learn how the rabbit works. Keep establishing yourself as a trustworthy seller.
  • As with any new business, selling on eBay can present unexpected hurdles and challenges. You’re going to make some mistakes in the beginning – everyone does. So start with a small number of sales to adjust to the responsibility of being a seller.
  • To become a truly successful seller, you need a large number of positive reviews. You start from zero. To build your business slowly, provide exceptional customer service, and build a positive reputation. This earns you the trust of buyers and makes others want to do business with you when they see that you are an established and reputable seller.

make money

Listing on eBay

Choose the type of sale. 

eBay started out purely as an auction site, but now there are other options for selling things as well. Think about how quickly you want to sell, whether you want to risk things going short and how much effort you want to put into the sales process.

  • The traditional auction. If you want to put your item up for auction, you set a minimum bid and set the number of days buyers can bid. The highest bid after the end of the auction time is the selling price. The hope here, of course, is that the interest will be high and the price will rise so that you can emerge as the real winner.
    • If you have a weak heart, this option may not be for you. Because all you can do is watch and wait to see whether the auction price will rise and whether you’ll get to zero, or ideally still make a profit.
    • Even if it adds a little unnecessary tension to the whole thing, an auction can pay off. According to eBay, buyers strike twice as often at auctions than at fixed prices.
    • “Minimum Price”. If you want to be on the safe side that an item isn’t auctioned off for a price that you can’t live with, you can use the “reserve price” option. The reserve price is the minimum that must be achieved for your item to be sold. The minimum price is not visible to buyers. eBay charges an extra fee for the reserve price option.
  • Buy it now. The buy it now price is the price you would sell the item for immediately. Buyers who agree with this price can buy the item immediately. It lets you sell something quickly for a reasonable price and move on to other things.
    • You can run an auction for 3, 5, 7, 10 or 30 days or you can set it to “valid until cancelled”.
    • You can add a buy it now option.

Price Proposal. You can add a “Best Offer” option to your Buy It Now auctions. This allows interested buyers to send a suggestion of what they would be willing to pay for the item. You can then decide whether or not to accept the offer. You can also wait and see if someone buys your item at the buy it now price.

Decide on a price. 

The best way to decide on a reasonable price is to look at comparable items on eBay that have already been sold. Log into “My eBay” and select “Advanced Search”. Tick ​​the “Closed Bids” box to see closed auctions. Check for how much and how the items were sold and pay special attention to the items that were sold in the way you decided to sell.

  • It is important that you find items that are as similar as possible to yours. This means age, condition, color, and other variables should be taken into account when comparing your item to others.
  • You can get the information for auctions that have expired up to 90 days after a successful sale, or 30 days after an unsuccessful sale.

Insert images.

It’s not enough that you just write about your item, you also have to show buyers what you have to offer. In fact, since July 31, 2013, eBay has required sellers to add at least one photo per auction. Photos must be full-bleed, with no additional seller text or graphics, and be at least 500px on their longest side.

  • When taking photos of your items, take them against a simple and clean background. Lean them against a white or neutral background. You can also put a white sheet on a stand and use it as a background. If your item will sparkle (e.g., jewelry), place it against a black background instead.
  • Pay attention to the light that causes shadows, reflections, or gray areas. Take the pictures without a camera flash. On the other hand, aim for soft, natural light like from a lightbox, or hang a sheet in front of your light source.
  • Use a camera tripod. No matter how hard you focus on holding your camera steady, you’ll get the best results with a tripod. Especially with close-ups. Blurred images don’t show buyers what they want to see and they quickly move on to the next auction.
  • Take multiple shots. Don’t just take one picture of your object, but several from different perspectives. Except for cars, each auction allows you to upload up to 12 photos for free.

Appreciate the shipping cost. 

After photographing your item, pack and weigh it so you can estimate its shipping cost. You can have the shipping costs calculated automatically, but you should always check them. You can also offer free shipping.
  • You can use the eBay shipping cost calculator to calculate your shipping costs. You must provide information about your package (weight, dimensions) and the shipping method (Post, Hermes, etc.).
  • Sell ​​free shipping. This will attract more buyers and rank higher in search queries.

Item description.

A good description of your item is really the key to making money on eBay. You need to tell potential buyers as much as you can about the item, using clear and engaging writing.

