Selling on auction sites

Selling on eBay

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Selling Items on eBay

7 Great Alternatives to Selling Stuff On eBay

What Sells on eBay?

I am curious about selling on eBay. How do you know which items will sell well? What do you look for in baby clothes, china, books, etc. that will bring in some bidders? Are there certain items that are definite big selling items? And how do you know where to begin?

Learn the Rope One Item at a Time

I've been selling on eBay for years and here are some of my tips:

  1. Sell only items in good to excellent condition unless it's a collectible piece that is so sought after that a buyer wouldn't mind a ding or two.
  2. Kids' clothes and baby items sell like wildfire. Put up stuff that can be worn this season and is clean and in good shape. If you have a lot of smaller items that are in really good shape, like onesies for instance, make a grouping of three to five same sized onesies and put them up as a group.
  3. Price low enough to get people's attention. I have never started an auction at over $5. Most of the time, I'll start it at $1, $2 or $2.50. If it's really something special, I'll start it at $5. If it doesn't sell, you can always go back and relist it for less. Also, sometimes people will communicate to you that they are interested in buying it if it doesn't sell and that's another option you have.
  4. Don't spend extra money on glitzy things to enhance your listing. Sure, they cost a small amount like 20 cents or whatever, but it all adds up. The only extra that I will pay for is a Gallery photo and that's a small photo of your item that is next to the listing of all items up for bid. The reason I pay for that is because I know that when I'm buying on eBay, I don't waste my time looking at stuff with no Gallery photo and I've noticed that those listings without don't seem to draw as much interest either.

Selling on eBay is a lot of fun. I would suggest you start small at first. Sell one or two items. You'll learn the ropes in no time!

Do Your Own Research

In answer to the reader who wrote asking what sells best on eBay, that is every seller's best-kept trade secret, along with what are her or his best sources of supply.

You will have to do your own research, and here's how. Start with doing a search for your item, but check the box for "Completed Auctions Only." This will show you items that have already sold, or had an auction end with no sale. Note which items have sold and which have not. Try to figure out the difference. Sometimes, it is as simple as not having a clear photo or pricing too high. Sometimes, you will have to look at many of them before a pattern emerges.

There are also some free services such as that will let you do research on eBay with their statistics. Finally, the best place to start is eBay's help section. There are a huge number of articles and tips on every aspect of selling and buying. Another good place to start would be "eBay for Dummies" or a similar book. Happy selling!

Talk with Consignment Shop Owners

I have been selling on eBay for a couple years. I sell mostly baby and children's clothing. I learned about what sells by talking to owners of consignment stores. They know how to price items for their store based on quality and demand. Then I started looking for those items at garage sales and on clearance racks (new and used). I volunteer at a non-profit thrift store and get a 30% discount there as well. I sort donations so I get first pick at much of the clothing that comes in.

I also spent time looking on eBay to see what items were getting bids. I looked not only at the item itself, but how the seller had listed it. I noted how much information was included in the description, how the item was displayed in the photo, the sellers shipping prices and policy, etc. I also learned how to title my auctions to get attention. Choosing the proper words to put in the title makes a huge difference in how many people will view your auction. The title does not have to be a sentence. Instead, make it a selection of key words for which buyers are likely to search. For very nice, unique or handmade items, the word "Boutique" is a good one to put in the title. For classic infant items, the word "Heirloom" will draw attention. Classic brands would be Feltman Brothers, Bailey Boys, Alexis, House of Hatten, Strasburg, Friedknit Creations, Will Beth and others. For standard brands, good sellers are Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Disney, Gymboree, Old Navy, Limited Too, The Children's Place (and Baby Place), GAP (and Baby Gap), and others. I am sure there are many more I have not even discovered yet!

It is also good to sell items in season. I have found that I do best selling items individually or sometimes in pairs (sets do great!), but usually by putting large lots together I end up losing money. I only do this when I need to clean out at the end of the season. I highly recommend buying Poly bags for mailing clothing. They are very easy to use and can be purchased off eBay for a reasonable price. This will save time when you are ready to ship. I found that auctions that end during the week usually end higher than auctions ending on the weekend. I have found Turbo Lister to be a great tool (free download from eBay). I can get my auctions all ready to go, but don't have to actually upload them to eBay until I am ready. I like to list a lot of auctions at once and offer combined shipping on multiple purchases. I hope this helps you get started on your eBay selling adventure!
Beth in Texas

Sell What You Know

I have been selling on eBay and other auction sites since 2000. First, begin by selling the extras you have around your home. That way, you have little to nothing invested and you are making room to grow. It also helps you get accustomed to what you need in your descriptions, how to pack and ship, and how eBay in general works.

After you do that, expand into a preferred line or do a variety of things. I have found that for me what sells best is simply what I know best and have easy access to purchase. I am better able to know if the purchase price is a bargain, better able to describe it, better able to answer questions, and better able to determine desirability. For me, this is crafts and books, but for someone else, it may be clothes, glassware, postcards, and so on.

Think Like a Buyer

The trick to selling on eBay is to think like a buyer. You might want to actually buy a few things yourself before trying to sell something. Here are a few pointers from a buyer's point of view:

  1. Buyers search on keywords like brand names. Think "Gap," "Ralph Lauren," etc. Use names that people recognize. No-name brands are not going to get the traffic (or "watchers") that a brand name will.
  2. Buyers are paying for shipping the item. Therefore, they want the items they buy to be "worth it." Don't try to sell things with damage, holes, stains, etc. If you do have a large bunch of baby clothes that have stains, major pilling or wear, etc. try to sell them as a "lot," rather than each individual item. Describe each item truthfully and you may get a bidder that is looking for "play clothes" and doesn't mind the wear.
  3. Buyers search on eBay for things they have been searching for and can't find anywhere else. It could be a Hallmark Christmas ornament to complete a series, a rare record album, a unique shirt they used to own in high school, or toys they played with as a child. They especially look for items that are no longer for sale in regular stores today. Those are hot!
  4. Watch the listings for a few weeks and identify the things that sell for a lot of money and have a lot of "action." It shouldn't take long to figure out where the real money is.

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