eBay Tip #25 Don’t Rely Solely on eBay

Warning: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

That saying has been used for all sorts of situations, but it applies big time for eBay sellers! It is important to use multiple selling channels to diversify and find new buyers, not just eBay buyers.

Multiple Marketplaces

Some of the channels I use include to sell besides eBay, in order of my personal success top to bottom, along with some pros and cons. Your results may vary. Watch for future review posts of each of these sites. Below find some pros and cons vs eBay.

  • Amazon
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • NextDoor
  • Craig’s List
  • Poshmark
  • MaxSold
  • Garage Sales
  • 5 Miles
  • Offer Up

Other sites you may like, but I have not used:

  • Etsy
  • Mercari
  • Depop

Amazon vs eBay


  • Amazon fees are roughly the same as eBay depending on if you have a high or low priced item. You will keep more or your earnings, if it is a higher priced, from my experience.
  • Amazon takes their percentage of the sale upfront, you don’t owe anything after the sales (unless shipping charges exceed your sales)
  • “Everybody” knows Amazon!
  • Amazon has a huge catalog of offerings for buyers.
  • Amazon may be easier and possibly quicker to list than on eBay (yes, they have a free mobile app!)
  • Amazon pays YOU every other week for your sales.


  • Lots of competition in amount of inventory and pricing, for common items: books, CDs, DVDs, etc.
  • You still have to ship items sold, just like on eBay, if you are Merchant Fulfilled Seller.
  • Sales tax is collected from many states, so you have to brush up on latest rules. (Though that is now happening on eBay too! It’s a changing world for online sellers currently!)

Facebook Marketplace vs eBay


  • Lots and lots of local people are now shopping on Facebook Marketplace. Growing quickly!
  • No fees
  • Easy to list
  • In Person pick-up arrangements


  • Can have flaky communication between you and potential buyers
  • Have to arrange meeting pick-up time (should be in public space), which takes up part of your day.

NextDoor vs eBay


  • Local feel
  • No fees – Cash sale
  • In person pick-up


  • Lots of flaking by folks asking and then not responding once you reply.

Craig’s List vs eBay


  • Many items to choose from
  • Many buyers – CL is popular
  • When the sale works, it’s great!


  • Scam messages galore
  • Lots of flakes
  • May take a while to sell stuff
  • Need to renew listing every 7 days

Poshmark vs eBay


  • Great for clothing and fashion
  • Once sale is made, you just print out shipping label
  • Don’t have to wait for payments like on eBay


  • Need to add followers to grow
  • Need to share items to grow
  • You must regularly drop your prices to stay competitive

MaxSold vs eBay


  • Maxsold is a growing online auction site for folks in North America
  • Every auction begins at $1.
  • Local pick up only.
  • Auctions run up to 10 days and pick up is 2 days after.
  • Lots of things sell!


  • Many items may only sell for the $ starting bid.
  • Buyers need to be local to pick up
  • May not be available in your area yet.
  • 30% percentage goes to Maxsold overall, but it you don’t reach a minimum amount it can cost you.

Garage Sales vs eBay


  • Cash sales
  • Fun to meet buyers/neighbors in person
  • Lots of people love to go to garage sales


  • Low prices are what buyers are looking for
  • Not everything sells, need to offer remaining stuff for free or take to donate
  • Set up, break-down tables takes time
  • Takes time to put up signs around town

5Miles and Offer Up vs eBay

5Miles and Offer Up are mobile device apps that are intended for local sales. Offer up adds a shipping offering to those who want to get more exposure than just locally. They are not major players in my online selling at this time.

I have had limited luck in selling on these apps, so for now I will not review further. Watch for more on them in the future!

While eBay is a great website to sell your collectibles and unwanted items for profit, it is not the only game in town. It is best to branch out and try other marketplaces. You will reach all sorts of new customers and make new sales. And remember “Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket!” when selling online.


Tip #25

  • Goal: To branch out and not limit your online selling to one marketplace like eBay
  • Task: Try some of the other selling platforms
  • Task: Beware of the scams connected with some of the local pick-up sites
  • Task: Always meet your potential buyer in a well traveled public spot like grocery store parking lot
  • Task: Mix it up and you will keep your inventory fresh to a new buying crowd
  • Task: Try to put large items up on local marketplaces to avoid having to ship them!

eBay Tip #24 Shameless eBay Plug

My Shameless eBay Plug

I have been selling on eBay since July 1998! That’s a long time! I have been working on improving as a seller over the years and I am so close to a personal eBay Feedback goal, that I just have to share on my eBay Tips Page!

I am 100 positive feedbacks away from 10,000! Yippee!

This shameless plug is to show that you can do it too! Each sale can earn you an additional feedback point. Each purchase you make can also earn another positive point. One, after the other, adding to your total and one day you could be close a new level yourself.

Here is a breakdown of the eBay Feedback scores!

Now I recognize there are many other sellers achieving great success on eBay, but what is important for me to re-iterate is that I am just a regular person, selling regular stuff. I don’t have a warehouse, nor a large staff. At most, I’ve had a college student or two helping with listing or a friend occasionally help me with shipping. But for the most part, it’s been just me!

All on my own!

And I am very proud of my consistency, and that I stick to it! I have taken vacations and put my eBay store on hold. I’ve been able to make my own schedule, so that I could help my elderly father, in his last years. I raised a son and was able to go on his field trips in school, all because I sold on eBay.

