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Selling on eBay: #1 Beginners Guide to Making Money Fast

Selling On Ebay - Rack of Jeans on hangers

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Selling on eBay: A Beginner's Guide

Chances are, you are one of the over 187 million active buyers worldwide. The eBay platform has been a thriving marketplace for people who just want to sell one item, to massive companies that want to get sales from their businesses on different avenues. I started on ebay many years ago as a way to bring some money in while I was off work after an unplanned surgery. When I first started on eBay, you had to wait for people to write you checks or money orders and mail them to you when they purchased your item. eBay has changed a lot through the years,

Selling On eBay: Like Watching A Game of Baseball

It's a long walk inside, but then you find your friends

eBay is built on a platform that is ancient. When you first start out, you need to stop and look around at all the different things it has to offer. eBay has a great community where you can ask questions and get help whenever needed. It's like entering the ballpark and seeing your friends. eBay has a process now where you can save your favorite sellers and they will show you their store right at the front whenever you open the page.

Grab a snack, claim your seat, & check out the neighbors

If you're never bought or sold anything on eBay before, the first thing you'll need to do is to set up your account. Choose your username wisely. If somewhere down the road you decide to make eBay more than just something for fast cash, you'll want a respectable username. Although you can change your username in the future, the url to your store, will always be the orginal one you chose. Trying to be taken seriously as business with the url Fartnroses or Juliussleazer could be problematic!

It's the same idea, tweaked mildly – over and over and over again. If you're looking to turn your spare time into spare change, here's a comprehensive guide on how to make money on eBay and transform it into a lucrative side gig.

Selling On eBay: The Wind Up

Now that you've claimed looked around and claimed your space, you want to figure out how to get paid for the things you sell. When I first started on eBay, you had to wait for people to write you checks or money orders and then mail them to you when they purchased your item.

Luckily, eBay has changed, and just like the popcorn and peanut vendors who come to you to sell you snacks, your eBay money can automatically go to your bank account.

eBay transactions are often conducted through PayPal, so you'll need to set up an account if you don't have one. Link your PayPal account to your eBay account for an easier selling experience. You can even choose to get paid daily, weekly or monthly.


Since the goal for this blog post is to get fast cash, skip the rest of the steps eBay suggests about creating a profile, storefront, and a bio. You can do all of that later if you choose, but none of it is pertinent to get started.

Spend 10 minutes going around your house with a laundry basket and find things that you want to sell. Maybe it's a bunch of clothes you no longer want, some of your kids clothes, a video game console or games, a part to a blender, or whatever else you can come up with. Do this FAST! Don't overthink it. The goal is fast cash, fast!

A Woman Looking at a White Towel while Crouching

Selling on eBay: The Pitch

Next, start listing! eBay has a very simple and easy method to get you started listing items. Follow the prompts to begin with the title. eBay is a search engine, so list like you would look up something yourself. Don't add extra words that no one would search for like – “Best, LOOK, Great.”

Include relevant words and choose the appropriate items within the listing tor further identify specifics about your item. Since you are beginning, add pictures with your phone. If you decide to sell more items, you'll want to switch to a camera, but for now, your smartphone is fine.

A good rule of thumb is to take photos on a plain background, and take different angles, including the tag and measurements. Try to take at least 12 photos of your items. Ebay – and buyers like a good amount of photos.

Standing Person Wearing Yellow Jacket on Road Between Pine Tree

Choose a price that will sell fast. No one is going to buy your used Columbia Hoodie for 129.99, even if that's the price you paid, even if you never wore it, even if it still has tags on it. This is eBay. Think about the price you would want to pay if you were looking for it on ebay, then think of the price that would make you ABSOLUTELY buy it. Again, this is where eBay has help for you also if you get stuck. You can use their free terapeak research tool.

Sale Cards on Beige Background

Next write a good, honest description. Include the measurement if it's an item that needs it. Include part numbers, model numbers, etc. All of this will increase your buyers confidence that you are selling them a quality product.

Remember, satisfied customers will leave positive reviews. Positive reviews are key to continuing on eBay, so provide excellent customer service from the start to build a solid reputation.

Deciding on shipping costs. Who is going to pay for them? Will you offer free shipping? I personally never offer free shipping. If you offer free shipping, in order to make the money you want, you have to pad the asking price, which may throw your item out of the search algorithm if it looks overpriced.

