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I love selling on eBay. Over the years, I’ve sold my old stuff, my families’ old stuff (with their permission of course!), and even spent a year reselling treasures I’d found at various car boot sales and charity shops for a profit on the platform. So, following thousands of pounds of sales, and plenty of ups and downs, I like to think I’m pretty qualified to share my insights into how you can get more eBay sales today.
First of all, if you’re looking to make more money, I can whole-heartedly recommend this as a viable side hustle (and many people can even turn it into their full-time job!) eBay allowed me to grow my Emergency Fund, and even helped me raise the funds I needed to start my Amazon business, so it can 100% help you make more money to help you live a more comfortable life!
However, it’s not easy, and after years of trial and error, the following should help you avoid making the same mistakes I did.
So, let’s get in to it – my 15 Ways to Get More eBay Sales Today:
Make sure your item is in good condition
Before you list your item, you need to be sure it’s in a good enough condition to sell – regardless of how much these tips might help you sell it.
Some items don’t need to be in pristine condition, and if it isn’t, just make absolutely sure you include it within your listing – you’ll need photos and a mention within your description to cover you and avoid any negative feedback/return requests.
Use as many (relevant!) keywords in your title as you can
Make sure within your listing title, you include and use as many keywords as possible. ‘Black Strapless Top Size 10’ is not enough!
You need to be not only describing the item, but describing the kinds of scenarios you’d be using the item in as well. Change ‘Black Strapless Top Size 10’ to ‘BNWT [Brand] Black Strapless Sleeveless Ladies Crop Top Plain Bandeau Vest Party Occasion Clubbing’ and watch your watchers increase.
Stuck for keywords? Look at similar items on both eBay and Google for inspiration on what else you can include.
Master the eBay language
eBay has it’s own language of abbreviations which you can use within your titles to ensure you save more space and use less characters. The following should start you off, but head to Google for a full breakdown on eBay abbreviations:
- VGC = Very Good Condition
- BNIB = Brand New in Box
- NIB = New in Box
- BNWT = Brand New With Tags
- BNWOT = Brand New Without Tags
- MIB = Mint in Box
- COA = Certificate of Authenticity (particularly useful if selling designer goods)
- OOAK = One of a Kind
Most buyers will know what these abbreviations stand for, and will actively hunt them out. If you’re worried, you can always include ‘Brand New’ (where appropriate) in a title to make absolutely sure, or spell out any of the other abbreviations if you have space available in your title.
Take and include high-quality photos
Think natural light, uncluttered background, and a minimum of seven photos each showing different angles (and any imperfections) of the item. If it’s clothing, include the sizing label and care label, the front, back and sleeves/legs, along with close-ups where necessary. If you’re selling a designer item, make sure to include a photo of your certificate of authenticity, if you have one.
eBay allow you to upload twelve photos per item, and you should absolutely use as many of them as you can to help you get your items sold.
In my opinion, the more photos you include, the more trustworthy your listing is, and the more attractive your listing will be over your competitors’.
Be descriptive within the description
Make sure your item descriptions are as in-depth as they can be. As a bare minimum, make sure to include the following:
- Quantity you are selling within this listing
- Item condition (is it new, used, how used? Does it work properly?)
- Is it from a smoke-free/pet-free home?
- Are there any outstanding features?
- Include why you are selling the item (if appropriate). For example, there’s no point including this with clothes, but if you’re looking to sell an old phone, maybe say why (e.g. purchased replacement model, no longer required).
- How will it be dispatched? (e.g. Sent via Royal Mail First Class)
- Always include the following, regardless of what you’re selling: “Please do get in touch if you have any questions”
Which leads me straight on to my next point…
Reply to messages as soon as possible
Don’t leave your prospective buyers hanging – they’re enquiring for a reason and the interest is there, but this might wane the longer they have to wait for an answer.
Strike while the iron’s hot, give them as much information as they need, and secure that sale!
Price your items competitively
I know it’s hard to look at an item objectively when you’ve originally bought it because you love it. Sure, you’re trying to get rid of it now, but chances are you’re still slightly sentimental towards it and you might be asking more money for it than the market deems it worth.
Instead, I recommend checking the ‘Solds’ items on the App/website so you can compare your item. All you need to do is search for the item you want to sell, click ‘Solds’ and it will filter how much, and when, the same items have sold for in the last few months.
You don’t need to price your item based on what you find, but it just gives you a great benchmark if you’re going in blind and really don’t know what you can ask for.
Auctions vs Buy It Now?
eBay gives you two options when you list your item – will you be selling it via auctions, or via Buy It Now?
Let’s look at both options:
Auctions are what eBay first became known for, and are a great way to potentially make more money than if you sold via Buy It Now. You can choose between running your auction across three, five, seven or ten days, and you can also simultaneously set a Buy It Now price for buyers who might not want to wait for the end of an auction to come around. Auctions are particularly successful when you price low to grab attention, but you need to be aware that this can backfire and you could end up selling an item for less than you want to – which is why I typically stick with Buy It Now.
