eBay Selling Tips That Actually Boost Sells

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eBay Selling Tips

Are you looking for some eBay tips that actually boost your sales?

Well, go somewhere else because I don’t know anything about selling on eBay.

Not really, you have come to the right place.  I have sold thousands and thousands of dollars worth of items on eBay,  I have made a number of mistakes selling on eBay and want you to learn from my mistakes.  I figured I would write an article to show you some tips to help boost your sales on eBay.

I have attached a 1-10 number to how powerful the following eBay tips are.  Meaning, 1 is the lowest.  10 is something that is extremely important.  I call it the “eBay power score”.

Follow these eBay tips and you will notice you get more sales on eBay.

Free Shipping

eBay Free Shipping
See how eBay automatically adds this “Fast N Free” graphic to your eBay listing.

In most cases, I offer free shipping.

I can’t stress this enough! This is one thing that I have split tested time and time again over the years and I’ve always found that offering free shipping yields a higher return.

Personally, I hate when I am looking to buy something online and the price looks good.  Then, I look at the shipping price and say, “hell no”.

For instance, if a product is $29.99 and it cost you $9.99 to ship. Make sure you sell the product for 39.98. I have literally had products sitting in my eBay store for months and as soon as I removed the shipping and increase the price slightly it sold.

Free shipping is a must!  Just make sure you know how much your item is going to cost to ship.  I have actually written an article on shipping here.

However, there are exceptions to the rule, though.  For instance, coffee mugs I don’t use free shipping.  Instead, I will put something like $6.99 and $8.99 shipping.  People are intimidated by almost $16 for a coffee mug.  Again, for that item, I wouldn’t do free shipping.

Also, I have found that home receivers, typewriters, etc.  Items that are over $100 sometimes it works best to sell them like this $99.37 + 45.99 shipping.

But,  I would highly recommend you study what sells with other similar items.  If they are selling it with free shipping consistently than I would just do the same.

eBay power score: 10.  If you don’t do this then you are making a grave eBay mistake.  I love when my competitors don’t do free shipping.  Makes me more money.  However, there are some exceptions to the rule.

Price Your Items Competitively & Reasonably

It’s a fact that you can look up anything on eBay and see what it actually sold for.

I would always know what price is reasonable before I even buy a product to sell on eBay.  If I can’t make money with it I don’t want it.  It might be the coolest item in the world, but if I don’t make money and can’t price it reasonably then I will not purchase it.

Just studying brands, items in your niche, and doing your homework can make or break your eBay success.

I spend a lot of time studying items, looking at comps, etc.  I highly recommend that you do the same.

Don’t get frustrated if you make a mistake and realize you overpaid for an item or can’t really sell it for what you “think” you can.  Here is a good example.  Old Navy clothing isn’t high-end clothing.  Meaning, it doesn’t sell for loads of money on eBay. Brooks Brothers, Peter Millar, Burberry, etc. are higher-end brand names.  They sell for more money and the numbers show it on eBay.

There is no “I think it will sell for $50 because it’s so cool”.  Just because you think it will doesn’t mean it will.  Numbers don’t lie. If you see something sells for $15 all the time selling it for $50 isn’t going to work.  Believe me, a lot of people actually give up on eBay because they price their items too high and they don’t sell.  You shouldn’t be buying items if you can’t make money off them, period.  So, don’t fall into the trap of buying something without actually checking what it’s sold for in the past.

I have already written about checking comps on eBay.  It walks you through how to check what items have sold for in the past.  Know when something is too expensive for you to make a profit.

Study what the same items are currently listed on eBay for.  You don’t have to be the cheapest, but make sure your prices are reasonable.

eBay power score: 10.  You have to price your eBay item’s fairly.  If not your items won’t sell.  Don’t overprice them be realistic and price them for what they actually sell for.

High-Quality Pictures

Good eBay Picture
See this picture I took in a lightbox. It actually looks like a professional took it. But, really some bum on the couch took it.

