Selling Stuff on eBay — 5 Things No One Tells You

Selling Stuff on eBay
Image by Kevin Phillips from Pixabay


If you are planning on selling stuff on eBay, or if you have already been on the platform for a while, there might be a few things that you may not yet know about the site. A massive marketplace like eBay can be daunting for those who are not familiar with the tricks of the online trade.

eBay hosts 15 million sellers and currently has over 1.5 billion listings. The competition is thick so you will need to know everything about eBay if you want to make the right decisions and run a profitable business. We will be covering 5 tips for sellers on eBay.

5 Things to Know About Selling Stuff on eBay

1. Listing Fees

eBay tends to charge sellers based on the items they sell and the type of store they run. As a businessperson, you need to understand the expenses you will incur from selling on the platform. eBay has five monthly subscription categories for sellers:

  • Starter
  • Basic
  • Premium
  • Anchor
  • Enterprise

Other fees that you may incur while using the platform are insertion fees, final value fees, advanced listing upgrade fees, and supplement service fees.

2. Selling the Right Items

Most eBay users search for items that fall under the Electronics & Accessories category. While it might seem smart to sell similar products, you do not need to restrict yourself to a single category.

With sufficient category research, product research, sell-through rate, and competitor research you can find products that are more rarely listed and have enough demand. Gaining access to an untapped market can yield a higher profit.

3. Getting the Price Right

If you have already been selling your products online through other platforms, you might need to change your price when selling on eBay to account for the seller fees and charges. Besides that, you will need to calculate the cost of shopping, and if you want your items to be sold through eBay auctions or the Buy It Now option.

The most helpful way to come to a profitable number is by number-crunching, market research, and thinking from the perspective of the buyer. This will eventually evolve your intuition so you will be able to price your products with less effort.

4. Adhering to Seller Limits

eBay is particularly strict about seller limits for new entrants. The platform uses it to ensure that buyers are provided with positive experiences on the site. Hence, sellers should maintain a mostly positive selling history to continue operating in the marketplace.

New sellers will have limits set in terms of the account, categories, and items. Once you have sold a few items, you can negotiate for a higher selling limit. This way your business can grow over time by selling stuff on eBay.

5. Stay Away From Problematic Goods

As a new eBay seller, you might be targeted by people who wish to profit through scams and dishonesty. It is easier to protect yourself from this by avoiding certain items for your eBay listings. A few of the items you might want to avoid early in the business are:

  • Designer clothing and accessories
  • Electronics
  • Items with various parts and components that could be removed and returned as unused
  • Autographed goods without a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA)

Even from the perspective of the buyers, it would be beneficial for you to establish yourself as a reputed seller before selling more high-end products.

eBay also takes strict action against sellers who deal in counterfeit goods. If a sold designer item is found to be fake, then the seller can be suspended at the very first incident.


Listing on eBay takes some getting used to as a new seller. However, with time, and a few helpful tools, you can scale up your business in no time. Understanding the way eBay functions as a marketplace for you as a seller can help you figure out the most appropriate price for your listings without discouraging customers and maximizing your profit.

Choosing between auction and the Buy It Now option also makes a significant difference. Auctions could get you a higher sale price, while many consumers prefer a definite buy through the immediate purchase option. You will have to design a whole business model specifically for selling on eBay due to the unique features of the platform.