Any advice for selling items on Ebay?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
6779 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

For pricing, research completed listings for similar items. Don’t bother with the non-closed auctions because you don’t know what people are willing to pay till they actually buy. Use the successful sales to guide your pricing. Always put photos in your listings. Those listings tend to sell better.

weigh your items to calculate shipping. You can find shippimg estimators on the post office website, also fedex and ups websites.

you can get padded envelopes and bubble wrap from Office Depot and other office supply stores for a lot cheaper than at the post office. Or post on your local craigslist or freecycle. You might be able to get free supplies from someone who doesn’t want them any more.

Commission in a traditional resale shop is usually 20-30% on designer clothing. Make sure you factor out the ebay listing fees and PayPal fees before you calculate how much you’re keeping from your SO’s parents’ items.

Post # 4
1747 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I suggest doing a little research on ebay to start with.  Do searches for items similar to what you are selling and then look for sellers with super high ratings sellind that item.  Check their pricing and their post styles and do something similar.  As for shipping, if you plan to use UPS or Fedex, they can provide you with shipping boxes and (paper or pouch) envelopes for free, you’d just need bubble wrap or newspaper to fill in if you have something breakable. USPS will provide flat rate boxes for free as well, but those are not always in your best interest.  When you list an item, ebay will help you determine the shipping cost and then you can decide if you want to have a shipping fee or do free shipping and a higher sales price.

As for the % you want to get from your SO’s family… that’s tricky.  Ebay takes about 9% so maybe you could ask for the same amount? Or ask for 11% so they would basically lose a total of 20% off the sale price.  You don’t want to ask for too much and look greedy. 

Post # 5
299 posts
Helper bee

do not set the starting price any lower than what you’re willing to sell it for (or set a reserve price), and take ebay & paypal feels into consideration when deciding that price so you don’t lose money

shipping: get supplies like manilla envelopes and tape and bubble wrap at the dollar store

UPSP has “flat rate” envelopes and boxes which are really good for shipping heavier items at a cheaper cost, plus those automatically have tracking onformation– you want to use tracking information for anything over $10 because scammers will say “I never got it” and ebay will make you refund them b/c you can’t prove it arrived

Post # 6
299 posts
Helper bee

for more valuable things I like to advertise on craigslist, that way you get cash upfront and no fees or shipping

Post # 8
2098 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I hope that more folks post on here. I, too, would like to know how to sell on there. I sure know how to buy :)…

Post # 9
498 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Seasoned eBayer here! 

Some tips:

  • Offer flat-rate shipping. In Australia we have pre-paid post bags (up to 500g, up to 1kg, up to 3kg). Let the customer know that they can combine shipping (second item ships free if it fits in the first bag). This will encourage shoppers to buy more than one item from you
  • Make sure to list the brand and size in the listing title.
  • Use as many key words as possible in the title. Would you rather buy “Little black dress” or “Gorgeous ZARA Black Silk Cocktail Party Dress Sz 6”
  • Photos:
    • Take as many as possible (in Australia we can list 12 for free). Take full-item, close up and details shots. If the item has a flaw or unique feature, take a photo. 
    • Make sure each item is clean and ironed before taking the photo
    • Check the photos before listing – remove any unflattering or weird looking photos
    • Make sure each photo is facing the right way
  • Price – I like to list everything starting at $5/$10 with no reserve. A low start price gets people bidding, the more people bidding, the more people want the item 🙂
  • List items for as long as possible – 10 days is the maximum auction time in Australia.
  • Schedule items so they finish between 7-9pm on a Sunday night (statistically the highest traffic period on ebay). Make sure that your auction end time doesn’t fall on a holiday.

Regarding consignment, I usually charge $3 per item plus 10%. I don’t like just charging a percentage because it’s a lot of work just to list items – you want to get something even if it doesn’t sell.

Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck with your selling!

Post # 10
299 posts
Helper bee

Meglin:  tracking is about $1 extra (if you’re not doing flat-rate) and the # will be on your reciept if you go to the post office- if you print postage online everything is cheaper

Post # 11
6126 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Meglin:  I sell clothing and shoes regularly eBay.  I bought a 100 pack of polymailers from Amazon (turns out to be like 13 cents per bag).  They fit nearly all clothing items.  For shoes or heavier items (jeans, coats) I will use the free USPS priority Mail mailers you can get at your loal post office.

