Before getting started, it is not my intent to insult anyone’s intelligence. But, because everyone comes from a different place in terms of edumacation and understanding, my articles assume that the reader might be totally unfamiliar with various aspects of what we’re discussing here. So, without going into too much detail, I try to take folks by the hand, so to speak. Don’t be offended if you already know all this stuff. So, let’s get going.
Back in the day, if you had something to sell (or buy), you most likely ran an ad in the local paper. Or, if you had many things to get rid of, you would hold a garage or yard sale. Or if you wanted to look at “stuff” for sale, you WENT to a yard sale. Well, you can still do these things, but there is a better way. It’s called Ebay. Instead of going somewhere or having people come to you, you can sell or buy while sitting in your RV in your underwear.
Ebay is an online auction and marketplace for buying and selling. And if you can tell me what “Ebay” stands for, well, you’ve got too much time on your hands. I know, but who cares. The thing is, Ebay works and it might be the the perfect place for RVers to get rid of “stuff”…or buy “stuff.
This article will be my attempt to show you how to sell things using Ebay. It’s actually quite easy, but there are some basic things necessary to get started. First, you need an Internet connection. Second, you need a digital camera in order to take a picture, or a few pictures, of the item you want to sell. When taking photos, the camera should be on the highest resolution setting. I say this even though photos online are only viewed at low resolution. Also, you will need an ability to size the photo down to, say, 3 inches x 3 inches, or thereabouts. The photos probably should be saved as a”.jpg”. This is the image format. Most cameras these days will automatically save the image in this format.
So, assuming those things are not too much of a hurdle, lets move on. The next thing you should know is that anyone can go to Ebay and browse or “window shop”. Just open your browser and Google “Ebay”. You will be presented with a list of links. Ignore the first few listed. They are most likely “Ads”. Ads will either say that they are ads, or have lightly shaded backgrounds…or both. Drop down to the first non-ad that has a link to ebay.com. Click on it and it should take you to Ebay.
Although anyone can shop on Ebay, in order to “sell”, you will need to register and create an account. It’s actually quite painless EXCEPT that you will have to provide either a credit card or bank information. Whichever, this is to allow Ebay not to have to chase you for any fees it may charge. They want the ability to debit a card or account. Considering that the fees are fairly minimal, and in most cases are only incurred AFTER you sell your item, it’s a fair request (requirement). Since most buyers will likely pay through PayPal, it’s also recommended that you become PayPal “Verified”. This is also painless but a subject for another day.
So once you have an account, which is almost immediate, you’re ready to list your first item for sale. At the top of the Ebay screen, slightly to the right of center you will see “My Ebay”. Click on it and you will be required to sign in using the email address or User ID and password that you established when you created your account. Once this is accomplished, your “My Ebay” page will open. Cool.
Scroll down the left hand side of the page to “Sell”. Under “Sell” look for “Sell an Item”. If you don’t see it, click on “All Selling”. THEN, you should see “Sell an Item”. Click on it. This will take you to a “Tell Us What You Are Selling” page. You can either type in a general description of your item in the box provided, or select from one of the icons directly below the box, including the last icon to the right entitled “Browse categories”. Regardless of which method you select, the point is to list your item in the most appropriate category so that when a potential buyer searches Ebay, they will have a high probability of finding your item. If you have a ring to sell, it will stand a better chance of being seen by those looking for a ring if the “category” is Jewelry, as opposed to Lawn Equipment.
Something to additionally be aware of is that Ebay will attempt to guide you from a general category, to more specific sub-categories. Sometimes, what Ebay selects with good intentions might not be best for you. As an example, I had some 1967 Mustang front seats to sell. If I use the “Tell Us What You Are Selling” box, and simply type in “1967 Mustang Seats”, Ebay may attempt to put me in a main category like “Collectibles”, flowing to other related sub-categories, all of which are not really ideal. Then I notice that one of the icons below the type-in box is identified as “Vehicles, parts & accessories”. Perfect, since my item is automotive related! I click on it, and I’m now placing my item in categories that are more appropriate for showing up in a buyer’s search results. Although I have spent a lot of space here describing the “Tell Us What You Are Selling” and category selection process, it actually only takes a few seconds, maybe a minute, to complete this step. And like anything else in life, the more you do it, the easier and faster it becomes.
This concludes Part I of “Ebay for RVers. I see my word count is near 1,000 words, so we will break this into parts.