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Blog / Ecommerce platform guide / 10 Effective Tips for Selling on eBay: Sell Smarter, Not Harder

Ecommerce platform guide

10 Effective Tips for Selling on eBay: Sell Smarter, Not Harder

10 Effective Tips for Selling on eBay: Sell Smarter, Not Harder
Pauls Smiltiņš

By Pauls Smiltiņš

12 min read

Have you always thought about starting a dropshipping business? Or perhaps you just want to declutter your garage for some extra cash? Either way, eBay is an amazing avenue to explore.

With 900 million monthly visits, eBay stands out as one of today’s most recognized marketplaces. With a vast range of products going up for sale daily, you’ll find almost anything your heart desires.

Before you dive into selling, it’s important to understand the intricacies of starting an eBay business, even if you’re a seasoned seller. Selling on eBay demands strategic finesse beyond mere listing and waiting. That’s where these eBay selling tips come into play.

Are you ready? Let’s roll!

To maximize your eBay sales, it’s crucial to understand the marketplace’s strengths and capitalize on them effectively. While eBay thrives across various ecommerce categories, it particularly excels in fashion, electronics, toys, beauty products, and automotive parts.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: eBay

Before you start selling items, consider trending products, pricing dynamics, and seasonal variations to anticipate market demand accurately. Identifying niche opportunities where you can add value or leverage expertise enhances your competitive edge.

Additionally, timing plays a pivotal role, with Sunday evenings being peak traffic times for auctions. Utilize resources like eBay’s trending deals page for listing inspiration.

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2. Pick your fulfillment partner

When you’ve picked your product, you’ll have to decide on product fulfillment. If you want to sell clothing or accessories, your two main options are print-on-demand and inventory.

a man in a warehouseSource: Printful

When opting for self-inventory management, you’ll have to take care of everything, from creating the product to shipping it. In contrast, partnering with a print-on-demand service like Printful means that items are printed and shipped directly to the customers upon placing an order, while you focus only on the creative side.

Partnering with Printful streamlines the whole setup process through direct integration with eBay. Sellers can effortlessly connect their Printful and eBay accounts, synchronize products, and input shipping and tax details.

Once the integration is established, sellers can focus on marketing their products while Printful manages printing and fulfillment operations. By collaborating with Printful, eBay sellers can streamline their operations, minimize upfront costs, and offer a wider range of products without the hassle of inventory management.

a screenshot of a social media pageSource: Printful

However, you should be aware that eBay also enforces specific policies for print-on-demand sellers, prohibiting the listing of items purchased from other retailers that ship directly to customers. This means sellers can’t list items on eBay and fulfill them through external marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy.

For more insight into the best-selling print-on-demand products on eBay, check out this blog.

3. Create high-quality listings

Crafting precise and thorough titles and descriptions significantly boosts the visibility of your eBay listings within the search results. Enhanced visibility translates to increased exposure to potential shoppers. Creating high-quality listings also makes you look more professional, inviting potential eBay customers to do business with you.

Here’s how to create effective titles:

  • Incorporate relevant keywords that accurately describe your item

  • Structure keywords in a format that’s easy for readers to understand

  • Avoid acronyms and writing entirely in uppercase letters

  • Limit the title length to fewer than 80 characters for optimal presentation

a screenshot of a woman's pantsSource: eBay

Within the description section, explain vital product details and preemptively address potential buyer inquiries. Explain item specifics such as size, color, style, and fit to provide an overview.

Essentials for eBay product descriptions:

  • Ensure the description is reader-friendly with bullet points, brief sentences, and well-defined sections

  • Utilize all pertinent keywords at least once to enhance searchability

  • Maintain clarity throughout the description

  • Strategically incorporate keywords within the initial 100 characters to align with the eBay algorithm, amplifying search relevance and visibility

a screenshot of a websiteSource: eBay

Crafting accurate and detailed titles and descriptions is fundamental to maximizing the visibility and effectiveness of your eBay listings. Of course, having high-quality photos goes without saying. Remember, the photo, title, and description are the gateway for eBay buyers to discover and engage with your products.

4. Make use of eBay’s Zero insertion fee policy

When starting a business, you want to save every penny possible. Well, you might be in luck because eBay offers a generous Zero insertion fee policy, granting sellers a certain number of free listings per month.

a screen shot of a white and black boxSource: eBay

How many? Up to 250 for basic sellers and 1,000 or more for those with eBay storefronts. As long as you avoid adding extra options like a Reserve price, you can list items without incurring any fees.

