Introduction to Reselling on eBay

Overview of Selling and Reselling on eBay

Ebay is an online giant and a pioneer in the ecommerce space. Ebay launched in 1995 and is still going strong even with the massive rise of Amazon and other smaller competitors like Poshmark and Mercari.

Ebay is one of the best reselling platforms out there, in my opinion, despite the fee structure and it's move away from PayPal. Ebay has an enormous global audience is a place where you can sell virtually anything. There are some exclusions, of course, and you can find prohibited items here.

For the most part, prohibited items are common sense like no alcohol, weapons, used cosmetics, lock picking devices, things of this nature. There are some restrictions on other items, most notably under used clothing, used socks and underwear are prohibited, but bras are not. And everything else A-OK to resell. If in doubt whether your item is OK to list, refer back to the prohibited items link and/or eBay will alert you when you try to list your item.

Ebay is split into two different methods of selling: auction and fixed price. Auction is just as it sounds - list an item and select auction. You'll start your opening bid price low, a popular price point is .99 cents, then users (bidders) will bid on your item. Auction used to be a very popular, and only, way to sell items - eBay was originally called auctionweb when it first launched! Fortunately for us all, eBay has since added the "buy it now" option as well as offering all sellers the choice between auction and fixed price.

Fixed price, the now most popular choice, is simply listing your item for sale and picking the price you'd like to sell it at. No auction, no bids, super easy. You will have the choice for buyers to send you an offer lower than your listed price and you have the option to decline, accept, or counter offer.

When your item sells, you'll of course get a notification, then you'll have a limited amount of time to pack and ship your item to the buyer. I personally have my time limit at 24 hours (or 1 business day), but you can select 2 business days if you're just starting out to give yourself some extra padding. Once the buyer pays (ideally they'll pay immediately), you'll print out the shipping label, you'll pack the item, and off it goes to its new owner. A few days later, the buyer will be happy with their purchase and your customer service and give you positive feedback. 

Shipping and the fee structure are covered more in depth in our ebook, coming soon.

Here are a few takeaways to keep in mind when starting up your reselling business on eBay:

  • It's free to use for both buyers and sellers. But sellers get charged final value fees for all sales.
  • Sellers can opt to have a store or subscription or not. A seller will have different listing options based on which subscription they choose.
  • You can offer free shipping and use third party shipping suppliers to save money. 
  • Ebay has a very good deal with the US Postal Service to keep shipping prices low.
  • You can sell almost anything on eBay, with few exceptions.
  • Ebay is global and you may find yourself shipping overseas and it's very easy.
  • Even if you don't want to use eBay to resell, you can use their "sold" listings for getting comps on your item for sale.