Since the start of the 21st century, E-commerce has created a buzz in the business world. Everyday goods worth millions of dollars are being sold and bought online by people. According to a financial report, the total estimate of online sales by popular e-commerce platforms was over $2.7 trillion in 2020. Every popular brand wants to sell its products on e-commerce websites simply because of the quick exposure to millions of online buyers.
eBay is one of the top e-commerce platforms that has been around for over two decades. Starting back in 1995, the platform has shown exponential growth in terms of the number of customers and finances. As of 2020, the company has over 100 million monthly visitors to its website and millions of buyers purchasing goods regularly. The platform provides business-consumer and consumer-consumer sales via the website.
If you are an individual seller or a small enterprise, looking to expand your business, eBay is the perfect platform for you to introduce your product to millions of potential customers without spending any money on advertisements. In this article, I will explain how to start selling on eBay for free and what are the basic requirements for that.
eBay: Cash the Opportunities
Anyone can sell on eBay. All you need is an eBay account and products to sell. However, you are still required to have some pre-planning. Find out what are the top-selling products on the platform, and which ones can be most profitable for you.
If you already have decided what to sell, go through the eBay Seller Policy to have an idea of what is allowed and what’s not. eBay has different guidelines and policies for different product categories. It’s important you find out which category your product falls in and what measures you need to take before listing your items on the website.
Once you are done with product-related research, figure out other aspects such as types of payment methods you can accept, shipping and delivery method, and the type of customer care you will provide to your buyers. Also, it’s a good idea to go through the internet and find out the current price of the product you are going to sell so you can estimate the selling price which will generate profit for you.
If you are a small business or casual seller, you don’t need to spend a large amount of money to sell on eBay. However, there are some unavoidable expenses such as shipping cost and customer service along with some listing fee that needs to be paid to eBay if you list more than the allowed quota on a personal account.
Sell on eBay: A Step-by-step Guide
Once you have done all the research regarding the product categories and eBay Seller policy, It’s time to register on eBay as a seller. Let’s check out the steps you need to take:
Choosing Your Account:
eBay offers two types of seller accounts – Personal Accounts and Business accounts. If you are looking to sell casually on eBay, a personal account is the right one for you. The business account is more suitable for big businesses who want to establish themselves on the platform for the long run and sell in big quantities. The personal account is a more popular choice amongst the majority of the sellers.
Registering Your eBay Seller Account:
Now, let’s find out how to set up a personal seller account on eBay.
Step 1: Go to the official page of eBay.
Step 2: Navigate to the Sell option on the homepage and click on it.
Step 3: When you are on the Sell page, you can check out the information about how to list your products, payment options, and other seller policies.
Step 4: On the Sell page, go to the top right corner and click on My eBay. It will take you to the registration page.
Step 5: On the registration page, click on create an account.
Step 6: Provide all the necessary details – Your full name and email address, and create a password. After that click on Register.
Step 7: On the next page, you will be asked to provide contact information such as country, address, phone number, etc. Click on Continue once you fill in all the details.
Step 8: You will be redirected to your seller page where you can modify the details and check all the information regarding your seller profile.
Modify Your Account Preferences:
Once you are done with setting up your personal account, you can modify the details and add further necessary information from the dashboard. You can do this by clicking on your name on the top-left side of the screen. Simply select My Account and you can see your eBay profile where you can:
- Modify your Personal information – Name, Address, Email ID, and phone number
- Change Sign-in and security preferences – Password change, Link to Social media, Sign in history and preferences, etc
- Add/modify payment methods, add an automatic payment method, and link your PayPal account
- Access your Seller dashboard and add listings.
- It’s fairly easy to create listings on eBay. Once you are done with the product research and setting up your seller account and preferences, you are ready to add listings. Here is a step-by-step guide.
- Click on Start Selling on your Seller dashboard page and you will be redirected to a search page. You can also click on Learn the selling basics to find out more information about the eBay selling process.
- On the search page, browse for the product you want to sell. You can also search from the categories right below the search box.
- After you find the product, you are redirected to the listing page which is divided into three sections – Listing Details, Selling Details, and Shipping Details.
Listing Details contains the following parameters to fill up :
- Title of your sales advertisement. You can choose to make it bold letters in the search results.
- Subtitle to your listing. This section is optional but it may increase buyers’ interest in your item.
- Product Category and Subcategory (optional)
- UPC (Universal Product Code) is applicable
- Product Condition – New, Used, etc
- You can upload up to 12 pictures of the product. Make sure you upload high-quality photos with enough details.
- Product specifications – Brand and MPN (Manufacturer Part Number)
- You can add additional characteristics such as color, features, model number, country of manufacturing, etc
- Item Description
Selling Details consists of the following information:
- Format – Fixed Price, Auction style, or Classified, As a beginner, we advise you to choose Fixed Price.
- Duration – You can choose if you want to start your listing right away or on a specific date and time.
- Price, Quantity, and Payment options
- Return policy
Shipping Details consist of the following details:
- Domestic Shipping Details
- International Shipping Details (optional)
- Package dimensions (optional)
- Product location (same as your address)
Click on the List item to List your product with all the details above. You can preview your listing details or save them as drafts for future use.
Can You Sell for Free? Cost of Selling
Now, the question is: Can you sell on eBay for free? The answer is No. Although setting up an eBay seller account is absolutely free of cost, there are certain charges to pay in order to make a sale. These are seller charges that you pay to eBay for listing your items and selling them if you manage to sell any.
eBay charges the sellers a certain amount as an insertion fee for listing the items on the website. Now, this is a non-refundable payment that you have to make before the sale regardless if your item sells or not. Meaning if your item doesn’t sell before the listing period expires, you will have to list it again and pay the insertion fee again. If you are just starting to sell on eBay, there is a piece of good news for you. The insertion fee is applicable only if you list more than 250 items in a month.
Final Value Fee:
The final Value fee is a cut that eBay keeps from every successful sale you make. When you complete a sale, you need to pay 10-12.5% of it to eBay plus an additional $0.30 order fee.
There are a bunch of other payments you may need to make after the sale is complete. For example, you will need to cover the payment processing fee for using a third-party payment gateway. Same as, if you accept payments via PayPal, you need to pay the PayPal processing fee. Additionally, if you opt for eBay’s services for printing labels, packing, etc, you need to pay the respective fees for that as well.
Make the Most of eBay:
Here are some practices you can use to up your game on eBay and establish yourself as a prominent seller on the platform:
- Go through eBay policies regularly and make changes according to them. Don’t violate eBays policies at any cost.
- Take buyers’ reviews seriously. Always respond to them with a positive attitude. Also, ask your buyers to leave feedback if they are satisfied with your service.
- Once you get hold of the eBay platform, check eBay Seller Hub which provides you with various tools to plan strategies and advance your business.
- eBay is different from Amazon. It’s possible on eBay to earn more than the product’s retail value. Mark the price accordingly.
- You can download the eBay application on your phone to have access to your seller account all the time.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking to sell online and want to make a career in the E-commerce arena. eBay is an exquisite platform to start with. Compared to Amazon, it has lenient policies and offers a business environment that is extremely easy to get hold of.
Yes, it will take a little time and patience before you start improving your listings and making a profit, but at the same time, you will get to learn the fine details about E-commerce as well as entrepreneurship, that too, at a reasonable price.