Ebay is a popular online marketplace where you can sell your unwanted items and buy things directly from other sellers. It can be a great place to generate some extra income. In this guide we will look at how can you make sure you get the best possible prices and make the most money on eBay. 

Five winning tips for making money on eBay:


1. Think about what you want to sell - one seller's junk is another man's treasure! 

Branded items sell very well on eBay, new items with cellophane wrapping and frocks with tags fetch a higher price. Rare and difficult-to-get-hold of items always sell well. Items with keywords will make your listing available to a wider range of buyers. Ask yourself 'will someone search for this?'. People are more likely to search for a 'Ted Baker shirt' than a plain ol' 'shirt'.

Lastly, if you have a bundle of items such as baby clothes consider selling these in job lots. We recommend selling expensive branded goods individually - don't list a Prada bag with a Primark one for example. 

Every month you have 20 free listings. However, you must pay the 'final value fee' once your listing has been bought. 

Here is some useful eBay lingo to know:

BN: Brand new.

BNWT: Brand new with tags.

BNIB: Brand new in box.

BIN: Buy it now.

GC: Very good condition.

NWOT: New without tags.

NWOB: New without box.

HTF: Hard to find.

NR: No reserve.

VTG: Vintage


2. It's all in the details

When it comes to selling and marketing your product you need to write a good description. Include the brand name, it's condition, item specifics, model numbers, size, style and colour. 

Make sure your description is accurate and run it through a spell-checker before you list your item. Think about the title of your listing too. When buyers search, eBay only looks for words in the listing's title. So, make every word count! 

Our next recommendation is making sure you upload quality pictures. Poorly photographed items don't tend to sell as they can look cheap/poor quality. You can upload 12 pictures for free - all you need to do is click on 'add from computer' or 'add from mobile device' if you are using eBay for your Android or iPhone. Include any close-up photos and any images of defects or imperfections. 

Make sure you choose a spot with good natural light when you take your picture and try to capture the item from helpful angles that really showcase it.  


3. Timing is everything

Our top tip is to avoid auctions that end at times where no-one will be up and about such as 4am. Often is the case that bidders will prefer to bid in the last few minutes of a listing hoping others won't have time to bid back. According to eBay the busiest buying times on eBay is Sunday evenings - so aim to end your auction then! If you are not ending your auction on Sunday, aim for days where most people will be in. 

Think about seasonal trends. Your shearling aviator jacket will sell better in the colder months rather than in the heat of the summer. So, start selling at the right time of the year! 

Also, think about the length of time you want to sell. Go for 10-day auctions to ensure the maximum number of bids. 


4.  Build your profile

Before selling anything on eBay we recommend that you buy from the site first to get an insight into how the site works. It will also give you a chance to build up your feedback rating. There are few buyers who will do business with sellers who do not have feedback. 


5. How much is too much?

Setting you price too high will discourage buyers but setting is too low might also mean you risk selling at a knock-down price. When you create a post eBay will set a recommended starting price based on what similar items have sold for. This is a good guide for your own starting price.


6. Don't undervalue postage

It's easy to take a guess at how much it will cost to post out goods, only to find you've got it wrong. Make sure postage is correct, don't get caught out and have to pay out of your own pocket.


7. Go global to attract more buyers

Selling your listings to overseas buyers will boost your potential bidders. You can either sell to overseas bidders through eBay UK or list your auction on that country's eBay site.

Think about what you are selling and the potential postage costs you might have to pay. For example, you don't want to list a heavy air-conditioner to bidders abroad as your postage costs might outweigh any gains for the buyer. 


8. Set up a bank account just for eBay

Consider setting up a bank account specifically for paying your eBay earnings into - that way you'll see the cash pile up, rather than it just disappearing into your current account. 


9. Stick to the eBay rules and regulations

Be aware of descriptions and make sure you describe the item you have listed correctly. For example, if you are selling an iPhone 7 and the device isn't working and you are selling it for its parts make sure you clarify that in your title or description. Make it clear to the buyer what they are buying. 

Also, steer away from selling counterfeit goods on eBay. If you have bought a bag with a Mulberry logo and this is not a real or genuine product of Mulberry do not sell it on eBay. 


10. Be a safe eBayer

Make sure that you get all the money that you deserve. Using PayPal means that both seller and buyer can flag up concerns and PayPal can get help with disputes. Never send goods without receiving cleared payment – you could sell an item for a fantastic price but it’s no good if you never receive the money! 

Top Tip for when your listing ends:


  1. Get a proof of delivery - To qualify for eBay's seller protection, you need 'online documentation from a postal company' that has 'delivered' status, the date of delivery and the buyer's address. For items valued at over £750, you'll also need signature confirmation.
  2. Think about the packaging you want to use - maybe you can add a business card or a gift tag
  3. Now that you have used eBay you can explore other auctions sites such as ebid

Last updated 8 June 2022