eBay Tip #21 – My eBay Mistakes

I have made many errors as a seller on eBay. You might call my eBay mistakes, doozys or even epic fails! It’s all part of the learning process! I look back on them and can now laugh, but the truth is we all make mistakes and hopefully reduce making too many of them!

Where the Heck is That Item?

It is inevitable that you will sell something and not be able to find it. That is one of the worst feelings to have as a seller. Being organized helps avoid this situation, but it happens to the best of us. There are a couple of ways to handle it.

  • 1) Send an eBay message to the buyer, tell them the truth about not being able to locate and refund their money.
  • This is a last resort because you will get a ding from eBay as a seller. Not a great option in my opinion.
  • 2) If you can find another item like you sold, buy it and send it to the buyer with a note about what happened.
  • Better than the ding from eBay. An out-of-pocket expense, but problem remedied.

Oops I Sent the Wrong Item!

This has happened a few times to me. Most memorable was selling two similar Bear figurine statues made by Lalique. If you are unfamiliar with Lalique glass, it is made in France and can be quite expensive. These two pieces were signed and were bought by buyers from Russia and Spain for in the $600-$800 range.

Without needing to say it, this was going to be an expensive mistake. When I realized what I had done, I began communicating with the buyer of the larger bear statue. One he received it, I had him ship it to the person in Spain and visa versa.

International shipping is not super difficult, but there is Customs and cost. I was able to work with both buyers through translation issues and distance obstacles. It all worked out. Both ended up with their correct Lalique bears. Thanks goodness! Talk about a heart stopper!

On another occasion, I had a shipping helper who was a dream! She would get all the orders ready each morning: find the appropriate boxes, pack them up, weigh them and print the shipping labels. That allowed me to concentrate on putting up more listings.

On this particular day I was at a one-day conference in San Francisco and she was handling my eBay office on her own. I checked in with her mid day and she told me we finally sold “the football”. She didn’t realize that we had two different footballs. One was a junior model made by Wilson (selling for $12) and the other was a flattened, signed Oakland Raider’s memorabilia type ball (selling for $200). They had very different looks and value.

You guessed it, she shipped the wrong one. My helper had no idea, since she was not a sports loving person, one ball looked just like the other to her. I was able to fix the situation over the course of a few days, and it had a happy ending. Again that was another heart stopper.

Shipping Charges Too Low

The other eBay mistake that can happen commonly is to not charge enough for shipping an item that was sold. Since I use free shipping on most of my eBay items, I have to make sure that the selling price covers the cost of shipping. That does happen once in a while.

On eBay it is not a good practice to ask the buyer for more money. So if one loses on that particular transaction, I look at it as “paying for feedback”. Meaning the best result out of that sale and loss on shipping costs, is receiving a positive feedback rating from the buyer. I rationalize it as my cost for feedback from them. Hopefully they will leave it for me, but sometimes we don’t calculate all the right numbers on every single transaction. Move on and make better calculations next time!

That’s the way it goes! Hopefully it won’t happen too often!

On eBay, since there are costs on the listing side (after using your free listings) and costs on the final sales price, the shipping costs are one more added to the mix. As long as I have a positive cash flow and sell some higher priced items in a month, all is good. It is the cost of doing business on eBay.

Lost in the Mail

The last area of epic fails for me on eBay is when a package is lost in the mail. Luckily, this problem seldom happens: maybe once in a thousand transactions which is about once a year in my long eBay career. Mail delivery has gotten better with real time tracking, but this one time was different.

I sold a pair of ice skates to a woman in the East. We both followed the tracking to see that her package was heading through the south and then north again, to many other states than where it was supposed to end up. Then the tracking just stopped, never to be updated again. She never received the ice skates, no amount of inquiry helped find the missing package. The USPS medium flat rate box was shipping by Priority Mail and automatically comes with $50 insurance, which I finally had to claim. I refunded her money, leaving a disappointed buyer.

Luckily, that kind of thing doesn’t happen very often, but is in my list of epic eBay fails. All sellers have them and as I say to newbies all the time, “once you make a big mistake, chances are you will never make that one again!”

For you eBay sellers or buyers out there, do you have any eBay mistakes you can share? I’d love to hear about them!


Tip #21

  • Goal: If you have an eBay mistake, try to fix with buyer
  • Task: Send eBay message, along with apologies, and refund without delay
  • Task: If you can’t find an item that sold, replace with another – even if you have to purchase and send to them
  • Task: Laugh at your mistakes and try to learn from them
  • Task: Most of all, move on, no one is perfect!

eBay Tip #20 – If it Doesn’t Sell, Donate to a Charity

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day today, I am thinking about helping others. Here are a couple of simple ways to help others on eBay!

End Your eBay Listing and Donate

Try ending some of your old listings and donate the goods to your local charities like Goodwill or a Shelter. It not only will eliminate the non-selling items and allow more room in your eBay space for new things, but it feels good to donate. I try to take a box or two every single week.

