How To Make Money On eBay In 2024
eBay is a great way to make money online.
With its user-friendly system, global reach, and diverse marketplace, eBay provides an easy opportunity for both seasoned sellers and beginners.
I have been selling on eBay for over 15 years and found it to have good and bad aspects.
This guide will walk you through how to make money on eBay in 2024 and explore the pros and cons of using the platform to make money.
eBay’s user friendly platform makes it easy to list and manage your items, but the commission fees can eat into profits. Make sure to read our Tips For Success On eBay to get the best results.
Getting Started With eBay
Step 1: Research And Identify Profitable Niches
- You can just focus on getting rid of your excess belongings, but if you are approaching eBay as a business then it is a good idea to do some research and identify what sells well.
- Have a look at current market trends on Google.
- Then check out the competition by looking at other sellers on eBay, and look to see how they have priced their items.
- You can tell whether the products are popular by seeing how many bids are active on each item, sometimes you can see if people are “watching” an item too.
- If there are multiple listings for the same item then that market is probably saturated and it will be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
- Consider your product and how easy it will be to pack and ship. For example ceramics or glass will be heavy and fragile, whereas fabrics and clothing is light and easy to post.
Bear in mind that some categories, such as baby or pet products, and electronics or electricals, while very profitable niches, come with their own set of responsibilities. These items must be verified as safe and suitable for sale.
Step 2: Create An eBay Account
- To get started, visit the eBay website or download the app and click on the “Register” or “Sign Up” button.
- Follow the prompts to create a new account, providing accurate information.
- Choose a username that reflects professionalism and is easy for customers to remember.
Step 3: Set Up A PayPal Account And Add Banking Details
- Since eBay transactions often involve online payments, setting up a PayPal account is beneficial.
- Linking your eBay account with PayPal can streamline the buying and selling process, providing a secure and convenient payment method for both parties.
- You will also add your bank account for eBay to pay you. eBay will usually want to verify your details and do this by sending a microdeposit (a small amount less than £1.00) to your account.
- This usually occurs within 3-5 working days, they then ask you to confirm the exact amount and enter this value into your eBay account.
- Once verified and selling, you may find payments take a couple of weeks.
- This is normal, as soon as eBay recognises you as a genuine seller the payments start to be issued much quicker.
Step 4: Develop A Business Plan
- If you are approaching this as a business, it is good to have a plan.
- You can use this to outline your goals and identify your target market.
- Consider factors such as shipping methods, pricing strategies, and customer service policies to ensure a smooth and efficient operation.
Remember that from 01/01/2024 if you sell over £1000.00 a year on eBay you will need to declare it to HMRC as they have recently introduced a “Side Hustle Tax”. Anything under that amount is fine and is considered to be within your Personal Trading Allowance. Should you go over this, HMRC will contact you and advise you to register as self-employed. They will then advise you to file a self-assessment tax return.
Pros Of Selling On eBay
Broad Customer Base
- eBay’s global reach allows sellers to tap into a massive customer base.
- With millions of active users, your products have the potential to reach customers worldwide, expanding your market significantly.
- Within each listing you have the option to sell internationally or just within your country.
- eBay’s website and app make it easy for sellers to list products, review inventory, and communicate with buyers.
- I pretty much manage my eBay store just using my smartphone.
- The platform provides various tools and resources to streamline the selling process, even for beginners.
- If you are selling a product that another seller has, you can scroll to the bottom of their listing and click “Sell One Like This” to utilise their descriptions, saving you time on writing it all out.
- eBay has a new AI feature to write your product description for you. It is a bit cheesy, but you can edit it as much as you want. Again this is a great time saver.
Auction and Fixed Price Options
- Sellers can choose between auction-style listings and fixed-price listings.
- This flexibility enables you to experiment with different selling strategies, catering to the specific needs of your business.
Built-In Trust and Security
- eBay’s reputation system helps build trust between buyers and sellers.
- Positive feedback and detailed seller ratings will help your credibility, fostering a trustworthy environment for transactions.
- Compared to establishing a brick-and-mortar store, starting an eBay business requires minimal initial investment.
- Sellers can leverage the platform’s existing infrastructure, reducing overhead costs.
Access to Analytics
- eBay provides sellers with valuable analytics and insights into their performance.
- This data can be used to optimise listings, understand customer behaviour, and refine business strategies for better results.
