July 1, 2016

How to Have Your Way With eBay

By AJ Hakimi (The Flipping Ninja)

Yo! You look like you’re ready for the next level of flipping – wanna try eBay?

If you’ve gotten comfy with Craigslist (if not, check out my blog, How To Crush Craigslist) for all the regular stuff you want to sell locally, it’s now time to explore new territory.

You can sell almost anything on eBay, but where do you start?

Why don’t we take a look at what you already have?

Think about items you spent real cash on. Are your older clothes vintage now? What about those consoles and game libraries you’ve been keeping? Will you ever use that DVD player again? How about the vinyl – any classic records from the 60s on? Do you have treasures hidden away or unopened boxes in storage? You may be surprised at how many things of value you could find right now at the end of your fingertips. But since we’re breaking new ground, let’s keep it manageable.

Here’s an overview for virgin eBayers that should get you over any first-time nerves:

  • People Will Buy From A Seller With No Reputation: Don’t worry about your untested status – you can even add a note to your ad saying you’re a new Seller, but eBay will insert a New Member icon onto your listing anyway. If you want to boost your rating immediately, buy something. Your reputation on eBay merges both buying and selling histories. One strategy is to join eBay and buy a few items over the first 30 days (when the irritating icon is removed). Then, as an apparently regular user, you can enter the marketplace with the appearance of a more seasoned Seller.
  • eBay Doesn’t Charge For Up To 50 Listings A Month: All you need are your eBay and PayPal accounts to begin. You don’t have to pay for anything until you sell something and then the fees from these accounts come out of the money the buyer pays. So, consider these fees when you’re pricing your items.
  • Ad Smarts – Learn From What Works: You don’t have to re-invent sliced bread; just browse the completed listings and pay attention to the Headers, Photos, Descriptions, etc. You know these ads worked and you can copy what you need from the best. An additional eBay feature is a ‘Sell One Like This’ or ‘Sell It Yourself’ button that appears below the image on sold items. Click on this and it will import all key info into your own listing. Remember to think like a buyer when crafting your ad; answer all the top questions (make, model, measurements/dimensions, condition, age, etc.) in the ad to make as easy as possible for someone to buy from you.
  • Price Your Listing Based On What Sold: Look for similar items that have been bought and compare the quality and condition of your item to theirs. You will quickly see the range of prices that have been paid and, if you objectively rate your own offering, you should arrive at an achievable price. Use the eBay app to do price comparisons on the fly if you’re out doing business.
  • K.I.S.S. – Keep It Small, Sunshine: One of the main differences between Craigslist and eBay is that eBay is a worldwide marketplace and you’ll need to think about shipping. To get you into a successful rhythm from the get-go, pick items that will fit into padded mailers (can be bought in bulk from office supply stores), size #0. These are big enough to handle DVDs (keep in mind that TVs are different internationally – US format won’t work everywhere) and CDs, video and computer games, jewelry, etc., and very simple to use – just peel, stick and ship.
  • Sell Collectibles/Antiques On A Learning Curve: Most of us start out knowing just a little about the items we sell. One of the funnest things about this business is the learning and this is majorly important when you get into certain niches. On the plus side, items like sports cards, sought-after toys
  • Offer ‘Free’ Shipping: You can charge separately for shipping – again, compare listings for similar items – based on postal rates, or you can factor in those costs into the price and offer free shipping (eBay has a ‘Free Shipping’ flag that will trigger in search results, making you even more attractive to buyers). For example, if you expect that your most distant customer will be in Alaska or California, calculate those shipping costs and add that to the price – but don’t increase it too much. Heavy items need more care, though; make sure you reflect the real cost of shipping these so you don’t have to disappoint a buyer with additional demands later.
  • Start Your Auctions At $0.99: You want as many people as possible to get involved and start bidding on your auctions. Studies have shown that auctions that have more bids attract more buyers. Starting your auction at $0.99 will get people’s attention, get them interested, and they’ll want to either bid right away or put your item on their watch list. Now keep in mind this strategy won’t work on everything. I’d only recommend it on items that you know will get a ton of bids (shoot for an average of 10 or more bids).

eBay is an exciting place to do business and you can find some very unique and interesting items to flip here. Just take it slow and smart at the start, and build your reputation as you develop your skills and knowledge.

Fast-track your success on eBay and buy my Flipping Ninja Blueprint here.


AJ Hakimi (The Flipping Ninja)

Hey there, I'm AJ, also known as 'The Flipping Ninja'. My flipping journey has been transformative, allowing me to buy sleek cars, indulge in exotic vacations, and even purchase my first house at 24, which I turned into a passive income source. With over 3,000+ items flipped and sales surpassing $300k, it's not just about the numbers. It's about the freedom and empowerment flipping brings.

After years of experience, my mission is to share this life-changing skill. I believe flipping is a powerful side hustle for anyone, from college students to working professionals. Ready to transform your life with flipping? Let's embark on this journey together.

Interested in my full journey? Read More about how I became 'The Flipping Ninja'.

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