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Is Selling On eBay Worth It? | What To Sell To Make Money On eBay

is selling on ebay worth it

Is selling on eBay worth it given there are other popular eCommerce platforms today? Yes, indeed! When used properly, eBay can be a terrific side business.

However, it does have limitations that are completely avoidable, and we’ll discuss how to get around them very easily.

If you can find a buyer, there’s a market for anything, from collectibles to jewelry and apparel.

Let’s go over some of the most effective eBay selling tactics to take advantage of the website and start a successful online business.

In A Hurry?

You can use software such as Zik Analytics to provide you with the information and guidance that is needed to sell successfully on eBay.

It will help you in finding products with great demand, little competition, and high profits that are supported by solid sales statistics. In order to assure your success, it will even help you optimize your listing and rank better for these items.

eBay Marketplace Overview

ebay marketplace overview

In order to connect buyers and sellers in a free market, Pierre Omidyar created the well-known online auction website eBay.

Although eBay started as an auction-based platform, it continues to be a popular eCommerce website and is the second largest (after Amazon).

Being one of the first eCommerce platforms, it is renowned for its auctions and customer-to-customer (C2C) sales. It was one of the earlier businesses to use a website to connect buyers and vendors. Even after two decades, eBay continues to be among the top online marketplaces, especially in niche markets like collectibles.

Here are some facts:

The company was established in 1995, and doesn’t sell any items directly; instead, it allows customers to promote their own items for sale.

Some major brands use eBay as a sales channel:

  • Samsung
  • Apple
  • Nintendo
  • Diane Von Furstenberg
  • Asus

eBay started out in a San Jose living room and has now expanded into a multimillion-dollar company that processes a large number of transactions daily.

You can open a free eBay account. Depending on the size of the store, sellers can choose between a business account and a personal account. The seller is responsible for paying the listing fee, which varies based on the price of the item and the duration of the listing.

eBay Selling Review – Is eBay A Good Place To Sell Items?

Regardless of the fees, eBay continues to be one of the most popular eCommerce sites in the US. With 3.67 million active users, eBay is one of the top eCommerce sites, and more popular than competitors such as Alibaba and OfferUp.

But the burning question: Is eBay a good place to sell?

With its extensive market and global reach, eBay is a lucrative side business for several users, particularly for those who market niche items and collectibles.

With operations in 190 countries and 138 million buyers, eBay is really global, allowing you to cash in on those vintage items you’ve been storing. By entering your zip code, you can purchase or sell items locally, nationwide, or even worldwide.

eBay lets you establish your credibility and branding, making it one of the greatest eCommerce websites for shoppers and sellers.

People from many walks of life can make quick money because there is a very low barrier to entry.

Note: Flipping is one of the most lucrative business strategies on eBay. Many eBay success stories come from people who resell items they buy at flea markets.

How To Sell And Make Money On eBay – Is Selling On eBay Easy?

Many eBay sellers don’t know how to promote their items on the website. Hence, it’s a good idea to learn the basics and do your homework before investing a lot of money. This is important, whether you’re selling clothes to clear out space or making extra cash.

The following are some strategies to keep in mind while using the platform to sell:

1. Understanding The Buyers

Understanding the buyers and their needs is the most important step before creating the eBay store. You can learn a lot about their interests and search criteria.

Your eBay store really depends on your ability to understand your customers. Also, this knowledge helps you compete with the other vendors on the platform.

Studying the buyer persona will be useful for finding a product that sells quickly, boost revenue, and attract repeat business.

2. Use Zik Analytics For eBay Seller Performance Metrics

zik analytics - ebay seller performance metrics

When you initially start your business on eBay, there is a limit of 10 products. Finding the ideal and lucrative market for your eBay business is so crucial.

Zik Analytics is a tool for product research that is helpful for quickly identifying the top products. Having been established in 2016, over 100,000 sellers use this platform.

Along with finding the items to offer on eBay, it also:

  • Gathers keyword data and price analytics
  • Analyzes the competition
  • Identifies the most sought-after niches
  • Determines if the niches are still in demand

More importantly, Zik Analytics offers crucial metrics to support product research on eBay and help determine which items are selling quickly and for what reasons.

3. Item Descriptions Should Be Optimized For SEO

seo website optimization tips - is selling on ebay worth it

eBay has approximately 1.8 billion live listings at any given time.

So, if your item descriptions are not optimized for the search results, they will probably get lost in the midst of other things.