You know the old adage you can’t judge a book by its cover? Well, that doesn’t apply with eBay listings. Because you can judge an eBay listing by its image.  In fact, people do it every single day.  They won’t even check out your item if it’s a crappy picture.

Your first picture should be your best picture.  I try to make my first picture immaculate.  You can brighten the image and increase the contrast right on eBay.  I highly recommend that you do it.

You need to have clear pictures.  Make sure they are not blurry pictures. Take them from multiple angles.  Show the defect of the item that you’re taking a picture of.

I’m not stating that you need to rush out and buy a $1,000 camera. In fact, you can use an iPhone or your Android smartphone camera which does take quality pictures.  The best part is there is an eBay app (that is free) that allows you to upload your pictures straight from your phone.

It’s important that you have a neutral background. For instance, a white background is preferred. You can buy a lightbox for cheap or you can even make your own. You don’t want your pictures to look like you’re just selling crap laying around the house.

But no matter how you look at it you need quality pictures. Use the 12 photos per listing that eBay allows before you have to pay extra.

Personally, I don’t like eBay listings that use stock photography either.  For 2 reasons.  One, your returns will be higher (if it doesn’t look anything like the stock photography) and two it doesn’t show the actual product that the customer will be receiving.

eBay power score: 10.  Don’t cut corners when taking pictures.  Put some real thought into it and watch your eBay sales increase.  You need a light box!

Add New Items

You want to constantly be adding new items on eBay. 

Don’t make the mistake of adding 10 items one day and then nothing for a couple of weeks.  Better yet, a lot of eBay newbies will add 10 items and just wait for those items to sell.  This is not what you want to do!  You want to grow your inventory and obviously something can’t sell if you don’t list it.

You want to be consistent and constantly add new items to your eBay store.

This means that you’re going to have to get into a routine and add listings every day or at least have them scheduled to go out every day.  It does cost you money to scheduled listings, though.

eBay will reward you when you keep adding new eBay listings.  Also, your stuff will sell faster because it shows activity on your account, which eBay loves!

One of the best pieces of advice I can give you when times are slow on eBay is to keep listing items.  You will notice that sells will pick up when you just keep adding new listings.

eBay power score: 10.  Like Nike says, “Just do it”.  Be consistent even when times are slow and the eBay gods will reward you.  Better yet, schedule your listings to go up throughout the week.

Best Offers

Best Offer eBay
When you click on the “best offer” option on eBay now people can make an offer for your item.

Always, always, always, always, always use “best offers” on eBay.

This is an awesome feature that eBay added which allows people to send you an offer. You might not get your full asking price but you can negotiate back-and-forth with the interested buyers.

This doesn’t mean you’re going to get tons and tons of low ball offers.

eBay does allow you to automatically deny offers that are below a price you specify.  I wouldn’t recommend automatically denying offers though.  Even if you get a low ball offer you can counter with a reasonable one. Using the best offer feature can make you several more sales per month.

Personally, I have rejected low offers and literally the next day the item sold for the full asking price.  Funny how it works sometimes.

Sometimes just accept an offer which is less than you really want to accept.  I wouldn’t haggle over $5-10, either.  People like deals and everyone loves a bargain.

eBay power score: 7.  You’re losing out on sales if you don’t use the “best offer” feature on eBay.  Taking a little less is worth it and helps you sell stuff quicker.

Update Your Listings

You should frequently update your listings on eBay.

Newbies on eBay seem to think that you can just put something up on eBay and wait for it to sell.  Well, I got news for you.  It doesn’t always work that way.

I like to update at least 3% to 5% of my active listings each day.

eBay’s algorithm favors activity and updating your items shows eBay that you are being active.

You can click on your item and then click “revise”.  You can change the price slightly, add more to the description, add new pictures, improve your titles, etc.

You can even bulk edit your listings by going to your seller dashboard and clicking on “active listings”.  Then click on the individual listings and edit them all at once.  It’s a huge time saver to bulk edit your eBay listings.

eBay power score: 8.  I’m not saying you have to update your eBay listing’s like your on crack.  But, do keep an eye on them and add new stuff to them, change prices, pictures, etc.

