Top Tips from an Professional Ebay seller

Selling items on Ebay and Facebook and making money

Here are some top tips from Professional Ebay seller, Liz Law, from Clean up your Clutter to help you decide how to begin Ebay selling.

Many old items you have sitting around at home can be worth serious cash, but to really get the money rolling in on eBay, you need to know the etiquette and shortcuts.

Selling on eBay isn't just for those in the first flushes of a major declutter – continually selling things you no longer use can provide regular ready money.

When you catch the eBay bug, it's almost addictive watching the bids flow in; the pounds can quickly add up, especially as you're profiting from stuff that was just picking up dust.


Not used it for a year? Sell it.

Companies stock check to value their assets, and you can do the same – walk through your home to find items of value you no longer need, then sell them.

Use the 12-month rule of thumb to help decide what to offload. Haven't used it for a year? Sell it.

Here's what sells best; if what you're selling doesn't fit into any of these categories, the pounds can still add up, and you'll benefit from a more orderly home.

  • New items. Cellophane-wrapped items and clothes with tags fetch a higher price.
  • Branded goods. People trust a 'Black & Decker drill' over an 'electric drill'.
  • Items with keywords. Ask yourself "will someone search for this?" People are more likely to search for a Ted Baker shirt than a plain shirt.
  • Rare commodities. Rare or difficult-to-get-hold-of items can sell well.
  • Job lots. If you've little time and heaps of similar items, consider selling them as a bundle – this works especially well with baby clothes. But sell expensive branded goods individually – don't bung Prada in with Primark.

Don't bin it, 'Bay it

Buy first to build your profile and ensure you can sell at a decent price

Before selling your cast-offs on eBay, buy a few small items you need; you can buy everything from tights to toothpaste on eBay and may well save cash to boot 

This will give you an insight into how the site works and build up your feedback rating. Few buyers will do business with sellers who have no feedback, and even if they do, it means your item is unlikely to fetch its market value.

The worst mistake you can make is log in for the first time and try to sell a pricey item, such as an iPhone, when you've no feedback.


Spy on what others do to get tips on how to sell your stuff

The joy of eBay is you can see exactly how much other items have sold for and how other sellers have described their wares. Search for the item you want to sell, then on the left-hand grey bar, tick to show only 'sold listings'. You'll be able to see how many bids similar items attracted and how much the winning bids were for.

Spotted a product identical to yours? Click Sell one like this, which automatically fills in a lot of the listing form for you – don't copy descriptions or pictures wholesale from another listing though.


Know your fees and listing costs

eBay charges sellers two fees for basic listings.

  • Insertion fee. This is the basic fee to list an item – normally a flat 35p per item. 
  • Final value fee. If and when an item sells, you have to pay a flat 10% of the final sale price, including postage. This applies to every item, including those listed for free. The final value fee is capped at £250, ie, you pay 10% on items up to the value of £2,500.
  • Paypal fees. If the buyer pays by PayPal, it usually takes 3.4% of the total sale price, plus 20p per transaction.

Watch out for special promotions and free listings

Often eBay will offer a certain number of free listings so do check out the details.

Every so often eBay runs promotions where you pay final-value fees at no more than £1 on all items you list over a certain period. The promos usually runs for two or three days, over a weekend. These are a great time to get selling, particularly if you have expensive items you want to shift. For example, if you sold an iPhone for £200, you’d usually pay £20 in final-value fees. With these offers, you’d pay just £1.

The promotions are targeted at individuals, so keep an eye on your emails for updates.


So, ready to get started and see that cash start rolling in? Go for it! Let us know how you get on!

If you want to know more about Liz, you can follow her on Facebook, Linked In or take a look at her website. You can also listen in to our podcast with Liz. Is it worth selling my stuff on Ebay?

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