  • Provide the buyer with a complete sense of the product by listing the features and benefits
  • Include the main keyword, broad terms, and keywords relevant to the item in the description
  • While specific keywords increase the buyer’s ability to narrow down your product, general terms help to list it for a larger audience
  • Make sure you provide specific information about the item you are listing, such as the color, size, model, and other details of the product

4. Set Prices Based On Completed eBay Items

One of the biggest challenges for new eBay sellers is determining the product prices. Price it correctly to maximize sales and profit margin.

So how can you set your product’s price when you are just starting out? The simplest method is to manually verify the cost of items sold to calculate your pricing.

Another alternative is to leave the price up to eBay. Although it might be useful sometimes, you will get better results from doing manual research.

How To Find Completed Items

Finding completed items requires a lot of manual work. Yet, this process is useful in understanding your target market.

  • Look for products you want to sell on eBay
  • Click “Completed Items” under the “Show Only” section on the left side of the dashboard. With this filter, only sold listings are shown in the results
  • Find successful items that are comparable to your listings and of similar quality. This helps you get a sense of the price point that the buyers are willing to accept

5. Set Your Prices Low When You Start On eBay

If you’re planning to go with premium pricing right away, is it worth selling on eBay? No, you must first establish yourself.

Your earlier sales on eBay will depend on your reputation and the ability to appear higher in search results. Customers get caught up on prices and hunt for cheap products. A product with a lower price can help you show up higher in the results.

Initially, lower-priced items will reduce the profit margin. But you can gradually raise your prices after you have a solid customer base on eBay.

6. Schedule Your Listings

Regular customers will keep looking for new items when they visit the store. Create a listing schedule and add one product to your eBay store each day rather than adding all your items at once.

You can schedule the listing with the use of eBay’s listing tool. This tool is rather easy to use:

  • Type the terms that best describe your product into the search field
  • Based on comparable items sold on the website, eBay automatically gives suggestions
  • The listing feature will automatically complete the form with the data after you choose the right description
  • You can also change the form to tailor the listing to your particular item

7. Use High-Quality Pictures For Your Listings

Every network, from Facebook to Instagram, depends on images. Similarly, your eBay listing needs high-quality images.

eBay’s own research shows that listings with high-quality photos have a higher chance of selling than those without or with subpar images.

Even though this might not seem like a big deal, every little advantage counts when you’re competing with more than a billion other listings.

Guidelines For Taking Images – eBay Selling Tips For Beginners

best image websites - is selling on ebay worth it

A good image increases the chances that your customer will buy from you again. But it is understood that one great image that captures all the essentials is way better than several blurry images.

Below are some pointers and strategies for using your smartphone to take high-quality pictures:

a) Use A Plain Background For Your Photos

Always select a clean, neutral background that is well-lit. The buyers may become distracted if the product you’re selling has a cluttered background. Also, when editing, a plain background is often beneficial (to retouch).

  • A table covered in a neutral-color sheet makes a plain backdrop for displaying items
  • Clothing and accessories look fantastic against a white wall

b) Stay Away From Stock Images

Nowadays, buyers are becoming savvier, and they might not trust vendors that use obvious stock photographs. It is in your best interest to use pictures that display your product effectively.

Moreover, original images have the added benefit of establishing your brand’s identity.

c) Don’t Hide The Defects

Make sure to include not just the features but also defects and scratches (if there are any), so that buyers know exactly what they are getting.

d) Take Photos From All Sides

To capture the item’s details, take photos of it from all sides. This helps customers to quickly visualize the item and purchase it.

To assist help you capture even the smallest detail, many new smartphones now have a macro mode.

e) Ensure That The Product Is Consistent With Your Brand

Make sure your listing’s photographs as well as your entire store is consistent with your brand. Consistency helps increase your brand value and gives your business more credibility.

f) Upload Pictures That Meets eBay’s Specifications

Photos often have image sizes ranging from 500 by 500 to 9000 by 9000 pixels. As a result, 1600 by 1600 pixel photographs would be ideal.

g) Show The Product’s Size By Comparison

Size perception in pictures can always lead to misunderstanding. So, customers need clarity on the item’s size.

To give potential customers an idea of the items’ size, place it next to an object of comparable size.

Pro Tip: To display the size of the item, use a coin or your hand as a reference.

8. Offer Free Delivery On The Products

how much can you make from dropshipping

Is it worth selling on eBay as a new seller, if you are going to charge for shipping? Most likely not.

Free delivery is one of Amazon Prime’s key selling factors since there is nothing more appealing than that.

Customers believe they are receiving a good deal, and since sellers don’t have to figure out shipping for each item, it makes it simpler for everyone.

Free shipping is not possible for every item, especially if it is heavy or fragile. The same is true for items that need to be shipped overseas.

