The Ebay Master

Do you know all the in's & out's?

by | Last updated 25th Apr, 2017

eBay is a great tool to free your house up of all those useless items you don’t need at all. Oh and you can make some money as well. So all in all, it’s pretty worth one evening of writing descriptions and taking pictures.

Its that easy! But if you don’t want to come off as an eBay noob, you want to know all our secrets on how to get past the extra fees and gain eBay fame! Well you might not get famous but you will potentially have enough money to go on holiday from just doing one good trip of de-cluttering around your house.

Step 1 – De-clutter

The aim of the game is to find anything you haven’t used for a while. Set yourself a time scale, let’s say 6 months. Anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months or are not going to use soon needs to go. Bye.

Don’t hoard anything. You want to get a list of everything that you can get rid of. The more you have the more you will make, simple. Write it all down and make sure you either pile them together or note down where they are lying around your house. Last thing you want is to forget where you left them.

Now you have a list of everything you can potentially sell. But you’re not quite at the master stage yet, more like a good novice level.

Level Unlocked: Novice

Step 2 – The selling

1. Is it worth selling?

You have a beautifully long list of everything that is about to make money but is it really worth selling everything you wrote down? Lets whittle down that list to things that will actually make you money.

Any electronics or gadgets especially if they are recent will make you money. A pad of paper….probably not so much. Make sure you are realistic with what will make you money. If you are unsure about an item, check what people are selling it for on eBay and see if it’s worth your time.


2. Putting it on the Bay

So now you’ve narrowed down your list to things that will be worth your time and make you money. So now the next step is to upload your item on to eBay.

The 6 things you will need:

  1. The listing name – For the name you don’t want to just plainly put what it is. Add keywords that people will most likely use rather than just a simple title. Has it got a brand or a special feature? Use it in the name. E.g. Plain Title – Good condition T-shirt. Good Title – PRADA Red T-shirt.
  2. A picture – Make sure you get pictures of angles on a plain background. Don’t add clutter in the background or around the item as it won’t seem as appealing. Keep it simple and clear. Make sure you take multiple pictures. Make sure there good clean shots. Its 2017, no excuse for fuzzy pictures.
  3. Description – Tell people all the details about the item for sale and they are more likely to buy from you as your being transparent with them. Don’t try hide something as people will see through it or will give you a bad review afterwards (which is fatal in the eBay world).
    Tell them what the item is. Why you are selling the item. What the offer exactly includes, is it just the one item stated or are there batteries or other extras included.
  4. Product details – Slightly different from the description the product details are the properties or features of the item. Is it a brand item? What material is it? What version is it, iPhone 6 or iPhone 7? What are the dimensions? Look at other similar products to see what information to put it.
  5. Starting bidding price – What are you going to put as the starting bid price? If you start to high you will risk scaring away viewers, were if you put in a low 99p bid you could potentially risk not getting your worth. Do some research on what other people are selling their similar items at so you know what your competition is.
  6. P&P – Postage and package can either be paid by yourself and list it as free postage which will appeal to many or you can list the cost of P&P so that the buyer will have to pay for this on top of the item. Make sure you check what the weight and size of your package is so you know what to list on eBay. To find out P&P costs, check the royal mail site for further information.

3. Timing is key

If you’re not getting any bids on your listing it’s probably because everyone interested is waiting for the last few minutes to get the best possible deal. The most activity will usually be in the last hour or so of your listing.

So on this theory you need to make sure you know when your bidding time actually ends. Is it 8am when everyone is waking up or 8pm when people are relaxing at home? After knowing when the race will end, the next thing you will need to think about is, who are you selling to? Children or their parents? An older age? A younger age? If you are selling to parents you want to make sure that your listing will end after they have put their kids to sleep and have time to actually check eBay, were as if it’s a younger demographic.

Also think about what occasions are coming up soon. Is a holiday coming up soon where people would want decorations or costumes? Within a month leading to the holidays is a great time to start listing an item.

For more information on what’s the best timing check out what eBay have to say here.

4. Use PayPal

If you haven’t got a PayPal account yet then get one and make sure all transactions are through PayPal. We would recommend PayPal as it’s accredited and a legitimate method of online transactions. It’s safe and there are no worries of scamming occurring.

There are some fees that occur with PayPal which does give it a downside however, but overall it’s still worth the fee. Typically the fees are:

      1. 20p charge per transaction
      2. 3.4% of your total sale

5. Postage & packaging

The last step. You’ve sold your item and your on the last leg before you can reap in the rewards. To get that all important 5 star review you want to make sure that you have good packaging so your item does not get damaged at all.

Don’t go hardcore and buy the most durable and expensive box you can find. Try re-use boxes you may already of had or buy bubble wrap and a brown wrapping paper roll.

You want to make sure the package is secure and looks like you took some care with it while still making it a small expense.

Now you’ve got the packaging all nice and neat the last fee you will have to deal with (except for PayPal) is the postage fee. Make sure that you have checked how much is it on royal mail. Include all packaging on weight measurements. You don’t want to get to the post office and find out that the £3 P&P is actually £10.

Level Unlocked: Intermediate

Step 3 – Becoming a master

1. Knowing the starting price

The most important thing about your listing will be the fact that firstly the keywords in the title will make more people see it. Then afterwards, and possibly even more important, the starting £££. If the price is wrong you could not get the items worth at all and miss out or maybe not get many viewings. Understanding how to price your listing is key.

The best place to learn about pricing, is to see what other people are selling it for. What has bids and what doesn’t? Check similar items so you know what similar items sell for.

2. Signed for delivery

Always make sure you get proof of postage! This will be an extra cost but if you have a sneaky buyer they could possibly try claim that they did not receive the package. HOWEVER, if you get ‘Signed for first or second class’ postage you can laugh in their electronic faces.

3. Study the fees

Knowing the fees that eBay will charge you with will majorly step up your game. Make sure you know the difference between how to use eBay and HOW TO USE EBAY!

Fees to keep in mind:

      1. 10% of all total sale will go to eBay.
      2. There are extra costs for added features on the listing such as buy it now or larger photos.
      3. You can only list 20 items a month for free, after there is a 35p ‘insertion fee’ per item.
      4. If for some reason you sell something in the thousands, there is a £250 cap on fees. So you only 10% on items up to £2,500.
      5. PayPal take a 20p transaction fee and 3.4% of total sale price.f you do start ending up making a living on eBay, you may be required to inform HMRC as this will be defined as a taxable income. But this is unlikely for most students who are just trying to make some cash on the side.

4. Free listing days

Make sure you stay up to date with eBay’s emails or news and take advantage of days they have no charges to list items. You will still have to pay 10% on the final sale and if you have any added extras such as larger images or buy it now. These listings will help those who are hitting their 20 items per month limit as the 35p charge is not used on these days.

5. Keywords

Make sure you know what’s trending as well as knowing what keywords to use to make your listing gain as many visitors as well as spiking your bidding war to its full potential.

Adding brand names to the title or the word new or authentic can really spike your viewings up. It’s all about your vocab.
Check eBay for more information or to see what keywords are hot by category check here.

Level Unlocked: Master

Recent Posts


1. Cut down on the fees by knowing the rules. Don't oversell in any 1 month.

2. Make use of free listing days.

3. Know your audience and their timetables. Don't let the ending time of your action be at 3 am. Probably better at 8pm?

4. Make sure you get the right P&P costs, otherwise you might lose out on some pennies.

5. Make sure you ALWAYS get 'signed for' delivery.

Have you ever sold on eBay before? Let us know about your online selling experiences in the comments below.

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