This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to make money on ebay

Ebay is an online auction site. For a fees that vary, and for a percentage of the final price, this site hosts a 24/7 international auction. Anyone can participate in this, both as a buyer and a seller.

To make money selling something on ebay, you need to do several things. First of all, you need to offer something that people want. In spite of stories of bizarre things being offered on ebay, most of what is on ebay is stuff that people logically want. Since the only way that people can make an evaluation of your item is on their computer, you must describe it and photograph it well. It's important to do your homework, which you can do online, for the description. What make or model is it? What year? You can usually find these out. Consider that your buyer will being doing their homework, too. Don't exaggerate, don't lie. If you've ever sold anything at a garage sale, you know what to say. Tell them the dog chewed on it, or it's missing a part. If you're a person who is honest and just naturally speaks the truth, you will be fine.

Crisp, accurate and appealing photography is essential. You don't need an elaborate studio and an expensive camera for this. The photo at left was taken with my very basic, inexpensive, digital camera in my back yard. It's best to crop and optimize these images in Photoshop.

You will have to learn about shipping costs. You can't offer an item for sale unless you include the price of shipping. And ebay buyers who "pad" their shipping are seen as dishonest. Your buyers will know that it only costs $5.50 to ship that item, so charging $19.95 to cover "handling" is a turn-off to them. Don't do it. Boxes, tape, your labor, etc. is part of your "cost of doing business", and like in all businesses, comes out of your profit.

Speaking of shipping, this is one place where our very own United States Post Office has gotten it right. They have left UPS and Fedex in the dust here. Check out the USPS web site, especially priority mail.

Ebay sellers live by their reputation. Disgruntled buyers have little recourse against you if you have cheated them but to post a complaint on your ebay profile. But those complaints are read by other potential buyers and can put you out of business. So, do what's right. Follow-through. Describe your items honestly and deliver as promised. You will be fine.

If you would like to learn more about selling on ebay, and especially using Adobe Photoshop, please contact me. I do personal training sessions in Photoshop in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

Contact Brad directly