“Make a Donation” Inside Your Listings

Another way is to donate is to designate a charity on any or all of your listings. You can donate a percentage beginning with 5%, all the way up to 100% of the sales price to a non-profit of your choice. The percentage you choose will automatically be collected and sent to that charity. You do not have to do anything! You will receive a message that it has been sent by you to the organization.

Plus, your listing fee will be reduced by the percentage you are donating. It is a WIN-WIN! I try to take a certain number of listings and add a 10% or 20% donation to it. This works well with listings that have not had any action over the course of their run on eBay. Your edited/modified listing will move up in eBay “search” and you might just get a sale! And help others!

Removing items from your eBay inventory and editing an older listing are two ways to help you on eBay. Replace the older inventory with new, fresh listings. Just like seeing fresh produce at the grocery store, eBay buyers want fresh listings too! I notice that most of my recent sales come from recent listings. It’s no coincidence! Try it!

When adding a charity “make a donation” to your listing, it will get more notice because of the “giving works” ribbon that gets placed on your listing. Many folks buying on eBay love to help others and they know their purchase from you will do just that! Pick three of your older listings today! I’m going to do that right now! Join me!


Tip #20

  • Goal: Help others by using eBay
  • Task: End some of your slow moving products in your eBay listings and donate them to a local charity
  • Outcome: You make more room, you help others with your donation
  • Task: Edit and modify an older eBay listing by adding a “make a donation” amount and selecting a favorite charity
  • Outcome: Higher visibility if you add this option, you make money when it sells, they make money when it sells!

eBay Tip #19 – My All Time Biggest Selling Items

As a 21-year veteran seller on eBay I have sold my share of items. In terms of what is my biggest sellers I can break it down a couple different ways.

Highest Priced Item

I once sold a piece of business software with a very limited audience for $6000. Yes, 6K. At the time I was working with a company who needed some advice and help selling Amazon returns. They were based in Arizona and the company flew me down to the warehouse to see how things operated. It was a hot summer day, but the warehouse was cool and inviting.

There were large amounts of electronics, gardening stuff, tools, books in what they call gaylords (giant open topped cardboard containers). Each was filled to the brim with items returned by Amazon buyers. Did you know there is a marketplace for just that alone?

One of the items the company gave me to sell for them directly was this piece of software worth about 12K. It took me a year, but I sold finally it on eBay for half that amount. We split the profits 50/50% and we were all very happy with the sale.

Most Repeat Sales

I am a former tennis teaching professional. I still play in a weekly game with other pros. Tennis pros have tons of used balls from lessons and clinics and tournaments to deal with on a regular basis. A couple of the pros give me their tennis balls to sell on consignment.

Last year I sold at least 6000 tennis balls, maybe more, primarily to dog owners for their doggies! My buyers also use them for the bottom of classroom chairs, on the bottom of senior citizen’s walkers and so many other uses. It is nice to get a bit more use from the balls that for a tennis player goes “dead” within an hour or two of playing. In professional tournaments, the balls are replaced every nine games.

I have an endless supply and sell them in lots of: 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100. I meet people locally or ship in flat rate boxes depending on the amount of balls. It seems that I sell tennis balls every single day on eBay! What a nice way to recycle and get more life from the balls! And I click “RELIST” which is very simple to do.

Largest Items I’ve Sold

About five years ago a parent from my son’s nursery school days contacted me to sell an unusual item for him. Actually he had 18 of them! They were pretty large, but came with heavy-duty shipping boxes 30″ x 18″ 18″.

What were they?

Double Headed Bubble Gum Machines


I listed one or two a week, and sold one or two a week, until we were all finished selling all 18 of them! Needless to say I used ALL the stuffing, padding and bubble wrap I had saved up. I did send one of the boxes all the way to Norway. It arrived safe and sound and only cost $111 to ship it, which seems pretty inexpensive to me considering the box size.

Antique Grand Piano

An other very large item I sold was an Antique Grand Piano. Lucky for me, I did not have to ship it. Instead, the buyer lived in my state and arranged for a piano mover to come get it from my client’s storage unit. I was happy to make a $2000 sale, that today would probably not even fetch $250. Pianos have really gone out of favor with families these days. The times they are a changin!


  • Tip #19
  • Goal: Try to find a Big Selling Item
  • Task: Can it be an item that is easy to ship?
  • Task: Can it be an item that is easy to re-list?
  • Task: Think Big, but you might not want to ship it!

eBay Tip #18 – What Price is Right?

What is the Price is Right for My eBay Item?

How to price your ebay item

One of the most common questions I get from my eBay students is about pricing their items correctly on eBay.

“How do I know how much to ask for an item?” asked my eBay newbie student.

“How much do you think this item is worth?” was the next question.

The answers can be complicated, but fairly simple too.

You can ask ANYTHING you want for an item AND it is ONLY worth what someone will pay for it.

Let me repeat that whole line:

You can ask ANYTHING you want for an item


it is ONLY worth what someone will pay for it.

If you price an item a bit high, and also have the “Make an Offer” option available, then a buyer may offer something less than you asked for it. If you accept that offer, then you’ve just made a sale!

Interestingly enough, even though 98% of my listings on eBay include the “Make an Offer” option, not everybody makes me a lower offer. They see your listed price and may be happy with paying that amount. So why not think BIG. Don’t be afraid to ask for a dream price. You may just get it!

