The Noob Guide To Making Ebay Work For You

I have heaps of junk(s) I’m sure you do too=)

And I thank God every day that we have eBay.

eBay has helped me clear my junk, made the junk(s) work for me, which produces a sweet amount of money every month ( enough to support this blog in its infant stage and partly paying my uni fees, (and yes, I’m paying uni fees by myself, nothing to brag about but I’m quite proud actually).

I have to admit though, like anything in the world, eBay has its pros and cons, but you have to agree that earning $$$ selling through your computer/laptop/iPhone/iPad is kinda sweet.

I have been trading on eBay and have an Ebay store which sells ladies fashion clothes since last year. Even though I’m not a pro seller yet nor do I consider myself an eBay guru, I have learned a great deal on how to use eBay to earn income.

I thought my knowledge about eBay was no biggie until several of my awesome friends start asking if I have any tips on selling on eBay.

Well, I do actually, which is the reason for today’s post.

I tend to learn things better if I know why they benefit me (Why would you learn anything that doesn’t benefit you anyways?), so here are a few points on why you might be interested in selling on eBay

  • It’s relatively cheap to set up. I say relatively because you have the options of choosing between individually selling (FREE) and store selling (monthly fees). I will talk more about the pros and cons of those later in this post.
  • It’s relatively easy to set up. Anyone with some time and basic email checking skills can set up an eBay account (Even a tech noob like me can, then you definitely can).
  • It’s relatively quicker to provide results. When I first started eBay, I remember the excitement seeing my listing went live and receiving bids from buyer across the country. I made my first sale just a few days after listing my items. Selling on eBay is relatively quicker because it is so popular, everyone uses it.
  • It’s relatively safe to trade. eBay acts as the middleman between sellers and buyers and their job is to make everyone feel safe doing transactions. I think they have done a fairly good job with their resolution center, where buying and selling disputes are revised by real staff.
  • It can generate a large amount of money. Once you get to the top, meaning you get the title of power seller and have hundred of products to sale, eBay can generate a lot of money for you. Obviously, it takes A LOT of work to get to this point, but if done correctly, it can be an awesome form of income. Many people have built eBay empires with thousands of transactions happening every day and of course earning thousands of dollar every day.

Like I said before, everything has its pros and cons. Hence, I think I should let you know why you might NOT want to sell on eBay

  • It’s not a push-button money maker: If you think that selling on eBay is as simple as 1,2,3 or A,B, C, then dream on! Like the real world, there are literally millions of competition out there from within Australia and overseas ( mostly China, surprise, surprise) and I’m telling you they are a fierce competitor. It takes time and effort to build your customer base, earn their trust, make them return and spend money.
  • You have to share the profit. Ebay charges you initial fees to get your items listed in its market. In addition, it also charges you final fees depending on how much you sell your products for. Think of it as paying rent for a venue to run your shop.I have to mention, you have to pay PayPal (most buyers prefer to pay through PayPal because they provide buyer protection) a small fee if your buyers choose to pay via PayPal. Think of it as how Visa charges shop owners 2% every time you use your card.
  • You have to be patient and great attention to details. You are a customer, you know how it is. Customers want to know more about a product they are paying for, especially when they can’t physically touch it.

Now, you have decided that you want to start selling on Ebay. The registration process is quite simple. You would have to:

1/log on to eBay

2/ Enter your contact and personal info ( note that you have to be 18+)

3/ Choose a user ID, password and secret questions,

4/Check your email inbox, follow the link and confirm your registration process.

=> Voila, there you have it, simple right?

A few questions to ask yourself before deciding what direction you will be following

1/Do I sell regularly or once in a while?

2/Do I have a lot of stuff that I want to sell?

As I mentioned before, you have the option of opening an eBay store.

