eBay

eBay your way to extra cash

One of the most popular ways to earn additional money is by selling items on eBay, the world’s largest auction site. Not only can you generate extra cash, it’s also a great way to clear your home of unwanted clothing, collectables, electricals, furniture, and anything else causing unnecessary clutter. What’s more, being easy to use, you can be selling items within minutes.

How easy is it to get started?

First of all, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to register for an eBay account, which takes a few minutes. The most common way to receive payment from a buyer is via Paypal, a secure online payment provider. This is the payment method of choice on eBay and most people will expect to pay using this method, so you will also need to register for a free account here prior to creating a new listing.

What can I sell?

The range of items on eBay is vast and (within reason) the only limit to what you can sell is your imagination. However, there are some exceptions, namely: you cannot list counterfeit goods, weapons or anything else deemed dangerous. For beginners, popular items to sell include old mobile phones, unwanted clothes or shoes, sports equipment, etc. High value items can also be sold, such as cars, furniture - even boats!

Beginner Tips

1) Sell unwanted, personal items first - It is best to get a feel for the site and how things work by starting off selling small, personal items, like mobile phones, watches and similar. As you become more acquainted with eBay, you will build up knowledge and become even more effective at landing that sale.

2) Increase your seller reputation - Seller reputations are one of the key things a buyer looks at when deciding to enter an eBay auction. Sellers with the most positive feedback are considered more trustworthy, so it is important to strive for buyer recommendations. You can do this by fulfilling your end of the bargain by delivering on time, providing suitable packaging, and responding to questions promptly.

3) Quality images - Quality images can go a long way to closing that sale. When drafting a listing, try to show various angles to showcase the item. If your sale is electrical in nature, a photograph showing the item working is also recommended. For example, if you are selling a mobile phone, photograph the front, back, and also the device switched on. It is also important to photograph any imperfections to ensure the buyer is aware of the condition of the product.

4) Provide a full, accurate description - Similar to images, the description can make or break an auction. To generate as much interest as possible, the description should include all the facts in an easy-to-read, straight-forward manner. Try and be to the point and include details such as why you are selling the item, the condition, any payment specifics, and also where you will deliver to (or other arrangements if the item is too large to be delivered by the conventional postal service, i.e. cars or large amusement equipment).

5) Price competitively and fairly - Since eBay is a global auction site, it is likely that many other people are selling the same item. Therefore, it is important to price competitively and in accordance with the condition of your item. Broken or damaged goods will obviously command cheaper prices than those in pristine condition. One tip is to under-charge on your listings to drum-up more interest. The price will naturally rise as a result of increased bidding activity.

6) Ensure the advert title is descriptive and contains keywords - To appear in the eBay search listings, a descriptive title is vital. Think about the words somebody would type in then ensure these are prominent not only in the title, but in the description, too. Note: browsing through other similar listings is a good way to quickly see the variations in titles.

7) Weekends are reportedly the best times to end a sale - Although there are varying opinions, weekend is considered a suitable time to end an auction. The reasoning behind this is that more people have free time to spare. Having said that, this is not a hard and fast rule, so feel free to experiment. It is also worth keeping an eye out for “free eBay weekends”. These are run approximately every month or so, and let you list products free of charge. On occasions, they sometimes run twice a month.

8) Need an item selling quick? - If you already have an idea on the price you’d like to sell an item for, you can create a “buy it now” listing, which will let anyone instantly make a purchase. This method enables you to sell your goods at a fixed price. There are two variations to this: you can either run an auction with a buy it now option to increase the likelihood of a sale, or create a listing with no bidding allowed. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages and your choice will depend on your own individual requirements.

9) Comply with eBay terms and conditions - Following the eBay terms and conditions will ensure your transactions run as smoothly as possible. The Selling Basics page has a complete round-up of what is expected of both buyers and sellers. The terms are also in place to ensure adequate cover is available should a dispute happen between the buyer and seller. For example, it is common for people to get in touch and try and negotiate a deal to ship outside your advertised area. Or accept a private payment for an undisclosed “buy it now” deal. Fail to follow the terms and there will be little fallback if things go wrong.

Making regular money

Many people run businesses entirely on eBay. Since the overheads are far less than running a traditional “brick and mortar” shop, it is a cost-effective and simple way to begin trading. The audience is already there - it just needs tapping into. Whether it’s for a side project for a bit of extra cash to pay bills, to a full-time online trading venture, eBay can make it happen. Before taking your trading to the next level, gaining experience and a solid reputation is vital. Experiment with different products, prices, and auction types. After building up your seller feedback, the sky is the limit - and maybe one day you could become a “Power Seller”!