Pro Tip: If you decide to charge for shipping, make sure to clearly provide the shipping cost, description, and anticipated delivery time. Avoid charging your customers an unexpected fee at checkout.

9. Build Trust During Each Stage Of The Sales Process

If you are not willing to put in the effort to establish trust, is selling on eBay worth it? Most likely not, since buyers are pickier than ever about what they spend money on.

When you are getting started as a seller, you have no transaction record, so trust is the primary obstacle that you would need to overcome. Moreover, the success of the eBay store depends on building trust; therefore you should work towards it from the outset.

Here are some strategies for building trust between the seller and the customer:

  • Provide information about you and your business. If you can, provide any background details because it can draw customers. Are you a sports enthusiast who sells items to other fans? In order to attract potential customers, make sure to highlight this
  • Customers appreciate knowing the person behind the store. Hence, make sure you upload a photo of yourself
  • As mentioned before, be honest about any flaws or shortcomings in the listing. Make sure that you add a picture of your items that shows the defect Have client testimonials and favorable reviews on the listings. It gives social proof to potential customers and shows that you are dependable and trustworthy

10. Promote Your Listings On Social Media

optimized social media

If you have a decent or large social following, is it worth selling on eBay? The majority of buyers use social media to do their research before making a purchase.

Share your products on social media right from your eBay listing. You never know who would be interested in your business. Even if you don’t have a sizable audience, you are drawing more customers to your shop.

There are products going viral on Instagram and other social media channels.

Pro Tip: If at all possible, think about boosting your listings on social media. These could be more expensive initially, but they make you more visible and move you up the search rankings over time.

11. Get Feedback From Your Customers

case studies advantages

The best way to build your reputation as being reliable, genuine, and trustworthy eBay seller is through customer reviews.

Feedback not only helps the customer experience get better but also helps your business when you make any essential improvements they’ve proposed.

Although customers tend to leave reviews, it doesn’t hurt to ask for their feedback.

You can entice customers to submit positive reviews by:

  • Offering complimentary shipping
  • Providing competitive pricing
  • Interacting with the customer and responding to their inquiries
  • Managing inventory

eBay Seller Fees Explained – Is Selling On eBay Free?

Seller fees are one of the least appealing aspects of eBay.

In addition to store subscriptions, there are costs associated with becoming a seller on the site. Every sale involves a seller fee deducted from the proceeds before being sent to your bank account or PayPal account.

Selling fees on eBay are still reasonable compared to other eCommerce sites like Amazon. Because of this, even after three decades and in the face of increased competition, eBay continues to have several million active users and over a billion active listings.

Following are the seller fees on eBay:

a) Final Value Fees

The platform deducts a commission from each sale. Whether or not the vendor is paid, the final value fee is automatically subtracted and varies based on the category. It usually costs between.5% and 15% of the product’s total value (including delivery and handling charges) +$0.30.

b) Listing Fees

Every month, eBay sellers are given access to 250 listings for free in either fixed-price or auction categories. The cost of each extra listing is $0.35. If you purchase one of the subscriptions, you can get additional free listings.

c) Promoted Listings Charge (Optional):

These charges often known as advertising fees, are only assessed when someone purchases your item. Based on your item and the number of competitors, the fees can range from 2% to 15%.

d) Insertion Fees (Optional)

This includes the following:

  • Boost International Visibility
  • Add extra images using Gallery Plus
  • Bold Title for the listing
  • Insert Subtitle
  • Reserve Prices for auctions
  • Using exclusive Listing Designer

The above fees can improve your chances of selling even if they are fully optional.

e) International Fees

When shipping outside of the US, eBay sellers are required to pay international fees. This fee is typically around 1.5% of the total value.

f) Shipment Charges

Some of the buyer’s shipping fees must be covered by eBay sellers.

g) Payment Processing Charges

eBay sellers have the option to let eBay manage their payments. In this case, a payment processing charge of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction is required.

h) Punitive Fees

The platform mandates that its sellers conduct their business exclusively within the eBay ecosystem. Otherwise, eBay would impose a penalty fee based on the auction.

Also, sellers must pay taxes on the sales generated from the platform.

Reduction In eBay Seller Fees

To compete with emerging e-commerce platforms, eBay came out with a lower and streamlined charge structure in March 2013.

