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Selling on eBay 101

ebaygrabjpegAt this time of year I often have the urge to have a big clear out. It’s a sort of before spring clean spring clean, as well as a general and much needed tidy up after all the festivities! Also at this time of year I always (like most people) find my self a little skint…this is where eBay steps in and, hopefully, provides a new home for my unwanted belongings and makes me some much needed pennies! However making those pennies can sometimes be tricky… In this post I aim to give a few pointers from an eBay pensioner on setting up, and how to make the most of your pre-owned belongings!

In this post I will also use a real example of a pair of boots I sold in November to raise some Christmas funds.

Have a clear out

It’s time to get ruthless! eBay is a great place to sell all sorts, however when you’re having a clear out it’s always worth thinking ‘Would I be pleased if this came though my letter box’? There can be a temptation to put everything you want to get rid of on eBay, but this doesn’t always work. If an item is looking a bit tatty and has clearly been worn to death then eBay really isn’t the right place for it – the charity shop probably is! You always have to be mindful that you are asking people to buy your old belongings so don’t chuck any old thing on there!

Set up a sellers account

This step is pretty self explanatory but in order to sell on eBay you need to have a sellers account. I’d strongly recommend having a PayPal account too. Setting it up is really easy and all the information you need will be in the Getting Started section, so get to it! It’s the first step to some extra cash!

20130117-114943.jpgGet Selling!

So you have an account, you’ve selected which items you’re happy to get rid of, and now it’s time to get it out there. They are 2 main way of doing this: via your computer or by the eBay app. Personally, I find the app much easier to use – the layout is great and all the steps are very clear. Another benefit of the app is if you’re taking pictures with your smart phone they are much easier to upload.


The title of your item is very important – this is what people are going to see first in the listings once they’ve searched. I have a little method that I find useful when writing a title. It works in the following way;

The Brand, The item, The size and then if it is new.



This is where you obviously describe your item. The descriptions on eBay can vary greatly – some people just go with a one liner and others prefer a full description. I like to go in the middle, making sure it’s concise but still selling the item. It is also essential to state any problems with your item, as if the buyer spots something they won’t be happy! This means that even the tiniest mark needs to be stated and no sneaky cover ups!

In the description I also like to set out what my rules as a seller are. These rules can be seen on the example below and it’s where I cover my back. The reason I like to make it very black and white is because I have been stung before by unhappy buyers. An easy way to put these at the bottom of every item you are selling is to simply copy and paste them!



This is probably the most important bit of selling your things – The pictures need to be clear and taken in a good light. That means no Instagram!

If you are hanging something, use a nice hanger if it is on a table make sure it’s clean. A plain back drop is essential and if it is a more luxury item put up a good range of pictures! Extra pictures do have small fees, but they are definitely worth it!



This can be a tricky one… When I set up an item to sell I usually only select domestic postage, however in my description I say International sellers are welcome, they just need to contact me first. This mean I can find out what the postage cost to them before I go back to them with a quote – gives you a little more flexibility.

The best place to check out all of the prices is the Royal Mail site.

Starting Prices20130117-115105.jpg

You must always think ‘what’s the least amount of money I’d be happy to take for this…’ This can sometimes be difficult because some items may hold sentimental value for you, but  the higher you start the price, the higher the fees…

To combat this I always recommend to go and have a look at similar items and see what they’re selling for. This can help you set realistic goals. It’s also worth remembering that your item is only worth what someone is going to pay for it.

However… If you’re feeling brave start at 99p – You might thinking I’m mad but I’m sure I’ve made more money from certain items when I set them at 99p. It seems to get people interested and can work in your favour by getting more bids. But a word of caution – this doesn’t always work and you have to be very sure before you start putting your old wardrobe up for sale at 99p.

Watchers and Bids

Constantly checking your items for new watchers and bids becomes a habit when you are selling. It is essential that you remember that most of the action happens in the last 3 minutes. This can mean things can get pretty tense but please keep faith!


Sellers fee’s on eBay can be slightly annoying but they are part of the process. You will always be asked if you are happy with the listing price (it’s usually pennies) and then once the item is sold eBay will send you a monthly statement with the fees stated. These fees aren’t automatically taken from you, they are taken via PayPal once you have been sent your statement. It’s worth remembering this so you save a little money in your account ready for the final fee. This is all explained in more detail on there site in the Sellers Fee’s section.

When is the best time

With eBay you can schedule when you would like your item to go on sale and it will finish exactly 7 days later. This function is great and it means you can try and make sure that your items will sell at an optimum time. This optimum time may vary but I always think that people are most likely to bid between 7pm and 9pm. This is because they are likely to be at home and not getting distracted by work.

In terms of days Sunday night seems to be the most popular day to sell, however from personal experience I find that there are so many listings on a Sunday that your items won’t get a look in. This is why I would suggest that the best days to sell are Monday and Tuesday for the same reason of choosing the time.

Hopefully this guide has given you some new hints and tips and good luck in selling!



3 comments on “Selling on eBay 101

  1. frankieapples
    January 17, 2013

    Cloe- have you found there’s a best time for your items to end? Say I want to sell a leather jacket (I do) is it better for the auction to end Thursday lunch or Thursday evening say? I’m just thinking if all the action happens in the last 3 minutes I want to catch as many people as I can.

    • Cloe Grimsey
      January 17, 2013

      Hi Franks – I have just added a section to the blog called ‘when is the best time’. This should point you in the right direction! I would say that going for an evening is always a good idea, however day wise sometimes Thursday aren’t as good. This is because Thursday is the new Friday so your watches may forget to bid… Which sometimes means less cash for you. Just a suggestion but hope it has been helpful! x

  2. frankieapples
    January 17, 2013

    Thanks Cloe – blah, now I have to take photos of all of the clothes I need to sell. x

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This entry was posted on January 17, 2013 by in Fashion and tagged , , , , , , .

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