Wednesday, June 2, 2010

First Steps to Selling on eBay

For the next few days, I'm going to post some tips about starting out as an eBay seller. If you've ever thought about selling online, it is easy and fun ... and I'm looking forward to sharing a few tips with you!

WHY DO YOU WANT TO SELL?

Do you want to sell just a few things you have around the house, or do you want to get into selling as a way to bring in additional income (i.e. selling regularly)? This will make a difference as you plan your first steps.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SELL?

Unless you are selling things that you have around home (and that is a great way to start!), you should think about what you want to sell. I strongly advise picking an area, or 2 or 3, that you know and enjoy, and starting with that area. Examples would include CDs, baseball cards, baby clothes, cosmetics, handcrafted jewelry, or more.

When I first started on eBay, I sold books ... new or used, all different types. I've worked as a bookstore manager and I love books, so it seemed like a good starting place. Over time, I started listing especially in the areas I know and love best -- children's books and cookbooks. Through the children's books, I also developed a love of illustration, and a love of vintage ephemera as well. That's how I started on vintage cards.

HOW MUCH DO YOU PLAN TO SELL?

If you want to sell just a few items a week, you will do well working with the sell your item form at eBay. If you want to sell more, you will want to choose a listing service to keep things organized, to design good looking auctions, and to develop a more professional auction look. I have used the Inkfrog listing service for years and I highly recommend it -- http://www.inkfrog.com/. Inkfrog allows you to make auction templates, so you can "fill in the blanks" for similar types of listings, and it also lets you design an auction look that suits what you are selling. For instance, I use a vintage cherries design that looks a lot like a 1950's stamped tablecloth linen. If you'd like to peek, you can look at one of my auctions here:
Make It With Buttons 'N Beads - 1975 vintage craft book
http://cgi.ebay.com/Make-Buttons-N-Beads-1975-Kap-Krafts-CRAFTS-Bk-/350349766629?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_Childrens_Books&hash=item5192792fe5

I'll pick up tomorrow with a new installment on where to find items to sell on eBay. Hope you'll stop back by!

7 comments:

Diane said...

Good post!
Inkfrog is great advice! I don't know how I would have been an eBay seller without it. eBay is still a great place to set up a business!

birdhousebooks said...

Thanks! I love Inkfrog ... I can't imagine selling and managing inventory without it. I agree with what you said - eBay is still a great place to start a business!

birdhousebooks said...

Thanks! I love Inkfrog ... I can't imagine selling and managing inventory without it. I agree with what you said - eBay is still a great place to start a business!

thisthatandblog said...

Another great article, with great advice. I'll add that there are a few other easy to use third party auction software companies to consider. I've used auctionwizard2000.com and currently use sellersourcebook.com -- and really love them both. I can't imagine a successful eBay career without a good 3rd party program to help.

birdhousebooks said...

Thanks thisandthatblog -- and I agree completely. There are many good 3rd party listing services.

fitzcharming said...

I found that inkfrog has a new service that allows me to integrate postal insurance with my shipments. I don't even use inkfrog for my listings but ebay has a tab on the seller page called "applications". The insurance is called "shipsaver" and it's quite a bit cheaper than USPS. Thanks for the great ebay information.

birdhousebooks said...

Thanks, Fitzcharming! You are so right about the Inkfrog insurance ... it is great and a good savings (and available for international shipments!).