Depending on their store category, eBay users now receive free listings each month under their new policies:

  • 50 for vendors that do not have a store
  • 150 for basic stores
  • 500 for premium stores
  • 2500 for anchor stores

eBay also announced flat rates for the final value fees as part of their reduced fees:

  • Fewer than 4%
  • No greater than 9%
  • $250 maximum
  • 10% for people who don’t own stores

Where there is higher competition, eBay lowered the seller fees. For little or no competition categories, eBay raised or maintained the seller fees.

eBay vs Amazon For Selling

amazon merch on demand review

In comparison to Amazon, does eBay offer a better value for sellers?

In short, eBay is far less expensive than Amazon, primarily due to Amazon’s higher selling costs, which lower your earning potential.

Generally, Amazon charges sellers 15% + 99 cents an item, compared to eBay’s 9.15% (basic account).

Having said that, not all categories are the same. For instance, Amazon collects:

  • 8% for appliances
  • 12% for automotive and Powersports
  • 15% for backpacks, handbags, and luggage

The same holds true for eBay. They collect:

  • 3% for food trucks, trailers, and carts
  • 13.25% for automotive tools and supplies
  • 14.95% for books and magazines

After deciding on the category for your product, check both eBay and Amazon to determine which will charge you more in terms of fees.

Resources For eBay Sellers

Stocking the eBay store with products is one of the first challenges a seller faces. Choosing the best supplier for your purchases might help you outperform the competition and boost earnings.

  • Dropshipping, in which another supplier provides and ships the product directly to the buyer, is another effective strategy for acquiring products
  • Buying an item online or in person and reselling it on the platform at a greater price is one of the simplest ways to stock
  • You may buy products from a manufacturer in bulk and resell them on the platform to make a profit
  • White labeling, in which you purchase no brand name items directly from the manufacturer and brand them with your name, is yet another successful way to sell items on eBay

Besides eBay dropshipping, there is always a chance that your item does not perform well. This is why product research is so important.

Prior to sourcing, it is vital to learn everything you can about the item you plan to offer, its market potential, and its competitors.

Best Items To Sell On eBay – What To Sell To Make Money On eBay?

According to Zik Analytics, the best-selling items on eBay, include:

  • Screen shields
  • Smartwatches
  • Hoodies
  • Wireless speakers
  • Dumbbells
  • USB connectors
  • Accessories (particularly necklaces)
  • Eyewear and contact lenses
  • Handheld projectors
  • Chargers for phones

In addition, collectibles, hobbies, toys, mobile phones, video games, beauty products, furniture and garden supplies, cars, clothing, footwear, and accessories all have a good track record of success.

But there are other elements at play, such as

  • Region
  • Season

Hence, eBay’s top-selling items may occasionally change.

What Are You Allowed To Sell Through eBay?

Although junk items were initially listed on eBay, the site is no longer a place to turn your trash into cash. Products like the following are prohibited on eBay:

  • Offensive content
  • Illegal things, including, narcotics, weapons, firearms, stolen property, and prescription medications
  • HAM and CB radios
  • Medical equipment
  • Bootleg audio or video
  • Certain digital products, such as software keys
  • Dangerous materials
  • Fake products
  • Alcohol
  • Unlawful and explicit material
  • Restricted pesticides

Even though these are some items that are prohibited, the list is not complete by any means. Visit eBay’s website to get a comprehensive list of prohibited items.

Is Selling On eBay Safe?

Yes! For sellers, eBay continues to be a viable option. That being said, the platform has lost a considerable portion of its customer base to e-Commerce sites like Amazon. Nonetheless, it is still popular in categories like vintage, used, and collectible items.

Based on monthly visitors, eBay continues to rank second in the United States, even though it will probably never overtake Amazon.

It is still above large marketplaces like:

  • Wayfair
  • Etsy
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • AliExpress

Final Thoughts – Is Selling On eBay Worth It?

Does it still make sense to sell on eBay today? As we’ve seen, eBay continues to be a fantastic way to launch your eCommerce business. If you want to start small, just sell some great finds from your neighborhood flea market.

  • The site has evolved beyond just being a place to list unwanted stuff from your home for sale
  • You don’t need to make a big financial commitment; less than $100 will do (or more if you are able to afford it)
  • It is currently a well-known eCommerce website for niche product categories including vintage and collectible items
  • eBay’s seller-oriented website makes it ideal for business owners, especially for those looking to arbitrage items

Understanding your target market and selecting the appropriate tools are essential to running a profitable eBay store. You should opt to sell on the marketplace only after doing enough research.

There is an opportunity to strike gold if you approach it the right way. There are a number of eBay millionaires created every year. You could be one too if you put in the time and effort.

Follow the tips that I’ve provided in this article. Doing a thorough analysis of your competitors and selling things that are in demand will make you successful on eBay.

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