If you price your item low, you will not make MORE money that that amount. You need to be okay with the price you list at or perhaps you should just donate it to a charity, if it’s not worth your time and effort.

Price something high and you can always go lower. Just how low you go, is up to you.

You might take a lower offer if:

  • You have had the item listed for a while
  • You want to move it quickly
  • You want more cash flow
  • You want to make a sale and thus make the buyer happy

Perceived Value

perceived value on eBay

When we see a high price on an item, it may give the aura of more value. Apple has made a whole company around that premise. Price it high, and it must be very good. That’s sort of what perceived value is.

If we see something very inexpensive, we tend to think of it as a low value item. We may even think there is something wrong with it. That becomes our perception of the item.

In our crazy world of marketing psychology, If we see a high priced item on SALE, we often think we are getting a good deal. So we will often buy it. Think of seeing an item New With Tag in a thrift store setting. That item may even become something that we must buy, no matter what.

Pricing Wars

Finding the right price for items on eBay

If we price our Widget at $55 and we see others just like it on eBay for $15, we tend to think we are pricing it too high. Another way to look at it is, the $15 seller makes their sale quickly since it’s a great deal, leaving our $55 the only other one left in stock on eBay. We may play a waiting game. Maybe we drop the price 10% or 15% and see if we get any offers. It might sell for our higher price if we wait a bit. Or it may never sell at our price. We just don’t know! No one does.

eBay can give us historic information on what other similar items have sold for recently. That information can be helpful, but it’s not a true indicator of what it will sell for next time. No one knows that. What we do know from shopping in retail stores is that prices can go up and down all the time. Finding the sweet spot for making a lot of sales, is tricky and complicated.

Supply and Demand

If your collectible Widget is rare then you can ask more for it. If it is an everyday item, then the competition may drive the prices down all around you. You will have to jump into that game in order to keep up. If there are many sellers on eBay selling the same thing you are, you may decide to bundle many items together to increase the value of that item.

List It and Forget About It

Another pricing strategy that I use is to list a bit high, add “Make an Offer” to the listing and keep on listing new items without spending much time watching that first item. In other words, list it and forget about it! It will most likely sell sometime. Plan B is when we bail and end the listing and donate it instead. More on that in a future post.

Use Mark Down Manager

Since I’ve been active on eBay since 1998, I have lots of inventory. I do like to try to keep it moving, so I use Mark Down Manager on my listings. That means, I run a lot of sales! 10%-15% on newer listings all the way up to 70% on some very old listings. It is easy to run a month long sale or something a lot shorter. The buyer will see how much they are saving and will often buy because they are getting a lower price.

Relist it Higher

Another strategy that makes some people scratch their head, it when I relist an item or modify it in some way, I will often raise the price. And many times, I see sales very quickly after that. What? That premise is going back to the perceived value of something. By raising a price, perhaps that adds value to it in the buyer’s eyes. Try it, it does really work!

Free Shipping

free shipping helps sell on eBay

As a bonus to your listing, if you offer free shipping that can help entice your buyer into a sale. See my post all about free shipping. The psychology of buying and selling is a complex study into what makes us tick! Making buyers happy is something that should drive increase your sales! And hopefully, make them repeat customers!


Time Will Tell

There is no easy way to know the best price for your item without experimentation. If it sells quickly, we often think we priced it too low, while in fact it was the exact right price for that sale. You can ask whatever you want for an item, that doesn’t mean it will sell or it won’t sell at that price until you try it.

I’ve had interested parties write me an eBay message telling me I was asking too much for something. I thanked them for taking the time to write me and share their thoughts, but the reality is that they don’t have to buy if they don’t want to pay that price for it. Plain and simple. I can set the price and they decide if they accept it or not.

It is also true that no matter what you think something is worth to you, it is ONLY worth what someone will pay for it. An example is the Beanie Baby craze from the 1990s. People paid big money for those little stuffed animals then. Today they are not worth much more than a stocking stuffer at Christmas. Take a look how many are listed on eBay and you will see what I mean!

There is No Right or Wrong Price

It is either an art when pricing items on eBay or perhaps a bit of luck on occasion. The idea is to sell your item, so you will have to make many adjustments along the way! Don’t give up, just keep on listing and pricing and you’ll see what works for you in the long run! Good luck!


Tip #18

  • Goal: Find what price is right for your eBay item
  • Task: Price on the high side and add “Make an Offer”
  • Task: Price on the low side to move it quickly
  • Task: Price on the high side to increased perceived value
  • Task: Price high and then add mark downs to it
  • Task: Relist or modify your item with a higher price
  • Task: Add a bonus incentive like free shipping to your item

eBay Tip #17 – Should You Offer Free Shipping on eBay?

Free Shipping? It is worth it?

Buyers love free shipping on eBay


The topic of Free Shipping on eBay is divided among eBay sellers.

Buyers love free shipping! vs. There is really no free shipping!

Here are some reasons for and against. See where I stand at the end of this comparison!


