I recently posted about how I bought 14 Barbie dolls at a garage sale for the sole purpose of reselling them on ebay. I'm sure there were some people who read that and were turned off by the whole ebay part of the equation. The truth is, selling on ebay can be a very simple process. There are some things that you can do to really streamline everything and make it a stress free experience.
First, I will say that if you are going to sell on Ebay, be aware of the fees. For most items, they charge a 10% final value fee. Paypal also charges a 2.98% fee and is the required payment method on ebay. Listing is free (for your 1st 50 items per month) although you can buy listing upgrades as well. 10% is not bad for the exposure that you get. To compare, Amazon takes 15% of the sale for most of their 3rd party sales.
It is just important to know the cost of selling on ebay so you can factor that into your decision. For the casual seller, fees are just a part of the equation that you just accept and that's it. For a re-seller, you have to consider the fees whenever purchasing an item for the intention to resell.
Ok, so no matter why you are selling, how do sell on ebay the easy way? Here are a few things that can make your experience super easy:
Flat Rate Shipping
Use USPS flat rate boxes and envelopes for everything if you can. First of all, they are free for you to use. 2nd, they make figuring out shipping so easy, since it is a flat rate. All you have to do is figure out what size flat rate package your item fits in. In my early ebay career, I would lose money on shipping sometimes because I estimated a certain cost for shipping and it turned out to be more. If a seller undercharges for shipping, the seller eats the extra cost. With flat rate boxes, I know what the cost will be every time.
Pay for Shipping Online
This is the 2nd step to using the flat rate options. I don't know about you, but I try and avoid the post office lines like the plague. Buying and printing your shipping labels online can help you do just that. Best part? You can do it right from your ebay dashboard!
Look for the above option under your "items sold" section. You can buy and print right there. Ebay will even fill in the address info for you and your buyer! This may sound like a USPS commercial, but it really is just the easiest way.
Everything is streamlined through Paypal too, which makes it even easier! You won't have to worry about how to pay for the shipping label because the buyer will have paid you using Paypal and you pay for the shipping label with Paypal. It's all one big happy circle!
Once you have the pre-paid packages, you can actually even call for a free USPS pickup, or you can drop them off at a USPS location at their package dropoff area without waiting in line.
Only Sell Domestically
This one might (it probably won't) cause you to get less bids on your items, but is essential in keeping you out of the post office line. You MUST wait in line and fill out a customs form when shipping packages outside the US. This is the reason why I only sell domestically. Again, we're trying to keep this process as easy as possible, and this is an essential step. I used to sell to anywhere and I'd sell 15 things with ONE being from another country and that one order would cost me 15-20 minutes in line at the post office. Not worth it.
Use a Template
Instead of writing a unique listing every time, use a template to include key information that will be in every listing. Things like "US buyers only please" or "Shipping is buy USPS flat rate Priority" or "Up for auction is..." and great for templates. Right in the sell area of ebay, there's an option to create templates. Remember, the more info you get on that template, the less typing you're going to have to do for every auction.
That's about it! As far as making selling on ebay easy, the above things will do wonders for you. It will really make the process so easy. The process will go like this: find your item, create your listing, wait for bids and sales, get paid, print shipping label, drop off package. Done!
Selling on ebay can be a great source of extra income! Don't think of it as a complicated process, because it is far from it!