I don’t have a scale, but I let eBay’s shipping determine the price of my item based on my description.  Normally clothes go USPS First Class Mail if they are under 13 oz (that’s 2-5 business days).  I print the label and tape it to the polymailer bag.  The Print Label options appears once someone has bought my item.  eBay’s shipping will predict a weight based on my description (ie, silk sleeveless top will be pretty lightweight).  If the item is going to be over 13 oz (like a pair of jeans) it’s probably better to do the priority mail envelope and you have to change that in your listing prior to a purchase.  Sometimes I adjust it or change the shipping options if they are jeans for example.

Once the item is purchased, and you go through the print label options, you can pay via PayPal for that label.  I print it, and tape it to my bag.  I never even go to the post office!  I put it in my work’s outgoing mail (going to the post office is a PITA).

Then I search for other items like to see what they were listed for.  Then I go a tad lower to make mine look more attractive.  If I can find an original stock photo online I will include that (and cite the website too).

Include photos (front, back, detailing, tag, wash tag).  Measurements too if you have time.  You can do lie flat measurements (pit to pit, waist, length, inseam).  Or people will ask you for those if they want.

Describe the color, washing instructions, collection year if applicable.

Ebay takes 9% then PayPal takes 2.7% plus 30 cents for all transactions.  I pay for my eBay shipping label via PayPal as well.  Ifyou are a new seller, your funds will not be accessbile for quite a few days (maybe 3 weeks) as you build your trustworthiness with PayPal.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  sienna76.
Post # 13
6126 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Meglin:  Good questions!  So far everyone had rated my shipping as fair.  I’m not out to make money on the shipping so I want it to be true.  It seems to be pretty good with skirts, dresses, shirts and tanks (the First Class shipping).  In the beginning when I was new I would take it to the post office to weigh it at the self service station, so I made note of regular items weight.  I feel eBay’s estimator is pretty good.  You can up or lower the ounces from what it itintially guesses prior to listing it.

I am really bad with guessing shoe weights though!  They need to go Priority Mail most likely (in your box or one of the USPS boxes/bags). I just sold a pair of cowboy boots this week.  I put the shipping as $9.  In the end I ended up putting them in a USPS Priority Mail flat rate box which goes for $12.45 flat rate which with the eBay shipping discount (if you go through them) ended up being $11.30.  Techincally that just comes out of the purchase price.

I guessed some jeans really poorly in the beginning.  I sent them First Class mail and they were $9.  I should have gone Priority Mail for cheaper.  It’s a learning process!


Comparing eBay to other selling venues like Tradesy and Poshmark, I find eBay pretty good as far as fees (a lower).

I have a spreadsheet with a little cacluation table so I can see what to price an item (so I can either break even or make a profit).  My cells are set up with their calculations.  I’m pretty new at this so I’m sure my spreadsheet system will morph over time.

Net is what the customer paid (if I covered shipping, then the 3.75 part is not included)

Costs:  “USPS” is the reduced price shipping rate if I go though eBay’s shipping system (which is paid for by PayPal) versus paying at the post office, “PP” are PayPal’s fees for selling not shipping (2.7% plus 30 cents), eBay are the 9% fees). 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  sienna76.
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  sienna76.
Post # 14
6126 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Using eBay’s weight/shipping guestimator is really an honor system.  If I went with eBay’s 10 oz weight guess on a blouse, bought the 10 ox First Class shipping lable, but in real lifve it really was 13 oz – the mail service doesn’t really alert me, or know honestly.

I also mistakingly used the USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate legal envelope which is $5.50 to ship many items (made of cardboard, used for legal paper documents, which I learned later).  Once at the post office for a real visit, I learned I was shipping everything in the wrong envelope!  I was using those flexible, tearproof free envelopes but calling it a legal flat rate evelope when I selected it in eBay’s listing.  I accidentally got away with $5.50 shipping on many items (which is a steal for shoes and jeans), but now that I know that was incorrect so I ship it correctly now.  However, USPS did not alert me.  As far as I know I was lucky or they just don’t check those things.  Better to be honest though.  The flexible Priority mail envelopes do go by weight.

Just another learning experience to share!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  sienna76.
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