My First Sale On eBay

This entry was posted in General Musings by Cleave on

eBay Online Auction SiteAs the title says I just had my first sale of an item on eBay. I had an old PS3 system that was only good for parts and instead of just sending it to the trash I decided to see if it would sell on eBay. Now I had never sold anything on there before and I was a bit apprehensive about the whole process by it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Thousands of people all over the world sell their stuff on eBay every day, how hard could it really be. I will say that there is a definite learning curve to the whole process and if you do not stop to think things through then you will run into problems like I almost did.

There are a lot of books and programs that are being sold on the Net that will teach you how to sell on eBay but are they really needed? I mean, come on, if you know how to read and follow directions then you can sell something on eBay. It really isn’t that hard if you are patient. So here are the steps that I went though to sell my first item. If you read this and can understand it then you will do even better then I did on your first posting and sale of an item.

The first thing that you need to do is to have both an eBay account and a PayPal account. Having a PayPal account makes everything easier to be able to get paid and even help get things setup for your shipping. Once you have both accounts you are ready to get things started to sell items on eBay.

Now find an item that you have in your house that you want to get rid of. It can be electronics, cloths, shoes, cabinets, furniture, whatever you have that you no longer what to have or that you just bought too much of. Now one thing to remember, you are not going to get 100% value on the item you are selling, so don’t even think of that, not unless you are buying cheep from the secondhand store something really old and valuable and even then you might not. People buy things on eBay to get a deal so if you can’t afford to just toss something or give it away then you can’t afford to sell it on eBay. There are ways to be able to buy low and sell high, but this is not a guide on that. Use your head and I am sure you will see how that can be done. This article is about how I sold my first item and what steps I took to get there. So forgive my rambling into other areas.

Ok, I have my item, my old PS3, so I log into my account and click on the “Sell An Item” from the drop down Sell menu item. It is there that you might first get confused about what to do. Even though it would be obvious to most what to click on once you are there, it is not something that might be obvious for a person who had never been there because the Sell Item button looks more like an ad then a get started button. That is why I am giving so much detail about that one part. I read all the time and it took me at least a minute to realize that it wasn’t an ad but the link to start selling something. eBay might change the way it looks in the future, so make sure that you see everything on the page. If you get stuck at any point in your sale always make sure to click on the help links that are there along every step of the way. eBay has done an excellent job of giving you the information you need but you do have to click on it and read it.

The next step was to get the information about what you are going to be selling. The site will have you put in some simple information and then will try and find the information you need from it. eBay has been doing this for years and has amassed tons of data on all sorts of items and has access to many other databases that the industry as a whole shares to make selling easier. Once you put the information into the search area then you will be given a list of items with pictures that you can choose from to begin your sale. Since I was selling something that they have sold many times over I did not have to do a full custom setup of what I was selling but I am sure that the process would not be that bad.

So after I choose the PS3 and the stock image that wen with it I was then given the option of including the full technical advertising information that they had on file or just the summery as well as a text area where I could give more information about the actual item I had in hand to sell. You definitely want to use this area as you are able to add in any extra information about the item so that others will know exactly what it is that you are selling to them. The more information and accurate information that you can give them the better the sale will go.

Now that you have the information filled in they give you the option of being able to upload more images for your auction. I did not add any more images because I was on a budget. Each image you add cost your the seller a little bit more then if you just use the one image. Its not that much extra but every little thing does add up. So remember that if you are selling something and need to add more images that you account for the cost of those in your starting bid if you don’t want to just have to eat that cost.

The next part of the process was to add in information about shipping. I would suggest looking at what others are doing shipping for and then adjust accordingly but even then you might be off a bit, so be prepared for that possibility. On what I was selling it seemed that most people were doing $14.50 to $15.00 so I put in $14.95 but in the end shipping cost me $17.72, estimated of course. So definitely try and find out what it will actually cost for you to ship the item before you put it up for auction. It will make your life easier in the end.

Once you have all of the information entered in and the shipping setup you then complete your listing by choosing what type of auction style and how long the auction can be. I choose 7 days and a normal auction style. Doing it this way I had no upfront costs to me at all. So now I just sat back and waited to see what happened.

Don’t expect the bids to flood in, my PS3 didn’t get a single bit until there was only 2 days left. There were plenty of watchers of the item, but no bids till then. It made me wonder if I would have to start all over again or something. Let this be a lesson to you all, you have to be patient when selling something on eBay otherwise you will just go crazy in the waiting.

