Ever wanted to get rid of those unused stuff just lying around at home? Ever thought of selling it thru eBay? Or maybe you just want to set up your own online business there? Then read about selling there first before you list anything up for sale! I am not an expert but I will share with you what I know based on what I read and from my experiences from selling there. (I am not promoting eBay, this is just a public service article)
In everything we do we need to learn about it before we become successful. Like learning how to walk, cook or even ride a bicycle we make mistakes, stumble and fall, get hurt and then get back up again before we are able to be better at it or even become an expert, the same goes with selling in eBay.com.
FYI, eBay is a MEMBER TO MEMBER SITE, it is the third party site you use when selling to YOUR customers. It is the MEDIATOR/MODERATOR and MEDIUM through which YOU sell to people online. eBay IS NOT the one RESPONSIBLE FOR SELLING YOUR ITEM and IT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR BUYERS. YOU AS AN EBAY SELLER WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ITEMS YOU SELL ON EBAY. YOU will be responsible for the items getting to your buyers on time and IN GOOD CONDITION. You will need to make sure your title, description, pictures, price including shipping fee and other item details are correct so your buyers don’t complain when they get an item not as described.
REMEMBER: SELLING IN EBAY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
This is an article for those planning to sell stuff for the first time and want to know more about it so they don’t go around complaining when they get shocked to find out they need to pay fees and whatnot whenever they list or sell an item in eBay. I am not going to write about how to be successful in selling in eBay. I will only write about the basic things you need to know about selling in eBay.com (US site) and nothing else.
Here are the BASIC things you need to know BEFORE YOU START SELLING IN EBAY.COM:
A. There are two kinds of fees when selling in eBay.com: Insertion fees and Final Value Fees (FVF)
- Insertion fees are when you list the item as an auction listing or fixed price listing.
- FVF are fees that eBay charges for selling in eBay.
Aside from the two main fees there are what they call optional or additional fees INCLUDED AS PART OF INSERTION FEES. It’s more like listing upgrades which cannot be credited back to you at all unless there is a site/tech issue/bug, unlike the FVF which can be credited when you don’t receive payment from your buyers or the transaction gets canceled or if it was removed by eBay because of a policy violation.
NOTE: Paypal also has it’s own fees when you’re going to use it.
Important: If you want to see the table for ebay fees check it here: http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/fees.html
B. When the fees will be charged: Billing Cycle
- There is no monthly fee for selling in eBay. You only get charged when you list and/or sell an item within a 30 day time period depending on your billing cycle.
- There are only two billing cycles depending on when you signed up as a member/seller: Every 15th or every 30th of each month.
- You will receive an invoice on how much you’d need to pay during that billing cycle a few days before you ever get automatically charged. Make sure you keep your email address up to date to receive emails from eBay.
II. SETTING UP YOUR EBAY SELLER ACCOUNT
A. Get verified and set up your Paypal account
Add or place your credit card on file for verification, go through phone verification, then link your Paypal account to receive payments.
You can also use Skrill/Moneybookers and others to accept payments. eBay does not accept money order or checks as payment methods. Listing in eBay Motors though has more payment methods you can use. More info here: http://pages.ebay.com/help/pay/accepted-payment-methods.html
B. Add an Automatic Payment Method (APM) and Reimbursement Payment Method (RPM)
APM is where you will get charged the fees automatically every billing cycle. Also it would be best to add an RPM as well just in case someone files a claim against you and eBay reimburses the buyer, this is how eBay will be able to charge you for reimbursing your buyer if in case you don’t have funds in your APM and your RPM is your credit card or bank account.
APM/RPM can either be (a) Paypal, (b) credit/debit card, (c) bank/checking account
C. Paying for your seller fees
eBay has the Automatic Payment method and also a One-Time Payment (OTP) method for paying your eBay fees. In case you don’t have money in your APM, you can use OTP to pay for your fees so your account is not put on hold when your billing cycle comes up. But you may be subject to double charges if you pay after your invoice gets generated. To avoid this, contact eBay first before making a One-Time payment for the first time to know when you can make OTPs.