There is something to be said about working for yourself. EBay is a platform perfect for a person who wants to make there own schedule. You can list every day, or once a month. Whatever your situation, you can make it work for you!

A Pat on the Back

As you sell on eBay, the feedback system is there to protect and inform fellow eBayers about each other. As you connect and sell and grow your feedback, others will see your reputation on eBay! It is there to show potential buyers that you want to do your best! In return, your growing score is a nice pat on the back!

As I share my personal goal, I am even more steadfast in being the best eBayer I can be! I want happy customers and I like “moving stuff around the universe”. If you need a boost in getting started, why not take my online course? I have it hosted on a few different platforms for you to choose from. I would love you to join me on eBay!

And I am focused on the next few months as I get closer to reaching 10,000 Yellow Shooting Star feedback! I will be posting when that day happens since it’s been a long time in coming.

When you do sell, please share your successes with me! I’d love to hear about them!


Tip #24

  • Goal: Celebrate your successes – like a feedback goal!
  • Task: Sell one item, then the next and so on!
  • Task: Make your own schedule to fit your style of selling
  • Task: Share your success with others! You can do it!

eBay Tip #23 – Free eBay Branded Supplies

Free eBay Branded Supplies

Free eBay branded supplies

One awesome perk for eBay Store sellers is getting FREE eBay branded supplies every quarter. They look very professional and can add a positive appeal to your buyer’s eBay experience when receiving their eBay packages from you!

Open an eBay Store

There are five levels of eBay Stores. Here is a screen shot from eBay’s website of the costs for each level.

eBay store seller

I am currently an eBay store seller with the premium subscription. I get a nice savings with a yearly renewal.

As a benefit of my premium subscription, I can order up to $50, per quarter, in free eBay branded supplies. Here is where you find the drop down menu to locate the coupon to order the supplies. Marketing ==>> Seller Discounts

Free eBay branded supplies

Once you select Subscriber Discounts, you will see your coupon for that quarter for your eBay Shipping Supplies.

eBay branded supplies

Start Shopping for Supplies

Click the button “Start Shopping” and that will take you to the eBay branded supplies. They do cost something to a regular eBay buyer, but when you put your coupon code (as an eBay store seller) into the check- out, you will see your savings! Here are some current product options available.

eBay branded supplies

eBay store seller

The items include: eBay branded boxes, tape, envelopes, tissue paper, thank you cards, stickers and more. The color choices and sizes change a bit from quarter to quarter.

My favorite thing to order is the tape. I go through a ton of it and will not run out any time soon. This month I’m getting some brown strapping tape with the eBay logo.

I also ordered some boxes. I need to re-stock my inventory in the size 8″ x 6″ x 4″, which is perfect for smaller items when shipping my eBay orders/sales.

After clicking on “Add to my cart”, I will check out and then pay for my FREE eBay branded supplies, using my coupon and PayPal.


Your Order is Being Shipped

Within an hour of my order, which was totally free except for $3.95 sales tax, I received an email that showed my items had been shipped! They should arrive early next week.

They have already left me positive feedback for my order! I will leave feedback for them, once I receive my order!

More Benefits

Besides getting the free eBay branded supplies every quarter, eBay store sellers have increased amounts of free listings per month and the ability to put your items on vacation hold in an instant.

It’s something to look at if you are considering wanting to open and eBay store. I love my free eBay branded supplies!


Tip #23

  • Goal: Get free eBay branded supplies
  • Task: Open eBay store
  • Task: Order free supplies every quarter
  • Task: Use the supplies to “up your game” and look more professional when shipping to your buyers!

ebay Tip #22 – Share Your eBay Listings on Social Media

Share Your eBay Listings on Social Media

Increase and Drive Traffic

Social media is here to stay! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram……the list goes on and on! Why not take advantage of getting your eBay listings in front of more people and “SHARE” on social? It can drive traffic to your listings for free!

It’s easy to do!

On each eBay listing, you will see these icons at the top right of the screen: email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

If you click them, one by one you can share the listing immediately with your followers on that social media account. As an example I am using a current listing that I have on eBay (item number: 383028424778)

RICK RUSH Serigraph MAGIC JOHNSON & MICHAEL JORDAN #245/275 Shooting Stars BBall

eMail Widget

Post on Facebook

Tweet on Twitter

Pin on Pinterest

Don’t Over-Do It!

While it’s not a good idea to just click and share, share, share to bombard your audience. Try using your social accounts to help your followers with info, tips and other points of interest.

Perhaps you have an interesting find while thrifting or garage saling. Or you have a favorite eBay story about an eBay home run or score. People love to hear from you, but try to pace yourself regarding sending links to your listings all the time.

Other items to add: a funny meme, inspirational quotes, a delicious recipe. This is one way to contribute to your community and friends in a positive way rather than only selling! It’s a two-way street and one can reciprocate for a better social connection!


Tip #22

  • Goal: Share Your Listings on Social Media to Increase Traffic and Viewers
  • Task: Share with eMail
  • Task: Share with Facebook
  • Task: Share with Twitter
  • Task: Share with Pinterest
  • Task: Try to space out your shares, not bombard your audience.
  • Task: Comment and connect back with your followers

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 #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!



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