Selling on eBay Workshop
My Introduction - My numbers on ebay - seller since 1999
Items currently listed - 18,935
User name dularson - store name oldpostcardsforsale - feedback 14,315
Affiliations - none - I am not paid by eBay to offer this workshop
I am a volunteer at Morningside Library. This is my seventeenth eBay workshop
Questions at any time - use hand method - answers are based on my experience
Rest Rooms - go out at any time - leave at any time
Print this workbook online - http://www.oldpostcardsforsale.com/selling.htm
Purpose of this workshop - orientation for new sellers on ebay
Vocabulary - for ebay find a glossary of terms from eBay HERE eBay Glossary
Here are additional definitions from me:
active listing - for sale at this time.
advanced search - to see what has sold and not sold. Right of search button.
Amazon.com - a great place to check the value of several items.
auction bytes - water cooler website for details about what's happening.
auction item - bidding is necessary. Seller may use when value is not known.
best match - results of search based on what eBay wants you to see.
bidding - selling to highest bidder, useful when value is not known.
bidding war - when two or more bidders drive up the price.
box lot - sell several related items at one time to get rid of stuff.
buy it now - BIN- no need to bid. Just buy.
combined shipping - when a buyer orders two or more items.
completed sales - click to see items sold and not sold in advanced search.
create shortcut - right click to have icon on desktop to go to a webpage fast.
customer service - none for a seller, only a buyer.
desktop - screen which first shows when computer is turned on.
duplicate listing - can not list same item twice at the same time.
eBay- greatest website for selling unusual stuff, sort-of.
ebay fees - about 20% of the sale price.
ecommerce - online sales .
email - the first page to visit each day to check for sold items.
empty box - customer says box was empty when delivered.
ending soonest - a sort which is great at attracting buyers but not default.
eyeballs - people who look at your items.
feedback - online reputation with eBay for buyers and sellers.
final value fee - ebay commission when item is sold is typically about 15%.
fixed price item - no need to bid. Item is available for immediate sale.
foreign sales - OK for very small items that will fit in an envelope.
free listings - 250 given by eBay from time to time to non store holders.
free shipping - no such thing.
good till cancelled - GTC - item will be relisted automatically by eBay.
Google search - a better way to find stuff on eBay.
icon - graphic which when clicked will take you to webpage without typing.
images - pictures from scanner or camera.
import listings - bring items into eBay from other websites.
ISBN - identification number of book which speeds up listing of a book.
life is an average - there will be good and there will be bad.
listing - advertisement goes worldwide if seller selects worldwide shipping.
listing fee - cost to advertise varies per item from 20 cents to 5 cents.
lowest price first - search sort to show lowest price items at top of search.
IRS Schedule C see copy HERE
minimum bid - set by seller for auction items.
new listing - never listed before.
niche - area of specialized selling.
not as described - NAD - buyer can claim this and get refund without return.
notebook - notebook to record passwords, security questions, codes.
one of a kind OOAK - most items like this sell on eBay quickly.
packing bubble wrap - free behind furniture stores in dumpster. Take scissors.
page views - number of times page has been shown to buyers and other sellers.
password - security code to access accounts. Record in notebook.
PayPal - payment method acceptable to eBay.
PayPal debit card - way to pay for anything with PayPal proceeds.
picture photo - to display item for sale.
photo enclosure - to minimize surrounding details and focus on item for sale.
phishing emails - dishonest people looking for your details to steal from you.
postage fee - cost to send an item to buyer with USPS.
power seller - seller who sells a large quantity of items in the span of a year.
profit - great if possible but sometimes happy to get what you can.
proxy bidding - when ebay advances a buyer bid to limit set by buyer.
research - used to determine details about item and establish a price.
relist - when an item is not sold, then it can be put up for sale again.
reserve auction - where minimum selling price is hidden. Not good method.
returns - eBay permits returns for up to 180 days through PayPal if NAD.
rolling blackouts - where all listings are not shown all the time.
scan - to capture a picture with a scanner. 500 dpi minimum.
Security Question - enter in notebook.
seller fees - cost to sell on eBay. Usually about 15% of sold items.
Seller Hub - location of useful links to various seller tools.
seller's remorse - after an item sells, disappointment to have sold the item.
sell through rate - percentage of items that sell. Usually low.
sell your item page - easy to follow form to sell items.
separate bank account - necessary to protect personal finances.
shill bidding - dishonest method to drive up the sale price of an item.
shipping included - an honest statement about postage amount.
shopping cart - buyer buys several items then requests an invoice.
short cut - click to go to a webpage quickly.
SixBit.com - program to create listings and store them until needed
SKU - item identification number on newer items.
sold listing - useful list to process items for shipping.
store levels - Basic - Premium - Anchor. Google to find details.
synchronization - where items are for sale on several platforms in sync.
Terapeak - A research tool to determine the price.
top rated seller - seller who uses tracking on all items.
tracking - method to determine where an item is located at all times.
unsold listing - useful to relist when listings are available.
upload listing to eBay - sending advertisement to eBay to sell an item.
user agreement - terms to use the eBay program when selling.