Pro of offering free shipping on eBay

  • I love free shipping as a buyer! I would venture to say all buyers love free shipping!
  • When I offer free shipping as a seller, I get an automatic Five Star Rating under the shipping metric in my feedback score.
  • Many online retailers offer free shipping (Amazon Prime, Target, Timberland, Nordstrom), so if it works for the big boys, it can work for me too!
  • When it comes to listing, it’s a no brainer, click free shipping and the listing is simplified. (Have a general idea of what it would cost and add to your sales price)
  • Increased sales
  • Customer loyalty
  • The costs of shipping become a deductible expense on your Schedule C tax report if YOU pay for them by offering free shipping on eBay.
  • eBay says you will be ranked higher in “search” as buyers look for specific items.
  • When you offer free shipping on eBay it will help establish and maintain a Top Seller Status.
  • Buyers won’t jump to a negative conclusion that you’ve hiked up the shipping costs since they aren’t paying for it.


Cons of offering free shipping on eBay

  • eBay’s final value fees collected after each sale includes price of item AND shipping costs, so they win when you offer free shipping.
  • Shipping costs comes out of your pocket as the seller when you offer free shipping.
  • Shipping costs more than one realizes since rates keep going up yearly – it’s expensive!
  • Some say it doe not translate into more eBay sales.
  • You can actually lose money when selling low priced items when you offer free shipping.
  • Free shipping is not good for very heavy or large items. Much more fair to use calculated shipping for those types of items.

My Stance on Free Shipping

free shipping on eBay

I have benefited from offering free shipping over the past three to four years, when eBay really started pushing for sellers to offer it. Here are some of my top reasons.

My buyers were upset that shipping was so expensive. If I offer free shipping, they do not get to chime in about costs at all. I am rewarded five stars on my shipping & handling charges under my detailed seller ratings automatically by eBay.

I can work toward or keep my Top Rated Seller Badge by offering free shipping on eBay.

Makes listing a bit quicker, since I click the free shipping option. I know from experience approximately how much items will ship. When I have a question I use USPS and use my zip code: 94941 and one across the country 12345 to calculate the approximate cost for 1 pound, 2 pounds, 3 pounds and so forth. I add that cost to my sales price.

My buyers LOVE free shipping. I want to make them happy and want to come back to shop with me!

I can beat some of my competition, even when we sell at the same price point.


  • Shoes cost $50 with free shipping
  • vs
  • Shoes cost $40 with $10 shipping

They both end up costing $50. Which one do you think buyers will go for?

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner….Yes, the free shipping will win most often because people do not want to calculate what the price plus shipping will be, even if it’s easy math! It’s psychological and great marketing! Free shipping wins!


If you feel that you will have more benefits by offering free shipping on eBay, then I say join me and do it!

If not, then use the “calculated shipping” option and buyers will see on their end what it will cost them in shipping, before buying your item.

It’s up to you, but I think offering free shipping is an advantage and a draw to customers.

When I put on my “buyer’s hat”, I love free shipping and try to buy from fellow sellers who offer it too!


Tip #17

  • Goal: Determine if offering free shipping on eBay is worth it to you
  • Task: Offer free shipping on some of your items and evaluate
  • Task: Don’t offer free shipping on other items you list on eBay and evaluate
  • Task: You can always change your listings after they have “gone live” on eBay
  • Task: Find your comfort level before offering free shipping on all your listings

eBay Tip # 16 – Need to File IRS 1099-MISC Forms?

How to Send a 1099-MISC

If you are an online seller, you may have a need to send a 1099-MISC form at some point.

  • Please be aware, I am not a tax expert and I am not giving tax advice.
  • I am writing about an online product that has helped me get through this process.

Yearli by Greatland Review

Yearli by Greatland for filing 1099-MISC

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, Yearli by Greatland might be right up your alley. It is extremely user-friendly!

I’ve used it for the past few years during the month of January when the forms need to go out!

My needs may be different from yours, so please consult your tax professional.

  • I am a consignment seller and send a 1099-MISC to my clients that have received payments of $600 or more for sales I have made for them.
  • I also have sent 1099-MISC to my contract workers when they have helped with my eBay listings.

Who Gets a 1099-Misc?

  • You must give a 1099-MISC form to any individual or business your business paid $600 or more in a tax year.
  • That form is given to non-employees such as independent contractors and other entities paid by your company.
  • NOTE: You only need to report payments you made in the course of your business. Personal payments are not reportable.


File Form 1099-MISC for each person to whom you have paid during the year:

  • At least $10 in royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest.
  • At least $600 in:
    • Rents.
    • Services performed by someone who is not your employee.
    • Prizes and awards.
    • Other income payments.
    • Medical and health care payments.
    • Crop insurance proceeds.
    • Cash payments for fish (or other aquatic life) you purchase from anyone engaged in the trade or business of catching fish.
    • Generally, the cash paid from a notional principal contract to an individual, partnership, or estate.
    • Payments to an attorney.
    • Any fishing boat proceeds.

In addition, use Form 1099-MISC to report that you made direct sales of at least $5,000 of consumer products to a buyer for resale anywhere other than a permanent retail establishment.

