Preparing to Sell on eBay

Preparing to Sell on eBay


Preparing to sell on eBay you’ve set up your account with eBay, but you’re still not quite ready to buy. You need to be more familiar with the system, for a start; if you don’t understand how to buy on eBay, it will be hard to sell on eBay, so we recommend you start buying right away (in fact, whatever you buy, see if you can buy it through eBay). As you’ll learn, there’s an added advantage: you’ll boost your feedback rating.

You also need to understand the different ways you can sell through eBay, primarily Auctions, Fixed Price Listings, and a hybrid “Auction with Buy It Now.” Each has its advantages and disadvantages, of course. This chapter also explains the fees you’ll have to pay eBay, both when you list and when you sell your items. You’ll learn about different selling and timing strategies, too, and before we move on to actually listing an item for sale, we’ll discuss setting a few preferences.

You can also read: Setting Up a PayPal Account


Learning How to Buy on eBay

eBay learning

We recommend that you learn to buy on eBay. Each time you need to purchase something-a toner cartridge or a book, pens, and paper, a CD—begin your online search at eBay, and buy from an eBay merchant. There are three important reasons to do this:

  • You’ ll find great deals on eBay.
  • You’ll learn to understand the system from the buyer’s perspective, and in general, get more comfortable working with eBay.
  • You’ ll boost your feedback rating.

Using the About Me page and ID Verify to boost your credibility. Another important way to do so is to have a high feedback rating. You’ll learn more about feedback lather on this website, but essentially the system is one in which buyers and sellers rate each other. You can get good feedback, and you can get bad feedback. People feel more comfortable buying from someone with a lot of good feedback, of course, and lots of bad feedback will eventually kill your chance of doing business through eBay.

As a new merchant, you’re at a real disadvantage—with no feedback, you’re an unknown entity. But you can get feedback by making purchases through eBay, and then asking for feedback. Thus, you should get into the habit of making all your online purchases through eBay—you may even save money, and you’ll build a better reputation as a seller.

You can also read: Creating Your eBay Presence


Understanding the Selling Formats

You can sell through eBay using several different formats, as shown in the following list:



The most common form of eBay transaction
Has the potential to get a high price
Preferred by many eBay buyers
Has low listing fees

The seller can set a reserve price (for an additional fee)

Fixed Price

Involves no bidding—either someone buys or they don’t
Often leads to quicker sales

Convenient for customers who want to buy quickly and move on
Good for listing multiple items


An auction that can be cut short if someone meets a fixed price (We’ll

and Buy It Now

discuss this a bit later.)

Real Estate Advertising

Not a sales tool so much as a lead generator (We won’t be covering this
form of selling.)



A reserve price is a minimum at which you are willing to sell. If the bidding on an item doesn’t reach its reserve price, the auction is canceled.


How do you decide which format—auction or fixed price—you should use?

Consider using an auction when . . .

  • You don’t know for sure what price the product can be sold for. In this instance, an Auction uses the market to set the price.
  • The product is likely to have a high price if exposed to enough people. This is particularly true if the item’s a hard-to-find or especially valuable product.
  • It’s likely that buyers will be excited to see the listing.
  • You have only one copy of the item to sell.
  • You can afford to wait for the sale.
  • Consider using a fixed price when . . .
  • The item is a “commodity” item, where nobody cares to bid on it.
  • It’s a low-cost item.
  • You have multiples of the same item.


Using Buy It Now—BIN

You can also combine a Buy It Now function with an auction, creating a sort of auction/fixed-price hybrid. BIN listings have a little Buy It Now icon next to them and a Buy It Now button on the product page. If someone clicks the Buy It Now button, the auction’s over and the item is sold for the specified Buy It Now price. On the other hand, if nobody clicks it before bidding begins—or, if you have a reserve price before the bidding passes the reserve price—then the Buy It Now option is removed.

Using Buy It Now



You can use Listing Tools software to automatically re-list a product as soon as it’s been purchased, allowing you to keep a product posted at all times and thus maximize sales.


BIN can be useful . . .

  • For commodity items that many people want to buy without having to bid for them.
  • For items that have a pretty predictable price, meaning there’s no need for an auction to set the price.
  • For items that people may want quickly. This way they can buy them now rather than having to wait for the auction to end.
  • For speeding up product turnover. Products are often sold much more quickly in this manner, allowing you to push through a greater number of products.

Buy It Now is often used for commodity items, where pricing is fully understood. You know what the price is likely to be if sold at auction, and you know a reasonable starting price. You set the BIN somewhere around the maximum—a little below perhaps or a little above—which lets many people simply click the button rather than being made to wait.


Different Quantity Options

You can list an item, sell just one of the items, or sell multiple products simultaneously. The following list outlines the different ways to sell multiple items:

  • In an auction, Bidders specify how much they’re willing to pay, and how many of the item they want. A bid must have a higher Total Bid Value than the prior bid—that is, the number of items multiplied by the price must be greater than the previous bid. (This often doesn’t come into play since people often bid on one item.) Buyers don’t necessarily pay the bid price, though; everyone pays the lowest successful bid price.
  • Fixed price You can provide a fixed price for multiple items. Buyers can buy the number they want, at the price you fixed, and the listing doesn’t end until they’re all gone. (Particular criteria exist for this type of listing—you must be ID Verified, for instance.)
  • Lot sale You want to sell multiple items to a single buyer as a “lot,” rather than one by one to different buyers.



Selling multiple items through an auction is typically known as a Dutch Auction.


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