Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Selling on eBay?

Since I was young, I’ve utilized the eBay platform to sell old clothes and gadgets that I don’t use anymore. Here are my best tips to selling on eBay, which will help you fast track your sales!

Selling on eBay is becoming a very fun hobby hustle for people to start. It is a low-cost, high thrill side hustle.

Are you a person that loves to hunt for the best deal? Then eBay selling may be for you!


1. When an account is set up, should it be personal or business?


When setting up an eBay account you have two different options, opening a business account or a personal account. There are pros and cons with both of them, and depending on your needs, you can pick one!


Why you need a Business eBay account:

If you are planning on doing a volume business, whether that be reselling used products or your own product.

You are able to show your business name, which will help keep branding consistent, and there is a higher chance a buyer will come back to your store since they know you are a business and this is your job.

You’ll also get branded emails and invoices, which are good for tax purposes (but I won’t go into that because I’m not an accountant!).


A Personal eBay account may work better for you:

If you are using eBay as a hobby, or you are just selling some of your own products in the house, then a personal account may be best for you.

A personal account will display your name, and buyers will think they are just purchasing from someone selling old things they no longer need in the house, therefore, little chance the buyer comes back to your store.


2. Should I get reviews as a buyer before I sell items on eBay?


This is something that you need to do and is one of the best tips to selling on eBay.

When you go on eBay, you will see that sellers have a star with a little rating beside their username. Most buyers will look to see if you have that star and how many reviews.


eBay counts buying and selling reviews as the same

For every review that you get when you buy something, it will add to your total review count.

When you are starting out on eBay, I recommend that you get 50 stars before you sell anything. Once you get 50 stars, you will have your first star beside your name.


The quickest way to getting a star rating

The easiest and most cost-effective way to getting 50 reviews is to buy 50 different items on eBay.

I would start with items that you already need, but then, if you don’t want to spend much more, people actually sell items that only sell for $0.50.

You can easily purchase 50 stickers at $0.50/each (50 separate transactions), and only spend $25 in the process.

Make sure to leave honest feedback to your seller, and they will leave honest feedback towards you.


3. Should I provide free shipping on eBay as a seller?


It depends on the margins that you have with the items you are selling and what you’re looking for as a target.

For larger items that are traveling far, you will want your buyer to cover the shipping expenses.

For smaller items that are traveling in the same country, you can decide how you will build the shipping into your pricing.

As a buyer, I often look for sellers that are offering free shipping, and by doing so, you have a slight competitive advantage over other sellers.


Add shipping costs to the price of the time

When you see sellers offering “free shipping”, they are probably using this pricing method.

Sellers on eBay know that buyers look for “free shipping” and that it is a checkbox on the filters. By not having “free shipping” on your listing, a buyer can cancel you from their search, even if you are the cheapest including shipping.

In order to get more impressions with the filter, sellers add the shipping cost to the item price, and then mark the item as “free shipping”.


Building your shipping cost into your selling price

This allows your listing to look more appealing and be more discoverable by filters.

Buyers on eBay, love free shipping and over the years have been spoiled with sellers offering it.


Add a portion of the shipping cost to the price of the item

In this pricing strategy for the tips to selling on eBay, you are sharing the cost of the shipping with the buyer.

If the shipping is $10, you may add $5 to the price of your item, and make shipping $5. By doing this, you will still receive your $10 shipping, but the buyer doesn’t see it that way.

In the past, I have used this strategy, but find that the discoverability of your listing is weakened.


Why this may be a bad strategy

When you add any dollar amount to the shipping, even something as small as $1, you are eliminating your listing from being found on the “free shipping” filter.

eBay is a marketplace and discoverability is the only way you’re going to get your items sold.

By using the half and half method, you are able to show that shipping isn’t a lot, and your item price is still on par with competitors.


When I would use this method

Selling small items is of the easiest tips to selling on eBay because small items are easy to ship. However, there may be a time when you have a larger item to list.

When you have a large item that is valuable, buyers understand that the shipping costs will be high and they will expect it.

Your competitors will have shipping costs associated with their listing as well due to the price of shipping.

When a buyer starts comparing the shipping rates of one seller to another, that is where this strategy of showing a lower shipping rate will be favorable.


Calculating and charging my buyers for shipping

In this pricing strategy, you will add all the shipping costs associated with the listing.

In a perfect world, the price you are charging the customer will go directly to the shipping courier, USPS for example.


When and when not to charge the full shipping price

If you are selling an item where all other sellers are charging for shipping, you can use this strategy.

Most of the items will be heavy or large because when you get to heavy and large packages, the distance between the buyer and seller will impact the shipping rates.

In this scenario, assuming the price of the items are equal, the buyer will typically go on distance and reviews, which goes back to the first tips to selling on eBay.

If you are selling a low-ticket item and shipping is near the same price as the item, I would not recommend using this method.

Buyers have a hard time justifying paying the same amounts for shipping and item.


4. Is there an online course (free or paid) that goes over the nuts and bolts of setting up selling on eBay? 


After reading these tips to selling on eBay, you will have a great foundation for selling. My recommendation would be to just start selling on eBay rather than trying to find more resources.

The only way to get better is by doing and by practicing.

I personally have not taken a course on eBay selling as these tips to selling on eBay are just from my experience and trial and error.

For those keen on paying for a course, there are tons on the Udemy marketplace. Contrary, there are also people like Kirk Williams and Chris Bello, who are side hustlers in our private facebook community that can help!