Buy It Now allows a quicker process – it’s not unheard of to list an item and have it sell within half an hour. There’s no gamble here either – you sell the item for what you want it to sell for. However, many items remain listed and unsold for months on end, so it’s not a certainty.
If you’re considering an auction, a good rule is to always make sure your listings are due to end on a Sunday evening, when the platform has the most visitors. Buy It Now listings don’t require as much thought in that respect – you can upload your item, and leave it to run it’s course.
Free postage v paid for postage?
Another decision for you to make is whether you include the cost of postage within your item listing (and give your buyer free shipping), or whether to make the buyer pay for the postage separately.
There’s no right or wrong answer on this one, and the eBay community seems pretty split. Personally, I stick to passing the cost of postage on to the buyer, and thereby keep the cost of my product as low as I can, but there is absolutely value in going the other way. My advice would be to play around with it and see what works for you – if you’ve had an item listed for a few months and it hasn’t sold, maybe change it up a little.
eBay is all about trial and error – from images, to descriptions, to postage payment – so remain flexible and open-minded, and change things when you need to.
Parts of the market are saturated, and you won’t be able to command high prices for the likes of supermarket brands, Primark and New Look clothing. Instead, if you have a whole host of similar items (for example, lots of clothes in a particular size or for a particular age), bundle them together and sell them as a joblot.
By doing so, you not only declutter your house more quickly, but you stand a greater chance to selling the items more quickly than if you were individually listing them in a saturated market. Make sure to include the words ‘bundle’ and ‘joblot’ in your listing title, and include as many photos of each item as you can.
Offers are where prospective buyers can send you a price they’d like to pay, which is less than what you’re asking for.
When you receive an offer, you can do one of three things: accept it (and therefore sell your item), decline it, or counter it (which then allows you to send a different discounted price over to the buyer, which is higher than their original offer). You can also send a message, where, if you countered or declined, you could let them know your absolute lowest price.
You can turn these offers off, but by keeping them on you can enter into a dialogue which could secure a sale you may not otherwise have had.
This said, don’t accept it for accepting’s sake. You need to decide what the lowest price you’d be willing to take for it is, and don’t feel pressured to budge – regardless of what their offer is.
There will always be other buyers out there.
Send offers to watchers
Once your imagery is up to scratch, you’ve maxed out your keywords within your title and your description is as in-depth as it can be, chances are, you’ll be gathering watchers in no time!
A watcher is somebody who is keeping their eye on your product – they aren’t quite ready to commit to purchasing yet, but there is still a level of interest there. By clicking ‘watch’ on your item, they are able to quickly access your item at a later date.
A great thing about getting watchers is that you can then send these watchers an offer. Typically I send my watchers a 10% discount on an item if it’s been hanging around for a while – sometimes it secures a sale, and sometimes it doesn’t, but either way it’s a good way to interact with your watchers.
End and relist if been on there for a while
If your item has been listed on eBay for some time, you’ll find it gets pushed down on the listings and your chance of a sale becomes less and less.
eBay’s algorithm favours activity, so if that’s the case, end the listing, update your photos, rewrite your title and descriptions, and relist a couple of weeks later. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get a sale – so keep that activity up.
On that note…
List every day (if you can)
If you have enough items, try and list a new item every day (or at least every few). eBay’s algorithm seems to reward those who are active on the platform, and chances are by doing so, you’ll appear higher in the search results.
Appearing higher in the search results = higher chances of securing the sale.
Make sure your listing requires immediate payment
The sale isn’t closed until the money is in your account. A number of times, I’ve heard the ever-addictive eBay app notification alerting me to a sale, only to have to chase the buyer several times over a week before cancelling the sale – all because I hadn’t selected this setting when creating my listing.
The above methods should, without doubt, help you secure more eBay sales, but there are a few other things you might want to consider:
Make sure you have shipping supplies
I typically purchase the following from Amazon to ensure I’m not caught short and having to buy an overpriced Jiffy Bag from the post office:
Just check the measurements work for you – I find these are perfect for clothing and small items, but any bigger and you’ll need different sized packaging.
Make sure you get proof of postage
Unfortunately, there are scammers everywhere, and eBay is no different. Whenever you post an item, if you aren’t shipping it via recorded delivery, make sure you ask for proof of purchase. It’s literally a receipt, but you can at least show it to a buyer/eBay if they try to claim you haven’t sent it.
Whether you’re looking to declutter, or considering setting up a reselling business, these tips will hopefully help you get more eBay sales today. And just remember, before you are thinking of chucking anything out, check the eBay Sold’s first – as they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure (so why not profit from it?!)
Looking for more ways to make and save money? These posts might be of interest:
Let me know how you get on with your eBay sales after you’ve followed these steps over on Instagram – I’d love to hear how you get on!