A Detailed Guide on Selling at eBay
There are a large number of popular eCommerce sites in the world like Amazon, Walmart, etc. However, there are a few services that eBay provides to its seller that no other site can match. The most notable is the customizable storefronts in which an eBay seller can develop his own brand. Here the Buyers now that they are dealing with a particular seller on eBay and interact directly with him. This is not possible on other sites where the buyer deals with the eCommerce site as a whole. Anyone can start selling at eBay.
This business model has made eBay much more seller-focused than other sites. The seller is basically using a shop in eBay’s marketplace and as such has to follow few rules. However, in return, he would get a stable platform, lots of views and an easy to sell products.
Steps for Selling at eBay
Do your Homework:
First, you should have a feel for the eBay platform. Browse through it and develop a familiarity with the interface. There are a large number of stores selling different items already online on eBay. One should take a look into it and do his own research before deciding which products to sell in his store. Ideally, the product chosen should be sold at competitive rates or have any value added to it to attract the customer.
Creating an Account:
Go to the eBay Registration.
There are two different of accounts one can register in eBay – Personal and Business
- Personal account: – These accounts are suitable for those who are looking for occasionally sell or purchase a small number of products on the eBay platform. This account can be created easily by filling a simple form that includes your name, mail, and password or signs in from Facebook or Google and start selling at eBay.
- Business account: – This account is ideal for the businesses that deal with bulk sell and purchase of items. For creating a business account, press on Create a business account. This is situated just below to create an account option.
- Pressing it will take you to the registration page where you have to give details about your legal business name, email, phone, and password.
Products Selling on eBay:
Having a clear idea of what you wish to sell on the eBay platform will help in making the product listing process much easier. Below are few tips to get you started on your product?
Sell from your own Inventory:
This is for those who have stock of a product at hand or you manufacture any particular product. For the first time seller, it’s better to sell old stuff that you might not require and can let go. Example:- furniture, books equipment, etc. For the manufacturer, it’s better to sell in small quantities and scale up after you are familiar with the whole process from listing to shipping.
Consider Procurement and Logistics:
eBay acts as a global marketplace where you can start selling at eBay to the whole world. As such, it makes packing and transport logistics much easier to deal with if you have a product in mind. Then look at the feasibility of the whole model by looking at the tentative profit you will get. This can be done by deducting the cost of the product, eBay fees along with shipping and packing charges from your selling price.
Choose Product Category:
Now you can choose the product category that best suits your product. The popular categories include Books, Collectibles, Antiques, Consumer Electronics, Business & Industrial, Pet Supplies, Sporting Goods, Computers, Dolls, Crafts, Motors, and Home & Garden. Besides this, make sure that your product does not fall through the eBay prohibited categories
Creating a listing:
You can start creating by pressing the “Sell” button on top of any pages on eBay. This would take you to sell your item form if your account is up and running. If there is any information missing in your account then it will ask you to fill them before redirecting to sell your item form.
In the Sell your item form, you would first need to select the category and a subcategory for your product. You can also get eBay to suggest a fitting product category by entering keywords related to your product in the search box that says “What are you selling?”
Filling Title & Description:
One of the most important things about your eBay listing is that it should be attractive and enticing to the buyers. As such it’s a must to include SEO friendly titles and descriptions that have related keywords.
Better and Sharp Images of the Products:
eBay has a few guidelines and tips on the photo which have to be included in the listing. Ideally, the photo should be taken from different angles and should be in a clear white background. You can up to a total of 12 photos in the listing for free. So high-quality photos that showcase the attractiveness of your product can go a long way in helping you make a sale and a better start selling at eBay.
There are three different listing formats available on eBay. This includes Auction style, fixed style, and classified ads.
Here the base price at which auction starts and the time period for the auction is set by the seller. The product is won by the highest bidder in that timeline. Multiple products can be set for auction simultaneously. There is an option of 1,3,5,7 or 10 days for product auction and 30 days for real-estate auctions. The fees for the auctions include insertion fees, optional upgrades that are charged at the creation of listing, and final value fee which is charged if there is a sale.
This is also called Good ‘till Cancelled listing. Here the buyer can buy the item in an instant. The listing can be of 1, 3, 5,7,10, or 30 days or GTC option which is basically auto-renews every month until it’s sold. The fees include the insertion fee, optional upgrade fee at listing creation, and final value fee when it’s sold.