Cons Of Selling On eBay
Fees and Commissions
- While eBay offers a cost-effective start-up, sellers should be aware of various fees, including listing fees, final value fees, and PayPal transaction fees.
- These costs can accumulate, impacting overall profit margins.
- For basic private sellers eBay charges 12.8% of the total amount of the sale (which includes the item price, postage, taxes and any other applicable fees), plus a fixed charge of 30p per order.
- Tip – Every month or so, eBay will email you to offer up to 80% off seller fees if you list items within a certain time frame. By accepting this offer you can save money on your listings and keep more of your profits.
- The popularity of eBay attracts a high number of sellers, leading to intense competition within certain niches.
- Standing out requires good marketing strategies, quality customer service, and competitive pricing.
- eBay has strict policies governing product listings, seller behaviour, and customer interactions.
- Sellers must adhere to these policies to avoid penalties, including account suspension or closure.
Dependency on Platform Changes
- eBay regularly updates its algorithms and policies, which can impact seller visibility and performance.
- Staying informed about these changes is crucial to adapting and maintaining a successful business.
- Some time ago eBay added a “Click and Collect” option which needed to be toggled off in your listing settings. This was easily missed and some sellers didn’t realise they needed to add a code (beginning eCP) to the parcel address section. This caused some confusion when collecting – so look out for that. If you (the seller) did not write the code on the parcel I recommend calling the store that is holding the parcel and request that they write it on for you. You will find it next to the buyer’s address.
Limited Brand Visibility
- While eBay provides exposure to a massive audience, it limits the visibility of individual brands.
- Sellers may find it challenging to establish a unique brand identity compared to having a dedicated e-commerce website.
Customer Service Challenges
- Dealing with customer queries, returns, and disputes can be time-consuming and challenging.
- Providing excellent customer service is essential to maintain a positive reputation but does require significant dedication.
Tips For Success On eBay
Sell Good Quality Products With Honest Descriptions
- This is probably the most important tip.
- If your items are second hand/pre-loved that is fine, as long as you thoroughly and honestly describe their condition, along with images of any faults or damages.
- If you are selling fabrics (clothes, pillowcases, bedding etc) make sure they are washed and clean.
- Cosmetics or supplements should be unopened and in date.
- Think about storage, if you are selling your own items then you can just keep them until you have a buyer, but if you are planning to bulk buy in products to sell on, you will need somewhere safe to keep them.
Optimise Your Listings
- Create compelling product listings with clear titles, detailed descriptions, and high-quality images.
- Use relevant keywords to improve search visibility and attract potential buyers.
- Research competitor prices and set competitive yet profitable prices for your products.
- Consider bundling options, discounts, or free shipping to attract buyers.
Offer Fast And Reliable Shipping Options.
- Post items as soon as you can. You can choose on your eBay account whether you will ship with in 2 or 3 working days, and this information is provided to buyers. Make sure you post within this timescale.
- Package items properly and securely. Use bubble wrap if needed.
- Keep decent boxes and bags from items you have received as these can be reused, this will save you lots on postage costs.
- You can use eBay’s shipping tools to streamline the process if you want, and provide tracking information to buyers.
- eBay offers seller protection if the shipment tracking shows that the parcel was definitely delivered to the the correct address, so it is always worth getting a tracked service and as soon as you post it – upload the tracking to the eBay listing as proof of delivery.
Offer Excellent Customer Service
- Respond promptly and politely to customer inquiries, offers and messages, and resolve issues professionally.
- Positive reviews and customer satisfaction will contribute to your overall success on eBay.
- Remember if you are going on holiday to set your dates in eBay so buyers will know to expect a slight delay in shipping.
Use eBay’s Marketing Tools
- Use eBay’s promotional tools, such as promoted listings, to increase visibility for your products.
- Consider running promotions or discounts to attract more buyers.
- Regularly check eBay’s announcements and policy updates to stay informed about changes that may impact your business.
- Adapt your strategies accordingly to remain competitive.
Selling on eBay can be really rewarding.
Although eBay take a fairly large commission, it is worth it for the use of their very sophisticated platform.
It is a great way to get rid of unwanted clutter, and provided you approach it with a professional and customer focused mindset, you can make reasonable money selling your items.
If you want to have a look at some other ways to make money online, check out our review of Matched Betting.