Starting to sell on eBay can be a little overwhelming for a total beginner. There are so many professional sellers out there that have a wealth of knowledge, but if you are starting out small just selling a few bits and pieces you might want a different perspective to someone who is selling hundreds of items a week. As I’ve been small time Ebay selling for a few months now, I thought I would round up the personal tips & tricks that I have found really useful during my reselling adventures for those just starting out.
Save ALL the packaging from your own parcels
Every time I receive an online order, I save the packaging, Whether it’s a cardboard box, a padded envelope or some bubble wrap / airpockets, there have been times when packaging up an item that I have been so grateful I’ve already got a box just the right size. The added bonus of course is that you are re-using the materials too.
Buy the packaging you do need from eBay
You will be hard pushed to find anywhere else as cheap, plus you can build up some feedback as a buyer. I purchase multi size, self sealing plastic bags which are great for items such as clothes. More delicate things such as jewellery or makeup might be better in a padded envelope. I also use the plastic bags combined with bubble wrap for things that need a bit of protection and then write on the address in a Sharpie.
From eBay, I also buy bubble wrap and brown parcel paper for wrapping up boxes. I don’t bother with address labels as a black Sharpie does the job on both the plastic and paper.
Keep a Sharpie in your car!
Obviously if you are selling in bulk then this might not be practical but often I am only posting 1 or 2 items a week and often need to pop into the post office on the way back from work or an outing with my daughter. If I’m in a rush then I can just quickly package it up at home and then write the address on at the time of posting using the details from my phone on the ebay app. Just don’t get the packages muddled up! I tend to only do this if I have 1 or 2 to post.
Photograph your postage receipts
If I’m disorganised I end up with a load of postage receipts at the bottom of various bags and then if I do need to find one it can be a pain. If you photograph your postage receipts on your phone and put them in a specific album it should make them easier to locate.
Also – did you know that proof of postage does not give you any tracking options? I fell foul of this recently when a very small package (an eyeshadow) went missing. I am considering signing up for the Post Office’s Drop & Go service which takes all the hassle of storing receipts away as they do it for you, but for those just starting out this might be a good tip!
Maintain your seller rating
Ebay seem to be notoriously hard on sellers these days, and disputes almost always protect the buyer before the seller. Sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers, although unpaid strikes and cases can be opened against them.
This can be very frustrating for sellers and sometimes the situation can be out of our hands. With this in mind, making sure you are maintaining your service as a good seller is key so that you have a strong reputation to back you up when disputes do happen. Ensuring you post within the timeframe you have set, list items as described and offering refunds all help with this. Being polite and professional in communications even when you feel like punching someone is key!
I follow a number of full time resellers on Instagram and some of the situations they have with buyers are awful! Fortunately I have yet to deal with anyone rude although there have been a few situations that have tested my patience! Recently I sold a Benefit Operation Pore Proof set that had been an unused gift. The buyer was very polite about it but decided she wanted a refund insisting it was a “very poor fake”. Given that my husband bought it for me for Christmas a couple of years ago and managed to dig out an e-receipt for it I really am puzzled why she thought it was fake, she said it was to do with the packaging but I think it was just an older design. But rather than arguing back and forth I gritted my teeth and issued the refund and got the product back ready to relist again. It sold again with no quibble from the new buyer.
What are your tips for a beginner seller on eBay? Is there anything I have missed out? Let me know in the comments.