So, in the end the final bid was $43.00, but wait, I get a message from the bidder saying that he messed up and won on too many items. You see he was bidding on multiple items to make sure that he would win and it was too late to cancel his bid, so now I think I am stuck. So I now look around on eBay and find something about canceling a bid and I go and fill out the forms. Once the forms are filled out a copy is sent to me and another to the bidder to confirm the retraction of the bid. Now while that is going on I send a second chance offer to the runner up in the bid, you can see everyone that has bid, so that they might get the item now that the high bidder has backed out. The thing is, they don’t have to accept the offer. For a first sale this was getting very frustrating and me wondering if it was worth doing it at all. I was thinking it would have been better off smashing the PS3 and dropping it off at the recyclers, but I pressed on. I was determined to make this happen.

So, the second chance offer was off, now I had to wait another day to see what would happen. About 18 hours into the waiting I get a message from the bidder of the second chance offer if something more could be added to the package to sweeten the deal. Now I understand wanting to get your money’s worth, but this was getting very frustrating. I am now thinking that I am never going to get this to sell and that I was going to be just stuck owing more then what I started with. So I sent back a message that the item was what it was and that I didn’t have anything else that I could add to the auction item. I thought then that this was going to take forever.

Moments latter, literally, I get a message that it didn’t hurt to ask and then another email saying that a transaction was waiting to go though PayPal. Boy was I surprised. I was getting so jaded that I thought that this would never end but it did, or so I though :) You see even though I had my PayPal account set up I didn’t have it fully set up. So here I am, happy as a clam, clicking on the link to finalize the PayPal transaction and it is asking me to upgrade. “Upgrade to what????” was my thought. “What is this going to cost me now???” Well it didn’t cost anything extra, it is just a designation on the PayPal account that will let you accept payments form others. I thought that I already had something like that setup since I had a donation button before but that was actually on my wife’s account and not mine. So so frustrating. 8 days in and I am still jumping though hoops to get the item sold and shipped.

So I now have the account upgraded and confirmed and then click on the link to complete the transaction but guess what, I still am being asked to upgrade. What the hell is wrong now, I just upgraded. So I log into my PayPal and see that the email address I used at eBay was not added in at PayPal as an alternate email account. So…. I ad in the new email account, confirm it, and then return to eBay and click on the link yet again. This time it goes though and I am asked to put in the shipping information as well as fill out a bunch of other forms for the business account that I just set up

I know this seems like a lot of hassle, and it was, but I only have to set all this junk up once. I would not have to do all the extra steps over and over. Once those are done, they are done and can be used as you go into the future.

Now, setting up the shipping was fun, I had to find the exact weight and dimensions of the item being shipped. Not just the item but the box that it was going to being into. You have to have that information for the shipping label to be able to be created properly. Once you add in the shipping company, the weight and the dimensions you are then sent to a page to print the label. At least that is the way it was for me since I was shipping UPS. So I print out the label and then I print out the packing list that will go into the box that says what the item is and a thank you for using eBay and PayPal to pay me with.

So now I think I am done. Nope. I still have to get the item shipped and to do that I have to go to the local shipping center. For most this would mean going to their local UPS Store but living where I do the only option, other then driving 20 miles, was to go to the local Customer Center as the shipping hub. So I drive there and guess what, it is only open one hour each day to deal with walk in customers. So back into the car to go home and wait. Wasn’t too bad of a wait, got to cuddle and more with the wife :)

So now that I am feeling more relaxed and not so pent up I head back to the shipping center to get it all taken care of. They took the item, found me a box and attached the shipping label to it for me and that was it. Of course I got a receipt with the tracking number on it. You really do need those just to make sure that your butt is covered and the bidder/buyer can not say that the item was not shipped.

Once back at the house I enter the shipping information at PayPal to confirm shipping and then go back to eBay and add in the tracking number and send it to the bidder.

All in all it was not too bad and I have learned a lot and plan to sell more in the future. I just wanted to give you all my experiences and review of the process so that you might be better prepared when and if you sell something on eBay. You don’t need a book or a degree to sell something, you just have to have patience and be able to just take your time and read the information that is available to you as you are going though the bidding/selling process of an auction at eBay. Good luck to you all and thank you both eBay and PayPal.