USPS - United States Postal Service is your friend.
visibility - ability of buyers to see listings.
watchers - are not buyers. They have one to sell and seek guidance.
YouTube - educational videos for instruction of eBay techniques.
So next, determine what you want to sell.
Sell or donate items - your choice - what do you think you'll sell?
What to sell - nothing breakable or expensive at first - research - Google
Banking - separate from household checking and credit card - not connected
Accounts - set up a paypal and ebay account with this bank account number
Password Record - booklet never leaves home
Sourcing - items to sell - sellers get 200 free listings monthly at first
Tutorials - numerous - youtube.com - also instruction for how to list on ebay
Images - camera - phone - scanner - remember where you save them
Typing - computer skills - equipment - scale - computer - printer
Seller Hub - My eBay - A very important page for an eBay seller.
Shipping - bubble wrap - boxes - envelopes - Priority Mail flat rate
Discount postage - online - available on eBay
Print postage on line - pay for tracking on expensive items
Large mailbox - to avoid trips to the post office
emails - answer quickly - use caution
Feedback - you as a buyer feedback adds to the total
Taxes - IRS Schedule C - 1099 if sell $600 in a year
Business License - your municipality may require this There is a yearly fee.
Useful Desktop Shortcut Links
When you have an account at eBay and can log on with your password, then access each of these pages. Copy the http address. Go to your desktop. Right click where you want the icon to show. Paste the address in the box. Then enter the name for this shortcut in the other box. Next return to the list of suggested shortcuts. Do more. Here is a list of some of the shortcuts you may want to put on your desktop:
Manage Active Listings
Here are other links which may be of use to you. Follow this link:
The banking aspects of online selling must be separate from your household account for security sake. Here's what to do:
Gather up $100. Visit your local bank.
Ask them if they have a free checking account with no fees and no minimum balance.
If not, go to another bank that does have free checking with no minimum balance and no fees.
If they do have this sort of account, set up an account.
Make sure that this new account is NOT tied to your household accounts or to your credit cards.
Request a debit card from your newly established bank account.
Then go to eBay.com. Set up an account there with this new bank account number.
If you have already established an account with eBay, replace any account number you have registered there with this new bank account number.
Then go to paypal.com. Set up an account there.
Many buyers use PayPal. You can use their debit card to access funds.
Request a PayPal debit card. Use the new bank account number as backup for paypal.
Start selling. Payments to you will go into your ebay Managed Payments account at eBay or your paypal account.
You can spend the money you receive with your bank debit card depending on when you schedule to have your payments sent to your bank account.
I have the eBay Managed Payments balance sent weekly to my bank account. Some sellers have the proceeds sent daily.
Managed Payments - Wonderful
So when you do sell an item, eBay has a wonderful system for you as a seller to get paid. It is called Managed Payments. Here's how it works. The buyer pays for an item with any of a few different methods. eBay then puts the proceeds into your Managed Payments account. Oh, first, they subtract their fees, commissions, and any taxes for various states. You then get the balance. With this technique of accounting, you always know how much you get. And you never have to make a separate payment to eBay. Neat. eh? I like it. As a seller, you determine how often you want the balance to be sent to your bank account. I have it sent weekly. Another seller has the balance sent daily. You select the period. So when eBay asks you to sign up for Managed Payments, just do it.
Sourcing Items to Sell on eBay
Sure, you have items to sell from your collection in your own home. But when these items are gone, where do you get more stuff to sell?
Depending on your energy and mobility, here are suggestions of places I have found items to sell:
Flea market, garage sales, commercial store closeouts, neighbors. friends, family, library book sales, homemade items, dumpster diving, estate sales, Goodwill, homemade crafts, thrift stores, and self published books.
Also some of my best finds that sold were from purchases from other sellers on eBay. When you see a large lot of items that you know about, you buy it and sell it one item at a time with a complete description.
Every listing needs to have standard terms of a sale explained to a buyer. Here is mine:
Domestic postage is $1 total for any quantity of single postcard lots bought at the same time in this auction. If you purchase several lots at the same time, use the shopping cart. When done, request an invoice. Then wait for my invoice before making payment.
Foreign postage is $2 total for any quantity of single postcard lots purchased at the same time. If you purchase several lots at the same time, use the shopping cart. When done, request an invoice. Then wait for my invoice before making payment.
Postage for lots with more than one item are given in the description. The postage given is based on the weight of the item. Foreign postage is about $1.30 per ounce. For example, a ten postcard lot will weigh about 3 ounces to send so the postage is typically $4.
The number of items in this listing is given in the title in CAPITAL letters.
All items will be sent to USA addresses with USPS First Class Mail and with a variety of colorful stamps used for postage.
I will send the items to you the day after payment is received.
Full refund if you are not pleased with your purchase.
Note: If a postcard is identified as MOBSC in the description, that means mint on back with sharp corners. UDB - Undivided Back (A very early postcard.) If a card is described as RPPC in the description, it is a real photo postcard. PM identifies a Private Mailing Card.