End Listings

If an item hasn’t sold in a week don’t get discouraged.  Sometimes it takes a month or so for an item to sell.

You shouldn’t be in a rush to sell a particular item.  I never let a listing go over 60 days, though.  eBay actually hates listings that are over 90 days.

However, one thing that can help your item sell is actually to end your listing.  Once you end it you can “sell similar”.  This will give your listing a different item number.  Also, when you end and “sell similar” items your listing will be newly listed, which gives it a boost in eBay.  This newly listed listing gets a boost for 24 hours.  I like to end my listings on Saturday night and “sell similar” so your listings get a boost for most of Sunday (which is when eBay’s traffic is the highest).

Don’t make the mistake of relisting your item.  This is not the same as selling a similar item.

I like to use the promotional days to end my listings and use “sell similar” to relist them.  Each month eBay will give you 200-500 free listings for 4-5 days at a time throughout the month.  I would highly encourage you to take full advantage of those promotional periods.

eBay power score:  10.  Refreshing eBay listings is a must.  Sometimes stuff doesn’t sell right away, but once you post it again it sells much faster.  Use the promotional listings throughout the month where you can list items for free.

International Shipping

What sounds better to you 327 million or 7.7 billion?

You guessed it there are 327 million people in the United States of America.  There are 7.7 billion people in the world.  Therefore, you are getting your listings lots more exposure by allowing international shipping.

eBay has an awesome program so you can mail packages internationally. Don’t worry it’s easy and you don’t have to do any extra work.  It’s called their Global Shipping Program. Basically, you don’t have to fill out any of the customs forms and mail it to a location in the United States and they handle the rest.

eBay power score: 7.  The more people that can see your items the better.  The only exception is if you are having issues with people from other countries with your items.  Sometimes it can be a hassle so I would just disable that country if it becomes a problem.

Handling Times

People want their items quick.  Let me rephrase that.  People want their items yesterday.

This isn’t to be confused with shipping. Handling just means how soon before it’s packed and the label is printed off and taken to the post office.

You want you’re handling times to be quick. This is something that people often overlook and I believe the Default time is 3 to 5 days. That is too slow in the go-go society that we live in.

Personally, I have mine set to 1-day handling. But 2-day handling is good as well. Just make sure whatever handling time you specify that you are actually doing it.

eBay power score: 10.  This is basic eBay 101.  Give the buyer the chance to pick your item.  But, more importantly make sure you do it in 1-2 days.

Good Descriptions

This one absolutely drives me up the wall. Believe it or not, there are people that leave their descriptions completely blank on eBay. That’s right they don’t say one thing about it!  Dude, what is wrong with you?

I’m not saying you have to write a 10-page essay on it. What I am saying is you need to have a description. You need to have a short description of whatever you are selling.

Also, use a bulleted list to show the benefits of the product you are selling. Don’t fall into the trap of listing the features. Again Remember to list the benefits.

I would put your title centered, with a larger font.  Then, just write 1-2 paragraphs about it.  Just explain what you’re selling.  It’s not rocket science.

eBay power score: 8.  You don’t have to over think it.  Just write a good description.  People will buy your items more often when their is a description.  You just look like a newbie or you’re lazy if you leave them blank.

Offer 30 Day Returns

You’re going to have returns from time to time.

I know it sucks, but it’s something you have to accept if you’re going to sell on eBay.

It’s just a fact that people return items they buy online.  Typically, the buyer will have to pay the shipping back when they return an item.

Did you know it actually does no good to say no refunds? It’s in eBay’s policy that you have to give a refund if the buyer wants to return the product.  It could just be that the buyer changed their mind, their daughter bought it (I’ve seriously heard that one several times), or the dog ordered it by mistake.

Again, I don’t care if you stamp the words “no refunds” on your listings in all caps and in red letters.