Before You Send out a 1099-MISC Form

Before you give anyone a 1099-MISC form, you must first get a W-9 form from that person, verifying their taxpayer ID number or social security number. You cannot accept the person’s information informally.

If your business is audited, you will need to be able to show a W-9 form for everyone who did work for you.

NOTE: Check with your tax professional if you have concerns with sending someone a Form 1099-MISC.

Simple Steps with Yearli by Greatland

Yearli by Greatland is a complete federal, state, and recipient W-2, 1099 and 1095 filing programs. Simply enter or import your data and Yearli will file to the federal government, applicable state agency and send (via email and mail) copies to your recipients.

FREE Option is for ME!

Yearli has three options designed to fit your budget and business needs. Use their compare rates and pricing chart to see what works best for your business.

I use the Free option for the 1099-MISC forms I send and file. I have not needed to send more than seven in one tax year.

  • Core – Free
  • Performance – $99
  • Desktop – $439

Simple, Easy and DONE!

Today is January 16, 2020, and I logged into my Yearli by Greatland account. Here’s what I saw:

Yearli by Greatland is for filing your 1099-MISC

I clicked on Start New Forms and chose Data Entry.

Yearli by Greatland is for filing your 1099-MISC forms

Next, I chose 1099-MISC.

Yearli by Greatland is for filing your 1009-MISC

Fill in info. You are Payer and your client is Recipient. I used Line 7 for Non Employee Compensation and click Save.

Next you File, make a small payment. In my case I sent two forms this morning for a total of $9.98. Now, that’s a great deal.

Form Filing History

You can see your account history and print copies for business records at any time! Log out and you are DONE!

Yearli by Greatland is for filing your 1099-MISC

My Z Rating

On my scale of the “Z” Rating with 5 being the highest and 1 the lowest, I give Yearli by Greatland a solid 5 ZZZZZ’s for all that it offers consignment sellers/businesses.

As a solo-prenuer online seller and a serial do-it-yourselfer I would be lost without it. The cost is small. It takes no time at all. It was literally five minutes for me to create and file two 1099-MISC forms this morning.

Try it FREE today using my referral link. Share your experiences below.

eBay Tip #15 – 5 Easy Items You Can Sell: That Are in Your Home!

A big hurdle for new eBay sellers is to figure out what to sell on eBay. I always suggest to look around your house and you will discover that the items are there already! Most likely you will never miss them if you tried to sell them on eBay. It would give you some practice at the listing, photos and shipping processes without much risk!

Here is a list of five easy items (most everyone has in their house), that you can sell on eBay.

Coffee Mug

A Starbucks Coffee Mug is an easy item to sell on eBay

How many mugs do you have on the shelf? Ten or more? Do you use all of them? Are there any with a fun saying on it, or a name or from Starbucks for example? Mugs do sell on eBay. They aren’t that hard to ship if you have the right box and some bubbles wrap. And they are very easy to list since everyone knows what a coffee mug is and does!


A Watch is an easy item to sell on eBay

Check your jewelry box. I can be that you have an old watch or two or three tucked away in there! The best part about selling old watches on eBay is that you can sell, even if they don’t run! They may just need a battery and that info should be included in the description and condition areas of your listing. Some brands that I’ve sold: Swatch, Seiko, Timex and Casio. Perhaps the watch needs a new band. Or it’s just not your style anymore. Why not sell on eBay and make a few bucks. A watch is also very easy to list and to ship. A watch needs a couple of close up photos, but heck your phone can do that!


a T-shirt is an easy item to sell on eBay

Check your closet and dresser drawers. I KNOW for a fact that you have an old t-shirt in there! Find one in decent condition and list on eBay. Rock t-shirts and vintage “oldies” do well on eBay. Note the size, color, material and style. Is it short sleeved? 100% cotton? Does it feature a sports star, or popular clothing logo? All the better!

I am a big fan of taking a few measurements. Try this cool application out called Size.ly and fill the measurements into a blank template of a t-shirt and save as a jpg. Upload to your eBay listing and people will love seeing exactly what the t-shirt’s measurements are! Note: the link above is a referral link. I may earn affiliate income, you will not pay more to try. Try it today for FREE!

Board Game

A board game is an easy item to sell on eBay

How often do you still play board games with your family? Not as often as you once did is my guess. Check your game shelf and look for a title you no longer want to play. Open it up to see how complete it is. Okay, now it’s time to snap a few pics and list it on eBay. One favorite game that I enjoy listing and selling is the classic Monopoly game. Any unusual version really does well like “Dog Monopoly or “Elvis Monopoly”. What games are sitting on your shelf waiting to find a new home and make you a little money! USPS has specific boxes called “Board Game” boxes and they ship for the Large Flat Rate Box Rate around $17 when using eBay shipping. Let the buyer pay for that and price your game in the middle range of others listed on eBay!

Book or Magazine

A book is an easy item to sell on eBay

If you are like me, you have TONS of books and magazines cluttering up your home. Pick one or more to sell and listing is as simple as typing in the bar code number (located on back of dust jacket). The ISBN number is specific to that exact edition of your book. You can ship a book for an inexpensive cost if you use Media Mail. Magazines may not be shipped via Media Mail because they have advertisements in them. Easy to ship in an envelope or padded envelope.

