eBay Tip #5 – Selling Online is Just Like Sports

Tip #5

Before you can compete in any sporting endeavor, you must get in shape, train, practice and then to use a famous clothing company’s slogan:

Just Do It!

If you want to sell on eBay or any other market places online, you should prepare as a runner would for a race, or a tennis player for a match or a volleyball player for a big game.

Research (On Your Mark)

What kind of items do you want to sell? Are they vintage heirlooms left to you by your grandmother? Are they clothes that your kids have outgrown? Are they from a hobby you no longer do?

Once you have a few ideas on what you are going to sell, then let’s take a look at what price you might ask the buyer to pay. You can check to see what other similar items to yours are listed for on eBay, but that’s just the asking price. To find out the actual selling prices, you can do an advanced search on recent items sold very easily.

  • Look to the left of the main search bar at the top of the page
  • Click Advanced, then type in the name of your item in the “Keyword or Item Number bar”
  • Click “Sold Items” below that and hit “Search”.
  • The actual selling prices will appear in green and you can use that as a basic guideline for your selling prices.

If it is a newer item, you can check Amazon to see what the going price is on that market place. Repeat your searches on the online market place you plan to list you item: Poshmark, Craig’s List, etc.

Describe, Including Condition and Flaws (Get Set)

It’s time to write the description for your item. Add important info such as:

  • Size
  • Color
  • Model number
  • What’s included in your offer
  • Important identifyers
  • Take many clear, close-up photos (easy with our current cell phone cameras!)
  • And most importantly a fair assessment of it’s condition


Many folks I teach eBay to, over rate and forget to point out the flaws the item might have. Your feedback rating and customer’s success will directly connect to how honestly you evaluated the item’s condition. Be honest and fair and your buyer will appreciate knowing as much info as you can give about it.

Post Your Item (GO!)

Your description doesn’t have to be perfect for you to actually list it. Do your best. Buyers may ask questions if certain info is missing. There will be a learning curve. It is essential that you just try it and see what happens. In other words:

  • Practice
  • Practice
  • Practice

Just like in sports, you will win some and you will lose some. Be prepared for the unexpected. Mistakes will happen. I have accidentally sent items to the wrong buyer. I have inadvertently missed describing a small crack in a vase. I have made many other mistakes, and learned from every single one of them.

And when you make your first sale and they pay you via PayPal, you will feel like you’ve hit a Home Run! After shipping your first item and they leave you positive feedback, you will feel like you won the Olympic Gold Medal! After my twenty + years of selling online, I still get a charge for every single sale I make. There is nothing like it. Well maybe it’s close to success in an athletic competition. Yes, it’s very much like playing sports.

My advice if you are on the fence about selling online:

  • Get yourself in shape (Research what you are going to sell and for how much)
  • Train (Write a great description, with honest condition evaluation)
  • and Don’t Look Back! (Go! You can do it!)


Tip #5

  • You will find success by doing rather than waiting.
  • You will learn from setbacks and criticisms.
  • You will be stronger for having tried.
  • There is not much to lose.
  • In fact, you might learn a few things along the way and even make a little money!
If you want to try selling online and learn from a Real Pro!
Sign up for Anne Z’s online course:
The ABC’s of Selling Online Using eBay



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