Get Started Selling

There are two things you'll want to focus on if you want to generate ongoing revenue through eBay: selling individual items and opening an eBay store.

Selling Individual Items

Just want to sell individual items? Then jump in and start selling things! Well, actually, it's not as easy as all that. It's not difficult, but there is a process you'll have to follow:

  1. Join eBay. You can't sell anything if you don't have a free account; you have to go to the site ( ) and open an account with them first, before finishing your product listing on eBay.
  2. Once your product is listed, watch your auction listing by going to the Home page and clicking My eBay and choosing either Bids/Offers or Selling from the drop-down list that appears until the listing closes (hopefully ending with a sale of your product, and a price that you're happy with).
  3. If your item is sold, wait until your payment arrives via PayPal. (If, for some reason, you decided not to open a PayPal account, you can use the tools in My eBay to send the buyer an invoice, along with payment instructions. Don't do anything else—especially shipping your product—until payment arrives and funds are deposited in your account.
  4. After you've gotten your payment, ship the product to the buyer. It's a good idea to send the buyer an e-mail and let them know when the product has shipped, including any tracking numbers, if there are any.
  5. Leave feedback about the buyer. Feedback is one of the most important parts of the eBay community. While it's good for you to leave feedback on the buyer (how long it took them to get payment to you, whether they made any unreasonable demands, etc.), the feedback you receive as a seller is even more important. (More of that shortly.)
  6. If any disputes occurred during the transaction, resolve them as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind that aside from some of the optional fees associated with the listing that I mentioned, eBay may charge a fee for listings in certain categories and will also charge you a fee based on the total amount of the final sale, should you sell your item.

Opening an eBay Store

If you're really intent on making eBay selling into a business for yourself, you'll want to open a store on their site. This is especially useful if you want to sell large volumes of particular products. For one thing, the listing fees for individual items may take too deep a cut into your profit margin to make it worthwhile, especially for higher-volume, lower-cost items. Plus, non-store listings have limitations on how long they can run—seven days or less. (For an additional fee, you can up this to 10 days.) That means you'll be spending an awful lot of time updating your inventory, and you may find the visibility of your products somewhat limited as well. Don't forget: It's not about just creating each listing, which can be time consuming. You also have to manage each listing, be on top of questions that buyers may ask, watch the auctions as they close. It can be a chore. Plus, there are many items that people may want but might need more time to find an audience. These may lend themselves better to residing in a digital storefront than a limited-time auction. For example, maybe you make handcrafted furniture. In that case, it's probably not an item that people need with such immediacy that they'll want to bid on any of it in a limited time sales situation.

The solution? Open an eBay store, which has a number of benefits. These include the following:

There are other benefits as well, but many depend on the type of store you want. eBay offers a basic store, a premium store, and an anchor store, all at different monthly subscription rates and each with different benefits.

Before you run off with plans to build a store, there are a few requirements you'll have to satisfy first:

With the requirements met, open a store by clicking the Open an eBay Store link. (If you can't find it, you can go there directly by using this URL: .) Then, click the Open Your Store link. After you are signed up with a store, use the eBay Stores Toolkit to help get your storefront up and running. You'll be able to build and customize your store with unique graphics and your own logo, manage your listings, review your sales, manage your marketing, and monitor how well your store is doing.

(MLA 8th Edition)