That is a quick list of items you CAN sell on eBay without too much trouble finding them. Once you get inspired, I bet you can find more and more unwanted items right under your own nose! I’ve read that everyone has thousands of dollars of items they no longer use in their own possession! What are you going to sell?

I’m sure you have way more than five easy items to sell on eBay!


Tip #15

  • Goal: Find 5 items in your house to list and sell on eBay
  • Task: Do you have a coffee mug, watch, t-shirt, board game or book/magazine?
  • Task: Photograph and List on eBay
  • Task: Wait for the “cha-ching” sound on your mobile device letting you know it SOLD!


eBay Tip #14 – 7 eBay Misconceptions

Is eBay still around? You bet!
Photo by Anne Zarraonandia

I am always surprised to hear what people I meet daily, say about eBay these days. There are lots of eBay misconceptions about the long time online selling platform. Here is a list of seven of my favorites.

Is eBay Still Around?

Yes, after all these years, eBay is still a viable company and very safe online market place. It has been through a lot of changes over the years, some good, some not so good, but it’s still around! It was founded in 1995 (originally called Auction web) by Pierre Omidyar when he listed his laser pointer for $1, and later sold it for around $15. eBay now boasts over 182 million users and is a multi-billion dollar enterprise headquarted in San Jose, CA with dozens of office locations around the globe.

I am fortunate to be invited every quarter to meet the new eBay employees as part of a Top Rated Seller Panel in San Jose. What a great group of sellers we have on the stage in front of the new eBay hires. One seller, a former skateboarding champion, specializes in high end skateboards and accessories. Another seller is a ticket broker and sells highly sought after tickets to local concerts and sporting events! Another seller was named the Small Business Owner of the Year in 2018 and has grown an empire with eleven employees by selling electronics! And yet another sells tons and tons of women’s shoes to buyers around the world and is the single largest shipper in his zip code!

We share our stories with the new employees at eBay and they in turn ask us questions about eBay for their new jobs! Becoming eBay Summit is always a treat! I am looking forward to the upcoming Spring time event!

eBay Only Has Auctions

This is far from the truth! Fixed priced listings comprise more than two-thirds of all the items listed on eBay these days. Auctions certainly put eBay on the map as the “way” to buy back in the late 1990s and early 2000s but not anymore. Buyers don’t want to wait seven days to see if they won an item or not. Instant purchase is the way we shop now, along with getting a good deal! eBay certainly does have something for everyone, where you need it or not!


Anything Will Sell on eBay

Maybe, maybe not. The marketplace has changed a great deal over the twenty plus years of eBay. In the old days, when Beanie Babies ruled and auctions peaked the interest of the online buyer, many things did sell. Now it has to be in the right price range and from an experienced seller for the transaction to be completed. Most people do comparison shopping before purchasing between eBay, Amazon and other online marketplaces before they buy. It’s a tough world out there!


Buyers Will Return Their Sales to Rip You Off

This is not true. Most people are reputable shoppers and are easy to work with when selling to them. A few can give the whole a bad name on occasion. If you are fearful of your sale going “south”, then it might be that negative energy you are exuding and not the actual buyer. Sure, things do go awry sometimes in a transaction, but from my years of experience, it doesn’t happen very often. There are protections built into the system at eBay for both parties, having to do with returns, payments and refunds. The rules are in place and if someone takes advantage over and over again, they will be removed from eBay. Look at the glass half full: the transaction will probably work out just fine! If they are trying to scheme the system, they will get caught! Buy and Sell with confidence!

Coats Only Sell in Winter & Swim Suits Only Sell in Summer

A common eBay misconception is that winter wear only sells in winter

There are no seasons on eBay. Buyers are located all around the world and shop in the winter for summer items and in the summer for winter items. There might be a little spike in clothing in the actual season it’s being sold, but I have not had that experience. More people buy ahead of the season as they plan future trips, etc. Disposable income isn’t for practical purchases, it’s for looking down the road at what I want next! Sell your coat anytime! After all it’s winter somewear, all the time!

The Best Time to List Christmas Stuff is in December

Christmas in July for eBay Selling

Completely not true! I have more Christmas sales in July than in any other month of the year. Remember the old saying? “Christmas in July”. Well there are a lot of Christmas decorators and shoppers out there way ahead of the Christmas season. By the time Christmas comes around, it’s too late to have a big selection of Ugly Christmas Sweaters on eBay. They are all gone by then! I love to sell holiday items ALL YEAR LONG. See post above. There are no seasons on eBay! Keep listing and keep buying!

eBay is Too Hard to Do

For some that may be true, but for others like me, it’s a game/hobby/business that goes on and on and on. Yes, it changes, but that’s the fun of it or it would be boring. Once you learn some basics, have items to sell, keep a well stocked about of packing material and boxes, it’s quite simple. After all, it’s not brain surgery. If you have an item that someone else wants, they will buy it. It’s simple “supply and demand”. If there are one hundred china gravy boats listed on eBay and you do not want a gravy boat, it will stay on eBay without any sales.

Keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be difficult. And don’t fall for some of the common eBay misconceptions pointed out in this post!

  • Find an item to sell.
  • Write an engaging title and description.
  • Take good photos.
  • Set a fair price.
  • Obtain the right shipping box ready in advance.
  • List it.
  • The sale will happen.
  • Ship it and move on to the next.
  • Have a backup plan: donate if it doesn’t sell in a month or two.

As the shampoo bottle says: Wash, Rinse, Repeat. It’s not hard.

Follow the steps and you can unload all sorts of things: from your house, from your friends, from garage sales, etc.

If you want to learn The ABC’s of Selling Online Using eBay, sign up for Anne’s online course today!

You can do it!

It isn’t brain surgery!

eBay Tip #13 – FREE eBay Listing Worksheet

eBay Lisiting Worksheet

Here is a free sample worksheet that you can fill out. It will gather the pertinent information for your eBay listing.

Remember, it will get easier the more you practice, practice, practice.

Auction title: _______________________________

80 characters – no punctuation – capitalize first letter of each word – NO ALL CAPS

Auction Subtitle_______(I don’t generally use this feature- extra cost)

Quantity ____________________________________________


Auction: ______________Duration: 1, 3, 5, 7 or 10 days________

Fixed Price: ______________ Duration: Good ‘Till Cancelled:_____

Starting Price __________ (If auction, the lowest price you will take)

Buy It Now Price________ (Make this a bit higher, and entice buyers who don’t want to wait out an auction. This BIN price will disappear after one bid had been made, except in the clothing and some other categories. In those categories the BIN price will disappear once 50% of minimum bid is reached by bidders)

Fixed Price ____________ (You can start a bit higher, and add a MAKE AN OFFER also known as BEST OFFER to the listing. You can accept someone’s offer, decline or counter an offer. Some people will lowball you, but always counter in those cases. If you want a sure bet, accept their original offer because some people will be scared off when you counter their offer.)

Reserve Price ____ (I don’t use this feature-It makes some people angry!)

Payment options

PayPal?______Other?________ Local Pick-up Only ________

Do not ship item until you have received payment!


USA only: ______________________________________

International: ____________________________________

(It’s not as difficult as one might imagine. Start with countries you feel comfortable with like perhaps Canada and England.)

Global Shipping Program: _____________________________ Exclude Countries: _________________________________

  • You ship to an eBay US address, the buyer pays international rates.
  • It’s just like shipping to US buyers, eBay handles the rest for you! Easy!


Weight of item (in box):______________________________

Dimensions of box: length______ x height_______ x width______


  • First Class Mail: (under 13 ounces): ____________________________________________
  • Priority Mail: (1 pound or over): ____________________________________________
  • Media Mail: (books & media – no advertising in matter) ____________________________________________
  • UPS or Fed Ex Ground: (larger, heavier items) ____________________________________________

Special Shipping Instructions: ________________________________________________________________________________________

Handling Time

Will you ship in 1 day? 2 days? 3 days? _________________________________________

Refund Policy

Accept?_____________ Decline?_____________________

Time Frame?_______________________ (see options on eBay)

Business Policy

You can set up to incorporate your shipping and handling time together with type of mail service.

Fill in the blank templates on eBay to meet your preferences.

Time Saving Tip

Use the Calculated Shipping option, and you can never go wrong. The buyer will see what the cost is on their screen, depending on their zip code and yours (the seller’s location). Just fill in box size and weight and eBay does the rest.

Known Costs (go to USPS.com to see current rates)

Flat Rate Small Box________________________________
Flat Rate Medium Box______________________________
Flat Rate Large Box________________________________
Flat Rate Padded Envelope _________________________
Flat Rate Envelope_________________________________


  • If it fits in one of the above, same cost for anywhere in the USA. A great way to learn how much to charge for shipping!
  • You can order online at USPS.com or pick-up at local post office.

Condition of Item

(Circle one): New, Like New, Very Good, Good, Acceptable


(Be very accurate and honest!) ________________________________________________________________________________________



(Use bullet points or short paragraphs so it reads well!)_________________________________________

  • 1________________________________________________________________________________________
  • 2________________________________________________________________________________________
  • 3________________________________________________________________________________________
  • 4________________________________________________________________________________________
  • 5________________________________________________________________________________________

Model or Brand:__________________________________ Year:_________________________________________


Weight of item (no box):_________________________  pounds ________________________________________ ounces

  • I put this info in my description for reference
  • I make a practice of weighing and measuring most of the items I list, except things like CD’s or DVD’s.

Measurements of item

Length:________x Width:________x Height:________(inches)

Other info you may consider adding into description if it can help the buyer make an informed decision.