Listen to Ep 49 with Rob & Melissa Stephenson of Flea Market Flipper! They’ve created a full-time income buying and selling on eBay and share more great tips to selling on eBay in the episode!

Flea Market Flipper Interview

You can also sign up to their webinar, which teaches how to get started selling on eBay here.


5. What day should I post my listings?


You may have heard that posting on Sunday evenings are the best for visibility and exposure.

I would not worry about what day or time to post. The eBay marketplace is so large and there is more traffic than you can handle.

If you are trying to pick the best time, I would look at what you’re trying to sell, who the buyer is, and what their weeks are like. Selling office equipment may be best to start from Monday to Friday, not on the weekend.

Remember to factor into other time zones if you are looking at times to post. eBay is a platform that is used around the world, and if your item is in demand in another country, they will be purchasing it at a different time than you have listed.


Should I start my listings at $0.99?

This strategy is hit and miss, but unless you have a popular item, do not start your listings at $0.99.

The strategy behind it is to create a bidding war amongst your buyers. You can set a reserve price, but the buyer will know if it is or not met, so you won’t necessarily create a bidding war just by starting your listing low.

If you don’t set a reserve, you could potentially have to sell your item for $0.99 or a price way less than you wanted too.

If you utilize this strategy, proceed with caution and understand what can happen.


6. eBay selling spreadsheets or accounting software for taxes?


Intuit Quickbooks eCommerce Package is what I used and recommend. It has a direct integration with eBay that integrates seamlessly, meaning that you do not have to track or import anything. Once you make a sale, it sends all the data to the software automatically.
Other than Intuit, there are several different accounting and bookkeeping software that you can use, some that integrate with eBay and others that don’t.
Another great one is Wave Apps, which is completely free!

Will an Excel sheet work?

Of course, you can go the traditional route of an excel sheet with expenses and revenues, just make sure you stay up-to-date with it!
I would also download an app for receipts. When you are out on the hunt for products, get in the habit of taking a picture of the receipts and scanning it to your accounting software.
As always, speak to your accountant for the best way to set up your accounting for your eBay side hustle.


7. How much does eBay charge for their service? Is it dependent on volume?


eBay does not have a flat fee, instead, they work off of a commission fee as well as fixed amounts depending on add-ons that you choose.
The information below outlines the costs that you will have associated with selling on eBay.

1. eBay Insertion Fees for sellers

These are listing fees, the actual fees you pay to just list the product and ad extras.
The listing fee for the first 100 items is free, assuming you don’t have an eBay store set up. If you want to add a “Buy It Now” feature, you pay an extra $0.50 per listing.
Insertion fees also include subtitles, bold headline, gallery of pictures, scheduled listings, multiple category listings, and more!
If you choose not to use these features, you will not be billed for them, but they do allow you to get extra visibility on your listing.

2. eBay Sales Fee for sellers

When you sell your product, eBay will take a percentage of the sales price. The percentage depends on the category and how much the item sells for.
Below are two pictures that outline the fees you can expect to pay, courtesy of
ebay pricing structure


8. Are there any unforeseen problems a newbie like myself might miss through ignorance?


No! eBay is a great starting point for new side hustlers because there is lots of room for trial and error and to learn through your experience.

There are some rules that eBay puts in place that you should know:

  • eBay has several different restricted or banned items

You should go through this list and make sure you know what not to buy to flip. These items are usually firearms, discontinued baby items, certain foods, and not your ordinary items.

  • Buyers can commit to buying and not end up paying for the item:

It is important that you check the buyer paid for the item before you ship it. The last thing you want is to send a high ticket item and later realize you never got paid for it.

  • Create your own rules:

There will be buyers who will try and get items for free, or try to game the system. They typically do this through returns or exchanges on the platform.

Make it clear on your listing description if you do or do not accept returns/refunds. If someone requires one because the item was damaged in shipping, make sure they send a picture to you of the damaged item.

Too often people try that scam and there is not an issue with the item.

  • Get tracking numbers on items in shipping so there is no “it didn’t arrive” situation and you are left without any way to prove to eBay that it was delivered:

This one is self-explanatory and you should always have tracking numbers on your parcels. Most couriers will provide you with the shipping tracking number and if you do not have it integrated with eBay, make sure you send it to the buyer.

You do not want a situation where your courier is telling you the item was delivered and your buyer is telling you it never arrived.

  • You need to use PayPal! eBay tries to really limit the use of any payment platform other than PayPal (They own it!):

This one is simple, just use PayPal to collect payments from buyers.


9. Is business insurance for eBay Sellers a good idea?


Business insurance is always a good idea but you can get it at your discretion. eBay does not require you to have nor do you need it.

It definitely is a nice to have for eBay Sellers, protecting you should something happen.

eBay does offer seller and buyer protection through its platform. In addition to eBays, PayPal offers the seller and buy protection against any issues when it comes to payments.

If you grow into a warehouse and have plenty of products, selling on different channels, then you should definitely have it for liability reasons.


What we’ve learned about tips to selling on eBay

eBay can be a powerful platform and can be used in a variety of ways, from clearing extra junk in your house to selling hundreds of thousands through it.

eBay does the work of getting the eyeballs on the platform, and you just need to provide the item, don’t overcomplicate it!

More and more marketplaces are becoming powerful and get the same if not more eyeballs, such as Amazon, Etsy, and LetGo.

All the platforms have a unique differentiation factor, which you will need to learn in order to effectively sell on each one, however, the concept is the same.

If you need more guidance, feel free to drop your question in the comments below or join our private Facebook Group of Hobby Hustlers just like you!