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Selling on eBay – Getting Started

The first step to becoming an eBay seller is to sign up for an eBay account. It is free to register, just go to the eBay site for your country, click on the ‘register’ button at the top of the homepage and complete the registration form. To set up a seller’s account you will also need to verify your identity.

As eBay require you to offer at least one electronic payment or Internet merchant credit card option to your buyers, it would be wise to sign up for a Paypal account before you begin selling. Most buyers prefer to pay instantly with Paypal rather than have the hassle of writing and mailing cheques or postal orders and not having this option would deter many potential customers from bidding on your auctions. Having a Paypal account also provides you with a hassle-free way to accept payment from overseas customers.

To register with Paypal, go to, click on the Sign Up button and fill in the registration form. You will need to sign up for the Premier Account to accept payments on eBay.

Once you have your eBay account set up, have a good look around the site. Have a look at the categories that interest you, and study some completed auctions.

To see completed auctions, you need to be signed in to your eBay account. Click on Advanced Search at the top of the page. When the search page loads, check the box for “completed listings“. You can quickly see which items ended with a sale as the price is shown in green. The items with the price shown in red ended unsold.

Compare auctions for similar products and think about why some have been more successful than others. There are many reasons why some auctions don’t achieve their full potential. Poor keywords in the title, important information being omitted from the description, and unclear photographs (or none at all) would all have a negative effect on the finishing price, as would the seller having a poor feedback rating. Or maybe the item was listed in an unsuitable category.

Before you start selling, if you have never purchased anything on eBay it is a good idea to buy a few low cost items to familiarise yourself with the process and gain some feedback.

You should now be ready to list your first items.

To learn more about how to sell on eBay I recommend that you download and read “The eBay Seller’s Guide” – Terry Gibbs’ excellent free guide to selling on eBay. From choosing the best category and writing a compelling title to taking and uploading your photographs, it explains everything you need to know to get the best possible results from your auctions.


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