Lesson 1357 – Online Auctioning – lesson 2

If you are following along, then you’ve created your eBay account, you’ve verified your Paypal account, and you’re ready to start selling on eBay.

Before we go any further, I want to emphasize that you should only do transactions in eBay and Paypal through the actual websites. That doesn’t mean you click on a link in email, it means you enter the url (ebay.com or paypal.com) in the address bar at the top of your window (assuming you are using a Windows product), verify your password, and proceed to your account.

Now it’s time to find things to list. In the past, I used to list heavy items (lots of glass)  but with today’s shipping prices, it’s a lot easier if you (at least at first) find smaller items around your house to sell.

I’m going to try and show you the steps I take when I list something.

Once I’ve found something that I think will sell, I do a search on eBay for that item. In this case, I’ve got a This Little Piggy by Enesco – “Here’s mud in your eye” figurine. When I search for “This little piggy Enesco” I can see that the figures are not selling for much. But if I add “Here’s mud in your eye” and click on sold auctions, I discover that this particular figurine sells for between $8.55 and $14.00. The one I have is mint (in fact I took it out of the box for the photo), but I also want to make sure that this sells, so I’m going to price my auction starting at a competitive $9.99.


Click on one of the auctions that best matches your figurine description, note the shipping costs and under the photo will be a small blue line that reads “Sell one like this.” Click on that and you’ll be brought to a selling page where the category is already filled out. (I know I might be going fast, let me know if you have specific questions.) You don’t have to do it this way, you can choose the category you want, but if you are selling the same exact item, take advantage of shortcuts.

  • On the selling page, certain items will be prefilled, like the Title and Condition. In my case the title is fine, but I changed the condition from Used to New. Edit your title and condition if necessary.
  • Add photos – a few tips about photos. With so many phones being able to take photos you have no excuse not to get a good picture. If it’s out of focus, delete it and get another. Closeups work well. Watch the background, sometimes that can detract from your item. I have a solid colored fleece blanket that I often use as my background, I have one in blue and one in a dark pink. You are allowed up to 11 photos, so go for it, take front, back, sides, and pictures of any boxes.
  • Description – keep it short. For this figurine I’ll use – This Little Piggy by Enesco “Here’s Mud in your Eye” musical figurine. Plays when Irish eyes are smiling. Little guy sits on a keg with his mug of beer. Taken out of box for photo. Documentation included. Music works well. Some sticker damage on box. Just in time for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. No must or mold smell, comes from a smoke-free home.

A few points about my description. I have – what it is, a little about what it looks like, what’s included, and a reason to purchase it. Don’t go overboard with your description; keep it short and simple (while including all pertinent information.)

  • Price. I’m going to start this auction at $9.99. It’s not the highest and it’s not the lowest price. With the holiday coming up, I think this will probably sell.
  • Listing duration – set it at 7 days – why not, you’ve got time (especially if this thing has been sitting in your closet for years.)
  • Shipping Option – click on select shipping myself. I almost always choose the “Charge a fixed cost” (click on the little arrow next to Charge actual cost) how do I determine cost? I go back to one of the auctions that sold and see what other people charged. Sometimes I pay more for postage but in the end, it all comes out in the wash. I’d rather have money for my item.
  • Service – I choose standard shipping. Sometimes I end up using Priority but by choosing Standard I’m covered if something costs a lot to ship.
  • Cost – I put in $3.99 as a result of my search.
  • International shipping – I choose “No international shipping.” If you are just getting started with eBay or if you are only selling a few things, don’t over complicate things. You can always choose to ship internationally later.
  • Review your preferences. This section is prefilled after the first time you filled it out. My only suggestion is to make sure you set handling time to 3 days. That will give you a small break between trips to the post office.
  • Once you are happy with what you have listed, press the blue List it box at the bottom of the page. You’ll get an acknowledgement that your item is listed (unless you didn’t fill something out in which case you’ll get an error message in red at the top of your page – correct your mistake and click on List it again.) There is a Preview option that you can use if you want to see how your auction will look, just don’t forget to click List it after you’ve previewed.

If you’ve made a mistake in your listing, you can always go to the auction page and click on Revise your item. And if you’ve broken the item (like I did once) you can always end the auction.

That’s it for this week. Let me know if you have any questions or even if you’ve started selling. Here’s the link for this Mud in your eye auction.

Note: I have heard from people about apps you can put on your phone to make listing items easier and setting up eBay stores and while I might get there, for now you have to start at the beginning. Consider this doing your scales before you can improvise.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve typically taught this information in a classroom. The beauty of having students right in front of you is that you can tell if they are confused. If anything I’ve written is not clear, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help you understand.

A few people are following these steps and they’ve given great advice. Be sure to read any comments below these lessons.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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