How to sell on eBay


eBay fees

Selling on eBay isn’t free – so bare this in mind when you decide to list an item. When you first list your item, you might have to pay an insertion fee, which is usually a 35p charge. However, you can list up to 1,000 items a month without paying this fee, so you’re probably unlikely to pay it if you just use your account to sell the odd item now and again.

However, you will usually pay a final value fee – this is 10% of the selling price that you need to pay to eBay on completion. It’s capped at £250, so you won’t pay a larger final value fee if your item is bought for more than £2,500. However, sometimes eBay runs promotions where you’ll pay a smaller final value fee than usual – so keep an eye on your inbox.

Most transactions run through PayPal, who also take 2.9% of the final price, plus an added 30p per transaction – which is another cost that’s easily forgotten when it comes to finalising your sale.

What sells best on eBay?

eBay sells just about everything you can think of – it’s likely you’ll find a buyer for your product if you’ve listed it correctly. Put a lot of effort into the descriptions and tags of your item, and upload good-looking pictures with a professional looking background – a white sheet behind your item really can make all the difference.

Popular items to sell on eBay include:

  • Books
  • Collectors’ items
  • Jewellery and watches
  • Shoes
  • Home and kitchenware
  • Phones and smart home tech
  • Clothes
  • Fitness equipment and accessories

eBay selling tips

If you’re new to selling on eBay, the following can help you secure sales more easily:

  • Add a persuasive yet realistic description – make sure you’re completely honest about the product and its condition, but do it in an eloquent way, and make sure to double-check for any mistakes.
  • Take good photos - as mentioned previously, the look of your products can really be the selling point, so find a good backdrop and a high-quality camera – or smartphone camera – and take the best shots you can.
  • Be realistic with pricing - don’t think about retail prices when you’re listing your item, it’s unlikely someone would buy for that price second-hand, even if it was brand new. Check out other completed listings of similar items to get a better idea on how to price your item.
  • Ask for feedback - people are much more trusting of sellers with a good feedback score, so be nice to customers and ask for feedback. You can also get feedback as a buyer, so think about buying some items for the good feedback.
  • Offer 30-day returns - eBay praises sellers for fair returns policies, and they actually automatically boost sellers whose returns policies are 30 days or longer, so your listing will be seen by more potential buyers than before.

Best time to sell on eBay

It’s been suggested that the best time to sell you items on eBay is on Sunday evenings. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are also great selling times, between the hours of 6pm and 10pm. The worst times to sell are Friday and Saturday evenings, so try to avoid your listings ending on these days.

As well as this, consider if your item is seasonal – for example, Christmas decorations would be better sold in November or December, or outdoor toys for children might do better during the summer holidays. Try to think about when someone would need your item, and list it during that period.