However, before diving into eBay sales, it’s essential to assess an item’s value and associated selling costs. While aiming for a decent profit, sellers must be mindful of additional expenses from selling on eBay.

Pro tip: You can use the eBay Fee Calculator tool to estimate the charges for each sale based on the listing price and final selling price.

Here’s how eBay’s fee structure works:

  • Sellers can list up to 250 items a month for free, after that, it’s $0.35 per listing

  • Optional listing upgrades, such as subtitles or listing in multiple categories, may result in additional charges

  • eBay collects 12.35% of the total transaction amount, along with a $0.30 per order

  • Additionally, sellers should be aware of potential tax obligations based on their sales volume and profit margins

a computer screen with a website on itSource: Unsplash

For more details on eBay fees, you can check out eBay’s private seller page, which outlines charges based on the nature of the items sold. Staying informed about these fees enables you to make informed decisions and improve your profitability in the marketplace.

5. Offer free shipping

Who doesn’t like free shipping? Offering free shipping has become a necessity in today’s competitive ecommerce landscape. It’s not just a perk but a powerful strategy to attract and retain customers. While it may seem daunting for new eBay sellers due to potential profit cuts, strategic budgeting, and considerations can make it a financially viable option for anyone.

a screenshot of a delivery optionsSource: eBay

When considering free shipping, it’s essential to assess its feasibility, particularly for large or heavy items where shipping costs can significantly impact profitability. Weighing products in their shipping packages helps determine accurate shipping costs, ensuring smart budget allocation.

Additionally, in a market where quick and free shipping is increasingly expected, offering free shipping can boost conversion rates and serve as an effective upselling technique.

a close-up of a person's faceSource: eBay

eBay sellers can leverage the platform’s International Shipping Program, which simplifies global shipping without added costs or complexities. By enabling worldwide shipping, sellers can tap into a broader customer base while eBay manages international shipping and customs processes seamlessly.

For those unable to provide free shipping on all items, present accurate shipping cost calculations to ensure clarity for customers. Embracing free shipping as part of your eBay strategy can boost customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and ultimately drive business growth.

6. Respond to messages quickly

Responding promptly to messages is crucial for maintaining positive relationships with customers on eBay. Respect for your buyers starts with accurate item descriptions and return policies that manage expectations effectively.

a person typing on a laptopSource: Unsplash

Effective communication fosters trust and mitigates potential issues before they escalate. Resolving concerns amicably and proactively ensures a positive buying experience for both you and your customers.

Speed and friendliness in communication are paramount. In a world where instant information is expected, swift responses demonstrate dedication to customer satisfaction.

Go the extra mile by providing comprehensive information and personalized assistance. You’ll not only delight customers but also reinforce your commitment to providing the highest quality service.

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7. Request feedback

Feedback not only informs potential buyers but also offers valuable insights for improving your business. By actively seeking feedback and addressing customer concerns, sellers can refine their practices and bolster their reputation.

Few tips to consider:

  • Promptly following up with buyers after a transaction and politely requesting feedback demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction

  • Offering competitive pricing, quick replies, accurate inventory management, and efficient shipping processes incentivizes buyers to leave positive feedback

  • Clear communication throughout the transaction, including confirmation emails and shipment updates, enhances transparency and builds trust with customers

eBay Feedback ScoreSource: ChannelReply

When starting with zero feedback, sellers can leverage eBay’s feedback system by engaging in both buying and selling activities. As you accumulate feedback, eBay rewards milestones with different colored stars. These milestones signify your reliability and trustworthiness, enhancing visibility and attracting more customers.

8. Customize your storefront

Establishing a strong brand presence on your eBay storefront can significantly increase your business’s visibility and credibility. With an eBay store, you can customize your homepage to match your brand, attract more customers, and stand out from competitors.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: eBay

Here’s how you can expertly brand your eBay storefront:

  1. Store name: Choose a professional and representative name for your store, avoiding any infringement on trademarks or misleading terms.

  2. Banner image: Use a captivating banner image to showcase your brand identity and highlight key aspects of your business, such as your products and seasonal updates.

  3. Store logo: Create a professional and consistent logo that reinforces your brand identity and values.

  4. Store description: Craft a compelling description that communicates your offerings and unique selling points. Incorporate relevant keywords to increase search visibility.

  5. Featured categories: Organize your products into customized categories to streamline the shopping experience for buyers. Create clickable categories and subcategories to facilitate navigation.