For me, the buyer pays for the return shipping and then I refund them once I have received the item back. I don’t do seller pays for shipping because I do ship out heavy items from time to time and I don’t want to be paying for returns out of my pocket.

eBay power score: 7.  You got to give the buyer confidence that if for any reason they are not happy they can return the item.  eBay allows 30 refunds even if you state no refund on your listings.

Answer Questions Quickly

Communication is very important on eBay.

No matter how good of a description you write you’re going to get questions.  A lot of people online just look at pictures a lot of the times on eBay.   Always be helpful and positive when answering questions.

Make sure that you respond to these questions quickly. I use the eBay app which is 100% free and it goes to my iPhone whenever I get a message.

I have sold items minutes after answering people’s questions. Trust me good customer service goes a long way with eBay!

Not to mention it helps boost the placement of your items on eBay.  eBay’s algorithm favors activity.  Someone sending you a message shows interest in your product.

eBay will reward you by answering questions and real people reward you by buying your stuff.

Keep your responses casual.  You don’t have to be all yes sir, I understand your concern, etc.  Just talk like you really do.  Always encourage people to send you a message if they have questions in your listing.

eBay power score: 7.  Set aside a small part of your day answering people’s questions.  Use the eBay app with your smartphone.  It’s something you can easily do when you get a question.

Markdown Prices

Promotions on eBay
See the cool graphic that eBay adds when you add promotions? It strikes it out and catches people’s eyes.

Let’s face it who doesn’t like sales?

Whenever you mark an item down it gives people a discount but also gives them a sense of urgency to buy the product. Not to mention, eBay’s algorithm heavily favors listings that have markdown prices.

I would highly recommend that you run 5 to 10% of your inventory at a promotional rate at all times.

While it’s considered to be unethical to list something for $100 and mark it down to $50 when no one in their right mind would really pay $100. I do recommend that you do sales between 5% to 25% off. Run them anywhere from two days, one week, or 10 days.  Some of mine I actually run for 30 days.

Simply put, run markdown sales frequently.

eBay power score: 10.  Sales are heavily favored with eBay’s algorithm.  Make sure you discount your items frequently.  Don’t be a scumbag and overprice them big time and run a 50% sale on everything.  People aren’t stupid.

Alright, now it’s up to you to actually follow the eBay selling tips I have provided you with.  I promise that if you start making these changes you will notice more sales.

eBay takes time and you need to have a decent amount of products listed before you start getting sales daily.  Most of the time when people have issues with items not selling it’s usually because they have them listed way too high.

Now, it’s time to take action and actually follow the advice I have provided you with.  You will notice you get a boost in eBay sells if you follow the above tips.

Please leave a comment down below.

Reseller Dude

Dude.......I have been selling online since 2002. I know my stuff and show you how to do it the correct way. For more about me click here and find out why I started ResellerDude.com.

3 Responses

  1. Your eBay power score is a complete checklist and very useful for every seller. It’s also good for the seller to improve their process. As a seller, I can check which one I have done and which one I’m still missing.  I personally overlooked handling times, good descriptions and offer 30-day returns. 

    I’ve already applied some of the tips that you mentioned and my sales are increasing.  The title tip I believe helped the most!  I used to put words like NIB, vintage, etc. in my title (at the beginning too).  I always thought that was the way I was supposed to do it.

    • Hey Renny,

      You’re not alone on putting those words at the beginning of your listings. Lots of people do it. However, just because lots of people do it doesn’t make it a “best practice”. You can use those words, but I would put them at the end of the listing. Not a the beginning!

      Glad to see that your sales are increasing after reading these tips!

  2. Selling on eBay is something I have wanted to get into as kind of a side hustle, but hasn’t gained traction just yet.
    I really like the idea of saying free shipping and slightly increasing the cost of the item, that I could see as being a game-changer.

    You also mention consistency, which I think is a great lesson beyond eBay sales.

    Do you think it would be a complete waste of time to list 10 items and just wait for them to sell though?  I know you stated that you need to keep adding stuff.

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