This is for those users who want to expose their product to eBay’s potential 175 million users. Here the ads of your product appear on the eBay homepage and eBay’s search result. The buyer can contact the seller directly and the transaction is done on a personal basis. Here the insertion fees change by category. There are optional fees for upgrades but there’s no final value fee. The ad can run for 1, 3, 5,7,10, and 30 or good till canceled in which insertion fees are charged every 30 days.
Setting the Price:
In the auction-style listing, the price is ideally set at the bare minimum so that your product attracts more potential buyers. Generally, Items that are priced higher don’t do well. eBay also has the option to accept or decline any offer automatically according to the price quoted by the buyer.
In a fixed price listing, it’s better to price it competitively after checking your profit margin. You should keep manufacture cost, shipping, and packing and eBay fees in mind while deciding the set price. You also have the option to let buyers quote a price to you by “Let buyers make offers” if they are not happy with your price. If the quoted price is acceptable to you, then you can make the sale.
Payments & Shipping:
- Here, you basically give the payment methods that can be used while purchasing from you along with the shipping method that you will use to ship the product to the buyer. You also need to specify the handling time which is basically the time taken by you to ship the product after-sale is done. Payment methods available on eBay are PayPal, pay on pickup, cards, e-wallets like Skrill and Escrow. The most widely used method of receiving money on eBay is PayPal because its fast, secure, global, and easy to use.
- It’s perfectly alright to not accept any returns but you need to mention the same on the eBay listing. However do keep in mind that even if you don’t accept return, you are still under eBay’s money-back guarantee. An additional information section in the form can be used to give details about your return policy. If there’s no return policy selected in your listing, eBay will automatically apply default return policy
- Ideal return policy on eBay should give refunds, no question asked returns, 30days time along with mentioning if there’s any restocking fee, return shipping & handling fees associated with the product. Also, the item condition should be clearly mentioned so that the Buyer doesn’t have any unpleasant surprises.
- Business accounts holders are mandated by eBay to give a minimum of 14 days return window. Also, those who do international business should give clear instructions on returns and who pays return shipping and how the refund is processed.
On eBay, the seller can review and accept a return request within 8 days of receiving it. After which the terms of your return policy comes in play. Then buyer ships the product back to you within 14 days. You have to inspect the returned product and check its condition. If that is met, then the refund should be initiated in 6 days. Your eBay fees associated with that sale will be adjusted in your next invoice.
Different types of fees on eBay:
A good grasp on eBay’s different fees can help the seller to maximize his profit when you start selling at eBay.Different fees that eBay charges are:
eBay provides 50 free listings after which it charges 0.35$ for every additional listing. This fee is sometimes waived off for eBay stores owner even if they have more listing. Also, for the listing of heavy equipment, press, and food trucks & restaurants, there is a flat insertion fee of US$20.
Final value fee:
This is basically eBay’s commission for the item sold in your store and is a percentage of selling price including shipping. This fee varies from 2-12% depending on the category. The majority of categories have 10% as fees while books, DVD category has 12% and the heavy item has 2% fees.
Optional Upgrades fees:
This fee is charged by eBay if you are making any changes to your listing to make it more attractive like making some parts bold, highlighted, having a good looking border, listing in multiple categories, visibility, subtitles, etc.
Classified Listing Fees:
This fee is exclusive to classified ad listing. Classified ads are exactly like newspaper ads and created for very limited categories like industrial, specialty services, travel, tools, information. This is a flat fee of 9.95$ for a classified ad listed for 30 days and there are no final value fees involved.
Optional Promoted Listings Fee:
This is basically marketing your product on other pages that potential buyers are browsing. The seller can decide what amount of the final fee that the seller wants to pay extra to make the product promoted by eBay. This starts with a single percentage of the final value fees.
Payment processing fees:
The widely used payment gateway PayPal charges 2.9%+ 0.3$ for every payment on eBay. It recently started Managed payments on a limited basis which is a total cumulative fee consisting of all eBay fees incurred and paid on eBay platform.
These are the additional fees that are applicable to the eBay sellers who have poor ratings and fall short on eBay’s minimum seller level rating requirement. These fees are 5% of the final value fee is applicable. However, if minimum seller performance not met and the account has lots of ‘Item not as described’ return cases. eBay does levies a final value fee even if there’s no sale in case there is a sale or purchase of products outside the eBay platform.
eBay does provide a very good platform and a lot of tools for the sellers to maximize sales and profit. For those with low sales, the 50 free listing and 12 free pictures help to list products for free. However if the sales increase, it’s better to get eBay stores and pay monthly charges to get benefits like low insertion fees and final value fees. Why you are waiting now? Register, make a store and start selling at eBay.