III. LISTING AN ITEM
A. Two Kinds of Listings
There are two kinds of listings you can post in eBay.com: Auction style and Fixed price format. Both of these types have different sets of fees.
1. Auctions are those you want buyers to place bids on and compete for being the highest bidder until the listing ends.
Insertion fee is free for the first 50 listings. FVF is 9% of total sales including shipping.
2. Fixed price is when you just want to list it at a specific price and that’s it.
Insertion fee is usually $0.50 per fixed price listing but it may depend on the category where you list it. FVF depends on the category you placed it under as well.
B. Check your fees and Paypal email before listing the item completely
The insertion fees will show up at the bottom part of the first page and last page of the listing before you are able to list it.
Check that the Paypal email you placed in the listing is the correct Paypal email you linked to your eBay account otherwise you might get frustrated in getting the payment to the correct Paypal email.
IMPORTANT: When you update/change your Paypal email, make sure you update the link to your eBay account AND the Paypal email in the Paypal box WHEN YOU LIST A NEW ITEM or relist a sold/unsold item AFTER changing the Paypal email to get the payment in the updated Paypal email account.
C. Make sure all the listing information are accurate and detailed
To avoid any problems with your buyers you have to:
- Provide accurate titles and descriptions, be as detailed as possible, especially for used items. If there are any scratches or damages or has some part missing or anything at all, PUT IT IN YOUR DESCRIPTION.
- Use the correct product catalog if there is any that matches your item.
- Show/upload actual item pictures, even close up shots of damaged parts if there are any, especially for used items.
- Use the correct shipping method you will actually use for shipping your item. Not sure what to use at all? Contact the post office/shipping company first before listing your item for sale.
- Indicate that they need to contact you first before buying the item if they have concerns or questions.
IV. SELLING AN ITEM
A. What it means when your item sells
Whenever an eBay member (buyer) wins the auction or clicks on Buy It Now (BIN) on your listing, it will go to the Sold page > under Sell > under Activity tab > in your My eBay page.
It does not necessarily mean you’ve gotten payment already, it just means it is considered sold. This means you will get deducted the FVF but you won’t be charged immediately for it. Wait ’til you receive an invoice for all the fees you’ve incurred w/in a 30 day time period/billing cycle then you’ll see when it will be automatically deducted from your APM.
B. What it means when your item does not sell
When no one bids on your item or no one clicks BIN and your listing ends/expires it will go to your Unsold page just below the Sold page. This means whatever listing upgrades you placed, e.g. Reserve Price, Gallery Plus, Subtitle, etc., will not be credited back to you at all. You will still need to pay for the insertion/optional fees even if you never sold it, at all, ever.
C. Paypal payment holds
For new sellers, eBay now places a hold on the Paypal payments that buyers send to sellers. It means, when you receive payment, it will be on hold or pending in Paypal for a maximum of 21 days.
There is no way eBay will release the hold immediately if you are new to selling, even if you have been an eBay member since 1998 or even if you talk to a supervisor, you don’t get your funds released immediately, at all, ever.
To get it released faster, add a tracking number and mark the item as shipped. Once the item shows delivered, add 3 days to that and the funds will be released.
No tracking number? If you marked the item as shipped and the sold item has an estimated delivery date, add 7 days after the last day of estimated delivery to get the funds released. Example: Estimated delivery date is from June 1 to June 7, add 7 days to June 7, so around June 14 or 15 you should get your funds released.
Printing an eBay shipping label will automatically add a tracking number and mark the item as shipped. If you want to go to the post office to ship it then feel free to do so as well, just make sure you upload a tracking number and mark item as shipped as soon as you ship it out so that your buyers will be aware of the status of the delivery.
D. Requirements to pass the Paypal payment hold
Establish your eBay selling account to get funds released from Paypal immediately by MEETING ALL FOUR (4) REQUIREMENTS:
- Be a seller for a minimum of 90 days.
- Sell a minimum of 25 items.
- Have a minimum total sales amount of $250.
