10 Tips For Successfully Selling On eBay

(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information.)

(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)

Stacks of boxes ready to be mailed is a common site around are home  from late May till late July. After I have sold what I can of the homeschooling curriculum we no longer need at second hand curriculum sales and I start listing  what is left on eBay.

10 Tips For Successfully Selling On eBay

I know there are a lot of homeschoolers out there that buy their curriculum long before then, but I still get a lot sales on eBay from the wait until the last minute crowd. Recently I have listed my books as late as the week before Labor day and still had great returns on my time spent.

eBay of course sells way more than just homeschooling curriculum and in the past I have sold every thing from toys, kitchen items and books.

In order to sell on eBay you first need to open an account. I find eBay to be an extremely user friendly system. Simply click on the register button and follow the directions.

Selling your item is easy just follow the step by step instructions that eBay provides. However, I do suggest doing a few of the following things to provide you with the best eBay experience.

Ten Tips For Successful Sales on eBay

1. Read up on the topic

If you are going to sell a lot of items on eBay read a few books on the topic.  I have read an older edition of eBay for Dummies, as well as the original, The Complete Idiots Guide to eBay, both were very simple to understand and provided me with tips to sell my items  at a higher rate of return.

2. Take good pictures

Try experimenting with light, and backgrounds to get the most accurate picture of you items. For books I like laying them on my laminate floors. For toys I drape either a dark or light table cloth behind them to help accent them and often bring in a desk light to help light the area better. You might even find you get the best light by taking your items outdoors.

3. Make sure you clean up you item the best you can

Dark marks on Lego can often be removed with a bit of rubbing alcohol followed by a rinse under water. Little tikes toys clean up well with a soft scrub cleanser. Over time you will discover all kinds of tips to clean up your items.

For more tips on preparing your items for sale check out …

How To Prepare Your Items For Resale So You Get Top Dollar

4. Do a bit of research and know the value of your item

You can do this by searching the sold listing area of eBay which is found in the side bar of options when searching for items.

5. Do an auction with a buy it now option

Start the auction at about 20 to 30% less than the average sale price of your item on eBay. Set your buy it now price at the high end of the average sale price of your item. This allows for the I just want it now type buyer to snatch up your item, and for the if I wait I might get more of a deal, buyer to both be included in the sale.

6. Allow your buyers several options for shipping

Rarely do I do a flat shipping rate, to me I feel like it can anger buyers if set too high. Instead I let the buyers decide what type of shipping they want. If my item is sure to grab me a high profit  I often offer free shipping.

7. Be extremely accurate with your the description of your item.

It pays to even down play the shape of your item. There are always people more picky than you out there who will think that you described your item unfairly. If you have down played the condition of your item, you will not have complaints but instead praises.

8. Describe all the details

Add measurements of your item in the description box, as well as number of pieces, colors, or anything else that might be applicable to the sale of your item.

9. If you are going to accept returns make sure you have a stated return policy

I generally do not accept returns and have had  no problem making sales without accepting them. I am extremely accurate in my pictures and details so that the buyer knows exactly what they are getting.

10 . Make sure that you are prompt in sending out your item as soon it is paid in full.

I try to wait no longer than 48 hours.

Bonus Tip: look in the sellers section of eBay for additional tips for selling.

Are you an eBay seller? Do you have any tips to add?

Want more tips on ways to sell you unwanted items? Check out my Reselling Tips Page which is cram packed with links to articles to help you sell your items wherever you want–yard sales, Craigslist, Facebook and more.

If you found this post to be useful, make sure you don’t miss my latest posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter below. Get to know the blogger behind the blog by following me on Facebook or Instagram.






Get snail-e-mail in your inbox each week!

A weekly email with the feel of snail mail. A peek into my week, a few deals so good I just have to share, and links to all of Snail Pace Transformations latest posts!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Great tips! I want to open an eBay store but just haven’t done it yet. I like how you laid it all out. I found you on It’s a Blog Party and I am a new e-mail subscriber. Come by and visit me. Thanks

  2. Andrea Johnson says:

    I love selling on ebay! I have mostly sold kid clothes that I don’t sell at garage sales… or my husband sells his electrical stuff that he’s found for free at garage sales. (you would be shocked at how much money that has brought in!) For clothes, I find it most successful to do larger bundles. I add up in my head how much I would have charged at the garage sale for the bundle (which is 50 cents for shirts, $1 for jeans or $2 for the sets) then set that as my “goal” price. I want to get the final bid as close to that as possible! Our experience is to be sure to start it low enough to get bids, but enough to cover your expenses and make it worth your effort. Definitely look at other sellers and list any NAME BRANDS that may attract lookers. If I have a lot of good brands I put those in smaller bundles and try for more money, or mix thoses in with ones you may have a harder time selling because although it is great quality clothes names mean a lot to people! Any “new with tags”, attract more money as well.

  3. Your title is the most important part of your listing. Be sure to use your best words in the first five words of your title. These words should also be used in your description for better SEO.

  4. I’ve done a lot of selling on Ebay in the past two years. Somewhere along the line, I learned to lay my item alongside a ruler or yardstick (depending on the size of the item) for one photo. Then buyers get a very clear sense of the item’s size. This heads off any confusion, which helps earn positive comments.

  5. Some really good info here thanks! In terms of you not accepting returns, have you experienced a customer complaining about an item arriving damaged before?

    • Victoria says:

      Yes, one sent me pictures of a smashed item and so I simply did return his money in that case.

  6. Great Tips…!! Thanks

  7. Great tips you have here. I’ve been trying to get back into selling on eBay part time to make some extra income. So far, my sales have been very few and far between, then I end up losing on shipping. For 2016 I plan to push hard and make some sales and figure out my shipping.

    Thanks again for this post.


  1. […] So when I went to homeschool conventions, I was coming home with a tonne of supplies and ended up using a fraction of it through our school year, and sold it at a loss at a second hand curriculum sale or eBay. […]

  2. […] Lets face it most of us all have piles of miscellaneous stuff in our homes. They might not be as big as the one pictured (which I have since tamed). But within our homes we have things that our friends don’t want, are too small to put on Craigslist, don’t qualify for a consignment store, nor a consignment sale, are not curriculum sale worthy, and are not valuable enough to put on eBay. […]

  3. […] $7.50 total. I sorted through it all this morning and picked out the pieces that will fetch the most money on eBay, and then kept the plain blocks for our own […]

  4. […] through what did not sell and took a box full of books to our local mission, saved another one for selling on eBay and listing on Paperback […]

Speak Your Mind