Ready to Jump In? The Quick and Easy Guide to Getting Started on eBay

With the current state of the economy many people are looking for ways to make some extra money online for their mounting bills, expenses, tuition, and hobbies. One of the most popular money making ideas is to sell items on, an online auction site that allows people to list items, sell them and make money. It could really be very rewarding for the person willing to do what it takes.

If you ready to jump in, getting started on eBay is really quite quick and easy. This short guide will give you the information you need to get going.

Getting Ready

Before you can even list an item you have to register as a seller. Even if you already have a buyer’s account, you must register as a seller in order to sell on eBay. If you’re new to eBay this means that you need to provide eBay with your personal information. In some cases, you will need to contact eBay in order to verify your personal information. Once you’ve registered you must activate your eBay account by clicking the link sent to you via email. After seller registration you must create and verify a PayPal account in order to receive payments.

Now that you’re registered you need to figure out what you want to sell. Doing some thorough research of what is currently selling well and what it is selling for, will help you make the right decision on what you should sell. If you have some items sitting around your house or dorm room that you think would sell, you should research them and see if its a good fit.


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Basics of eBay Marketing

Before you list your items you need to sit down and create a winning description of the item. This means that you provide as much detail as you can, while making the item sound like the best of its kind. Be creative without being inaccurate (sell the item without lying about it). If your item is 10 ft long, make sure to list the correct proportions. If your item is purple, don’t list it as bluish. Being honest with your description is the best way to get good feedback.

Not only should you create a winning item description, you should also take flattering photos of the item. The picture is usually your first and most often the only chance at making a good impression – so pay particular attention to it. Make sure the lighting is good, the item is clearly seen, and you show its best side. If there are any imperfection in the item, its best to list it in the description or the secondary photographs, than to focus on it on your primary listing photograph.

Once you’ve got the right starting price, the perfect description, and an amazing photo you can hit the ‘list item’ button and let the bids roll in.

Selling Your Item

Money Making Ideas: Ebay Get StartedPhoto Credit:addicted Eyes

Now that your item has been listed you can sit back and monitor the listing. Monitoring your listing allows you to see how many people have viewed it, if anyone is watching the item, if anyone bids on the item, and how much time your item has left before the listing ends. Using the seller monitoring system is a great way to see what’s going on, and to determine if you should list a similar item for the same price, a lower price or higher price.

Once the listing time expires, if the item has sold, you can send an invoice to the winning bidder and wait for them to pay for the item and shipping costs using their PayPal account. If the item doesn’t sell, you can relist the item and are given the opportunity to change the information (starting price, description, photos, and even listing features).

Receiving payment is the go ahead for you to print a shipping label and ship the item to the winning bidder. Packing the item properly will make sure that the item reaches its new owner in the same shape it was in when it left. The worst thing is to ship an item and it show up broken or ‘not as advertised’ at the buyers door step. Packing the item for safety, and shipping using the method chosen by the buyer is the best way to ensure positive feedback.

Once the selling transaction is complete (from listing to selling to shipping), you need to leave accurate feedback. Accurate means that if the buyer didn’t pay on time, complained without cause, or if the buyer was the best buyer on the planet, be honest and give feedback based on truthful circumstances.

Bonus Tip

If you are in it for the long haul and want to have an ongoing presence on eBay, here is a bonus tip to try. About a week after sending out the item to your buyer (ie, a couple of days after they receive it), send them a short note asking them if they are satisfied with the product. Offer to make up for any shortcomings immediately. This puts them in a nice mellow mood. And then, politely request for a feedback of their experience. With so many scammers on eBay, feedback ratings are quickly becoming an important distinguishing feature that buyers use to determine who to buy the item from, when several sellers offer similar items at similar prices. Using this tip, you can improve your overall seller rating, improving your chances of being positioned higher in the search result listings.

Selling on eBay was made easy so that anyone can do it – that’s why its one of the money making ideas that appeals to a lot of people. Once you get started on eBay though focus on learning the different intricacies, so you increase your earning potential (sometimes exponentially!). There are some great free resources right on eBay to help you learn the ropes or you can try some ebay affiliated instructor led courses to help you get started. Set your mind to it, and you’d be amazed at what you can achieve.

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  1. You need such a lot of computer savvy to upload pictures and transfer information. I’m not good at that.
    And what about calculating postage? That’s the part I hate – finding a suitable envelope, weighing the article in its envelope and scoping the chart for the right postage charge.
    I’ve advertised and sold 5 items on eBay, and the whole format has since changed, making it much more difficult, so I am reluctant to get started again.
    Sorry to be negative, but you make it sound SO easy

    • Hi Helen,

      Congratulations on having sold 5 items on eBay – thats 5 more than what many people have done! When it comes to making money, nothing is going to really be easy – otherwise we would all be millionaires 🙂 That said, it looks like you are a go-getter and have started trying your hand at making some extra money. Maybe eBay is not the right option for you. Have you looked at some of the other money making ideas? We have started covering some of these at and plan to add a lot more as we go. Try you hand at some of the other options, and I am sure you will find one that will click for you.

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