I’ve been selling on eBay for about two years now and these are the best tips that I’d give to a new seller that’s looking to join the reseller community.
- Use an existing eBay account to sell (you won’t be subject to pay hold restrictions if you already have some feedback on your account. A new eBay account has zero feedback and Paypal will not release funds immediately until some feedback is established)
- Block your tasks and figure out your work pattern. I find that I get bored quickly when I am trying to photograph/list/inventory items. I have experimented with many methods and found that photographing 3 items works best for me. I photo 3, then I go inventory/wrap/store those 3 items, and then list those 3 items.
- INVENTORY YOUR ITEMS IMMEDIATELY AFTER PHOTOGRAPHING. This was my biggest downfall this past year. I would photograph large piles of items and then proceed to list them over the next few days, but would slack off about actually putting them away. For me, this process involves inspecting the item closely, trimming any loose threads, de-pilling the item if needed, and then lint rolling every inch of it before storing it in a clear plastic bag with an inventory number that corresponds to an entry on an inventory spreadsheet. This resulted in many frantic searches through several piles of clothing when something did sell and I do not recommend it.
- Be consistent. If you’re not able to list items every day, then photograph enough for the week and list a few each day or draft your listings so that you only have to push them live each day. The eBay algorithm likes activity on your account and will boost your items in search if your account/store has consistent activity.
- Check comps. As a new seller, it’s hard to know what will sell. I usually rely on brands that I know are good quality or if the item feels like good quality, I will look it up to see what it has sold for. Depending on your business model, look at how many times the item has sold and the window of time it it sold as well as the price point. I personally have somewhat of a buy and hold strategy vs. sell immediate strategy. I know that eventually, everything sells. Some things need longer for their buyer to find them. If the comps show that the item is selling in a range that will make me that $10 profit, I buy and list it and forget about it.
- To check comps, search an item on eBay.
On the left side of the screen, you can specify your search. Scroll down to select sold items. You can also do this on the eBay app on your phone too (search item, click filter and select sold items)
Now, the listings that are on the screen are the ones that match your search that have actually sold. You can then filter to see whether they sold by buy it now listing (no bids) or by auction and how often the item has sold. Also note whether the solds offered free shipping as this can eat into your profit if you have to pony up the $7-8 for shipping.
6. Learn what it will cost to ship items and have shipping supplies. The shipping rates for 2019 are not available yet, but are rumored to increase over the 2018 rates. I personally charge for shipping. I experimented with offering free shipping but found that only attracted low ball offers and that people are more reasonable when they are charged for shipping. I use free post office priority supplies, polymailers, and a lot of packaging tape. My absolute favorite tool for shipping is this tape station. One day I aspire to buy a thermal printer, but until I hit 10 items to ship out per day, the tape dispenser does the job quite well.
7. Join the reseller community on instagram and watch Youtube videos. My favorite resellers are: @bunchofstyles, @resellinmama, @dailyrefinement, @ambitionsrunway @laurenthrifts, @nicole.state, @just.thrift.it, @reezyresells, @icantretailanymore, @lavenderclothesline. All have different business models. Some sell on eBay exclusively, some sell on multiple platforms. Everybody has a great work ethic and is super friendly. It’s tough to work alone especially if you’ve always had coworkers, so joining a community of like minded people is beneficial to help with feeling out of the loop and the insight gained from listening to these people is amazing.
If you think I’ve missed anything or have any questions, please drop a comment below! I had so many questions when I first started selling, so ask away. 🙂