Origin or history of item: ________________________________________________________________________________________

Uses of item:____________________________________

Target group for selling item:__________________________

Comes with original box/packaging?________________________________________________________________________________________

Comes with instructions or manual?________________________________________________________________________________________

Misc. Info on item: ________________________________________________________________________________________


For Your Records

  • Price you paid for item:______________________________
  • Date you purchased:________________________________
  • Original Owner of Item: (if not you)_______________________
  • Where you purchased: ______________________________


Tip #13

  • Goal: Prepare a new eBay listing
  • Task: Fill in the blanks for each new item
  • Task: Practice, practice, practice
  • Task: You can do this!

eBay Tip #12 – Strategies & Goals for eBay Listing

Your First eBay Listing

Create your first eBay listing

One of the toughest things to do is actually click “List Your Item” on your FIRST eBay listing. The next toughest thing is to keep repeating the process to establish more and more inventory on eBay. Make listing a habit and choose a goal for yourself. Do you want to list daily? How many items? Then go for it! You can do it!

A simple philosophy on eBay is:

The more you list, the more you sell!

Nothing gets a eBay seller more excited than to sell something. Anything! The sound of the “cha-ching” on the mobile app is rewarding and contagious to boot!

Most sellers don’t find listing items as exciting as finding items to sell, so I will suggest a ways to make it so:

Make a Listing Goal

Make a goal of how many listings you want to create by day, week or month and try to stick to it!

  • One Listing Per Day up to Ten Per Day
  • 10 Listings Per Week up to Fifty Per Week
  • 50 Listings Per Month up to One Hundred Per Month

If you have a number goal in mind, it can be like a game to see if you can reach it. Nothing bad will happen if you don’t, but making a committment to reach a certain number does work for some people! How many listings do you want to try for? You can do it!

List Similar Types of Items Over and Over Again

When creating new listings it is often simplier to try do list a few of the same type of item back to back. You can make a template for shoes, or for DVD’s or for record albums or anything at all.

Let’s say you have a stack of record album LP’s you’d like to list. Start with one and often you will be able to use some of the same info, like weight and shipping info in each new listing. You can “sell similar”, once you have posted the first one and change the title and other details as needed. It will be a speedier way to list, once you get the hang of it!

Here’s an example:

  • Listing #1: The Beatles Abbey Road 12″ Vintage Vinyl Record Album
  • Condition: Good overall, some writing on back of cover.

Next step…..

  • Make a copy, paste and then change to this for the next record:
  • Listing #2: The Rolling Stones Some Girls 12″ Vintage Vinyl Record Album
  • Condition: Good overall, light scratches. AS IS.

    Keep going from there!
  • Listing #3: Bob Dylan Lay Lady Lay 12″ Vintage Vinyl Record Album
  • Condition: Very Good overall, played very little.

In no time flat, you will have three record albums listed, in the same “music => record albums” category and your shipping information remains the same for most records.

Next step…..

Try it for shoes, or toys or stamps, or any other similar types of items! The more familiar the listing process becomes, the faster you will be!

Sell the Same Type of Item You Just Sold

I like to play a “fun little game with myself” to make listing a bit more entertaining (listing can be somewhat dry unless it goes fairly quickly!) If I sell a Disney pin one day, then later that day I will try to list as least one more Disney pin. If I sell a hat, then I try to list another hat. If I sell a book, then I’ll list another book!

When something sells on eBay, it can renew your interest in particular categories and your “listing” energy goes up! Try it, it really does work!

Find Items with Bar Codes

The easiest listing of all is an item with a bar code. Type the UPC or ISBN (books) number from the package into the eBay search bar and it will most likely come back with the result of your exact item. Click on the product, fill in the condition and price and take a photo if necessary. You may also see a stock photo from the eBay catalog. If your item is new, it’s okay to use it and not take your own photo! This method of listing is often the quickest!

If you sell DVD’s, they all weigh about the same. eBay draws from it’s media catalog to populate the decription with all the pertinant info about the movie and it’s cast and director. It is very simple to list items with a bar code, that’s in the eBay catalog.

Select “sell one like this” and most of the listing is already completed for you!

Warning: One of a Kind Items Take Longer to List

Of all the tasks you will do on eBay, listing items is one of the more time consuming, especially if you list one of a kind items. They need special attention in their description and possibly custom shipping info, too.

If you sell an unusual or vintage item, there may or may not be another like it on eBay already, so you may have to start from scratch with your listing. That’s not a bad thing, but you don’t want to spend a super long time creating your listing. Put the important description info into a bullet point list, include an honest assessment of condition along with a fair price and you are almost home.

A short cut on shipping cost is either to use a flat rate box (small, medium or large) with a set price or use “calculated” shipping. Enter the box size and weight and eBay will give the buyer (by zip code) an estimated cost on their end. You will not have to know how much to charge on shipping. It works pretty well, though sometimes under charges the buyer. It’s all part of selling on eBay.


Tip #12

  • Goal: Get comfortable with creating eBay listings
  • Task: Set a goal number to list: daily, weekly, monthly
  • Task: Find similar items to list to make things go more quickly
  • Task: List the type of item you just sold on eBay
  • Task: Find items with bar codes to use the eBay catalog to pre-fill some information
  • Task: Try to avoid too many unusual, one of a kind items. It may slow you down and take away your motivation at first.

Have fun as you get more items listed on eBay!

Remember: The More You List, the More You Will Sell!


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