- Have good feedback score/ratings
E. Unpaid items
If your buyer does not pay for the item in a minimum of four (4) days, open up an Unpaid Item (UPI) case against them. You have another 4 days minimum to wait for their payment. If they still don’t pay after 4 days you close the case to get your FVF back and leave a UPI Strike on the buyer’s account. 2 UPI Strikes will limit their buying capabilities in eBay and will serve as a report to eBay as well.
If after getting a UPI case your buyer responds that they can’t pay, you can change it into a Cancel transaction request to get your FVF back.
If your buyer gets a UPI Strike, they may contact you to either (1) pay for the item (send them an invoice thru Paypal then contact eBay as soonn as it’s paid), or (2) contact eBay to have the UPI Strike removed if you are willing to work it out with your buyer without getting payment.
V. SHIPPING AN ITEM
A. Make sure the item is already paid before you even ship the item
- The blue dollar sign is showing in your sold item
- You received a confirmation email from Paypal that you received payment from your buyer.
NOTE: If it’s showing an hourglass sign instead of a blue dollar sign, it means you entered the wrong Paypal email or the buyer uses their bank/checking account as funding source for their Paypal account.
B. Use the pre-funded shipping label to ship items since your funds are on hold/pending in Paypal
As a courtesy to new sellers, eBay offers to pay for the shipping fee first so that you can ship out your item to the buyer. When you print a shipping label in eBay, you either get charged immediately or not. Since your money is on hold in Paypal and if you don’t have extra money to ship it out, print the shipping label in eBay and get charged when your funds get released in Paypal after the buyer has received the item based on the tracking number.
When you print a shipping label for the first time, a pop up will appear asking you if you want to get charged immediately or not. Click OK in the pop up screen to not be charged immediately. BUT if your shipping label will cost over $15 or 30% of total shipping buyer paid for then you will be charged immediately.
C. Pack it well. Insure it if it’s fragile, an electronics item, or an expensive item
VI. CANCELING BIDS/TRANSACTIONS
A. In case your buyer made a mistake and clicked BIN twice YOU will need to send them a cancel transaction request to get your FVF back.
B. In case you made a mistake in the listing and were not able to edit it before someone bid on it, YOU need to send a message to YOUR bidders to inform them about the mistakeand WHY YOU ARE CANCELING THEIR BIDS BEFORE YOU CANCEL THEIR BIDS so they do not complain about you suddenly canceling their bids and leaving them clueless about it.
VI. DEALING WITH BUYER CLAIMS/DISPUTES
A. Offer to assist your buyers if they have concerns about the item/s they received or did not receive.
- Item/s not received by buyers are still the responsibility of sellers unless it was stolen from the buyer’s porch or something.
- Item/s not described well or got damaged during shipping to buyers are still the responsibility of sellers.
- Shipping items back to you is the responsibility of your buyers.
Make sure you have insurance on the item and proof of payment to file a claim with the post office/shipping company especially if it is fragile, expensive, or an electronics item.
You can offer refunding the item in full or partially as long as they ship the item back to you with tracking number. DO NOT OFFER REFUNDS JUST TO GET POSITIVE FEEDBACK, offer it if you want to provide a better buying experience to your buyer. You can also offer a replacement instead if you can replace it once you get the item back if you want it back.
B. Claims/cases opened by buyers can be escalated to eBay
This means you will give eBay the right to meddle in the case/claim the buyer opened against you. After eBay investigates on it within 72 hours you and your buyer will receive an email on the case decision, either you win or your buyer wins. You can appeal the case decision if it was decided in your buyer’s favor and you have a valid reason to appeal it.
NOTE: Once a case/claim has been opened against you the Paypal fund will be put on hold. Also, you need to issue the refund inside the eBay case because you can’t do it in Paypal since the money is on hold.
VII. OTHER DETAILS
Again these are the basics of selling in eBay. This article is for new eBay.com sellers, even if you’ve had your account for more than a decade but you just plan on selling now then you are still a new seller subject to eBay policies.
If you want to know more details about selling you need to read the articles in their Seller Information Center page. Look at the top right of the eBay page. Hover your mouse on sell, from the drop down choose Seller Information Center and start from there.