  6. Featured items: Showcase your best-selling and most popular products in the featured items section to capture buyer interest and promote sales.

  7. Marketing banner: Create clickable banners to promote specific items, categories, or promotions, attracting shoppers’ attention and driving traffic to targeted pages.

  8. Store policies: Establish clear and concise policies regarding shipping, guarantees, and returns to provide transparency and build trust with buyers.

By leveraging these branding elements, you can create a cohesive and compelling shopping experience for buyers, ultimately boosting your eBay sales and fostering long-term customer relationships.

9. Master eBay SEO

Although it may seem like you’re all set, there are still a few extra tweaks you can make to increase your eBay store traffic. Enhancing your listings with targeted keywords is essential for better visibility and search engine optimization (SEO).

Here are some helpful tips to follow:

  1. Start with eBay’s search bar: Enter your product name and explore related search queries. Analyze top results to understand successful listing strategies and incorporate them into your own approach.

  2. Use SEO tools: Tools like Keywords Everywhere and offer valuable insights into keyword search volume and competition, helping you refine your keyword strategy.

  3. Learn from top eBay searches: Explore eBay’s Seller Hub for data on trending items and sales insights. Platforms like WatchCount can also help you discover popular products and related keywords.

a screenshot of a computerSource: KeywordTool

After completing your keyword research, it’s time to optimize your eBay listing.

  1. Choose a relevant seller name: Select a handle that aligns with your store and reflects expertise while remaining catchy and memorable.

  2. Incorporate keywords in your profile description: Keep it concise within eBay’s 250-character limit, highlighting unique selling points and including niche-related keywords.

  3. Include your focus keyword in the title: Optimize your titles by using a primary keyword to maintain clarity and readability, reserving additional keywords for your profile description and product listings.

  4. Maintain optimal keyword density in your description: Follow eBay’s recommendation of 5–7% keyword density to ensure effective keyword usage while maintaining readability.

  5. Provide multiple product views: Upload clear images showcasing different angles to instill buyer confidence and drive sales. When using Printful, create various mockups through Printful’s Design Maker to highlight your product.

By implementing these strategies, you can optimize your eBay listings, enhancing traffic and visibility. Check out our eBay SEO guide for additional insights and extra selling tips.

10. Leverage social media

In today’s digital landscape, online visibility is paramount. Integrating social media marketing with your eBay store not only increases visibility but also attracts more customers, ultimately boosting revenue. With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, you can tap into vast audiences hungry for unique products.

a man sitting on a couch eating a sandwichSource: Instagram

For those new to social media marketing, here are 10 Effective Social Media Strategies for Your Print-on-Demand Business.

Here’s how social media can help:

  • Share your eBay listings on social platforms to increase visibility and drive traffic

  • Create compelling content that reflects your brand’s identity, fostering a loyal follower base

  • Engage with customers through comments, messages, and posts, providing exceptional customer service and nurturing relationships

  • Use social media to monitor trends, gather feedback, and understand audience preferences

  • Connect with fellow eBay sellers and industry influencers to exchange strategies and insights

a woman holding a pair of tiresSource: Instagram

Remember to use popular hashtags to boost your post’s discoverability. Integrating social media marketing into your eBay strategy expands your reach, engages with customers, and drives sales. You can also use social media to create eBay seller promotions that engage potential customers and foster recognition.

Become a master eBay seller

Becoming an eBay seller is exciting. With its huge audience and easily attainable market, eBay is truly a land of opportunities.

When starting your eBay dropshipping business, find the right product, devote effort to optimizing your listings, and identify the strategies that align with your business goals. Keep in mind that achieving success in large marketplaces requires dedication and patience.

With the right partner by your side, selling on eBay becomes a highly accessible venture for anyone. With Printful, you don’t have to worry about additional storage, costly equipment, or initial investments. While you create and showcase your designs, we’ll take care of the rest.

And that’s a wrap! With all this knowledge, you’re ready to sell on eBay. Good luck!

Read next: How to Make Money on eBay with 15 Proven Strategies


By Pauls Smiltiņš on Apr 8, 2024

Pauls Smiltiņš

Guest author

Pauls is a content writer with a background in the radio. He has a degree in communication sciences, and in his free time, Pauls loves to entertain crowds by playing live music on stage.

Pauls is a content writer with a background in the radio. He has a degree in communication sciences, and in his free time, Pauls loves to entertain crowds by playing live music on stage.