6 Tips for Using eBay to Buy and Sell Items

Using eBay is a fantastic way to buy and sell things online in a regulated marketplace. There is plenty of money to be made and if you are smart you can get a great sales price or find a bargain!

Convenience, reputation and methods of recourse combine to make eBay a fantastically reliable way to sell or buy things.


Here are 6 tips that can help maximize your experience – and the amount of money in your pocket, when using eBay to buy or sell things.

Selling Tips – Using eBay

1. Post Pictures / Images of the Item

When selling on eBay, it is important to remember that the buyer is taking a risk with you. They have to trust that your product is as good as you say it is.

The best way to instil confidence is with good, clear and honest pictures.

Do not use blurry pictures. Do not use a “stock photo”, instead take actual photos of the item. Make these photos close-ups and make sure they are clear.


Snapping the photos in front of a white sheet / white background is a good idea. Also, make sure to take the pictures from various angles.

If your product has a defect, include a photo of this defect and not only will you avoid negative feedback but you will have more bidders that trust you. A picture is worth a thousand words – never advertise on eBay without them.


2. Include a Great Description and an “Eye Catching” Title

Be honest and provide as much details as possible about the item. Point out any small flaws and be up front about them. However, you don't want to write an essay.

The description has to be easy to read, informative and straight to the point.

It is a good idea to use subheadings such as 'What it is', 'Why you are Selling it', 'What is Included' and 'Specifications'.

Make sure to mention important details such as model numbers, colours and age (how old or new is the item).

Try and write with honesty and personality to establish a connection with the buyer.

3. Come up in Searches: The Title

The eBay search tool is based on title searches. So don't worry about filling your description with keywords, but make sure to nail the title.

You want your item to come up in as many searches as possible, so try and include every term that someone looking for your item might use to describe it.

Use every character available. For example, if I was selling my guitar I would use a title like, "Guitar Martin X series LX1 Travel with Guitar Case LX-1", as opposed to just "Martin X Series LX1".

More people would see it, leading to more bidders and a higher sale price.

4. Auction Ending Time

The biggest rush of bidders will come at the end of your auction.

This is when people will get competitive and you will make the most money. So it makes sense that you will want your auction to end when the maximum possible number of people are online. Not when people are out drinking, or working, or on dates or taking the kids to school.

Sunday afternoon is a good time to target, because most people are at home relaxing.

To have your auction end on a Sunday afternoon you can either write and open your 7 day auction the Sunday prior, or use the eBay scheduling tool to have your auction start at that time.

Using this tool you can take your photos, write your copy and upload your ad on a weekday and then have the auction start itself on the Sunday – leaving you free to relax.

Be mindful of the various time zones in your country and try to pick a time on Sunday that everyone will be awake.


Buying Tips – Using eBay

5. Know about What You are Bidding on!

If somebody is selling a gizmo version x, but you can tell from the photo that it is actually a gizmo version x2 that is newer and worth an extra $20, then you have an advantage over other bidders and a better shot at getting a bargain.

Many people who are selling on eBay are clearing out a mountain of old junk and don't necessarily have the time to research everything that they are selling.

They might not even particularly care what it sells for – just that it goes. Watch for these sellers.

Find them by searching for a variety of different terms that could be used to describe the product – not just the obvious ones.

They might be a bit vague in their descriptions but you can usually piece together enough information to tell if it is the item you want.

Just make sure to pay close attention to the pictures, (if there are no pictures it could be a scam).

Casual eBay browsers will avoid these listings because they don't know what they are looking at, and don't get enough information from the post, meaning that there will be less bidders and a lower price. If you know what you want, do your research!

6. Choose Items that have Weird Auction Ending Times

See an item that ends on 3am on a Tuesday? You probably won't have much bidding competition at 2:59am.

If it's something you really want, being awake at a crazy time can really help you get the lowest price.

The same item would sell for much higher if the entire country was sitting at their computers and competing, but if it's just you then it is time for a bargain!


Conclusion: Tips for using eBay to Buy and Sell Items

These tips might seem simple, but they work.

We really hope that they help you achieve a positive and profitable experience using eBay.

You will get better sell prices, find more bargains, your feedback scores will be strong and that will help you do better business in the future. Best of luck!

Article By: Ogbe Airiodion