Buying and Selling on ebay: Tips to Make You Cash

Ebay provides a wonderful opportunity to make some cash from home, all while cleaning house, and you to pick up a few new favorite items, too! What could be better? But, in order to actually make a sale or get the buy you have to ebay-savvy, so we help you out with some tips:

Buying tips:

  • When searching, make sure you get the results you want by clicking the ‘include description’ option under the search box. Some sellers may make their sale titles less than optimal, particularly when it comes to brand names or colors, and including the item specifics in your searches can find you some auctions that have flown under the radar for others.
  • Speaking of eBay’s search function, you can search for several keywords or phrases at once by placing (( at the start of your search, putting each term in quotation marks and separating them all with commas. Always handy if you’re looking for something that people call different things such as couches/sofas!
  • You can get notifications whenever somebody lists a specific item, which is handy if you’re after something rare. Make your search as normal, then click ‘save search’ to get email alerts when something that matches your query is added to the site.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s easy to get in touch with the seller if you want more information. In the case of a confusing or incomplete item description, clearing things up may even net you a bargain as less people are likely to go to the trouble of finding things out and then bid against you.
  • There are several tools and external sites that can help you get the most out of buying on eBay. For example, Goofbid primarily helps find misspelled auctions that wouldn’t come up in a regular search, but also has tools for finding local sellers (handy when trying to buy large items that you’d need to collect yourself!).
  • Although it's tempting, don't ever be tempted to make a maximum bid that's higher than you'd be willing to pay, as, if you win, you will have to pay it. 

Selling tips

  • As you might have gathered from the buying tips above, it’s important to make sure your listing is free from spelling mistakes and contains as much relevant information as possible otherwise you could put off potential buyers or even make your auction impossible to find!
  • Timing can be everything.  Try to make sure your auction’s not going to end at an awkward time (or clashes with a major TV event for that matter!) as most bids tend to be placed in the last hour or so.  Obviously you’ll miss out on profit if the people who may want your item will be asleep. 
  • Take advantage of free listing days, where eBay’s fees for putting an item up for sale are waived.
  • Fees on eBay can mount up, not to mention be somewhat confusing.  Fortunately the site provides a fee calculator here, or there is also a seperate fee calculator at eCal.
  • Many categories allow you to list multiple photos for free, always take advantage and take as many photos as possible.  Buyers are more likely to bid if they can see plenty of details about the item.