Top view of calculator with plastic multicolored buttons and display near roll of dollar banknotes tied with rubber band on white surface

You can use eBay's shipping calculator to estimate what your costs will be. Since I sell mainly clothing in my eBay business, I set a flat shipping cost of either 5.99, or 8.99. If you are selling heavier items, you could choose to charge actual shipping costs based on the buyers zip code and weight of the item. This is also available to figure out right in eBay's listing system.

Once your listings are listed, keep a close eye on them. Check your eBay account a couple times a day to respond to buyers questions. I get LOTS of positive feedback from customers who say I had great communication and answered them quickly. This also helps build trust and grow your repeat customers.

Selling on eBay: The Hit

When your item sells, package it securely and ship it promptly. Nothing will make a customer more mad than to sit around and wait for a package they ordered a week ago that still hasn't been shipped. Doing your shipping with the eBay system, provides tracking information to the buyer automatically. It helps them keep an eye on the delivery status. Timely and reliable shipping contributes to positive seller ratings, which is what you want!

There are many different ways you can ship your items that sold. Good Housekeeping, says always use a method for postage that's traceable. This is very true as it gives both you as a seller and the customer a sense of security. eBay sends messages to the customer to update them on the tracking. Also, if there's ever a problem where a buyer would claim they didn't get the package, both you and eBay are able to track where it is.

You can ship your item with Pirate Ship,, or eBay's own shipping platform, which is what I would recommend when you are just beginning.

Selling On Ebay: The Crowd Goes Wild

After you ship the item, eBay will prompt you to leave feedback for the customer. A simple, short comment about how you appreciate them or thank them is enough. You don't need to beg for positive feedback, or bring up what they have to do if they have a problem with the item. eBay will prompt them to leave feedback for you, and you never want to put an idea in a customer's head that there would be a problem with their item.

Free stock photo of accomplishment, achievement, business

If you're just starting with a brand new account on eBay, they will hold your payment until the item has been received and then a few days for the buyer to say they are happy with the product. You can then request payment to your preferred payment method.

Selling on Ebay: The Coaches Post Game Talk

There are some additional things to know as a complete beginner listing on ebay.

  1. eBay is a needy girlfriend. The eBay algorithim prefers you list items consistently and are active on the platform. If you have 20 items you want to list, start with 1 or 2 a day and spread them out over 10-14 days. If you list all 20 in one day and then don't check back in, the algorithm doesn't like that.
  2. eBay is continually evolving. Make sure you read the information that comes to your email. If you have questions, they have a fabulous help & connect tab at the top of the page that will help you any questions you have.
  3. eBay is addicting. The dopamine rush that you get when you sell an item is AMAZING! The fast cash in your pocket doesn't hurt, either! You may decide selling on eBay is something you want to do more of, or even make it into a side gig.
  4. Since the reason you started selling on eBay was because you needed cash to pay your bills, make sure that you get a large nest-egg of cash before you start purchasing items to re-sell. I always tell people to sell at least 100 items that they have from around their house or got free before they start buying items to re-sell. You NEVER want your side hustle to get you more into debt.
Assorted-color Pants Lot

Selling On eBay: Additional Training

Congratulations! You've successfully navigated the essential steps to get started on eBay. In the realm of side hustles, eBay offers a unique and accessible avenue for individuals to turn their unused items into fast cash. Since I have a 4500+ item eBay store, these are my best tips for a beginner, and should serve you well.

If you are interested in eBay turning ebay into more of a side gig or even full time job, I can lead you to an amazing mastermind group with people at the top of their field. They helped me be a top 0.001% seller on eBay. The #1 seller on eBay in used men clothing, Technsports, says sell through rate is the key to success. You can list 1000 items, but if no one wants them, or they are over priced, they aren't going to sell.

Now go ahead and unleash your items to the world, turning your unused treasures into a source of income and satisfaction. Happy selling!

A Woman in White Long Sleeves Taking Photos of a Handbag

More info about where to find me:

If you are looking for othr ways to make quick cash, I have a post about my favorite merchandising side gigs that can bring in money within a week.

If you're looking for ways to save on the holidays, check out my post wit 26 ways to save money on Christmas.

I talk about side gigs, personal finance and how to get out of debt every Wednesday in my FREE Facebook group with over 3k people – and I'd love to have you join in.

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