Beginner’s Guide to Selling on eBay
Whether you're planning on starting a new business or just cleaning out your closet, we've got you covered with all the information you need to know to get your items sold on eBay.
In this article, we will answer some of the most asked questions about selling on eBay and help you to decide if eBay is the right platform for you.
Related Reading: Selling on Amazon vs. eBay: An In-Depth Comparison 
What Is eBay?
eBay is one of the biggest ecommerce platforms out there. It's like a big virtual store with many different categories and items where people can buy and sell things online.
Sellers can list items for sale, and buyers can browse and purchase items. Also, eBay has also implemented various features and tools, such as bidding and auctioning.
Overall, eBay is a popular and dedicated platform for online shopping and selling.
What Products Can Be Sold on eBay?
On eBay, like in other ecommerce platforms, there are lots of types of sellers.
Some sellers are dropshippers, who don't hold inventory and instead fulfill orders by shipping products directly from their suppliers. Another business model is, private label involves building your own brand and selling your own products, while wholesale involves buying and reselling products from other brands.
Another type of seller is the ones who do retail arbitrage which means they go to big box-type stores and buy new products on clearance or maybe they get them on pallets and sell them, and then there are resellers that sell both new and used items.
Therebefore, if you to start selling on eBay you need to decide what type of business model you want to follow and what kind of item you want to start selling on eBay.
You can list a wide variety of products on eBay, from new and used items to vintage and rare collectibles, including:
- New items: as we mentioned above popular business models to sell new items on eBay include private label, wholesale, retail arbitrage, and dropshipping.
- Used items: you can sell your old board games, video games, furniture, clothing, books, clothing – just any secondhand goods!
- Collectibles: from the Spice Girls poster to rare coins and vintage watches are popular among eBay shoppers.
- Cars: indeed, it is possible to sell cars on eBay.
- Vintage and antique items: Unique and rare collectible items from a variety of categories can be sold on eBay, such as toys, clocks, cassette tapes, vinyl discs, stuffed animals, etc.
- Miscellaneous items: Random items can range from ordinary to unconventional. For example, bottles lips, empty toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, mugs, and many more. The possibilities for creative selling on eBay are endless.
Some items are banned on eBay so you want to make sure you don’t list these products. The ecommerce platform put out a VERO list to check out the kind of items and brands you cannot sell through the platform.
What Are the Requirements Before You Can Start Selling on eBay?
Registering to sell on eBay is easy, allowing you to set up your account quickly and probably start selling within an hour!
First, you need to create an account, provide personal information such as your name and address and agree to the terms and conditions.
Additionally, you need to provide valid credit card or bank account information so eBay can send payments directly.
Also, some categories might require sellers to meet specific criteria, such as providing proof of identity or obtaining special permits.
Can Non-US Citizens Sell on eBay.com?
The answer is yes, non-US citizens can sell on eBay.com. However, there are some requirements that must be met in order to create a seller account on eBay.com. Sellers must have:
- A valid credit card or bank account for processing payments.
- A valid US address for shipping purposes (this can be a personal address or a third-party shipping service).
- A tax ID number. This can be an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if the seller is operating as a business.
- Compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including export laws and regulations if you plan to sell internationally.
How Much Does It Cost to Sell on eBay?
On eBay, there are two main types of fees when selling on the platform. One is the insertion fee and the other one is a final value fee when your item gets sold.
When a seller lists an item on eBay for the first time, they are charged an insertion fee, which is also applicable if the seller relists the item, duplicates the listing for auction-style bidding, or lists the item in a different product category.
These insertion fees are non-refundable, regardless of whether or not the item sells. Every month you get up to 250 free listings or more if you have more eBay stores.
The final value fees are charged after each sale and they vary depending on the category that your category is selling in it. It can be as low as 3% up to 15% depending on the items being sold.
Usually, you can expect to pay a total of 12.9% in selling fees for the majority of transactions on eBay, which is comparatively less than other ecommerce platforms, resulting in a higher gross profit.
With an eBay store you have to pay a monthly subscription and depending on the level of the store you choose you get different perks and discounts. It exists different types of stores:
You can opt for the monthly renewal or yearly renewal.
What Products Do You Recommend for Beginner Sellers?
There are product research tools, such as Jungle Scout, which can help you in finding items to sell on eBay. Also, utilizing data tools can improve your product research on eBay.
Jungle Scout offers a comprehensive suite of tools that provide crucial data for ecommerce entrepreneurs, including sales volume data and historical sales data from the Amazon marketplace, as well as identifying potential emerging product opportunities.
By using this data, you can take good decisions about product selection based on real-time sales data rather than just speculation.
Although Jungle Scout’s data is specific to Amazon, the insights can provide valuable guidance for other ecommerce platforms like eBay, where eBay sellers can access millions of Amazon products through the Product Database tool to identify profitable opportunities that can be adapted to eBay.
Used Products to Sell on eBay
You can choose to sell used items since you lower initial capital requirements, ability to turn clutter into profit, and potentially higher profit margins compared to selling new items.
Some other popular products for beginner sellers on eBay include:
- Used clothing: Selling used clothing can be a great way for beginners to start generating income on eBay.
- Collectibles: Collectibles like sports memorabilia, vintage toys, and coins can be great items to sell on eBay.
- Crafts and supplies: Selling craft supplies or handmade items can be a good option for sellers who enjoy creating and crafting.
- Vintage items and collectibles: these items are unique and often have a high perceived value.
- Used or refurbished electronics: selling used or refurbished electronics such as smartphones, laptops, and gaming consoles can be a profitable market on eBay.
Overall, the best products for beginner sellers are those that are easy to source, have high demand, and offer good profit margins.
However, it's important to make research and analysis before deciding on a product to sell, including assessing the competition, demand, and profitability of the product.
Where Can You Source Products From?
Once you find a great product idea, it's time to start looking for someone to buy that product from in China. The VAST majority of products on Amazon are imported from China and the vast majority are found on Alibaba. If you're not familiar with Alibaba, Alibaba is basically a directory of Chinese factories and suppliers.
I won't give a full overview of how to use Alibaba as we have a great free guide on how to use Alibaba, but basically, you want to do the following on Alibaba:
- Search for your product on Alibaba
- Contact 3 to 5 suppliers to get quotes
- Get samples from the most attractive supplier
- Place an order for your products
Expect to need to spend somewhere between $2500 and $5000 on your first order from Alibaba (yes, it's a pretty big cash commitment).
You can also find places outside of Alibaba to source from. Find out here How to Find Wholesale Suppliers for Online Stores Outside of Alibaba.
If you're thinking to source private label products then we recommend you to read our post on The Best Countries to Source Private Label Products From.
Selling on eBay can be a great way to start your own business, especially for beginners. With only some research and basic knowledge of the platform, you can turn your hobbies or items into a valuable source of income
Additionally, the platform's low barrier to entry makes it an ideal starting point for new entrepreneurs.
Have you recently started selling on eBay or are you thinking of doing it? Tell us your experiences and ask any questions in the sections comments below!