How to Auction on eBay

By Prev Info - October 17, 2022

Proper Selling Techniques

Selling on eBay can be a lucrative business, but like most businesses, it requires smart decisions. Using the right techniques in selling an item can ensure you make a decent profit. In each step of the selling process, there are things you must know to ensure a successful eBay auction.

How to Auction on eBay


1 - Research the item you want to sell. 

There are fees for just listing an item on eBay, so you want to be sure the item you are selling is in demand. This can be done by searching "completed items" to see if your item or something similar to it has sold recently and for how much. You can also get an idea of what the item is commanding on the secondary market.

2 - Find the right category to sell your item in. 

Many eBay buyers browse particular categories, so you will want to make sure your item is properly listed. If you are not sure what category to use, search current and completed listings to see what categories other sellers sold a similar item under. While you might pick the correct general category, be sure you do not choose the wrong subcategory. For an additional fee, eBay allows you to list your item under additional categories. If you are selling an expensive item and want to ensure it is seen by as many people as possible, consider adding another category.


3 - Take a good digital picture. 

Pictures make all of the difference between a successful auction and getting no bids. Using a white sheet as a backdrop will give the picture a more professional look and help show the detail in your item. Use a tripod if possible to take a better, sharper picture. If you do not have a digital camera, borrow one or use a scanner (if it fits). Auctions without pictures have a very low rate of selling or they get lower bids because buyers are less willing to take a chance.


4 - Write an item description ahead of time.

The right description can make all the difference in encouraging a sale. Be as detailed as possible. Give the age, condition, how the item might be used, how it works now and any defects. Offer to answer any questions.


5 - Include a video of your item.

Most sellers don't realize it, but eBay allows you to add videos to your listing for free. Videos can give potential buyers a more accurate depiction of the item you are selling, boosting your credibility as a seller and possibly higher bids. EBay allows links to a number of video-sharing sites such as YouTube. Before you begin listing your item, upload the video to one of the eBay-approved sites. Once your video is available to view, you can list your item and copy the HTML code provided by the video site into your item description. Keep the video brief. Large video files take a while to load, and bidders don't like to wait. When filming, get as close to the item as possible to show any flaws, but be sure to pull back to see the overall item.


6 - Be clear with shipping policies. 

Shipping overseas or to other countries can be very high. Be aware of the exact costs or don't sell to international buyers. If your item is heavy, get a shipping quote beforehand. Many eBay sellers make a mistake by guessing an amount on shipping only to find out the cost is much higher. Be aware the U.S. Postal Service charges more based on distance. If you have charged your buyer a lesser amount, you are usually on the hook for the difference.

Tips & Warnings

Before you sell an item, be sure it is worth your time and effort. Consider the listing fees, including extra charges for larger pictures and featured listings, and especially the final value fees. Final value fees charge an additional amount based on a percentage of the final price. Be aware that PayPal charges a fee to accept money in some situations, including if the buyer pays with a credit card. It helps to specify you accept payment from "PayPal balances only." Specify the buyer is responsible for any PayPal fees if they pay with a credit card.