Sequence of Events
Changes on eBay Platform
Prepare yourself for changes at eBay which will affect you
as a seller.
Some of these changes are huge. All tasks take time to learn.
Back in the day, eBay had numerous aspects which helped sellers. Here is a list of some of the changes that were instituted that I did not like to see end:
Turbolister - a program to aid in listing items. Gone.
Cassini - a search program to help find items. Gone.
Categories - a way to find stuff fast. Gone.
HTTP Prohibited - adding HTTP links to listings to enhance description. Gone.
PayPal - a payment method tied to eBay that made transactions faster. Gone.
Item Specifics - a requirement to supposedly enhance descriptions. Hopefully gone soon.
So don't get attached to any aspect of eBay. It will probably be eliminated or changed when you get used to it.
Security Concerns - Repeated for Emphasis:
Items not to sell at first:
anything of interest to young people
play station stuff
no worldwide sales at first
expensive items, say over $10 each.
Items that would be good to sell at first:
historic newspapers and magazines
wooden objects that will not break
rubber objects for the same reason
stamps for collectors
household kitchen items
small car parts
motor cycle anything
stuff that will not break in the mail
Well you get the idea from this list.
Check the box on the listing form to indicate you will send the item after two business days. Weekends and holidays do not count in the two days.
Print your own return address labels. I use Avery 8460 with the free online program.
List of other online selling venues in no particular order. Note that all of them are dot coms.
Select from these lists as you see fit:
-send out items the day after payment is received
-print postage on eBay or PayPal
-include the item number with each order
-give complete description with all features noted
-answer all emails
-organize stock in an easy to find location
-use a lot number system for small items
-research the value of an item to find a good starting price
-find a niche for your specialty
-use several pictures - eBay allows 12 per listing.
-tell your postal worker about your plan to sell on ebay
-accumulate shipping supplies
-use an accurate scale. One to 5 pounds. One to 20 pounds.
-notify buyers when the item is shipped by clicking shipped on ebay.
-leave feedback for all transactions.
-keep the better stuff for sale later for when you are more experienced as a seller.
-learn about IRS form Schedule C - form 1099.
-request a PayPal debit card
-request a bank debit card
-buy a book about selling on ebay and read it for more tips
-ask for feedback
-put dryer sheet in with order
-put music in listings
-threaten a non paying bidder
-contact a non paying bidder more than once
-expect everything to sell right away
-lower price so you have seller remorse
-ignore email questions
-send out dusty dirty items
-take pictures with clutter in the background
-sell items you do not have control over
-sell any large difficult to ship items
-sell worldwide anything that needs a box to ship
-expect every item to reach the buyer
-expect every buyer to be honest
-call ebay customer service for anything
-sell expensive items at first
-sell for others
-go away on vacation with items for sale. Use the vacation setting on ebay.
-expect watchers to be buyers
-sell breakable items online
-expect huge fast sales
Step by Step
Find an item to sell
Use research to determine current value. Terapeak and other listings on eBay.
Determine if selling it is worthwhile (profitable for time spent)
If so, write a description, select a title, assign lot number, take photographs or make scans, weigh for shipping, calculate postage, ready package but do not seal.
Type listing in Seller Hub - Listing/Create.
Send listing to ebay when ready. Best time varies. Experiment.
If not sold, plan to relist at a later date with just a click from unsold.
If sold, watch for email sold notification from eBay.
Look for paid email before sending an
Open Seller Hub on eBay, click to sold page
Find item on list of sold items.
Click print packing list which includes the shipping address.
Print postage from eBay sold page or use stamps if under 14 ounces.
Enclose packing slip with item number, then seal the box or envelope.
Cut out shipping label, tape to box or envelope.
Mail as soon as possible.
On sold page of Seller Hub, click shipped, leave feedback.
Plan A Backup
eBay expects a seller to send out sold items fast. As a seller, when an item is listed, a selection is made as to when the item will be sent when sold after payment is received. But life happens. There may come a time when as a seller, the item can not be sent out when planned. So some arrangement must be made. A family member, a friend, a fellow seller needs to know where your stuff is and needs to know your passwords to either cancel a sale or send it out. There is also a vacation setting which can put all the listed items on hold. This takes thought. Make plans ahead of need.
As a final note, this activity can overwhelm a new seller. But recognize that the learning curve is not spread over a day or week. The learning curve will take years. Give yourself time to become proficient, yet recognize that you will never have all aspects figured out. After my 20 plus years on eBay, I am still learning. Mostly I have learned from my mistakes. And I have made many.
Have fun. I still have fun after all these years. And I have been able to improve my collection as well.
David U. Larson
Marty eBay listings https://www.ebay.com/str/bitsey1212
Margaret eBay listings https://www.ebay.com/str/used-but-lovely
David U. eBay listings https://www.ebay.com/str/oldpostcardsforsale
Consider suggesting improvements to this workbook.