How does eBay store benefit you? Here I have created a table for you so that you can choose the right features to maximize your earning. (I’m assuming that each item you sell is no more than $75 AUD and you choose the buy it now ( BIN) option )

 EXAMPLE: If you want to sell 1 top for $15.00 with 5 pictures (you want to add more pictures to attract more buyers) , for the duration of 10 days, set it under BINand not using Selling Manager Pro For individual listing,

it would cost you $0.50 insertion fees (note that item values from $1.00 to $19.99 costs a listing fee of $0.50, for more info about check this table out) + $1.00 picture fees ( the first picture is free, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th picture costs $0.25 each)

Total cost before selling: $1.50

Now let’s say that you do sell your item on day 3, the buyer chooses to pay you via PayPal.

eBay charges you 7.9% of $15.00=$1.20.

PayPal charges you 3% (roughly) of what the buyer pays you (let say she pays $22.00 ($15.00 +$7.00 postage)=$0.7 Total cost after selling: $1.90

Total cost ( before and after): $3.40 => you earn  $11.60

***Using the same top, say you have a Basic store, but this time you want to sell 50 items, you would have to pay $0.40 ( fixed insertion fee for basic store)+$0.4 ( $20.00 basic store fees factor into 30 items) + $0.00( picture fees)

Total cost before selling: $0.80

Similar to the above case, your total cost after selling is $1.90

Total cost : $ 2.70/ each => you earn $12.30

Using individual listing for 50 tops, you would earn $ 11.60 x 50= $580

Using basic eBay store for 50 tops, you would earn $12.30 x 50 =$ 615

See the difference?

If you are considering taking eBay to the next level, I would suggest you look at the store options ( >50 items a month). However, if you are just an occasion seller, then stick with the individual setting.

Tip 1: Because the active duration of a listing in an Ebay store is nearly forever ( it ends after you cancel it), plus it is free to revise your items( meaning you can delete and upload new sets of picture for free), after selling item A, I would choose “revise item” option, remove the pictures set of item A, replace it by picture sets of item B, rewrite descriptions for item B and start the listing again. Notice how this saves me the insertion fee for item B. You can juice this out as much as you want (after selling item B, start selling item C and so on)

Pro: save insertion fees

  • Only applicable for eBay store listings
  • Only applicable for listing with a quantity of 2 or more items.
  • Once an item is sold, you can’t change its title name ( hence you can only sell the same type of products per active listing).

After you have an eBay account, it is crucial you set up a PayPal account as most transactions will be happening via this platform.

The entire process should only take you 5 mins ( ok, maybe 10 if your laptop is as old and slow as mine). Here is how:

Go to Paypal

Click sign up ( it is placed on the top right of the page if you have no sense of direction like me)

Choose Personal account( you have the option of choosing premium account later on. The big advantage of premium account is you can receive credit payment from people who don’t have a PayPal account. Of course, you pay a small fee for it- I don’t use Premium as most people who shop on eBay have their PayPal account anyways)

Select your country then click continue

Fill out your personal info. which includes: -Your first name, last name, and full address, including city, state, zip code, and country +your home telephone number for verification purposes +your e-mail address( <=email address is super important, don’t mistype it)

Choose a  password to use with your PayPal account

Chose your secret questions


Check your email ( including the spam folder) and follow the link.

Type your password and click confirm

BING, welcome to your brand new Paypal account.

Tip 2:

Updating and verifying your account:

Financial info: you will need a bank account and/or credit card to back up the funding of your account. If you don’t have enough funds in your Paypal balance to pay for something, the fund will be taken from your backup funds.

1/Bank account ( mandatory): what happens is Paypal will deposit 2 small amount of fund into your bank account, you verify this by logging into Paypal and enter the amount showed on your bank statement. (Of course, Paypal gets the fund back after you entered the amount. I once got so excited because I thought PayPal was giving me free 20cents. oh, How i miss the greedy and silly old me=)

It should take 2-3 business days for the amount to show up ( depending on your bank)

Tip 3: Make sure you have sufficient amount in your bank if you choose it as a back up as banks do charge fee if you try to pay but don’t have enough money.

2/Credit Card ( not required but recommend)- fill in your credit details which include full name, credit card number, security code, expiry date.

NOW! you are ready to rock & roll!!!

All comments are welcomed! I love to hear if this has helped you earn more income=).

To our pocket with more cash!