If you are a frequent buyer of eBay and are looking to branch out into selling or new to eBay entirely and looking for a potential source of online revenue than selling on eBay is an excellent choice and can be quite lucrative. Ebay does an excellent job of making the actual process of listing your items pain free and simple to understand, however as a new eBay seller there are some important guidelines to be aware of at the time to avoid some potential headaches for the beginning entrepreneur.
While as a buyer, eBay in general does not charge a fee at all to purchase, the seller is the primary source of eBay’s revenue. There are two types of fees involved with posting on eBay. The listing fee is a set price to post your item and is dependent on the category you choose, price you set, and additional features that you had. On top of the listing fee you will also be charged a final value fee which is usually a set percentage of your sold price. It is important to understand that as a seller you are now contributing to Ebay’s actual revenue and that there is truly no other place that attracts as much traffic in a day for your item as eBay does. It is a give-and-take relationship and for your hard-earned money you will have the highest potential to sell your item. Although the fees seem high, there is no true alternative that can offer millions of hits per day.
Go for power seller and top-rated seller
Becoming a power seller and a top-rated seller should be every beginner’s mind set when starting their eBay adventure. Both statuses come with added perks and discounts and should not be overlooked because they are free if you manage to achieve them. Power seller status has to do with actual revenue generated and items listed, while top rated seller status is obtained through buyer satisfaction.
Be prepared to be treated differently when there is a dispute
As a buyer eBay often gives you the benefit of the doubt, but as a seller it is often the exact opposite. Although eBay claims to be completely neutral regarding the dispute process, sadly and observably enough this is truly not the case. It is the seller’s responsibility within the dispute to undoubtedly an unequivocally prove that their case is correct, and even then this is often not enough. Be sure to save all tracking information and any correspondence you may have had with the buyer just in case a dispute arises. Ebay can’t really be blamed for being biased towards the buyer because without online shoppers eBay would not exist, however it seems that the deal for sellers is getting worse each year and it is important to keep some sort of balance.
If you study a seasoned sellers listing and description you will notice that they make very clear about all their policies and rules. Often times the most important rules such as shipping and refund policy or even in a larger font and highlighted in red or blue. This is simply due to the bias that eBay has towards the buyer, by making such rules unmistakably evident the seller is ensuring that there can be no question about such policies if a dispute arises.
Be aware of copyright infringement
Often times a new sellers completely unaware that eBay does in fact keep track of copyrights. Your listing may be removed prematurely due to such violation and you will not get your fees back. If you are using a picture from the Internet then make sure it doesn’t have another company’s logo on it or otherwise. If you’re going to use the description you pulled from the Internet, than it would be a good idea to alter it and make it your own. There’s nothing more frustrating than putting in hours of hard work into listing something perfectly and having it removed within the next hour because of copyright violation.
Shill bidding is a big-time no-no
I’ll admit I had the same thought when I first started selling on eBay, why not get a different account or a friends account to bolster your sales potential? Why shouldn’t you do that? Because eBay is well aware of the risk and it is strictly against the rules, they keep a very close eye on such operations to ensure that each item is going for fair market value. It provides a clear and unfair advantage to any seller who is practicing it, and eBay keeps very close watch of suspicious activity of this nature. It is simply not worth it and in all likelihood does not really help anyway, what happens if your shill bidding account actually wins the item? Well, then you didn’t sell anything actually and you’re out the listing fees for that item. This is simply not worth it and do not practice shill bidding, you will get caught.
Be prepared to no longer leave negative feedbacks
Many new sellers are not aware that they no longer possess the power to leave a negative feedback for a buyer. This is a common misconception that you should be aware of, as mentioned above, you and the buyer are no longer on equal terms and there is far more expected from a seller than a buyer. Personally, I see absolutely no reason for this rule but nonetheless it does exist, sellers are unable to leave negative or neutral feedback. Your only option is a positive or none at all.
Be mindful of your seller rating
Not only does your detailed seller ratings depict how valuable you are as a seller on eBay, but it also determines any perks you may receive or consequences. Detailed seller ratings are an excellent addition that eBay has made, it allows any potential buyer to assess exactly and categorically how good of a seller you actually are. It is simply a good idea to be mindful of the four categories for your rating and do your best to keep them all in the green. If you repeatedly lack high ratings or receive too many disputed items than your seller status may be removed or suspended. It is a lot like maintaining your health, maintain your detailed seller ratings and you won’t be sorry.
Using eBay for postage is your best friend
EBay actually offers a simple and convenient way to print any and all forms of postage via USPS. Seeing as how USPS is by far the cheapest way to post mail, this is an excellent addition. Also, you will receive a minor discount on your shipping charges as opposed to going into the actual store and will not need to manually enter any sort of tracking information because eBay and PayPal do this automatically when you use their system. The USPS postal option for eBay and PayPal is free and incredibly convenient, so why not use it.
Using the free eBay seller tools is your other best friend
There are a few programs that can be downloaded that can assist you in listing your items, while some of these programs to require a monthly membership fee, others are entirely free and almost as useful. They allow you to keep track of inventory, post bulk listings, and manage purchased and pending items with a great deal of ease. Spending a few hours to learn to use these programs will benefit you in the long run.
Don’t forget to leave positive and genuine feedbacks
It can arguably be said that a buyer’s positive feedback towards a seller is worth far more than the other way around, that being said, be sure to do everything you can to evoke your buyer to leave you a positive if you feel you’ve done an acceptable job. Once a buyer has fully paid you for the item, that is literally the last thing on there end that they can do to receive a positive feedback from you. If they do end up paying for your item you may as well leave them a positive ahead of time in hopes that they may do the same for you when they receive their item. It also may be a good idea to make your feedback specific to each individual buyer, mention something that may be directly relevant to your transaction with them personally, because this may better your chances of getting good feedback from them as well.