  • Create a meaningful headline. Write what you’re selling appropriate keywords and include useful information that might catch the reader’s attention (e.g., brand name, designer, color). Don’t try to be cute or clever; instead, be clear and specific about what you have to sell.
  • Mention all relevant information. Including item color, size, model name, or number. Does it have accessories? Is it used or new? How old? Status? Reference the photos you took to create the most accurate and complete description possible.
  • Write about the benefit. It’s not enough if potential buyers know what the object can theoretically do, they should also know what that means in concrete terms, that it can do it all. For example, if you’re selling waterproof shoes, always write something like, “Your feet will always stay warm and dry.”


Complete the sale

Contact the buyer. 

After the auction has ended, or after a buyer has bought your item directly, you must contact the buyer. If you use the eBay checkout process, the buyer will automatically receive all the necessary information, or you can write him a personal message via eBay yourself.

  • Make sure the following information is agreed with the buyer: total price, fees (if applicable), possible payment methods, shipping costs, shipping method, expected delivery date, and tracking number.

Receipt of payment.

Before you send an item, you should first receive the money. Most buyers pay relatively quickly – they know their rating depends on it. But sometimes you need to send a friendly reminder to a slightly slow buyer.

  • If something goes wrong with the payment, try to work it out directly with the buyer if possible. If that doesn’t work, contact eBay.

Ship the item. 

Once you have received the money, you should ship the item. Make sure it is carefully packaged and it arrives in good condition. Most buyers are eagerly awaiting their purchase, so make sure they’re happy and leave a good review by shipping fast.

  • eBay provides automated shipping labels and packing slips.
  • Send with confirmation of receipt or package tracking to prevent a buyer from claiming that they never received the goods.

Give an appraisal. 

Not only the buyers should leave a review, but also the sellers. This lets others know how your experience with the buyer was, improves the buyer’s reputation (if the experience was a good one), and builds your reputation as a caring and grateful seller.

Pay your eBay fees. 

The selling price of your item, along with any additional options (e.g. gallery photo, reserve price, etc.) determines the amount of your fees that you have to pay to eBay. Make sure you pay your bill on time to establish yourself as a trusted seller.

Build your business

Be a good communicator. 

Responding to inquiries from interested buyers and your customers is as important as it is in any sales industry, maybe even a little more important. Things can move fast on eBay and people have to rely entirely on email communication to keep in touch with the seller.

  • Check your emails regularly so that you can respond directly to questions about your item or problems with the delivery.
  • Consider loading the eBay app onto your smartphone to make your communication even easier.
  • Always be friendly in emails. It’s always a good strategy to treat people with respect. You can use it to earn a customer base and good ratings on eBay.

Give timely reviews. 

After a transaction, you can give your buyers a rating. Do it and do it in a timely manner. Success on eBay is built on a good reputation. Be generous and quick with your feedback and hope your buyers appreciate it. Don’t hold back your review until you get one from your buyer – you’ll come across as petty.

  • Unless something went terribly wrong with the transaction, write something positive about the buyer. Even a simple “thank you for your purchase” is a better rating than no rating at all.

Become a wholesaler. 

You can sell small things that most people use every day and specialize in them. A lot of products fit that description. Maybe you want to sell clothes, decoration, care products or kitchen help? Make a decision. Conduct research about the market situation and learn how to find customers and their wishes in a targeted manner.

Find a niche.

 One reason so many buyers go to eBay is that they can find things they can’t find anywhere else. Search the eBay community and you will find people everywhere who share a common interest (like stamp collectors, people who knit, housewives, vegans). Sell ​​things that meet their specific needs and desires.

Become a power seller. 

Power sellers are the elite 4% on eBay. A Powerseller award shows buyers that you are trustworthy, honest, and fair, which will bring you more and more buyers. But that’s not all, Powersellers also enjoy a variety of special benefits, perks, and special treatment from eBay. Depending on your level, this can include priority customer service and technical support, discounted shipping, and even health insurance. As a seller, you have to meet certain requirements. You need to:

  • Be an active member for at least 90 days.
  • Have at least €2500 in gross sales within 12 months.
  • Have processed at least 100 transactions in the last 12 months.
  • Have at least 98% positive reviews.
  • Have a balanced account.
  • Meet minimum seller standards.

Final Tips

  • Don’t make a mistake in the headline! Many people lose money on eBay simply because they make a typo. If the article is misspelled, many have trouble finding it. This reduces the competition and thus your profit.
  • Be friendly and quick when responding to eBay inquiries. To make good money, you need a good reputation.

Final Warnings

  • Make sure to take out insurance when shipping expensive goods.

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